Is there a "mature headphone taste"?
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Frege

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I am a newbie who has just recently (re-)discovered the fascination of headphones.
Actually I listen to my 25 year old Stax Gamma Pro with increasing pleasure.
Now I plan to buy new headphones. I was interested in the Stax Omega 2 mk II. Recently I had the chance to compare the Omega to the Lamda Signature (both driven by Stax  007tii amplifier, I listened to CDs of Diana Krall: The girl in the other room, Jan Garbarek: Rites, Bueanna vista social club and Slow Hill: Findisk).
I was disappointed about the (bad?) performance of the Omega. There was no treble, comparing to the Lamda. With the Omegas I felt the roof of the stage comes down and it sounded a bit like "out of a plastic tube". The upper bass of the Omega was too much pronounced without depth. But I recognized also clearly defined and very precise mids and a wide stage without localizing the centre of the stage in my head.
I have read so much enthusiastic reviews of the Omegas, so I ask myself If I do not understand “what makes a headphone really excellent” (beside my ovious preverence for bright headphones). I still believe in the positive comments that I have read about this device.
 
Is my bad experience with the Omega due to my small expert knowledge? Would my taste change with time? Is there something like a “mature headphone taste”?
What is your experience? Has your taste changed with time?
 
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BotByte

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There is no "Mature" headphone taste if you're thinking that you can be better then the children riding around on their three wheelers wearing Sennheiser HD800 and listening to Modest
 
It's not like they advertise cans to kids like trading card.
 
Stax are really, really good headphones but they need to be amped properly with extreme caution. 
 
And I know what you're trying to say, but really, if you're not looking at Beats or Skullcandy, which some people like them around here, the majority don't, but I know that you're trying to ask if there are better, more studio headphones.
 
Now Audiophiles are people who collect and lust after the best and brightest (in terms of SHINY) for HIFI
 
Pro Audio on the other hand, which I lean more towards, are people who want their headphones to perform correctly for a purpose. 
 
I have a good selection of headphones that are inexpensive to the point that if I would buy higher into the scale, my Price/Sound Quality value scale would flatten out later on.
 
 
You should look into what amp, if any you are running your Stax from. Look into DAC, and AMPs to run your stax with joined with that system your running from. 
 
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deadlylover

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The Omega 2's simply do not impress you, ever.
 
The fit is also very finicky because unlike 99.9% of headphone out there, the cups don't swivel at all. If the seal is even a little of with an electrostat, you get MAD mid bass =P.
 
darth nut's review is mandatory reading, it'll probably help you understand what the O2 is all about.
 
That being said though, like any other headphone out there. they're not everyone's cup of tea.
 
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Curly21029

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Darth Boobies?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
EDIT:
 
Or you could just add gel pads to any Beyer:
 

 
 
 
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maverickronin

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I think the first pair needs the gel pads...
 
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wind016

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I was confused for a sec. The Stax Omega is a different headphone from the O2 mk2/mk1. The Omega was way too bright for me. The Omega 2 mk2 is known for imbalanced sound though I've never heard it. I have the Omega 2 mk1 and I can't imagine people saying it has too little treble. It's a tad emphasized and I don't think the bass is bloated either. The O2 mk1 is a bit warmer than your average audiophile headphone, but most of them are treble tilted anyways.
 
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Frege

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Quote:
The Omega 2's simply do not impress you, ever.
 
The fit is also very finicky because unlike 99.9% of headphone out there, the cups don't swivel at all. If the seal is even a little of with an electrostat, you get MAD mid bass =P.
 
darth nut's review is mandatory reading, it'll probably help you understand what the O2 is all about.
 
That being said though, like any other headphone out there. they're not everyone's cup of tea.
Dear deadlylover,
 
thank you for the link, that is really an interesting text.
I think i will hear the O2 again because i am interested in understandig what some audiophiles like so much on these headphone under the premise that these cans make something right independently from taste.
 
Frege
 
 
 
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Frege

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Quote:
I was confused for a sec. The Stax Omega is a different headphone from the O2 mk2/mk1. The Omega was way too bright for me. The Omega 2 mk2 is known for imbalanced sound though I've never heard it. I have the Omega 2 mk1 and I can't imagine people saying it has too little treble. It's a tad emphasized and I don't think the bass is bloated either. The O2 mk1 is a bit warmer than your average audiophile headphone, but most of them are treble tilted anyways.

Dear wind016,
 
sorry for the confusion, I talked about the sr 007 mkII (O2 mk2).
 
Frege
 
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Quote:
The Omega 2's simply do not impress you, ever.
 
The fit is also very finicky because unlike 99.9% of headphone out there, the cups don't swivel at all. If the seal is even a little of with an electrostat, you get MAD mid bass =P.
 
darth nut's review is mandatory reading, it'll probably help you understand what the O2 is all about.
 
That being said though, like any other headphone out there. they're not everyone's cup of tea.


 
 
Exactly which Omega 2 is darth nut reviewing, and how is it different sonically from the current O2 MK2? I did some in depth auditions of an "Omega 2" in 2003, and was really impressed. I ask because I'm interested in Stax, and know nothing else about the evolution of their models.
 
 
 
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deadlylover

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Quote:
Exactly which Omega 2 is darth nut reviewing, and how is it different sonically from the current O2 MK2? I did some in depth auditions of an "Omega 2" in 2003, and was really impressed. I ask because I'm interested in Stax, and know nothing else about the evolution of their models.

He is reviewing the original mk1 version. You will have to wade through the giant Stax thread to find answers to your second question, as I have not heard them for myself (I have the mk2/A version which I've modded to supposedly sound more like the mk1).
 
At one point in time, the mk2 version had a mid bass hump and there was something about a honky midrange. Some say the differences are small, but annoying because the mk1 pretty much nailed it. The 'issues' may have been fixed by now though, I just don't have any first hand experience to confirm.
 
 
 
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Frege

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Quote:
He is reviewing the original mk1 version. You will have to wade through the giant Stax thread to find answers to your second question, as I have not heard them for myself (I have the mk2/A version which I've modded to supposedly sound more like the mk1).
 
At one point in time, the mk2 version had a mid bass hump and there was something about a honky midrange. Some say the differences are small, but annoying because the mk1 pretty much nailed it. The 'issues' may have been fixed by now though, I just don't have any first hand experience to confirm.
 
 

 
Deadlylover,
 
could you please tell me what the mk2/A version is? Are there different versions of the sr 007 mkII?
 
Frege
 
 
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deadlylover

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Quote:
could you please tell me what the mk2/A version is? Are there different versions of the sr 007 mkII?

There are two current versions of the SR-007, there's the SR-007mk2 (black housing) version for the international market, and the SR-007A (silver housing) version for the Japanese market only.
 
I don't know if there are any sound differences, some say there are, Stax doesn't like telling us about any changes and what not =P.
 
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Yeah my taste changed with time, I used to crave bass, in fact I would tell myself to go for audiophile cans but fact of the matter is, when I unboxed my K601 and my HD580, I was flat out disappointed because there wasn't enough bass but I made myself like them because they were "good". I rotated through a really nasty IEM phase and of course perceived bass is quite high on those. Now I just crave anything that is just details regardless of any frequency charts. If it's clear and the music that comes out is clean and sounds good to me, I'll like it. For that matter I more or less enjoy 60-70 percent of "audiophile" grade headphones now.
 
This is coming from a person who in 2007:
 
Secretly liked CX-300 IEM's (muddy muddy bloaty bassy mess)
Thought Etymotic was the worst IEM he'd ever heard
Enjoyed HD-555's and thought they were awesome (if you haven't heard them, they're rather muddy, but still entertaining as helll)
Owned a pair of UE Super.Fi 5 EB's (low point in my audiophilia career)
EQ'ed the living daylights of my Grados (they'll take it just fine, but it really ruins the presentation)
Bought only portable amps with bass boost (TERRIBLE!)
 
So yes I suppose I see where you are coming from with the whole "maturing" concept. Both my tastes in music and sonic signature have changed since the new decade haha
 
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Quote:
I am a newbie who has just recently (re-)discovered the fascination of headphones.
Actually I listen to my 25 year old Stax Gamma Pro with increasing pleasure.
Now I plan to buy new headphones. I was interested in the Stax Omega 2 mk II. Recently I had the chance to compare the Omega to the Lamda Signature (both driven by Stax  007tii amplifier, I listened to CDs of Diana Krall: The girl in the other room, Jan Garbarek: Rites, Bueanna vista social club and Slow Hill: Findisk).
I was disappointed about the (bad?) performance of the Omega. There was no treble, comparing to the Lamda. With the Omegas I felt the roof of the stage comes down and it sounded a bit like "out of a plastic tube". The upper bass of the Omega was too much pronounced without depth. But I recognized also clearly defined and very precise mids and a wide stage without localizing the centre of the stage in my head.
I have read so much enthusiastic reviews of the Omegas, so I ask myself If I do not understand “what makes a headphone really excellent” (beside my ovious preverence for bright headphones). I still believe in the positive comments that I have read about this device.
 
Is my bad experience with the Omega due to my small expert knowledge? Would my taste change with time? Is there something like a “mature headphone taste”?
What is your experience? Has your taste changed with time?
 
Your bad experience with the O2mkII is definitely not due to any limited knowledge on your part. The O2mkII does indeed sound exactly as you describe (which IMO is pretty bad), especially out of the SRM007. You can do the "spritzer mod" on the O2mkII to bring the bass down and other things in line. The SRM323 may be a better match for the O2s, but I think you need a KGSS or better to get the most out of them.
 
Some people do like this mid bassy dark sound that you describe however.
 
 
 
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Frege

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Quote:
 
Your bad experience with the O2mkII is definitely not due to any limited knowledge on your part. The O2mkII does indeed sound exactly as you describe (which IMO is pretty bad), especially out of the SRM007. You can do the "spritzer mod" on the O2mkII to bring the bass down and other things in line. The SRM323 may be a better match for the O2s, but I think you need a KGSS or better to get the most out of them.
 
Some people do like this mid bassy dark sound that you describe however.
 
 

Hello Purrin,
 
thank you for your reply.  I have noticed the controverse disussion of the O2mkII in many forums. Actually I like the sound of my old Stax Gamma´s, but sometimes I notice an overemphasis of the treble, therfore I ask myself, if I will be into more laidback sounding headphones in the future. In genereal I don´t believe that an amplifier could change the sound signature of this headphone dramatically unless the amplifire is heavily sounded in a special direction.
 
Frege
 
 
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