Help!! I really liked my A900LTD, but...
Mar 17, 2006 at 12:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

spaceconvoy

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... I couldn't stand the recessed midrange (you may have already read one of my numerous complaints
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). Since I sold them, I've been biding my time, looking at the SA5000, K701, and now the HF1. Problem is, the more reviews I read, the more I realize that the ATs were perfect for me in terms of presentation (involment in the music, closeness of soundstage, width/depth/layering of soundstage, seperation/detail of instruments, etc.) These things are important to me! I don't think I could stand the thinness of the Sony, the distance of the AKG, or the one-dimensional-ness of the Grado.

Blah blah blah.. sorry, I'll cut to the chase - has anyone compared the AD900 and the A900 (LTD or not, probaby doesn't matter too much)?? Search isn't coming up with much. Someone please tell me that the AD sounds the same as the A, but with upfront mids... even lie if you have to
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Mar 17, 2006 at 12:59 PM Post #2 of 12

slwiser

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There is one Chinese Site that has some discussion concerning the AD900 vs the A900LTD along with others in the ATH line.

http://www.erji.net/index.php

You will probably have to use a translator and then those do not do the language justice. That site is very active and you will have to go through several pages. What I do it cut and paste the initial url into google and then you get a page that you can begin to navigate. Select headphone forum and then move through the pages looking for the A900LTD in the subject line.

For today on about page 15 of the headpone forum you can find this thread:

Here is just one quote using the google translator from the " Rookie help comrades on A900LTD~~!!" thread:

A headset and tell you exactly how, not just the first of several meetings to listen to compute, or purchase on the understanding that I was ath comparison between the contrast of different types of music are heard, the overall impression, the purchase of video AD900 and AD1000 feeling when little distinction, However AD900 to buy back the more they listen to and A1000 A900LTD contrast, the apparent feeling of a AD900 poor grades, and the headphones sound, Ath not distinguish between real special big difference is mainly manifested in Jiexili and low frequency, the Xiexili A900LTD high, the more Fashaodie, complex dish, more evident than low frequency quality A900LTD A900 AD900 better not to look at models A900LTD on headphones and nine associate of a grade, quality and substance A900LTD AK WK level is only used in the headset incorporates materials and wire rod cheaper than AK WK, ath is the high-end sound quality. This is not something good A900LTD can ask Forum

On another track:

I guess I need to become sensitive and learn more about sounds since I really do not understand the reference to recessed mids in reference to my A900LTDs? Some of my favorite music is female jazz singers and I have no impressions of any failure on the A900LTDs part here. As I said, maybe it is a lack of education on my part.
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 1:45 PM Post #3 of 12

spaceconvoy

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Hmm.. I wasn't so sure I wanted to tackle "a comprehensive discussion of wire rod" but it's actually not half bad. The translation is much better than most Japanese stuff - I've heard that Chinese is very close to English in terms of grammar and structure, so that might help. But I have a hard enough time decoding what people are trying to say in English...

Some of this stuff sounds like poetry:

Left-right election, the party eventually into a triangle.
Memorial voice sound? Heard a new, dental dislike
For the sweet potato starch noodles with iron home, Congratulations
Ha ha, triangle protectors fans, the top about it.
Pop pop, especially now some of the comrades is simply too strident comrades instruments also seemed very fake comrades
Oh, sweet potato starch noodles to L3K inveterate, rather bad. . .
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 1:54 PM Post #4 of 12

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slwiser
I guess I need to become sensitive and learn more about sounds since I really do not understand the reference to recessed mids in reference to my A900LTDs? Some of my favorite music is female jazz singers and I have no impressions of any failure on the A900LTDs part here. As I said, maybe it is a lack of education on my part.


I agree with this though - female vocals were far better than male ones on the LTD. Probably because they're higher pitched... anyways, this still doesn't help me about the AD900
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but is still interesting.
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 2:01 PM Post #5 of 12

slwiser

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How about Whittaker, Groban, Iglesias, Richie, Taylor, Buble, Cole, Ferguson, Nelson, Kamakawiwo'ole and not to mention Big-T? These men sound wonderful as well for me with my A900LTD.

So I really need some additional music appreciation learning....
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I will get a chance for some education tomorrow with my first HeadFi meet in the Washington area.

One more suggestion: Put "ATH-AD900 BBS" or "ATH-AD900 BLOG" into Google and use translate on the pages you get in return. This first return indented returns a listing of ATH phones with links to translated opinions.
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 3:34 PM Post #6 of 12

Ahriman4891

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Hey spaceconvoy,

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?...post1029164826

there (post 815) I asked another member (referring to his post, numbered 813) to compare A900LTDs to his AD2000s. I don't know how consistent the AD series is, but maybe his response will help you. Good luck with your search.

P.S.
I also don't really hear the "recessed mids"... but it's my 1st high-end can, not much basis for comparison.
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 4:53 PM Post #7 of 12

slwiser

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Ahriman4891

I find the response to your question in the link even more interesting when thinking about the recess mids. The comparison puts the A900LTDs in very good company within the AT line.

Response Quote:

"i've pretty much heard them all. I was lucky enough to attend a bay area head-fi meet. They basically had everything under sun including an orpheus with the matching amp. How does does the ad2000/a900ltd compare?Initial impressions are that the a900ltd is a continuation of AT sound ( foward sounding with bass and clear highs, lacking in the mids.) The ad2000 is more akg(601/701) style more on the mids and more neutral sounding. Both have that forward sound similar to hd595 but with a bigger soundstage and instrument seperation. Bass is clear but doesnt have that boomy subwoofer impact like the A500. Everyone says that the A series have recessed mids which it does but the ad2000 isnt. Its kinda weird that it isolates the vocals very well. Its almost like you can hear the artists voice in the sound booth and the music track being added seperately. If you hate siblence like me, a900ltd is the best out of the AT cans ive heard. If you like mids, Ad2000 is the best. If you like boomy bass with impact A500 is the best."

Even though he attributed recess mids to the A900LTDs, I have highlighted in red a portion that I found most interesting. I think that the A900LTDs expanded soundstage is great and is not a negative from my prespective at all. The ability to isolate and separately articulate the instruments and the vocals is one of the many strengths of the A900LTD and I think a very nice attribute of them. In no way do I attribute this attribute to the same thing as recess mids. But if he chooses to characterize them this way that is how he does it. Another positive attribute is its siblence control. I think the A900LTD does this very well.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ahriman4891
Hey spaceconvoy,

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?...post1029164826

there (post 815) I asked another member (referring to his post, numbered 813) to compare A900LTDs to his AD2000s. I don't know how consistent the AD series is, but maybe his response will help you. Good luck with your search.

P.S.
I also don't really hear the "recessed mids"... but it's my 1st high-end can, not much basis for comparison.



 
Mar 17, 2006 at 9:39 PM Post #8 of 12

Ahriman4891

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slwiser,

hmm... I was under the impression that the part you highlighted was referring to AD2000s... since its mids are so prominent, maybe that contributed to them standing out as a separate "layer"? But now I see that it can be attributed to any of the 2, really
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.

Of course neither interpretation negates your sentiment about A900ltd's prestigeous standing within the AT lineup. From the response, I get that they are of comparable quality to AD2000s (a ~$700 pair of cans), just different personality-wise. And I remember someone on these boards calling AD2000s the best open dynamic cans ever--which of course makes me a happy owner of LTDs. The bad thing about them is that the AT lineup is pretty much closed for me now--unless I want to go with AD2000 ($700) or W5000 ($800) or something limited--a pretty big jump in price. (from what I heard, W1000 arent' really 'better' than the LTDs).

BTW,
It was your review and spaceconvoy's initial impressions that made me go with the LTDs versus the regular A900s. Just taking the opportunity to say thanks
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Mar 17, 2006 at 11:04 PM Post #9 of 12

)v(ajin_R_

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hmm...

i dont really hear a recessed mid range either, but could it be dependant on the source its coming from? But then again I really haven't heard anything else high end besides my ltd's, the hd600 and 650's (with amp)... i cant remember them very well, since i would probably need to A/B them... maybe slwiser's head-fi meet will clear things up a bit
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, also does EQing help at all, if it doesnt why wouldnt it?
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 11:58 PM Post #10 of 12

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by )v(ajin_R_
i dont really hear a recessed mid range either, but could it be dependant on the source its coming from? But then again I really haven't heard anything else high end besides my ltd's, the hd600 and 650's (with amp)... i cant remember them very well, since i would probably need to A/B them... maybe slwiser's head-fi meet will clear things up a bit
smily_headphones1.gif
, also does EQing help at all, if it doesnt why wouldnt it?



Thanks for all the links slwiser (I got your PM too) - it'll take me a while to digest them all.

I think I should take this opportunity to clarify what I mean by 'recessed' - just like other broad terms (musicality, smoothness, harshness, etc) it can be read in different ways and I don't want anyone getting the wrong impression.

First off, all my listening was done on PCDPs - Panasonic CT579v, CT700 and Sony DNE320. Yes, that's not the ideal solution, but the reason I bought the LTDs was so I could use them transportably on a cheap source. I listened to them up to the 150 hour burn-in mark, because to my ears the sound stopped changing at around ~80 hours.

Ironically, burn-in actually made the mids worse to my ears. At the beginning, they were well integrated with the rest of the frequency spectrum (most of the changes early on were in the bass response). But towards the end, as everything settled down, voices suddenly shrank back into space. Their volume was slightly lower than the rest of the instruments, which wasn't so bad in itself (the KSC75 is a bit like this). The real problem for me was spatially, voices seemed to be coming from a layer behind the rest of the instruments. That's what I mean when I say 'recessed'.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure it was definitely "the mids", since I never really heard the same effect with guitars. I suspect is has something to do with interactions between the angled driver and closed design that seemed to diminish any sound that's mixed evenly between left and right channels. I have no way of backing this claim up or testing it again, but to me it seemed like the voices (which tend to be centered in the mix) were a lot less prominent than stuff coming from exclusively the left and right channels. The few times I listened to vocals with a hard left/right pan (Beatles), I remember thinking they were much better and closer in presentation. So maybe it was more of a 'recessed center soundstage' than 'recessed mids'.

Please take my description with a grain of salt, since it's been more than a month since I last heard the LTD (personally, I still feel like I can 'hear' the sound fresh in my mind, but I fully acknowledge that I am a fallible humanoid
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) Anyone else hear the same thing?
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 12:16 AM Post #11 of 12

slwiser

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Thanks for this more detailed description.

From what I leave in your write-up and my attempting to make a positive spin on this. Let me put a spin on it.

This may have something to do with sound stage. Most headphones can produce a right to left sound stage very well. Some even to OK with a vertical sound stage. But it is much harder to produce depth in the sound stage. Well, my spin is that this is an attribute of the ATH-A900LTD that shows its breath in its soundstage. Big left to right, nice vertical staging and surprisingly deep, front to back soundstage. The only contradiction to what you have said is that the layer you are talking about should be in front of the center not behind. So my spin may be more wishful thinking that fact. Is there anyway that this positioning can be changed by adjusting the phase of the signal, I don't know.

Maybe I am wanting what is not there but this is one take on what you say below. Sorry for extending this minor controversy but it is interesting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy

The real problem for me was spatially, voices seemed to be coming from a layer behind the rest of the instruments. That's what I mean when I say 'recessed'.



 
Mar 18, 2006 at 12:35 AM Post #12 of 12

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by slwiser
Well, my spin is that this is an attribute of the ATH-A900LTD that shows its breath in its soundstage. Big left to right, nice vertical staging and surprisingly deep, front to back soundstage. The only contradiction to what you have said is that the layer you are talking about should be in front of the center not behind.


I completely agree with you about the soundstage, except of course for the vocal layer. I've read threads before where someone claimed the soundstage was coming from behind his head, so I have no doubts that psycho-acoustic phenonmena can be very different for different people. So the problem's probably my brain (or yours)
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