I'm a week or so in now, and though I haven't had as much time as I'd like, I'm still really enjoying these cans.
Main reason for posting quick update? I had a buddy come over to listen yesterday. I gave him my laptop, spotify, and the 002s. He listened for about an hour and a half and was REALLY into it. Later? He facebooked he was spending the night listening to music at home (in lieu of other goings-on.) He blamed me and my Stax.
I have some questions about these if I may. I need to go to a very lightweight headphone based system because I suffer from worsening long term chronic pain that does not at all appreciate the weight of any full sized headphone on my head (well, not for the duration of a typical symphony at any rate).
I would like to know how good are these particular Stax models for clasical music please? I find that many headphones really struggle with classical and particuarly fail to get massed violin and brass sounds correct (textures are wrong, too steely and grainy sounding and either too thin or too thick). Oddly enough, of all the headphones I have heard thus far, the little unpretentious Sennheiser PXC300 do a really good job with this and are very neck friendly because of the very light weight. But I can't help wondering if these Stax systems would be a step upwards, even though I have compared my PXC300 to a very large number of other headphones over the last 5 years (including many models up to $1,000) and still prefer the PXC300.
What I particularly like about my PXC300 is the incredible clear sound, clarity and "speed" of response and I was thinking that these should also be electrostatic strengths.
The second question is how does the battery version of this Stax set compare to the "desktop" version soundwise? I was wondering if the fact that the desktop version is powered by a wall wart would nullify the possible sonic advantages of the desktop system over the battery powered version? I had been hoping to power my entire loungeroom headphone system from batteries and thus far the laptop and DAC are battery powered. But my current XCan obviously is not battery powered.
But then again, I have read reports of the older battery Stax version that suggested it does not achieve the same sound quality. In the end, I suppose I would eventually build a regulated battery supply to power the desktop version anyway, but that would neccessite a much higher overall cost as compared to the battery version to begin with (I do not build cheap power supplies, as I am all too aware of how important they are).
So I am at a crossroads at the moment. With my limited choices I have narrowed things down to:
1. Get a more suitable, solid state amplifier to match the existing PXC300 better (i.e, they match beautifully with my Xonar ST soundcard but I can't / won't use the main PC in the loungeroom or bedroom).
2. Get the Westone UM3 which I have heard and really like too (good with classical), but that needs very careful amp matching in order to minimise hiss levels at "idle".
Yep, it's battery powered portable amp circuit that is powered by an opamp vs AC main's powered circuitry at the 580v bias these babies work at. It's a no brainer to see which sounds better but you do lose portability. I'd say get the portable and a cheap 252 desktop amp with the pro-bias cable which what I'm trying to do atm, just no funds for the expensive pro-bias cables.
Well, the external battery pack generates a lot of noise.
Output voltage without a load is 5.2V, and the noise is quite loud in both outputs.
I also made a USB cable to power it directly through the Apple USB wall plug. Measured 5.1V without a load. Still a lot of noise.
Back to the internal battery pack.
I am really sorry, I should not have suggested this power pack without playing with it first.
I just bought one, mine is $15 shipped, from California. At least the exterior appears to be the same as the $20 pack in the link except the power button is black. It turns out there are other not-so-great aspects with this pack. However it is probably the perfect candidate for modding into a 002 power pack, especially for the $15 shipped price. See the mod thread for details.
I wonder if the $20 one with silver power button has a 5000mAH cell inside? If so it is well worth the $5 higher price.
I've been listening to these more and more at work, and I'm still really digging them.
Fit wise, I kept forgetting to bring the other tips to work to try (when I get to listen away from the hustle/bustle of family life), but a couple days ago I remembered them. I finally wound up with a Medium on the left and a Large on the right. I find myself using the headband less and going just in-ear the past couple of days. I still dig the headband (since I have to take them on and off through the day to talk to others), but now I have other options.
Got to ditto these remarks; still listen to the 003 Mk2 at work every day, for a good portion of the day. Getting such an enjoyable music fix during the day that I'm not at all upset if I miss listening to the 007s when I'm home for the evening. Primarily listening to lossless from a slate PC (Surface Pro) and Headamp DAC to 252A amp. Good bit of higher bitrate Pandora mixed in as well (surprising nice for streaming audio).
I'd written at one point that I preferred using E5 foamies (sans center tube) over the original rectangular-shaped ear tips. This all changed when I got the Mk2s and the redesigned round tips. The large size fits perfectly against the outside of my ear canal (headband still adjusted for minimal pressure); can use all day long with perfect seal and zero discofort.
For some reason (too much isolation and vacuum I guess), custom IEM's create pressure in my ear drums and ringing in the ears that I don't find comfortable in the long run.
Because of that, and because I really like the sound of them, Stax portables are a no brainer for me.
Using the cheap 4.00 per 30 pairs of 4-6 mm tips from ebay, I have managed to use them for hours without discomfort, and without the headband.
That, and Eneloop XXX 2600 mAh AA's.
I have to admit I cheated on my 002's this week at work. I dragged my 4070's in since I have the 252A on my desk. They were pretty good, but I will be going back to my capable 002's next week because I missed the more open design and found the fully closed 4070 just too isolating for me at work. The sound on the other hand was pretty darned good!
Anyone with the part number for the SRM001-mk2 cable handy thanks very much.
P.s. did a search online...couldn't find. Had a friend drop by Yodobashi, Tokyo where I bought the Stax from years ago...apparently they don't know about the replacement cable without the part number...they told my friend the phones are discontinued for a long time....