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STAX SRS 2170 VS. HiFiMan HE-400 with Magni/Modi Amp and DAC *Opinions needed*

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone, 

 

My Father recently got a set of Stax SR Lamdba Pro and a SRM-1/ MK-2 connected to a Primaluna tube amp that is the best, most detailed, sound I have ever heard. After going home and listening to my Sennheiser RS 170, it made me reevaluate my life and now the hunt for a new headphone set up begins. 

 

So I beg the question to all those who, know which is a better setup? SRS 2170 or HE 400 with Magni Modi . Budget is around 600 dollars but I can go a little higher if there is something that is even better. 

 

Lastly I know I cannot catch my father's rig, just trying to get closer than what I have. 

 

Thanks is Advanced 

Eric 


Edited by yakumo2897 - 11/20/14 at 10:24am
post #2 of 5

It'll mostly depend on your own tastes. If you liked the Lambda Pro that much, you may like the sound of the Stax system the best. You'll need to buy a DAC though, the Modi will still work well.

 

You should also consider your upgrade path. The Magni will work great with virtually any high-end dynamic or planar headphone, giving you a wide variety of options for a next step if you ever decide to upgrade. With the Stax system, you'll be limited to Stax headphones, or you'll need to get a separate headphone amp for any dynamic headphones you get in the future.

post #3 of 5

"SRM-1/ MK-2 connected to a Primaluna tube amp"

 

why is this connected?

the mk2 is an integrated amp that is capable of taking a line level source input. It can also pass through a signal to another amp or preamp that has a headphone output.

 

example:

my mk2 is fed by a modi. the pass thru on the mk2 is routed to the magni.

with the stax amp off I can still listen to the 400s through the magni/modi, I could listen to both sets simultaneously.

 

they are very different systems except for being open, the stax is most transparent. bass impact on the 400 carries more weight.

 

the 400s are more flexible. with a portable amp (or just from a decent player) you could go on the road or just walk around the house.

the hifiman/stack (buying new) is the better value. the stax system is slightly more musical, resolving. like head injury has pointed out, stax ties you to a system.

 

both are good systems. hard to call a clear winner.

Yakumo, heard them both yet?

 

edit: btw old man = disrespect

go ask your father, he knows. lol


Edited by ri_toast - 11/20/14 at 1:46am
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I haven't had a chance to listen to either as work has been busy, but am planning to go to an audio shop where they will have both setup, in Marina Del Ray, this weekend. I am glad to hear there will not being a clear winner. I know kind of how this is going to play out. I am going to love the sound of the Stax but will also love the bass and upgrade ability of the HE400s. It will really be how great the difference is between the two and if its that close I might just want to go for the HE400s as I likely to upgrade. I am already  looking at Sony MDR-Z7  headphones although I am at a point where I cannot afford them and haven't heard what they sound like.

 

Its connect to the Tube amp simply because it makes it sound better.  We did have the MK2 connected directly to the front end, but it sounded significantly worse. The Primaluna seems to just make everything sound better, more detailed and impactful. We also have speakers hooked up to it (Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 )so it is fun to compare. I might not be explaining it right but it does work. 

 

Lastly was not trying to be disrespectful. It is just something I jokingly call my father since we are both old. I am 28 and have 2 kids myself.  We both love sound although we listen to vastly different music. I will try to edit the first post and take that out. I didn't mean to offend anyone. 

 

Thank you so much for the opinions and am excited to try both this weekend. 

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakumo2897 View Post
 

I haven't had a chance to listen to either as work has been busy, but am planning to go to an audio shop where they will have both setup, in Marina Del Ray, this weekend. I am glad to hear there will not being a clear winner. I know kind of how this is going to play out. I am going to love the sound of the Stax but will also love the bass and upgrade ability of the HE400s. It will really be how great the difference is between the two and if its that close I might just want to go for the HE400s as I likely to upgrade. I am already  looking at Sony MDR-Z7  headphones although I am at a point where I cannot afford them and haven't heard what they sound like.

 

Its connect to the Tube amp simply because it makes it sound better.  We did have the MK2 connected directly to the front end, but it sounded significantly worse. The Primaluna seems to just make everything sound better, more detailed and impactful. We also have speakers hooked up to it (Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 )so it is fun to compare. I might not be explaining it right but it does work. 

 

Lastly was not trying to be disrespectful. It is just something I jokingly call my father since we are both old. I am 28 and have 2 kids myself.  We both love sound although we listen to vastly different music. I will try to edit the first post and take that out. I didn't mean to offend anyone. 

 

Thank you so much for the opinions and am excited to try both this weekend. 


I wasn't offended by the old man comment, just sounded (read it) strange. Tubes do add some warmth (generally) even some older solid state units will do the same.

 

the he400s are 299 any number of places right now since it has been replaced by the 400i. I listened to the 400is and the 560s and didn't like either. The 400is sounded like there were tiny empty tin cans attached and had a slightly hollow sound. They were much lighter though. The 560s were too recessed and probably need tons of power. In an effort to be fair I didn't give either more than a few seconds of ear time. I had also just listened to the Stax 009s, after that everything would sound mediocre. :)  I plan on going to another headfi meet early in December and listen to the Hifiman line up again. I have a funny feeling that I will still prefer the 400. I do have an aftermarket cable (ofc and silver plate) and the velor ear pads. The original cable with the he400s is a stiff little number and very long, ok for home stationary use though.

 

The real problem with the entry level Stax system is the amp, lacks balance control. Then again, once you lock in the upgrade path is pretty simple and there are loads of amps even the woo wee if you already have some better stereo equipment now.

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wee.html

 

Another consideration is resale, Stax holds a pretty good value used. Not many audio companies have models that actually go above suggested list as they get older but there are some.

 

I'd be interested in you impressions once the audition is done.

Another headphone to consider are the Koss ESP 950s used or on sale.

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