ATH-A2000X & A1000X: A Very Brief In-Store Audition
Dec 5, 2008 at 3:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Gu Sensei

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I made my way to the sorta-nearby audio/video megashop in Osaka today to check out the new Audio Technicas; A2000X & A1000X. I had a very brief listen with unfamiliar equipment and mostly unfamiliar music in a noisy environment. I had them on my head for no more than seven minutes I would guess. I did my best to go in with an open mind but I did have hopes for a mass production modern day L3000 and not a lower end take on the W5000. I tried to describe them objectively and clearly show my subjective preferences, but you would be advised to wait for others to speak up before drawing any final conclusions.

There are a few general descriptions that I think will be consistent with what most will think.

They are fairly bright (I am sensitive to that) maybe slightly less than the W5000s.

They are detailed and somewhat transparent, but maybe not quite up to the W5000s standards.

They are bass light.

(I really like the bass of the W5000 but of the acoustic variety only. It is not my preference for faster or bigger bass music. It is just too shy for my tastes. I can say with reasonable certainty that these new ones are too bass shy for me as well. I would guess that others who appreciate a healthy respect paid to the lower end would be dissatisfied with these. I am one.)

They are very light-weight. Pretty amazingly.


As for more subjective views (Proceed with caution)…

Nothing really jumped out at me as special with these headphones. It is difficult to get that feeling in an audio store, but I really found no hints of anything interesting to me.

The appearance was nothing special for me. For either one. The A2000Xs cups looked like brushed steel and the orange-ish copper of the A1000Xs didn’t stand out either.

They were not a great fit. Not as bad as the W5000s. I am one of those who found those uncomfortable. They just aren’t as comfortable as the W1000s or L3000s. I do not understand why AT is using this other design. If lightness counts to you as part of ‘fit,’ then they are very light and that was a plus in the comfort column. Overall, just not my preferred fit. Maybe for others.

I listened mostly to rock and soul tracks that I knew. Probably not going to be their strong suit.

I could not really tell the difference in sound between A2000X & A1000X. The conditions were not good and I did not really try very hard. The whole sound-signature picture was not at all what I prefer. So I just did not stay there very long. I listened to a lot of other phones (HP-DX1000, K701, RS-1, RS-2, D2000, D5000, D7000, DT48E, OII, SA5000 to name a few
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) and just about each and every one of them I would have preferred to take home on a whim over the A2000X & A1000X. The W5000, W1000, and AD2000 (all of which I have owned) were right next to me. I prefered all three of the older models.

Of the others I listened to, the ones that stuck out were the ESW10s. Very nice sounding, very very nice looking.


Back to the hard facts…

Many people will hear these headphones and completely disagree with me. You may be one.

I will try to go in for another listen sometime later with some familiar music and see if my impressions change.
 
Dec 5, 2008 at 3:39 PM Post #2 of 19

whaleyboy

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Thank you for the preliminary report!

I am jealous that you have a store close to you that carries the AT line.
 
Dec 5, 2008 at 3:49 PM Post #3 of 19

Gu Sensei

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You are very welcome.

Osaka is pretty good. Tokyo is the place to be. It is the vortex of Japan and has several very excellent audio shops to sample and purchase new and used headphones.
 
Dec 5, 2008 at 6:05 PM Post #5 of 19

shellylh

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This is too bad. I had high hopes for the A2000x. I was hoping for a closed version of the A2000's. It sounds from your description that these are nothing like the AD2000's though since they are anemic in the bass region.
 
Dec 6, 2008 at 1:07 AM Post #7 of 19

Gu Sensei

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Quote:

Originally Posted by shellylh /img/forum/go_quote.gif
This is too bad. I had high hopes for the A2000x. I was hoping for a closed version of the A2000's. It sounds from your description that these are nothing like the AD2000's though since they are anemic in the bass region.


I would not give up hope yet. The conditions were bad, I listened briefly, and I imagine I would like them more if I could listen at home. When I go back after they have had some time to burn in at the store, I will be sure to compare the AD2000 more closely. I had the AD2000 for a short while and mostly liked it but not as much as the W5000 so they never really got a chance with me. Also, I found them too bright for my ears, and I would be interested to try them again if it were not for that. Also, (if I recall this correctly) I do not think the AD2000 quite gives all the bass I would normally like. So maybe you would be satisfied with what the A2000x has to offer and it is just a matter of my personal tastes. Again, I would wait for others to chime in (including me with a follow-up).

I hope that these do indeed turn out to be closed versions of the AD2000, I think a lot of people would be pleased as the AD2000s are popular. I also hope that a A3000x follow-up to the L3000 is in the works.
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Dec 6, 2008 at 1:21 AM Post #8 of 19

hawat

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Thank you for your impression Gu Sensei.
I was hoping that the a2000x would be great headphones for Christmas but unfortunately I don't think they would fit my taste.
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Dec 6, 2008 at 1:38 AM Post #9 of 19

XXII

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thanks for your impressions. I'll be heading to osaka for holiday in Christmas. Where is this store that you went to?
 
Dec 6, 2008 at 2:29 AM Post #10 of 19

Gu Sensei

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I was at the big Yodobashi Camera in Umeda. There are some okay places in Nipponbashi and lots of other fun stuff too; it is a mini-Akihabara. But, the best place I know to sample the various big name headphones is that Yodobashi in northern Osaka. It has a bunch of booths mostly devoted to one manufacturer each. Each booth has a Marantz SA15 and a big AT amp. There is a small selection of music there but you can operate the gear without staff assistance and can certainly bring your own music. For the most part, they carry the full line-up of all the big manufacturers and then some. (Notably, the GS1000 is missing.) A bit noisy though and so I always walk away thinking I could not really get a good sense of the headphones I sample. That was my initial experience with the D7000s. They just do not shine in the store like they do at home. I confirmed that impression last night.

Again, while I am sure a second impression or some home-head-time with the A2000x would lead to a more positive review, I am fairly certain that I would not choose to purchase them. They just are not in the ballpark of what I look for in an overall sound signature. Since I know you are digging on those D7000's like me Hawat, I am not surprised to hear that would not fit your tastes.
 
Dec 6, 2008 at 2:48 AM Post #12 of 19

Gu Sensei

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rednamalas1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
thank you for your impression. Yet another side-grade option from A series
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....L3000 drivers please.

You should've just grabbed ESW10s when you had the chance
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Almost did, but too expensive there. I will get them eventually but will try to hold out until I find a good deal.

L3000 drivers pretty please with sugar on top.
 
Dec 6, 2008 at 2:49 AM Post #13 of 19

Rednamalas1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gu Sensei /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Almost did, but too expensive there. I will get them eventually but will try to hold out until I find a good deal.

L3000 drivers pretty please with sugar on top.



while I wouldn't consider ESW10 to be the greatest value in audio world, I can safely say they're true giant-killers. IMO, of course
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edit: sorry for being off-topic, but here's a little review I did on ESW10 vs AD2K.
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http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f103/i...ad2000-382665/
 
Dec 6, 2008 at 3:57 AM Post #14 of 19

Gu Sensei

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Very nice review. I definitely have to turn away perfectly good headphones because of my brightness issue. I look forward to checking out the AD2K's again just to see about that bass. My recollection was that it was lacking in quantity for my tastes. But it is been quite a while since I really listened though.

I would love to see the ESW11 be a mini-leatherhead (with the bass or close to it).
 

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