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ATH ESW9A or HD25 (or ??) for guitar centric music: Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa,...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi, I listen to all types of music but I'm researching a set of headphones that excel in the midrange, while maintaining a good balanced and neutral character. I have been using some m50s, which sound great, but they don't excel in the types of music that are guitar centered (Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer etc.) I need great instrument separation, some warmth, and good build quality and comfort. I'd like the guitar tones to really shine!
I'll be using these for pleasure listening, and mostly at home. I am using an iPod, iphone4 and just recently got a fiio E11. I will also use with guitar amp modelers and a home stereo system.
I tried some ATH ESW9A at Magnolia and thought they sounded excellent. I've read that durability and isolation may be less than stellar. I've also been doing some research and have the HD25 on my radar.
Are there any opinions on these or any other recommendations? I'd like to stay in the ~$200 area.
Thank you
Edited by Sonic OCD - 1/20/13 at 11:57pm
post #2 of 20
I am a proud owner of ESW9 this headphones give me BEST female vocal it's made the.female Singer voice became sweeter.. overall is a headphone for female vocal not male
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you. How do you feel they (esw9) will hold up in regards to stability. I'm looking for good instrument separation, that let the guitar tones really shine. A lot of the music I'm talking about is instrumental, though the ability to be versatile is somewhat important. I've read that the esw9 has a tubey character which is good when it comes to guitar tone etc, but I'm not sure that this translates to the entirety of the music. I'd like to be able to capture all the nuances of the guitar amp, while maintaining a warmth of the whole song.

I've read the hd25-1 II (which is what i've meant) is very durable, and is a very neutral can. They are great for rock and fast music. Do these lack any warmth? My goal is to use these for pleasure listening primarily.
If sound was the only criteria, which would you recommend?
Edited by Sonic OCD - 1/21/13 at 9:37am
post #4 of 20
Stability 7/10 you cannot recable back to the normal cable if u broke it's unless third party cable. iI brought it's in Feb 2012 so far so good just learn to handle this little thing carefully put it's in a pouch if u don't want to use it's twist the head down when putting it's back to the pouch *PICTURES 1. Build 8.5/10 very rarely u can see wooden headphones mostly only audio technica have it's wood+sheep leather+steel *NO PLASTIC Comfortable 7/10 i usefully can't listen to it's over 3 hours because the pads ia made of sheep leather u will find it's a abit uncomfortable at first after u soften the leather everything go fine v Isolation 6/10 NOT GOOD when taking them outside listening to it's in train or buses noise will get through SOUND 8.8/10 All wood series for audio technica is all about VOCAL SOUND STAGE AND *INSTRUMENTS I listen to mostly female vocal it's just blown me away VOCAL is Very infront of your ear singing Musical Instruments is good it's will never cover the vocal bass is very low 4.5/10 if u love bass than i am sad to said it's will never be your cup of tea WOOD headphones had better Vocal And Music Instruments Separation than STEEL Titanium And Plastic Headphones
Edited by jrwong28 - 1/21/13 at 9:59am
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Bump?..
What's the best price you've seen these at? They are on amzn for 217 right now, does it get much cheaper than that? I'm in no big rush so if they tend to get much less than that, I'm willing to wait. Also, is there a way to be sure about the authenticity of these? Is there a large amount of fakes with this model?
Is there anything better in this price range for the types of music described above? I realize "better" is subjective, but I'd love to hear your impressions.
Edited by Sonic OCD - 1/23/13 at 9:46pm
post #6 of 20
I Brought mine from local dealer 325SGD not sure about US price. if you are listening to mostly vocal it's will be a bomb for you very sweet vocal and music Instruments separation mids and sound stage is very good. No fake ESW9 so far the wood must be red but not those coloured red Nature RED or spray red one look from the wood u will know weather is a fake headphones. of course they are better headphones them ESW9 like HD600/650 But ESW9 price tage is at Portable Headphone weighing at 195g very light very small yet powerful!
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Would you say the esw9 colors the sound (in a good way), where the m50s are more neutral or accurate?
Edited by Sonic OCD - 1/24/13 at 12:15pm
post #8 of 20
Sorry you are wrong M50 is junk to me ESW9 kick them in many ways Vocal is the first thing ESW9 win 100 times and M50 is for bass head only all u can enjoy is bass nothing more and is very heavy 300g ESW 190G lol who is going to wear M50 out like a fool? ESW9 sound is not coloured is very warm balance and very neutral ESW9 VS M50 ESW9 Win milestone away M50 only win in BASS lost in VOCAL Sound Stage Mids Music Instrument Separation Weight
Edited by jrwong28 - 1/24/13 at 6:02pm
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you but I think that saying the m50 is junk and that I am wrong does you a disservice. It weakens what you are trying to say. I heard the esw9 for a few minutes and absolutely loved what I heard. I would say I liked them better than the m50s, but I wouldn't say the m50s are junk, because they are clearly not JUNK. I'm definitely not a bass head, and the bass is strong with the m50, which is why I am exploring other headphones. The m50 is nice, but i agree the mids (where the electric guitar lives) is not as pronounced as i'd like. I have my choice down to the esw9 and the hd25, and leaning towards the audio technica. I will eventually own both anyway, I'm sure.
I'm not trying to bash "jrwong" and appreciate your opinion so please don't be offended. I am a paycheck away from pulling the trigger on the esw9. Has anyone seen a better price than $215? I am just waiting to see if I'm on the right track in regard to the styles I mentioned, and if I should also be considering any others.
Keep those opinions coming.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic OCD View Post

Thank you but I think that saying the m50 is junk and that I am wrong does you a disservice. It weakens what you are trying to say. I heard the esw9 for a few minutes and absolutely loved what I heard. I would say I liked them better than the m50s, but I wouldn't say the m50s are junk, because they are clearly not JUNK. I'm definitely not a bass head, and the bass is strong with the m50, which is why I am exploring other headphones. The m50 is nice, but i agree the mids (where the electric guitar lives) is not as pronounced as i'd like. I have my choice down to the esw9 and the hd25, and leaning towards the audio technica. I will eventually own both anyway, I'm sure.
I'm not trying to bash "jrwong" and appreciate your opinion so please don't be offended. I am a paycheck away from pulling the trigger on the esw9. Has anyone seen a better price than $215? I am just waiting to see if I'm on the right track in regard to the styles I mentioned, and if I should also be considering any others.
Keep those opinions coming.
I guess 215 will be the price it's will never go down to 200 my friend own a M50 he told me is a.junk only bass so i don't believe him and try it's on hmmm he was right! maybe i am rude and should not had used the words junk. for what i know ESW9 ADX900 And the New ES700 MIGHT fit u if u are finding for cheaper headphones
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic OCD View Post

Thank you but I think that saying the m50 is junk and that I am wrong does you a disservice. It weakens what you are trying to say. I heard the esw9 for a few minutes and absolutely loved what I heard. I would say I liked them better than the m50s, but I wouldn't say the m50s are junk, because they are clearly not JUNK. I'm definitely not a bass head, and the bass is strong with the m50, which is why I am exploring other headphones. The m50 is nice, but i agree the mids (where the electric guitar lives) is not as pronounced as i'd like. I have my choice down to the esw9 and the hd25, and leaning towards the audio technica. I will eventually own both anyway, I'm sure.
I'm not trying to bash "jrwong" and appreciate your opinion so please don't be offended. I am a paycheck away from pulling the trigger on the esw9. Has anyone seen a better price than $215? I am just waiting to see if I'm on the right track in regard to the styles I mentioned, and if I should also be considering any others.
Keep those opinions coming.
I guess 215 will be the price it's will never go down to 200 my friend own a M50 he told me is a.junk only bass so i don't believe him and try it's on hmmm he was right! maybe i am rude and should not had used the words junk. for what i know ESW9 ADX900 And the New ES700 MIGHT fit u if u are finding for cheaper headphones
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic OCD View Post

Thank you but I think that saying the m50 is junk and that I am wrong does you a disservice. It weakens what you are trying to say. I heard the esw9 for a few minutes and absolutely loved what I heard. I would say I liked them better than the m50s, but I wouldn't say the m50s are junk, because they are clearly not JUNK. I'm definitely not a bass head, and the bass is strong with the m50, which is why I am exploring other headphones. The m50 is nice, but i agree the mids (where the electric guitar lives) is not as pronounced as i'd like. I have my choice down to the esw9 and the hd25, and leaning towards the audio technica. I will eventually own both anyway, I'm sure.
I'm not trying to bash "jrwong" and appreciate your opinion so please don't be offended. I am a paycheck away from pulling the trigger on the esw9. Has anyone seen a better price than $215? I am just waiting to see if I'm on the right track in regard to the styles I mentioned, and if I should also be considering any others.
Keep those opinions coming.

 

The ESW9 has been as low as $165 recently. http://camelcamelcamel.com/Technica-ATHESW9A-Portable-Wooden-Headphones/product/B0030O0Q2U

 

$220 is a decent price. For a mid-centric sound, the ESW9 is a great portable (and one I enjoyed a lot). For mids, it's certainly better than the HD25 (although that set has its merits too). You should consider the Sony MDR-1R too -- I've owned both it and the ESW9 and I like the Sony better. More comfortable and very good sound. It's been dropping on price and people have been able to get it for around $180.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
No problem jrwong, I believe you meant well. I will consider your advice.
Love the name HeroicPenguin! Thank you for the link. Since I'm in no big rush I'll keep an eye out, I may get lucky and catch it for less than 200, but I can live with 217. In the meantime I will try and check out all the other suggestions.

I'm not sure why but my gut is screaming esw9. I'll go have another listen to be sure my first impression was warranted. I wish there was a place to go A/B all these, but I think I understand why there isn't. The esw9s are 399 in Magnolia, that's crazy. On a side note: the only difference between esw9 and esw9a is the one with an "a" is the model destined for US sales right. I think the esw9a uses the tonewood African paudak vs Japanese cherry for the esw9, from what I've been able to find. Are there any differences, sonically or otherwise?

Just like (in my case) guitar equipment, you just have to let your ears decide, and deal with the fact that your brain is constantly learning to comprehend more of the subtle nuances in sound. The search for sonic bliss, the never ending tone quest resulting in what is my sonic OCD, shall go on, and on... There are worse ways to spend your money, right?
Edited by Sonic OCD - 1/24/13 at 11:01pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic OCD View Post

No problem jrwong, I believe you meant well. I will consider your advice.
Love the name HeroicPenguin! Thank you for the link. Since I'm in no big rush I'll keep an eye out, I may get lucky and catch it for less than 200, but I can live with 217. In the meantime I will try and check out all the other suggestions.

I'm not sure why but my gut is screaming esw9. I'll go have another listen to be sure my first impression was warranted. I wish there was a place to go A/B all these, but I think I understand why there isn't. The esw9s are 399 in Magnolia, that's crazy. On a side note: the only difference between esw9 and esw9a is the one with an "a" is the model destined for US sales right. I think the esw9a uses the tonewood African paudak vs Japanese cherry for the esw9, from what I've been able to find. Are there any differences, sonically or otherwise?

Just like (in my case) guitar equipment, you just have to let your ears decide, and deal with the fact that your brain is constantly learning to comprehend more of the subtle nuances in sound. The search for sonic bliss, the never ending tone quest resulting in what is my sonic OCD, shall go on, and on... There are worse ways to spend your money, right?
ESW9 And ESW9A ESW9 Is Made IN Japan Wood for both is same totally same.build.same sound everything same ESW9A The A Stand For America Different Voltage Japan Version Is ESW9 For Asian Country
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
ESW9 And ESW9A ESW9 Is Made IN Japan Wood for both is same totally same.build.same sound everything same ESW9A The A Stand For America Different Voltage Japan Version Is ESW9 For Asian Country

How does voltage come into play?
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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphones, Earphones and In-Ear Monitors ›  ATH ESW9A or HD25 (or ??) for guitar centric music: Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer