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Please help with deciding between ATH-AD models...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,
I'm new here as I'm sure you can see. I've had a paid of ATH-AD700's for a few years now - I do love them but at the time I got them because they were a good price and about the best headphone I could afford. Now I have a bit more cash - and recently I was lucky to pick up the ATH-W1000X at a good price, but when they arrived I was a bit disappointed. I'm definitely an open headphone guy - the W1000X's just aren't comfortable to me, and although the detail in the sound is beautiful (to my ears) I can't help thinking I'd get the same sort of thing from say, the AD1000X's, but with the comfort and "sound space" of an open headphone. Oh, also, I don't need isolation (I know you're probably asking why I bought an isolated headphone but... yeah I'm stupid).

Now I make no secret of being an Audio-Technica fanboy. I like the wing system, I like the sound, and I don't (think) I want to be messing around with amps etc., so easy to drive is good. However if you really want to make other brand recommendations, feel free. I do have a Xonar STX so driving a bit more impedance shouldn't be a problem.

 

The problem is, I just can't decide on which ATH-AD...
Contenders are:
AD900
AD900X
AD1000X

AD2000
AD2000X

There seems to be a problem with basically every one of them:
AD900 - hard to get now, they'll either be in fairly worn condition, or new, where they are a fair bit more expensive than their newer 900X's.
AD900X - SOME reports that sacrificed overall sound quality for more bass on this model? Not sure what the general consensus was, but initially I saw a fair few people who preferred the original AD900's. Also I'd probably prefer a BIGGER upgrade to the 700. The price of the 900X's is hard to resist though.
AD1000X - admittedly there isn't a PROBLEM with these - reviews seem favourable etc., price is good - just not sure whether they're "right" for me before I dive in.
AD2000 - the most expensive of the bunch (more expensive by about $80 than the 2000X) - but general consensus SEEMS to be that they are one of AT's great sets? It really does seem like people don't like the newer 2000X's nearly as much...
AD2000X - said above what the "problem" is... but I am a sucker for an "RRP saving", and RRP compared to what I can get these 2000X's for seems awesome...

 

Yeah OK so I should probably just go for the 1000X's, but I dunno if I'd always be wanting that "upgrade" to the 2000 or 2000X's... it's irrational, but I'd like (if possible) clarification of whether my perceived "problems" with each model is even true... and what your more learned impressions are.

 

Source: combination of Xonar STX card, and standard headphone jack from an AV receiver (for movies)

 

Music:
Acoustic guitars and clean electric
Alternative pop (Regina Spektor/Fiona Apple etc.)
Classical
 

Movies:
All kinds, and almost as often as music

 

Thank you all.

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quazimoto View Post
 

Hey guys,
I'm new here as I'm sure you can see. I've had a paid of ATH-AD700's for a few years now - I do love them but at the time I got them because they were a good price and about the best headphone I could afford. Now I have a bit more cash - and recently I was lucky to pick up the ATH-W1000X at a good price, but when they arrived I was a bit disappointed. I'm definitely an open headphone guy - the W1000X's just aren't comfortable to me, and although the detail in the sound is beautiful (to my ears) I can't help thinking I'd get the same sort of thing from say, the AD1000X's, but with the comfort and "sound space" of an open headphone. Oh, also, I don't need isolation (I know you're probably asking why I bought an isolated headphone but... yeah I'm stupid).
Now I make no secret of being an Audio-Technica fanboy. I like the wing system, I like the sound, and I don't (think) I want to be messing around with amps etc., so easy to drive is good. However if you really want to make other brand recommendations, feel free. I do have a Xonar STX so driving a bit more impedance shouldn't be a problem.

The problem is, I just can't decide on which ATH-AD...
Contenders are:AD900 AD900X AD1000X AD2000 AD2000X
AD900X - SOME reports that sacrificed overall sound quality for more bass on this model? Not sure what the general consensus was, but initially I saw a fair few people who preferred the original AD900's. Also I'd probably prefer a BIGGER upgrade to the 700. The price of the 900X's is hard to resist though.
.Yeah OK so I should probably just go for the 1000X's, but I dunno if I'd always be wanting that "upgrade" to the 2000 or 2000X's... it's irrational, but I'd like (if possible) clarification of whether my perceived "problems" with each model is even true... and what your more learned impressions are.

Source: combination of Xonar STX card, and standard headphone jack from an AV receiver (for movies)

Music: - Acoustic guitars and clean electric, Alternative pop (Regina Spektor/Fiona Apple etc.), Classical

 

I got a good price on used ATH-A1000X a few weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying the sound.

(I also own the AD700s and A900Xs)

 

With the AD900 vs AD900X comparisons, I would assume they were comparing well broken in AD900s to new AD900Xs.

So i would "guess" that if the AD900Xs had a few hundred hours of use they would sound better then the AD900.

But if you willing to spend the cash for the AD1000X, guess the 900s do not matter.

 

I have found that my ATH do not do well plugged directly into receivers, i think the headphone outputs on the receivers have a high impedance which the ATH (which are low impedance 40-Ohm headphones) do not mesh well with.

For the receiver you might have better luck with 250-Ohm Beyer DT880s and DT990s (AKG K612 Pro 120-Ohm headphones might also be a good choice).

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I got a good price on used ATH-A1000X a few weeks ago, and I'm really enjoying the sound.

(I also own the AD700s and A900Xs)

 

With the AD900 vs AD900X comparisons, I would assume they were comparing well broken in AD900s to new AD900Xs.

So i would "guess" that if the AD900Xs had a few hundred hours of use they would sound better then the AD900.

But if you willing to spend the cash for the AD1000X, guess the 900s do not matter.

 

I have found that my ATH do not do well plugged directly into receivers, i think the headphone outputs on the receivers have a high impedance which the ATH (which are low impedance 40-Ohm headphones) do not mesh well with.

For the receiver you might have better luck with 250-Ohm Beyer DT880s and DT990s (AKG K612 Pro 120-Ohm headphones might also be a good choice).


Thanks for that, that's helpful.
So the 1000X's definitely an improvement over the 900X's?

Also, call me stupid - but I thought ATH would be good with receivers because the headphone output is generally an afterthought, and a bit low powered, designed for consumer<$100 headphones, and therefore (I would have thought) be no good with high impedance headphones in them?
I haven't noticed a "problem" with an AD700s from my Onkyo receiver, but they don't sound amazing either.
But you're suggesting a higher impedance headphone would be better suited?
Cheers.

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quazimoto View Post
 


Thanks for that, that's helpful.
So the 1000X's definitely an improvement over the 900X's?

Also, call me stupid - but I thought ATH would be good with receivers because the headphone output is generally an afterthought, and a bit low powered, designed for consumer<$100 headphones, and therefore (I would have thought) be no good with high impedance headphones in them?
I haven't noticed a "problem" with an AD700s from my Onkyo receiver, but they don't sound amazing either.
But you're suggesting a higher impedance headphone would be better suited?
Cheers.

Just realized a mistype, I just bought the W1000Xs not the A1000Xs

 

The W1000X is an improvement over the A900X, but chances are I would never pay full retail price for new W1000Xs.

I was just lucky enough to find someone with used W1000Xs, that was willing so sell me them for under $300.

 

Most receivers use the same amplifier to drive the speakers and headphone output, so power is not a problem.

(Yamaha cheapest A/V receiver ($200) is rated to drive headphones up to 450-Ohms)

But these receiver's headphone output usually come with a high impedance (Ohm), it could be 75-Ohm, 100-Ohm, 150-Ohm, etc.

Receiver manufacturers almost never list the headphone output impedance, guess it's not something to brag about.

I saw a listing for a vintage receiver that listed the headphone output impedance as 390-Ohm.

Low impedance headphones like the ATH-AD700 will "function" in a receiver headphone output, but you get things like a bloated bass (louder, less detail).

 

The some of the smaller (quality) receiver manufacturers will built in a separate headphone amplifier, with a very low impedance.

They are happy to list the HP output impedance.

 

The Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250-Ohm would work fine with the Essence STX and your receiver.

Or AKG K612 Pro 120-Ohm headphones.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks.
Yeah I also have the W1000X's - same here about full retail, my price wasn't anywhere near that. I don't like them as much as open headphones that's all.

post #6 of 15

This topic interests me as the ATs are reported to have very good soundstage and sound very open, which I like for orchestral music. I've been put off, however, by some reports that the earcups are shallow. I think the original ones were made in Japan and the new versions are from China.

 

I thought this review was slightly helpful: http://www.headfonia.com/audio-technica-ad-series-ad300-ad700-ad900-ad1000prm-ad2000/.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

I've been put off, however, by some reports that the earcups are shallow. I think the original ones were made in Japan and the new versions are from China.

 

I thought this review was slightly helpful: http://www.headfonia.com/audio-technica-ad-series-ad300-ad700-ad900-ad1000prm-ad2000/.

What do you mean by "original" and "new" - as in, at what point do you think they started being made in China?

I actually don't take much notice of where stuff is made. If labour in one country costs more than another, it means your dollar doesn't go as far - so $100,000 spent on production in China will get more than it will made in Germany. Sure, if the German product is more expensive, then it could well be better - but generally, a $200 product made in Germany will suck compared to a $200 product made in China.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quazimoto View Post

What do you mean by "original" and "new" - as in, at what point do you think they started being made in China?

I actually don't take much notice of where stuff is made. If labour in one country costs more than another, it means your dollar doesn't go as far - so $100,000 spent on production in China will get more than it will made in Germany. Sure, if the German product is more expensive, then it could well be better - but generally, a $200 product made in Germany will suck compared to a $200 product made in China.

The new Chinese ones have the "x" designation after the number of the original Japanese model.

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Japan (among others) have better quality control than China currently offers. Consumers can choose to trade off purchasing power for quality control and vice versa.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


The new Chinese ones have the "x" designation after the number of the original Japanese model.
 

 

For what it's worth, the W1000X's are Japan made.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quazimoto View Post

For what it's worth, the W1000X's are Japan made.

Really? Thanks. Maybe AT still makes the W-series there.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

Yeah, according to the box anyway. It doesn't say "Made in..." anywhere on the headphones themselves, just "Japan Made" on the top of the box, and on the back in very fine print "MADE IN JAPAN".

post #12 of 15

I've read from multiple reviews that the AD2000X sounds better than the AD2000 (Asr did a great review of both on these forums).

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post
 

I've read from multiple reviews that the AD2000X sounds better than the AD2000 (Asr did a great review of both on these forums).

 

Really? I've gotten the impression that fans of the old AD2000 dislike the AD2000X.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post
 

 

Really? I've gotten the impression that fans of the old AD2000 dislike the AD2000X.


That is also the impression I got.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by viralcow View Post
 

 

Really? I've gotten the impression that fans of the old AD2000 dislike the AD2000X.

Interesting.

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