Stax X9000 or other similar level headphones - a speaker audiophile is in search for a set of good headphones
Sep 17, 2023 at 10:18 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 60

Joey_V

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Hello All,

I am in search for a set of really really good headphones.

I am mostly experienced in the speaker section of audiophilia, but have had some experience with headphones years ago. I owned Sennheiser HD650 and Sony MDR5000 at some point. For amplification, I also owned a Headamp GS-1 at around that same time period (this was approximately 20 years ago when I was in college).

That said, I don't own either of those headphones any more.

I have read about the X9000 and see that they are pretty well received. I'm just not so familiar with Stax and have no clue as to the accompanying energizer or amplifier that is recommended to go with that headphone.

I would like to hear some recommendations and tips from you guys, who are much more experienced that I am.

If not the Stax X9000 then what other similar level headphones?
What kind of amplifiers would you recommend?
I hear about Susvara, I hear about Utopia 2, Abyss.... HD820, Sony Z1R.
I have never heard those headphones although I do recall hearing the Utopia 1 and Z1R for a very short period of time at a local store... but nothing to write about or really get a good idea of what made what special.

Anyway, let's start the conversation. Definitely interested in getting back into headfi.

Thx.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 11:26 AM Post #3 of 60
Do I run a preamp into the T8000?
Does it have a dac?
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 11:39 AM Post #4 of 60
And what is this Grand Cayman I have read about?

Does anyone know what the final price will be?
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 12:22 PM Post #5 of 60
Get the x9000 and Stax's T8000 amp. Just do what I say, and leave this forum forever the minute you finish reading this post!:relaxed:

LOL. Just buy a system and run is actually great advice lol


OP, just like speakers, you're just going to have to try things out for yourself and find out what you like. It's rare that you just buy something one and done and you're content forever. Speakers or headphones. To better answer your question, really, we need to know what type of music you're into, what your listening preferences are.. do you prefer a more technical first, analytical sound or do you prefer more warmth and smoothness, etc. What speakers do you have and love? That would be a great indicator actually. There are plenty of really good headphones out there, just need to drill down to what possibly is closest to what you'd enjoy and experiment from there. Be patient and good luck.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 12:31 PM Post #6 of 60
Get the x9000 and Stax's T8000 amp. Just do what I say, and leave this forum forever the minute you finish reading this post!:relaxed:
I can't agree with this more.
Buy something, enjoy it, and never come back.

Years ago I almost accomplished this, then I got dragged back in this summer...
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:06 PM Post #7 of 60
How good is the T8000?
Comparable to Aristeus (sp?) or Blue Hawaii?

I just want it to be done.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:08 PM Post #8 of 60
Amazing set up you have there.

I like to listen to everything except rock and metal.

I prefer tone and density of image. Musical first.
I also like great sound staging.

LOL. Just buy a system and run is actually great advice lol


OP, just like speakers, you're just going to have to try things out for yourself and find out what you like. It's rare that you just buy something one and done and you're content forever. Speakers or headphones. To better answer your question, really, we need to know what type of music you're into, what your listening preferences are.. do you prefer a more technical first, analytical sound or do you prefer more warmth and smoothness, etc. What speakers do you have and love? That would be a great indicator actually. There are plenty of really good headphones out there, just need to drill down to what possibly is closest to what you'd enjoy and experiment from there. Be patient and good luck.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:15 PM Post #9 of 60
How good is the T8000?
Comparable to Aristeus (sp?) or Blue Hawaii?

I just want it to be done.
I far prefer the aftermarket amps, they do have a different, more extended (especially in the low-end) and open sound but the lesser Stax amp may have a more rounded, more intimate sound that might be appealing to you.
I still don't think the T8000 is worth the money unless you buy it used with a massive discount.

As for the second sentence, sorry to say, that's just not how it works. You need to at least try (and buy) a few things and decide which one is better for you.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...s-yes-they-are-better-than-the-sr-009s.34984/

Here is a guy who upgraded to the X9000 from a 009S, but then finally settled on the 007 Mk1. The journey is just generally different for everyone.
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:17 PM Post #10 of 60
I far prefer the aftermarket amps, they do have a different, more extended (especially in the low-end) and open sound but the lesser Stax amp may have a more rounded, more intimate sound that might be appealing to you.
I still don't think the T8000 is worth the money unless you buy it used with a massive discount.

As for the second sentence, sorry to say, that's just not how it works. You need to at least try (and buy) a few things and decide which one is better for you.

https://www.whatsbestforum.com/thre...s-yes-they-are-better-than-the-sr-009s.34984/

Here is a guy who upgraded to the X9000 from a 009S, but then finally settled on the 007 Mk1. The journey is just generally different for everyone.
What serial range is your 007mk1?
Why do you personally prefer it to the X9000?

Any thoughts on more expensive energizers versus something like the SRD that you sold?
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:24 PM Post #11 of 60
I have two early Mk1s, one is mint, the other is under refurbishment. They do not sound the same (at least before refurbishment) so there is certainly some variation there. I definitely do not hear the darkness people are talking about, it is not dark at all, just not as bright as many other modern Staxes, but quite sparkly in the treble.
I do not 'prefer' the 007mk1 as such (it is generally too different), but I think it does some amazing things with some flaws. The X9000 is just like that in my opinion, some amazing things technically, but also flawed with regards to tonality and the sort of "over-exaggeration of speed" that electrostats are known for. I feel like I am listening more to 'detail' rather than 'music'.
I do not think it is a great choice for all musical genres, expected more from it in that regard at its price level (like bettering the SR-Omega, for instance).

I have the KGSSHV Carbon, I like it, but as always, it is not necessarily the "perfect" amp for everything, it just seems to work well with most of my headphones.

From my experience, the sound from an SRD-7 adapter with a good speaker can be quite powerful an pleasing but things like detail, stereo imaging, most amount of extension etc. might not be as good. One could build a higher quality transformer with less of a performance penalty, it depends on the speaker amp (they can easily exceed the cost of a Carbon), just too many variables to form an educated opinion about what would be "best" solution.
 
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Sep 17, 2023 at 1:29 PM Post #13 of 60
Sep 17, 2023 at 1:43 PM Post #14 of 60
Hello All,

I am in search for a set of really really good headphones.

I am mostly experienced in the speaker section of audiophilia, but have had some experience with headphones years ago. I owned Sennheiser HD650 and Sony MDR5000 at some point. For amplification, I also owned a Headamp GS-1 at around that same time period (this was approximately 20 years ago when I was in college).

That said, I don't own either of those headphones any more.

I have read about the X9000 and see that they are pretty well received. I'm just not so familiar with Stax and have no clue as to the accompanying energizer or amplifier that is recommended to go with that headphone.

I would like to hear some recommendations and tips from you guys, who are much more experienced that I am.

If not the Stax X9000 then what other similar level headphones?
What kind of amplifiers would you recommend?
I hear about Susvara, I hear about Utopia 2, Abyss.... HD820, Sony Z1R.
I have never heard those headphones although I do recall hearing the Utopia 1 and Z1R for a very short period of time at a local store... but nothing to write about or really get a good idea of what made what special.

Anyway, let's start the conversation. Definitely interested in getting back into headfi.

Thx.
Hi, there are sooooooo many options so starting with a price point is essential. No sense confusing your choices with researching and listening to HP you will not be buying except for general info.The TOTL HP's are mentioned all over the forums. Susvara, AB 1266, Utopia, and many more. all good in different ways much like checking out speakers. They all have their signature sound. Stax is electrostatic . If you're familiar with Martin Logan speakers , it's the same concept in a HP. A bit more expensive and need specific kind of Amp referred to as an energizer. E-Stats are and entire other approach. Once you select a HP making sure you get an amp that can properly drive them is your next research step. Again price point will present your choice options. Going and hearing set ups yourself with your own playlist IMHO has no substitute. Myself after 6 plus decades in the Hobby. After identifying a couple of HP options and Amp options in my price point I hunt them down to hear. If you become sure of what you want to buy three are tons of pre-0wned on multiple sites as well as some dealers. Choose a dealer that will be more liberal on returns as in my experience it is a trial and error process until you reach your end game. Trade off's are common in that different manufactures signature sound will emphasis say a more robust bottom end bass while others are vocal centered etc. Again like tracking a goos speaker. Check out you tube reviews of your short list come of them are outstanding in detailed information. After all that when I am ready to make a final choice I dig into the forums to see if anyone has had issues or observation that either support what I have learned or tell me I may need more research. Kind of of a task sure.....but it can be an expensive hobby and nothing is worse than spending a good deal of your money and not being satisfied with your sound etc. I know I am being a bit general in answering your question but I think the process is important as you will find people that both love and don't love just about any thing out there for various reasons and personal sound preference. Good luck and happy hunting
 
Sep 17, 2023 at 2:04 PM Post #15 of 60
Canjam being in dallas in November is great.
I will make it a point to go there.
I am going to organize a group of my stereo audiophile club to go with me.

As for pricing, I would probably keep the budget high as long as I can have some equity in the product and sell it for near same without significant loss.

I am most interested in high performance electrostats at this time. I would like an amplifier with some tubes in it for rolling and personalization.
 

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