Dyanmic headphones vs. electrostats
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ampgalore

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How do HD650, CD3000 stack up against the electrostats?

I currently have the HD600 and ER4S. I would like my next upgrade to be a substantial upgrade instead of an incremental upgrade.

How much does omegaII cost?
 
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smokey

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The Omega II runs between $1,600 and $4,000 US depending on where you get them, and if they are grey market or legitimate US authorized product.

The sound quality can be substantial in favor of the Stax, IF you get similiar high quality amplification.
 
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ampgalore

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I thought the electrostat headphones come with their matched amps. Sorry, I am a complete newb when it comes to electrostats.

Which amp would you recommend for the Omega II?
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ampgalore
I thought the electrostat headphones come with their matched amps. Sorry, I am a complete newb when it comes to electrostats.

Which amp would you recommend for the Omega II?



It is around $1,600 for the Stax Omega II earspeakers alone.
And $4,000 is a legitimate price for the Omega II/AMP together.
The SRM-007t is the tube amplifier -- there is a solid-state variant.

On a budget? The SRM-313 amplifier will do just fine...
Like solid-state the best? The SRM-717 would be nice!
Want to tube roll more? The Blue Hawaii is a nice one...
Want solid-state better? The KGSS is a contender, too.

There are so many choices -- contact a Stax owner, please.
They will give you better advice than anyone else here.

Hope I helped,
Scott
 
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Sovkiller

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They do come with their amps, but there is also some DIY amps, designed by Kevin Gilmore, that according to some members and depending in the execution of the project could outperform the stock units...
About the if one is better than the other, all depends also of the preference of the listener, some had stated that the bass on the electrostatic is not as on some of the dynamic cans, but the electrostatic headphones do outperform dynamic cans in many other aspects as details, clarity, instrument separation, soundstage, etc....
Anyway, the is a substantial difference in price between those, depending on the budget you may opt for one or the other...(R-10 and Qualia appart).

note: Never use an electrostatic with the hair wet...LOL...800volts between ears should be enough to make you think on another hobby later.....LOL...
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sovkiller
They do come with their amps, but there is also some DIY amps, designed by Kevin Gilmore, that according to some members and depending in the execution of the project could outperform the stock units...
About the if one is better than the other, all depends also of the preference of the listener, some had stated that the bass on the electrostatic is not as on some of the dynamic cans, but the electrostatic headphones do outperform dynamic cans in many other aspects as details, clarity, instrument separation, soundstage, etc....
Anyway, the is a substantial difference in price between those, depending on the budget you may opt for one or the other...(R-10 and Qualia appart).

note: Never use an electrostatic with the hair wet...LOL...800volts between ears should be enough to make you think on another hobby later.....LOL...



The amperes are quite low in the film's surface charge. But it's enough to give you a nice tingle.
Remember when you get zapped by a static electric shock in the winter, it's rated in the tens of thousands of volts. but the amps are so low, it just gives you a good jolt.

You can esily kill yourself with just 9 volts if the amps are high enough.

But still, I wouldn't go licking an Omega II's drivers for more reasons than that. Especially if they aren't yours.


-Ed
 
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ampgalore

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Darn it, I sweat a lot, so now I have to rethink about getting into electrostats!
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwood
The amperes are quite low in the film's surface charge. But it's enough to give you a nice tingle.
Remember when you get zapped by a static electric shock in the winter, it's rated in the tens of thousands of volts. but the amps are so low, it just gives you a good jolt.

You can esily kill yourself with just 9 volts if the amps are high enough.

But still, I wouldn't go licking an Omega II's drivers for more reasons than that. Especially if they aren't yours.


-Ed



That was a joke that other member used here some time ago, of course the headphones are pretty safe for human use, otherwise we have to agree then, that Kevin Gilmore is not a sane person, designing and using those ultramegavolts amps....LOL...the last pics I saw from his last Blue Hawaii, are really scary.....
 
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Relieved to hear that it is a joke


Now I am saving up for an Omega II (wont happen for a few years... )

Are there any disavantgaes of electrostats compared to the dyanmic headphones?

I know in the speaker world, bass and soundstage are the electrostat's weak areas compared to conventional speakers.
 
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sorry if this is ultra-n00b, but what exactly are "dynamic" headphones? i've heard the term MANY times, but what does it actually mean, and what is it in compared to electrostatic?
 
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I'm a long time lurking newbie, but former semi-audiophile. I've been away from high end stuff for a while while raising the kids, but I recently have been edging my way back in.

Many years back I bought a pair of Stax SR-5 electrostatic headphones with the SRD-6 adaptor. I always thought they were fantastic cans. Eventually the mount for the headband broke a bit, and I put them away for many years as I had less time for listening to headphones.

A few weeks back I decided to buy a pair of HD 555's. They sounded OK, but I knew I needed a headphone amp, so I just picked up a Headroom Home amp last week. The 555's sounded pretty darn good, but something still seemed a bit lacking in the midrange. And they sounded a bit distant to me.

Overall though, I liked the sound, and the amp seemed powerfull and smooth.

Got me thinking about my old Stax cans again, so I went and got them out, made a slight fix to the headband, and using the same source, I hooked them up to my nearly as old Tandberg 3012 Integrated amp.

Well, it immediately struck me how much better these were than the new HD 555's and Headroom Amp. Major difference in the clarity of the midrange. No more fuzziness at all. Much more presence, and a bigger soundstage.

In addition, the leather earpads were cooler and more comfortable to wear longer, and they were extermely light. The cord looks like it was made to military specs as well. I've been A/B-ing them for a week to eliminate any variables, and using many types of music. My verdict - the old Stax phones haven't lost a bit of their performance, even though they're beat up. They are much more enjoyable to listen to on ALL types of music, and there is almost NO difference in bass response. They lack of bass in electrostatics is greatly over exagerrated IMHO.

Maybe a diferent amp, or different cans with the Headroom amp would change my opinion, but I'm glad I rediscovered my old (near the bottom of the line) Stax cans.
 
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Dynamic headphones are the ones we usually use, HD580/600/650, CD3000, etc., they use magnet to physically move a diaphram to produce sound. I am not sure about how electrostats work.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ampgalore
How do HD650, CD3000 stack up against the electrostats?

I currently have the HD600 and ER4S. I would like my next upgrade to be a substantial upgrade instead of an incremental upgrade.

How much does omegaII cost?



"How 'they' stack up against the electrostats" is a confusing question. This is dependant on how you are comparing. As far as functionality, neither ESL or dynamic is especially superior to the other, as far as actual audible signal reproduction, given comparable variants of each. However, how can we actually find comparable variatns? Indeed, I don't know of a single circumstance where an electrostatic and dynamic design were specifically produced to be equivalent in every regard of audible measurement(within known JNDs) , cosmetics, with only the transducer type differing, for controlled testing.

If you want to discuss averaged characteristics, the main advantage electrostatics 'usually' posses is relatively few delayed resonances in the main audible passband. However, equivalent behaviour of this parameter is possible in dynamic drivers of today, given the advanced diaphragm construction methods and materials currently avaiable. For realtive comparison of CSD(cumaltive spectral decay - a methjod for analysis of resonances), one only has to perform basic impulse response tests, unweighted, on the units and transform the results into an easily understandable format such as a waterfall plot(CSD plot) with adequate noise floor/windowing length.

Unfortunately, we are not dealing with products where similar behaviour/design headphones of each type are available. No single parameter analysis such as CSD will sum the potential subjective responses to the product. More complex evalution, also including the frequency response, psychological influences(color, name, brand image, comfort/physical, etc.), etc. are needed in order to draw accurate conclusions regarding which model(s) of headphone(s) are/is 'better', as far as a statistical value. But even this would only go as far as to draw a statistical number of which is preferred from a selection of quite dis-similar products.

IN order to see if some meaningful difference exists between the mere difference of an ESL vs. a dynamic driver, the two units to be tested would have to be of identical appearance, weight, have amplitude response within 0.1dB of each other over the auible passband, have distortion levels under known [1]JNDs and have audible comporable resonances[2].

Maybe I answered your question in a manner you did not intend. If what you really want to know is how the CD-3000 and HD-600 compare to 'average' electrostatics, then I can't help you. I have no statistics on this specific subject. This would be a matter of product preference, not specifically of the potential of the two technologies.

-Chris

[1] Wireless World, February 1981, "Just Detectable Distortion Levels"

[2] JAES, 1987, "The Modification of Timber by Resonances: Perception and Measurement" Floyd E. Toole and Sean E. Olive
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ampgalore
Dynamic headphones are the ones we usually use, HD580/600/650, CD3000, etc., they use magnet to physically move a diaphram to produce sound. I am not sure about how electrostats work.


Both electrostatic and dynamic transducer designs use a vibrating diaghragm to move air and create sound. How each system causes thee diaghragm to vibrate is different.

An electrostatic driver consists of a 2 stators, a diaphragm, and an insulator. The diaghragm is typically two thin pieces of film sandwiched over a dielectric. The dielectric maintains a constant positive charge from the amplifier. The two stators sandwich the diaphragm with an insulator so the stators don't come into direct contact with the diaghragm. The stators operate in push-pull fashion. The front and rear stators change in voltage according to the musical signal. When one of the stators takes on a negative charge, electrostatic principle causes the diaphragm to move towards that stator.

This system is different from the a dynamic driver, which consists of a magnet motor system--where a voice coil is charged and attracted to a fixed magnet, moving the diaghragm.

I recommend doing a search on the Omegas. This is a topic that comes up often. Its also a question that is really hard to answer because not all electrostatic headphones sound the same (and likewise for dynamic headphones).

The Omega II is an incredible headphone. It certainly has plenty of bass and goes deeper than any other headphone I have heard. It is also the most detailed headphone I have experienced besides the Sennheiser Orpheus. The feature that I love about the Omega II is its ability to recreate a 3-dimensional image. It sometimes lacks the slam and visceral impact of dynamic headphones but I ussually don't miss that when I listen to them. Electrostatic headphones seem to be pickier about source quality than dynamics since they don't add any warmth to the signal (The Omega is dark, but certainly not warm). Some think it sounds analytical, meaning it conveys the detail without delivering the emotion and the fun in the music, but I disagree. I think that entirely depends on the system it is used in. Synergy with the Omega II's and each system component can be critical.

As far as amps go, I have heard the Stax 007t and it is a fine amp. I am having trouble with my KGSS so I can't quite do a comparison yet.
 
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Maybe I can sell my car to fund the purchase of the Omega II and the stax amp


Or I can sell my entire stereo rig, and my headphone rig to fund the purchase. Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Or I can wait until I get a REAL job, instead of using my student loans to fund this expensive hobby (we need an Omega II smiley).
 
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