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Audio-Technica ATH-L3000 " The Legendary Leatherhead "

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi audiophile enthusiasts,

 

Today we have one of the most beautiful headphones that was created.

 

Pictures will not do justices to these leather skin beauties !

 

In person is the only way to make sense of the sheer brilliance's of its glamour ! It will make you ooze all over the place.

 

The headphone I'm talking about is the Audio-Technica ATH-L3000 'aka' 'Leatherhead' 

 

Introducing:  Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

Released: November 21, 2003

Unit Manufactured: 500 units (450 Brown?, 50 Green?)

Generation: 8th

Driver: 53mm, super high class OFC - 8 N bobbin rolled voice coil

Sensitivity: 104db

Frequency: 5 to 45,000 Hz

Mass: 380g

Impedance: 48u

Frame: Closed Back, Dynamic type 

Released date Price tag: $2,500.00

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

 

The brown leather ear cups, leather headbands, leather ear wings is stunning. With its soft leather black pads.

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

 

Putting your ears on these leather pads and touching the soft, moist leather is unreal. 

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

 

Beautifully Stitch

 

 

 

The L3000 was Audio Techinca high end headphones that was suppose to compete with the Legendary MDR-R10 and others.

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

 

 

 

Audio-Technica ATH-L3000 Sound:  Bass Kings? Maybe? Wait Yes! Second that to 'maybe' again? The old methods of burn-in to get the true feel of the headphones is very real with these headphones! Some say you need about 250 hours of burn in. Others said 500 hours! Once you reach that many hours with this headphone it becomes a musical mastermind and this is where legends belong!

This headphone has recess highs, recess mids and very strong mid bass to upper bass. This is the indication why people consider this Bass-king headphones! With more burn-ins these becomes untouchable in the bass regions to untold legends. That's only a rumor mind you.

Sound-stage is small, not much depth, image is great. 

With all that bass talk these headphones sounds surprisingly real and natural. Yes it is somewhat hard to believe.

And one last time to stress on the bass, it seems the headphones needs untold amount of hours of burn-in to be a god in the bass department. This is one of those headphones that can reach that status !

 

These headphones are not analytical almost the opposite. And the resolution is somewhat weak. This headphone was not design to be an HD800. 

 

These are musical headphones that makes you move your head like a crazy person. Tapping your feet like you have a very bad habit and move your body like you are possess by a demon. This is what this headphone was design for. Some people don't like that style and wants more analytical style that can study the tracks they are listening to, so for that reason these headphones are hated and despise and dismiss. 

 

Overall, Are these for everyone? No and Yes. 

 

 

 

Audio-Technica ATH-L3000 design: Really? have you not seen the pictures yet? If not, built perfect, tight grip, a little warm on the ears, soft to the touch, very comfy, long listening, no problems. 

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

 

 

Limited edition version! 

 

Audio-Technica ATH-L3000G --- (GREEN) The hardest to ever own !

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000G

 

Who ever owns the green should win a prize! 

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000G

 

Brown Vs Green !!

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000G

 

2 LEGENDS !! I want both you are saying right now! 

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000G

 

 

The green version is too good to own.

 

 

 

Image result for Audio-Technica ATH-L3000

 

 

And here we see the legend with its brothers and sisters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Feel free to express and discuss your experience with these headphones at the comment section. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(I do not own the pictures above. Only intent to use as for educational benefit) 

Edited by protoss - Today at 1:55 am
post #2 of 19

If I remember, these were only released in Japan, right?

 

I never heard them myself, I think Audiocubes were selling them at one point, might be confusing these with the wooden counterparts.

 

A luxury item for sure!

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KR... View Post
 

If I remember, these were only released in Japan, right?

 

I never heard them myself, I think Audiocubes were selling them at one point, might be confusing these with the wooden counterparts.

 

A luxury item for sure!

Updated the page. And fully fix and completed now. 

 

November 23, 2003 the headphone was released. Main purpose looks like was to compete with the MDR R10. 

Unit created: 300 units -  250 Browns and 50 Greens

Price $ 2,500.00 release date. 

Sale in japan only 

 

Another reason why no one knew about these. is that who really knew about Audio Technica in 2003? An unknown company dropping a $2500 headphone when theres a nice $4000 Sony MDR R10 around the corner? 

 

I remember people who wanted them needed to get them imported and such.

 

Thanks 

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by protoss View Post
 

Updated the page. And fully fix and completed now. 

 

November 23, 2003 the headphone was released. Main purpose looks like was to compete with the MDR R10. 

Unit created: 300 units -  250 Browns and 50 Greens

Price $ 2,500.00 release date. 

Sale in japan only 

 

Another reason why no one knew about these. is that who really knew about Audio Technica in 2003? An unknown company dropping a $2500 headphone when theres a nice $4000 Sony MDR R10 around the corner? 

 

I remember people who wanted them needed to get them imported and such.

 

Thanks 

There was plenty of discussion about them on head-fi, starting from 2003. I even met my buddy (and longtime head-fi legend) Purk when he came over to hear my newly acquired L3000, back in late 2003/4! I think between the two of us, we ended up owning 4 or 5 different pairs over time -- yes, all imported from Japan. Never saw a green one, though. Around that time you could get a NEW one from Japan for ~$1600 all-in. Used examples could occasionally be found for ~$1400.

 

I was obsessed with the L3000 for a long time. In  the end, they're the only AT headphone that I find pleasing. The W2002, W11JPN, W10VTG, and especially W5000 were all various flavors of disappointment next to the L3000 -- maybe the leather wrap actually had something to do with the sound. The W5000 was particularly disappointing, ugh.

 

I still have one pair; can't say I listen to them very often though. I categorize the L3000 with the Sony MDR-R10, Sony Qualia 010, and Grado HP-1000 as "flawed gems". Absolutely brilliant in certain aspects, but with significant shortcomings in other areas. The L3000's brilliance was in a visceral, fat, meaty sound. Its shortcomings were in its small soundstage and its lack of detail compared to other top-tier headphones. These days I still find the Stax 009 to be the "best" headphone, when paired with a BHSE-level amp; Stax gets 99% of all my headphone listening time, lately. Can't bring myself to sell them, though -- lovely memories!


Edited by mulveling - 4/21/17 at 4:47pm
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
 

There was plenty of discussion about them on head-fi, starting from 2003. I even met my buddy (and longtime head-fi legend) Purk when he came over to hear my newly acquired L3000, back in late 2003/4! I think between the two of us, we ended up owning 4 or 5 different pairs over time -- yes, all imported from Japan. Never saw a green one, though. Around that time you could get a NEW one from Japan for ~$1600 all-in. Used examples could occasionally be found for ~$1400.

 

I was obsessed with the L3000 for a long time. In  the end, they're the only AT headphone that I find pleasing. The W2002, W11JPN, W10VTG, and especially W5000 were all various flavors of disappointment next to the L3000 -- maybe the leather wrap actually had something to do with the sound. The W5000 was particularly disappointing, ugh.

 

I still have one pair; can't say I listen to them very often though. I categorize the L3000 with the Sony MDR-R10, Sony Qualia 010, and Grado HP-1000 as "flawed gems". Absolutely brilliant in certain aspects, but with significant shortcomings in other areas. The L3000's brilliance was in a visceral, fat, meaty sound. Its shortcomings were in its small soundstage and its lack of detail compared to other top-tier headphones. These days I still find the Stax 009 to be the "best" headphone, when paired with a BHSE-level amp; Stax gets 99% of all my headphone listening time, lately. Can't bring myself to sell them, though -- lovely memories!

Hello,

 

Thank you for your interests in the article. 

 

I am speechless that you end up having 5 pairs of these! That is just amazing. It is a shame you never came across a green version. There wasn't a sonic difference anyway. It was just green.

I heard a pair of these for 30 sec with people yelling in the halls. My god man didn't hear anything. I would love to listen to your pair if you don't have time for it anymore? Pretty please with sugar on top. 

 

Thanks for the memories.

 

Side note: I was writing up on 2 Sony articles and 1 was for the Qualia 010 and you responded with the 4 hidden gems. 

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by protoss View Post
 

Hello,

 

Thank you for your interests in the article. 

 

I am speechless that you end up having 5 pairs of these! That is just amazing. It is a shame you never came across a green version. There wasn't a sonic difference anyway. It was just green.

I heard a pair of these for 30 sec with people yelling in the halls. My god man didn't hear anything. I would love to listen to your pair if you don't have time for it anymore? Pretty please with sugar on top. 

 

Thanks for the memories.

 

Side note: I was writing up on 2 Sony articles and 1 was for the Qualia 010 and you responded with the 4 hidden gems. 

The Qualia 010 is one regret I have; I should've held onto that pair. That said, the 009 / BHSE pairing fills all my needs for detail, and has a vastly superior midrange to boot, but the Qualia 010 in its time was really something special. 

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Yes, i heard great things with the Qualia 010. And a few bad things. But then again you literally have one of the greatest setup currently. 009 with BHSE. You pretty much at Nirvana!

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveling View Post
 

The Qualia 010 is one regret I have; I should've held onto that pair. That said, the 009 / BHSE pairing fills all my needs for detail, and has a vastly superior midrange to boot, but the Qualia 010 in its time was really something special. 

I wonder if you have the HeadAmp GS-X MkII or the HeadAmp Aristaeus also? 

post #9 of 19
Honest question: what is *under* the leather? I've heard rumor that its actually a woodie under there, but never seen anything conclusive (not that I expect anyone to have cut a pair up just to find out).
post #10 of 19

I have one pair. I agree with you. Exactly, the L3000's lack details. Also, the sound-stage is very small. However, they're very musical. They have outstanding bass and audio-technica-style sound-stage. L3000's are indeed the best audio-technica's headphones.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Honest question: what is *under* the leather? I've heard rumor that its actually a woodie under there, but never seen anything conclusive (not that I expect anyone to have cut a pair up just to find out).

Yes. Two wooden ear-cups are under the leather. I've taken part my L3000. Here's the pic.

 

 

https://flic.kr/p/H1wiYC

https://flic.kr/p/HjHYYT

https://flic.kr/p/JWVXaJ


Edited by Paraducks - Yesterday at 8:59 am
post #12 of 19

Yep - really interesting build quality on these headphones. I believe they said it was cherry wood. Back in the day, there was an interesting article done on the L3000 and its creator -- not sure if it's lost to time now.

 

I also noticed slight variations in sound between the various L3000 pairs -- though all unmistakably had that musical L3000 sound. There was one pair that was a bit more bass-heavy than the rest -- when the L3000 is already a fairly bass-heavy headphone -- that was something to hear! 

 

And indeed, the Stax 009 / BHSE is my current headphone nirvana...no need to seek out much better than that. The L3000 was my first high-end love, though. It was my first taste of truly satisfying audio, beyond the trusty HD600/650's capabilities.


Edited by mulveling - Yesterday at 9:42 am
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paraducks View Post

Yes. Two wooden ear-cups are under the leather. I've taken part my L3000. Here's the pic.


https://flic.kr/p/H1wiYC
https://flic.kr/p/HjHYYT
https://flic.kr/p/JWVXaJ

Awesome pics, thanks!

I'm assuming the champagne colored part is magnesium alloy, like on the W5000 and others?
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Awesome pics, thanks!

I'm assuming the champagne colored part is magnesium alloy, like on the W5000 and others?

Not all of the champagne colored parts are metal. The pieces on the headband, above the swiveling part, are plastic, but painted to look the same. Still a fabulous build quality overall. I remember when I first got the W5000, pausing music in the middle of some loud playback, the damn metal headband strips would contribute a noticeable delayed ringing -- no such problem with the better damped L3000. The leather has to be doing something.


Edited by mulveling - Yesterday at 9:43 pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mulveling View Post

Not all of the champagne colored parts are metal. The pieces on the headband, above the swiveling part, are plastic, but painted to look the same. Still a fabulous build quality overall. I remember when I first got the W5000, pausing music in the middle of some loud playback, the damn metal headband strips would contribute a noticeable delayed ringing -- no such problem with the better damped L3000. The leather has to be doing something.

Thanks for that.

Qualifier: I don't listen at insanely loud levels. That said, I've never noticed any "ringing" on W5000 (or W1000X or A2000X, which also have metal headband straps, and even on A2000X with their metal cups), but I know they're (W5000) a very popular headphone to hate fiercely, so c'est la vie - we disagree. beerchug.gif
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