Audio Technica A100Ti early impressions
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Hirsch

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Well, I've been listening to the A100Ti , and thought I'd post some first impressions. My initial listening was done with the Melos SHA-1. With that amp, this is a nice headphone. The frequency response is fairly neutral, not bright, not laid back. There may be a slight diminuation in the midrange. This headphone is very strong at the low frequencies, with great bass articulation and body. Some real slam going on there. Imaging is good. There is a real chamber effect going on here, and there are times when chamber reverberations become a problem, usually correctable by changing the angle of the headphone. It's been awhile since I owned the W100, but this headphone doesn't have the frequency colorations the W100 exhibited in my systems. The bad news is that it doesn't have the detail, either.

Next move was over to the X-Can, where the CD3000 usually lives. This was not a real happy combo. The A100Ti sounded plain compared to the CD3K. The detail that the CD3K brings to the table just wasn't there. Further, IMO there is no other headphone that has the bass impact that the CD3K does. The A100Ti may have better definition in the upper bass ranges, but the CD3K goes deeper, and has much more impact.

Final stop was a system where I'm comparing the ZOTL to a Maxed Out Home, thanks to the Headroom loaner program (more on this another time). The other headphones I was using there are the HP-1 and the R10. Very unfair competition, but hey, if they're good, might as well measure them against some of the best. With the MOH, these cans simply sound OK. Not bad, but there's nothing really going on except bass. Clean, neutral, but can't touch either the HP-1 or R10 in anything above the bass. With the ZOTL, things deteriorate. The A100Ti showed a serious midrange suckout with that amp. This was a short audition, as listening to the A100Ti wasn't pleasant, IMO, and I'm not particularly masochistic.

This is early, and burn in may alter what I hear. Summing up, the A100Ti is a nice listen with the SHA-1. It's strong point is the low end, where it is one of the best. Another strong point is the neutral frequency response, most of the time (but the HP-1 is better at this). It doesn't have the detail of it's wooden brother, the W100. It's veiled when compared to the high end cans. At it's selling price, the HD-600 is a much better buy, IMO.

Will this change after break-in? Ask me in a month or so...
 
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Calanctus

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Thanks for your post, Hirsch. I've been curious as to how my W100s (which you are familiar with) stack up to their AT sibling.

Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch
Further, IMO there is no other headphone that has the bass impact that the CD3K does.


Have you heard the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro? Those are my ne plus ultra for headphone bass (but I've never heard the CD3000).
 
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The Quality Guru

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Hirsch,

Thanks very much for your great observations. I have been awaiting these impressions for a long time, and am glad to hear that W100 still has somewhat of an edge. Although, how is does the transparency compare between the A100Ti and W100?

Also, about the reverberation in the W100 (and the A100ti for that matter) what positions might I try? I've been experimenting around and have had perhaps minor changes in resonance, but nothing significant. Does the resonance ever almost go away or can it just be 'minimized'?
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by Calanctus

Have you heard the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro? Those are my ne plus ultra for headphone bass (but I've never heard the CD3000).


I've heard the DT770 Pro, but it was long enough ago that I'm not comfortable making any comparative statements. The A100Ti is a very neutral headphone that gets bass better than almost any other.
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally posted by The Quality Guru
Also, about the reverberation in the W100 (and the A100ti for that matter) what positions might I try?


I'll give an opinion on this -- I would especially recommend trying to place the driver as directly over the ear as possible. That seems to be the best place for me, anyway. Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch
Further, IMO there is no other headphone that has the bass impact that the CD3K does.


We'll have to have a bass face-off...a "bass-off" as it were...between the DT770 (my still reference for bass) and your CD3K.

PS Thanks for posting your review, many of your assessments line up with mine, though I am still "playing", and await the impedancer for my RKV (and HAP-04 for that matter).
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Impedancer! Cool!

Kelly was going to bring one for hookup to the Oris 200. I think it's enroute...
 
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kelly

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Thanks for the writeup, Hirsch. Based on that, I feel a little better about my decision to skip this one (or indefinitely postpone at least).

Not to wander too far off topic but I really can't wait to hear the Oris from the RKV, Nick. I really dig those paraglows tho, so I think it'll be hard to beat with a headphone amp.
 
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Hirsch,
I wonder if you could elaborate more on the kind of music you auditioned with the ATs.
I mean, I like my grados for rock, and now use my ATs(which I used just keep in a bag) for jazz and vocals.
I ain't selling my car to get R10s so help me out?
Did you find the ATs suited to a particular type of music? Amps besides the point!
tanks,
md
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by millerdog
Hirsch,
I wonder if you could elaborate more on the kind of music you auditioned with the ATs.

Did you find the ATs suited to a particular type of music? Amps besides the point!



I used mainly acoustic music and progressive electronic music, along with some strong female vocals.

I'm not a firm believer in listening to particular types of music with different systems, in that I tend to believe that a system that's performing well should do so with ANY music. If a system shines with one form of music over others, then it's matching music to the system colorations which I normally prefer to have minimized in the first place. It's also impossible to completely disregard the amp, as the sound of a headphone can change dramatically depending on what's driving it.

However, that being said, since I haven't found a completely uncolored system yet, I'd recommend the AT100Ti's for rock. The AT's have got a very firm low end that give great definition and impact in the upper bass...perfect for rock. High end is good, and the slight weakness in the midrange is not a big deal on most rock recordings. The Melos SHA-1/A100Ti can be a powerful rock and roll animal
However, for something like orchestral, or intimate vocal music, I'd look elsewhere for a headphone.
 
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millerdog

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I gotta ask this having just sold my A9X. Hirsch, you think the A100s are like the sister to the W100s? THey are around the same price. The W100s seemed to perform better on vocals and jazz while the A9x seemed to be better for rock.
I wish some W11 and W2002 owner would chime in on this cause I liked the AT sound...just not the W100s
thanks,
md
 
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Hirsch

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The A100Ti and the W100 are very different sounding headphones, and have very different strengths and weaknesses. The W2002 is a more complete headphone, that seems to combine strengths of both the A100Ti and W100...for a lot more money. I'll add to this once my W2002's are decently broken in.
 
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millerdog

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thanks hirsch,
I for one am looking forward to that review.
md
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Went over to Hirsch's House of Headphones and Headamps Museum for a listen of the W2002's and R10's, and I brought my W100's. The W2002 is, indeed, the best of all worlds, and may very well be the ultimate headphone (I just don't like the R10 due to its fickleness of amps, the W2002 just seems to get alone with everybody better).

Hey, Hirsch, before you sell that AT100Ti -- do an A/B against the R10. I immediately went home and listened to Tubular Bells on SACD, and they sound very similar (same lean bass and "dry" delivery). How's the detail? (I am pretty weak on assessing headphones' detail, and it was Hirsch's assessment that the R10 excels in detail, when pitted against everything else.)
 
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