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Review & Story: Stax SR-007 / HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE - Page 2

post #16 of 35

Another interesting review Asr.

 

One thing I didn't follow though was the statement below. This seems to say that your end-all system would be the AD2K/GS-X. But how can that be when the Stax combo is seemingly head and shoulders above all dynamics on most music genres other than electronica/metal? I.e. how could you be satisfied with an end-all system when you know that there's something way better on classical music etc?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post


As far as recommendations go, I can't say the SR-007/BHSE is the end-all for everyone, because it's definitely not mine - I'd call my end-all the AD2K/GS-X system instead.

 


Edited by TheAttorney - 3/1/12 at 12:38pm
post #17 of 35
Are you using 007 Mk1? I have Mk1's and I recently put on Mk2 pads. At first I thought I got burned and just got a black version of the Mk1 pads they looked so much the same. With the Mk1 pads the cups would rotate pretty lousy goosy because of the thin layer of lambskin holding the pads on. The Mk2 pads are thicker in this area and can really notice how much tighter it is to get the new pads on. They are not lose and don't rotate freely like they did before. I think it also improves the sound and imaging.
post #18 of 35

Excellent review Asr. I get the same feelings you described with my MK1 and my new KGSSHV. The Analogue Productions limited edition 24K Gold CD of The Bill Evans Trio's "Waltz For Debby" mastered by Doug Sax is I think the best sounding Jazz recording I have, and I have a lot of really good recordings (DCC, MFSL, AP, Audio Fidelity, the lot). Waltz For Debby was recorded live in a jazz club, and throughout the recording you can hear people in the audience coughing, little brief whispered conversations here and there, and plenty of glasses tinkling. The sound of the album on the O2 and KGSSHV is so real that it's spooky. The people coughing sound like they are physically there, a few feet away.

 

Only high-end speakers and the Omega 2s have been able to make it sound like I'm actually sitting there in the audience, watching the trio play back in 1961. Every dynamic I've ever heard it on just sounds like I'm listening to a great jazz album on headphones.

 

Curious, any plans to try the SR-009? Also, can you be more specific about what you didn't like about the Cary and the Classe? My next move after the KGSSHV is to upgrade my source, and a Meridian 808.2 is at the top of the list right now, I think. I'm only interested in redbook, and from what I understand, even on the ultra high-end Esoterics, redbook takes a MAJOR backseat to SACD performance.


Edited by DaveBSC - 3/1/12 at 7:16am
post #19 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
One thing I didn't follow though was the statement below. This seems to say that your end-all system would be the AD2K/GS-X. But how can that be when the Stax combo is seemingly head and shoulders above all dynamics on most music genres other than electronica/metal? I.e. how could you be satisfied with an end-all system when you know that there's something way better on classical music etc?

 

For me the AD2K/GS-X delivers more self-satisfaction for the music I use it with. It's sort of hard to explain but I just feel more connected to it. I've said before that if I were on a sinking boat and had to pick between saving the AD2K and SR-007, I'd grab the AD2K without hesitating. Though I really, really like the SR-007, I couldn't live without the AD2K.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycalgary View Post
Are you using 007 Mk1?

 

Yes, and "SR-007" usually refers to the MKI.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post
Curious, any plans to try the SR-009? Also, can you be more specific about what you didn't like about the Cary and the Classe? My next move after the KGSSHV is to upgrade my source, and a Meridian 808.2 is at the top of the list right now, I think. I'm only interested in redbook, and from what I understand, even on the ultra high-end Esoterics, redbook takes a MAJOR backseat to SACD performance.


No plans to buy an SR-009, maybe not ever, due to personal reasons against owning a >$2K headphone. Though if someone offered a loan of one I'd maybe consider it. wink.gif

 

The most I can offer about the Cary and Classe now (as I owned them too long ago) is that the Cary was boring and the Classe was bland. Compared to the Plinius that is, which I owned at the same time. (I'll add here that I owned the Plinius simultaneously with almost all of the other 8 sources mentioned, so I was usually able to ABX sources.) I've actually never been impressed by any of the sources I've heard that use the PCM1792 which also include the Ayre QB-9, Bel Canto CD-1, and North Star Design Sapphire. My string of disappointments with sources based on that DAC has turned me off to the DAC period and if I see a source using it, I write off that source immediately now. tongue.gif


Edited by Asr - 3/1/12 at 4:05pm
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

The most I can offer about the Cary and Classe now (as I owned them too long ago) is that the Cary was boring and the Classe was bland. Compared to the Plinius that is, which I owned at the same time. (I'll add here that I owned the Plinius simultaneously with almost all of the other 8 sources mentioned, so I was usually able to ABX sources.) I've actually never been impressed by any of the sources I've heard that use the PCM1792 which also include the Ayre QB-9, Bel Canto CD-1, and North Star Design Sapphire. My string of disappointments with sources based on that DAC has turned me off to the DAC period and if I see a source using it, I write off that source immediately now. tongue.gif


Interesting. The Meridian (I think, it's not entirely clear) uses the AD1852. Do you know what chip/s are in the Plinius?

post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveBSC View Post
Interesting. The Meridian (I think, it's not entirely clear) uses the AD1852. Do you know what chip/s are in the Plinius?


It uses two PCM1704s. Would've been nice if it had 4 of them to generate a dual-differential signal for the balanced output, too bad.

 

I posted internal pics in post #13 of this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/303755/the-plinius-cd-101-has-landed-and-is-staying

 

....Hrmm I see it's been almost exactly 4 years since I got the Plinius. Definitely the longest I've owned a single source and I still love it! And amazingly I haven't needed to replace the batteries in the remote control yet.

post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post


It uses two PCM1704s. Would've been nice if it had 4 of them to generate a dual-differential signal for the balanced output, too bad.

 

I posted internal pics in post #13 of this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/303755/the-plinius-cd-101-has-landed-and-is-staying

 

....Hrmm I see it's been almost exactly 4 years since I got the Plinius. Definitely the longest I've owned a single source and I still love it! And amazingly I haven't needed to replace the batteries in the remote control yet.


Ah. Yeah the 1704 is a great DAC, one of the best ever. Disappointing that it's not a true balanced output at that price level, though. The Dodson DAC was the same way. The Levinson 390S also uses 1704s and is genuinely balanced. What scares me though is the very iffy Levinson build quality from that era, and the fact that the company no longer provides service for many of its older products because of the Harman takeover.


Edited by DaveBSC - 3/1/12 at 8:53pm
post #23 of 35

I think you guys are putting two much importance on the PCM 1704UK DAC, I had a pair in my DAC19 DSP1v5. What I found to be true for my ears and rig, was the DAC 19 was veiled. iow what I am saying is that its not so much the DAC chip, but the design of the external DAC that counts.

post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 

I placed no importance on the PCM1704. And for me it's not an automatic indicator of great sound either, as I've heard the Primare CD31 and BAT VK-D5SE which also use it, and I thought both of those were less than stellar.

post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

I think you guys are putting two much importance on the PCM 1704UK DAC, I had a pair in my DAC19 DSP1v5. What I found to be true for my ears and rig, was the DAC 19 was veiled. iow what I am saying is that its not so much the DAC chip, but the design of the external DAC that counts.


The 1704UK can provide incredible results, but it's not a guarantee of anything. I mentioned the Levinson because I thought it was fantastic, but I would be very nervous about owning one. Apparently at least the initial run of No 512s also all broke, with some folks having a lot of trouble getting any sort of answers out of ML (where are they located this week?) not a surprise at all.

post #26 of 35

Good read. I can definitely relate to your story since my headphone journey has been similar. I started out just looking for a good pair of IEMs. After about four years of trying different phones/amps, I picked up a used SR-007mk1/717 combo (about 1.5 years ago now) and have a BHSE on order.

post #27 of 35

Wonderful post Asr.  

post #28 of 35

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asr View Post

 

No plans to buy an SR-009, maybe not ever, due to personal reasons against owning a >$2K headphone.


It seems a touch eccentric to set a ceiling price on the headphones - after spending multiples of that on sources and amps smile_phones.gif.

 

I'm all for putting the source first, but even so....

 

DaveBSC, I did briefly audition the Meridian 808 before getting the Nagra CDC. I didn't really get a handle on the Meridian's SQ, but dimensionally it was HUGE.

I reckon it could swallow up to 6 of the petite Nagras.

 

And I've beaten Asr's record, 'cos I've had the Nagra for almost 5 years now, with absolutely no inclination to upgrade. Sometimes a partnership just clicks - and it no longer matters if there are better models out there.  Shame about the ever rising Swiss Franc though. I could get most of the way towards an SR009 with just the price increase of the Nagra since I bought it.  


Edited by TheAttorney - 3/2/12 at 10:08am
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

DaveBSC, I did briefly audition the Meridian 808 before getting the Nagra CDC. I didn't really get a handle on the Meridian's SQ, but dimensionally it was HUGE.

I reckon it could swallow up to 6 of the petite Nagras.


It's a pretty standard size for a reference level CD player. The two chassis Simaudio Moon Andromeda is even larger.

 

lg_moonandromeda.jpg

 

post #30 of 35
Asr: I also find it bizarre that you lock out on the sr009 price relative to the rest of your rig. Per your impressions at past norcal meet, it would seem more like you prefer the voicing of the omega2 and that the 009 doesn't sound right to you?
I was also perplexed by your negative impressions of the 009 not bringing much to the table vs the O2. I never heard a properly driven O2 and really only started to dig stax from the mk2 version so this probably explains it a bit (or a lot). But to my ears, in my rig, the 009 fed with a good recording and listened to at reasonable level are simply another league from my O2mk2. There's not a single aspect where I prefer the O2 except maybe the darker tonal balance for harsh recordings. Soundstage width/depth and placement, bass firmness and extension, dynamics, treble extension and speed, all these are a clear step up.

Anyhow, I hope you will at least get a chance to listen to the 009 in your home rig for a while. If price is an issue, I see a used pair at Fujiya Avic for jpy290,000 at the moment... wink.gif
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