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The Stax Thread III - Page 122

post #1816 of 2787
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 #1817 of 2787

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 #1818 of 2787
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 #1819 of 2787
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 #1820 of 2787
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 #1821 of 2787

once again, people are confusing power with volume.  

post #1822 of 2787

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 #1823 of 2787
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
post #1824 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post
 

I am currently selling off almost all of my dynamic and planar headphones.  And selling a bunch of headphone amps too. I have just gotten to like electrostatic headphones too much, I don't listen to the others any more.  I went through 2 months where I tried to listen to my LCD-2's and HD800s more- and they do have their strengths- but then I went back to Stax and ESP-950's  and I just don't think I can listen to the HD800s or LCD2s any more.  I mean, I really WANT to love the HD800's, they do a lot things right. But I just can't handle their treble.  It hurts my ears.  I have a bit of hyperacusis right right the HD800's have their emphasis and I just can't listen to them. 

 

I think there's also something about my overall sound preferences -  I have had a TON of speakers over the years including some very pricey models. Right now my favorites are my refurbished Quad ESL-57's. Yeah, they don't play REAL loud.  The deepest bass is M.I.A.,  and the treble is a little "plasticky" sounding. But there is something about their sound, especially the midrange and upper bass, that is just what I want, what I'm looking for,  from music playback.  My other system, which I also like very much, is a pair of Magneplanar MG-3.6's, triamped using a DEQX.  These have subwoofers as well, below 45 Hz using an additional digital crossover.  The imaging from these is amazing- the DEQX brings the performance of this system in the time domain into incredible focus.

 

So BOTH of my favorite speakers are panel speakers.  Whatever it is that they do so well is apparently what I also like about electrostatic headphones.  More accurate? Flatter?  Lower distortion?  Better time-domain performance? I don't know.  I don't think it's really related to "accuracy"  or "neutrality" - there's just something in the way they present sound that I lock onto.

 

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


Yep, I'm one of those. My first ESLs were Martin Logan CLS IIz, very good but couldn't play loud enough for my taste. Then I tried the big Maggies, I have the 3.6R but the original XOs are ridiculous. After getting the Mye stands and new custom XOs I'm bi-amping now with 200W EAR tube monos, tweaked with NOS tubes (mid/treble) and 300W Marantz MA-700 THX monos (bass). For the lowest octave I have an active sub. Very satisfied although when playing really loud I'd like to try another pair of MA-700s to use in bridged mode - bass-impact/kick drums get a tad woolly sometimes. There is always a possibility to improve but the returns get less and less ...

 

I use a Cayin DAC with old German tubes in the line stage, very natural and musical. Tried this and that for about 40 years, but couldn't find significant improvements in recent years - I'm a happy music junkie now.

 

I use my LNS mostly for watching movies, with the SRM-3. For music I have a T1S.


Edited by yawg - 3/24/14 at 1:01pm
post #1825 of 2787
My favourite speakers are my Stax F-81
Regards Georg
post #1826 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post

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.

Any chance you got to try it with a 007?
post #1827 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangler View Post


Any chance you got to try it with a 007?

Unfortunately, I don't own a pair of 007's. If anyone with 007's or 009's for that matter wants to demo the Vostok amp, PM me. They are thinking about doing a "tour" with one of the amps.

 

Or if you are in SoCal, I'd be happy to arrange a demo.

post #1828 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

 

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).

 

 

 

 

I have to agree as well. MDR-R10 was and is a fantastic sounding headphone, but I do believe it has been surpassed by some of the current top models. Plus I always felt super nervous when handling it - one small ding potentially takes hundreds off the value. 

 

I'd love it if they redid it in a similar new model, selling for $1k or so. I'd buy it in a heartbeat. It's the inflated used value that keeps me away.


Edited by project86 - 3/24/14 at 3:02pm
post #1829 of 2787

Gentlemen,

 

while not having ventured into the summit forums yet (as opposed to real summits of which I have climbed a few), I now have a question about my latest head-fi acquisition which hopefully can be answered here.

 

I have gotten a pair of lambda pros off german ebay for a steal and after fixing two broken leads and replacing the torn headpad with a piece of leather cut to size they are playing nicely with my old power amp and the included srd7-mk2.

 

The pads are not too good though and probably should be replaced - but since I felt sweaty below them even in winter I was thinking about getting SR-507 leather pads as replacement...

 

- will they fit (I think yes from what I read - but comments welcome)?

 

- will they change the sound signature and if yes, in what way?

 

- will they increase comfort and especially feel less sweaty?

 

So if anybody is using 507 pads on any other lambda, I'd like to hear your experiences.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Joachim

post #1830 of 2787

An energizer question: I just picked up a SRD-7sb energizer and I'm looking at a pair of Lambda SR-A headphones. From reading I understand that these phones will need some time to energize...and it may be best to even leave them "powered up" all the time. Unfortunately my amp and line stage all run on batteries and leaving it powered up for a long time isn't a great idea. I'm talking C and D batteries and lots of them. Is there another way to energize the 

Lambda's? I guess I could buy a cheap little t-amp for the purpose...any better ideas?

Thanks,

Steve

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