Fukuoka, Japan Micro-meet: STAX, R10, HD650, ESW10JPN, MD5000, but only two of us!
Nov 4, 2008 at 12:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28
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Fukuoka Micro Meet! Pics in a subsequent post. (Our July 2009 micro-meet #3, a year later, is at this post.)

I live in a lovely corner of Japan that most people will never have heard of, Fukuoka. It's a city of 2 mil or so people, certainly not a hotbed of head-fi. I was amazingly surprised to find another dedicated head-fier not just in the same city, but just about around the corner from me! LobsterSan and I immediately made plans for a two-person meet, as not only are we nearby, but each of us has gear the other wanted to hear. It was to be my MD5000s and HD650, with the Lavry DA10 and cables and LobsterSan's impressive STAX collection, Sony R10s, W10JPNs, DAC1 and other gear.

My impressions of the 1989 R10s were that, just like my Senns had shunned my Little Dot MKV, the R10s were in turn shunning my Audio-gd C2C. At that level, they just weren't shining in any way that made them worth more than my MD5000s. I really hope that one day I can hear them through a set-up that reveals their true potential. They certainly were the most comfortable cans I'd ever worn.

Listening through STAX headphones...what was I going to say? I'm just so lost in Jeff Buckley's voice that everything else doesn't matter. The presentation is...I don't feel I can use the same words I use to describe other headphones, as everything takes on a totally different meaning. If one had only ever listened to music through electrostats and was asked, say, "How detailed are they?" the question would be meaningless, as questions of detail and separation, not to mention many of the faults of dynamic headphones, just don't exist with them. I might go as far as to say that they make all the fancy technology in dynamic headphones seem pretentious. The differences between the different models he had (the SRM-717, SRM-007t, SRM-T1, SR-X MK3 Pro, SR-404, SR-007 MK1, SR-007A/MK2, and 4070 for the actual list) were quite interesting, the different earspeakers delivering the sound differently being the most notable thing for me. 4070 vs. 007 MK1 reminded me a bit of HD650 vs. MD5000, the 007s having so much body and the 4070s totally absorbing me with vocals (ignoring their weird and somewhat uncomfortable fit). I regret that we didn't have any good balanced cables to hook them up with. I've got some on the way though, so we've vowed to have another go on another weekend, possibly with wives and babies in tow, so that we can listen longer.

LobsterSan's ESW10JPNs and W10VTGs were interesting, but confirmed my dislike for Audio Technicas with me feeling like I was listening to the drivers, the sound seeming to come from a point even with the bigger W10VTGs and the smaller ESW10s simply being grossly over-priced in my mind. The W10VTGs at the very least needed thicker pads, as pulling them slightly off my ears made for quite an improvement.

Though we live in a far-flung corner of Japan (Korea is nearer than Osaka or Tokyo!) I hope that another Japan-based or Japanese head-fi'er might one day come and visit with gear and we can have a more interesting meet.
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 4:20 PM Post #2 of 28

krmathis

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I actually think you guys just had the first (#1) Japan Head-Fi meet!
Well done!
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With all these Stax, and other, gear around I bet you had a really nice time. Should be nice seeing some pictures... :hint: :hint:
 
Nov 5, 2008 at 3:59 AM Post #3 of 28
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Wow, the first? That's amazing if true. LobsterSan has the pictures, so we'll have to wait for him to drag himself away from work to post them.
 
Nov 5, 2008 at 4:12 PM Post #4 of 28

krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Wow, the first? That's amazing if true. LobsterSan has the pictures, so we'll have to wait for him to drag himself away from work to post them.


Looks to be!
Searched the "Meets, Get-Togethers, Factory Tours" sub-forum for 'Japan' and got 4 hits. Of which only one (this one) seems to be impressions from a meeting, while the other ones are just talk about possible meeting.
 
Nov 6, 2008 at 12:19 PM Post #5 of 28

LobsterSan

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Woosh, finally made it to the thread! A shout out to my man Amos (CurraWong) for contacting me, leading to this Fukuoka micro-meet taking place.

All you other Japanese Head-Fiers, don't be shy! Let's gather someday and have a good time trying out gear and have fun talking about life, love and headphones. 日本語でもいいです! 練習しなくちゃいけない!
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It was a nice, albeit disorganized little session. We had plenty of gear to test out, and I was quite taken by the sound the MD5000's put out. The first thing I noticed with the Denon MD5000's was the BASS. Boy, do those pump it out, and it was very clean and extending. While the bass put the initial smile on my face, once I got past it I noticed that the MD5000's also have a luxurious midrange and vocals came through beautifully. They are incredibly fun and lively cans -- though I expect I would find the bass quite overwhelming if they were unmodded.

We kind of ran out of time to do more in-depth comparisons and individual gear-centric tests, but Amos' rig was very impressive. I hadn't been much an experimenter in power cables and interconnects, but I'm looking forward to trying out some more combinations in the near future.

And here are a few photos for you visual-types:
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Nov 6, 2008 at 12:29 PM Post #6 of 28

LobsterSan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Looks to be!
Searched the "Meets, Get-Togethers, Factory Tours" sub-forum for 'Japan' and got 4 hits. Of which only one (this one) seems to be impressions from a meeting, while the other ones are just talk about possible meeting.



Hooray for us pioneers! Hopefully it will lead to more meets, bigger and better! It would be awesome to get some of the Japanese nationals like Sasaki and the like involved. Perhaps we could even organize an event sometime down the line with visiting Japanese manufacturers.
 
Nov 6, 2008 at 1:36 PM Post #8 of 28
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The sad thing is, we only had one chair between us and only a couple of hours! The next one should be more interesting, as we'll have more time, space and better seating.
wink.gif


The MD5000's will get some Mulga cups soon to reign in the bass a bit, plus I'm going to DIY a Jena re-cable. I've got a box of goodies on the way from Australia too. Now all we need is for more people!
 
Nov 6, 2008 at 3:27 PM Post #9 of 28

krmathis

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Thanks for the pictures! Took some time, but they made it here in the end.
tongue.gif


You sure had quite a gear collection just for two attenders. And most of it being Stax, which surprise surprise is my favorite headphone brand. Too bad you had just a couple of hours, but hopefully it was fun anyway.
 
Nov 6, 2008 at 5:29 PM Post #10 of 28

purk

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Nice stuffs. I don't think that this is the first Japan meet though. jjcha orgainzed a meet awhile back in Japan, maybe couple of years ago. Ayt999 is also a japanese headifier with the most impressive headphones collection.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 12:38 AM Post #14 of 28

donunus

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Currawong,
I'm interested in getting into the lower end stax myself or some md2000s. Since you have the md5000s, is it safe to say that they are better than the stax 404 overall or do the 404s give you the high end stax feel already. My budget is good only to get either the md2000, stax 2050 basic system, 3050 maybe if it is much better, or the koss esp950 system.
 
Nov 7, 2008 at 3:15 AM Post #15 of 28
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Stax are like nothing dynamic. It's really hard to describe. Though some of their earspeakers place the driver a bit closer to the ear (I felt anyway) than some headphones, the clarity and detail that just doesn't exist in dynamic headphones makes so much of that irrelevant. It's more in reverse though, the Stax are just so real, in a way, as if the so many limitations in music playback were just never there, that dynamic headphones just sound muddy afterwards.

The set I remember most, because it was the first I listened through, was the SRS-4040. Choral music was just heaven through them and everything else was presented with what goes beyond neutrality. They have decent base too. The 3010's had rolled off treble and bass in comparison and I didn't consider them worth bothering with, that is, I'd rather a good dynamic set-up for the money. I haven't heard the 3050's, as nether the local dealer, nor LobsterSan had a set.
 

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