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The Stax Thread III - Page 122

post #1816 of 5073

Funny thing, just about any headphone I hear sounds 'off' and unnatural compared to a good electrostat, especially in the treble/higher mids.

post #1817 of 5073

The 'stat treble and mid-range is indeed unmatched.

post #1818 of 5073

Sometimes the treble and mids are too emphasised on the stats including the 009. 

post #1819 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

 

I wonder- are the other Stax fanatics also big fans of electrostatic speakers like I am?

 

I didn't happen to like the Martin Logan variety, they have actually less resolution than e.g. a Dunlavy SC-IV / V / VI. For instance, listening to Choro Luoco from Patitucci's Communion, on the biggest ML's I could not discern the sax from the voices, whereas they appeared separately contoured and nicely layed out on the Dunlavys. OK, the Dunlavy's are phase coherent, and have better step response than most headphones, and even some amplifiers :).

 

Then, I still preferred dynamic speakers over the Quad ESL-2905, and also over ESL-63 + REL subs. I can understand the magic of the ESL-57, but I'd miss orchestral dynamic range and slam, even with good subs.

 

Better (hybrid) stat speakers may be JansZen, or PIO Sound speakers.

 

Maggies are not stats, and I'd likely choose JansZen over them anyway.

 

If you like Stax sound, try listening to - increasing order - Dunlavy (at least SC-IV), the bigger Harbeth, or JansZen speakers. You can also go exotic with Acapella horn speakers with the plasma tweeter (a bit too bright by default, but it is adjustable), or some of the Magico speakers, but the former get very close and are astronomic bargains in comparison, sounding very similar to my 007, except that speakers have much better sound stage at the expense of room and cabinet interactions.

 

In summary, for my taste stat technology doesn't scale well... it is [one of] the best tech for headphones, but I prefer good electrodynamic speakers ATM, when installed properly. It is possible that advanced materials will change my opinion in the future.

 

All IMHO and YMMV. And sorry for the off-topic.

post #1820 of 5073
I think electrostats spoiling you rotten against electrodynamics and isodynamics is a rule rather than an exception.

I think the comparatively few that go back are those that seek the higher distortion levels in bass that impart false slam/impact which might be more suitable to their preferences.

Others might be put off by the high budget requirements posited by many. With the notion that nothing less than a KGSSHV with a SR-007 would be worthwhile, they miss out on affordable options like the ESP950. On the amp side a SRM-717 or SRM-323S would be sufficient for many.

I just don't see (or hear) any other compelling reasons.

The treble (be it lack thereof or behavior) is the exact same reason I consider even the mighty HD 800, LCD-3 or TH-900 to be low-end garbage in relative terms.
Edited by 3X0 - 3/24/14 at 7:31am
post #1821 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

 

I wonder- are the other Stax fanatics also big fans of electrostatic speakers like I am?

 

I'm definitely like you.  I only listen to electrostatic headphones and loudspeakers. 

post #1822 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlgerman View Post
 

Soundwise my 006t performs excellent. Comparing to the KGSS it has less power and this might be his problem

if you prefer hearing with higher loudnesslevels.

For my 007 Mk2 it is easy to reach the edge of distortion. Less probelm with the 009 or the 4040 lambda.

 

As i like to hear with lower levels it is very nice. The tubesound is also very enjoyable and more natural than my KGSS, especially if one use a 009 and Amarra as the player.

In terms of dynamic and punch the 006t is on the soft side.

 

Modern Staxamps have absolutely no backgroudnoise, no hum, no crackle, what makes for example the 006t very enjoyable at low levels.

Hmm, I have seen many posts about this subject. I use the SRM-717 driving the SR-007 Mk2.5s, and I have to say, it gets bloody loud and I don't hear any distortion.

 

I have an Audio Note M3 in front of the Stax amp, with the Stax set to avoid the volume knob, i.e. the Stax amp is full on class A power amp, and the volume is controlled by

the Audio Note pre amp, which I know pumps out 2v - 6v as required, and has a Transformer coupling on the output, so can handle high ohms output.

 

What I am finding (I think) is the input to the Stax amp is already quite high level, so maybe it helps the Stax to get a grip on the voltage swings?

Not sure. I tried missing out the pre amp and driving the Stax amp direct from my DAC but it sounded thin and weak.

 

The SRM-717 has no feedback, and I am told by some it sounds better than the 727 (which can be modded). Anyway, if you can get your hand on a good tubed pre amp

it might be worth you trying this. I don't fell the need for a BHSE. My tubed stages are down stream.

 

I know the BHSE and the KGSS have bigger voltage swings, but as I say, I am very happy right now. Plus I don't want even more valves to service and replace.... 

post #1823 of 5073
Thread Starter 

I had a chance to listen to a variety of top-end rigs at the SoCal meet on the weekend, including no less than three 009 rigs (and I'm listening with a borrowed pair of LCD-3s now).

 

They were: 

Justin's demo BHSE rig with 009s.

The Liquid Silk with 007s and 009s.

A WES with full tube upgrade with the 009s.

Liquid Gold with the Abyss.

A full EAR rig with the LCD-X.

 

Ignoring the relative demerits of the rigs (long waiting lists or crazy upgrade tube costs) I would hard-pressed to choose between them. I still think the 009s have a kind of magic nothing else does and a lot of that is in the treble which nothing else can match. BUT, I think planars are catching up to the point that I'd choose LCD-3s over a pair of R10s without hesitation. The main problem with 'stats is that you are limited in options if you don't like the sound signature of what is currently available and you want the very best.

post #1824 of 5073

Wow, this is great having the chance to compare all top rigs. make me really jealous.

Even at the famous german HIGH-END meet in Munich is no such thing.

 

My problem is that i normally need a longer time of relaxed hearing to find out any hearing preferences.

Buying and trying seems to be the only option for me!

 

@astrostar59

 

If i had the SRM-717 i would be happy too! Enough power to drive the OMEGA and dead silent in noise interference.

hope to get one from ebay in future.

post #1825 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

I had a chance to listen to a variety of top-end rigs at the SoCal meet on the weekend, including no less than three 009 rigs (and I'm listening with a borrowed pair of LCD-3s now).

 

They were: 

Justin's demo BHSE rig with 009s.

The Liquid Silk with 007s and 009s.

A WES with full tube upgrade with the 009s.

Liquid Gold with the Abyss.

A full EAR rig with the LCD-X.

 

Ignoring the relative demerits of the rigs (long waiting lists or crazy upgrade tube costs) I would hard-pressed to choose between them. I still think the 009s have a kind of magic nothing else does and a lot of that is in the treble which nothing else can match. BUT, I think planars are catching up to the point that I'd choose LCD-3s over a pair of R10s without hesitation. The main problem with 'stats is that you are limited in options if you don't like the sound signature of what is currently available and you want the very best.

Too bad you didn't get a chance to come by the Darin Fong Audio table.

 

I had the Vostok Sound ES-21 solid state electrostatic amp/DAC/dynamic amp with the Stax 009's. I would be really interested to see what you thought of it.

post #1826 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View PostHmm, I have seen many posts about this subject. I use the SRM-717 driving the SR-007 Mk2.5s, and I have to say, it gets bloody loud and I don't hear any distortion.

 

I know the BHSE and the KGSS have bigger voltage swings, but as I say, I am very happy right now. Plus I don't want even more valves to service and replace.... 

I don't understand the demand obsession with ludicrous voltage swings. I keep reading all this hullabaloo about having enough power in your back pocket for "when you need it" and it makes me concerned with regards to the volume levels at which people listen to these things. You'd think everyone was talking about loudspeakers, not earspeakers.

 

I'd hazard at most a 5 o'clock level for the perceived loudness (this is after a -8.0dB ReplayGain); I'm not trying to please a small audience with the backwave from my headphones. I don't find the voltage swing thing to be very compelling -- are people trying to blow out their eardrums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View PostI still think the 009s have a kind of magic nothing else does and a lot of that is in the treble which nothing else can match. BUT, I think planars are catching up to the point that I'd choose LCD-3s over a pair of R10s without hesitation. The main problem with 'stats is that you are limited in options if you don't like the sound signature of what is currently available and you want the very best.

Purely in terms of sonics? Thanks for that. I was looking at a MDR-R10 and it provided some much-needed perspective (I only listened to them way back when before the LCD-3s and the like were released).

 

With most planars I've still had some issues with the treble performance falling short of ideal.

 

I agree that sound signature variety of in-production electrostats is fairly limited, but there's always out-of-production models if you're willing to pay the premium.


Edited by 3X0 - 3/24/14 at 10:45am
post #1827 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post
 

I don't understand the demand obsession with ludicrous voltage swings. I keep reading all this hullabaloo about having enough power in your back pocket for "when you need it" and it makes me concerned with regards to the volume levels at which people listen to these things. You'd think everyone was talking about loudspeakers, not earspeakers.

 

I'd hazard at most a 5 o'clock level for the perceived loudness (this is after a -8.0dB ReplayGain); I'm not trying to please a small audience with the backwave from my headphones. I don't find the voltage swing thing to be very compelling -- are people trying to blow out their eardrums?

+1!

Most headphones need to play like 10-20dB louder than what's generally recommended for speakers and their amps to be considered well-amped here on head-fi!

 

Am rocking out to AC/DC live recordings on my T1 with 307. Looking at the pot meter I am below 11 o'clock, more like 10. Not that it really matters, but it seems to me some listen very loud.

post #1828 of 5073

once again, people are confusing power with volume.  

post #1829 of 5073

Actually, we're not and I apologize for not being more specific. In fact the common argument posited against "lesser" amplifiers is that when you push them, you'll run into trouble.

 

The implication here is that these amplifiers would have insufficient power to handle to handle great levels of dynamic range (e.g. opera, some orchestral). For this reason (among others), most DIY electrostatic amplifiers have extremely robust output transistors.

 

My argument is that this concern might be best constrained to the loudspeaker realm and might be practically unnecessary for earspeakers. My curiosity stems into the volume levels people are driving their earspeakers to even begin to run into issues with dynamic headroom (as dynamic headroom is predicated on the baseline volume to begin with).

 

There is a vast chasm of difference between the power level required to satisfy a small audience in a medium-sized room and that required for two transducers situated on your ears.

post #1830 of 5073
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

Funny thing, just about any headphone I hear sounds 'off' and unnatural compared to a good electrostat, especially in the treble/higher mids.

Interesting. The SR-X MKIII I heard was easily bested by my Sony DR-Z7 in terms of treble performance. The SR-X had better extension but the Z7 is very sharply defined without being etched or harsh, and I couldn't say the same about the SR-X.

 

Then again the pads were destroyed and the energizer was modified so take that with a grain of salt.


Edited by takato14 - 3/24/14 at 11:45am
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