Guys, I am still working on doing my due diligence before making the plunge for the Stratus. I heard it for the first time over the weekend (thanks to @ogodei ). He had the Shuguangs installed, tuned towards the HD-800s, which I got to listen to. I was impressed with what I heard with my HE1Ks, keeping the tube complement in mind. Also, the tubes installed were a never-used pair as one of the tubes of his broken-in pair had began malfunctioning that very day. Long story short, in spite of these obstacles, I was still enamored by what I heard, save for the bass tightness/impact. Compared to my Bottlehead S.E.X, the bass tightness was lacking. I could attribute it to the aforementioned issues, or it could just be that the S.E.X, which outputs 2W per channel, just have that final bit of cajones to manhandle the HE1K drivers into submission.
I have read impressions on tube rolling on this thread, and came to the understanding that the EML solid plates may be the way to go for that extra bass tautness (not necessarily extension), and are also less lush compared to the Shuguangs. Can someone give me some feedback on how to came to settle on the tube complement they use with their HE1Ks?
I think you have answered the question yourself, with the EML tubes being more taut in bass and less lush sounding. I will enjoy the Shuguang Natural sound tubes with HE1000 if I never hear the EML mesh/solid plates as they are very lush and musical. However, IMO, the EML plates complements HE1000 better as the HE1000 does lack the bite at times compared to other headphones. With the EML tubes, the vocal of HE1000 is cleaner/clearer, more realistic in tonality and the bass is tighter, yet still remains very musical.