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“I can resist anything but temptation” (Stax 009 ...and new Ampp ??)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Dear STAX friends,


Actually I was quite happy with my current head phone rig, the SR 007 & SRM-007t Mk2 driver.

But, life happens to be anything but predictable, especially while reading in this very forum, and later "googeling" , whether one of those new and fancy  “009” phones might  be available in Switzerland. Hence  I stumbled over this one dealer I haven’t heard of …and he appeared to have a 009 on stock.

(I should add, that my former trusted STAX dealer died a few years ago, and no new dealership was established in Switzerland.)


Therefore curiosity started to stretch its dangerous little finger…..I thought, what the heck, let’s just go and listen to this elusive new 009 …

I packed my 007 and my second rig, the R-10  ( …You never know, it’s just for comparison or so…) and of course my usual collection of “test” CDs ( no, none of the audiophile variety, just my preferred music !!)


My first ear full, with the SR-009, also driven by the SRM-007t Mk2 at the dealers place let me kind of less than enthusiastic.

Compared  to my 007 phones,  my beloved Cecilia Bartoli sounded rather  “sharp”, even though the transparency of instruments and her beautiful mezzo voice was astounding. I agree, most of my Bartoli  CDs (Decca) tended to sound rather Digital…


Anyway: I noticed, there was also a conventional dynamic headphone amp ready to use…so I plugged my R-10 into the eternal Arts OTL  tube amp.  And to my surprised, the R-10 sounded sort of similar to 009 and not, as I tended to believe,  like a 007 (well, to err is human..)

A change of CD, with the marvellous Ray Brown, double bass and Laurindo Almeida on guitar with their amazing interpretation of Beethovens moonlight Sonatas gave a totally new sonic image:

The 009 started to glow, gone was any “digitalises” and the transparency, paired with a for me yet unheard of “life-like atmosphere” were too much to resist……


A few CDs later, the verdict was clear …(see title line)

At home the case was even more than clear -cut. On  my NAIM Reference System, and especially with the turntable, the 009 was the best musical reproduction instrument I have heard so far.


Needless to say: A few months later I still cherish my purchase; but I like to express a piece of advice & warning.

The 009 may  threaten your Wealth,

and  - due to  its absence of any distortion at even excess levels of loudness-

it may also threaten your Health.


Well, this should  leave me in eternal musical happiness, except of course, there may be  -  just may be .. – some room for  improvements in terms of amp…


I may be tempted ----oh no , not again, I’ll be losing this one once again !! ---  To travel to Italy, where Rudistore reportedly introduced  an new version of his Electrostatic head phone amp ---or I may try the  brand-new German Malvalve “Head Amp Three”, which combines both dynamic & electrostatic outlet in one unit ….


Regards from Switzerland



Edited by urs - 9/23/12 at 4:36am
post #2 of 5

Congratulations on your purchase, and my sympathies for your wallet. I am also a recent Stax convert and I fear it is futile to resist the pressure to upgrade. A very expensive hobby this Stax thing.

post #3 of 5

Great read, astonished to find no more comments here. Please tell us how the amp adventure has gone so far.

post #4 of 5

I will eventually try Stax, when I have a legitimate career/job.



post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 



I'm exceedingly happy listening to my new "toy" as it is, meaning the amp-quest is postboned till later.


Just a short comment regarding handling: Even though the new swivel & support system probably fits more users, I personally prefered the old more fixed system of the 007 - well, it just fitted my head-shape well enough, while the new more flexible support is - well - a bit wobbly for my likings.


I do however miss the option to rotate the ear pads and the cable-connectors as was possible with the 007


But this has no negative impact on the sound quality.



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