Stax SR-001 owners help needed: source quality
Mar 5, 2006 at 10:08 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

visia

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I have been upgrading my system and just oredred maxed out Zhaolu DAC to use with digital out of my EMU card. I am also adding another pair of headphones which would bring another dimension to my system, i.e. smth warmer and laidback, yet still balanced and detailed. Per suggestion from another thread, I looked at Stax SR-001 MK2 and it sounds fantastic. I want to spend ~200-250$. My listening is to a large part is rock with some classical music, post-rock, etc. However, I am really concerned that some Stax owners suggest that anything below 256 kbps mp3s sounds horrible. Is this true? Or rather, Stax would still sound very good, yet not to the full potential od SR-001? Most of my music is 192 kbps mp3 and I can live with some of them not sounding not to the max of Stax, but I don't want to get headphones that would sound terrible with my music. In that case, I'd rather go with smth like used HD600 or maybe DYI tube amp.
Thanks.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 2:44 AM Post #2 of 10

visia

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Hey, I am sure there must be some people here who use SR-001 with less then perfect mp3s.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 3:46 AM Post #3 of 10

Snake

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With a Stax you are simply hearing everything - good, and bad. If the 192K MP3's don't sound the "best", they should still sound "very good" with room to expand when you play 256K or, better yet, direct source.

Think about it this way - would you rather invest in something that "tops out" when playing a 192 or would you rather have something that's not even "straining" - still able to resolve more for 256's and direct?
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 7:48 AM Post #6 of 10

catscratch

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I'd say that 192 is not fine. Or, it's not fine to my ears. 224 is more or less OK, 320 is better, and lossless is ideal.

The soundstage is audibly degraded with 192k files, and compression artifacts are readily audible. With higher-rate lossy encodings, compression artifacts are still audible, but the soundstage is much more open.

I'd suggest a dynamic headphone with an extra-lush tube amp if you're going to listen to a lot of lossy files. Something like the MG Head OTL will gloss over a lot of the compression errors and introduce colorations into the sound that will partially mask deficiencies. It's not an accurate sound - though it could be, depending on the overall system synergy - but it's a more forgiving one.

Stax are anything but forgiving. The SR-001 lives up to it's bigger brethren in being ultra-picky about components and source material.

My .02
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 7:56 AM Post #7 of 10

smeggy

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192 is not going to sound terrible on the 001, just not as good as higher rates. It will still be perfectly acceptible until re-ripped. That was his main concern.

Unless he has a higher reference point on the same songs chances are he may not even notice these deficiencies until later when ripped at a higher level.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 3:37 PM Post #8 of 10

visia

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Thanks! Sounds like getting Stax would not be a total waste even if re-ripping my files will take a little while. I definitely like the idea of having a higher ceilling than many other headphones when quality of source material is optimized.
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Mar 9, 2006 at 2:28 PM Post #9 of 10

visia

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Ordered a pair yesterday, should be coming in some time next week! Do these need burn in? Sounds like a difficult task given the battery situation.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 6:19 PM Post #10 of 10

smeggy

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Burn in can be acomplished with the wall wart. I don't know how much if any burn in the 001 needs, when my 003 turns up later this week/early next week It'll be plugged in and used as-is so I'm not gonna worry. It's going to be a lot of fun playing with the new toy, I can finally hear what all the fuss has been about. I was hoping to get away from IEM's but this is a reasonable compromis so I'll make an exception
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