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First listening with a W5000 which that have arrived... very, very nice!!
I have a set of ATH-W5000 that are nearly new (one month old). I did the blu-tak mod and improved the sound significantly. And I squeezed the frame a little to tighten them up, which also helped. But... Unless I put cotton under the earpad, they push on my ears. I have this problem with pretty much every over the ear headphone, but the thin padding on these on the front of the ear coupled with the angled driver causes by big ears to get crushed. The cotton makes them comfortable, but I don't like the sound as much. Since these are supposed to be my "all-day" phones for music at work (and yes, I'm lucky enough to have a job where that's a possibility!!!!), I don't want to play off comfort for sound.
So, long story short, anyone want to buy a pair of modded, but very, very lightly used ATH-W5000s? $699 new. I would take $400. pm me if interested.
LOL, got my ath-w5000 for like 6 month but only had time to listen to it only recently. Something that look so horrible on graph actually sound so beautiful. Like some/most audiophile alway say ignore the graph they only tell very narrow picture. It was blind buy purely based on review and being an audio technica fan, got my brother to buy it for me on his holiday trip to japan, glad i took the leap of faith. I had the AD2000x follow by the AD2000 and now finally the W5000 My order of acquisition is like going back in time (but my w5000 newer, as it is still in production, don't know if the newer are changed or the same since released), but to me it is like an upgrade in term of vocal (personal opinion, subjective*). AD2000 and W5000 really screw up a person sound signature preference, they bring female vocal up closed and intimate. Once you get hook to it you will find most of other headphones normal, despite technicality and price. Not that the ad2000 and w5000 is bad, they are very good, very fast, clean, detailed and have separation. Vocal on the w5000 is quite different from the 2 ADs, is more warm, milky and creamy. I feel audio technica headphone is truly one of the best for female vocals, and very suited for Japanese song where speed and separation is very important.
That's all for now. more listen to do.
*Me and preference: library around 40K tracks, I believe around 98% are female vocal tracks. Songs in order of most to least are anisong, doujin, utaite, game soundtracks, Jpop, Japanese traditional, new age, classical, opera and Jrock.
Thank you for your impressions.
I feel AD2000 and W5000 are complementary as long as you are a female vocal-head, maybe also for more application, that you have to read and decide yourself. AD2000x is somewhere between AD2000 and W5000, more towards W5000, but yet very different from the both. AD2000 and W5000 are both similar with female vocals being very forward and very speedy. AD2000x female vocal sounded the furthest.
AD2000 is unlike almost all headphone i heard, it almost complementary to any headphone if you like to have more than 1 headphone. It is very powerful in terms of aggressive sound speed energy (lol, what a stupid term), what i meant is sound is given full strength and volume from start to end. AD2000 has little to no extra delay, when note ends no more sound, this made AD2000 feel the fastest sounding and cold. All other headphone usually has a gentle transition, sound start off softer then become louder and softer again (like crossfading of every sound). For very high power and aggressive sounding female, it might get a little too shouty.
W5000 is more gentle in the transition and warm/creamy vocals, The warm and decay I feel is because created from the reverberation and reflection of sound within the ear cup. Even though the headphone is very fast there is warm.
AD2000x is tuned with extended decay in the lower mid and upper bass region. Cello, low/bass note of guitar and piano sound elongated and exceptionally good on the AD2000x (Solo or small assembly). The extended decay is sometime detrimental for complex or full assembly tracks. If you elongated all the low tones and notes, the result they will all just clump together (no separation). AD2000x sound the safest in term of more recess upper mid and lower treble in comparison to the other 2, it will not get too hot/high.
Thanks for the impressions and comparisons!
I alway thought that the sound quality between a medium amp and a TOTL amp should not be far off because of diminishing returns. Today I know I was totally wrong. Before I continue I like to stated that I quite a noob in terms of amplifiers.
I am a little hesitant to get ha5000 as they don't sell it in Singapore which mean I have to import it. Since I like audio-technica's headphones so much, I figured that I should get AT-HA5000. It is another blind buy like my ad2000 and w5000.
At the first listen, I am impress by how clean, full and nice sounding it is.
ABing the ha5000 and x7, the difference was so huge, all I need was half a song and not even a song I was familiar with to tell the difference. ha5000 compared to x7 (using ad2000, my most familiar headphone). Bass quantity was increased slightly. Bass quality was increased quite a fair amount. bass sound fuller, detailed and tighter. Overall the bass sounded so much bigger. The mid and high on the ha5000 was by a fair amount much cleaner, more natural, more dynamic and fuller. x7 has more grainy sound in the high and has a more digital sound. I stopped the AB test as the difference is quite obvious, not much point in continuing, Easily concluded that it is worth the price to me.
I read some Japanese review (more than 1) saying that the original power cable was the bad and they feel an upgrade in sound using audiophile power cable. Wanting to get the most out of the already expensive unit, I got some an audiophile power cable along with my ha5000. The power cable is very beautiful. The connector was so much bigger and the cable is so much thicker than I imagine. The cable thickness is like those you imagine in a power station, it is 2.5 time the diameter of my computer power cable. It is hard to AB the power cable as I have very little space to get to the back of my ha5000 and the cable is so stiff making it very difficult to align to the orientation of the socket inlet. I don't think I hear a difference between those 2 cable. The time between the AB was not conducive as the cable is freaking hard to change and the time for the ha5000 to start up. Even if there is any difference, it is too little for me to notice. I do run my ha5000 though a step down transformer, maybe the transformer is restricting it. It does look beautiful but I think better save the money.
HA5000 is very versatile as it can push 1mW if I'm not mistaken . At the moment due to convenience of multiple outputs i'm driving through it W5000 and Ella Blue Planar Mags and i do not feel like it restricts Ellas in any way.
You might be right about it versatility. Can't really be sure due to my collection. For good headphone, I only have Audio Technicas', I like their clear, light, and forward vocal presentation. I did try it on my cheapo headphone which I have for abusive usage and when I'm less hygienic. My cheapo headphone is a Elysium Fideliio (Singapore brand), which has lot of grains and peaky highs, the bass is slightly muddy too. it amazingly clear out quite a lot of peakiness in the high and digital grainy sound, without darkening it, the high just feel linear. The muddy bass turn more boomy but less muddy.
Is your avatar picture your ath-w5000? It very shiny. Very curious, wouldn't polishing remove the lettering?
If you're very careful it won't. Patience and small steps.
Little envious, seen your polished w5000 and found your tutorial. I never polished thing before, don't really dare to try, maybe next time.
Recently, I have been playing with interconnect cable, and I laid hands on AT-RA5000ANV. I'm really blown away by this cable, and i was using previously not great but decent cable AT6HD33. It bring so much MORE resolution, clarity , sound stage and bass quality into my audio technica headphone system (AD2000, W5000, and HA5000). I can heard the difference without the need for critical listening so I'm happy.
I wasn't a believer of cable to sound but reckon i should try it. I asked my brother who was on going to japan to grab good value and condition 2nd hand cable when he is at akihabara, espeically Japanese cable. he manage to get for me some ortofon, furukawa, audioquest, accuphase, saec, lots of audio technica and more. lol, the cost of my current cable collection cost more than my speaker + headphones + electronics. This experience totally changed my disbelieve of cable, there's noticeable audible difference even when just changing interconnect, mainly sound stage, colouring and signature. i haven't really started on my speaker cable and really looking forward to it.
Some impressions of my experience (Pure personal opinion, YMMV).
Out of these brands, my general impression is entry to mid-range audio-technica cable has the best price-performance ratio. For the same price, generally more sound stage (no sure if that what it is, sounded like the sound embracing/enveloping me more) aside from resolution. audible resolution difference (can only be heard in some/few song, so i would consider it small) of my cable is when there is huge price difference.
I think the best out of my cable best for generic system is accuphase L-10/L-15, AT-RA5000ANV might be specifically made to pair with audio technica system (they bring too much bass on my speaker system and very overpowering sound - like sound forcefully thrown into you). Its a pity my brother didn't manage to acquire the higher accuphase model (super refined series). Another thing I like about accuphase cable they only have 2 grades: entry and TOTL. The only hate i have is how hard it is to buy it outside japan.
Cable maybe system dependent, my testing of audioquest cable seem almost totally opposite from reviews (They are very good cable, I grade them just slightly lower that audio-technica because their MSRP is slightly higher that audio technica for very similar performance, my top 3 are accuphase, audio technica, then audioquest). The other cable are by no means bad but don't have the colouration i like (I think colouration still the most important factor is choosing gear).