Sennheiser HD580/600 vs Stax 001 MKII
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2 channel

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OK, I think I have figuered it out! I recently purchased a pair of Stax SRM001 MKII to replace the pair I sold a while back. I sold some HD 580s and a small CMOY to finance this purchase ( I also got rid of an MG Head and some tubes but thats another story)and here's why.

While I really liked my Senn MGH combo, the thing I realized is that I was playing all of my CDs listening for those small details that I missed before. While my rig was great for revealing those things, I think it sucked for pure music enjoyment. The thing I remembered about those little Stax is that while listening at work there were several occasions where I just stopped what I was doing and thought to myself "Man this music sounds good" after all, isn't that waht it's all about, the music, not the tiny details or this or that, just the music!

So, long story short, I really do love these little stax, and for now, I think they are the antidote for my upgraditis!

now.....hmmm...I wonder if I can mod them to make them sound better, or what effect a better source or an Art/Dio would have...


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kajohndet

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Yep, man. I know what you're talking about, coz I'm experiencing it myself.

Critical Listening <> (doesn't equal to) Music Enjoyment


thanks

John
 
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Quote:

I wonder if I can mod them to make them sound better


Funny you should ask 2 channel, as I've just conducted a little listening experiment. In an attempt to get more high end out of these things, for the hell of it, I hooked up a JMT-built CHA47 in between my PCDP and the Stax amp. I switched back and forth between the two, listening very intently for differences. I noticed what, at the time, seemed a slight improvement in upper frequencies and a tightening of the bass when using the CHA47. I then listened to an entire song off a Taj Mahal CD all the way through, first using the stock Stax set-up and then inserting the CHA47 in the signal path. Then I went back to the Stax alone. I was astounded at how dull and lifeless the music sounded using just the Stax amp. With the CHA47 in-line the music came alive. There was an increased clarity in the midrange, which I didn't think possible, as well as a noticeable extension of the high end and a deeper, tighter bass response.
Maybe I'm just blowing smoke here, because technically, the amp that is actually driving the Stax 'phones is still the Stax amp, not the CHA47. Maybe, though, the frequency response of the CHA47 has a bit of high end boost that is somehow equalizing the Stax and providing some of the missing detail.
Whatever the reason, it works for me and my old ears. And both amps fit snugly together in my portable bag. Check it out if you can. Enjoy the Stax........again.
 
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kajohndet

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joelongwood,

I'm just wondering what volume did you turn to for CHA47 when you put it in the signal path?

thanks

John
 
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joelongwood

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Quote:

Originally posted by kajohndet
joelongwood,

I'm just wondering what volume did you turn to for CHA47 when you put it in the signal path?

thanks

John


I had it at around 12 O'clock, maybe 11:30. That seemed to match very closely the volume of the Stax amp alone. I used 2 Straightwire mini-to-mini ICs for the hookup. I'm going to listen some more to a wider variety of music and see if the improvement holds up. Maybe all of this is just my imagination, but I don't think so.
 
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kajohndet

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joelongwood,

Forget about your imagination. I've just tried it.

IT IS REALLY DIFFERENT!!! and in a good way. It's not placebo.

No one can tell that my stax high end rolled off anymore. By the way, I found that setting at 3/4 volume was better (high end region). But as you said, long session listening with variety of music should be done before judging it.
So far, I have to say that you enlightened me.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

John
 
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joelongwood

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Quote:

Originally posted by kajohndet
joelongwood,

Forget about your imagination. I've just tried it.

IT IS REALLY DIFFERENT!!! and in a good way. It's not placebo.

No one can tell that my stax high end rolled off anymore. By the way, I found that setting at 3/4 volume was better (high end region). But as you said, long session listening with variety of music should be done before judging it.
So far, I have to say that you enlightened me.

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

John


I'm glad to hear that I'm not hearing things. I just tried the new META42 that I got from JMT and the only improvement over the stock Stax amp alone that I found is in the bass region. The high end remained pretty much the same. The CHA47, on the other hand, makes everything better. This may be one of those "strange but true" stories. You have to admit that it's kind of absurd to have a use another amp to make the Stax sound their best. Why didn't the Stax engineers just make an amp that was flat to 20 khz insted of down 4 db's?
 
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Joelongwood:

Any idea what the gain is on your CHA47? If I were to have someone build one for me what spec would I use?
 
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joelongwood

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Quote:

Originally posted by 2 channel
Joelongwood:

Any idea what the gain is on your CHA47? If I were to have someone build one for me what spec would I use?


Unfortunately, I have no idea, but I'll be speaking to JMT soon and I'll ask him if he knows.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by 2 channel
Joelongwood:

Any idea what the gain is on your CHA47? If I were to have someone build one for me what spec would I use?



AAAAAAHHHHHHH, you sucked me right back in!!!!! I thought I was done with the upgrade thing
 
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