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18 minutes ago, ivanrocks321 said:

If you are going to Canjam this weekend in NYC, ill be there likely most of the time over the two days. Ill have both my Kaldas RR1 and ES1a with me if anyone is interested in a listen. 

already ordered a set hah.

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I bought a pair of these headphones because I really wanted to see how good they could be and to support this new comer.  My experience is pretty much similar to Berger's.  I like the build quality. 

I've had my set for over a month now and I would take them over the SR-009's but then again... never liked the 009's.  I've been meaning to write up some impressions for the last couple of weeks so no

I will be getting both sets of pads and naturally... I take everything apart so expect pics.  🙂  No doubt the normal bias SR-X is a bit bright as they were tuned like that.  Stax wanted to bleed

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The ES1a is my choice. It’s all around more capable one of the two in my opinion. However it is much more in cost as well so it better be. The RR1 are excellent as well and should be a consideration as they compare well to many other stuff out there just not really in the same level the SR007 and SR009 are. 

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3 minutes ago, rayofsi said:

got my es1a yesterday. need more time, but first listen, they sound great! i also bought the kaldas rr1 out of curiosity. I might like these es1a more then my sr009 and sr007mk1

Very nice, Just wondering if you got any extra pads and if so did you try them? My pair of "dark" pads are coming in soon. 

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8 minutes ago, ivanrocks321 said:

Very nice, Just wondering if you got any extra pads and if so did you try them? My pair of "dark" pads are coming in soon. 

these came with the pads that the maker said were the better ones. i have no complaints with these pads.. that are the "dark" ones already.

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I've had my set for over a month now and I would take them over the SR-009's but then again... never liked the 009's.  I've been meaning to write up some impressions for the last couple of weeks so now might just be the time.  :)  First of the build quality is outstanding which means they are pretty heavy but yeah... very well made.  The only issue I've run into is that there is a tiny bit of play where the forks attach to the cups but after a month of daily use they seem to be no worse for wear so probably not a long term issue either.  I would also like some strain relief on the cables as they leave the cups (the 007Mk1 issues spring to mind) and on the plug but these are not easy to do on small scale build.  They ideally have to be injection molded and well... that isn't cheap.  Still this is me and I'm picky...  😉   The packaging is also superb and small touches like the markings on the cable splitter are appreciated.  The fit is very much SR-Omega so a bit loose on the head and they have almost slid off a couple of times, usually when I'm lost in assembling some PCB boards or something like that and forgot they are there.  Not really and issue under normal use. 

Now for the sound, same system as usual, Denafrips Terminator dac feeding a Carbon CC.  I've yet to try the other set of earpads so they have the stock set attached... I think.  Anyway... the set they shipped with.  TL:DR, I like them a lot though I wouldn't call them an SR-Omega clone...they very much their own thing.  Balanced sound signature over all but not quite as warm and relaxed as the Omega.  There is a small bite to the mid-range that bothers me a bit on some recordings but far away from the SR-009 level of aggression.   So not as smooth as I'd like it but that smoothness was also the Omega's downfall in some areas.  Bass is not up to the SR-007 levels of depth, control and quality but perfectly fine and superior to any of the 009's.  It's linear and extended but not the best there is.  Still this is a more relaxed sounding set compared to the 007's so that is to be expected.  Sound stage is controlled, yet expansive but can't quite pull off the layering trick the 007's can do so well but again... not really a complaint.   

Overall I don't think it is fair to compare them to the SR-Omega due to their status and the sad fact that so many Omegas out there sound far from stock.  Bad earpads, badly treated drivers etc. all change how the old ones sound like while this one is nice and fresh... also not silly money.  So very much recommended and it's always welcome when I have no complaints when testing something new.  Small bite to the midrange that bothers me from time to time, not quite as engrossing as the SR-007's but yeah... just a different type of sound and nothing wrong with that. 

Finally, this set has been running for well over a month now and the amp used is being subject to a lot of power cycles (i.e. I'm using the time at home to do some stress tests) and they have had no complaints.  No imbalance issues, charge up instantly and dead silent drivers. 

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I bought a pair of these headphones because I really wanted to see how good they could be and to support this new comer.  My experience is pretty much similar to Berger's.  I like the build quality.  The clamping force on the head isn't that much, which is a good thing.  However, it can be a bit too loose.  The headphones almost fell out of my head a few times.

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About the sound, they sound very similar to my Omega clone.  I might be a bit bias, but my Omega clone has just a bit better bass extension.

Overall, I would say that the phones are very nicely built.  The headband can use some improvement.  The price, IMO, is a bit pricey putting it in a similar price range as the Stax SR007. 

 

Edited by chinsettawong
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I am glad to have received positive impressions on the es1a from chinsettawong and spritzer, Really appreciate that🤩

es1a is an alternative to totl electrostatics like the 007 mk1 and 009 for people who dislike their darkness/brightness, or owners of them who want to try something new. The es1a is brilliant in some aspects, and so do the 007 mk1 and 009. I particularly enjoy the wide soundstage, naturalness and airy, transparent highs of es1a. I hope that es1a will be refreshing to the community, since the 007 mk1 and 009 have been out for like a decade or two already.

Es1a inherits some key elements from the original omega -- its neutralness , big soundstage ,and sense of spaciousness. But its true to say that they are two different creatures. I actually hear more people saying es1a sounds like an 009s than saying es1a sounds like an omega lmao. But the reason I kept the omega appearance is more from a cosmetic and marketing prespective, and perhaps it fills the little void in my heart that I used to not own an omega in my collection.So as the light headband clamping force it contributes to the non-fatigue listening experience of es1a  and mimics what it is on omega but its not too friendly if you want to move around wearing it. 

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On 4/19/2020 at 11:59 AM, boinger said:

Any more impressions of this? How do these compare to stax sr-009

 

You can check out here for reviews from users and loaner program participants, may give you some insight.

There is also a video of es1a vs 009 AB comparison recording. Although the recording quality is not too good but it provide some references.

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7 hours ago, catscratch said:

How difficult are these to drive? Would they work fine out of your average Stax amp like a 007t or do you need to go big boy aftermarket for these?

Off Kerry's carbon and T2 the ES1a played roughly at the same db level as the SR007 at a set volume, while the SR009 was able to reach thatvsame db level at a fair bit lower volume level.  I get the same results more or less on my carbon as well.  

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My personal pair seems to be somewhat more sensitive than the 007. If I use the 007 and plug in ES-1a while keeping volume the same I find it gets too loud. This might also be related to the more forward midrange/lower treble, however.

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can someone point me to how to work on this.. even with nothing playing i get some popping in my left ear piece. dont have this with any other headphones i have. thanks!

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4 minutes ago, rayofsi said:

can someone point me to how to work on this.. even with nothing playing i get some popping in my left ear piece. dont have this with any other headphones i have. thanks!

You can use a multimeter to check the balance and offset of the amp that if they are on zero or anything near it. Another way to work on it is to loosen the 5 silver screw on the driver a bit using a hexagon screw driver.

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4 minutes ago, bwck2000 said:

You can use a multimeter to check the balance and offset of the amp that if they are on zero or anything near it. Another way to work on it is to loosen the 5 silver screw on the driver a bit using a hexagon screw driver.

amp is fine - Kerry built t2 that i just got today.

switched back to my sr009 for now. Will figure this thing out with es1a soon. haven't had this issue before, have the sr009, sr007 mk1 and the kaldas rr1.

 

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On 5/22/2020 at 12:13 AM, bwck2000 said:

You can use a multimeter to check the balance and offset of the amp that if they are on zero or anything near it. Another way to work on it is to loosen the 5 silver screw on the driver a bit using a hexagon screw driver.

apologies... apparently nothing is wrong. went back to my kgsshv carbon. no issues.

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  • 4 weeks later...

ESLab ES-1α Measurements:
(MiniDSP EARS. 500Hz 84dB normalized. All graphs use 1/12 smoothing.)
(Electrostatic Rig #1: Laptop->Soncoz SGD-1->STAX SRM-T1W->MiniDSP EARS Rig #1)
*Since I'm using a STAX Tube Amp (SRM-T1W) there may be some low and high frequency falloff in my measurements. Also the Right channel on my MiniDSP ears tends to measure higher bass than the Left channel. Also during measurements, I had difficulty getting the Right channel to seal properly while I had relative ease with measuring the Left channel.

ESLab ES-1α (blues) vs STAX SR-507 (reds) <Raw Measurements>
\\Solid (Left) vs Light (Right)
770630036_SR-507ES-1aLR.jpg.ed0f8359ed2bdd34a62c49a3d5d48ee1.jpg

\\L&R Averaged
1715040253_SR-507ES-1a.jpg.5e3138fb368174e3f72521901bebf28e.jpg

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs STAX SR-507 (purple) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Left channel only>
686092799_SBAFES-1aSR-507.jpg.9657d26478ff0a1f4a9711829294115e.jpg

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Notice: Electrostatic measurements and headphone measurements are using different rigs)
(Electrostatic Rig #1: Laptop->Soncoz SGD-1->STAX SRM-T1W->MiniDSP EARS Rig #1)
(Headphone Rig #2: Laptop->Oppo Sonica->Massdrop THX 789->MiniDSP EARS Rig #2)
*Rig #1 (Electrostatic Rig) registered less bass due to the different MiniDSP EARS units & also I'm using a STAX Tube amp which may have a sub-bass roll-off. I had difficulty getting the Right channel to seal properly. Left channel seems to be more indicative of the sound I'm hearing and henceforth I will be JUST using Left channel measurements.

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Verum 1 <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
\\ ES-1α (black) vs Verum 1 w/ Default Pads (olive) vs Verum 1 w/ Perforated Pads (brown)
1476587777_SBAFES-1aVerum1.jpg.ad84fd13df1050096b1fb3d3703fdeba.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Hifiman HE-500 w/ Focus A pad & Fuzzor Mod (green) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
709445554_SBAFES-1aHE-500.jpg.90eb4fe1e674a1b6f0e50c97da19e071.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Audeze LCD-2.2 non-Fazor w/ Dekoni Velour Pads(maroon) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
1238368304_SBAFES-1aLCD-2.jpg.198010ad55b2618fb8745bdbb16a2583.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs SendyAudio Aiva (orange) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
1591955431_SBAFES-1aAiva.jpg.3211fcb0a4476aa4677b00b700da81be.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Focal Elex (lilac) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>

704054093_SBAFES-1aElex.jpg.1d631f4cf3005bcdfec0afdcf8279db7.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Beyerdynamic DT1990 w/ Analytical Pads (teal) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
476144058_SBAFES-1aDT1990.jpg.bc486aade51ebde9c7873696e6a80938.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs ZMF Aeolus (orange) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
1701106106_SBAFES-1aAeolus.png.c1b4b86637e025c55b39fd9fd36e58ba.png

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Sennheiser HD800S (crimson) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
1635984163_SBAFES-1aHD800S.jpg.1b3de88b2d2d5795b928d2be964482ea.jpg

 

ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Sennheiser HD6## <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only>
// ES-1α (black) vs HD600 (brown) vs HD6XX/650 (pink) vs HD58X (red) vs HD660S (green)
406239173_SBAFES-1aHD6XX.jpg.b7231ff8827b20fb23d02284edb58c06.jpg

 

Longtime lurker here. I converted to the dark side just recently. I hope the measurements are a useful comparison tool for you.

My Early Impressions:
I feel the ES-1α has very natural bass and mids and that is comparable to DT1990 w/ Analytical Pads, Verum 1, Hifiman HE-500 & Audeze LCD2. There is some brightness in the 1.5kHz region which is more elevated than the Sennheiser HD600 and are also present on the SR-507, SR-007, Focal Elex and SendyAudio Aiva. Upper treble is well extended giving it an airy feel and big soundstage. The uneven treble does make some vocals (particularly female vocals) recessed like in the HD800S, which you may or may not like.

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After measuring the ES-1α yesterday, I became concerned with the 1200Hz peak and went to EqualizerAPO to try to EQ out that huge peak. Here are my findings after fiddling with EQ.

v1) Firstly I tried to get the 300Hz-2000Hz to my beloved HD800S as closely as possible
This meant getting as much as [email protected] and [email protected]
In the first few iterations, I instantly felt female vocals getting cleaner and no longer heard the nasal sound. However as I approached the set target, I instantly felt the sound quality drastically reduced. Vocals no longer sounded nasal but now sounded rather plasticky and the sharpness within tracks were more pronounced.
ES-1a EQ v0.png

v2) After looking at some graphs at diyaudioheaven, I decided to focus on the 1000Hz region.
I decided to reduce the emphasis on the 1200Hz-2000Hz region and sound fidelity improved, gaining clarity.
At this point it was [email protected] but I felt I was trying to EQ it too much.
ES-1a EQ v1.png

v3) After referring to my measurements of the revered Sennheiser HD6## series, I decided to get it to [email protected]
I adjusted and removed many of peaking filters and ended up with this final iteration.
This EQ removed the nasal just enough that I could no longer notice the nasal & tinny sound from my songs.
I kept the adjustments on the 300Hz-700Hz region but you could remove it without affecting fidelity.
ES-1a EQ v2.png

v4) I tried adding sub-bass by using a low-shelf filter of [email protected]
My measurements showed [email protected] but the SRM-T1W was specified to be ±[email protected] so I set it at 4.5dB.
I felt that the difference was minimal and this reduced fidelity overall because I had to do adjust the whole frequency band by using a preamplification of -4.5dB and also limited the volume you can push your headphone/amp to.
ES-1a EQ v3.png

To conclude, I feel the only noticeable sonic weakness of this headphone during my early impressions seems to stem in the 1kHz region. It's surprising how a -2dB EQ can affect the fidelity of this headphone and it's a testament to how sensitive our hearing is in this region. As with any headphone and IEM, there is some sibilance with the ES-1α but the EQ for that is dependent on the length of your own ear canal.

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1 hour ago, WHO23 said:

It's surprising how a -2dB EQ can affect the fidelity of this headphone and it's a testament to how sensitive our hearing is in this region. As with any headphone and IEM, there is some sibilance with the ES-1α but the EQ for that is dependent on the length of your own ear canal.

Glad to see people other than myself who are quite sensitive to EQ.  Like you found, manipulating EQ by as little as 2-3 dB in midrange seems to really reduce that "you are there" transparency and realness for me, to the point I will not own headphones or speakers that require this type of adjustment..

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Nice write up, from the amount of measurement graphs I can see how much effort you have put to it.

Trimming down regions across the spectrum that you think is too much is a much more direct way to get a sound desired than trying out different gears. The 2K-3K region is particularly sensitive to our ears. To my experience, elevating it increase the glossiness of sound, adding more presence to each instrument and give people a good first impression on audition that it is a headphone with good sound quality. While lowering it make the headphone more relaxing, tolerable to long-term listening but the vocal might sounds void. I have had an earpad with inner face of the earpad cut open so that the foam is exposed to absorb this particular range.  But the default one without the hole sounds closer to the original omega.

Edited by bwck2000
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On 6/22/2020 at 10:35 PM, bwck2000 said:

I have spent a lot of time choosing parameters of earpad for es1a. I have had an earpad with inner face of the earpad cut open so that the foam is exposed to absorb this particular range.  But I really like the nasal sound the default pad makes.......This experimental earpad sounds void and is not suitable to be chosen as default. The default one also sounds closer to the original omega.

Ah it's interesting to hear your rationale on choosing the final pads. I totally understand you. The nasal sound makes the vocalist sound closer to the microphone and can be quite pleasing. Since I swap headphones quite often, the peak is more pronounced for me and hence why I've been trying to EQ all my headphones.

Some good headphones I've heard have a hump in the 1-2kHz region (ie ZMF Auteur, Focal Elex/Clear, Focal Utopia, Audio-Technica ADX5000 & SendyAudio Aiva) and I'm totally fine with them. The 800-1200Hz region also isn't as steep considering that the venerated Sennheiser HD600 (and the Stax SR-507 & Audio-Technica MSR7 and Phonon SMB-02) has a slope with almost the same gradient.

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