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The Stax Thread III - Page 171

post #2551 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

Please don't underestimate it just because its the entry level amplifier or its predecessors like 212 or XRM for that matter. For the money its a very capable amp and yes the 007 will be better in some areas for five times the cost but it's not 5 times better.

I often use my 009 with a 252 when travelling or when I can't be bothered stokeing up my main outfit, Given the choice of buying a more expensive amp or a much better source, the money spent on the source will be much better spent.

 

As one of the (apparently) few people who use a SR-009 with a 252 sometimes and a bigger amp some other times, I'd love to know if you can elaborate on what some of the differences are, or what some of the 252's flaws might be so I can listen for them and know what I'd be getting into if I chose to do a future upgrade.

post #2552 of 2787

This is some good reading.

 

-FWIW I would not pair the 323s with the o2mk1.  I don't like the combo very much and the 717 is absolutely a better call.  With Lambdas that I've heard the 323s and 252s is actually a great combo.  I have recently heard from a user or two in recent memory the 323s is an amp they cannot stand to listen to so not everyone universally likes the sound.

 

-Going with a 009 on a 252s and whatever source is good enough?  Sounds like a plan!  We all learn on our own dime :)

post #2553 of 2787

Personally I think the more expensive amps are a little more refined so the 727 is more refined than the 323/252 for example

The power supply on the 252 is more limited than its bigger brothers so the bass is not quite so sustained and powerful. You can improve this by using a better supply than the wall-wart supply it comes with. Arbow rebadge the 252 with a better power supply 

http://ippinkan.jp/18360608196615#global_navi

http://www.ippinkan.co.jp/airbow/product/headphone/srsc21_11.html

It only puts out 280v compared to 350/400v on the more expensive amps so it won't have as much headroom and will be a little less dynamic

All these things are relative so unless you do a lot of side by side comparisons you are not likely to notice huge differences unless you listen mostly to highly dynamic and complex music.

 

Inputs and outputs are limited to one or two pairs of RCA's but if you don't use a lot of sources or balanced out then a non issue

On the more expensive amps the volume control is ergonomically nicer and smoother, and the ability to adjust the volume on each channel. The 252 volume works fine but its look and feel is just a more basic single control

.

The one thing you shouldn't skimp on with the 009 is the source, as with all stats it will expose any shortcomings. If you put garbage in thats what you will get out. A cheap bright sounding DAC with a poor output stage will sound awful, so choose carefully.


Edited by complin - 6/12/14 at 3:37pm
post #2554 of 2787

I think his point is that he's going to try his plan for the hell of it and if it sucks then it sucks and he's going to learn on it and go from there.  Nothing wrong with that!  Good luck convincing him otherwise.  Personally I see nothing wrong with the approach if it works for him, no skin off my back!

post #2555 of 2787
I will wholeheartedly agree with Marco that the 009s running off a cheaper amp/dac is going to sound better than the same amount spent on a cheaper headphone but nicer dac/amp. The headphones make the single largest difference in the sound of the rig.
post #2556 of 2787

Be careful what you wish for!

Headphones like Stax 009 and Senn HD800 are very sensitive to the source, both the recording and the DAC, so if you skimp on this it will undermine the overall quality and enjoyment of the headphone. This is often why these headphones are can be accused of being very bright, fatiguing, poor bass etc etc.. Poor recordings will be exposed for what they are compressed, volume equalised and not very pleasant to listen too.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

I will wholeheartedly agree with Marco that the 009s running off a cheaper amp/dac is going to sound better than the same amount spent on a cheaper headphone but nicer dac/amp. The headphones make the single largest difference in the sound of the rig.
post #2557 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post

Headphones like Stax 009 and Senn HD800 are very sensitive to the source, both the recording and the DAC, so if you skimp on this it will undermine the overall quality and enjoyment of the headphone. This is often why these headphones are can be accused of being very bright, fatiguing, poor bass etc etc..

 

This is why it's important to know what you like, even if it's not what everyone else considers "best".

 

I actually like brightness in a headphone. I really enjoyed the bright Beyer T90 for months and thought the HD 650 sounded muffled. People say the HD 800 is too bright, but I think it's just right and might even be better with a bit more brightness. I love sound that many describe as "analytical", and I believe brightness and detail are good things — they don't need to equal harshness. Based on these preferences, in David Mahler's epic review, I was convinced that the SR-009 is likely to be the better choice for me than the more laid-back, less-bright 007s, despite many people preferring the 007s.

 

Many regard the high-end all-tube amps as the best because they roll off the high end, and that's pleasing to many, but I learned that I actually don't want that — to me, a rolled-off high end is a flaw to be avoided. I see "warmth" as reducing detail, and that seems like a waste of an electrostatic. That's one reason why I'm only considering solid-state amps.

 

Anyway, my 252S is here and my 009 arrives on Monday, so I'll let you know how it goes. But if the 252S ends up not being sufficient for me, I'm only really looking at a 323S, 727II, or KGSSHV, not an all-out tube bonanza like the BHSE or WES.

 

Or maybe it'll get here, my ears will be overwhelmed with levels of detail that I never thought possible, all of my lossy recordings will sound awful, my cheap cables will corrode to dust, you'll be proven right, and I'll immediately order a $5,000 tube amp. I suppose we'll see.

post #2558 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoarment View Post
 

 

(...)

 

Or maybe it'll get here, my ears will be overwhelmed with levels of detail that I never thought possible, all of my lossy recordings will sound awful, my cheap cables will corrode to dust, you'll be proven right, and I'll immediately order a $5,000 tube amp. I suppose we'll see.

We won't, you will. Since reviews of things you have never heard are enough to convince you, there's not much I can contribute here...

post #2559 of 2787
Ooh dear, more ridiculous claims.
Quote:
Many regard the high-end all-tube amps as the best because they roll off the high end, and that's pleasing to many, but I learned that I actually don't want that — to me, a rolled-off high end is a flaw to be avoided. I see "warmth" as reducing detail, and that seems like a waste of an electrostatic. That's one reason why I'm only considering solid-state amps.

Honestly, why do we have people saying such unfounded rubbish? Yes 1950's radiogram bought by Dad, but seriously, modern well designed tube amps can and do have full frequency responses.
Listen to a BHSE my friend, then learn for yourself!

Many of the best high end amplifiers have tubed output, many tubed regulated power supplies as well. Solid state can also achieve. But please stop this 'all tube based designs are rolled off'

Go to some meets, go to some demo's at a decent high end hifi dealers, go listen and learn, stop standing at the bottom of the hill and saying you know....
post #2560 of 2787

As astrostar59 said, modern tube designs can measure very well. People like high-end tube amps not "because they roll of the high-end" (many of them don't, btw), but rather because they have a sort of unique character. The tone, soundstage, holographic sq..... of a really good tube amp is quite stunning, at least to my ears.

post #2561 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoarment View Post
 

 

This is the kind of thinking that gets people to perceive differences that aren't there and spend too much money (and advise others to do the same).

 

Your correlation between price and quality is a fallacy. Some great stuff is expensive, but some isn't — and not all expensive stuff is great. Not every "upgrade" is really an upgrade in anything but price, and not every "requirement" is really a requirement.

 

 

.......   Do I really need a $5,000 boutique amp for these $3,500 headphones? Well, I'm willing to find out.

 

 

 

I find it interesting how people slide back and forth between adjectives relating to (sonic) quality/performance  and price as if they were interchangeable.  You are correct that not every expensive component is better than every less expensive component.  It does not follow from that, that no expensive component is better than any less expensive component.  

 

As for your last comment -- 'need' is not the correct term here, and skews the argument.  Clearly nobody needs this stuff the same way that they need air and nutrition, e.g..  I for one, am curious what you might end up deciding, once you've had a chance to hear a true reference-level system, which also complies with your sonic taste......

 

 

We can have Scully and Mulder hint one down for you....

post #2562 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3X0 View Post
 

Oh, I know. I meant that I was unsure why the Omega would be particularly difficult to drive, though I suppose it has a larger transducer.

 

I wasn't able to distinguish an audible improvement with a KGSSHV but this was not in my own home. Whereas other individuals are vulnerable to confirmation bias in subpar listening conditions (i.e. meets), I tend to behave contrariwise.

do you mean you exhibit a discomfirmation bias?  :ksc75smile:  isn't that just as bad?   Karl Popper must be spinning in his grave.  (I suppose I should Google to find out if he's even dead yet).   

post #2563 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by fzman View Post
 

do you mean you exhibit a discomfirmation bias?  :ksc75smile:  isn't that just as bad?   Karl Popper must be spinning in his grave.  (I suppose I should Google to find out if he's even dead yet).   


Died in 1994 ;) And yes, any bias is a problem if you are looking for objectivity.

post #2564 of 2787
Tube amps are flawed based on limits in technology just like analogue recording and storage were. Digital and solid state are in another league . It's a fact. That's not up for discussion. What is and needs to be considered is personal preference. That can't be accounted for so there is no point in arguing about it.
Edited by James-uk - 6/13/14 at 3:43pm
post #2565 of 2787
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

I will wholeheartedly agree with Marco that the 009s running off a cheaper amp/dac is going to sound better than the same amount spent on a cheaper headphone but nicer dac/amp. The headphones make the single largest difference in the sound of the rig.

I get your point, but I also think this is one of those dangerous generalizations.  I think this needs to be argued at the level of specific pairings, one vs. the other.  It is tru that transducers are more colored and less 'perfect' than electronics, but there are limits on how far that can be factored into these kinds of comparisons.  What I think is closest to the truth is that you have to weigh the pros and cons of various pairings each of which adds up to a similar dollar total.  Veer to far in one direction with either the electronics or the headphones and you will end up with a poor sounding combo.  

 

 

sorry for 3 disputatious posts in rapid succession - .  I had the day off today, and should be less cranky (of course the 12 hour fast and then 5 plus hours at the hospital for testing may have something to do with it.

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