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STAX SR-009S new flagship electrostatic earspeakers released (with impressions)

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by padam, Apr 20, 2018.
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  1. mulveling Contributor
    That's a wise warning. Quick-swapping very similar entities like 009 and 009S can lead to erroneous conclusions. The ear/brain system can adapt to a lot, and your perception of the sound (how good it makes you feel to listen to it) can change significantly after the adaptation period. Or rather, some headphones have flaws or quirks that initially make you reject them, but can be adapted to, and after the adaptation period you fall in love. The most egregious example of this, for me, was the Sony Qualia 010. Another problem with quick-swapping is the brain's tendency to pattern-match signals, which can have the exact opposite effect - this can obscure certain subtle differences or quirks/flaws that would disturb you in long-term listening. This is also why I feel that DBT is generally crap for high-end audio.

    Fortunately both the 009 and the 009S fare extremely well in the long-term listening satisfaction test! Especially once you have an amp at the level of BHSE.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    Dan Lee, Rushton and Whitigir like this.
  2. Whitigir
    Sound like any marriage would be
    BreadMaster and mulveling like this.
  3. Dan Lee
    Hey guys I got my Denafrips Terminator in today. I have only listened to it for about an hour and a half, but I can honestly say this is by far the best dac I have ever heard. Before this I had no idea a dac could have this much impact. Every single aspect of the sound is better. Just unreal. I will post more later.

    So far it is magic with the Carbon and 009S.
    mulveling and BreadMaster like this.
  4. Dan Lee
    Have any of you folks rocking a KGSSHV Carbon ever heard of someone using a tube preamp with it? Even better have any of you using one or possibly have tried one? I am genuinely curious to how well this would work. Considering getting a Schiit Freya Plus just to try it or something like a Vincent SA-32.

    Any thoughts?
    BreadMaster likes this.
  5. thomaskong78
    Hello Guys

    I had good result of driving Sundara by Dave and Mscaler.

    Then I got Massdrop Empire Zeus 14 last week.

    I got blown by the dynamics and details of Zeus.

    I seriously consider 009S for the next stop(or end).

    Had anyone here have experience of 009 or 009S and Empire IEM?

    If so, could you give opinion on how much 009 will be better than Empire IEM?


    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  6. BenF
    You have to ask yourself - does Empire IEM sound perfect to me, or is there something I'm missing here?
    If it sounds perfect for you - stop there, don't waste money.

    If something is missing - 009(S) is a great option for truly perfect sound, but you better audition 009 vs 009s in person to make sure you chose the right one.
    I chose 009, 009S sounded too thin in female vocals (using Headamp's Blue Hawaii).
    thomaskong78 likes this.
  7. thomaskong78
    Thanks a lot for your kind input.

    One more question to you or any experienced user.

    There are lot of discussion about Blue Hawaii, T2 and Black Carbon amps but not Stax T8000.

    Had anybody compared between those amplifiers including Stax T8000.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  8. nyceg
    Hi everyone, I've been reading this thread for a while now and the previous response compelled me to post. Perhaps some of my questions could be answered as well. I am a grad student and have been saving for quite some time to upgrade my entire system. I have on several occasions listed to the SR-007s and both versions of the SR-009s. At least to my ears, this is the best sounding headphones I have ever heard. However, I have only listened to these headphones with the Stax branded amps and the Woo Audio WES. My plan was to buy the SR-009s along with the Chord Qutest and with the least expensive Mjölnir Audio amp. I put all of my pennies in my bank account before taking a trip to Tokyo this March, thinking that the Stax would be a bit less in their country of origin. They were not! Here are some things that I've experienced that I would be very grateful if anyone could lend their opinion.

    1. While listening to the Stax, I realized that the SR-009s although wonderfully resolving just did not have the same "pop" or fullness to the sound through the T8000 or the SRM-007tII. It is still very much a sound I liked, but I'm not sure if for very long-term listening I would get the same enjoyment as with a dynamic system.

    2. The build quality of the Stax amps is not that great. They feel hollow and cheap...

    3. This is what really threw me off balance; I listened to the Luxman P750u with the Sennheiser hd800s and it was the best sounding setup I have ever heard. I've even heard the Sennheiser HE1 several times and the Luxman just sounded wonderful. I've had the Luxman DA250 and was not impressed. I am also not crazy about the HD800s, however maybe they just matched very well; maybe the P750u is what's contributing to that sound. I don't know.

    I wanted to make myself believe that I didn't need to spend the money on a blue Hawaii if I didn't have it and still enjoy the Stax sound. Having had some quality time with all of the major Stax amps in Japan, I was convinced that the SR-009s do indeed sound flat without one of the more premium amps...it might also be the case that they just won't reach the sound I heard with the Luxman.

    Thanks everyone who read up to hear for your patience, and sorry if there's anything I said that was already said or that doesn't make sense.
    treebug, BreadMaster and thomaskong78 like this.
  9. BenF
    Try 009 instead of 009s - it sounds fuller, especially in female vocals.

    You should definitely try 009(s) on Blue Hawaii, this combo is amazing.
    Next best thing - http://www.ippinkan.co.jp/airbow/product/headphone/srm253_pac253.html with https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32882901310.html as a preamp - much cheaper, yet provides very similar sound when paired with 009.
  10. tumpux
    T8000 is not at the same level as Carbon, Hawaii or T2.
    It is true that it is the Stax most expensive offering at the moment but it is still built to meet a certain budget and not meant to be a technological statement product such as T2 in 1994.
    BreadMaster and thomaskong78 like this.
  11. BreadMaster
    Go T2 if you want the very best Stax amp.
    Dan Lee and thomaskong78 like this.
  12. Whitigir
    Nah, you want the very best Loaf of Bread, and then think about what you want and how your budget may measure up to your desire :wink:
    Dan Lee and BreadMaster like this.
  13. thomaskong78
    One more question to experienced users.

    There appears to be many different version of KGSSHV Carbon amplifier.

    How can I judge which one is good?


  14. AnakChan Moderator
    [Mod hat on]
    Folks who recommend some of the aforementioned amps should mention their status of 1st hand experience and share why they recommend what they do. I hope that it’s not just heresay from something they read here or from other forums.

    @nyceg deserves that much explanation at the very least.
    [/mod hat off]
  15. Velomane
    Given that the T2 has been mentioned recently, and, given its scarcity, I would like to say that I am completely intrigued. If one of you has one and you're thinking of parting with it, please let me know.
    BreadMaster likes this.
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