Massdrop x Koss ESP95X Electrostatic Headphone Stream of Consciousness Review and Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I could still probably bounce these stators like a bowl of jello.
     
  2. J.I.T

    J.I.T Rando

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    this would be good at MD price.. BUT..
    there is issue which could be random(or not) from my experience with original version.
    I don't know MD guarantee about manufacturing QC by themselves or koss.

    I owned original koss esp/950 over 18~20 months. but I don't use it anymore.
    sometime, I just pull it out and use it again shortly, and store it back to my room storage.

    at the early days of usage,
    nothing goin wrong but energizer's coaxial volume knob already made me crazy at that moment.
    and few days later from that, weird noise came out from one side.
    noise kind like rough coil whine, zzzzz or shrrrrr.

    I thought dust was the reason at that moment.
    I gave up warranty and disassembled headphone parts.
    first one I found, whole part of actual electrostat unit was sealed by very thin vinyl at in/outside of unit.
    and fine mesh dust filter also there.
    so, if dust was reason, it meant dust was already came in from manufacturing process.

    I couldn't disassemble actual diaphram part anymore because I felt it could be danger for me and headphone itself.
    but I peel off protection vinyl permanently for using hand pump dust blower or helping dust off by pressing headphone unit both side.

    but, it was just temporary fix. after blowing, these noise still happen in random.
    so when it happen again, I just repeat fast pressing the both side ear unit together and it temporary fine again. looped...

    if dust is not the reason, maybe the stators/diaphram structure problem caused charging issue? I don't know.

    even with issue, yes, you could get warranty service.
    but as we already know, this MD item is also not a cheap.
    I prefer to more reliable QC rather than warranty service.

    I also used some gears for esp/950.
    - woo audio wee stax energizer :
    yes, it coulde be used with esp/950 but need custom convert cable and speaker amp for running.
    I used this for check which part was actual issue. this didn't help to remove that noise issue.
    - dbx go rack :
    I used this for control volume and channel balance. because e/90 energizer coaxial volume control was shit.
    and if your speaker amp can not control each side volume seperately, this kind gear would be helpful with woo audio wee.
    - vesper custom ear pad :
    use for good seal. because koss original stock pads just shit.
    this may helpful similar as the MD's fabric pad or more.
     
  3. winterfog

    winterfog Almost "Made"

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    They look cheap, they feel cheap, the quality control is a little bit shit... that's all 100% true. But they sound great, and the warranty coverage & service—in the U.S., at least—is as good as it gets.

    I think the long-story-short here is that the Koss ESP-950/9XX is a different value proposition for U.S. residents than for international customers due to Koss's fantastic "$9 check for shipping and no questions asked" warranty service. International customers have to work through their local authorized dealer to get warranty service, and I don't know how easy or difficult that is.

    Warranty service within the U.S. is so freaking easy and great that it's hard to communicate just how great it is. I just got my second-hand ESP-950 back from Koss and they sent me a whole new (refurb) headphone and energizer with different serial numbers. The stuff I got back sounds way better than the original ever did. It took only about 2-3 weeks between shipping it out and getting it back. I even called to check in on my case and I talked to a real, friendly human being. Amazing.

    I would suggest that you stop trying to fix it yourself and just get warranty service ASAP through the authorized Koss dealer for South Korea, whoever that might be. You don't necessarily sacrifice warranty coverage just because you took it apart. Then once you have a fresh and functioning ESP-950... sell it if you don't like it. Keeping things you don't like around is a mental burden you don't need, and this is ~$500 (U.S.) of value just sitting in your closet that you could put into something you do like. There's even a market for broken ESP-950s, since potential buyers generally know about the availability of warranty service, so if you can't get warranty service in South Korea, maybe you can sell it to a U.S. buyer.
     
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  4. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Facebook Friend

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    Well, these are still manufactured by Koss. And by all accounts their customer service is superb. Did you contact them about your issues?
     
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  5. J.I.T

    J.I.T Rando

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    thanks for comments.
    it helps me think about further steps. I didnt contact koss yet.

    I just wrote for additional information based on my experience. I thought these are information.
    but is there anyone feel uncomfortable about my written, sorry for that.
    soundwise, I don't have negative expression about esp/950. sound quite right, I agree.

    I bought item directly from koss website with full price.(999usd + international shipping + custom tax)
    even I could buy from amazon or local authorized seller with dealed price, I didn't believe them at that moment.
    so, I decided to pay more for trust and hope koss would focus more on item.
    but, yes, my thought seem to be wrong.

    again, thanks for comments.
    I will try contact when I really want to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
  6. BeyerMonster

    BeyerMonster Rando

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    Is it normal for these to kinda crackle a bit jarringly on startup for a little while?
    These are my first e-stats and hadn't really spent much time listening to them for more than maybe 30 minutes. Typically while just using as background music very uncritically, at that.

    FWIW, I'm in Austin, TX for a hot summer and my AC is on the fritz so humidity is also a bit high indoors atm (>70%).
     
  7. HockeyFan12

    HockeyFan12 Rando

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    My experiences were similar. Shipping was a lot slower, and I was actually about to sell the headphone, but I opened the box to find it had been seemingly replaced by a new or refurbished model.

    These do seem to break a lot. Maybe best to find someone in the US to sell to or to use as an intermediary to get a proper repair from Koss.
     
  8. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    I think it's well worth the price

    Yea man I got a real person in like 2 minuets shockingly amazing customer service experience!!!!!!!

    Man I'm happy to hear you like it as much as I do @purr1n an honestly these are my new daily go to, works stunningly well for movies, TV and what ever I'd like to listen to without grabbing my HD 800 off the shelf. I'm not always a fan of HD 800 with Netlflix, Hulu and the like but I feel 95X's darker tilt and more forgiving nature are really exactly what I like for day to day use.

    An to be frank I kinda like it more for day to day use than my HD 600, while there is a lot of HiRes music/content that I feel HD 600 does better with, overall ESP 95X just fits my needs more so with only a small loss of detail in my current system. I'll get around to posting my actual review here one day for you guys... maybe

    An yes!!! The bass is great for my needs/tastes, HD 800 hits a little harder/cleaner and ofc Pre Fazor LCD 2 is a class above but again there's something to be said for this 95X extension Never heard the original 950 but I would be lying if I didn't admit to wanting to find a far better amp for my 95X ASAP

    That said what is an acceptable upgrade amp wise? I've heard the T2 DIY Stax amp mentioned but what else is commercially available
     
  9. ShaneD

    ShaneD Rando

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    $400.00 for these puppies as of today.

    Shane D
     
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  10. svperstar

    svperstar Facebook Friend

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    I picked them up because of that. I even got the expedited shipping.

    I have read better ear pads have better bass does anyone have a good link for good replacement ear pads?
     
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  11. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

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  12. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    Better pads was for the OG 950, 95X already has a better/denser all velour pad installed

    I can't say how the Leather Outside with Velour Top that's $89 compares to stock 95X pad but stock 95X pad is NOT stock 950 pad
     
  13. svperstar

    svperstar Facebook Friend

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    This came in yesterday. First impression wow these really do feel like a cheap child's toy but the plus side of that is how light they are. The anti-Audeze LOL

    Also when I turn my head I hear a weird crinkle in the earcups.

    The actual sound is quite good I'd recommend everyone hear these at least once. Won't be for everyone if you are into super dark/veiled and boomy cans but for now I am in love with them.

    Going to see Tool in concert on Friday so I'm trying to listen to Tool's entire discography on these before the concert.
     
  14. ShaneD

    ShaneD Rando

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    You and me both. I ordered mine on Monday and they shipped yesterday. Really curious to hear them and see how they fit into my collection.

    Shane D
     
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  15. Philimon

    Philimon Rando

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    Plus another $20 off with new member coupon.
     
  16. ShaneD

    ShaneD Rando

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    Cool for you. I paid the $400.00 and they are on the way. I am hoping for a Wed.-Fri. Delivery.

    Shane D
     
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  17. Philimon

    Philimon Rando

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    Rephrase: You can get an additional $20 off by registering and claiming new-member coupon.

    Posting shipping updates is akin to littering here. I think its in the rules.
     
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  18. Philimon

    Philimon Rando

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    Just received. Quick impressions:

    Macbook optical > modi3 > e90x/95x.
    (vs. vali2 > 4xx)

    95X
    - So light and comfortable especially with those foam pads.
    - Physically big and open feeling so its medium soundstage is kinda strange. 4xx soundstage is larger.
    - Seems to resolve and image as well or possibly better than 4xx. I was hoping for an obvious improvement here but not necessary.
    - But it is more detailed. I guess flatter frequency response kinda makes some things sound fuller or fleshed out.
    - Im not feeling too amiss of bass. Its definitely there and good, but its not fun like the 4xx.
    - But unlike the 4xx, the 95x sounds more natural overall with no sore spots sticking out. I found myself turning up the volume on the 95x a little more because I wasnt finding a harsh peak. The Koss is rolled off (shelved) top and bottom but thats preferable to 4xx’s treble dips which leaves electric guitar toned down but cymbals brighter, etc. whereas the 95x does not displease.

    The headphone system did squeal a bit when first turned on. Has gone away since. I plan to unplug from outlet whenever not in use as that seemed to help others in the drop.com 95x discussions area. The second time I powered the system today it did not squeal. I read also in the discussions someone mentioning the warranty is different than on regular 950: warranty repair is now $25 instead of $9. Ive not confirmed this. $25 though is still better than no lifetime warranty.

    Not final thoughts need more time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  19. ShaneD

    ShaneD Rando

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    I was very impressed with the detail for several hours, but at the end I decided I needed more. On Sunday I connected the Schiit Loki and I EQ'd these more than I have ever EQ'd anything in my life. This is the first time I have EVER added treble to anything. Now, they are Amazing!
    Stock, I found they were missing some top, some bottom and just some depth.

    Since EQ'ing on Sunday, I can't take them off. I got a new amp today (SP200) and just set it aside. I'll have a look at it tomorrow.

    The rock is great. I am curious as to how the jazz will sound with the "jacked up" sound. These really are different. It is definitely not just another set of headphones with a slightly different sound signature.
     
  20. Philimon

    Philimon Rando

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    Treble is a bit soft. 95x is smoothing.
     

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