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The Stax Thread III

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by currawong, Aug 20, 2013.
  1. Magol79
    Yeah, I've been waffling about wether I should get this for my L700 or not. Now I'm leaning more towards getting one. Its compact size makes it a good option for a desktop setup. I'm actually thinking of getting the Octave III and use my Questyle cma400i as a preamp. Spritzer says it's a warmer amp, which I think matches well with the L700. I'd also be really interested in reading others impressions of the Octave II / III.
  2. vinekly
    I own the 007 mk1 and 009 but am wondering if I should get the 007 mk2 too. Can anyone comment on any advantages of 007 mk2 over what I already own? Does anyone favor 007 mk2 over mk1?
  3. JimL11
    Here (raises hand). The 007 MkII with spritzer's port mod sits between the Mk1 and the 009, tonally. To my ears, the Mk1 sounds slightly soft, the 009 sounds slightly bright and the Mk 2 is pretty close to tonally neutral. Also, on a brief listen the Focal Utopias seemed to sit, tonally between the Mk2 and the 009, brighter than the Mk 2 and not quite as bright as the 009. I use a specific CD recording to evaluate treble tonal balance, the Melkus Bach Violin Concertos on DG Archiv. On my Quad electrostatics and the Mk 2 with port mod, the violins sound a bit acid, on the Mk I they sound fine, on the 009 they sound too acid (curiously, on the original LP, which I also have, the violin tone sounds fine - that's played with a Shure V15 VMR). Anyway, that's my opinion, for what it's worth. However, I will add that Bob Katz, the noted recording engineer, shares my opinion - look for his impressions on InnerFidelity from Big Sound 2015. Tyll Hertsens was also pretty impressed with a port modded Mk 2.

    As a more general comment, since a number of posters have reported that the 009 is more detailed and has a somewhat wider soundstage than the 007 (Mk I or Mk 2), I will note that it is a well known psychoacoustic phenomenon that a brighter sound tends to increase the impression of detail and widen the soundstage. I prefer to get the tonal balance correct (or what I consider correct) first - just my priority. Yes I am aware of EQ. I use it, but only for the bass subwoofer in my biamped speaker systems.

    Others may differ. And of course, opinions are like a******s, everyone has one. Yours is the one that counts, but only for you. As someone once said, "You are unique. Just like everyone else."
    Rayzilla, bearFNF, Magol79 and 5 others like this.
  4. Ali-Pacha
    You obviously never ever listened to a well amped pair of HE-60 / Baby Orpheus, man :D

    wink likes this.
  5. wink
    The HE-60 is magic at times..........:ksc75smile:
  6. azabu
    Just pick up the Stax spc extension cable for your 007 Mk1. It's an inexpensive upgrade and will give you a nice bump in SQ.
  7. AnakChan Moderator
    That’s interesting. I’ve had the 009 and Utopias together for the pat 2 year and to me, the Utopias are brighter than the 009. The Utopias are driven off by the WA8 whilst the 009 by the Electra. Further I’ve found the 009 to have smoother trebles and more open, whilst the Utopia, depending on genre, can sound congested and “busy”.
    purk, arnaud and Ali-Pacha like this.
  8. vinekly
    Interesting, how does that work?
  9. purk Contributor
    That tiny soundstage really did the Utopia in for me. I also find the Utopia to be just bright if not brighter than the 009.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
    HoloSpice likes this.
  10. phaeton70
    Utopia has IMHO a "genetically small" soundstage, definitely smaller than 009 with whatever amp I have listened this hps with.

    Both hps are really very sensitive to the amp used.

    With the right amp, 009 is just tonally perfect IMHO, never fatiguing or unnaturally bright.

    Utopia on the other hand alwas retains a slight sense of brightness even with the right amp, I think it's something Focal has engineered on purpose to give that "airy" sensation... I like it, Utopia is definitely my preferred dynamic non-ortho hp, but sometimes I must admit it is a little too bright and with some music also fatiguing.
    HoloSpice likes this.
  11. azabu
    I've found adding the Stax SPC extension cable opens up the soundstage and adds sparkle to the treble. Remove the extension cable and the 007Mk2 sounds a little dull and compressed.

    It's definitely worth trying for the small outlay.
    alan967tiger likes this.
  12. alan967tiger
    + 1: the extension cable added something that I liked to my previous 007 mk 2s and current 009S. Reading your comment has helped me to realise that it has added sparkle to the treble:)
  13. statfi
    Very interesting! Does anyone know how the extension cable affects the frequency response? If not, we could ask Jude to tell us !-)
    alan967tiger likes this.
  14. joseph69
    What amps did you use with the Utopia to come to this conclusion?
    Jones Bob likes this.
  15. Mach3
    I've got the Stax SPC extension and I could not for the life of me add any sparkle nor treble to my SR-007 MK1
    Magol79 and Jones Bob like this.

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