KOSS ESP-950 Thread
Feb 25, 2017 at 9:51 AM Post #2,551 of 4,054
  Oh, neat. That's kinda weird for me to see those Vesper pads having a dedicated listing on a (yours, Darin?) retail site.
 
Coincidentally, I just ordered a bespoke pair directly from Vesper for the ESP950:
  1. Black leather
  2. Angled pads, 4cm deep at the front and 2cm deep at the back
  3. Fast foam
 
Quality is great, although a PITA to install. No more crinkling sound from the stock pads. Seal (and bass) are quite improved. I'm noticing both more extension and more punch. No major impact on soundstage/mids, but I think they dulled the highs just a tad. Shipping from Belarus to Texas took a couple of weeks (to be expected). Despite the thickness, the pads are still quite light, and are definitely comfortable.
 
I love me some bass, and since I'm the weirdo that buys stats and then EQs up the low end, I'm quite pleased. Trying to recall back to the HE-6 (my standard for headphone bass) I think these ESP-950s now go lower than anything else I've heard, although they're still missing that fun punch (distortion?) that many dynamics and some planars have. But it's soooo low and so very clean.
 
Recommended.


Looking at the images on the Vesper site, the cavity seems MUCH smaller than either the stock or Fong pads. It looks like you would have to wear the 950s as on-ear rather than over-ear phones.
 
Also, what do the Vespers cost? I hate commerce sites that don't list any pricing information but instead force you to contact for a quote. Yes, I realize it is custom work, but at least give a general price range. Are we talking $25? $75? $150?
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 10:03 AM Post #2,552 of 4,054
Well, the pads on fongaudio.com appear to be sourced from Vesper. I think they are the only entity making custom pads for these headphones. Maybe the photo on Vesper's website is wonky... an old prototype or something.
 
Comparing my new pads to my stock pads, the ear opening is a bit smaller, but since the driver on the ESP950s is so large in the first place, there's definitely still plenty of room for my ear. These aren't even close to being on ear pads.
 
I paid $77 USD including shipping, and they took Paypal.
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 11:44 AM Post #2,553 of 4,054
  Well, the pads on fongaudio.com appear to be sourced from Vesper. I think they are the only entity making custom pads for these headphones. Maybe the photo on Vesper's website is wonky... an old prototype or something.
 
Comparing my new pads to my stock pads, the ear opening is a bit smaller, but since the driver on the ESP950s is so large in the first place, there's definitely still plenty of room for my ear. These aren't even close to being on ear pads.
 
I paid $77 USD including shipping, and they took Paypal.

Yes, the pads we are selling are Vesper pads. There are photos on our website. 
The opening of the pads I have is approximately 83mm x 43mm.
It's hard to compare exactly, but the Vesper pad openings might be slightly smaller than the stock pads. The stock pads have a rounder profile whereas the Vesper pads are more square. The Vesper pads are no where near "on-ear" though.
 
-Darin
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 12:34 PM Post #2,554 of 4,054
How difficult is it to put on the Fong or Vesper pads compared to replacement stock pads from Koss?
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 1:07 PM Post #2,555 of 4,054
  How difficult is it to put on the Fong or Vesper pads compared to replacement stock pads from Koss?


The koss pads are a litle easier. The lip of material not he Vesper Pads that go into the slot  is leather, so it's a bit more supple. All in all, with some patience it's not that hard. I would not want to pad roll with these, but I don't anticipate taking them off.
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 6:13 PM Post #2,556 of 4,054
 
The koss pads are a litle easier. The lip of material not he Vesper Pads that go into the slot  is leather, so it's a bit more supple. All in all, with some patience it's not that hard. I would not want to pad roll with these, but I don't anticipate taking them off.

I second this. If you have experience with pad rolling with some of the difficult headphones [Audio Technica comes to mind, where it can be a real pain to get the lip in there...] this is a bit easier IMO, so even for less experienced pad rollers it should be okay with a bit of patience :]
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 6:45 PM Post #2,557 of 4,054
Ewww... patience... not my strong suit.
wink.gif
 
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 6:48 PM Post #2,558 of 4,054
darinf Can you give me a link to the pads as I can't find them off my phone on the site.
 
Feb 25, 2017 at 7:16 PM Post #2,559 of 4,054
Feb 26, 2017 at 12:58 PM Post #2,560 of 4,054
Has anyone tested this Koss-to-Stax cable compared to the one that Fong audio sells?
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/KOSS-ESP-950-Electrostatic-Headphones-to-STAX-Pro-Bias-AmplifierAdapter-Cable-/252634425601?hash=item3ad22f6901:g:LdUAAOSw5cNYKKr8
 
I've read the discussions whereby the pin placement in the Stax connector used in the Fong cable are configured such that they may damage the Stax amplifier over time (at least that was the contention several years back and I don't know if the connector was subsequently changed).
 
Feb 26, 2017 at 1:33 PM Post #2,561 of 4,054
  Has anyone tested this Koss-to-Stax cable compared to the one that Fong audio sells?
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/KOSS-ESP-950-Electrostatic-Headphones-to-STAX-Pro-Bias-AmplifierAdapter-Cable-/252634425601?hash=item3ad22f6901:g:LdUAAOSw5cNYKKr8
 
I've read the discussions whereby the pin placement in the Stax connector used in the Fong cable are configured such that they may damage the Stax amplifier over time (at least that was the contention several years back and I don't know if the connector was subsequently changed).

I can't comment on the other cable, of course.
 
But, the only Stax connectors currently available are the Amphenol connectors, either from the usual electronics parts suppliers or Moon Audio. You could also cut and resolder the connectors off a genuine Stax cable. Or you can build your own connector from scratch.
 
Yes, the Amphenol connectors are not 100% the same pin alignment as the Stax connector. (It's VERY close though.) However, I have never heard of anyone causing any damage to any amp using the Amphenol connectors. Those Amphenol connectors have been around for a long time and used quite extensively. I do know that the jack on the Cavalli Liquid Lightning 2 has smaller pin sockets and the Amphenol pins are super tight. But even the Stax SR-009 stock connector is a tight fit on the Cavalli jacks.
 
It's up to you if you are concerned about potential damage. If so, since there are no other connectors available, I would recommend you get a genuine Stax 5 pin extension cable and cut off the female connector and solder an ESP-950 connector on it. We could do that for you also, but the cost would be much higher due to the cost of the Stax extension cable.
 
-Darin
 
Feb 28, 2017 at 5:46 AM Post #2,562 of 4,054
making your own stax male jacks is easy, chinsettawong does them with a 3d printer
I made about 50 of these, they are all gone now
 
my original prototype
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/staxmale.jpg
 
production
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/staxmale5.jpg
 
all Teflon version
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/staxmale3.jpg
 
I will post featurecam source code once I find it.
each one needs the parts from 2 x neutrik male xlr connectors, so it ends up about $25 each
 
exactly the right size to .0001 inch
 
anyone with a dro mill can make them too
 
featurecam file
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/staxmale.zip
 
makes 8
 
Feb 28, 2017 at 8:07 AM Post #2,563 of 4,054
Great recommendation, however that assumes that one has any semblance of manual dexterity and experience soldering/splicing, etc., which I do not. I'm all thumbs. I'd rather pay for the completed cable.
 
Feb 28, 2017 at 10:42 AM Post #2,564 of 4,054
I've used Darin's adaptor cable for a while with no problems (also all thumbs and wasn't about to build one myself. The last time I tried soldering, when I had to replace drivers on my aging Thiel 2.3 speakers, I almost left my thumb attached to the speaker...)
 

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