KOSS ESP-950 Thread
Mar 12, 2017 at 11:30 PM Post #2,596 of 4,052
   
SRM252S wasn't very good when I had it. The 323S / 353X are identical, except one is balanced and the other isn't. The SRM1 mk2 is on a similar level but can be had for cheaper used sometimes. The next step up is the 717/727 I believe/ From what I understand, other Stax amps aren't worth it without modifications so I personally would not consider them,...
Top tiers multi grand amps include the KGSHV, Carbon, and others though admittedly that's way past my budget so I did not investigate those closer.
I'd go for either the 323 / 353, 727 or SRM1, whichever  my budget would allow.

For fun(?), I followed an ebay auction of a re-capped SRM-717 last month - it topped at $800, and I'm pretty sure it would have gone higher if pushed. There's an SRM-T1s that just sold at $810. Buy it now for a [Japanese] SRM-323s for $775.90. You can get a new SRM-353X from Stax USA for $925. Lots more for the SRM-727II - now worth looking at others. The WEE and others like it depend on you having another amp to be parasytic to. I'll live with the E/90 for now.
 
Mar 13, 2017 at 9:03 AM Post #2,597 of 4,052
  What about a Woo WEE?


I've mentioned in this thread before: I'm happy with mine. It's reasonably transparent, which means you still need a good amplifier behind it. One of the best headphone rigs I've ever heard was a Moth -> WEE -> HiFiMan Jade, which gives me confidence that if I scale up my system, the WEE can keep up.
 
Advantages: If you've already invested in a good amp, you can still use that amp with your ESP-950. The WEE doesn't require a lot of power behind it, and I've even paired it with a headphone amp and gotten decent results. The WEE also doesn't seem to need any warm-up time; at worst no more than the amp it's paired with does.
 
Disadvantages: Even though it's cheaper than many Stax amps, it's still $500 new or $350-ish used. which puts the net cost of good amp + WEE in the range of a decent Stax amp. And it doesn't sound nearly good on amps with high output impedance or which aren't designed for 8-ish ohm loads. More importantly, the WEE bridges the left and right ground, so you can't use it on any amplifier with fully discrete left and right channels. This includes all balanced amplifiers (headphone or otherwise), as well as most class-D amps that I'm aware of.
 
I prefer my current amplifier chain (McIntosh MAC 4100 receiver -> WEE) to the stock E/90. I haven't had the opportunity to compare a WEE to a Stax energizer (or any stat amps at all) so I can't say which is better. Despite my preferences, this summer I'll probably pull out the E/90 to keep the heat down in the office, because the MAC, like many good speaker amps, has a high class-A bias and gets pretty warm.
 
Mar 13, 2017 at 1:18 PM Post #2,599 of 4,052
Mar 13, 2017 at 5:14 PM Post #2,600 of 4,052
For fun(?), I followed an ebay auction of a re-capped SRM-717 last month - it topped at $800, and I'm pretty sure it would have gone higher if pushed. There's an SRM-T1s that just sold at $810. Buy it now for a [Japanese] SRM-323s for $775.90. You can get a new SRM-353X from Stax USA for $925. Lots more for the SRM-727II - now worth looking at others. The WEE and others like it depend on you having another amp to be parasytic to. I'll live with the E/90 for now.
I picked up my SRM-1 MK2 here on HF for $300 a few months ago I guess I just got lucky.
 
Mar 14, 2017 at 7:19 AM Post #2,602 of 4,052
Mar 14, 2017 at 8:05 AM Post #2,603 of 4,052
Any suggestions on how to give the ESP-950 a bit more bass impact? Currently running stock setup with the upgraded 3A power supply from Mauser. I've given them a 5dp eq boost at the bottom end, but still not too thrilled with the bass extension and impact.
 
Love the treble and mids though... just needs some filling out of the bottom end.
 
Mar 14, 2017 at 8:42 AM Post #2,604 of 4,052
Any suggestions on how to give the ESP-950 a bit more bass impact? Currently running stock setup with the upgraded 3A power supply from Mauser. I've given them a 5dp eq boost at the bottom end, but still not too thrilled with the bass extension and impact.

Love the treble and mids though... just needs some filling out of the bottom end.


Try the vesper pads.
 
Mar 14, 2017 at 2:39 PM Post #2,605 of 4,052
Eh, they give them just a bit more bass. But I agree it's a good investment for comfort as well.
 
Mar 14, 2017 at 7:50 PM Post #2,606 of 4,052
Mar 14, 2017 at 11:29 PM Post #2,607 of 4,052
  Any suggestions on how to give the ESP-950 a bit more bass impact? Currently running stock setup with the upgraded 3A power supply from Mauser. I've given them a 5dp eq boost at the bottom end, but still not too thrilled with the bass extension and impact.
 
Love the treble and mids though... just needs some filling out of the bottom end.

I don't know what to say, but I'll say it anyway... ;-Þ
 
Check out the FR response curves from Inner Fidelity, there are two for the ESP950. http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/Koss%20ESP950.pdf and http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/KossESP950Sample2.pdf. I'm using a 30 band EQ in Foobar, bucking the drops and the peaks. Nothing more than about 4.5dB. [When the Galaxy is the source, the Onkyo player has a parametric EQ that comes close, and PowerAmp has something too. EQ is your friend...].
 
Yes, I just put on my Vesper, but I'm not going to call them bass magic - these sounded fine beforehand, but are more comfortable now, maybe the seal helps. I certainly like getting the drivers a little more off my ears.
 
Look, you aren't going to get the single and double harmonics from these diaphragms that dynamics tend to give - that extra, phantom bass just isn't going to happen with these. My sentiment is that this is REAL bass. I'm listening to Rush right now. Subdivisions. Fsck. Red Barchetta before that. Division Bell from Pink Floyd - Coming Back to Life. Bryan Ferry Boys and Girls - Windswept, Valentine, Stone Woman. Double Fsck. OK, loud enough to hurt, but these are pounding, baby. Where's the bass? Right here, man - right here.
 
Maybe compare to the FR curves of the phones you are used to. The links for a huge number can be found at http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-measurements. And, don't discount that extra bass that the dynamics 'donate' to your listening experience. Headphones aren't going to hit you in the chest with the kick of the drum. Well, unless the engineers allow it. Simply put, it is my personal preference that _those_ engineers don't get to tamper with what I listen to. Your preference can be different.
 
Mar 15, 2017 at 12:45 PM Post #2,609 of 4,052
  Any suggestions on how to give the ESP-950 a bit more bass impact? Currently running stock setup with the upgraded 3A power supply from Mauser. I've given them a 5dp eq boost at the bottom end, but still not too thrilled with the bass extension and impact.
 
Love the treble and mids though... just needs some filling out of the bottom end.


Have we even been able to quantify bass impact? I still can't figure out what makes an HE-400 with velour pads so special.
 
Mar 15, 2017 at 11:51 PM Post #2,610 of 4,052
  Any suggestions on how to give the ESP-950 a bit more bass impact? Currently running stock setup with the upgraded 3A power supply from Mauser. I've given them a 5dp eq boost at the bottom end, but still not too thrilled with the bass extension and impact.
 
Love the treble and mids though... just needs some filling out of the bottom end.

 
EQ APO is software agnostic and works everywhere as long as you don't use wasapi or exclusive mode. I gave it a generous 8db@20 and 6db@40 and it sounds real nice now.
 
 
As for the HE400 with the combination leather/velour pads, yeah the bass is nice. If you take a little of the sharpness out of the treble, the 400 cleans up nicely but to my ear, the 950 can take it on detail and balanced bass, mids, treble even though it's lighter on bass. Nothing a little EQ can't even up.
 

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