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The Stax Thread III - Page 221

post #3301 of 11932
This last week I have been listening to a SR-009, bought by a friend of mine who also owns an AMR DP-777 DAC, as well as a SR-007 and SRM-007t.
We invited another friend who owns a Headamp KGSS and another SR-007, which is brighter than the first one, more dynamic and detailed (and I'd say superior.
 
I think the SR-009 are a fantastic headphone. I don't hear them as analytical, they are just fantastic. Very involving, full sounding, they have all frequencies. In the system I described, with the KGSS amplifier, the 009 are simply perfect. They are fantastic even with just the SRM-007t, although they get a bit flabby in bass. They are much better than both the Stax SR-007, by a very big margin. Even the better Omega 2 have an emptyness in the lower midrange, which the 009 don't.
 
The better 007 of the two, still retain spatial qualities which are superior to those of the SR-009 (less wide, but with exceptional capabilities of expanding-collapsing sound and projecting instruments far away), but still lose on every other aspect.
 
Now, the AMR is a vinyil like sounding and tube based source. I am being told that it also pairs greatly with the Metrum Hex (another friend of mine in Leeds - and fellow headfier - currently owns the combo). I will also have a chance to try the 009 with a Lector Digicode S192, which is another analogue sounding source.
To be honest, even if the SR-007 can scale with better amps, I am hardly convinced they will start showing those midrange qualities I am missing with them, and close the gap. Up to the KGSS, the gap between the SR-009 and any SR-007 (I have heard 8 or 9 different samples until this day) is just too wide... I am almost nannoyed, given the 009 are so expensive and out of my budget, but if had the money I'd surely get them.
 
You put a great, analogue sounding source with the SR-009 and the sound is magical. You put a great, analogue sounding source behind the SR-007, and someone will tell you that your amp is the problem (might be half true), and/or your source is not enough.

Edited by antonyfirst - 9/17/14 at 3:51am
post #3302 of 11932
Quote:
Now, the AMR is a vinyil like sounding and tube based source. I am being told that it also pairs greatly with the Metrum Hex (another friend of mine in Leeds - and fellow headfier - currently owns the combo). I will also have a chance to try the 009 with a Lector Digicode S192, which is another analogue sounding source.

I have heard the AMR at a show and it is nice. Another analogue and smooth sounding source I would recommend, every bit as good as the AMR would be the Audio Note 4.1 DAC. It is none oversampling and uses tubes in the PS and output stages. It is as close as I have ever heard to a top vinyl rig IMO. UK finished product is £10k but the kit of the DAC 4.1 can be had for 3.5 US. I built mine in 10 hours and it comes with everything, basically the finished product in bits ready for assembly.

 

Yes The 009s are superb. I had the 007 Mk2.5s and they are also great, but the finesse and detail of the 009s is addictive. Once you hear it (especially with a none Stax amp, there I said it) you will hear what it is capable of. The 009 with the Stax 007t or 717/727 is ok, but is limited. That becomes obvious once you hear other amps. In fact, as well as detail retrieval, I would say the 009 can be a bass monster as well with the KGSShv, it is an incredible headphone. 

 

My issue for years with the Stax sound was it was a bit cold and analytical. Yes, impressive transparency with the Lambda models over the years, yes decent bass (at last) with the 007s. But it wasn't till the 009 landed for me, that it took off into the stratosphere. It's a one way road, find the cash and get it, or don't listen to it. Only way IMO.

 

Actually, I think it comes down to how serious one is about headfi. If you use phones a lot and music is part of your life, then almost everyone can 'find' the money somehow. Eat cheap for a month, cancel a holiday, work some extra hours, ask mum, borrow it. I think everyone into serious headfi should get them.

 

It will be interesting to see how the Abyss fairs. I have a friend who is going to a hifi fair this weekend. If it is the equal of the 009s, I am glad. It is good to have new players in this hobby. My issue with the Abyss is:

1. Weight (I find I get a bit of neck ache after a long session even with the light 009s

2. Looks (I just don't get the design, if it costs that much, it should look at least ok)

3. The adjustment design of the headband is flawed I am told. One of my friends couldn't get a good seal.

 

Watch this space....


Edited by astrostar59 - 9/17/14 at 6:44am
post #3303 of 11932

I've heard the SR-009's many times, mostly with top-tier amplification and relatively high-end sources. Until recently I was disappointed. Instead of returning to the classical open and slightly warm sound of the original Omega's , it seemed Stax had opted for a more "modern" voicing with an emphasis on detail and extension at the expense of a harsher treble and slightly thinner mids. Basically they reminded me of a more refined 507 (which I own).  I recently got the chance to hear the 009's on my own system, which is a sort of "East meets West" marriage of  Metrum Hex source / DIY 845 DHT amp / SR-007. In this system the 009 was clearly superior to the 007.

post #3304 of 11932

Just wanted to share my experience with the EL34PH.  I heard bad things about them, but I figured it's been about a year, so I thought I give it a shot.  One pair of the quad started humming nonstop the second time I had a listen.  Sent that back to Grant Fidelity for a replacement.  I've listened to them a total time of about six hours now; the other pair now hums, on and off. At times, you can hear humming in between tracks; at times you hear it during the music.  Sometimes, its dead quiet.  Splendid.  I'm just going to use them until they die and dump them.  Just wanted to share my experience with members who are considering it; hope it helps.  They do sound very good though, better than xf4 tubes and around the level of xf2 tubes, in my head.

post #3305 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
 

I've heard the SR-009's many times, mostly with top-tier amplification and relatively high-end sources. Until recently I was disappointed. Instead of returning to the classical open and slightly warm sound of the original Omega's , it seemed Stax had opted for a more "modern" voicing with an emphasis on detail and extension at the expense of a harsher treble and slightly thinner mids. Basically they reminded me of a more refined 507 (which I own).  I recently got the chance to hear the 009's on my own system, which is a sort of "East meets West" marriage of  Metrum Hex source / DIY 845 DHT amp / SR-007. In this system the 009 was clearly superior to the 007.

 

Fantastic, Frank. That's what I was hoping to hear.

post #3306 of 11932

gooky, my PH's hummed quite badly when new, sometimes the hum came and went, sometims continuous. I found the hum could be silenced simply by holding the tube (using a cloth!) or gently prodding the base.

But gradually this hum subsided to silence over time (100+ hours). Even after this, they always still hummed in the first few minutes of start up, just like my current Mesa Boogies do, as did the stock JJs. It's seems quite common really amongst new production tubes.

 

In short, don't worry too much about the hum. It's the dying bit that you really need to worry about.

post #3307 of 11932

The hum is definitely related to any new production EL34, being PH, JJ or Tungsol, same experience.

The RFT on the contrary are TOTALLY silent.

post #3308 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
 

gooky, my PH's hummed quite badly when new, sometimes the hum came and went, sometims continuous. I found the hum could be silenced simply by holding the tube (using a cloth!) or gently prodding the base.

But gradually this hum subsided to silence over time (100+ hours). Even after this, they always still hummed in the first few minutes of start up, just like my current Mesa Boogies do, as did the stock JJs. It's seems quite common really amongst new production tubes.

 

In short, don't worry too much about the hum. It's the dying bit that you really need to worry about.


I wonder if this is amp related? I've never had humming of any sort with any of the tubes I've tried.

post #3309 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post
 

The hum is definitely related to any new production EL34, being PH, JJ or Tungsol, same experience.

The RFT on the contrary are TOTALLY silent.


In my experience the older the tubes the better (sound, resolution and reliability). The best driver tubes I have are all pre-1960 and have triple mica and black plates. I never heard an EL34 amp with a neutral sound. I liked the warm sound of my old Klimo Linnet (6 x EL34/100W per channel) monos with certain types of music but sold them after some years because I don't like "colored" sound after all.

 

It's a pity all the know-how of the old tube factories is lost. IMO the JJs are the worst you can buy now. If you need new EL34s go for the "Mullard" ones. They are not real Mullards but Russian Svetlanas. Svetlana bought the brand name. BTW many good old brands are sold to other companies and their gear is often developed by free-lance engineers, like Mark Levinson. I listened to their new "high-end" mono amps and was very disappointed. It's a jungle out there. I always go for the old original 2nd hand stuff ...

post #3310 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by yawg View Post
 


It's a pity all the know-how of the old tube factories is lost. IMO the JJs are the worst you can buy now. If you need new EL34s go for the "Mullard" ones. They are not real Mullards but Russian Svetlanas. Svetlana bought the brand name. BTW many good old brands are sold to other companies and their gear is often developed by free-lance engineers, like Mark Levinson. I listened to their new "high-end" mono amps and was very disappointed. It's a jungle out there. I always go for the old original 2nd hand stuff ...

Are the new Mullard reliable? I'm looking for a quad to use during the week, a couple of times a week, a couple of hours per session, in a very relaxed way, ie not caring much about sound quality. I'd like to keep my best quads for the longer weekend sessions.

post #3311 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post
 

Are the new Mullard reliable? I'm looking for a quad to use during the week, a couple of times a week, a couple of hours per session, in a very relaxed way, ie not caring much about sound quality. I'd like to keep my best quads for the longer weekend sessions.


I got the info about the Mullards from the German forum:

 

http://www.roehren-und-hoeren.de

 

I've been a member of that forum for years and read some posts about the Mullards. Never heard bad things about those tubes. But as always YMMV. You could look for yourself using Google translate.

post #3312 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by yawg View Post


I got the info about the Mullards from the German forum:

http://www.roehren-und-hoeren.de

I've been a member of that forum for years and read some posts about the Mullards. Never heard bad things about those tubes. But as always YMMV. You could look for yourself using Google translate.

Thanks for the info and the link.
post #3313 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by realmassy View Post


Thanks for the info and the link.


There is at least one guy on that tube forum that claims that instead of EL34 one can also use  KT77 and 6CA7 if one changes the whole set and readjusts the bias.

post #3314 of 11932

el34 and 6ca7 are identical items.  kt77 is a bit different, rated more for extra current than voltage, I would

not use those in a BHSE, bad things have happened in the past.

post #3315 of 11932
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin gilmore View Post
 

el34 and 6ca7 are identical items.  kt77 is a bit different, rated more for extra current than voltage, I would

not use those in a BHSE, bad things have happened in the past.

In the BHSE thread, I noticed JHellow saying how much he liked the KT77's in his amp, and doubt there would be a need for another set of tubes (page 164).

 

Then I noticed he also posted something asking if Justin was able to find out what's wrong with his amp (page 392).

 

I wonder if there's any coincidence to this?

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