A few things I want to add, both to the review and in response to some posts:
- I've also sort of heard the Accuphase DP-75 on a SR-007/BH-type system, which was at a recent meet. My impressions from that meet can be read here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/595457/nor-cal-feb-11-2012-impressions-thread/135#post_8149394
I'll add one more thing specifically about the Accuphase DP-75: it was really intriguing-sounding to me. So much that I wouldn't mind doing serious critical listening with it if I had the chance. There was something about it that made me want to get under its hood, sonically speaking.
- I wrote that it's not possible to just throw the headphone and amp together and have a great system. However, I think I'd definitely say that the SR-007 + BHSE + Plinius CD-101 system in its entirety forms a truly excellent system. There could very well be better source components than mine of course, but I'd rather not think about those. I love this system, it's just absolutely amazing. I think anyone who replicated my system would definitely be blown away by it - in fact, I'd go so far to recommend replicating my system for anyone who wants to hear truly top-class sound.
- I also want to repeat something I wrote from a previous review that best sums up how I feel about the SR-007/BHSE: "When I listen to the OII/BHSE, there are simply no words that can describe it. You need to listen, and when you listen, and close your eyes, the real world disappears and the music takes over, and then the only thing you're left with is an emotional, soul-stirring experience that just doesn't leave you when you're done listening. No, it changes you on the inside forever. It's something like that." (From my mini-review of the HeadAmp KGSS vs BHSE.)
- There are only 3 CDPs I'm aware of that use 4x PCM1704 to generate proper dual-differential balanced output, the Resolution Audio Opus 21 (discontinued), Ayon Audio CD-5s, and Simaudio Moon Andromeda. Resolution Audio's new Cantata CDP/DAC seems to have 4x PCM1704 too, as does Ayon Audio's Skylla II (just a DAC). I haven't heard any of these sources though - but would definitely jump at a chance to listen to any of them, especially the Simaudio. (I've briefly heard Ayon's original Skylla but that was at a meet, and not with an SR-007 or BH-based amp.)
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...
I'll just say that I have personal reasons for not wanting to drive up the cost of my electrostatic system further than it already is, especially when I'd rather spend $5K on stuff unrelated to audio. I did prefer the OII MKI, but I didn't say the SR-009 didn't sound right to me, I only said that it'd have limited use if I owned one. My meet-based opinion of the SR-009 should not be considered as being worth much either, since I didn't listen long and had to mentally fight a lot of meet noise. No one should be using my meet impressions of the SR-009 to help with any decisions given my limited and less-than-ideal listening so far.
At this point in my headphone journey I really have no interest in acquiring any more headphones, amps, or sources. I'm 100% satisfied with what I own now and the only thing I've really been buying recently has been music. Considering I've already spent more than the cost of an SR-009 towards other hobbies recently (specifically travel and photography), I think I can say now that my headphone journey is over. If I really wanted to own an SR-009, I would've bought one by now. It just didn't interest me enough to buy it since hearing it at CanJam@RMAF 2011 and this year's SF Bay Area meet.
And just because I thought the SR-009 didn't offer much over the SR-007, doesn't mean it won't offer anything for other people. It's only what I thought for myself. I'm sure that in time there'll be other Head-Fiers who will have much more helpful things to say about the SR-009 vs SR-007.
Edited by Asr - 3/3/12 at 11:05pm