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AT-HA20 & ATH-AD7 pads on ATH-AD10

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today i received a fine birthday present from myself. a pair of ath-ad7 pads & a at-ha20 headphone amplifier.

both from <a href="http://www.bluetin.com">bluetin</a>.

PART I

the amp i bought for two primary reasons, to provide a secondary outlet for headphones when watching dvds with a friend & to pair with my next a/v purchase, a much delayed pair of ath-w1000 [anyone after a pair of ath-a500 please pm me]. although i realise the boost amps provide to music in warmth & presence i had no need to boost volume as the phones i use are very efficient & i have sensitive hearing so often keep the volume on my vaio pocket at two bars[!] at home with the ath-ad10. with about a twenty minute play I've noticed a richness to music played at a lower level through the amp both from compressed [atrac3+256] & redbook cd from a pcdp.

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the new-ish set-up. [L->R] ath-a500, sony vaio pocket on it's line out dock, at-ha20, ath-ad10.

the ath-ad10s still have the original pads on here.

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front panel. [L->R] power switch, jack 1, jack 2, volume.

jack 1 is 3.5mm, jack two 6.35mm. power switch has no 'click' or real resistance. the form factor is fairly small about 10cm x 5cm. the unit depth is 12.5cm plus knobs & inputs at the back.

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clear top panel with a blue led when powered up. on the back panel [not pictured] is a power input [dc12v, +pin] & four gold plater rca, two input & two output for connecting as a through in a system. as you can see here it has clear rubber feet on it's side for those keeping it vertical. there are similar feet on the underside. the body is made of an alloy & seems quite strong & the smoked perspex seems to be fingerprint magnetic.

overall I'm happy so far & will get some serious hours on it before i really make a conclusion.

PART II

my ath-ad10 were an ebay opportunity too good to turn down, new in box including shipping for au$100 from a guy in the UK who bought them from another guy in the UK who bought them in Japan retail but never used them. or something. anyway there were no positive reviews on the net, the best lukewarm one authored by gerG of headfi who wasn't down on the phones as such, just angry about the anaemic pads that at best [imo] are odd & at worst uncomfortable, flopping like a a flat tire, sometimes leaving the driver touching the ear. ouch. this obviously leaves a lot to be desired in the sound department too. i meantime used the 'phatpad mod' by gerG using some vinyl tubing between the pad & the frame to stiffen out the sidewall & keep the driver away from the ear. this was a success although not a complete one, i decided to continue searching for a solution. google found me a <a href="http://saitama-audio.com/ATH_AD10/ATH_AD10.html">Japanese site</a> & thanks to Ishiyoshi of <a href="http://forums.minidisc.org">mindisc.org</a> & <a href="http://www.atraclife.com">atraclife</a> i had a plan.

ordering the pads to an old set of headphones has it's moments, especially Japanese models. audiocubes wanted au$49 plus postage for a pair, <a href="http://www.bluetin.com">bluetin</a> charged au$10 each OEM pad, as they also had the amp for a lower price i was sold. buying from bluetin can be an odd experience for seasoned web shoppers, with no ssl checkout & either direct deposit or paypal payment options but I've spent about au$600 there in the last 18 months & had no hiccups at all, couldn't recommended them highly enough. if there's something you need they don't stock they can usually get it damn quick.

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as they were, mushroom suede pads & all.

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one of each. they both have no tubing in although the mod is essentially invisible. you can kind of see the difference in resistance, looking at the pads with only the weight of the phones on it shows how much it collapses compared to the black which is the same thickness.

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both new pads, sitting around the amp. the pads are velour, not as pleasant a material on the ear as the suede & feel slightly hotter. after about ten minutes use i placed some fresh tubing in the new pads, i like the distance from the ears 'phatpad' gives.

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the new modded pads against the old modded pad.

CONCLUSION

no real conclusions yet, far too soon. I'm very happy with the amp so far & the pads have reinvented the ATH-AD10 for me. thanks for reading this.

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The amp looks good. I look forward to reading more of your impressions. I'd love to see a W1000 pictoral when you get those too.

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outdoor use camille? not really. the cups are nearly the size of a cd & it doesn't fold at all.

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i've now been using the ad10s on the train for a couple of days. if it's a quiet carrige they function well as portable cans & give a brilliant soundscape. i was rocking a backpack so there was room to stow them when i reached the bar i was heading to.

slight change of plan, yes AT phones can be portable.

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i've now been using the ad10s on the train for a couple of days. if it's a quiet carrige they function well as portable cans & give a brilliant soundscape. i was rocking a backpack so there was room to stow them when i reached the bar i was heading to.

slight change of plan, yes AT phones can be portable.

:blink: That's crazy. What audio player were you using btw?

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vaio pocket, headphone out.

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right the amp has come into it's own. from my rather mediocre Soundblaster Live! 24 even with uncompressed music the amp made no worthwhile improvments.

today i found an adapter for one of my pcdps [D-EJ621]. brilliant. i've now attached it to a cheap belt drive turntable [kenwood p-110] & the soundstage even on open cans has been broadened to an insane degree. i've always been an analog fan, i even used to collect analog synths as a teen.

it's all making sense!

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