That's a pretty big "if".
While the amp cost is pretty low if you've got a speaker amp to drive the usual SRD-6 or SRD-7 variant with, a good 'stat amp on the SRM-1/Mk2 Pro or SRM-T1 level is going to run you anywhere from $350 to $650. And it's not like you can just plug them into a typical source with reduced performance, either; it's physically impossible.
It's for those reasons that I consider Lambda-series Stax more in the $700-800 range, if taking the direct-drive amp route. Likewise, I'd consider the typical AKG 70x and any other demanding dynamics like that in its price range more like $500.
I think this thread is getting side tracked a little? I see guys talking about HD600/650's, Mad-Dogs etc?
The thread is " Punching way above"
HD600's + 650's are what $300-$400- Do they beat Stax, and sets like that? No, That's Punching above their weight. They are at the TOP of their class for sure but don't really punch above. And Maddogs are a special item of a $90 headphone "With Mods applied" I guess they punch above but the regular headphone at $90 doesn't. It's actual is a bad headphone without the mods.
Punching above to me is a lower cost Can that hangs with the big boys-The HD650's etc...just my thoughts
Well, this sort of thing is where it gets fuzzy when taking personal preferences into account.
I'm trying to decide if the MA900 deserves to be mentioned here. At any rate, I like it much better than the HE-400, which is a much more expensive set and technically proficient in a lot of ways (none of them involving midrange/vocals, unfortunately). Same for the SR-202. But I don't like it more than the SR-Lambda, which is also over twice the price.
However, the MA900 sounds good enough to where I'd feel comfortable enough having it as my only headphone if I ever find myself having to sell off my Stax setup.
Does that mean the MA900 really does punch above their weight, albeit not enough to touch vintage Stax, or just that the HE-400 and modern Stax are overpriced IMO and the MA900 at the $110-200 range is right where it belongs?