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The Stax Thread III

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by currawong, Aug 20, 2013.
  1. azabu
    then you're good to go!

    btw if you're ever in the market for a dac, audition the Chord Qutest.
    AudioThief likes this.
  2. arnaud Contributor
    I doubted like you, put my money where my mouth is, compared (also to other 3rd party amps through local friends), the rest is history. I think you’re mistaken if you think this is elitist attitude but, for sure, nobody except you can judge if the upgrade is worth it.
    BreadMaster and AudioThief like this.
  3. AudioThief
    Ok but please consider that I am not doubting the third party amps are better performers. I am doubting the wild claims that are completely out of this world made by the estat elite. Why is it that some third party amplifiers seemingly can take already great headphone, revolutionize them and just take them into the stratosphere sonically? Don't you think that people who are willing to spend $5000 on an AMPLIFIER might use a tad bit of hyperbole when describing their equipment ?

    I know I sound so incredibly sour and salty, as if I have a personal agenda against those who claim these things - I do not. I really do believe that the claims are made with intellectual honesty - I just think that when giving advice to people looking to purchase, its important to take a step back and consider exactly what can be achieved by upgrading from a $2000 amp to a $5000 amp, realistically.
  4. SeaWo|f
    For many spending that amount on an amplifier its nothing. This amount seems to be quite a big deal to you, but that is not the case for everyone.
    BreadMaster likes this.
  5. AudioThief
    Uhuh, and if an owner of a lamborghini ventador tells you that if you're going to listen to him because he can afford the most expensive lamborghini, while you are looking at the two entry level models - you wouldn't take it with a pinch of salt when he tells you that unless you're getting the ventador you're wasting your money.. ?

    We are talking about giving advice to someone looking to purchase the 007. They are making laughable claims, take a step back, consider what the purpose of getting an estat setup is (hint: its not to compare and brag on forums, but listen to music).
  6. aldavey
    I have an as new Spritzer Carbon for sale, PM me if interested.
  7. Rossliew
    How would you describe the performance of this amp?
    BreadMaster likes this.
  8. VandyMan
    To someone who can afford a 5K amp without financial strain, the comment that it is bad because it is expensive is not going to be a view they share. It is not that your opinion is invalid if you can't afford it. It is that your opinion is invalid because to you price is the most important factor and others here do not share that perspective. I strongly advocate against people spending more than they can reasonably afford on audio equipment, but that is not what the STAX topic in the ToTL Headphone forum is about.

    More useful, and interesting, is to compare these amps on their sound quality, build, looks, and features. Then, we can say if relative to each other, that one is overpriced or not. Since you have not heard them, why would anyone care what you have to say about them? Go to Head-Fi meet or CanJam, listen, and then share what your opinions.

    I do agree that posters on audio forums widely overstate the differences between gear, at all prices ranges. DACs in particular, IMO. That said, I own the STAX 727-ii (modded) and a BHSE, so I've heard them side by side. I also had a chance to hear a Carbon KGSSHV side by side with my BHSE over the weekend (thanks Craig). I'll post more about this when I get time. For the BHSE vs the 727, it really is a big difference. The 727 sounds ok. I enjoyed it with my 009s for a year while waiting for my BHSE and still use it in my second STAX setup in mu home office. However, directly compared to the BHSE, it is flat, lifeless, and dynamically compressed.
  9. aldavey
    I originally paired a Stax SRM007tA with my 009's. I kept reading that KG amps were essential to understand the true performance of say 007's or 009's. I had no opportunity of auditioning before purchase. I went for Mjolnir as his reputation proceeds him in terms of build quailty and customer service.
    If you search back through this thread to about April/May of last year you will see that I was blown away when I first heard my 009's through the Carbon. It's a completely different Ear Speaker, the best I've ever heard. The Stax amp was sold immediately as a result.
    My advice is buy a Carbon for plug and play, or a BHSE if tubes are your thing, if you want to hear what these Ear Speakers are really all about. It's is as simple as that..... or go the whole hog and get a T2, just ask Whitgir.
    BreadMaster, Rossliew and VandyMan like this.
  10. VandyMan
    To stretch the sports car analogy a bit more, it is like you bought the Lamborghini and then filled it with regular gas. The Lamborghini aficionados all say, what a waste, because you are not getting the performance you paid for. You say, well what difference does it make, it gets me where I want to go. Both sides are correct, but have different priorities. Here, our priority is ultimate performance.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  11. georgep
    This is probably the fairest way to explain it. I too have a 727II and fully enjoy listening with it even though I have a couple of high-end electrostatic amps as well that sound better. So yes, I can enjoy Stax out of more affordable (some might say "lesser") amps.

    To further again the car analogy. I own a Honda Odyssey (kids) and a Toyota Camry. I have driven and raced high-end BMWs through BMW's driving programs and I have driven a relative's Rolls Royce Ghost. These cars are significantly better than my Camry even though I thoroughly enjoy driving my Camry (hell I drive my van like a race car) even after having experienced on numerous occasions MUCH higher performance vehicles. I could certainly afford a much higher performance car (the Ghost excepted), but choose not to because the differences between the cars on a daily basis FOR ME is minor (plus I don't care as much now as I did when I was younger and into cars, and had no money). So you can go ahead and enjoy your Camry, but the performance guys are going to want something better.
    BreadMaster and Rossliew like this.
  12. aldavey
    Also in my case as hearing ages the justification to own the very, very best in Stax amps. does not Stax up.......sorry about that.
  13. Drewligarchy
    Looking for some advice on synergy for my 009 rig. I've posted about this elsewhere, but situation has evolved a little. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    I've been running Yggy>Carbon>009 for the past two years. The Carbon is an amazing amp and there is definite synergy between the Yggy/Carbon/and 009 - and the 009 can be picky. I enjoyed this setup for a long time.

    I wanted to buy an endgame DAC and the Bricasti M1 SE was in reach and with the new ethernet card and roon ready it sealed it for me. It sounds fantastic with the Carbon / 009 - but definitely can be fatiguing (especially with female vocals). I think I prefer it to the Yggy as the system is ridiculously resolving - but the Yggy has some more presence and doesn't seem to be quite as sharp in the midrange. I also like the M1 a lot with my dynamic rig - but the resolution is just insane in the Stax rig.

    I had a hi-fi dealer over to mess with the setup with some interconnects, power cables, ethernet cables etc. I He did remove the fatigue and made it sound better - but he added $7500 and that's an insane amount to spend on cables for my system IMHO.

    What I'd love to be able to do is to retain the resolution and tonality of the M1, while reducing the fatigue. I almost sold them M1 a couple time, but can't bear to part with it yet - as it does certain things so well. So hear are my options:

    1. Try some more affordable interconnects, other tweaks on my own (open to recommendations)
    2. Sell the M1, keep the Yggy (most financially sound decision, and system is still incredibly engaging)
    3. Sell the Carbon and Yggy, buy a different amp (how much would I lose with a KGST - that I could potentially make up in synergy)?
    4. I have a Toruga Passive Preamp which I use to bypass the volume control. To me this is completely transparent. They now have a tube buffer I can throw in the chain which is not ridiculously priced https://www.tortugaaudio.com/products/preamp-buffers/tpb-v1-tube-preamp-buffer/ For those familiar with the tubes used, would that add any presence and slightly soften the upper mid?
    5. Buy 009s, sell 009. I wish I could try this before doing it - but given the qualities of the 009s - will this create a more synergistic system?

    The M1 is an amazing DAC, the Carbon is an amazing amp and the 009 are amazing headphones. Ultimately, what do I have to add or remove to the chain to get the type of synergy I'm after?
    BreadMaster likes this.
  14. padam
    I would try the SR-009S before anything else
  15. Rhamnetin
    Lots of options you have there. The ones that stand out the most to me are: the SR-009S, and selling perhaps both DACs and getting a really good NOS R2R DAC like the Audio Note DAC 5.1 Signature, Denafrips Terminator, or Metrum Pavane, since these are typically seen as the least fatiguing types of DACs.
    ahmedie likes this.

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