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Stax SRS-2170 vs Koss ESP-950

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mudihan, Jul 8, 2013.
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  1. mudihan
    They are comparable in price. Are they comparable in performance (not necessarily sound signature)?
    I listen to all kinds of music and simply want the most accurate phones -- I can always micro-tune the phones to suit my musical taste, but if the drivers are not capable of producing all the details and frequencies, there is not much I can do later on.  I also have high level modding skills with electronics, but I don't intend to build or buy another amp in the near future -- I simply plan to mod the existing amp. 
    What's your opinion? 
  2. Chris J
    I'll be getting a pair of SRS-2170 soon, but since I have very little expereience with the Koss 'phones I really can't help you.

    Still, it's nice to see ANY SRS-2170 thread in the full sized phones forum! :D
  3. mudihan
    Indeed, the SRS-2170 seems to be the forgotten child. 
  4. Wildstar
    Only heard the 2170 in a tradeshow, never heard the Koss, but the 2170 sounded quite different from the other Staxes. Felt like a 'stat tuned to sound like a dynamic, with lots of midbass, a bit of treble boost and slightly recessed mids. Bass and treble extension were not very good. Maybe this is what a HD650 sounds like. In any case, they sounded quite different from the others there, which all had a "stat sound" (3170, 4170 and 007mk2 with SRM-006).
    I also heard a 2050 back in the day and, from what I remember, it sounded very different from the 2170 also (hence my surprise).
  5. mudihan
    That's rather disappointing. Sounds like a mutated Stax model. 
  6. spritzer
    The 2170 sounds pretty much the same as the 2050 so no that description would not be accurate.  Slightly more treble but that's about it. 
  7. Wildstar
    What does it sound like, overall? In my case it could have been the source, though IIRC they used the same CD player for all 3 setups.
  8. mudihan
    And who does it compare to ESP 950? Much appreciated. 
  9. spritzer
    To me the 202/207 always remind me of the first SR-Lambda, lacking some output at both the treble and bass but that makes them more linear as most Lambdas have excessive output at the extremes.  The rest is excellent but it is a pretty stark contrast to something like the 507 which is more dramatic but also adds some extra flair.  
    It's been too long since I've had an ESP950 here so it's hard to comment on the difference.  The weak part of the ESP950 system has always been the amp though which is why I always used them off Stax amps.  Going through my old notes on them I called them "an improved Lambda" and that is was better controlled and more neutral.  The ESP950 can be hard to nail down in terms of sound though as it does use damping and how much seems to have varied depending on when they were made.  They also use foam for this which doesn't age well and the oldest 950's are 25 years old now...
  10. mudihan
    Thanks. I take it that the ESP950 has better "fundamentals", and therefore, if properly tuned/modded/powered, could sound better than a 207. 
  11. spritzer
    It will certainly be on par with the 207 and better is some ways.  The 207's are better built though and far less issues. 
  12. Chris J
    Does anyone think there is enough support for an SRS-2020, SRS-2050, SRS-2170 thread in the Headphones (Full Size) thread? I feel the "Stax" thread is rather overwhelmed with kilobuck Stax systems. Thoughts anyone?
  13. mudihan
  14. mudihan
    Do you think that it would significantly improve the sound of E90 if I change all the opamps to better ones and either eliminate the attenuator or change it to a stepped one? Do you know if anyone has done so? 
  15. Chris J
    I just received my Stax SRS-2170 system.
    I'm listening to it right now.
    My initial impressions are........
    ...........oh my! :D

    Seriously? :wink:
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