Koss ESP950

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by OJneg, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Sorry, I don't have a measurement rig, but I would be willing to have the pads go to friend that could measure them (volunteers?). Because the "flap" that feeds into the slot on the cans is leather, I don't want to remove and install the pads too many times, but once or twice more shouldn't be an issue.
     
  2. AMW1011

    AMW1011 Friend

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    I hope you get that opportunity. Make sure, if you can, to have it measured with stock pads and these upgraded ones. If it turns out well, that will be excellent news. The ESP950 has always intrigued me.
     
  3. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Very cool! I think I'll order a pair. Thanks for posting up!
     
  4. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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  5. Out Of Your Head

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    Hi @AllanMarcus , Thanks for posting about the pads.
    Any updates on how they affect the sound? I might order a pair (or maybe even offer them for sale with the ESP-950's) but I just want to make sure they don't negatively affect the sound.

    They quoted me $56 plus $8 shipping plus PayPal fees. Is that what you paid?

    Thanks,
    -Darin
     
  6. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Now that's interesting. I paid a total of $49, but I got the alcantara "upgrade" for free since they had some extra material. They may have under estimated the complexity of this pad, and thus raised the price a little to cover.

    I really think they help the sound, but I'm the first to admit I'm horrible at critical listening. Still, for under $70 I think they are worth it.

    My personal opinion is that Koss has no engineering talent; they are just coasting. I doubt they will ever upgrade the 950, so things like this are our only hope if making it better -- other than moving to 3rd party amps.
     
  7. Out Of Your Head

    Out Of Your Head Friend

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    I contacted Vesper Audio and they confirmed basically what you said about the pricing.

    The lower price you paid was for "early adopters". On customer actually sent their ESP-950's to them so they could measure and make sure the pads fit.

    They say that the current price is as quoted, $56 + $8 shipping + PayPal fees. I think they said $4 more for all leather.
    I'm probably going to get a pair to evaluate.
    -Darin
     
  8. Out Of Your Head

    Out Of Your Head Friend

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  9. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Damn. I wish the pads were serialized as I have #1 :)

    I'm glad you like them. Someone need to show them to koss
     
  10. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I just looked at your pictures. Looks like they may have made the ear cavity a little larger than they did on my pads. I hope they did. Wait until you see the first set of pads they sent me! I'll try to remember to post some pictures when I get home at the end of the week.

    Don't forget to add, custom design by AllanMarcus ;)
     
  11. Out Of Your Head

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    I didn't request anything specific in terms of the ear cavity size. Maybe they decided to make them bigger?

    Should I have them put your signature on the pads? (Your commission checks are in the mail...)
     
  12. nickwin

    nickwin Acquaintance

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    Long time HE500 owner here, thinking about trying something new and I'm considering the ESP950. Is there agreement that these are an upgrade from HE500 + Lyr? or more of a side grade? Would the 950s make the he500s obsolete or would they be complementary? I noticed that the resale value of these (based on eBay sales) is actually less than the HE500s which makes me wonder.

    Can anyone comment on how these compare to the HE500s? I listen to mostly electronic and indy with some jazz, rock and acoustic mixed in. Im not a bass head but the music I listen to does require solid bass. Is the 950 the wrong HP for these genres?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  13. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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    Nick - I recommend you giving them a listen first. They are completely different than a HE500. No electrostat that I've heard will reproduce bass the way a planar does.
     
  14. Daveheart

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    I'd generally agree on auditioning them first; however, if you're okay waiting, you can just order them from Amazon. The ESP-950 is on the list of products I'd suggest never buying used. It hasn't gotten quite as low as I paid several years back (~$540 several years ago), but it regularly drops to ~$600 or lower several times a year, which is pretty close to what many ask for it used. To my knowledge the lifetime warranty is for the first owner, so the reasons for purchasing this used are really low.

    With it dropping in price often on Amazon, you can always take advantage of their return policy and use them for an audition.
     
  15. nickwin

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    I kind of figured based on first hand reports that there would be less bass than a lot of planars, maybe even less than he500, but how about the bass quality? I know its not going to be LCD level but the HE500s bass quality is really pretty mediocre by planar standards and thats what Im used to. Its weird, based on FR graphs of the ESP950 and HE500 the bass level looks pretty similar but everyone says they sound somewhat bass light. Could it simply be that the He500s treble is more recessed, putting more focus on the bass? Or am I just misinterpreting the graphs? Im not necessarily looking for a bass monster, but the genres I listen to require the bass at least be level with the mids and of good quality.

    Yeah Im definitely watching for a sale, I just mentioned used prices because sometimes that can be a good indication of what something is really worth. I was kind of surprised how well the He500s are retaining value to be honest. I bought mine on sale for $500 right as the he560s where coming out and they appear to be selling for around $400 used. I get it though, its a nice sounding headphone.

    The thing thats making this hard is I still really enjoy the he500s. Ive bought them new and I like my pair! hahaha. Im just kind of craving something different and/or better and I've never had the pleasure of hearing an electrostat. That said because of budget constraints I would have to sell my he500s to get the 950s. The feeling Im getting from you guys is that this would certainly be a change but not necessarily an across the board improvement?

    Thanks for the reply's guys!
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  16. AllanMarcus

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    I did send them a follow up message right after I got mine saying that if they made them for others, they should make the cavity a few mm larger. When I get home I'll measure and post, then we'll know.
     
  17. Out Of Your Head

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    The opening on my pads are about 81mm x 43mm.
     
  18. AllanMarcus

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    That is the same on mine. The original pads have a 45mm cavity. The first set of pads VA sent me had a 35mm wide cavity! 43mm is acceptable, but 45mm might be better. Maybe you can experiment with different orders, or have them make a 45mm prototype.
     
  19. Out Of Your Head

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    I am not sure if my measurements were that accurate since the pads are soft and I was using a pair of calipers. I think 43mm vs. 45mm is within the margin of error maybe. I am not sure if they can even manufacture the pads to that tolerance.

    We'll see once I get my first shipment.
     
  20. nickwin

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    Can anyone compare the sound of these to he500s specifically? Are these more "musical" (subjectively pleasant sounding) or more analytical? Or somewhere in the middle? FR looks very nice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017

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