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Useless Stax O2mk1 impressions. Stax O2 rig on a budget $2300 total - Page 2

post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

Yes, it was a really strange comment. Judging lyrics without knowing the lyrics is one of the most ridiculous things I've seen on Head-fi and there were almost no lyrics in the song he posted.


Hell, judging a song in a place full of audiophiles or so called music lovers seems pretty low to me.

 

Nice to see you enjoying the Stax, I remember reading your comments waaay back when you pulled the trigger on them, grats on finally firing up those bad boys.

 

The amp hum is strange though, a stat amp shouldn't hum at all, even with the pot maxed out, weird eh?

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post #17 of 64
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlylover View Post


Hell, judging a song in a place full of audiophiles or so called music lovers seems pretty low to me.

 

Nice to see you enjoying the Stax, I remember reading your comments waaay back when you pulled the trigger on them, grats on finally firing up those bad boys.

 

The amp hum is strange though, a stat amp shouldn't hum at all, even with the pot maxed out, weird eh?


I'm OK with being critical about equipment because it involves way too much $$$$ (and quite frankly, it's just equipment), but music is difficult to create and perform. Someone like Park Ji Yoon obviously has been practicing to sing the way she does and to write that music. I have respect for her even if someone else doesn't because of a 10 second verse that I find soothing.

 

Yea, the Stax O2s are great. I feel it sounds perfect and for me to pay just slightly above $2k is great but the SR323s definitely hums with the pot maxed out. Is that really strange? hm... but it only really bothers when I need to bump the volume up with quiet orchestral.

 


Edited by wind016 - 7/26/11 at 2:07pm
post #18 of 64

Might be a ground loop.  Is everything plugged into the power board off the same outlet?

post #19 of 64

Hey wind,

 

I noticed you had listed trance as a musical preference, how does the O2 do with that...do you feel that the balance is off for trance, or that the quality of the headphone may even be overkill for trance? do you listen to more vocal/progressive trance or more uplifting and instrumental genres?

post #20 of 64
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

Might be a ground loop.  Is everything plugged into the power board off the same outlet?


Hm... good question. It's plugged into a step down/up transformer (VC 500 J) because the amp is 100V. You think that might be the problem? I suppose that could be. I just sent a PM to the previous owner so maybe he might have an idea.

 


Edited by wind016 - 7/26/11 at 2:24pm
post #21 of 64

Does it still hum with your source turned off? It's really odd for there to by any hum at all, let alone a bothersome amount at a sane listening level.

post #22 of 64

The step down transformer might be doing it.  They can put out a decent sized 50/60hz field and with the gain that 'stat amps have to run it could easily be audible even after basic shielding precautions from the designers.  You might also want to try putting as much space between the transformer and the amp as you can, possibly with longer power and/or extension cords.

post #23 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

I'm a poor guy, but I feel this is one of the best combinations someone can get in Head-fi. If there is a difference between an KGSS and the SR323s, I'll be sure to note it when I can. If anything, a KGSS will probably have the power so that hum wouldn't be audible on really high volumes. I can't really find much wrong with this combo. It just does so much right for the money and is the second best headphone rig I've ever heard. (The best I've heard was n3rdling's Blue Hawaii and O2 mk1 combo) My memory of n3rdling's rig is extremely vague, but I'm hearing all the major characteristics of the O2mk1 with the SR323s that I remember hearing on the BH which includes strong bass, rich mids, highly transparent, elegant and non-fatiguing sound. It might take a while to get used to such a transparent presentation of sound, but if you can appreciate it, then you can probably say "The End" to your headphone journey. I have and I will not purchase any more headphone related equipment.


What? O2s sound like fart without a KGSS or BHSE! Just kidding.

 

You are right about the SRM323s powering the O2s - they get the essentials. There are some notable differences between a KGSS and SRM323 powering an O2mk1 which I got to compare out of my source a few months ago. On the KGSS the treble is less scratchy, the bass more extended, and there is more control overall. I didn't note there was a difference in dynamics or detail. The SRM323 does have a certain very slight "hollow" or "bouncy" sound to it that's hard to describe that I've heard on all other STAX transducers. The KGSS steps out of the way.

 

Whether these differences are significant and worth it are up to you. There are a couple of guys close by to you who are building DIY T2s. I think you know who they are. I'll probably make it back up there sometime with a BHSE. I just thought it would be good to plant a seed a doubt on the "End" to your journey. very_evil_smiley.gif


Edited by purrin - 7/26/11 at 2:37pm
post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skanda View Post

I noticed you had listed trance as a musical preference, how does the O2 do with that...do you feel that the balance is off for trance, or that the quality of the headphone may even be overkill for trance? do you listen to more vocal/progressive trance or more uplifting and instrumental genres?


I listen to lots of vocal/progressive trance, the O2's do just fine with them. But there's a very odd sensation of it 'not being in your face' when it's kinda uhh supposed to be in your face. You kinda get used to it as it's very pleasant, but you might not like it.

 

Yeah the step downer might have something to do with it. Know which end of a soldering iron to hold? I'd take maverickronin's advice on a power extension lead first. tongue.gif

 

And on that note, go learn how to DIY some stat amp/s, it's not thaaaaaat hard. Very easy to swallow the parts costs since you can just buy them a little at a time, heh.

post #25 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skanda View Post

Hey wind,

 

I noticed you had listed trance as a musical preference, how does the O2 do with that...do you feel that the balance is off for trance, or that the quality of the headphone may even be overkill for trance? do you listen to more vocal/progressive trance or more uplifting and instrumental genres?


I don't think the balance is off at all for trance. It's spacious, warm, detailed, extremely extended sub bass. How can it be off? tongue.gif It might be overkill though since trance doesn't require much resolution to make the timbre of instruments clear. I would be happy with cheaper headphones with just trance, but I won't just listen to just trance.

 

I used to listen to this type of stuff in my rice rocket drifting high school days. tongue.gif  If it's anything like this type of stuff, the O2s do it well.

 

My friends gave me some rave music, but I haven't been into rave music lately. I don't mind it during parties though.

 

 

post #26 of 64

Ah cool, thanks for the response. By tonally off I meant more like, does it feel too flat/sterile for trance but the thing thats really making me crave an o2 is that its got fast speed and great resolution (according to every review i've read). Have you had a chance to hear electrostat speakers? Does it sound similar in regards to speed and detail? I demoed a pair of martin logan's and found that with trance they sounded a bit unnatural...wierd, I know.

post #27 of 64

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skanda View Post

Ah cool, thanks for the response. By tonally off I meant more like, does it feel too flat/sterile for trance but the thing thats really making me crave an o2 is that its got fast speed and great resolution (according to every review i've read). Have you had a chance to hear electrostat speakers? Does it sound similar in regards to speed and detail? I demoed a pair of martin logan's and found that with trance they sounded a bit unnatural...wierd, I know.


The STAX stuff is similar to the Martin Logans in that they have that amazing transient response, which works great for trance. Which ML pair did you listen to? The lower end or even middle tier ML stuff sucks because of the poor integration of the bass drivers with the electrostatic panels (sorry big panel + dinky 8" woofer that needs to cover too wide a range just doesn't work.) In essence the STAX stuff is better because reproduction throughout the range is more coherent.

 

post #28 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post




What? O2s sound like fart without a KGSS or BHSE! Just kidding.

 

You are right about the SRM323s powering the O2s - they get the essentials. There are some notable differences between a KGSS and SRM323 powering an O2mk1 which I got to compare out of my source a few months ago. On the KGSS the treble is less scratchy, the bass more extended, and there is more control overall. I didn't note there was a difference in dynamics or detail. The SRM323 does have a certain very slight "hollow" or "bouncy" sound to it that's hard to describe that I've heard on all other STAX transducers. The KGSS steps out of the way.

 

Whether these differences are significant and worth it are up to you. There are a couple of guys close by to you who are building DIY T2s. I think you know who they are. I'll probably make it back up there sometime with a BHSE. I just thought it would be good to plant a seed a doubt on the "End" to your journey. very_evil_smiley.gif


Hehe, thanks for the comparison. Yea, I notice the treble is a bit weird sounding. EQing helps alot but it's good to know that the KGSS improves in that aspect. I can't wait to hear the KGSS.

 

The End of the journey has just begun. =) I won't be considering any other headphones again so hopefully the O2 won't break on me in the next few years or whatever and the journey with the O2 will be nice and long.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

The step down transformer might be doing it.  They can put out a decent sized 50/60hz field and with the gain that 'stat amps have to run it could easily be audible even after basic shielding precautions from the designers.  You might also want to try putting as much space between the transformer and the amp as you can, possibly with longer power and/or extension cords.


Hm... I have the transformer about four feet away from the amp. There's a slight hum at 12 o' clock which is exactly half of maximum volume. Hum just gets louder from there.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by deadlylover View Post


I listen to lots of vocal/progressive trance, the O2's do just fine with them. But there's a very odd sensation of it 'not being in your face' when it's kinda uhh supposed to be in your face. You kinda get used to it as it's very pleasant, but you might not like it.

 

Yeah the step downer might have something to do with it. Know which end of a soldering iron to hold? I'd take maverickronin's advice on a power extension lead first. tongue.gif

 

And on that note, go learn how to DIY some stat amp/s, it's not thaaaaaat hard. Very easy to swallow the parts costs since you can just buy them a little at a time, heh.



My coming KGSS is a DIY KGSS. We'll see how it sounds soon =)  I might actually try and see how DIY is. I firmly believe that I will shock myself, but as always, it's not good unless it's dangerously good right?

post #29 of 64

i believe i was listening to a martin logan source but i can't confirm...i was demoing the only pair they had at a nearby magnolia

it was 1000 each so i imagine its a low tier/entry level ml. i totally agree with you assessment about the bass integration...for faster paced music the bass just could not keep up

 

the b&w 685's + a dual driver 10 inch woofer was far superior imo. i attributed most of that musical taste + first time i heard an electrostat so maybe they just arent for me

 

but the speed and transient response had me drooling...so maybe they are for me! haha

post #30 of 64

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post


O right. I had forgotten that the Anedio D1 may actually be a bit bright sounding source. I haven't been able to compare, but I've had a very strong feeling the Anedio D1 was making things a bit bright.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post


I don't think the balance is off at all for trance. It's spacious, warm, detailed, extremely extended sub bass.



 

Would you expand on these two quotes? Are you finding the O2 MK1 both warm and bright at the same time, or are the differences indicated above due to other factors such as variations in recording quality etc?

 

FWIW I have seen a few comments, that seem to point to the Anedio having a thin sound, depending on system compatibility.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Useless Stax O2mk1 impressions. Stax O2 rig on a budget $2300 total