Will I like the SA5000?
Feb 25, 2006 at 9:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

spaceconvoy

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I just received my new SA1000, which I'll probably return (bought them just to get the flavor of the SA5000 w/o spending $400). Here's what I like about them that makes me think I'll like the SA5000:


I love the presentation - I read one review that described them as having no soundstage. Yes, that's true, but they have an amazing headstage. I like the sound of all the clearly defined instruments coming from different areas of space, but all still within my head. It's very engaging and exciting.

General frequency response - to me it seems very flat. Some people say it's bright, but to me it sounds clear.

The details!! - I've read some complaints that it's too unnaturally detailed, but who cares, to me it sounds amazing! Some people say it's too analytical and unmusical, but I completely disagree. The SA1000 is musical to my ears because it lets me hear everything - the sound of a guitar players fingers moving up the strings, the people coughing in the audience. All that detail is there for me to soak up and enjoy.


And here's what I don't like:

Thin, slightly recessed mids - some have complained that they're too dry, but I don't think so. They sound very clear and realistic to me, just sort of lifeless and a little too distant.

Treble energy - some people have said they're too bright, but that's not the problem. It's that with songs with a lot of higher frequencies, I can feel physical pressure on my eardrums. It's like the treble has a physical weight that really makes my ears hurt after about a half hour. I think this is called treble energy.


Ok, so I've read a few comparisons that suggest the SA5000 will be a big improvement over the 1K in these last two areas. Can anyone else reassure me? This will be my first major headphone purchase (not only headphones, but planning on building an M^3 and getting an Echo Indigo to go along with them). The SA1000 seems closer than any other headphone to getting the exact sound I'm looking for, but with two major, glaring defects. Will the 5K be that much of an improvement?
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 4:33 AM Post #3 of 10

drarthurwells

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Feb 26, 2006 at 4:51 AM Post #4 of 10

jjcha

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
Ok, so I've read a few comparisons that suggest the SA5000 will be a big improvement over the 1K in these last two areas. Can anyone else reassure me?


Well, based on the SA3k, which does have different drivers, I'd say those are not the areas upon which the SA5k improves. SA5k still has relatively recessed mids (but that's coming from someone who likes the audio-technica's forward mids) and plenty of treble energy.

Heh, funny thing is that the Qualia also has relatively recessed mids and plenty of treble energy. But it's still my favorite can.

I agree with the dr that you should consider the K701. Also you might be interested in the faster audio-technica, such as the W5000, though they aren't as hyper-detailed as the SA series.

Best,

-Jason

PS. Actually, now that I think about it, CD3k seems like a better suggestion than the W5000. Lots of good alternatives out there you might like. Just if you look at the SA5k, those two issues you mention will likely still be issues for you.

PPS. Man, I could use a MOS burger right now...
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 4:56 AM Post #5 of 10

SoundFreaq

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You will love the 5Ks. I have never heard the Sa1Ks, however. I love the 5000's for all those reasons. The 5Ks sound like the perfect match for you. I have the 5k, M^3 combo. Sounds amazing. Get the right OP amps though
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 7:54 AM Post #6 of 10

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jjcha
SA5k still has relatively recessed mids (but that's coming from someone who likes the audio-technica's forward mids) and plenty of treble energy.


Uh-oh... if you think AT's have more forward mids than the Sonys, then it looks like I've got to reconsider (or are you talking about the woodies? - I was assuming a900). More than detail, fidelity, etc. presentation is the most important thing to me. Vocals should be prominent, and the sound should be very close, almost inside my head, but still have good instument seperation.

Drarthur - I read your thread, and the one reason I keep ruling out the k701 is because of comments that they're laid back, or have a deeper sound stage. Hmmm, thanks for the suggestion though, I'll definitely have to do some more research.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjcha
Just if you look at the SA5k, those two issues you mention will likely still be issues for you.


Thanks, that's what I needed to hear. I had the feeling that they weren't quite right for me, but they're sooo close.
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 8:24 AM Post #8 of 10

Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jjcha
Also you might be interested in the faster audio-technica, such as the W5000, though they aren't as hyper-detailed as the SA series.


I'm hearing things with the W5000 that I never heard with the SA5000. The sonic signature of the ATs doesn't shove the details in your face the way the Sony does, however.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DieInAFire
I always felt that ATs had more recessed mids...


The W series sounds different from the A series. The woodies are sound mid-centric
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 8:32 AM Post #9 of 10

spike33

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I've owned both sa1k and sa5k. Sa5k improves alot from what sa1k does well but still have the flaws you listed. There's still alot of treble energy (maybe slightly less), vocals are forward but rest of the midrange seems thin and recessed (fuller than sa1k tho).
 
Feb 26, 2006 at 9:05 AM Post #10 of 10

drarthurwells

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
Uh-oh... if you think AT's have more forward mids than the Sonys, then it looks like I've got to reconsider (or are you talking about the woodies? - I was assuming a900). More than detail, fidelity, etc. presentation is the most important thing to me. Vocals should be prominent, and the sound should be very close, almost inside my head, but still have good instument seperation.

Drarthur - I read your thread, and the one reason I keep ruling out the k701 is because of comments that they're laid back, or have a deeper sound stage. Hmmm, thanks for the suggestion though, I'll definitely have to do some more research.



Art: The SA5000 and K701 are identical in being forward or laid back.

Turn up the volume and you get an up front sound.

Turn down the volume and you get a laid back sound.

The SA5000 is a little more sensitive and will sound more forward than the K701 unless you adjust the volume in comparing them - turning the volume down some using the SA5000 (to match the loudness to be the same as the K701).
 

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