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About Me:

I am a lover of music and books.

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Wanted max quality under 1000 bucks.
Have it now : best Hifi in 1975 Sansui AU 7700, Stax SR-5.

What I do for a living:


Headphone Inventory

Have and listen to :

STAX LAMBDA NOVA BASIC : with sorbothane on the headband a truly extraordinary gem in the ratio price/quality...

STAX SR-5 Gold ... what i can say? For the price paid and with the sorbothane mod, better by far than anything i have put on my ears ...Kill upgraditis and control this disease ... No real defect, i said that not by by listening to a measuring instrument but with my ears , they are only extraordinary musical, really high end for the poor ( 70 dollars + sr6 sb energizer)) but kill many hi end headphone , i will not name it here...But Ken Rockwell name the Senn hd 800 and he prefer the Stax SR-3 without sorbothane, i cannot comment because i have not hear the hd 800, but i dont want to hear it now ever, too high price for what ? My first choice for music...

Have but listen to no more :
Fostex th 7-b + EMBER amplifier( for the price,60 dollars in canada, i think that this dynamic headphone is marvellous, the best kept secret in audiophile headphone) I think his rendering of the instrumental timbre and midrange is very musical for a headphone of this price...this headphone has the Golden award 2013 of the hifi French review Diapason, if you want to know why, buy them, ratio sound quality/price over the roof...Stax and he400 are 7 and 5 times their price but certainly not many times more good sounding...If you are poor rejoice! the Fostex are Audiophile stock despite their appearance and color...the sorb mod on the Fostex are a great upgrade of the upper bass clarity..

Hifiman he-400 ( famous reputation for the ratio quality/price and my first choice headphone) i dont listen to them because my Stax Sr-5+sorbothane crush all i have except Stax lambda nova.

Audiotechnica ath-m50 ( closed headphone only good without being exceptional )

Headphone Amp Inventory

Have and listen to :
Sansui Au 7700 extraordinary Vintage bargain with a completely separate pre-amp section and a tone control section audiophile grade.... with my StaxSR-5 and with the Monsoon MM 2000 an extraordinary sound at low cost...i use it like a pre-amp with the Stax lambda nova basic and the srm 252s +sorbothane mod.

Have but listen to no more:
Ember project ( very good and very versatile,very beautiful, with the 6J5 tube family incredibly better than with my 12 other tubes, including the 6sn7 and the dual 7193 family ) surprisingly high ratio quality/price/flexibility...its pre/out drive also the Stax with more body or the Monsoon internal amps with more soundstage ...It is the Amplifier of choice of my Fostex and Hifiman HE 400

Stax srm252s

Had :
Hitachi receiver sr 904

Stax smr-xh (at used price a bargain capable to run many stax headphones)

Aune t1 tube dac/amp ( good synergy pairing with the ath m50 and the fostex, not with the He 400 for my ears)
Pa2v2 ( i dont use it now, but for the price interesting deal )
Bravo ocean tube amp ( good synergy with the He 400 and with the AKG 701)

Source Inventory

Beresford Bushmaster mkII with Ankaka Battery charger ( a pure marvel for the price)+sorbothane mod.

Hifimediy asynchronus usb Sabre DAC + sorbothane on it ( 57 dollars and i am sure one of the best dac less than 200 hundred dollars, and an optic converter, all in one)
+ hifimediy usb isolator (that make in the chain an audible difference to my ears)+ sorbothane on it

Aune t1 tube dac/amp. ( bad synergy with Hifiman He 400)

Cable Inventory

Morrow ma 1 interconnect rca cable ( quality/ price ratio very good to say the least ) + Morrow Ma3 and this upgrade with the ma3 make a big difference...+ excellent King Valab optical toslink cable (great upgrade from cheap cable)

Other Audio Equipment

My first choice speakers :

Mission volare V60 2 way speakers + sorbothane.... the sound of these 75 dollars speakers used is now so good, thanks to sorb. mod, that it is impossible to beat them unless to buy very more pricey speakers ...


Monsoon MM 2000 4.1 active powered desktop speakers (4 planars satellites with a sub)... astonishingly good i would have pay them 600 hundred dollars with joy... they sold 300 hundred in 2001... it cost me 80 dollars used today... a steal.... incredibly acurate sound... ( very good mids, fantastic highs without any distortion at any volume and very accurate bass with a marvellous soundstage and imaging).... I am sure they are only surpassed by mini maggies in accuracy (1,500 dollars+ 500 dollars for an amp to drive them+ a 500 dollars subwoofer)... they are also planars....ridiculously high quality price/ratio compared to the maggies(2500 $ vs. 80$ used)...they surpassed my beloved Swan M10 easily ...not in the same ballgame...note: preamplification with the Sansui AU 7700 amp upgrade the sound very much. And the source dac is very important because planars are revealing in the utmost manner.
I read this review about them on the net : «Really remarkable. I think of them as junior versions of my $2,200 Martin Logan Aerius electrostatic speakers in my living room. Too bad Monsoon went out of business several years ago.» and this opinion about them : «We have used the Monsoons for some years now. I have fooled people into believing they were listening to a high end stereo system costing 100 times as much when these tiny panels were next to the high end speakers and played at a pleasantly moderate level with Diana Krall singing with her trio. All this for $200 - perhaps the biggest bargain I have ever found! Unfortunately the original two models mentioned were hard to find. These are licensed by Bruce Thigpen of Eminent Technology»
With application of 5 little pieces of sorb. on the speakers the sound enter in an another world of perfection and imaging... Incredible... if you see one of those to sell buy at any price...

had :
Swan m10 2.1 multimedia speakers ( quality/ price ratio impossible to exceed, it cost me one dollar on ebay and the retail price is around 125 dollars) the sound is very musical, and if you are on a tight budget dont kill yourself buy it....You will smile ...I give them to my son...

Audio-Related Tweaks

IMPORTANT NOTE : Sorbothane feets or patches are miraculous product for vibrations...They contribute to produce a more clear bass and imaging under my Monsoon subwoofer and directly glued on my planars panels ...They are no less miraculous in my Stax SR-5 , they transform it in my Holy Grail... All my gear are sorbothanized...

THE MOST IMPORTANT THREAD IN HEAD-FI is this one: «Damping Mechanical Resonance Distortion of STAX phones with SORBOTHANE: LAMBDAS, SRXIII PRO, SR003, SR00, the SIGMA and various non-STAX »

Paramax pm8-av power conditioner made a difference also... bought it used for a cheap amount...made a great difference and protect your gear...UPDATE: i have upgrade for Panamax 4300 EX with joy, what big difference it made compare to the basic panamax, i bought it used for 20 % of msrp... a bargain for an audiophile experience...

Music Preferences

classicals, also world and jazz...

Interests (non-headphone)


Gear-Fi (Favorite Non-Audio Gear & Gadgets)

rocking chair

richard51's Recent Activity

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MICROZOTL2 Tube Headphone Amp and preamp: a breakthrough device
richard51 posted in this thread in Headphone Amps (full-size) Today at 5:46 pm | 1621 replies | 67570 views
Feliks-Audio ELISE...New thread.
richard51 posted in this thread in Headphone Amps (full-size) 4/27/16 at 5:33am | 10766 replies | 166750 views
Calling All "Vintage" Integrated/Receiver Owners
richard51 posted in this thread in Headphone Amps (full-size) 4/24/16 at 8:36am | 16151 replies | 1340177 views
The Stax Thread III
richard51 posted in this thread in High-end Audio Forum 4/18/16 at 4:38pm | 8874 replies | 510608 views
low bias Stax cable needed
richard51 posted in this thread in Cables, Speakers, Tweaks, Accessories For... 4/14/16 at 7:10pm | 0 replies | 57 views
stax sr-5 low bias replacement cable needed
richard51 posted in this thread in Cables, Speakers, Tweaks, Accessories For... 4/8/16 at 5:58am | 0 replies | 20 views
MHDT Labs Pagoda - Any owners out there?
richard51 posted in this thread in Dedicated Source Components 3/17/16 at 5:42am | 132 replies | 14175 views
MHDT Lab Pagoda: A review ...
richard51 posted in this thread in Dedicated Source Components 2/21/16 at 11:07am | 24 replies | 1203 views
Hifiman HE1000 Planar Dynamic Flagship
richard51 posted in this thread in High-end Audio Forum 2/21/16 at 10:38am | 7610 replies | 568849 views


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