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The Stax Thread III - Page 153

post #2281 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post
 

Yes. The hypothesis frequently posited is that the Stax-branded amplifiers (besides the 717, 727, and maybe the 323S [?]) tend to be less consistent performers in driving a "challenging" load (the SR-007Mk1 is frequently the load brought into example).

 

If this is true and the SR-009 was evaluated in development with a Stax amplifier that couldn't handle the load, it could have some interesting implications for the performance of the unit on amplifiers that can vis-a-vis the performance intentions of the engineers behind it...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

It's a matter of word selection and personal meaning attributed to those words.

 

I never thought the SR-009 and KGSSHV (or T2DIY) combo was "bright" with the sources and recodings I used. However, I can certainly see people finding the SR-009/KGSSHV overly analytical, too etched, or too edgy (which is separate from brightness) depending upon source and recordings used. Combined with the fact that the SR-009 doesn't have the HD800's broad mid/high bass bump, all these factors could certainly contribute to people finding the KGSSHV setup "bright". As a saide note, the combo that I found painfully etched and strident was the SR-009 + Headamp BHSE (not to be confused with n3rdlings BH) + Oppo (SABRE) regardless of recording. (the BHSE has always seemed "brighter" to the KGSS/HV builds I have heard)

That's a fair assessment. Translating perceived perceptions into relatable auditory lexicon will continue to be a pain point. Audio linguistics can be challenging when one man's musical is another man's mellow, et al.

post #2282 of 3470

 

Working (and sounding) beautifully! :D

post #2283 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post



I wouldn't write off the experiences of others unless you've had personal experience with the pairing. When the HD 800 is modified (properly), the result has audibly reduced treble response that has been confirmed by measurement. This is subjective listening corroborated by objective measurement, whereas the availability of the latter in Stax pairings has been relatively lacking.



Given the SR-009 was designed with the SRM-T1 and SRM-727, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it had more treble energy with the KGSSHV than modded HD 800s.



I don't doubt the SR-007 being at least tested with the SRM-717 given how comparatively well it does with the KG designs (besides being bundled with the 717 as a system). Conjecture though.

 



Actually, I don't think it is clear, at least from the interview, that Stax "voice" their headphones to any particular amp. The Stax folk appeared to be saying that they make their designs in isolation to be the best possible HP or amp they could possibly make from a technical perspective, then they test them - some fail and some pass.

Also, the inference from the interview is the when the Omega was designed, the T1 woulld also have been the test amp (not the T2) - which is interesting considering most Omega users would not choose the T1 as a good amp for the phones.
post #2284 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgep View Post
Actually, I don't think it is clear, at least from the interview, that Stax "voice" their headphones to any particular amp. The Stax folk appeared to be saying that they make their designs in isolation to be the best possible HP or amp they could possibly make from a technical perspective, then they test them - some fail and some pass.

Also, the inference from the interview is the when the Omega was designed, the T1 woulld also have been the test amp (not the T2) - which is interesting considering most Omega users would not choose the T1 as a good amp for the phones.

That's the snafu. If they're trying to make their headphones the best in isolation from a technical perspective, they have to test them. I would question the notion that aspects such as the stator design,spacing, diaphragm material, et cetera were conjectured by technical hypotheses or experiential guesswork without proofs.

 

I don't mean they are "voiced" in a strict sense, but certainly evaluation of their design decisions must derive from pairing what they have available as a system.

 

I also wouldn't discount the possibility of some hush-hush or lost-in-translation elements from the interview. They are a weird company.

post #2285 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post

That's the snafu. If they're trying to make their headphones the best in isolation from a technical perspective, they have to test them. I would question the notion that aspects such as the stator design,spacing, diaphragm material, et cetera were conjectured by technical hypotheses or experiential guesswork without proofs.

 

I don't mean they are "voiced" in a strict sense, but certainly evaluation of their design decisions must derive from pairing what they have available as a system.

 

I also wouldn't discount the possibility of some hush-hush or lost-in-translation elements from the interview. They are a weird company.

 



I expect that the "proofs" occur when the headphone is plugged in to the amp, prior to that the design can only be based on their technical expertise and experience. Maybe its time for a follow-up interview - volunteers?
post #2286 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgep View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post
 

That's the snafu. If they're trying to make their headphones the best in isolation from a technical perspective, they have to test them. I would question the notion that aspects such as the stator design,spacing, diaphragm material, et cetera were conjectured by technical hypotheses or experiential guesswork without proofs.

 

I don't mean they are "voiced" in a strict sense, but certainly evaluation of their design decisions must derive from pairing what they have available as a system.

 

I also wouldn't discount the possibility of some hush-hush or lost-in-translation elements from the interview. They are a weird company.

 



I expect that the "proofs" occur when the headphone is plugged in to the amp, prior to that the design can only be based on their technical expertise and experience. Maybe its time for a follow-up interview - volunteers?

 

I think there's what can be said during an interview and whatever happens behind closed doors. We were not allowed to take a pick into the laboratory, Spritzer was suggesting Stax was naturally using many kind of amps, including non-production stuff but that's not what they told us.

 

I think the answer is probably somewhere in the middle: Stax is certainly keen on producing earspeakers that are easier to drive / sound good out of current production amps. Stax is also always on the look out for improved performance, they did start to work on a successor to the T2 for instance (although seemed to be on hold as of last time we talked).

 

I will talk to Stax people this week end during the headphone festival, will report here as usual, but don't expect much news I am afraid...

post #2287 of 3470

Though you're saying there isn't much to expect from this forthcoming talk, you're creating a lot of expectations by writing about it :ph34r:

 

Ali

post #2288 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by cat6man View Post
 

 

Hi there,

 

Can you share more on the parenthetical "icing on the cake" part please?

 

I'm currently down the rabbit hole, looking up, and optimizing my streamer==>DAC==>BHSE==>009 system, with psvane and stock tubes.

I have 'meh' cables right now (belkin usb, low end audioquest balanced interconnects) and just took the PSAudio power conditioner out of the loop to get back to a baseline.

Over the years with testing a number of high end cables in speaker and headphone systems, I ended up really liking the Stealth Indra and Sakra cables, especially in the bass, where there is a transparency that I haven't heard in any other cables.

They also seem to remove some level pain from the upper highs, making them rounder and fuller. I tried this on several speakers like Khama 3.2s and Harbeth SHL5s and SF Cremona Auditors.

But they are neutral cables, and in some situations, I like Cardas Golden Cross ICs to subdue, maybe even roll-off, the highs. The Cardas is refined and still keeps things tight and controlled, and just sounds musical.

Synergistic Research cables are also nice, but not as refined as the others.

 

For some reason, I like RCA over XLR ICs on my 007t / SR009 combo (more mellow).

 

My favorite power cable for digital is the older Shunyata Anaconda VX  (still around used sometimes on audiogon) (the Anaconda Alpha Helix from later on is also very good).

The Shunyata power conditioners also remove fatigue in all systems I have tried. The Hydra 8 and especially the Triton are what I like.

I didn't like the PS power conditioner (regenerator) I tried -- it was too hyped up. (A PS300, but that was 10 yrs ago.)


Edited by rgs9200m - 5/8/14 at 8:16am
post #2289 of 3470
Lots of talk about the 009s being bright here, and even brighter on the BHSE.

I will soon hear for myself next week, as I am visiting a Head-Fi-er to hear the 009s and BHSE but also directly compare my 007Mk2s and the BHSE
and my SRM-717 powering the 009s.

Ahead of the evaluation, I am convinced the 007s were designed on purpose to tame the current trend of modern DACs to be very detailed
and leaning towards a brighter balance. I abandoned Delta-Sigma DACs to move over to NOS tubed DACs for this same bright and possibly
solid state sound? Maybe I wouldn't go so far as saying treble etch, or digital edge? But I certainly fell out with many solid state DAC designs
and solid state amps for my speaker set up.

I wonder why Justin dropped the KGSSHV product in favour of the EL34 tube route? Solid state can sound great, accurate, exciting. Maybe it is
too much of that with a solid state front end (DAC and possibly a pre-amp) into a solid state headphone amp with truly revealing headphones?

At a live gig we keep talking about, we are live yes, BUT we are set back behind people and seats (normally). In a classical theatre the design
of the space leans towards a warm sound by the nature of the environment. In a rock concert, we are again amongst people and other energy
absorbing items. These all act as filters or subtle screens i.e delays in sound and softening of edges to the sound.

With phones like the 009s we now have a direct wire if you like, to the drum, the guitar or the human voice, as though we are on stage?
It is no wonder the upstream gear is critical. Is it the 009s remove all the layers, and leave the whole for all to hear. If it's bright,
then it is the fault of the gear driving it. The response of the 009 is very flat right? And the transducers very fast, faster than any other speaker?

So, my idea is to have a balanced system, we might need either tubes in the mix or a warm DAC with the 009s.

I don't know yet, but hope to know next week.

I might hazard a guess that some (including Spritzer) may have solid state detailed (cold?) sounding DACs that just don't gell
with the 009s. Maybe the happy 009 users are using tube rolling to bring back a small amount of warmth or organic feel to
the music? Just enough to them make a match in heaven - detail and warmth. Possibly a great amp (and a great headphone) can be truly great,
and system match the rest of the gear upstream and downstream with careful tube selection / cables and even software (not EQ software).

I wouldn't try and use mellow sounding tubes with my 007s for example, as they are already heading that way. I kinda like that, but only
subtle. Not too dark or obvious, just enough to make the music sound real for my tastes.

It's a fascinating subject, and expensive if we get it wrong.... thoughts invited!
post #2290 of 3470
OK. you are saying Stax messed up their drivers on purpose so that they don't sound too bad with current DACs?
And that Spritzer has poor sounding DAC's?
mmhhhhhh......
And Justin never sold the KGSSHV.
And electrons dont care whether cables are pretty or not.
Edited by gilency - 5/8/14 at 10:39pm
post #2291 of 3470

pretty sure stax thinks they got it right, where "right" just happens to align with the modern perspective that an accentuated treble presence implies a "detailed and analytic" sound

 

iirc spritzer owns an MSB platinum III? That DAC is clearly garbage

 

I don't care much for cables either but if people want to play with them it's their prerogative. I certainly like the way ribbon cables look so I intend on purchasing some fancy ones when I run out of things to tweak on the component side

post #2292 of 3470
I think Justin did the KGSS Julian ( which I believe he no longer does ).
IMO the proof with anything in audio is in the listening, which is why when you visit my place next week Julian, we're going to try both your 007mk2's and my 009's with the BHSE, but first with the stock Mullard's, and then the PH's.
I've a feeling the 007mk2's will sound better with the stock Mullard's, but time will tell.
post #2293 of 3470
Quote:
OK. you are saying Stax messed up their drivers on purpose so that they don't sound too bad with current DACs?
And that Spritzer has poor sounding DAC's?
mmhhhhhh......
And Justin never sold the KGSSHV.
And electrons dont care whether cables are pretty or not.
Edited by gilency - Yesterday

Get up to speed please!!!!

http://www.headamp.com/electrostat_amps/kgss/

And are we saying NO interconnects affect the sound now! You need to clean your ears..

I think as we can read from many posts both in the Stax threads, Senn threads and others, many folk at this level begin
to hit the buffers with some issue with treble emphasis or quality. I believe in my own ears, and it is the upper treble that is the last
hurdle, the final part of the sound signature to complete the illusion of live music. I had less of an issue with my vinyl rig going back years,
but I believe that was because
1. It was not digital (that is a whole new subject)
2. The Frequency response was kinder to the ears (tailed off in the upper treble)
3. Had a warmer (welcome to my Stax gear) sound signature

I think headfiers may be more aware of these potential problems than audiophile guys with top tier speaker systems.
Remember, the room and furnishings, speaker placement, all these help to tame and control the SQ to an extent.
And playing music in a room at 'normal' domestic levels is not as in your face as what I would call 'near field' level of sound
through phones, even at normal (safe) listening levels. It's a bit like sticking your head real close to your speakers tweeter.
Doesn't sound so hot does it?

We don't have that 'luxury' so it can be a curse, or a benefit however you want to see it. For those who have built a balanced set of components
that gel together (system synergy) they are very happy indeed. That is my goal of this hobby, and why it interests me so much.
All the components affect the SQ.

I DO believe the 007s were Stax's answer to the lack of bass on the long running Lambda series. Nobody could argue with the mid range, though
the treble edge of my Lambda's over the years emphasised digital edge which was not a good combination.

Companies make products to suit what people want, and yes, it is AMAZING Stax may have made the 007 knowing it had -5db treble drop.
How many v shaped (expensive) IE phones do that? A company not listening to their customers, or at least dealers,
making products that are not selling is going to fail right?

I accept the 007s treble drop, it is it's character and personality. It also allows it to sound good on lower quality front ends.
To me, it was the first Stax phone to have decent bass as a catch up to the better dynamics, without me loosing my love of that midrange
magic of electros.
post #2294 of 3470
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

Get up to speed please!!!!

http://www.headamp.com/electrostat_amps/kgss/

Er no! gilency is correct that Justin never sold a KGSSHV.

 

The link you're looking at is the old KGSS without the HV. I know it's only two letters difference, but it matters sometimes :) 

post #2295 of 3470
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Edited by gilency - 5/9/14 at 7:01am
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