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I am in love! stax 404 and akg k1000

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hello, I went to a dutch head-fi meet yesterday with my corda symphony and sennheiser hd800. It was a total blast. Beforehand I was totally happy with my setup but there I heard blackmopres and paajs riog respectively. I really digged the k1000 and am intending to get it eventually for sure, but I loved the stax 404! Absolutely fantastic sounding, I am a stickler for image and soundstage but after owning the hd800 for a few months I have realized that I am not all that much for total neutralicyt, I want a bit of warmth a bit of bass oomph in my sound a bit of midrange bloom. But i still want a very good soundstage and very good details and imaging.
So once again, I love the akg k1000 and the stax 404 and am now thinking of getting a stax rig together. Only thig is, now i use my symphony as a headphone amp and preamp. I would have to ask jack woo if he can make the ges with a preamp output (because I know he does custom jobs).
This was my first head-fi meet but I will be sure to go again if any others are happening because that is si ply the best way toe xperience gear without buying it.
I am now just wondering if I would like the 007 but I guess ifI get a universal stax amp like the ges I could always upgrade to the 007 someday.
Also I am wondering about the he90. The he60 was at the meet but I preferred the 404. I guess the he90 is also rather rare.
One happy head-fier here!
I thought my head-fi road was done boy was I wrong
Greetings, Anouk
post #2 of 26
The first stax I was able to audition was the 404, also in a meet. It was an ear-opening experience.
post #3 of 26
Hello Anouk, I thought you were at some stage looking at getting a Beta22 built? I've been reading the impressions from the Dutch meet, sounds like everyone had a great time. I'm just curious as to what other amps you tried your HD800's with, besides your Corda Symphony. I know it's the old HD800 cliche, but you really do need the right amp, maybe the HD800's are just not for you - I'm just curious as to know if you've given them a fair go, with different gear.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi John, I listened to them with a dacmagic linked to my symphony and with a little dot mkiv I think. And although this did sound better the stax was just something else. I was thinking of getting a beta 22 but I will be selling the hd800. I just need something with a big more excitement (warmer midrange a bit more bass a bit less highs) but with the seem soundstage/imaging or even better.
I will have to ask jack woo if he can make a version of the woo ges with a preamp out. and I am of course sitll thinking about what dac to get.
This will all take time, this stuff is not cheap.
Dont get me wrong I still very much enjoy listening to the hd800 even though what other people might say but the stax just blew me away. Keep in mind also that I CANNOT just demo other amps if no one in nl has them.
Greetings, Anouk
post #5 of 26
I did not see this one coming, especially not after the I am going to buy my FINAL home headphone setup! thread...
Nice to see you have been exposed to Stax and the K1000 though, and that you already have parted with the HD800 to take the next step.

The SR-404 is a nice headphone indeed. One lucky Head-Fier got mine for free last month...
I am sure you will be pleased with the O2 as well, but be prepared to spend a substantial amount of money on amplification and source (DAC). It depends if you are prepared to take that step now, or want to let electrostatics "grow on you" then possibly take a further step later on.

Welcome!
post #6 of 26
Since I was in the same meet as Anouk (It's Kenny! ) and I also enjoyed the Sr404's the most, I am wondering what the best bang-for-the-buck amplifier for these cans might be. In other words, what's the cheapest way to get an amplifier for them, not counting hooking them up a speaker amp (which I don't feel comfortable with)? I'm going to keep an eye on the second-hand market for these babies as well as an amp for them, they truly are amazing.
post #7 of 26
Unfortunatelly,i don't have the oportunity to try any stax products in my country.I really wanted to try a stax system,but the retailer here doesn't have stax set-ups for demo...
post #8 of 26
Do you mean Stax 404 Limited or non-limited...?
post #9 of 26
the limited version.

Who did the HD800 go to? I read you sold them already?
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
I did not see this one coming, especially not after the I am going to buy my FINAL home headphone setup! thread...
Nice to see you have been exposed to Stax and the K1000 though, and that you already have parted with the HD800 to take the next step.

The SR-404 is a nice headphone indeed. One lucky Head-Fier got mine for free last month...
I am sure you will be pleased with the O2 as well, but be prepared to spend a substantial amount of money on amplification and source (DAC). It depends if you are prepared to take that step now, or want to let electrostatics "grow on you" then possibly take a further step later on.

Welcome!
The O2 sound good with the GES - you just can't blast electronic music very loud with it or it will start to clip, but other than missing that last 3-4 dB of max volume the GES has been a great amp. I love it with jazz, classical, acoustic, folk and new age music with my O2, Jade, HE60 and SR-Lambda. Of course, I just sold the GES tonight and I'll be sending a down payment to Jack at Woo Audio for my WES, but that is another story.

For the K1000 I found the SAC KH1000 amp to drive them adequately, and the ZDT drives my HD800 fantastically. So, I will be all set and I will have my FINAL rig. Well, maybe I still need to upgrade my PS Audio DAC and then I can stop...
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I was not prepared for this either! but I was just blasted away last sunday. I sold my hd800 to Dynamike in Germany who was totally forthcoming with sending money so they went on their way monday. I wanted to loan them to a fellow dutch head-fier first so he could try them but he was not in nl this week and you know, if I have decided to sell something.....
Like Zarakisan I am not prepared to spend an arm and a leg on amplification just yet so I wonder what my options are (not an arm and a leg means I am willing to buy the woo ges but NOT the wes or a10). Is the ges really better then the stax alternatives and will it drive the o2 as well as the stax amp that was made for that particular headphone? I also read in another thread that there is a new diy head-fi amp to drive stax headphones.
Unfortunately on my mac (which is my only computer at this time) I hve difficulty doing searches on head-fi itself, the link does not work for me. So I use google mainly to search but I would like to search the full-size amp forum specifically.
One reason for me to get the ges is that I probbably could ask Jack to change one input to output so that I could use it as a preamp.
I wonder about the volume, i know that with the wa2 Jack uses a beafier power supply now and this made it a lot better, isnt he going to go and do this with the ges as well? Or give it a pseudo dual power supply?
I am still not at all sure to go with the 404 or the o2 although I want to get an amp that can drive both of them (i never listen to music at high volumes).
I do not think i want the limited edition of the 404 because I heard the change is probbably cosmetic only.
Greetings, Anouk
post #12 of 26
I've listened to the older 404s and the 202s side by side although with different Stax amps and I was more impressed by the 202s. Another phone to consider and should be even cheaper. KTM offered to sell them to me on the spot, but I had just bought the system in my signature a few weeks prior so I held off. We're about to have another meet in a couple months I may finally take them off his hands.

Link to my impressions: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f45/df...7/#post5376894
post #13 of 26
The only Stax branded amp that I have heard drive the O2 decently is the SRM-717, and that is what the experts recommended (Spritzer and the rest of the Stax Mafia). I have heard the SRM-T1 and the SRM-1 Mk2 Pro with the O2, and I didn't think either of them did as well as the GES. I have not heard the SRM-006 or SRM-007t amps with the O2.

The new DIY eXStatA amp should be finalized in the next month, and the prototype at the RMAF meet did well with the O2, and it is expected to cost about $300 to build when it is finalized. I think it drives the O2 about as well as the 717, but neither amp is as warm and euphonic sounding as the GES when using the O2 Mk1.

A Stax speaker amp transformer like SRD-7 Mk2 or SRD-7 Pro is limited to about the same power output as a GES, because of the size of the transformers. I can feed an 8 watt or 12 watt speaker amp into the SRD-7 Mk2 and each time it will only play about as loud as the GES.

The WES is noticeably more powerful, but I don't think there is a way to squeeze more power from the GES. It is just powerful enough for O2 but I would absolutely not recommend going with anything less powerful than the GES.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Hey LArry thanks as always for the info, ok so I guess it will either be the ges 717 or extata (if I can find a builder) and since I like the warm, euphonic sound probbably the ges. Although I will have to read up on the diy amp. Will you or someone else have an opportunity to listen to it when it comes out and compare it to either the 717 and/or ges with o2?
So does this mean that the o2 does require mor power then the 404(le)?
I have decided not to go with a transformer box and I am also not selling my current poweramp because its a total beast an dI am happy with it (just wished that I bought the integrated version at the time).
I guess I can wait a months or two before making my final decision. I think i will wait til half januari actually since 6th of januari will be my birthday. I want to know htat I do this right.
Greetings, Anouk
post #15 of 26
I'm getting good results with the 200Wpc Nelson Pass designed Nakamichi PA-7 Stasis and SRD-7 pro. What power amp do you have?
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