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The Stax Thread III - Page 57

post #841 of 10700
Great discussion
post #842 of 10700

My theory is that one has to observe how live music is played. If a type of music is in real life situation amplified music and you can only hear through dynamic speakers in real life situation, for that music better suit to a good dynamic headphone, than a stax. But if the music is not amplified, than electrostat is a better gear to reproduce. As far as the rock of the 70-80s concerned, my experience is, that a sennheiser hd650 is one the best possible cans. The fullsome, mid-bass heavy coloration and bit veiled sound of the HD 650 is much like that real life concert experience and I think suit very well to this type of music. Stax ( I have in-depth experience only with sr-x3)  does not able to reproduce fully that raw, brutal and fullsome rythmic music, but highlights the deficiencies of the recording (Led Zeppelin II is a pain on stax). Modern well recorded pop, like Amy Winehouse, with effects and highly emotional singing is a draw between the two. One may prefer the resolving power, speed and ability to faithfully reproduce snaps of the music of (this is stax) or the brute force of a dynamic can. Of course, your brain is compensating the mistakes of the transducer and thus one can fully enjoy any kind of music on any kind of transducer, provided that he/she does not concentrate on what is she/he is missing in the reproduction and what are the mistakes of the can and what would be a better solution.   


Edited by Andrasdesoria - 11/20/13 at 11:17pm
post #843 of 10700
Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

(...)

 

baxter97: I think for good recordings Stax are great. Funnily enough, Michael Jackson's recordings are excellent and I know at least one 'stat owner here who listens to '80s music.

Make that two. Jackson is great with stats, and I also isten to Al Jarreau and others a lot. I love the spirit of '80s music!

post #844 of 10700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

Arnaud, I've said it before, but I think it comes down, a lot of the time, to what type and how good the music is that people listen to and, importantly, how loud they listen to whether a lot of expensive gear is "worth it". That, and spending money wisely and in good proportion is a lot harder than just spending a lot of money and hoping for an improvement.

padam: I think that, essentially, Stax can build more daring products now they don't have to worry about bankrupting themselves as they may potentially have done with the SR-009s without outside funding.

baxter97: I think for good recordings Stax are great. Funnily enough, Michael Jackson's recordings are excellent and I know at least one 'stat owner here who listens to '80s music.

I think I know who you're referring to smily_headphones1.gif and I'm with you about the listening habits affecting the gear you're after / sounding best to one's ears.
Edited by arnaud - 11/21/13 at 4:55am
post #845 of 10700
To clarify my position on the stat gear:

1. I listen at mild levels, to mostly non/amplified instruments and/or voices.

2. I value instrument placement / separation over sheer soundstage width.

3. I value bass texture over impact and certainly dislike artificially rounded bass.

4. I value resolution and speed over smoothed sound, else I use a specific headphone for these recordings that don't deserve the attention (imho, one is in the wrong hobby if trying to get a rig that sounds best with any music. There is no need to spend big bucks for this and it's not what I call high fidelity).

5. It all starts in the midrange and a headphone that does not make voices sound right is not a headphone for me.

6. With experience, I got less and less tolerant of gear that smears treble, confuses extension with artificial increase in treble / peakiness.

7. I am not sure I can say I am striving for a neutral sound as "neutral sounding" is whatever sound signature one is used to after extensive listen to the same gear... But in general, I'd say if all the parameters above are right, there is a good chance the gear will actually be not far from neutral.

Based on all this, by far the best transducer I've heard to date is the 009 and the source seems to be paramount to nail some of these parameters such as realistic instrument placement in the room, proper feeling of room ambience, cleanliness of the treble. Much more than the amplifier what the little experience I've had so far (am getting more chances to listen / compare high end amps and the BHSE will eventually get here so this may change).

Now if one has totally different set of requirements toward enjoying his gear, certainly all bets are off. But there again, I am not sure that what should be called high fidelity.
post #846 of 10700
I would like to share my experience about what matters more between amps or cans.

Some months ago I bought a Stax SR-009 and I compared it with my SR-007A and the two amps I had at the time: Stax SRM-007tII and BHSE. I compared them four ways, i.e. each can with each amp. It helped that I was alone in the house for a few weeks as my family was away on holidays.

In short, my conclusion was that, at least for those Stax cans, the headphones matter more for the sound signature than the amplifier. The intrinsic properties of the 009 sound were there with whichever of the two amplifiers I plugged. And the same for the 007A. Also the 009 is easier to drive and it did not improve as much by the BHSE from the SRM-007tII as the 007A did.

To be clear, I think the 009 is better than the 007 and the BHSE is better than the SRM-007tII. But my point is that the buying decision in the headphone is more important. So in that comparison the headphones mattered more than the amp. "Matter more" in the sense of putting more money on them or to build a system around them, i.e. buying them first. Of course you can only know which one you like best (009 or 007) if you have tried both.

But it is not so easy because there is another factor: the sound signature of your preference. I asked myself: the combo 009+SRM007 costs more or less the same as the combo 007A+BHSE. If I had to choose one, which one should I keep? If I had to start again, I would tend to think 009+SRM007 is better spent money, but the sound signatures of the 009 and 007 are so different that personal preference on this matter would be the starting point.

If I had to start again and If I only wanted 1 headphone and 1 amplifier this is what I would do. However I enjoy the differences between headphones and amps, that's why I have several. I am lucky enough that I can afford that.

My experience with dynamic headphones is also that the sound signature is intrinsic to the cans and amps will only adjust, correct or tame it, so "cans matter more", but some cans really really scale up much more with a better amplifier than the electrostats, for instance Sennheisers HD-800 or HD-600.

So it all depends I guess.
post #847 of 10700
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquireC View Post
 

Spotted this link on another site if anyone is interested. Hope this doesn't break any forum rules.

 

Don't know who the seller is.

 

Stax SR-3 & SRD-5 - Electrostatic ear speakers (headphones) dating from early 1970s with SRD-5 energiser, in excellent condition with original manual. Photos on request. £175.00 plus p&p - contact T2o AT greenbee.net (Mid Beds UK}

 

 

 

 

 


Just to correct this for anyone interested, the contact address is t2o@greenbee.net

post #848 of 10700

I listen to  60s, 70s, 80s, + modern music (mostly popular) on my 009 phones + 007tA amp and it sounds great, bass and all, musical and revealing at once.

No need to change anything for me unless I ever somehow have a lot more money to burn and experiment with.

(DAC and cables and power conditioner all make a big difference, but everything fell into place here.)

(I love my dynamics too, for the record.)

 

007mark 1 phones with the 007t amp were too weak-sounding for me; I sold those phones. Like Arturo wrote so well just above, SR007 and SR009 phones are completely different beasts.

The SR007s sound a lot like the older Staxes, and could be mistaken for each other, like Lambdas I had.

But the 009s have a whole new sound, much more revealing and insightful and gripping. 

 

I still don't understand the problems with the 009 bass I read about, as the bass is great because it is very well incorporated with the rest of the spectrum and the objects that generate it;

it's extremely natural bass, more natural bass than any other phones, with lots of bass detail.

 

Of course, the dynamics and older Staxes are less super-clear and thus more relaxing, and I can read while using those,

whereas with the 009s I just have to listen.

post #849 of 10700
My older Lambda Signatures and Sr-x pros should be off your less clear more relaxing list
post #850 of 10700
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post
 

I listen to  60s, 70s, 80s, + modern music (mostly popular) on my 009 phones + 007tA amp and it sounds great, bass and all, musical and revealing at once.

No need to change anything for me unless I ever somehow have a lot more money to burn and experiment with.

(DAC and cables and power conditioner all make a big difference, but everything fell into place here.)

(I love my dynamics too, for the record.)

 

007mark 1 phones with the 007t amp were too weak-sounding for me; I sold those phones. Like Arturo wrote so well just above, SR007 and SR009 phones are completely different beasts.

The SR007s sound a lot like the older Staxes, and could be mistaken for each other, like Lambdas I had.

But the 009s have a whole new sound, much more revealing and insightful and gripping. 

 

I still don't understand the problems with the 009 bass I read about, as the bass is great because it is very well incorporated with the rest of the spectrum and the objects that generate it;

it's extremely natural bass, more natural bass than any other phones, with lots of bass detail.

 

Of course, the dynamics and older Staxes are less super-clear and thus more relaxing, and I can read while using those,

whereas with the 009s I just have to listen.


With the Lambda Signatures I have no chance to do anything else while I am listening with them. So for me they are surely NOT "less super-clear and thus more relaxing"...


Edited by AManAnd88Keys - 11/21/13 at 3:08pm
post #851 of 10700
The 007 regardless of version sound nothing like the Lambdas or any other old Stax headphones,probably the SR-002 comes close in sound tonality because it is also warm and slightly laid back. If anything sounds similar to some of the Lambdas is the 009's bright and forward but better in nearly all aspects of sound.
post #852 of 10700

I do love the sound of my Normal Bias Lambda out of my SRD-7/SB, whatever speaker amp I'm using. Yeah, it's clearly bright, but it's so much fun.

My SR-5 has a kind of vintage sound, with tons of mids and more impact on low-mids, but details, imaging and resolution are far from my Lambda. Excellent choice for some olds LPs with crackling noise.

SR-009 out of the SRM-727 is like a cask strenght whisky. There's more and more, in every aspect, but there's so much extension and details...overdose is somewhat close :biggrin:

Next quest : an decent amp for my 2001's HD600, so narrow and veiled compared to Stax cans...

 

Ali

post #853 of 10700
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

 

The SR007s sound a lot like the older Staxes, and could be mistaken for each other, like Lambdas I had.

This is simply not true...at all.  In fact, the SR-007 is about the furthest away from your typical Lambda of all electrostats out there.

post #854 of 10700
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycalgary View Post

My older Lambda Signatures and Sr-x pros should be off your less clear more relaxing list

^Lol, I second that!

 

Really want to dig further down into Stax territory, just think I need to develope my music taste and overall experience first, as estats seem to be quite demanding beasts if you want to appreciate them to the fullest.


Edited by davidsh - 11/21/13 at 3:16pm
post #855 of 10700

007 mkI has a sound signature no where near all the Stax headphones, both previous and present. The only Lambda that comes in close to that "dark" signature is the Lambda Nova Sig, but other wise they have completely different sound stages, detail retrieval, bass quality, etc.

 

I, for one, prefer the 007 mkI over the 009s. The 007s make the music more intimate and the treble isn't as sharp as the 009 with the bass better defined. I actually would rather have the Hifiman HE6 to the SR-009 (and I do). Of course this is all my personal opinion in conjunction with my own musical preferences.

 

:gs1000smile:

 

 

 

 

 

Lets get ready for the 009 fan boys to chime in

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