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The Stax Thread III - Page 205

post #3061 of 11926

I tried both the SR007s and SR009s on a Woo Wes. The SR007s sounded great, but the SR009 sounded over-the-top with upper mids and lower highs, especially on vocals and strings, that had me cringing. The bass was full and staging was good though.

But I much prefer my SR009s on my 007t/ii amp, and even more so with it retubed with the RCA cleartops. It is intimate, balanced, and has incredible non-hyped detail, and the highs are sweet and easy to take, which is just what the SR009 needs.


Since I much prefer the SR009 to the SR007, the 009/007t-ii chain works for me, and is quite affordable too.


It's also nice that the Stax amp does not generate loads of heat, tubes and all, which is great if you are sitting next to it in a desktop situation.


The bass I am hearing is at least as prominent and tight and definitely more detailed and natural than my Senn HD800 (with a Pinnacle), so I am happy.

(I have not heard a BHSE or KGSS yet, so I cannot comment on them.)

Edited by rgs9200m - 9/3/14 at 6:44am
post #3062 of 11926

I've got my vintage stuff! They're in good condition regarding their, and work perfectly. By the looks of things, they're stock, without any alteration or restoration. I definitely need new earpads, since there isn't even a trace of the faux leather covering left. Good thing Stax even sells earpads for headphones of this age.  Attached a few pictures (sorry for the poor quality; I do need a better camera.) The last picture is my other vintage toy: the earlier mentioned 1897 upright Steinway & Sons piano.


The sound is good. A bit more 'in the head' than I have experienced with my HE-400's, but very detailed and clear. Less bass than the HE-400 delivers but the sound overall is of high quality. Of course, just first impressions for now, and I also have to get used to them pressing against my ears with the worn pads.


There are some things that need attention of course. The main issue right now is a cabling issue on the left channel of the headphones, resulting in an occasional crackling. I've narrowed this down to the cabling, since it occurs with head movements and not when I sit still. And of course, those earpads (and a new camera.)









post #3063 of 11926

I agree with rgs re:  the STAX SRM-007tII.  It's supersweet at any normal listening level. 


Read the review at  http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/listening-great-headphone-amplifiers-and-stax-sr-900  The differences between STAX amps and third party ones tend to show up at higher volume levels.  The STAX amps are great and less expensive for normal listening. 


My concern is that newcomers to headphones will read some of the comments from other folks above and avoid STAX headphones because of the perceived expense and difficulty of them. That would be insane. 


It's like cars.  The standard engine is usually a great combo of reliability, durability, availability, fuel economy, performance, and price.  The STAX amps with the STAX phones are like premium cars with the standard engines that most people purchase.  And they're nicer than most other (dynamic headphones!) cars.


Nobody can argue with headroom, as mentioned in the link above.  But for heaven's sake, don't think you need to skip over STAX just because of the ravings of us obsessive enthusiasts here.

post #3064 of 11926

Interesting reading about the alternative amps. I'm not in a position to be swapping just yet, but I'll look into the various options. Thanks for recommendations!


As I have become more familiar with both systems, I have grown to like the 009 system more. Saying that, there's a certain snap and 'twang' to the bass on the 507 that doesn't seem to be as present on the 009. I have tried the phones on the same amp also. 


Now, here's something that you may be able to answer... The 507s are very new and the pads feel very firm on my head, and the bass can almost be felt through the firm pads. The 009 have very soft, worn in pads and the bass is softer, deeper and more rounded. 


I'm guessing the phones naturally have different bass signatures, but wondered if the age of the pads is also making a difference? Might seem an absurd question, but the pads are essentially 'the room' which 'the hifi' sits inside of, so the age of the pads might make a considerable difference? 

post #3065 of 11926

...or does the 007tII Kimik need a service? It's 4 years old and hasn't been serviced yet.

post #3066 of 11926
Originally Posted by greggf View Post

I agree with rgs re:  the STAX SRM-007tII.  It's supersweet at any normal listening level. 



Thanks Greg! I've been using Stax amps for 15 years now (the T1W, 007t-original and the current version) with a few Stax phones and I like them and think they are always underestimated.


With my new tubes, I can push the volume on my SR009 to very loud levels, as loud as to cause hearing damage if I was so inclined, and still the highs are fine and not aggressive.


I've been pointing out for a while that Tyll had nice things to say about the 007t/ii amp, and if you can address any issues with the highs of the 009 in particular like I have with a tube-swap and some nice copper 

cables (like my Cardas Golden Cross) you can get things very right ("delicate" like Tyll says, but still with good impact and bass depth).


Many seem to rush to Tyll's final remarks and conclude that it a BHSE or nothing, but if you read it carefully his impressions are more nuanced than that.

And Tyll did just use stock tubes and did not vary cables or power cords at all.


If you can afford and wait for a BHSE (with, it seems, PSvane tubes from reading the forums), of course that would be nice to have. 

But the SR009s are so brilliant that it would be a shame to pass on them if you can't have this top-of-the-line amp.

Edited by rgs9200m - 9/3/14 at 2:50pm
post #3067 of 11926

Yes, Tyll's comments are great.  He's walking a fine line there, and I think he's right on.


Here's where I'm coming from:  I could order something like the BHSE if I wanted to.  I could stand the wait.  I could stand the heat.  I could stand the expense.   I could stand the service difficulties if, god forbid, Justin at HeadAmp were to drive straight into a tree and leave us orphans.  I've ordered STAX stuff from him, and trust him completely and think he's probably a genius. 


It's just that I love the sound of the 007tII, the way you do.

post #3068 of 11926

Thanks again Greg. I've have found much if any agreement on this, so I'm happy about that. Best to you.

post #3069 of 11926
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

Yes MacedonianHero, a modded 727 is quite good, as I am told by Spritzer, it ends up the same or very close to my 717, which is not half bad. Until that is you here a good KGSShv or the BHSE! I am pleased to read the LLMk2 is better than the Mk1. It is good to have competition in the market place, as progress then happens and the audiophiles benefit. It was kinda weird the negatives the LLMk1 attracted from the other quarters. I haven't heard it, or taken the top off so can't say myself. It is not a cheap amp, but seems to be available on a short (realistic) delivery window. Hope Alex fixed the ridiculously tight Stax plugs!


The vice grip hold of the Stax plugs of the LLMk1 has been fixed completely with the new model. And it sounds really, really good. I'm quite impressed with what I heard on a direct A-B comparison with my KGSSHV. I wasn't a big fan of the Mk1, but the changes on the LLMk2 have really surprised me. And it's a very well built amp in the new all black case-work. Just to clarify some of my other points, I don't think the SRM727II and SRM007II are bad amps by any means and with the SR-507/307, they are very good. And they are pretty good with the SR-007/9s too.....it's just that in my experiences you're leaving a lot of cards on the table when you've heard them with amps like KGSS, LLMk2, KGSSHV, and especially the T-2.

Edited by MacedonianHero - 9/3/14 at 8:12pm
post #3070 of 11926

Yes I agree the 727 (or at least my 717) is not so bad. But an A/B to a KGSShv, that amp is miles ahead IMO. The treble edge, synthetic sound, none realistic, cold, small sound stage, loose bass, can't go loud without having to dive for the volume when a violin or electric guitar cuts your ears up. On the KGSShv it all sounds so smooth and warmer, more accurate, bigger, masses of control. It is a different world IMO. The Stax amps on there own, and if not hearing a good amp first, can sound ok, kind of interesting, bit fatiguing. But I have many mates in the UK who bought the Stax systems and sold on the amps. The honeymoon with the amps lasts a few months at most.


This to me shows how good the phones really are, and how weak the Stax amps are. The phones scale so well, even the 507s, it has to be a weakness in the Stax amps that is at fault here.


I really wish more demo rooms would show the 007s or 009s with an LLMK2 at the very least, or a WOO WES. It would show the masses what is possible, as opposed to the few who read these forums or go to meets. The whole high end stat market could explode if the demo situation was sorted out. They just display the Stax systems. It reminds me of how Linn and Naim highjacked the hifi stores in the UK in the 90s. They bullied the dealers to not demo anything else. I don't think Stax do that, but the other high end Stat amps don't have a big enough exposure in these shops, so more or less the same thing.

post #3071 of 11926

Like I said, I heard the WES at a demo and it sent me running for the hills with its chilly highs and sent me happily back to my trusty 007t. Just my ears here.

post #3072 of 11926

Odd? Must have been a horrid track to test on. The tubes and gain stages in the WES are far better quality than the Stax amps IMO. 

post #3073 of 11926
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Like I said, I heard the WES at a demo and it sent me running for the hills with its chilly highs and sent me happily back to my trusty 007t. Just my ears here.


The only reason I sold my SR-007mk1's was because they were being driven by the SRM-007t which I also sold at the same time.


I did have them both for 11 years though so it took me sometime to realise how bad [ IMO ] that amp drove the 007mk1's.

post #3074 of 11926
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

Like I said, I heard the WES at a demo and it sent me running for the hills with its chilly highs and sent me happily back to my trusty 007t. Just my ears here.

What phones did you try the WOO WES with? In a demo room, at a show, with your own known tracks? What front end?

I just don't believe you, sorry. Would recommend you get a home demo or spend more time with the WOO,

KGSShv or a BHSE.


Remember, the 009s reveal everything, and if the source isn't top notch, it will show it for sure. Some lower quality front ends sound better with the 507 or 407 IMO as it doesn't reveal the limitations upstream. The 009s have to be driven by a great front end to sing and provide a natural sound. It's about system synergy. 

post #3075 of 11926

More everyone take about the 727 mod, more I wanted to try it...

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