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The Stax Thread III

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by currawong, Aug 20, 2013.
  1. AudioThief
    Fine, I'll delete the post.
  2. wink
    Until you've actually heard a SR-007 or SR009 through a BHSE or Carbon your opinion is conjectural and based on no factual evidence.

    I seriously, seriously suggest you make the effort to audition them before making any definitive decision.
    At least then any opininion you may have would be based upon personal experience rather the protestations of your wallet,wife, bank manager or any orher influence on your financial wellbeing.........:ksc75smile:

    btw, we're allowed our opinions, it 's just that personal experience trumps conjecture every time.....
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
    BreadMaster, HoloSpice and Jones Bob like this.
  3. AudioThief
    I'm not saying its completely mental gymnastics, but even if it was, its easy to see why someone taking the plunge on a $5000 piece of equipment would be subject to potentially wanting to justify their purchase.. ? I'm no objectivist, but how 450V isn't enough to power the 007s is just kinda strange to me. But hey, maybe you are completely correct, I can't possibly know because I haven't heard it. But you need to understand just how few people actually own the BHSE, Carbon and DIY T2/T2 aka the only "true" 007 amps. Like, its an EXTREMELY small sample size. Now you are saying that the $5000 jump to the Carbon is worth it sonically... I'm sure you can agree that even most high end audiophile enthusiasts would disagree that it is worth it, even though its of course impossible to quantify these sort of purchases...

    My point isn't really that they are doing crazy mental gymnastics, I'll concede that these amps probably do sound better than the lesser amps such as the one I own. But that the difference is "night and day" and that it transforms the 007 into a 009 killer, that ONLY spritzer amps or BHSE are even worth pairing with the headphone? Come on. That sort of nonsense can only stand because of the elitist culture of high end electrostatic discussion forums. There are only a few privileged people who have a chance at affording these amplifiers, and the amount of people actually pairing them with the 007s, a somewhat rare headphone as it is... Yeah, I think the logical conclusion here is that although the carbon and bhse might do sound better, even significantly better, to say that it somehow transforms the headphones completely.. I don't think thats logical at all.
    natto lover likes this.
  4. AudioThief
    I am definitely not making any definitive decisions - I do want to hear one of those amps one day in the future. But as you say, we are allowed opinions. And I think its healthy to have voices bringing this topic a bit down to earth again.. If a novice audiophile got in touch with me and asked me if buying a TOTL headphone was worth it period, I wouldn't even say that it necessarily was - its so personal what people want and require out of a pair of headphone, what sort of improvements matter the most, what truly is important. I just think its crazy how the top elite estat consumers can say that you MUST have third party amps to properly drive the 007s. I mean lets go so far to say that it really does completely transform the 007 - its a different headphone, much, much better than the one I am listening through my 727IIs. EVEN then, the 007 mk1s via the 727II completely trumps any other headphone I've ever heard, including the SR-L line of headphones. And these people will say that getting the 007s literally isn't worth it unless you get "AT LEAST" the KGSSHV.

    Its just one of many instances of complete disconnect from reality, that I really struggle to take people seriously when they say that its night and day, that the 007s are crap without powerful, expensive third party amps - Can anyone even explain exactly why the 007s are designed in a way that makes them borderline impossible to drive (a feat STAX themselves haven't figured out except for the exceedingly rare T2 amp which was released before the 007s), while the 009 and all the other STAX headphones are super simple to drive?

    In a hobby with such insane amounts of subjectivity, is it really that unreasonable by me to be skeptical to the lofty claims people make of these extremely rare and expensive amplifiers, especially considering I have never heard an amplifier change the characteristics of a headphone to the extent people claim that the carbon and bhse does? Is it strange to suspect that there may be hyperbole connected to a rare $5000 piece of equipment in a super niche hobby?

    People can of course say that only people who have heard the amp are allowed an opinion, or even better, only those who have owned it for a long amount of time to REALLY get ot know the sound - but that is exactly the kind of mindset that makes these crazy claims stick.
    Contrails likes this.
  5. mulveling Contributor
    Man, imagine how much words he'll write after he actually HEARS one of these amps!
    BreadMaster and Jones Bob like this.
  6. AudioThief
    Serious question, why are you just mocking me for sharing my opinion? I get it that you don't want to discuss the topic with me, thats completely fine. But why do you feel the need to mock me ?

    edit: just so my comment isn't pure salt, I did chuckle at your post. And then I became offended, thus the reply.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  7. Rhamnetin
    Transforming the headphone into something completely different is often an exaggeration, I agree. Too bad I let go of my KGSS, so I won't be able to do direct comparisons but plenty of others have. I have done direct comparisons between my TOTL dynamic headphone amp (Mjolnir Audio Pure BiPolar) and lower end amps (the Chord Hugo 2's amp and a Schiit Lyr 3 with really nice tubes) with various headphones, and I am keeping the TOTL one and purging the lower end gear because the improvement is so satisfactory.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  8. AudioThief
    I think its typical for those who can afford it to go for the best, however marginal the improvements. And it likely requires a special kind of person to get to the true endstage of fidelity as is. I completely understand that there are people who truly do value the performance gained from the best available equipment, however marginal that gain may be - hell, I suspect I'm one of them - I just don't have the wallet to support it. But there is a difference between what a few select audiophiles believe, and what is actually "true" in a broader sense, insofar that can be established in such a subjective hobby - my point is that the recommendations people make should be somewhat grounded to earth - to say that someone "must" get at least this or that headphone or this or that amp to enjoy their music - its getting to be a bit crazy, I think. And I've read a lot of info on a lot of equipment, and I don't think anything has struck me as more out of the world and strange than the claims made by the elite estat guys.

    I haven't heard my current setup with complete Nordost cabling either, but I reserve my right to be skeptical on just how much that would improve its sound.
  9. buzzlulu
    I do not think he is mocking you.

    I find on HeadFi that many comment, pontificate and advise on gear they have never heard. Its like someone saying - buy this car because its fast, has a tight suspension and handles amazing - yet they never owned or even drove it.

    I will only pay attention to those who have actually heard, demoed, or owned the gear they are commenting on. Anything else I tend to tune out.
    I only comment or express opinions on things I have owned or demoed. After that I tend to ask more than say :)

    Interesting debate however as I am currently in the midst of making some similar decisions regarding my journey down the Stax rabbit hole.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  10. joseph69
    This made me LMAO.

    You can't have an opinion on any of these amps you've never heard, you can only have your thoughts.

    Don't get mad...get E-Trade.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  11. AudioThief
    But this is so absurd - I can't comment on what can sufficiently drive the 007s because I haven't heard every high end amp for it? And the guys who have heard the most expensive amps are the only ones who are allowed to comment on it? Thats not rational at all. I agree that if someone comes into a thread, lets say he owns the HD650 and the LCD2s - and starts giving out advice on what sort of electrostatic headphone pairs best with what sort of DAC,and so on - thats just pure conjecture obviously and irrelevant.

    But me, as an owner of an 007 mk1 and 727II, having heard many, many headphones, both dynamic and electrostat, cannot give my opinion on the claims that 5000$ third party amps are pure magic that is just way way way better than anything you could ever dream to get from stax themselves... ?

    I get it that someone that have heard a piece of equipment obviously has firsthand experience that is very much more valuable than pure guesswork, but don't you see the pitfalls of this mindset when it comes to something as niche as $5000 third party estat amps for a specific headphone? Its not as if there is some parliament of estat elites that has voted and it was unanimously decided that KGSSHV or above for the 007 or don't even bother - you have people with conflicting opinions even amongst the elites.. Muppetface has said that the 727II is a good amp. Spritzer has said its hot garbage. Others will say that KGSSHV is plenty of juice for the 007, and then others will say that unless you have Carbon or BHSE, you're leaving fidelity on the table big time and they wouldn't even bother with the 007s.

    Now thats from the few people who have actually heard the amplifiers in question. But my point is that I am not talking against some established, agreed upon "truth" from those who have heard the amps. And even if that was the case, we have to consider that they are not completely unbiased or even necessarily the best ones to give out advice. Have you not noticed how elitist a lot of these people come off? One thing is succinct, level headed comparisons and reviews. But how many articles or posts on BHSE / Carbon vs Stax amps on the 007 are there even? Not a lot.
  12. Rhamnetin
    Yeah there are lots of opinions to sort through, such is life. The idea though is that the people who actually have experience with the amps in question obviously have the more valuable opinion. Don't worry, opinions don't get deleted on Head-Fi, only facts do!

    Regarding published reviews comparing such amps, there is this one:


    Not many, but reviews don't get more honest than Tyll's.
  13. AudioThief
    I haven't given my opinion on the amps or their performance, I have given my opinion on the claims made about the equipment.
    Yes, as a general rule of thumb, I completely get that pesonal experience trumps pure guesswork, as I said. But lets say someone in this thread has experience with all the amps mentioned, and he says well audiothief, all stax amps aside from the T2 is hot garbage, and if you're gonna get the 007, you gotta have carbon or bhse. No ifs, no buts. And I disagree, but of course my argument falls on deaf ears because this person has (or at least claims to have) personal experience.

    Then another person comes into the thread, who also has personal experience, but he sides with me. So then the objective facts of the situation is completely swayed by whoever happened to participate in the thread at that very moment? Of course not. There is a truth out there, but personal opinion is personal opinion. Using some level of reasoning and thinking rationally shouldn't be completely laughed at as and strongly opposed as I am seeing in this thread right now. As far as I can tell, it seems people in this thread don't want to even consider my arguments, but rather just go hands up and say hey, if someone with personal experience says x, well then we MUST take them on their word for it because they have that experience.

    As for Tyll, I've disagreed with him on so many things where I have personal experience myself, that I have come to accept him as human, just like me and you. And that is exactly what research in this hobby is all about... You just have to wade through many, many differing opinions, consider many different components, your taste in music etc.. Which is why I hate blanket statements like you MUST HAVE BHSE if you're gonn have the 007s. To me, the people who make those claims are just too deep into the hobby. Its all about elitism at that point in my eyes. Remember why we got started here in the first place - to enjoy our music. I have ears, I have a lot of experience with a lot of equipment - I know that my 007 mk1s and 727II sounds objectively freakin fantastic. If we are going to tell people that unless they can deck out 3000$ extra for the next jump up in amplifying power to even bother with the 007s... We lost touch.
  14. azabu
    You're entitled to your views. The great thing about head-fi is it's a community sharing views to reach a common objective, which is to achieve the best sound. It doesn't cost anything to listen to collective experience, it's up to you to take that knowledge, audition and let your ears be the judge.

    I have the BHSE and Stax SRM 007tA. The Stax 007tA is underpowered for the 007 headphones. Does it matter? Not in the slightest if you're satisfied.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  15. AudioThief
    There is what, 110V difference between the 007tA output vs 727II. And not to mention the KGSV which was the amp originally mentioned by the guy in the op. Should be plenty of power.

    Now its completely fine to enjoy the BHSE significantly more than your stax amp, thats not really whats being discussed, however. But yes, Head Fi is great. Less elitists here compared to other sites I won't mention. 8)

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