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Stax SR-009: Best Headphone Ever Made? - Head-Fi TV, Episode 008 - Page 5

post #61 of 420


Originally Posted by jax View Post

...I'm also curious about the front end you listened with... 



Originally Posted by jude View Post

MacBook Pro and MacBook Air --> Amarra (latest version) --> Lavry DA11 DAC



post #62 of 420
Originally Posted by jax View Post

Great review, Jude.  Thanks.


I just had a few responses to some of the comments here, and perhaps a query of my own.


IMHO even a modest speaker system would be more enjoyable than headphones, no matter how good.  That said, I've heard the 007's but not the 009.  I'm fairly confident my opinion would not change as a headphone is still a headphone (no visceral impact, weird experience of a soundstage that was optimized for speakers and not headphones, physical confinement, and I'm probably forgetting something). Somehow headphones have never gave me the kind of small hairs on the back of the neck raising experience that incredible speakers do.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoy headphones for what they can do or I wouldn't be here.  But if I didn't need them by necessity at times I would always use speakers. This begs my first question - does the sense you describe of having these headphones as close to becoming the mic that recorded the music pumped directly into your ears...does this sensation bring headphone listening any closer to that hair-raising sensation of actual presence of musicians in the room with you that you get with speakers?  You did not comment on soundstage in your review, but I'd assume that they are at least as good as 007's in that respect, which is to say excellent (relative to other headphones). 


The driving quality that comes across in the review is detail retrieval.  Though it's a nice feature of any transducer, there are many other things that make speakers/headphones engaging.  I did not really get a sense of how well it engages you with the music...how much you loose yourself in the experience of listening.  At one point you said they were definitely not "sterile" and are very neutral.  I guess what I'm missing is a connection to how they convey a sense of the music you are listening to...perhaps the overused term is PRAT. 


As far as the price - there are obviously plenty of folks out there with the disposable income willing to part with it for the experience.  Why not?  Personally I think it utterly ridiculous, but to each their own.  I do understand the relentless pursuit of a passion. There are a great many who would think my speaker system utterly ridiculous.   I can't speak for the headphone world, as I don't consider myself a big fan. In the speaker world, there is a very steep point of diminishing returns at a certain point of investment.  I wonder you might comment how this applies to the headphone world, Jude, per numerous other queries here in asking how do they compare to more reasonably priced high-end models...what do you get for your 500% price difference over a pair of LCD-2's, HE-500's or HD800's?  Actually I'm more interested in less of a specific comment to the models mentioned, but a more general comment on diminishing returns where a headphone like this one is concerned.  Obviously this is very much part and parcel of why you would think twice about shelling out 10K for the experience - but could you comment more on that?


I'm also curious about the front end you listened with, as well as the music you listen to, and whether you think this may serve any specific genre better than another, or whether it is just the one-headphone does-all kind of solution?  I'm curious in general as to what kind of music you listen to regardless as your profile says you listen to "everything" - do you have any strong leanings to any particular genres or artists? 


I may be not authorised to comment on things in this pricerange as my experience with (expensive) headphones are practically non existent.

But I had do have experiences with 20k speaker setups (+ room).


And I need to say, the feeling of the instrument playing/person singing for you/exactly infront of you, is something a headphone can not (yet*) achieve (i suppose).


Of course, it is possible that I am completely wrong, in that case I am really sorry for writing nonsense.


*for people who want to stay optimistic.

Edited by TheDreamthinker - 6/29/11 at 11:00am
post #63 of 420

Great episode, great headphones! Detail retrieval is my favorite yardstick for an audio system. Whenever I get a new headphone/component, and I hear something extra in the music that I didn't hear before, that goes a long way to marking the upgrade as worthwhile. It's also a less subjective means of comparison.


Hearing new information in a familiar recording is a wonderful moment, it takes you closer to the music and the artists. When ever I listen to a setup that's more revealing than the one I'm used to I'm always impressed, but then I always wonder, so what's beyond this? For that reason I would love to hear the SR-009. Though that could leave me frustrated - there's no way I can afford $10,000+ for a headphone system! eek.gif

Edited by jr41 - 6/29/11 at 1:21pm
post #64 of 420
Originally Posted by Spareribs View Post

Assuming you don't need a loan. Keep in mind, there are people out there who easily spend thousands of dollars on hi-fi without blinking an eye and with ease. 12K is not really a lot of money for some people out there in Stereophile land.

Yeah.  Spending big bucks on speakers is perceived as a lot more "normal" though.  Fewer people will question you sanity even though its more money.

post #65 of 420

Honestly, how can the complete tech. ability of a whole speaker system fit into a headphone?

Edited by TheDreamthinker - 6/29/11 at 1:02pm
post #66 of 420



has anyone here ever seen "the human experience?"

just rambling.... i just got done watching it and i'm moved.

Maybe the reason that i like headphones so much , is because i enjoy my personal space.

With speakers, everyone can indulge in the experience.


post #67 of 420
Originally Posted by NewMACAdress View Post



has anyone here ever seen "the human experience?"

just rambling.... i just got done watching it and i'm moved.

Maybe the reason that i like headphones so much , is because i enjoy my personal space.

With speakers, everyone can indulge in the experience.


Make yourself a properly isolated audioroom and a lock at the door.

That should also do the trick.


post #68 of 420



post #69 of 420

cheers Jude! a great review! and you are so dam right, it's EXPENSIVE! It is so expensive that I begin to wondering, do people really looking for music enjoyment or only looking for SOUND details? Well it's just my stupid thinking... again cheers!

post #70 of 420

If Stax headphones were my headphone of choice and I made over a $100,000 a year and bought the Stax rig and never bought another home headphone amp or headphone for the next 25-30 years in the future, it's not a bad investment if you really think about it. Good quality headphones and tube amps usually have good longevity. They usually last much longer than cars.


The good news for average working class civilians, in my opinion, is that headphone enjoyment of high quality can still be possible less than $2,000 and this includes the amp and it may sound better than the Stax if the Stax sound signature happens to not be your flavor.


But if the Stax is your cup of tea and your bank account is small, a $2,000 alternative rig can still take you to sonic heaven.

Edited by Spareribs - 6/29/11 at 4:55pm
post #71 of 420

I watched a few other episode and then this one came out and woah what a jump you have taken from talking about a lil speaker that rumbles desks and you like to travel with to this gaint of a headphone!


great review and as always i want more!


thanks again


from shaun :)

post #72 of 420

No matter how great the sound is, the difference wouldn't justify $10,000 regardless of savings+current salary.
I don't think I am in deep enough like you guys to appreciate the best headphones lol
Nevertheless, great episode keep them coming, they are fun to watch

post #73 of 420


Haha yeah man with 10k I would get a '93 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo

HD650s? I thought LCD-2s were expensive. Do I want a car, or possibly the best headphones ever created..
post #74 of 420

Nice video. On the other hand  I agree for this price you can buy beautiful speaker system and I am sure no headphone can be close to right speaker system. Although even headphone have something to be said of course.

post #75 of 420

Thanks for the video.


For me, it's really not thaaaat bad considering I already have some Stax gear.


So it's really just the headphones I need, only ~4500 from Japan, now it looks like much better value than before =P.

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