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Why are STAX headphones unwanted? - Page 2

post #16 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ra97oR View Post

STAX being forbiddenly expensive is just not right. A modest STAX system can easily outperform a more expensive dynamic system in the area they excel in. Even with mp3, STAX doesn't have the fatiguing treble that many dynamic that try to squeeze out details tend to have. In that sense, if you have lower quailty files a good STAX system will easily expose the flaws but yet won't rip your ear drums in the process which quite a few dynamic tend to do.

 

Moreover, having a pair of STAX doesn't make you superior. That is just silly.

Agreed. IMO, the best bang for the buck in Stax line is SRM1MK2 amp with whichever pro bias Lambda version - if you are patient, can be had used in good condition for around 500 or so. You can disect differences among Lambda pro bias versions ad nuseam, but it really is a family sound and will all outperform more expensive dynamic phones in areas where electrostatics shine. If anyone can and will afford 009 + some superb amp - why not ? - but the differences gained cost dearly indeed.

 

Well, some do feel posession of Stax makes them better. That is silly. The apreciation of others, who know the performance of Stax, whether they posses them themselves or not,  is not - and is fully justified.

post #17 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

While I was browsing these forums, I heard people mentioning "This headphone is the closest you can get to STAX headphones" and I saw a thread named "Would you give up your entire collection of headphones for this STAX headphone?" (I forgot the name). I noticed that STAX headphones are generally considered the best, but then why don't people get them? Is it something to do with them being electrostats?

This is like saying Ferraris are unwanted.

post #18 of 114

Though nothing has happened since Edifier bought Stax last year, to the best that i know of... it'd be still intersting to see if they back up their statement to release cheaper 'stats to the market, but not directly under the Stax brand iirc.

post #19 of 114
post #20 of 114

Because STAX are niche and boutique in the likes of Audeze, Hifiman and I'd rather stick with something that has proven QC and opinions like Sennheiser, Creative, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Denon, Sony, V-Moda, Philips, Monster, Beats by Dre, Bose, Koss.

 

I just don't trust niche manufactures in whatever sector. I'd rather go with a name brand. Pus the whole lack of distributors and no way to drive STAX out of anything you'd use everyday.

 

I mean, if STAX are really that good, why don't I see Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, Radio Shack, Guitar Center, HHGreg carrying them?

 

If STAX is really that good, why don't studios around the world use them for recording, mixing and production?

 

 

And of course, why pay thousands for headphones with no isolation and restricted to home usage when you could pay a few hundred for full-size speakers?


Edited by lubczyk - 10/15/12 at 1:59pm
post #21 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

This is like saying Ferraris are unwanted.

What would I do with a Ferrari? High maintenance, useless in traffic, lack of shops that offer maintenance, fast depreciation, more likely to get stolen or broken into.

post #22 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post

Because STAX are niche and boutique in the likes of Audeze, Hifiman and I'd rather stick with something that has proven QC and opinions like Sennheiser, Creative, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Denon, Sony, V-Moda, Philips, Monster, Beats by Dre, Bose, Koss.

 

...Stax has 50 or so years of experience, and no significant QC issue to speak of.  Their products last 20 years plus while quite a few of these other brands break for one reason or another well before that.

 

I just don't trust niche manufactures in whatever sector. I'd rather go with a name brand. Pus the whole lack of distributors and no way to drive STAX out of anything you'd use everyday.

 

Stax is a name brand.  Their lack of distributors is largely their own fault as they have been mismanaged/mismarketed internationally for quite a while.  Perhaps it is time for that to change with the 009's success and Edifier's acquisition.  The lack of drive is a byproduct of being an electrostat.  That's like saying you don't like motorcycles because there's no room for your groceries.  You don't buy one if that's what you need.

 

I mean, if STAX are really that good, why don't I see Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, Radio Shack, Guitar Center, HHGreg carrying them?

 

Because your average person wants plug-and-play, set-and-forget, portable-throw-in-your-backpack headphones, and those considerations are much more important to them than audio fidelity.  Or at least, they are not actively bothered enough from the fidelity of their average headphones to petition their Gamestop to procure and import an electrostatic system from Japan.

 

On a separate note, equivalents of Best Buy do carry them in Japan.

 

If STAX is really that good, why don't studios around the world use them for recording, mixing and production?

 

The vast majority of studios use monitors (check out Gearslutz for an idea).  However, Stax was petitioned specifically to make a closed studio monitor, and they obliged with the 4070, which is used in some studios to this day.

 

And of course, why pay thousands for headphones with no isolation and restricted to home usage when you could pay a few hundred for full-size speakers?

 

A cheapish stax system outperforms quite a few speaker systems thousands of dollars more on detail retrieval and transparency.  That said, there are great speaker systems for cheap as well.  For many it comes down to having to set up a whole room (space, treatments, etc) for speakers, and some may have limited space and time.  Speakers are also not simple when one is trying to listen in peace with their children screaming in the next room or while everyone is asleep.


Edited by Radio_head - 10/15/12 at 2:10pm
post #23 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

Name some music pieces that were produced using STAX? I doubt any significant piece of music was recorded with or targeted at being used with STAX.

 

LOL, some niche brand from Japan is supposed to be above and beyond what music and studio engineers around the world use. Nobody but some audiophiles with more money than sense use STAX for the placebo. As if STAX is going to unveil a whole new world of detail and depth that the engineers and producers missed while mixing in the studio.

 

If you enjoy STAX, go ahead. More power to you, it's just that, in my opinion, a lot of high-end industries are based on pseudo-science and placebo.

post #24 of 114

Hmm, that's actually exactly what Bob Olhsson, a well known masterer in Nashville posits - he explains that the Stax are "great for revealing audio problems but that's not great for mix translation, because extreme transparency makes musical balance far less critical because you can hear so deeply into the mix.  What's right or wrong on "pedestrian" speakers/headphones becomes apples/oranges with really transparent headphones/speakers."

 

In other words, the ones that know about them and specifically don't use them do so because they're too good and will not be an accurate representation of how the consumer will ultimately be listening to it.

 

Again, Stax have been historically horrible at promoting/marketing internationally, so many may not have heard of them.  This does not make them bad - there are quite a few good things out there that people just don't know about.

 

I would posit you are correct that next to no recordings are "targeted" towards stax, as so few use them.  But there are recordings that are "targeted" to those with neutral or transparent systems, of which many stax products fall into.

 

I and 100 out of 100 other people who have heard them could tell the difference between stax and other headphones blindfolded - or electrostatic speakers like quads from normal ones - the tech is completely different - that's absolute science.  Whether that's absolutely better is a more subjective question.

 

Also you are mis-using the terms placebo and pseudo-science.


Edited by Radio_head - 10/15/12 at 2:54pm
post #25 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

Hmm, that's actually exactly what Bob Olhsson, a well known masterer in Nashville posits - he explains that the Stax are "great for revealing audio problems but that's not great for mix translation, because extreme transparency makes musical balance far less critical because you can hear so deeply into the mix.  What's right or wrong on "pedestrian" speakers/headphones becomes apples/oranges with really transparent headphones/speakers."

 

In other words, the ones that know about them and specifically don't use them do so because they're too good and will not be an accurate representation of how the consumer will ultimately be listening to it.

 

Again, Stax have been historically horrible at promoting/marketing internationally, so many may not have heard of them.  This does not make them bad - there's quite a few good things out there that people just don't know about.

 

I would posit you are correct that next to no recordings are "targeted" towards stax, as so few use them.  But there are recordings that are "targeted" to those with neutral or transparent systems, of which many stax products fall into.

 

I and 100 out of 100 other people could tell the difference between stax and other headphones blindfolded - or electrostatic speakers like quads from normal ones - the tech sounds very different.  

 

Also you are mis-using the terms placebo and pseudo-science.

So high-end STAX reveal flaws that were not intended to heard? That sounds about right. The exception does not disprove the rule.

post #26 of 114

They reveal flaws that are assumed won't be heard in the average listener's system.  They also let material that is truly mastered well (usually on super transparent monitors) shine.  Again, this is a subjective consideration - some may want it, others may not.

post #27 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post

Because STAX are niche and boutique in the likes of Audeze, Hifiman and I'd rather stick with something that has proven QC and opinions like Sennheiser, Creative, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Denon, Sony, V-Moda, Philips, Monster, Beats by Dre, Bose, Koss.

 

I just don't trust niche manufactures in whatever sector. I'd rather go with a name brand. Pus the whole lack of distributors and no way to drive STAX out of anything you'd use everyday.

 

I mean, if STAX are really that good, why don't I see Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, Radio Shack, Guitar Center, HHGreg carrying them?

 

If STAX is really that good, why don't studios around the world use them for recording, mixing and production?

 

 

And of course, why pay thousands for headphones with no isolation and restricted to home usage when you could pay a few hundred for full-size speakers?

 

In regards to price accessibility:

 

1) $850 in these: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Audio-Technica+-+ATH-W5000+Dynamic+Headphone/5182506.p?id=1218620767641&skuId=5182506&st=audiotechnica%20headphones&cp=1&lp=4

2) $1000 in these: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Sennheiser+-+HD+700+Over-the-Ear+Audiophile+Headphones+-+Graphite/4961441.p?id=1218583709752&skuId=4961441&st=audiotechnica%20headphones&cp=1&lp=2

 

or

 

3) $700 in these: (http://www.ebay.com/itm/STAX-SRS-2170-EARSPEAKER-SYSTEM-SRM-252S-SR-207-/190733324840?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item2c68979228)

 

My understanding is that electrostats like STAX tend to have lower distortion and usually better FR behavior than typical dynamic HPs. It has been measured (feel free to compare):

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

 

Personally, some of the best rigs I have heard so far involve STAX products BTW.


Edited by ultrabike - 10/15/12 at 3:29pm
post #28 of 114

They are the most detailed, usually most linear, and have the least distortion of all headphone technologies in their price range. Oh, and they sound fantastic. It is something of a revelation to listen to a good electrostat for the first time, even if you decide they are not for you.

 

They lack popularity mostly because of terrible marketing. Secondly, they are more impractical, as they require a special type of amplifier or a transformer box to power. In this world of plug 'n' play and mobile listening, only the most dedicated will sit down at home in their special spot to listen and relax to their electrostatic rig. Many would rather listen to speakers instead. The portability and popularity of electrostats may greatly increase in the near future, however, with growing numbers of headphone listeners seeking the highest fidelity. 

post #29 of 114
Quote:
If STAX is really that good, why don't studios around the world use them for recording, mixing and production?

 

That is a good question. Studios are common ground for non practical badly advertised gear... 

 

EDIT: Did not see the answer above, but think that is bit more than open vs closed for studio usage and going too much into mix is actually not good, I must admit that is the first time I hear this.


Edited by loopfreak - 10/15/12 at 4:48pm
post #30 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post

Because STAX are niche and boutique in the likes of Audeze, Hifiman and I'd rather stick with something that has proven QC and opinions like Sennheiser, Creative, Audio-Technica, Beyerdynamic, AKG, Denon, Sony, V-Moda, Philips, Monster, Beats by Dre, Bose, Koss.

 

I just don't trust niche manufactures in whatever sector. I'd rather go with a name brand. Pus the whole lack of distributors and no way to drive STAX out of anything you'd use everyday.

 

I mean, if STAX are really that good, why don't I see Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, Radio Shack, Guitar Center, HHGreg carrying them?

 

If STAX is really that good, why don't studios around the world use them for recording, mixing and production?

 

 

And of course, why pay thousands for headphones with no isolation and restricted to home usage when you could pay a few hundred for full-size speakers?

My stax sr-40 and srd-4 with 5 meter extension cost $70.

It's 35 years old and sounds just fine. Radio Shack did sell a version of them at one time.

.I have sr-202's as well. The whole setup for that wasn't in the thousands either.

U.S. distribution collapsed a couple of years ago, but I'm hoping the new ownership will fix that.

And if you think seeing in Gamestop or Walmart means it's quality, you might want to

re-think your buying habits.

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