Originally Posted by smeggy
Maybe another factor is the people. Maybe the Germans are better at designing stats but not at getting a long term sales strategy in place to make money. Who knows. What I do know is that it is somewhat unfair to compare the two given their target goals and retail prices. Stax cannot easily devote the tons of cash and resources necessary to go all out on a signature model as these invariably lose money and are never designed to be more than an exercise in excellence regardless of cost. (like the Qualia series). Stax went bankrupt once and are a small-scale manufacturer. If they had the funding and people I'm sure thy could make something that was at least the equal of the orphy and maybe better.
Actually, they did that with the Omega SR-1 (and they went bankrupt, BTW). They were several magazines at the time that preferred the Omega to the Orpheus (Stereophile and The Absolute Sound among then).
And then I saw in Headwize people preferring the Omega II to the Omega I.
I'm not saying that the Omega is better. Or worse. But I can't but feel a bit skeptical about this. Once certain level of performance is reached, this hobby starts to be about tastes and personal preferences.
One could expect something like 60%/40%, or 70%/30%. Hell, even 80%/20%. But 95/99 of 100 preferring the Orpheus over the OmegaII? I wonder how many people think it is better because it has to be better.
I myself I'm guilty of this. I got a pair of R10s around a week ago (new production one, 2003). I'm trying HARD to like them, because they have to be good. I can almost see an aura surrounding them. I'm not listening to anything else in order to get used to the sound. Call it mental burn-in.
I almost fooled myself thinking that if they are not the best, they are just there. But the truth is that coming back to my setups, the K1000 from the V20 is at least two Tiers better (IMHO, for my tastes). And I even prefer the L3000/PS-1 for most of the music.
One could blame to my dynamic amps but the EMP AE and DHA3000, without being an SDS, should be decent enough in order to get an idea of what the R10s are capable of.
I'm not saying the R10s are crap. I might ending preferring them in the long run, who knows? I'll give them a chance. But one thing is clear. Right now, I prefer the V20-K1000 (by far, far, far) or the L3000, or the PS1. And I would say that even the Baby Orpheus by memory (I don't have it at home right now).
But the important thing is that (even knowing deep inside that I prefer my actual phones) I realized I was trying to fooling myself and trying HARD to like the R10s more than my remaining phones. Because they have to be better. Everyone say they are Tier 1. They must be. They must be. Hey! I'm starting to like them. They must be. They must be.
Please don't get me wrong. I might end liking them more that anything else. All I'm saying is that I found myself trying REALLY HARD to like the R10s just because I should.
I wonder if some people does the same with the Orpheus. And again, I'm not saying they are not the best. I'm just saying that a 95/99% of 100 is strange when we reach this level of performance and when personal preferences start to kick in.