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what are the characteristics of Electrostatic headphones? - Page 3

post #31 of 81
the 2050 system plugs directly into an ipod with a simple cable. obviously, you cant use a mini to mini or rca cable to fit into the ipod and amp. what i do to connect my computer to my little dot is an adapter.

has anyone compared the 2020 and 2050 systems?

i have heard the 2020 system twice for about 5 minutes so i have a vague idea of what it sounds like but i was too awstruck to do any analytical listening same goes for the 3030 system and thats all the electrostats ive heard. i think they sounded like quads but i cant remember the way all of the mentioned sound like too well right now.
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlai View Post
Can you charterize the difference in sound between the 003 and the 202? They are both in my price range and I'd like to know which one to lust after.
The Lambda series are quite hard and serious sounding, with a blip in the lower treble. The 003 and Omega 2 are more enveloping, with a hump in the midbass.
post #33 of 81
Andre Jute:
Quote:
If you ever heard fullsize electrostats you have heard the same sound electrostatic headphones make. I sometimes use Quad ESL-63 three feet from my ears either side as monster headphones. Stax earspeakers sound like that but a bit closer. and with not quite the soundstaging.
nothing101:
Quote:
im curious about this because my dad has the quad esl-63. what earspeaker sounds most like them?
It's a good question because, as you know, the Quad ESL-63 has a sound well worth matching or at least striving for.

Unfortunately I can't give you a singular answer because it is an impossible question. I've heard three of the current four Stax earspeakers and with a standard Stax amp they all sound more like an ESL-63 than they sound like anything else. However, while the Omega is a better headphone, if not to the extent that the price difference implies, there is really not enough difference between the Stax earphones used with Stax amps to conclude anything much about their relationship to the ESL-63. Even the cheapest desktop set of 202/252 is not embarrassed by the ESL-63. That's quite something for earphones at about a twentieth the price of renowned floorstanding speakers.

On the very analytical amp I built first, a much higher-resolution device than the 007t, the Omega had somewhat more of everything than the other Stax earspeaker I tried on it, the 404; the Omega has a little more resolution than the 404 when amped for resolution. That amp was built to the taste of someone else. Next I shall build an amp to my own taste: a super midrange and proportionate frequency ends. When I succeed, I expect that the Omega, with its greater resolution, will in the same proportion sound more like ESL-63 than the 202/303/404.

A tougher test would in fact be the Quad ESL-57 which is even clearer than ESL-63, so one would expect the Omega (when amped as I propose) to be another small step ahead of the others when the question is, Which of the Stax earspeakers is closest to the Quad ESL-57?

So, in the final analysis, the answer is that it really depends on how you amp then: you can make the Stax earspeakers sound like whatever you want, and the Omega a little more ditto because it has a little more resolution. Stax engineers prefer for the sake of modernity to design their amps in such a way as to make all their earspeakers sound peaky in the treble; my mate in Japan wants them to be even more revealling of the solecisms of the performers than the best of the standard amps can provide; I react in horror to such a demand on my attention and instead want a fabulous midrange and unintrusive frequency extremes so that my music sounds integrated, just like I heard it in the concert hall.

The electrostatic speaker is a faithful servant; it does whatever you ask of it. It is up to you to tell it via the amp what you want it to do.

I want to be clearly understood that nothing I say about the Stax amps should be taken as criticism. The two I have heard, the 007t and the 252A (same as 252 MkII), are intrinsically excellent and also good value for money; there doesn't seem to be a huge premium for the Stax name. It is easy, but quite unfair, to cavill and gloat that you can do better than engineers who have to meet a market price -- when you can spend whatever you want in components and time on a single custom unit.

Andre Jute
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post #34 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Jute View Post
Stax engineers prefer for the sake of modernity to design their amps in such a way as to make all their earspeakers sound peaky in the treble; my mate in Japan wants them to be even more revealling of the solecisms of the performers than the best of the standard amps can provide; I react in horror to such a demand on my attention and instead want a fabulous midrange and unintrusive frequency extremes so that my music sounds integrated, just like I heard it in the concert hall.
The 3.8kHz peak in the Lambda series isn't amplification related; it'll be there if you use a non-Stax amp just as much. I believe it's caused by resonances in either the chasis or the diaphragm. It doesn't appear to be there in the Sigmas, which use the same drivers, so probably chasis related.
post #35 of 81
i agree that the 2020/2050 system is not put to shame by quads. the one thing that the headphones cant do at all that the speakers do is sound like they are in front of you. soundstage in headphones is always in your head when both channels are the same nomatter what the soundstage of the headphone is.

i dont think i could EVER justify spending more than the 2050 system on a headphone system while i have quads around since i can listen to my dads quads pretty often.

and thanks for a very unique comparison!
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nothing101 View Post
i agree that the 2020/2050 system is not put to shame by quads. the one thing that the headphones cant do at all that the speakers do is sound like they are in front of you. soundstage in headphones is always in your head when both channels are the same nomatter what the soundstage of the headphone is.
It is if you're listening to stereo through them. Crossfeed and virtualization are both pretty established technology by now, though.
post #37 of 81
i wish people would make cheap dedicated crossfeed circuits. if headroom can put in on a $150 portable amp it should be dirt cheap to buy alone.

i know its not as simple as having and not having crossfeed because different circuits sound different but a little is better than none.

btw ive never heard crossfeed before.
post #38 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nothing101 View Post
i wish people would make cheap dedicated crossfeed circuits. if headroom can put in on a $150 portable amp it should be dirt cheap to buy alone.

i know its not as simple as having and not having crossfeed because different circuits sound different but a little is better than none.

btw ive never heard crossfeed before.
If you want to try it out, they're bloody cheap from a parts cost point of view. The only trouble in designing an external one is designing a buffer that's good enough to stop any nasty impedence mismatches without gatecrashing the sound.

Personally, I prefer a virtualization in the digital domain to crossfeed.
post #39 of 81
well i dont even know what that is....
post #40 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nothing101 View Post
well i dont even know what that is....
Dolby Headphone, HRTFs, that sort of thing.
post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
With unamplified instruments (violin, piano) I agree, but almost all amplified live music use dynamic moving-coil speakers. Speakers themselves are instruments and impart their own timbre, so using an electrostatic speaker will impart a different timbre from that of the live performance. Not necessarily enough to be regarded as at all objectionable, but it's there. Personally, I can't say I'm bothered by it.
I see where you're coming from. I listen mainly to classical music. Less than one per cent of my music was amplified under the control of the performers before it reached the recording engineer's mikes. Even the popular music I own, perhaps 300 discs out of 6000, is mostly studio-recorded. When I say "a concert" I mean a concert of classical music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
There is nothing inherant to planar type speakers that make them unforgiving,
Any competent planar speaker has inherently greater clarity and fidelity than an equivalent using another technology. Thus it displays solecisms in sources and recordings more clearly. If such disturbances were already marginal on lesser speakers, they may now become intolerable.

However, I wasn't making a value judgement, merely reporting a pretty commonly agreed fact. The chap who asked the question may have poor sources, or a taste for music from some obscure spot in the world where there is only one terrifyingly bad recording studio; in that case he might like to know this before he spends his money on an electrostatic headphone.

But if you ask me for a value judgement, I would have to go the other way than you seem to think I would. Far from condemning electrostats for ruthless transparency, I have always taken such fidelity as a great advantage and a boon to the music-lover. It is also why my second choice of speaker is another minimal-movement transducer, the backloaded horn.

Andre Jute
post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andre Jute View Post
I see where you're coming from. I listen mainly to classical music. Less than one per cent of my music was amplified under the control of the performers before it reached the recording engineer's mikes. Even the popular music I own, perhaps 300 discs out of 6000, is mostly studio-recorded. When I say "a concert" I mean a concert of classical music.
Yeah. And certainly I find electrostatics to be the most timbrally accurate speaker type with classical and jazz, it's just something you notice with pop and rock mainly.

Quote:
Any competent planar speaker has inherently greater clarity and fidelity than an equivalent using another technology. Thus it displays solecisms in sources and recordings more clearly. If such disturbances were already marginal on lesser speakers, they may now become intolerable.

However, I wasn't making a value judgement, merely reporting a pretty commonly agreed fact. The chap who asked the question may have poor sources, or a taste for music from some obscure spot in the world where there is only one terrifyingly bad recording studio; in that case he might like to know this before he spends his money on an electrostatic headphone.

But if you ask me for a value judgement, I would have to go the other way than you seem to think I would. Far from condemning electrostats for ruthless transparency, I have always taken such fidelity as a great advantage and a boon to the music-lover. It is also why my second choice of speaker is another minimal-movement transducer, the backloaded horn.
I think we're basically in agreement. My view is one shouldn't use the limitations of one's transducers as an excuse for poor-sounding sources and amplification, which seems to pretty much be the commercial norm these days, but the fact that companies keep pouring out these terribly deficient sounding pieces of equipment suggests I'm in the minority on this.

I really don't enjoy listening to normal cone speakers for musical satisfaction, they seem to introduce a lot of intermodulation products that really spoils the harmonic richness of the music in ways the 'stats, planar-dynamics, AMTs, compression horns, etc don't. Of course, this is assuming the amp can actually present the full spectral envelope of the music in the first place; not exactly a forgone conclusion.
post #43 of 81
I've auditioned Classic System several times and it's pretty much like Azure said in the first reply. They have detail, air and transparency for sure. But to me the total lack of weight in bass department was too bad. There's no punch in the bass, it just is there. Flat and dead like I have described it earlier. Didn't like it at all.

With Omega II the bass is considerably better but it still doesn't have the same bass impact which you can get with some of the best dynamic headphones.

I've heard Signature System only for half an hour in a local store and it didn't impress me any more than Classic System. Same problems with the bass.
post #44 of 81
well ive heard the signature system for about 5 minutes and the 2020 system for about 10 all up so im not quite so confident about how they sound but they had a hell of a lot more bass than my 501.

just how anaemic is my k501????
post #45 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by nothing101 View Post
well ive heard the signature system for about 5 minutes and the 2020 system for about 10 all up so im not quite so confident about how they sound but they had a hell of a lot more bass than my 501.

just how anaemic is my k501????
I can't say because I haven't heard them but based on what I've read I have an impression that K501 has pretty much the most anemic bass on earth.
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