Stax SR-009: suggestions to tone down the brightness?
Sep 10, 2012 at 6:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 197

t0tor0

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hi guys,
 
i just got my SR009 and 007a. I run the 007a as a power amp, meaning full volume with a pre-amp before it. i think the sound quality is amazing. but it is indeed a tad on the bright side (in fact quite bright for my liking).
 
i wonder if anyone here has any experience on how to tone down the brightness?
 
the attached cables for the SR-009 seems to be silver coated on copper, which think may also contribute to this brightness. i see that the old extension cables are not silver based. anyone tried using the old extension cables on the SR-009 and if it does control the brightness a little?
 
other suggestions welcomed!!!!
 
thanks!
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 9:26 AM Post #3 of 197

arnaud

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What's your dac and preamp? You can adjust the tonality somewhat with the gear upstream, it really depends how far off from your ideal we are. While I wouldn't go as far as betting on the 011, I might simply recommend to look into other headphones as well. Not sure about your past experiences in headphones, but sometimes, the most expensive isn't the answer, especially if it's not voiced to your tastes , music and other listening habits.
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM Post #5 of 197

Flea Bag

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I don't think it will solve your problems entirely, but I do own and am familiar with the Accuphase house sound and while very smooth at the top end, they can tend to sound a little less meaty in the mids and further affected by a bit more emphasis on the low highs to middle highs. I'm sure you are familiar with what I'm talking about having listened to your system using your other phones but maybe you might want to try a darker, more bass heavy DAC or something else like that in the chain.
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:45 AM Post #7 of 197

spritzer

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The real cause of this bright nature is the diaphragm and its properties so there isn't a whole lot you can do about that.  I haven't tampered with the cable on the 009 but I have swapped the cable on the 507 and it made no difference.  I doubt you upstream stuff is causing any issues as Accuphase is about as good as it gets.  Now the 007t is a good amp but hampered by the tubes it uses (type not brand).  There is a fix to that but you have to be a bit nutty to even try it... 
 

 
This is only recommended if you know what you are doing...  Other than that, find a SR-Omega which has only brief spells of brightness and sounds awesome. 
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:46 AM Post #8 of 197

Pettnolf

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I am using the metrum octave and haven't had an issue with brightness at all with the SR-009. Fantastic dac, especially for its low price.
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM Post #9 of 197

forbigger

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I use Neko Audio D100 to tame the brightness. This DAC is famous for its darkness in a nice way and sounds fantastic out from my 009. If you're situated in US or Europe , the proprietor have a loaner program. I've tried numerous DAC and facing the same problem like yours till I stumbled to this DAC. It's relatively cheap too. Note that = I'm not financially or have any interest related to Neko, I'm just a happy customer
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 2:36 PM Post #10 of 197

Flea Bag

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Quote:
Thanks for the tip.
 
May I know which DAC comes immediately into your mind first?

I think the others have a better idea of what a darker sounding DAC will be. I rotate between a Bel Canto DAC3 and a MHDT Havana with WE396a tubes. The Havana is more rounded in the top end (with the WE tubes) but not with the stock GE tubes. However, I have a feeeling the Havana is not exactly what you'd call dark either. To be frank, the first thing that came to my mind was the RSA Darkstar with is impressive bass and tame highs but since that's a dynamic amp, we'll have to scratch that idea. However, if someone made a DAC which fits that description, I suspect it may counter the Accuphase house sound significantly.
 
HD800 owners also report good synergy with the RSA Darkstar and from what I'm hearing, the HD800 and your Stax 009s could perhaps benefit from the same type of source equipment 'tone'. This could well be an over simplification but they're both hyper detailed phones with lower mids and bass that lack prominence or are obscured by the highs so PERHAPS HD800 owners who used their DACs to balance out the HD800 sound (as opposed to using their amps) could have some advice for you.
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 5:39 PM Post #11 of 197

arnaud

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The dac I use is also pairing well but 1) it's expensive relative to the competition (the neko and octave dacs mentioned above are probably good examples of well executed cheaper products), 2) It won't do miracles as spritzer mentioned
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM Post #12 of 197

milezone

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I'm in agreement with those who suggest trying a different source. Obviously you have one that is well regarded/made however, it may (I would bet) benefit you to try running them through a different source. It's possible that the driver is distorting in the upper frequencies as a result of playback causing unwanted harshness (despite the quality of your dac). If you can, play them on a vinyl system. If the problem improves signficantly, consider a new digital source.
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 10:52 PM Post #13 of 197

Noirceur

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Stax SR-009: suggestions to tone down the brightness?

Audeze LCD-3 
gs1000.gif

 
 
*joke*
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:13 PM Post #14 of 197

arnaud

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When push comes to shove, if one needs 10dB attenuation from the mids up, it might not be a bad suggestion though :wink:
 
Sep 10, 2012 at 11:46 PM Post #15 of 197

vinyllp33

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Quote:
I'm in agreement with those who suggest trying a different source. Obviously you have one that is well regarded/made however, it may (I would bet) benefit you to try running them through a different source. It's possible that the driver is distorting in the upper frequencies as a result of playback causing unwanted harshness (despite the quality of your dac). If you can, play them on a vinyl system. If the problem improves signficantly, consider a new digital source.

 
I am also in agreement with everything previously said, however at the end of the day the final result will be limited by the quality of the original recording/mastering; Unfortunately this aspect of our hobby is all over the map.
 
The SR009's are probably THE most revealing transducers I have owned; I am literally hearing new things on recordings that I have played hundreds of times. And not just "gee-whiz" kinds of details but previously buried instrumental lines or even instruments themselves heretofore lost in the mix that, once revealed, brings one much closer to the artist's original intent.
 
At this level of resolution there is no room to hide; everything will play a part from the incoming power from the wall downstream; and yet even once all that is properly addressed we come full circle back to the recorded media. 
 
As a side note on spinning vinyl; not only is that another universe in itself on the 009's, the ability to hear minute changes in VTA, azimuth or tracking force becomes almost too easy so dialing in one's set up becomes much less time frustrating and time consuming.
 

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