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HeAudio 1.3, 1.2B and the new JADE Stat Headphones - Page 167

post #2491 of 2670
Just a quick update. I qued up a recording at midnight for a quick couple of tunes before bed, three hours latter I'm still listening. Once fully broken in (500+ hours) the Jades have a purity that no other headphones that I've owned could match. They're smooth and mellow and yet have oodles of detail, emenitly listenable, with no fatigue factor to speak of. Are they the best? I don't have enough experience with the SR-007 MkII's to make that judgement. They best my favorite dynamic cans by a good margin.

My friends designing and building an absolute reference dynamic amplifier for me and possible production. Once it's complete I'll revisit whether there are any dynamic cans that can match the Jades, until then the Jades are at the top of my list. Then at some point I'll consider one of the more exotic Electrostatic amps along with the 007's, but I'm fairly sure that my GES with all of the upgrades including Siltech wiring is at least within striking distance of the other (significantly more expensive) electrostatic amps.

Until then the Jades rule the roost. FYI I don't really consider discontinued products in my comparisons, Vaporware does not count.
post #2492 of 2670
Well, after months of owning the Jades, (I was one of the first 10) I'm finally getting down to giving them a good listen. The delay had nothing to do with Head-Direct if you were wondering. In fact I can only say that Fang's service has been exemplary.

Anyone who's familiar with me knows I'm a source first kinda guy. I burned in the Jades for about 100 hours before I really started listening and I'd say I have between 150 and 200 hours on them now. I'm driving them with a McAllister EA-8 which sounds very good to me but I'll save any comments on the amp for a mini review I'll post in the Amp section.
Back to the sources;
My main source is reel to reel tapes and the reference are the Tape Project master dubs. Nothing can touch them. One of my Tape Project buddies confirms this in his system which you can see here;
Audio Asylum - Inmate Systems
Needless to say, digital is also found lacking in comparison.
That said, the only digital that I listen to is through my Metric Halo ULN-2+DSP which I've modified. The sources here are 96/24 flac downloads and live recordings I've made myself.

It's been quite a while since I listened to an O2, 4070, HE90 or HE60 (around a year). But, I've always believed that if you have to A/B a piece of gear to find the differences, you're involved in a pissing contest and it has little to do with music/art.
To my ears, the Jades are the most balanced of all the electrostatics I've tried. Every point of the frequency spectrum (that has to do with music) is served up in equal measures. I listen to classical and jazz for the most part but today I was listening to some reggae/ska and the very low bass was nice and plump. It wasn't the overly tight bass that some folks crave but in my experience, the only time you hear that flavor of bottom end in real life, is when the guy at the soundboard and the bass player have worked this out. It certainly doesn't happen when you're listening to upright bass or an orchestra.
The other instruments were easily separated if you could stop enjoying the flow long enough.

There's been a lot of talk comparing the Jades to the HE90 and I really tried to avoid this. To me, the HE90's were always a totally different headphone that anything else. For better or worse, they create their own little world that you enter. When you listen to them, you're instantly transported to this world like when you enter the acoustic of a concert hall. The Jades do this for me also.
When I started down the electrostatic road, I was a little worried for my Zana Deux and ATH AD2000's (which I really love). But now that I have them side by side, I don't really think that they're traveling down identical pathways. but, I guess only time will tell so I won't dig this hole any deeper.

So far, I've thrown just about everything at them and they've come up smelling like a rose. I was listening to the Tape Project tape of Dave Alvin today and the song " Abilene" came up and I was almost in tears. If I hadn't been so busy enjoying the crap out of every note I would have wondered if there was anything,.. anything at any price that could possibly sound better.

Well, I guess you get the idea. I kinda like 'em.
post #2493 of 2670
I'm still debating on picking up a used Stax SR-007. For those that are willing to bother, could you say which you like better. My main concern with the Stax is I've read many descriptions calling it somewhat dark and also not having well defined hard-hitting bass - maybe a bit woolly even -- which is the opposite direction I'd want to go from the Jade.
post #2494 of 2670
The 007 will have wooly and mushy bass when it isn't given enough power. When it's amped properly it will give you controlled, detailed, impactful bass. The Mk2 has a mid/upper bass boost in relation to the Mk1 but otherwise they're similar in their power requirements. So if you want hard-hitting bass with the 007, use a KGSS, Blue Hawaii, or at the very least the 717. Or wait for the new Woo amp.

Haven't heard the Jade, sorry.
post #2495 of 2670
My speaker rig is very good so I tend to not give my Headphones enough love, and it's a shame. The Jades driven by a decent amp are Tremendously Good. I'm sitting here listening to the Telarc Previn Vaughan Williams Symphony No.2 and Lark Ascending recording (I'd say disc, but I'm using my Exemplar music server and Exemplar XD-1 Dac) and it's absolutely stunning. I'm a major nit picker, and to be honest I'm not noticing any nits to pick.

The Jades are with this system smooth as silk and yet there is detail, detail in spades. Early in the quiet part of Lark Ascending there is a barley audible noise, a noise that I have never noticed before. Without backing up to listen again it becomes obvious that it is the low frequency rumble of a truck passing by outside the venue. That is resolution, but without the hardness that is usually accompanied by High Resolution.

I'm sitting here listening, and wondering why I have a Audio-Gd Phoenix amp along with a set of Denon 7000's to use with it on order. When we have systems that are this good and we are driven to explore new alternatives it begins to look like an addiction as opposed to just a hobby.

Hello my name is Ethan, and I'm an audioholic.

I suppose my purpose of this post is just to say that I think that the Jades don't get the props that they deserve on this forum.
post #2496 of 2670
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post
The 007 will have wooly and mushy bass when it isn't given enough power. When it's amped properly it will give you controlled, detailed, impactful bass. The Mk2 has a mid/upper bass boost in relation to the Mk1 but otherwise they're similar in their power requirements. So if you want hard-hitting bass with the 007, use a KGSS, Blue Hawaii, or at the very least the 717. Or wait for the new Woo amp.
X2

It really is all about the synergy of equipment and, most particularly, the power of the amp.

I enjoy it with a Woo GES but I feel it really benefits from a powerful solid state amp and I agree the 717 is the base line to start from.



Glad to hear you're enjoying the Jades, Yikes.
post #2497 of 2670
I believe I have sensitive ears- but I do get ear fatigue or pain with pretty much every dynamic headphone and electrostat I have tried except the R10 and 02. Even the HE90's hurt my ears- there is a brightness which wears on me. The Stax SR-404 also hurts after longer sessions but less than the HE90 and much less than the ultra bright lambda pros.

I would like to ask the owners of the Jade;- tonally- are they easy on the ears. Are they towards the neutral- or even mellower side of the tracks. I am not talking about soundstage or resolution or speed- just tonal balance. If they are not mellower thann the HE90- they are for sure out for me.

Thanks..
post #2498 of 2670
I heard whichever one Ray Samuels had at CanJam. I definitely thought it was better than the HE60 and was very close to the quality of the HE90, in some ways better. The Jade was very detailed and seemed neutral through Ray's A-10. I just didn't find any of the above 3 to have much bass detail and extension. Beyond that, I don't remember the specifics anymore in what areas one was better, but I do remember my preference. I do prefer the R10 and HD800 to any of the above though.
post #2499 of 2670
The top end of the Jade was pretty rough to my ears and they have the same etch issues as most other electrostatics. The sound is also a roller coaster ride with peaks and valleys all over the place so there are other hot spots as well. I would personally take a fully restored HE60 over the Jade any day (or pretty much any electrostatic for that matter) especially with the BHSE. The common wisdom here that the HE60 are easy to drive couldn't be more incorrect and they really come alive when fed with some real power.

What you are picking up on is the inherent etch (or resonant frequency) of electrostatic transducers and the only way to make it go away is with damping. I'm rather sensitive to this as well and that's why I love my SR-007's. That's what Stax did with the SR-007 but you could also try the original normal bias Lambda or the Sigma phones. The normal bias Sigma is a peach but the Pro bias unit is rather bland. Now if you could track down a Sigma with SR-404 drivers then they are by far the best of the bunch.
post #2500 of 2670
IMO the O2 (at least the current SR-007A/II) is far away from sounding realistic or balanced, but rather euphonic and relaxing. IME it has big bloated mid-bass and unnatural damped upper mid-range. Can't imagine that there should exist an even more euphonic headphone out there...?

The only reason I still keep the O2 is IMO its very unique holographic imaging (unfortunately all in-head, like a concert hall en miniature). But frequency-wise a medium-sized catastrophe to my ears.
post #2501 of 2670
Remember everything is IMHO or Your Humble Opinion. spritzer is one of, if not the most knowledgeable members concerning Stax products. However it's still just his opinion, and I happen to disagree with his harsh evaluation of the Jade's. The jades are no more peaky than the HE90's or HE60's, and certainly less so than any of the 404's or Lambda's.

And as far as Stax fans always blaming the amp for their poor performance, well that's a cop out. If the Stax headphones need amps that were not even glints in their designers eyes when the headphones were designed to sound good then the design is inherently defective. I happen to also like the 007's, but they are definitely on the polite side. If you believe that the 007's are the ideal headphones then I can certainly understand why you'd think that the Jades are peaky.

As far as spritzer stating that he would take ANY electrostatic over the Jade, especially with a BHSE (That according to his profile he doesn't have) just clearly shows that his Pro Stax bias is raising its ugly head.

If you have questions about Stax products I'm the first person to say ask spritzer, but the same thing that makes him the Stax Guru that he is also makes him extremely biased against other (New) headphones. spritzer has every right to voice his opinion, but taking his opinions about other electrostatics is like listening to a Car collector that has only ever owned Ford Mustangs what they think of the new Camaro. Is it really a surprise that he likes Mustangs (Stax)? It's also perfectly OK for a Mustang fan to grudgingly admit that other long discontinued cars (HE60, HE90) have some merit. It doesn't really effect the current standings.

The 007 is on my list of Phones that I'd like to acquire, it's a different flavor than the Jades. They are both elite headphones, they are pretty much the only current elite electrostatic headphones. I'd say that if you prefer the tonality of Sennheiser HD-650's then the 007's might be for you, if you prefer the tonality AKG K701 or Beyer DT880's then maybe the Jades would be a better choice.

Basically Spritzer is not the arbiter of everything Electrostatic, and I for one am tired of him acting like he is.
post #2502 of 2670
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbrsvp View Post
I believe I have sensitive ears- but I do get ear fatigue or pain with pretty much every dynamic headphone and electrostat I have tried except the R10 and 02.
The Jade won't help It does have a pretty sweet presentation though. I still often think about the Jade when I'm listening to my Stax stuff. I don't think I'll ever forget
post #2503 of 2670
Thread Starter 
i was a big fan of the early jade versions, but then lost interest due to various production problems. i hope to give the headphone a good listen at the new jersey meet.
post #2504 of 2670
I'll be bringing my Jades to NJ on the 25th.
post #2505 of 2670
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The top end of the Jade was pretty rough to my ears and they have the same etch issues as most other electrostatics. The sound is also a roller coaster ride with peaks and valleys all over the place so there are other hot spots as well. I would personally take a fully restored HE60 over the Jade any day (or pretty much any electrostatic for that matter) especially with the BHSE. The common wisdom here that the HE60 are easy to drive couldn't be more incorrect and they really come alive when fed with some real power.

What you are picking up on is the inherent etch (or resonant frequency) of electrostatic transducers and the only way to make it go away is with damping. I'm rather sensitive to this as well and that's why I love my SR-007's. That's what Stax did with the SR-007 but you could also try the original normal bias Lambda or the Sigma phones. The normal bias Sigma is a peach but the Pro bias unit is rather bland. Now if you could track down a Sigma with SR-404 drivers then they are by far the best of the bunch.
I don't agree about the "roller coaster ride frequency response". My Jade are very good, and the top end is NOT rough. The sound very liquid and rich and transparent, but a little forward like an ESP-950. My Jade sound better enough over the ESP-950 that I sold my Koss, and my Jade are more similar to my HE60 but with a little more forward sound and better bass which grounds them better in the area of presence.

The SR-007A (O2 Mk2) actually sounded a little similar after the earpad spring mod was done, being about as forward as the Jade but seemingly harder to drive. The O2 Mk1 is no doubt a more laid back can, and I kept those for a change in sound when I want it.
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