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The Stax Thread III - Page 159

post #2371 of 5313
Hi Julian,

While I enjoyed our listening session yesterday, one thing I was planning on but ended up not doing, was to also use my iPod with your 717 and my BHSE. I think in using the iPod might have given a better idea on the difference between the 717 and BHSE . In using the K-01, my feeling is it could've brought the 717 and BHSE closer together.

After you went Julian, I listened to some of the music you downloaded ( which I'd like to thank you for ) onto my MacMini via the K-01's DAC and it sounded incredible, I was very impressed with Armin Van Buuren but Rammstien just blew me away, the energy I heard from their music was simply amazing.
As you told me, all the music you downloaded was in AIFF format which is probably why it sounded a lot better than the music I downloaded.
When you have the 009's, I'm interested to know your thoughts on how they sound with your 717 and tubed DAC.
Edited by David1961 - 5/15/14 at 7:07am
post #2372 of 5313

I'm thinking of getting a pair of 009s, does the Woo Audio GES pair well with these or should I be looking at the WES or blue hawaii?

post #2373 of 5313
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftf286 View Post
 

I'm thinking of getting a pair of 009s, does the Woo Audio GES pair well with these or should I be looking at the WES or blue hawaii?


The GES or WES are not popular options for TOTL Stax.

post #2374 of 5313
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post


009s with the BHSE and PSVane Tubes

Here the 009s went again to the next level. .... Everything just sounded cleaner and more realistic / organic. An acoustic guitar sounded like an acoustic guitar instead of a CD recording.... I would put the jump from my 007s with the BHSE to the 009s with the BHSE as a leap of 25% in quality.

 

As far as I can tell, two things were changed at this point: the 009s and the Psvane EL34PHs. 

IMO, the PHs would have given a significant contribution to the above sound improvement that you experienced - irrespective of the headphones under test.

 

A better comparison would have been to change only one thing at a time. I realise there may not have been enough time to try every combination, but it has left a question mark nevertheless.

post #2375 of 5313
Quote:
the PHs would have given a significant contribution to the above sound improvement that you experienced - irrespective of the headphones under test.

I did hear the 007s with both the Mullard tubes and the Psvanes. I didn't write about it as I would intend to use the PHs only if I had the 009s and the BHSE.

With the 007s, the PHs did tame the treble energy a bit to my ears, and the Mullards gave a boost to compensate for the perceived lack of upper treble response in the 007s.
It was debatable which was best, Psvane smoothness, or Mullard treble lift? I was not sure.

By the time I got to this stage, I had fallen for the 009s and was focused on that for the last 45 minutes of the demo.

I am of the opinion that, to put a 5.5k amp in front of the 007s was good, but didn't hit the right spot. It was well behind the 009s in all respects.
So much so, I would even say the 009s with my 717 sounded better to my ears than the 007s with the BHSE and PH tubes or Mullards.

Possibly I really liked the 009s presentation? I have a tubed DAC so I can see I will be ok with the extra treble energy or removal of the 007 veil
so to speak.

I can report back in 2 months time once I get back to Spain and hook up my front end to the incoming 009s.

I think the front end in so important at this level. The treble quality is so important and to me has the biggest impact - making or breaking everything else
that may be good or great about the SQ on offer.

I also think folk need a good session with the 009s. The brain does adjust to the different presentation from the 007s, First off it seems a bit bright,
but actually it is the amount of detail that is coming through. This might also be why some think the bass is lighter on the 009s to the 007s. In my view
the 007 has a bloomier bass, or a slight bloat in the mid bass, that sounds like extra energy but actually isn't. The bass on the 009 is right there to hear,
and is very fast, on or off fast, no overshoot, no bloat.

I hope this helps. It is so difficult to describe in words. I just got an emotional connection with the 009s, and though I love my 007s, it was for me
the full story on offer, great e-stat attributes (as the 007) but also a presentation to a higher level than I have heard before.
post #2376 of 5313
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftf286 View Post
 

I'm thinking of getting a pair of 009s, does the Woo Audio GES pair well with these or should I be looking at the WES or blue hawaii?


BHSE all the way! (If you can find one).

post #2377 of 5313
Quote:
Originally Posted by johangrb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ftf286 View Post

 
I'm thinking of getting a pair of 009s, does the Woo Audio GES pair well with these or should I be looking at the WES or blue hawaii?


BHSE all the way! (If you can find one).

I've never heard the GES or WES, but if using 009's with the BHSE, then IMO Psvane EL34PH tubes are a must.
Edited by David1961 - 5/15/14 at 10:45pm
post #2378 of 5313
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

The advantage of a 717 (solid state amp) is I would leave it on during the afternoon - evening period when I have to take the dogs out. I know it sounds trivial but that would no doubt lead to more use than saving tubes or having 2 switch ons a day for the BHSE.

Although it would probably be safe to leave the BHSE on power unattended, it's something I would never do, so with you having the confidence to leave your 717 on while going out Julian, it might be a good idea to ask Justin if he's any plans in the near future to build the KGSSHV.
If Justin did start building the KGSSHV, I'm not sure how it's SQ would compare to the BHSE, but I've NO DOUBT it's build quality would be on par.
post #2379 of 5313
Yes, a Justin built KGSSHV would be of interest to me. I need to get the 009s first, live with them and my 717 with my tubed DAC. I might find that is
my end game. The trouble at this level, is you need 5K US at least to get to the next level as regards amplification. So the jump needs to be worth it.

My front end has got lots of my attention as regards finer tuning the parts in my DAC (tantalum resistors, BG capacitors, V-Caps) and NOS tube selection etc.
I also use an M2 Tech full stack and the Mac Mini with Audirvana+ which all took the sound to a higher level than my previous CD Drive.

So, maybe I now need to just enjoy the music for a while see how it goes? The 009 is much easier to drive which I think has changed the landscape for high end
stat amps IMHO. OK there are the ultimate solutions (BHSE and WES) but the gap below that seems to have got a lot closer with my 717 and possibly other Stax amps. Back in the days of the 007 being the flagship it was a different story. If I really wanted to keep my 007s the only way to go would be BHSE, and that would be just to get closer to the 009s. Even then, I think (with my ears) it is still not as good in almost all areas.

However, if I had a colder / brighter DAC, possibly it would be better to stay with the 007s for their warming effect and less energy up top. But then I wouldn't get the 009s detail or space....
It's so complicated! I am convinced that folk sticking to the 007s with a BHSE must have a brighter and colder DAC, and possibly don't want to visit that for various reasons. It comes down to a sum of the parts and system synergy. Audio Note UK for example, voice their amps and speakers as a set at a level or price point in the range. It is because not all components bolt together 100%. Yes they will make music but maybe not to the right flavour? It is not always the case a top DAC made by manufacturer A gels 100% with headphone manufacturer B. It gets real subtle.

Do this test, find a CD track on your computer that you are famiier with and that has some female vocals or strings. Go into some EQ software and up the frequency at 5-10K area by 3 DB. Now A/B the 2 versions and see how it has changed. This I think is the crux of the matter. Tiny changes in the signal path before it gets to the phones has a big effect, and the 009s are like a doctors stethoscope, you hear it ALL. And it also shows how certain recordings are either a bit bright or a bit dark. Some guy in a studio sat in front of big monitors, and also mini monitors as well, has to make a judgement on the sound balance to suit a radio and a home hi-fi. It reminds me of the time I was a DJ in clubs, and I used to get free DJ promo vinyl that was not available to the public. They were mixed out to suit a clubs sound system (great bas extension) and those records sounded superb! BTW my hearing is just fine, before folk make a joke about me being half deaf!

And of course we have personal taste as to how we think music should sound, the condition of the persons hearing, how loud they listen at etc etc. And then we have types of music. Some just don't get the stat sound either. I might be lucky, or cursed? But I fell in love with the Stax sound right off the bat 25 years back, even with a poor source gear (tape deck) into a none pro Lambda with SRD7 energiser. It still walked all over my speakers!
post #2380 of 5313
Been looking at the FQ charts on Inner Fidelities review. They seem quite close between the 007 and 009 but on closer inspection they are very different. I have put them together in this image comp to show my point about SUBTLE changes to the signature of the music.

This is of course at the end of the chain - the headphone. It is not taking into account the amps or the DAC, and only looking at the FQ response, not distortion or actual quality of the signal or speed of transients. It does however partly explain to my eyes, why possibly the 007 is a bit dark, and the 009 is not.




Point A may explain the Bass bloom I hear on my 007s (MK2s).

Point B shows a flatter response for the 009s in the lower mids that will loose detail / energy in the 007s.

Point C is quite a bit drop for the 007s of 5 DB. This will mask detail in female voices for example

Point D is a big 8 DB spike in the 10k area that will emphasise symbals, strings and such to give treble emphasis, but not
much else, as it is very short i.e. sudden drops either side of that area. By upping the volume to hear the surrounding spectrum to
that level would further emphasise this, leading to a skewing in the character of the music / illusion of detail.

Point E shows the 007 is actually not far behind the 009s here, so the last bit of high frequency detail will be represented ok, it's just
maybe not much information goes into this area as regards the whole piece of music?

Looking at this, ok they have different responses, but so what? Yes, but these differences look subtle but WILL impact on the balance of the sound. High quality gear reveals it, warts and all.

BTW I shunted up the 009 responses so they lined up to the 007s. The 009 was 5 DB louder approx. That extra 5 DB on my Stax amp relates to 3 for the 009s and 4.5 for the 007s for the same sound level, which is quite a big difference. It shows how anything beyond say 2 DB could be obvious and easy to hear in piece of music.
post #2381 of 5313
Quote:
Originally Posted by SONYES View Post
 

HI 

  I AM FROM ISRAEL

 

NEED HALP

 

I WHANT TO BAY  SR 009+SRM007TII / SRM727II  

  OR

 SR007 MKII+SRM007TII  ONLY AS SET  

 

THIS  WHAT WE CAN BAY HER  

 

I HAVE 

 

HD 800/  T1

LUXMAN P-1U  AND  BCL

 

I WHANT OPEN DEEP WIDE AS HD800 VERY WELL BASS AND MID TO HER ALL THAT IS IN THE MUSIC

 

I LISEN TO  MOZART OPERAS  AND MORE SYENPHONY  MAHLER BETHOVEN .........

 

HOW IS THE BEST FOR THAT KIND  OF MUSIC 

 

THANK YOU

SR-009 + SRM-323S

 

Don't use any other Stax amp unless you want something tubey or colored sounding.

 

The HD800's soundstage might be wider but the 009's is deeper and more precise.

 

Another option might be the Sony Qualia (Q010 or Q010-MDR1) if you can find one that fits, but it's extremely rare and fit is absolutely critical to proper sound, so finding one AND finding one that's the right size, simultaneously, only happens once in a blue moon.


Edited by takato14 - 5/16/14 at 1:38pm
post #2382 of 5313
Quote:
SR-009 + SRM-323S

Don't use any other Stax amp unless you want something tubey or colored sounding.

I am not sure about that? Is the 323S going to do justice to the 009s? And he will need a great source
or the 009s will be very ruthless (reveal irritating treble edge in the source).

I am wondering if he might be better with an 007 and a weaked 727 to Spritzers brief.
The 007 will be more forgiving of a less than stellar source, and the tweaked 727 will drive it really well.

Or he may actually like a tubed Stax amp like the 007t, which can be improved with decent valves.
and the 009s. Might be better for strings etc.

Pity there is no amp in the price gap between Stax amps and BHSE or WES......
post #2383 of 5313

I don't have 009 on hand but I like the 323s + Lambda Nova Signature combo enough to say confidently I'd rather have that particular amp with that particular stat over say the 717 and KGSS.  Luckily I have choices.  Must be a synergy thing.

post #2384 of 5313

I cant understand how you could describe Stax amps as tubey or colored! Of the new offerings the 323 does offer the best bang for the buck, but many of the vintage amps like the SRM-T1, SRM-1Mk/II and 12S are good too. 

The tube amps are certainly smoother and more laid back and a little less dynamic than the solid state. In fact some would say they can be preferable with the 009 as they can smooth the treble if you find it a little too much. They will certainly still be running when some of the current FOM have long gone.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by takato14 View Post
 

SR-009 + SRM-323S

 

Don't use any other Stax amp unless you want something tubey or colored sounding.

 

 

post #2385 of 5313
Quote:
I don't have 009 on hand but I like the 323s + Lambda Nova Signature combo enough to say confidently I'd rather have that particular amp with that particular stat over say the 717 and KGSS. Luckily I have choices. Must be a synergy thing.


No No, this is bad advice dude. The Lambda in another league (lower) than the 009s so any connection here is worthless / not relevant.
The 009 is easy to drive but is another detail / resolution level and will reveal all the fault of the cheaper parts and less voltage in the 323s.
Turn up the volume pot and see what happens....

I have heard both the 323s and the 717 (which I am using right now) and the 717 rocks. It sounds great with the 009s which I tested this week against the BHSE
and it was not miles behind actually. A second hand 717 or a modded 727 would be better IMHO if on a budget. Next step up would be a big jump in money to the KGSS and upwards.

But I am sticking with my 717. I am not convinced the jump is worth the money for me. And I like the less hassle aspect of valves in the stat amp.

Turning this on it's head, the advice to get an 009 also depends on the front end (DAC and Transport). If that is low quality the system will be top heavy and
will reveal all the problems, giving an unsatisfactory sound overall. It is complicated. If the front end is lower qulity he may be better looking at a 507 and get a better
DAC?
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