Great minds think alike I guess. :-)
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The thing is regarding the Audio Technica line of headphones, each model sounds dramatically different. In other words, whatever number the next model is labeled, it ain't gonna sound anything like a W3k. A word to the wise, do what you gotta do to get hold of a pair of these babies while there are still a few left in stock.
This listener believes that as time passes, the W3000ANV will rightfully be regarded as a classic.
Regarding the W series, I'd agree that there is definitely variation from one model to the next, but I wouldn't say they're completely devoid of similarities. They almost all share a certain timbrel coloration in the midrange which has come to be identified explicitly with Audio-Technica and gives them their reputation for being one of the best headphone series for vocals. Also with the exception of the W11JPN and W1000X, I'd say they all have a somewhat similar tonal balance (tight down below, bright up top).
For instance the W5000 and W3000ANV sound more alike than dissimilar in my opinion, with the former being the airier and brighter take and the latter being a more solid and balanced take on the same type of sound. The "Limited" models (W10LTD, W11R) tend to have a more neutral overall balance, with relatively less of that distinctive timbrel coloration in the mids.
This has been my experience, at least. Currently I'm only lacking the W2002, so it gives me a chance to A/B them.
Yep, the vocals have a special "continuousness" that makes them sound un-artificial, but still very rounded and fleshed out.
Planars and stats also have that continuousness, but don't sound quite as rounded as a real voice as a dynamic.
But the dynamics, like the HD800 and HD650 have a touch of abrasion too that the W3000anv's are able to avoid.
And these vocals just sound a little bit more "there" than the LCD3s, more like there is nothing but air between me and the singer.
And also the bass is tight and real, just not as low or profound as the Audeze, but it does the job well, and sounds very well integrated with the rest of the spectrum.
The highs are similarly well integrated and don't stand out like like a detectable tweeter at all.
So I would call that a good definition of refinement.
Totally agree. Both W5000 and W3000 has a sweetness and uniqueness to the vocals that makes it especially smooth and ear catching. The vocals manage to separate itself from the background music and sing in front of you with excellent imaging and air while the background music engulfs you.
I'm kinda curious, are you planning on "burning in" your headphones before using them? Why don't you just enjoy them when you get them, and if they get better, all the better. My ears aren't awesome, but I sure cannot detect any difference between new and after a few hundred hours of use, YMMV
This thread is painful, lol: These sound like headphones I would really appreciate, yet I won't have the funds until next month. Alas. That's why I hope there will be something as similar and good from AT down the pike...