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Stax SR-009: Best Headphone Ever Made? - Head-Fi TV, Episode 008

Discussion in 'Head-Fi Network & Industry News' started by jude, Jun 28, 2011.
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  1. Hun7er
    @eric65 : I didn't plan to have the SR009, I've already buy it. However the seller had ship it only yesterday.
    I will compare it on the same setup as the HD800 and Abyss thank to the Woo Wee.
    I add that on the right setup the HD800 or Abyss has the same smoothness and fluidity as Stax.
  2. Jonathan66100
    The 202 and 252 is a quality raport unbeatable prices.
    They even beat my Omega :)
    But when you have a passion we are ready to spend much for THE difference :)
    I have the impression that the 009 has was also loved in the meeting :)
  3. eric65
    @ Jonathan:
    Phew for Stax! [​IMG]
    On the other hand, I know a person who attended this meeting that not was specially packed by the Abyss, found ugly, uncomfortable, with a sound, certainly not bad at first glance, but having nothing exceptional.
    Like what, all tastes are in nature... [​IMG]
    @ Hun7er:
    Good listening with your brand new headphone Stax SR-009; you will see, this is certainly not a headphone also demonstrative than the Abyss at first glance, but on classical music it is of remarkable fidelity.
    baronkatz likes this.
  4. eric65
    For our American friends, here is the link to the meeting of headphones of Paris of March 15 with some pictures. 
    Guest reviews (in french) good or bad for the Stax headphones SR-009 are in full swing.
    link : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post178052959.html#p178052959
  5. eric65
    Hello, for those that are interested, here is another link for follow-up of assessments of headphones Stax versus competition (in particular the Abyss), following the meeting of headphones in Paris to 15 March; where it also questions the role of amplifiers to explain perceived differences.

    link (in french) : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/casques-haute-fidelite/club-des-heureux-proprietaires-de-casques-stax-t29819561-6210.html
  6. Jonathan66100
    Hi Eric,
    To be more precise it is this message when he speaks http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post178055060.html#p178055060
    I also think that the 009 had no amp at its height.
    But it must be admitted that the Abyss was preferred to 009:) 
    Now that does not mean it is better or worse. 
    Everyone is different. 
    For example. 
    Much people love "call of duty" or online gaming. 
    Personally I prefer a good single player games :) ( S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for example )
  7. eric65
    Hi Jonathan,
    What also emerges from this meeting of Headphones on Paris, these are assessments, sometimes sliced and opposing on the same audio hardware listened, depending on the sensitivity and the tastes of the participant ; This is true both for headphones than for amplifiers.

    We like or we don't like.

    We must take into account the variability human just as much as the material exposed.
  8. eric65
    Good evening (or good morning) everyone,
    Jonathan, I learned two interesting ideas in this meeting of headphones in Paris regarding the differences of plays between the Stax SR-009 (+ SRM 727 amp) and the JPS Abyss (+ RKV-mk3 amp), the first idea comes from Sol23 which I quote word for word what he said (translated into English):
    " Personally I found that the Abyss and SR-009 offered two different listens, this is the first time I listened to the SR-009, it seemed very right, clear and open, in short it is a listening quite analytical and ethereal, while the Abyss seemed to me propose a more matte and liquid, with a wider stereo spatialization sound. I do not know if others share that impression but the Abyss makes me advantage think at the SR-007 with his presentation very "laid back". "
    This interesting comparison would show why it is difficult to compare these two headphones to the quite different listens (the 009 headphone vs Abyss would give a listen any also different than that of the 009 headphone vs 007), knowing that the Abyss is getting nearer over the 007 headphone by its duller sound and "laid back" and would fit perfectly to the Jazz, while the 009, clearer, straighter and probably truer in tone in the treble (violins) would correspond better to great classical music ensembles.

    The second idea comes from Skywalkerciel who wondered about the role of the amplifiers used with headphone Abyss and 009 to explain (in part) the difference considered subtle between these two headphones: quote (translated into English):
    " you summed up well the difference (between the two headphones) but I'll add 'greater body and matter in the tone (timbre) (for the Abyss) is what has tipped the balance in favour of the Abyss over the 009 for me. 
    The 009 remaining in my opinion the best headphones after the Abyss of all those I could try but I wonder a bit about the quality of the amp? i.e. are they (amps) do not also have a role in these subtle differences ? "
    Here, let me give an explanatory hypothesis based on my own experience with these amplifiers Stax SRM-727 and AudioValve RKV (mk2 or mk3): RKV amplifier used with a large load (low impedance), either with the Abyss (impedance : 46 Ohms) or the 009 + Wee (impedance seen by the amplifier estimated at between 30 and 60 ohm) ; this low impedance will solicit the tubes of RKV in amperage  (while these old TV tubes are instead optimized for high impedance > 2000 (Ohms), resulting in harmonic distortions more elevated with a sound more thick, dense, rich and matte.
    Conversely, the same amplifier RKV used in direct mode on the 009 (with a headphone very high of 145000 Ohms impedance) as well as the 727 SRM, dedicated to the Stax headphone will give a sound much more light and air, with less harmonic distortion (tubes used mainly in voltage).

    Some amplifiers for electrostatic headphones with a denser sound (more colourful) and very dynamic in the grave could perhaps give a closer sound aesthetics of the Abyss (e.g. RKV - Wee using the transformer of the Wee (not in direct mode), who had obtained the best listening on a jazz record compared to 3 other amplifiers (Electra, SRM 727 and SRM 007 t2) during the comparison of these 4 amps (published on Head-Fi)  with a sound more mate, fuller, while being very dynamic in the bass.
  9. Jonathan66100
    Hi Eric : ),
    I know nothing about it, but you can always try the abyss and enjoy 7 days of retractement if he does not suit :)
  10. eric65
    If it is the seller online "Casques-Headphones" in France with a price (taxes included) of 6,000 €, it is clearly not a choice for me.

    It is two times too expensive, not to mention that this seller no longer has my trust.
    If it is necessary to spend my money, one day, for 6,000 €, maybe I'd crack for a BHSE (for my 009) once Arnaud has received his and said if the upgrade is worth it compared to his SRM 727 amp.

  11. Jonathan66100
    Eric : )
    I also think it is better that you buy a BHSE with ~4200 euros, without customs fees and without shipping ( probably ~5200 euros with shipping and customs fees )
    But like as I have the impression that these headphones really intrigue you, I give you ideas to hear him quietly yourself :)
    For the dealer I will send by MP :)
    PS: He give really envy "this" BHSE
  12. eric65
    I read your PM,
    Thank  [​IMG]
  13. arnaud Contributor
    Some hairs were raised on that french forum when someone mentioned the abyss reminded more of the SR007mk1 than similarity with SR009.
    I recall reading comment hear about the Abyss voicing being similar to the Stax Omega 2 so I checked the measurements from Inner-Fidelity...
    Indeed, just looking at the frequency response (which is appropriate if one is to assess "voicing"):
    - Both the Abyss and 007mk1 shelve down the mids in the 2-5kHz region (some don't link the SR009 for the same reason, saying it puts too much emphasis on the mids).
    - Both the Abyss and 007mk1 have this extra sparkle at 10kHz which makes for a more fun presentation (I hear that with my 007mk1 and find the 009 more natural in the treble range).
    - Although the overlay is dirty as hell, you can clearly see the abyss is a 007mk1 with even more shelf of the mids in the 3-5kHz range and raise of the treble in the 10kHz zone.
  14. eric65
    I think you're in the true Arnaud.
    Like what there is sometimes a certain correlation between the curves of measures and what some hear... [​IMG] 
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