Stax Omega
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Rob N

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I have tried a Stax 4040 system (with the 006 tube amp) and found the treble to be overly bright IMO.Does the Omega have a similar treble sound compared to the 4040?
 
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Nope. Right off the bat you'd probably find the Omega IIs dark sounding if anything.
 
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How real is Stax's sound compared to real life sound?
 
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Rob N

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Omega II
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Rob N
I have tried a Stax 4040 system (with the 006 tube amp) and found the treble to be overly bright IMO.Does the Omega have a similar treble sound compared to the 4040?


The Omega II has a very different sound from the lower Stax models. The treble is smooth and natural. Very lifelike.
 
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Swampwalker

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Rob-It is possible that you are hearing the limitations of your source. Also would recommend rolling the tubes to some RCAs. Course, if ya got the $ for OmegaIIs, why not?
 
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Rob N

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How does the treble compare to dynamic cans,R10,HP1,RS1 or HD600?

I found the treble on the 4040 just too detailed and un natural

My source when I had the 4040's to try was a Musical Fidelity Nu Vista 3D CD player
 
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If you listen mainly to a loudspeaker system you will likely find any of the Stax line to sound a bit un-natural. The OmegaII is probably the closest to what could be called "accurate" but that's a stretch in my opinion.
 
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Rob, there are several members, including myself, who have spent considerable time with both the 404 and Omega II. I own both and would be happy to do some comparisons using the 007t amp if you are looking for something in particular for your musical tastes.

For most music (I listen to all sorts of stuff), I prefer the Omega II's because of their honest, even-handed presentation of music throughout the frequency spectrum. The Omega II's tend to get out of the way, leaving nothing but the music itself (i.e., nothing is overemphasized). If anything, they give some emphasis (but not overemphasis) to the lower regions, but their bass is clean and focused and not at all overextended. The Omega II's bass is, dare I say, "musical" in the sense that you really appreciate the weight and texture of Charlie Haden's upright bass, or the cannon blasts in the 1812 Overature. You're on the battlefield!

For certain selected music, I prefer the aggressive nature of the 404's (i.e., Van Morrison) because they get your foot tapping with their forwardness. Yet, the 404's are quite colored and arguably bright (similar to the RS-1's in their emphasis). If you're a rocker, they might just be your perfect everyday headphone. When I first heard the 404's at the Florida head-fi meet in December, my immediate reaction was "Wow! These things are ALIVE!" No doubt about it, the 404's put you in the front seat, and there is nothing wrong with that! IMO, the 404's signature is quite nice at times, but not my first choice for everyday listening.

Keep in mind that the differences between the 404's and Omega II's are not at all subtle. Although the famous Stax 'transparency' is present in both, they are in some ways almost polar opposites of each other. One of my friends said, "I cant' believe these two headphones are manufactured by the same company! Are you sure?!?!?" There is even a volume difference. When going from the 404's to the Omega II's (on the fly while driving both with the 007t), you need to turn the volume up from 3 to 4. Or, more to the point, when you put the 404's on, you need to turn the volume down because of their forwardness!

Independent of each other, I like both of these cans a lot. If I were to listen to the 404's for a couple of hours and then put on the Omega II's, I'd be bored at first. Everything becomes overly subdued -- at first -- and, by comparison, dull. But then after a hour with the Omega II's, you can't yank them off of my head, and to put the 404's back on would be the functional equivalent of jumping into a cold shower when you first get out of bed. It would be too much of a shock once you're settled into the Omega II's warm embrace.

(Check with ServingInEcuador and Matt who have both done comparisons using KGSS amps. Yes, 'Matt' is his username. Also, immtbiker did some comparisons at my place with the 007t.)
 
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One must be very, very, VERY careful when quick-auditioning Stax cans.

I have just finished my break in of the new 404's - at about 300 hours. Here are the results:

When new and not sufficiently broken in they are forward, with the new series a bit glassy and etched and a tipped up upper midrange (slight though). The break-in time to reduce this is at least 70 hours. To be included with this clause is charge up time - when new (or 'newer') the charge up time is very, very critical and quite long.

Up until the 200 hour mark over a good hour of continous play is required before the cans start sounding they way they should. Until then they are undynamic, compressed, a bit nasal and a touch etched. Just being plugged in to a running amp, sitting, for the hour is not enough - the cans do not get swing voltages doing that, and do not charge.

At 300 hours something happened, which I took for granted with my L-P's: after 5 minutes of play they no longer distorted high frequencies and played fairly (relatively) dynamically. In other words, as Pspivak noted, this is when you know that your Stax are "broken in" - when the dymanics of the can seem more natural. For my 404 / 14S combination (the 14S can deliver 400V) this occured somewhere between the 200 to 300 hour point, I'm not sure exactly where. I would leave the system running and playing when I was not listening, accumulating hours.

After 300 hours (or so) they still require charge up time on my system, but while early on they sounded dramatically different until the 1.25 hour chargeup now they sound "OK" early and change to "great" after a 1/2 to 3/4 hour chargeup. In other words, somehow, chargeup has become much, much easier, quicker, and not as dramatic. If you note my previous Stax post the 404's, when new, would distort high frequencies at loud passages until charged for at least 1/2 hour. That effect has now, almost, completely disappeared.

So if you audition Stax, therefore, they almost most likely will be completely new. In that case at least 1 and 1/2 hour chargeup MUST be done, playing music. Period. And then the top end will not be the "burned in" sound, it will be slightly more forward and etched, and the upper midrange will appear more pronounced.
 
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Rob, go back to Headwize, search the archives, and read Kevin Gilmore's thoughts on the 006t/007t. If he's correct (and considering how well his own designs sound, I think he is), the tubes used in the 006t/007t are simply not designed to output enough voltage to properly drive Stax headphones -- he considers the cheaper SRM-313 to be better than the 006t. Keep that in mind when you're trying out Stax headphones.

- Chris
 
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Rob N

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Snake,yes the pair I auditioned were new.I had them for nearly 4 weeks and I made sure that they were fully charged before listening.

For me the HP1's (powered by an MPX3 or HP4) have enough detail for me,the Sony R10's slightly more,where do the Omega's fit in?
 
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Snake, thanks so much for your comments! I'm sure that my 404's got some serious time with their prior owner, Matt, and are properly burned in at the 300 hour level (at least), but I had not considered the need to allow them to get loosened up for at least an hour or more before each listening session. Your post was most helpful in this regard.

Rob, I'm in agreement that the HP-1's present a lot of detail and that the R10's give even more (noticeably so). The Omega II's are in the same general ballpark as the R10's in terms of HOW MUCH detail they CAN present, but I'm afraid that with the 007t, I'm not hearing the Omega II's at their full potential. Although the quantity of detail as between the R10's and Omega II's are similar, their musical presentation is quite different. This has been discussed ad nauseum on other threads, so I won't bore you with it here. It has also been said (repeatedly) that both the R10's and Omega II's are highly amp dependent, and I'm in full agreement with this notion. With the Single Power SDS amp, the R10's have come closer to reaching their potential than the Omega II's have with the 007t. I'll know much more when my new toys from Nik arrive (Angstrom and Egmont) which should be very soon.
 
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