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The ATH-W100 vs. HD-590 vs. HD-600 and other questions . . .

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Alright, I'm in the market for a new headphone. And the ATH-W100 has caught my eye. I was going to buy a pair from Matt, however, I decided not to because I was still a little skeptical about how they might compare to some of the other fine headphones in their price range. So, I just wanted to ask how the ATH-W100 compare to the Grado's, HD-590's and the HD-600's.

To anybody who has ever heard this headphone, to please answer these few simple (and very subjective) questions.

1) Do the ATH-W100's BEAT the HD-600/580's in overall clarity/resolution and sound quality? (Very subjective question, but I would really like to know your opinion)

2) Do the ATH-W100's have REALISTIC sound reproduction, as in not distorted or artificial sounding (can the sound of the vocals be described as 'just not right' like with the W2002's in the review by Kelly and Flumpus?)

3) Is the treble on the ATH-W100 piercing and harsh or not? I couldn't decide from the reviews and threads.

Thank you for any help that any of you can offer. I know some of these questions are kind of subjective and could be easily affected by opinion, but I really would like to know what many of you think. From reading past threads (almost all of them regarding this headphone, really) , I still could not determine whether they were harsh or not or whether or not they produced more or less realistic sound.

Thanks again for any comments, suggestions or whatever.

Regards, Luke
post #2 of 8
I'm working on procuring a set of W100s to compare to my senns w/ clou, but some punks I sold DVDs to over the internet are stalling on their payment.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well when you get a hold of the W100's, please make sure you post your thoughts. I'm sure that I, among others, would appreciate your opinion.

I'm right on the edge of getting these phones. I contacted Vincent Chan already and I'm about to tell him to send them to me after I wire him the money. I need someone to push me off the edge!!
post #4 of 8

Harsh? The W100 harsh? How did you come up with that idea?

The W100 is the most realistic, accurate and musical headphone I know. It's extremely transparent, and at the same time, it is very musical, smooth and forgiving.

If you wanted a more sober and level-headed description of the W100's sound, you could read this review that shows some masterful restraint.

Concerning your other question: to me, the W100 easily beats the HD600/580 or the HD590. And the W100's sound is simply right, with vocals, without vocals, with anything.

IMHO, of course.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Tomcat, JML, Vka, Matt, KShaft, and others:

How does the ATH-W100 perform without an amp? Thanks for any help!

Regards, Luke
post #6 of 8
sorry I can't give you a better example, but M Rael said that his W2002Hs opened up a lot when he got a proper amp for them. Grados have a bout the same impedance and sensitivity, and they sound alright unamped.
post #7 of 8
The ATH-W100 sounds good with just about anything, but an amp does make a difference. The only apparent difficulties have come from tube amps that were designed for higher-impedance cans. The AT cans have a nominal 48 ohm impedance, but we don't know the shape of the curve.

My initial reactions and postings were based on listening to them via a Rotel preamp with a very good headphone section that has an opamp putting out 5 volts and designed for low impedance cans. The ATH-W100 sounds fine from portables (but you need a minijack adapter) -- I have a Sony WM-D6C and Sony D-25S, which have plenty of power available.

They're just gorgeous with the Corda, but I was drooling before that. The fundamental character did not change.

I think they are probably fine with any solid state equipment that can deal with low impedance cans. They're probably more useable and listenable with a wide variety of sources than the Senn HD-580 or HD-600, for example.
post #8 of 8
Originally posted by The Quality Guru
Tomcat, JML, Vka, Matt, KShaft, and others:

How does the ATH-W100 perform without an amp? Thanks for any help!

Regards, Luke
To my ears, the W100 works very well without a heapdhone amp. It has an impedance of 48 Ohms and quite good sensitivity at 100dB/mW. It's a lot easier to drive the W100 than the 250 Ohm Beyer 770 or 990 Pro - or the Senn HD600. Tubed headphone amps that don't like low-impedance loads, like the Wheatfield HA-2 or the Audio Valve RKV, are the exception, of course.

But getting an amp is always a good idea. To me, the Beyer 770 Pro with Earmax Pro is more enjoyable and musical than the W100 without the EMP.

I hope you'll like your W100.
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