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New listening impressions of Stax C32 prototype and Shipping SR-009 - Page 9

post #121 of 1512

Realistic and natural sounds good. So was said about the LCD-2, which are really not.. Many AKG phones play the musical content of a song much more clearly (and I think more accurately) than any other phones. So do you think that with these phones you'd be able to distinct and pick notes (tab songs) absolutely from even the most melodically rich and multi-instrumental pieces? Wish to give these a go when they become available.

post #122 of 1512
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post

Arnaud,

 

Did you get to speak to Stax sale rep on what maybe the retail price of the C32?  


That's THE question of this thread :-).... Right now that and the release date are all i care about with regard to this headphone:) No one seems to know for sure.......theres a huge ball park of estimations 3,000 - 7,000 USD and could be as early as Spring or late 2012.

 

Etc


If you were French, I'd say you're from Marseille. This is a nice way to say you're exaggerating the facts. So, here are the facts one more time:

  • Price estimate (from Stax interview above, and repeated to me when we met at the Fujiya Headphone festival): 300k to 500kJPY. This is 3.5k to 6kUSD.
  • Product launch is Spring 2011, not late 2012. Fujiya Avic expects it as early as March, but more realistically April / May. No confirmation from Stax however.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by electropop View Post

Realistic and natural sounds good. So was said about the LCD-2, which are really not.. Many AKG phones play the musical content of a song much more clearly (and I think more accurately) than any other phones. So do you think that with these phones you'd be able to distinct and pick notes (tab songs) absolutely from even the most melodically rich and multi-instrumental pieces? Wish to give these a go when they become available.


I can't vouch for the LCD-2, haven't heard one. But what I heard from the C32, is way more realistic than my memory of HD800, T-1 and the like. The C32 is just amazing on the Kaki King song I mentionned above. It's not an orchestra, but there's an awful lot of harmonics with such close pick-up and style of guitar playing.

post #123 of 1512

Arnaud,

 

Thanks for the information on the new flagship headphones.  Is the estimated price you where quoted sans energizer/amp?

post #124 of 1512
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry I View Post

Arnaud,

 

Thanks for the information on the new flagship headphones.  Is the estimated price you where quoted sans energizer/amp?

 

No problem, happy to share! Price estimate is for the C32 only. But as some suggested, the good news is that it might be much easier to drive than the Omega 2, i.e. the new electrodes may not need such beefy amp like KGSS / BH to be well controlled.

 

It still might sound better through non-Stax amps. But for me, at least until I digest the high cost of the C32, I see myself happily driving it with my 727A... Would be interesting to compare 727A+C32 to BHSE+O2 as it would be around the same total cost, wouldn't it?

post #125 of 1512

Arnaud,

 

Thanks for the clarification.  Of course those seeking the "ultimate" would still pair the new phones with something like the BHSE.  If much easier to drive means higher volume at any given output level, that is particularly good news to me-- the BHSE does not quite have enough gain for my purposes when I listen to vinyl using the O2s.

post #126 of 1512

I do feel I should chime in on this a bit.  First off, anybody thinking about buying a Single Power ES amp should really read the thread in my signature.  The core design is sound but everything Mikhail did to it was a disaster.  Most of these amps are so far gone that nobody is willing to fix them and even if they would the cost would be astronomical.  That's why only a handful of amps have been worked on and mine is the only one I know of which has been 100% rebuilt.  My rebuild cost a bloody fortune in parts alone but the end result is a very good amplifier and it is still getting better as Kevin refines the design. 

 

Anybody who has opened the SR-Omega or the SR-007 can see that they are built to a price.  The SR-Omega uses a very daring transducer design but it was so expensive that they couldn't built a proper housing around them.  My nickname for the Omega is the "tin can" as the housing is just a folded aluminum sheet (about 1mm in thickness) with a resin frame inside of it.  The effect of this housing is quite clear once you put SR-007 drivers into it.  Now the SR-007 may not look like it is cheaply made but the drivers are clearly a compromise in terms of cost.  They are made from high end PCB materials which is very stiff, can me made to very tight tolerances and isn't terribly expensive.  The drives are also smaller which makes them harder to drive not that the SR-Omega was ever easy to drive.  With the C32 you have a similar driver design to the SR-Omega but far stiffer and fitted to chassis like the SR-007 uses.  Best of both worlds but it comes at a cost. 

 

People who think that portable amps can drive something like the LCD-2 just because it gets loud are just delusional.  Same thing applies here, the small Stax amps can drive any of the phones to high levels (if supplied with standard line level input) but that doesn't mean they have enough power to drive them.  Going from a KGSS to a BHSE is a tremendous improvement and the same thing to all other electrostatic headphones.  The HE90 is an anomaly because it is so highly colored that it doesn't play well with a truly transparent amp.  There is nothing about the C32 that doesn't point to this being the case here as well. 

 

As for Larry's issues, the BHSE plus all other Stax amps are designed for line input (2V se, 4V balanced) and that's what they should be used with.  Easier to drive doesn't mean a higher volume level at a given output voltage, that's up to the driver sensitivity. 

post #127 of 1512

Dear Spritzer,

   I think some of us are looking forward to acquiring the C32 if we can afford that, some of us are thinking which amplifier  would be the most

appropriate to use with the C32 : BHSE, Woo WES , Aristaeus.  I think from your comment  concerning the single power ES1 , none of us will be

willing to go through the process that you have been with even we can acquire the single power as second hand unit.  The KGSS may also not

up to the level with the  C32 even though it is less expensive than the three mentioned.   We are still waiting for more experience about the sound

signature of the C32 whether it is like the HE90 or more toward the O2mkI, II.  I would like to ask you (in your opinion) which will be the amplifier

that you will go after now (in case that you don't have any stax amplifier at present) : BHSE, Woo WES, Aristaeus or will you wait for the new Stax amplfier

later this year?  Please also  consider the option of tube rolling for the BHSE and Aristaeus.

post #128 of 1512

Well, it may be the case that when it comes to how expensive it is to produce, the price may be fair. But when it comes to what it is, is the price just too much?

 

From a very short little research I just did quality electrostatic speakers tend to range from 3.5k to 10k - with these predicted to be between 3-6k - has it got to the point where the argument "when you consider how much it costs to get a speaker rig..." starting to erode? 

post #129 of 1512

It will be interesting to see what amps Stax will release.  The SRM-727 shows that they can come up with a great design (even if it needs some slight mods to perform properly) and there are ways to improve the SRM-007t for not a whole lot more money. They are keeping mum about any amplifier plans so it's hard to say what will be released. 

 

I do know for a fact though that the C32 sounds nothing like the HE90.  There are prototype sets in circulation and have been for some time now to give real world feedback.  I'm not one of those beta testers but some have relayed their impressions to me.  It's safe to say that the C32 will respond well to the same amps as the Omega lineup so DC coupled power houses that can swing a lot of voltage while being completely immune to the load presented by the driver.

 

It is my firm believe that the amp should be just that, an amplifier and should faithfully drive the transducers with a minimal an impact as is possible.  Be it tube or SS doesn't matter, it should just amplify the input signal faithfully.  The best amp in current production to do just that is the BHSE.  Some of us are crazy enough to go even further and that's the T2DIY but the cost of entry is very, very high.  The KGSSHV will bring a powerful amp to the people and there has been some talk about a commercial version that meets our exacting specs.  Nothing concrete yet to report on that.  The older KGSS still is a favorite of mine, it doesn't have the power of the newer amps but when it is fully warmed up it just sounds sublime.  Even with a BHSE sitting close by I still fire up the KGSS nearly every day.  The KGST as a design also stands up there with the big boys and I hope Stax does something similar for a TOTL tube design. 

 

Main limitation of most older type amps is how the output stage is driven.  Most use a resistor as a current source and it just doesn't stack up today.  An active constant current source will supply the correct current into any load which the resistor simply can't do.  This will cause the output to be non linear and when we want ultimate fidelity that isn't an option IMHO.  Electrostatics may be voltage based creatures but you always need current when you have a wildly varying impedance... 

post #130 of 1512

"Powerful amps to the people!" Sounds a bit like John Lennon. I like that. Right on "bro"!

post #131 of 1512

tongue.gif

post #132 of 1512
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

From a very short little research I just did quality electrostatic speakers tend to range from 3.5k to 10k - with these predicted to be between 3-6k - has it got to the point where the argument "when you consider how much it costs to get a speaker rig..." starting to erode? 


An electrostatic speaker for $3.5K isn't going to be very good. No bass from the panel for that price at all, it will be a ML style hybrid design with a mismatched, slow woofer and uneven response. The C32 should walk all over that. Go to $10K and you can at least get a fullrange Quad, but that still doesn't have the dynamic capability to really rock out. If you want deep bass and the ability to really move some air, you need one of these, and they are a lot more than $10K. Also plan on a dedicated room. Soundlab's best is nearly 9 feet tall.

 

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Edited by DaveBSC - 1/8/11 at 11:56am
post #133 of 1512
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

The HE90 is an anomaly because it is so highly colored that it doesn't play well with a truly transparent amp.   


Spritzer, I have only heard the HE90 on the matching sennheiser amplifier.  While it has a different sound signature and head stage to the 007 (more top end sparkle) I for one could not describe it as "Highly Coloured".  I know you prefer the HE60, but IMHO the HE90 can still hold its own with anything out there, and is still among the handful of best headphones ever produced.
 

post #134 of 1512


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

The HE90 is an anomaly because it is so highly colored that it doesn't play well with a truly transparent amp.   


Spritzer, I have only heard the HE90 on the matching sennheiser amplifier.  While it has a different sound signature and head stage to the 007 (more top end sparkle) I for one could not describe it as "Highly Coloured".  I know you prefer the HE60, but IMHO the HE90 can still hold its own with anything out there, and is still among the handful of best headphones ever produced.
 

 

x2

 

I have both headphones and with the WES and some excellent nos tubes, the HE90 is an absolutely stunning audio experience and I prefer it with my gear by a wide margin over the 007 mk 1/2.  The Mk 1 sounds excellent, don't get me wrong, but the HE90 leaves me wanting to hear more and I truly crave to hear it when I haven't for a couple days, and my (far) more expensive and heavily tweaked speaker-based system isn't as engaging either and I've almost stopped listening to it.  When the BHSE eventually shows up (7 mo's in on the wait list now) I'll have I'm sure a much better platform for the O2, but until then it's a pretty fun experience and I'm not doing anything at this point but making small tweaks and changes upstream to tune/improve the sound.  At this point everything this else (BHSE+O2 or c32 etc.) is not a quest out of a need for more or sense of lack from this baseline, but just fun experimentation at this point and hopefully the healthy aspect of this hobby, and spending most of my time just enjoying music and exploring new artists.
 


Edited by silverlight - 1/8/11 at 2:52pm
post #135 of 1512

The HE90 has a distinctive sound which is superimposed on everything they output.  To me that means they are highly colored as this sound was clearly engineered.  I'm not saying they aren't pleasing to the ear or work well with some music, because they do but neutral they are not.  Also stating that the difference between the two is down to more top end sparkle is much more than just an over simplification. 

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