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Koss ESP/950 electrostat thread


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Now for something pretty rare... the ESP900...  This is the closed back version of the ESP950 made for medical use such as MRI's etc.  Not much is known about these and only a few sets have

So I've had the Massdrop version of the Koss ESP/95X sitting here for probably a month but not spent any time with them.  I know I'm awful...    That changed today so first some pics:  Let's start wit

So yea Angle'd Vesper Pads and the removal of that nasty foam make a difference!  @spritzer , I thank ya for your recommendation and guidance, it makes quite the improvement

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Brand new ESP950 arrived - and there's something weird going on.

Set it up, turn it on, and for the first 20 seconds or so everything is fine. Then this severe clipping-type distortion sets in as if the amp is running out of headroom, and progressively gets worse until everything is a distorted mess. In both channels, at all volumes. This is with the E90, AC-fed, Opus 21 as source.

Turn the amp off, wait a minute, turn it back on, same story. First 15-20 seconds are fine then distortion sets in.

I'm guessing some component in the E90 is burned out somewhere? The headphones themselves seem fine, but I don't have a Stax-to-Koss adapter to try them with the 717. I have no idea what's going on really, but oh well, next week back you go.

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  • 4 weeks later...

bumpy up as I've now joined the ranks of ESP owners.

Initial impressions are mixed as I don't have a decent amp for them, just the koss amp and stax srd-7mk2 and neither are ideal. They sound ok so far and show promise but still not sure if they're keepers yet. My orthos are roundly kicking them in all the right places so if a decent amp doesn't pull them up they may be departing again but I'll give them a chance.

I like the overall balance, they are certainly better than most phones I've heard and have the type of sound I like a lot. The bass is a bit lacking in quantity and depth though that may be cured with and amp to some extent but wont know until later. Comfort and fit is ok, a little more mass wouldn't hurt (I actually like beefy phones) and better pads. I'm looking forward to having a good play with them to get a better grip on their sound and we'll see from there.

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I thought the bass extended pretty deep and the treble had decent presence, but I thought there was something wrong with the tonality the times I briefly auditioned the 950. It was always out of an SRM-1/Mk2. Also, I agree that the 950 seems a bit fragile, since the frame is mainly made of thin plastic. The cord is pretty short, too.

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bumpy up as I've now joined the ranks of ESP owners.

Initial impressions are mixed as I don't have a decent amp for them, just the koss amp and stax srd-7mk2 and neither are ideal. They sound ok so far and show promise but still not sure if they're keepers yet. My orthos are roundly kicking them in all the right places so if a decent amp doesn't pull them up they may be departing again but I'll give them a chance.

I like the overall balance, they are certainly better than most phones I've heard and have the type of sound I like a lot. The bass is a bit lacking in quantity and depth though that may be cured with and amp to some extent but wont know until later. Comfort and fit is ok, a little more mass wouldn't hurt (I actually like beefy phones) and better pads. I'm looking forward to having a good play with them to get a better grip on their sound and we'll see from there.

Get rid of the stock cable and the dampening behind the driver, and try them again off the SRD-7 Mk2 with a really nice amp. They can compete with or slightly beat the Lambda Sigs at that point.

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after a bit more listening today I feel the smegma pros still have the edge on them for overall balance. The 950 is a bit shouty in the upper mids and are pretty bright. All from the E90 amp and SRD-7Mk2. I'll wait until the eXstata gets here for proper full evaluation but so-far the Stax still have it.

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