Audio Technica ATH-A9X
May 15, 2002 at 5:45 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

millerdog

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BIG cans. I bought them for use on the bus...ah..what the hell! So I'll look like the alien from chrome city. Hopefully these cans will pan out.
Aluminum chambers with mirror polish. So clean I can see myself!
Leather earpads and leather on the uh...head things...single cord out of the left side. The cord is covered in cloth. The Audiocubes site has some abbreviations about the cord that I cannot decipher. In other words, they look much like the other higher end ATs seen on this forum, just with highly polished aluminum chambers.
They fit well over the ears and head. I feel they bind a bit, but I am used to grados(lol). The plastic and leather accents are done in dark brown, almost black(I wish it was black to contrast the polished aluminum) and look nice.
First impressions:
Against my grado sr60s they sounded uh...confined. The open grados suited me more. The highs were there with the ATs but the bass was, to steal a description muddy. The volume level was also softer. Seeing as how both cans are 32ohms, this surprised me. I got both cans plugged in to the ATH-HA2 headphone amp. That helped me review both cans at the same time. The amp has two headphone outs, so it was easy for me to just change the units. The review of the amp is on the appropriate thread.
It is now six hours later. I am listening to the Goo Goo Dolls.
Well oh well, the AT's sound louder now. The airyness of the Grados is present. Now they don't sound closed at all.
Does burn in work? To me it does. This hp sounded way different six hours ago.
I can't believe this. I had to boost the volume on these cans to match the Grado sound, now they are louder! Don't get me wrong, I have heard this effect on my cheap senns, but not as dramatic as this! I think I'll be listening to the AT's tonight. They make the sr60s sound weak. Remember these are closed cans against open grados.
Now, I'm glad I took the chance on these headphones. If I sell em, it would only be to get the A100tis. Damn you JohnBeilin! I was already a Grado fan coming in, but I just might just be an Audio Technica convert!
I got some sr325s coming in so I'll do a side by side then.
I'll fry these cans overnight and post again.
md
post script: I tried these out against a pair of used sr80s I just got. The bass was still not as clear as the grados, but mids and highs were there. Against the sr80s, they still have a "closed sound". I took off the bowl pads and put the comfy pads with quarter sized holes on them.
md
md
 
May 15, 2002 at 1:57 PM Post #2 of 7

Neruda

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thanks for those first impressions millerdog! be sure to keep us posted as they continue to break in.
 
May 18, 2002 at 8:49 AM Post #3 of 7

millerdog

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After some break in, I decided I like these headphones. They sound like my Grado SR80s with more bass.
Side by side, the A9Xs are louder. and have more punch in the bass. The Grados hold their ground from the mids on up. These are Grados with the bowl pads though.
I like the highs and sound representation. They aren't as in your face, and since they have more bass, the overall mix of sound is pleasing.
In both cans I can hear the slap of the bass strings, but in the ATs, I can also "feel" the bass.
By comparison, the SR80s with the comfy pads sound very similar.
I am not sure for I have no other closed phones, but I don't hear any kind of closed sound other than the fact that you are not bothered by outside sounds and the music sounds fuller.
I think the best thing I can say about the ATH-A9Xs are that if you start listening to them, even if you have another set of cans around, you probably won't be tempted to switch. Between the Grados and the ATs, I never felt like I was missing something.
One thing I noticed doing this comparison is that once I started listening to one headphone, I got used to the sound and became quite happy with either set on my head.
md
 
May 18, 2002 at 9:25 AM Post #4 of 7

dohminator

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Thanks for the review. I'm going to buy the ATH-a55's whenever I get some money. You just helped to solidify my decision to get them.
 
May 21, 2002 at 3:24 AM Post #5 of 7

millerdog

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I got my Grado SR325s...I auditioned them next to the A9Xs..
I often forgot which set of cans was on my head...this is no ****.
OH MY..even the bowl pads on the SR325s seemed nice..
Okay, the ATs don't seem to have the uh....resonance..or whatever closed cans have....the grados also seemed faster, the rim shots had more punch. Okay now the Grados seem cleaner.(By the way, I know I said that the ATs were louder, that was in a previous post; now they are on par)
You want more punch is yer bass? go AT
You want cleaner sound? go Grado.
In my listening, these cans are close......(I'm still switching em)..like I said, sometimes i gotta reach up to see which cans I'm listening to....
just my thoughts,
md
 
May 21, 2002 at 3:32 AM Post #7 of 7

millerdog

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I think most would say the Grados have too much definition..hence their reputation on being too bright. I guess it defines how much you can clarify....I don't think anyone here would describe grados as uh....muddled or undefined...
system overload perhaps....
(edit) You may be thinking about senns...not grados! lol
md
 

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