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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. HeadphoneAddict Contributor
    My WEE is drier and brighter sounding than a Stax transformer, with better detail but more forward soundstage, and it pairs better with the 007 Mk1. I don't like it nearly as much with my 009, regardless of amp.  With 007 and a 40-watt Marantz receiver you'll be much happier with the WEE.
  2. eric65
    Hello Hun7er.
    This depends in part on the tubes used for the amplifier with the 009.
    The BHSE amplifier used with tubes EL34 PH (instead of the SED) may give the thrill or goose bumps.

    The Electra with tubes NOS, also (see the comments of Arnaud)

    The RKV in direct mode (without the wee transformers) also (NB: I like story a friend who fell in tears after listening to a work by Rachmaninov piano so the sound of the piano and the artwork were transcribed in all beauty)
  3. Hun7er
    Hello Eric65,
    I have begin comparison, I have mainly focus on the HD800 vs SR009.
    The rig on test are : 
    -Audio GD M7 -> Acoustic Revive 1.0PA RCA -> McIntosh MC225 -> noname speaker cable -> HE Adapter -> HD800
    -Audio GD M7 -> Oyaide Across Terzo Tunami -> SMC VRE 1 -> Acoustic Revive 1.0PA RCA -> Audio Research D70MKII -> Acoustic Revive Speaker cable -> SR009
    I can switch quickly on the 2 rig, 30 seconds. The SR009 is on the better rig which is a bit more laidback thank you to preamp and speaker cable. But there is not a big difference. 
    First of all the two headphone had the same objective neutrality, transparency, air. 
    The SR009 is a bit more laidback but I found the mid a bit forward. The HD800 is bit more dynamic and have more slam. Low are more detailed on the HD800. Morever his soundstage is more spacious. 
  4. eric65
    After your preliminary listens, are you going keep your three headphone high-end (HD-800, Abyss and SR-009) or keep only one or two with a powerful amplifier ? which?
    With what amp ?
  5. Hun7er
    Hi Eric65,
    At this moment I cannot choose because I need to try it with another amp.
    This morning I swapped the rig and the SR009 was on my MCIntosh MC225.
    The bass is better, more extended and impactful. Moreover the soundstage is larger. On the other rig the HD800 and Abyss loses openness, the bass becomes bloated like previously the SR009. 
    The SR009 is a bit less grainy.
    So I prefer the rig with the MCIntosh MC225, I think my Audio Research D70MKII with 2x70 watts is too powerfull and push too power.
    But I found an hollowness on Abyss mid and it doesn't have the openness of the SR009 and HD800 on the high. I find it less right than the HD800 and SR009.
    So you see it cannot possible to choose at this moment because these headphone are so transparent that you must try them on the better amp. 
    I will have a WOO Wa5 full upgraded and it has speaker amp output that throw 10 watts.
    So I can try HD800, Abyss and SR009. 
  6. eric65
    Hi Hun7er,
    You progress, you progress [​IMG]
    In my humble opinion (supporter [​IMG]), I think know for you one of the best solutions, quite economical for you, to have one of the best amplifiers, almost perfect, in any case universal, to operate, both, your Abyss, your HD-800 and also (and especially) your SR-009 (since you have also the Wee box) in the most satisfactory manner possible with a synergy of hell combining, both, great euphony, transparency, details, presence, width of the soundstage.
    This amplifier, currently fashionable in France, is the AudioVlave RKV-mk2 (without the impedancer, and if possible after an small (reversible) operation and accessible to all, without (disabled) the transformers 1:50 of voltage of the Wee (for 009), with the option of the Siemens tubes (exemplary neutrality with)
    See links:

    RKV-mk2 (in mode OTL) works perfectly (and with a very good synergy) with the HD-800 and it seems also with JPS Abyss.
    (Nb: the OTL mode seems superior in dynamics and presence at when using Impedancer (external) mode which, in my opinion, they are losing dynamics, details sound, transparency and presence).
    RKV-mk2 (in OTL mode, without impedancer, without the transformers 1:50 of voltage of the Wee, in short, without no transformers on the audio path) is for me a must with the 009 : this is my base to listen exclusive my Stax 009 (and HD-600) since 6 months, and I do me not tired and not finished amazed with. 
    It is in my opinion  ; RKV-mK2 in OTL mode is much better than with the SRM 727 and the Electra of Frédéric (fitted at the time with not NOS tubes).
    In short, for 2 K Euro, with the RKV-mk2, an universal amplifier, you could bring the Grail of audio, with, both, your JPS Abyss, the Sennheiser HD-800 and also (and especially) your Stax SR-009 [​IMG]
  7. Hun7er
    Hello Eric65,
    Yes RKV seems very interested thank you ! 
    I listen on the MCIntosh MC225 and it sounds great ! The thing I like the much on this headphone is how well balanced and natural it is. Okay it doesn't have bass that break you head but it presents the music on so coherent manner.
    It has details and subtle nuance that I doesn't hear with others headphones. Voices are pure bliss, so pure and free grain.
  8. eric65
    You speak of SR-009 + MCIntosh MC225 amp + Wee?
    Actually, this set must not be bad; an tubes amp Hi-Fi of quality + Wee can give excellent results with the 009; maybe not in terms of transparency and details maximal, but for the euphony of the whole and the quality of the mids.
  9. eric65
    You should change the picture of your avatar which seems more to be topical.
    But by which of your current headphones: the most beautiful ? or the best ? or the most comfortable?
    Unless one of your three headphones brings together all these qualities or either your favorite[​IMG] 
    EDIT : Go, selected the least colorful of your 3 headphones ...[​IMG]
  10. Hun7er
    Ahah yes Eric65 [​IMG]
    The most beautiful is the SR009
    The best I don't know
    The most comfortable is the HD800.
    Ah you follow me Eric65 [​IMG]
    Yes I find the mid on Abyss slightly recessed
  11. HeadphoneAddict Contributor
    Please don't forget that part of your problem is the Woo WEE.  It's tuned to better suit the SR-007, and can be bright and grainy with my SR-009 and ZDT amp even though my tube selection is tuned for sounding best with HD800 and HE-6 headphones and Epos ELS-3 speakers.  I agree that changing the tone of the amp can improve things a bit, but it's still better with the 007 and it's absolutely perfect with my Lambda Nova Signature.
  12. eric65
    Hi all
    I agree with HeadphoneAddict; during a listen for comparative my SR-007mk2 and SR-009 with my SRM-727 and my combo RKV - WEE, the most notable improvement was obtained with the SR-007mk2 + RKV - WEE, passing, in listening quality, of average (with the SRM 727) listening quality (because poorly controlled bass) at quite good with the RKV - WEE (much better controlled bass). However, I find even better with the SR-009 + RKV - WEE in any combination, and even better (a notch more in the improvement of sound) when the voltage transformers (1:50) of WEE were shunted (bypassed).

    @ Hun7er, if I summarize your preliminary comparison between your three High-End headphones, have can say:
    The most comfortable is the HD-800 (the least being the Abyss)
    The most beautiful is the SR-009 (the least being the Abyss)
    The best, you do know not yet, at the stage of your preliminary comparative listens.
    But that we can also tell (after reading your comment) that the least neutral of these three headphones is the Abyss (compared to the HD-800 and SR-009) in particular because a kinda dug in the mids (high-mid), that you  and others have found, thus distorting timbre (tone) of certain instruments, like violin.
  13. Hun7er
    1. @HeadphoneAddict : with my MCIntosh MC225 it doesn't seems to be too bright or grainy :wink: 

    @Eric65 : yeah the Abyss suffers for me to lacks of medium. So the SR009 seems to have a thicker sounds because mids giving weight the sound. When I was playing guitar and tuned the equalizer settings I noticed the same behavior for the medium. Less mid give more "spacious" sound and more mid give thicker sound.
    So I think the Abyss has a loudness effect, it doesn't posses the relaxed sound of HD800 and SR009, it's an extra sizzle on the treble. The voice lacks realism and body. 
  14. eric65
    Hi Hun7er,
    This amendment to the headband of the Abyss should interest you (improved comfort)
  15. eric65
    You sell on Head-Fi your Abyss it seems.
    Surely not an easy choice.
    I am sure that in France (or in Europe) many people will be interested, especially at the price proposed.
    Good sale.
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