The Stax Thread III
Mar 24, 2019 at 2:37 AM Post #17,431 of 21,502

franz12

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I currently have a L300LTD and a normal bias Lambda and was running them through an SRM-1 MK2. I've always wanted a TOTL electrostatic amp and a trade opportunity presented itself for the KGSSHV Carbon that was mutually beneficial for both parties, so I YOLO'd it and pulled the trigger. So far I've only got the L300LTD to run through it, but honestly, it is subjectively one of my favorite headphones so I'm happy as hell right now. If I stay with this direction, I'll probably grab an SR-009 eventually and/or upgrade to a full blown L700. I also wouldn't mind an SR-Sigma Pro or 4070.

Even on the L300LTD (which is an L300 body, L500 pads and L700 drivers), the jump was extremely noticeable. The biggest jump was in transparency and air. The headphone is vapor. It just completely dematerialized into wide-open space. It reminds me a lot of listening to the SR-009 on the Blue Hawaii in this way - when electrostatics get good power behind them they just disappear. It's not quite to the level of the aforementioned 009/BHSE combo, but like 50 layers of veil just came off. I'd be curious to hear both amps head-to-head with an 009 to see which comes out ahead.

The other most noticeable (perhaps even more noticeable) aspect is the bass quantity and quality. The headphone is a lot more visceral and "ballsy" sounding now. It sounds like a BIG amp (and it is a BIG amp, holy crap this thing dwarfs my Glenn OTL, and that's a big amp too! (the GOTL is like 35 lbs)). Sometimes I felt like the L300LTD sounded a little colored or "warmed over" on the SRM-1 MK2 and light on dynamics. On the KGSSHV Carbon, it's like it's more neutral, but also more visceral. The bass is super crispy and clear and now it actually moves you. Subbass seems to be more extended as well, which doesn't surprise me in the least.

Resolution is clearly a few layers deeper. The stage is a little bit wider with more depth projection and WAY more fine layering between the the depth of sonic images. Tone is more neutral and true to life, yet musicality improved as well.

It's really impressive in every way, and has me thinking about diving headlong into the e-stat route.

You own/owned/heard many TOTLs. It is surprising that you are still blown away.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 3:17 AM Post #17,432 of 21,502

ahmedie

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I currently have a L300LTD and a normal bias Lambda and was running them through an SRM-1 MK2. I've always wanted a TOTL electrostatic amp and a trade opportunity presented itself for the Carbon that was mutually beneficial for both parties, so I YOLO'd it and pulled the trigger. So far I've only got the L300LTD to run through it, but honestly, it is subjectively one of my favorite headphones so I'm happy as hell right now. If I stay with this direction, I'll probably grab an SR-009 eventually and/or upgrade to a full blown L700. I also wouldn't mind an SR-Sigma Pro or 4070.

Even on the L300LTD (which is an L300 body, L500 pads and L700 drivers), the jump was extremely noticeable. The biggest jump was in transparency and air. The headphone is vapor. It just completely dematerialized into wide-open space. It reminds me a lot of listening to the SR-009 on the Blue Hawaii in this way - when electrostatics get good power behind them they just disappear. It's not quite to the level of the aforementioned 009/BHSE combo, but like 50 layers of veil just came off. I'd be curious to hear both amps head-to-head with an 009 to see which comes out ahead.

The other most noticeable (perhaps even more noticeable) aspect is the bass quantity and quality. The headphone is a lot more visceral and "ballsy" sounding now. It sounds like a BIG amp (and it is a BIG amp, holy crap this thing dwarfs my Glenn OTL, and that's a big amp too! (the GOTL is like 35 lbs)). Sometimes I felt like the L300LTD sounded a little colored or "warmed over" on the SRM-1 MK2 and light on dynamics. On the KGSSHV Carbon, it's like it's more neutral, but also more visceral. The bass is super crispy and clear and now it actually moves you. Subbass seems to be more extended as well, which doesn't surprise me in the least.

Resolution is clearly a few layers deeper. The stage is a little bit wider with more depth projection and WAY more fine layering between the the depth of sonic images. Tone is more neutral and true to life, yet musicality improved as well.

It's really impressive in every way, and has me thinking about diving headlong into the e-stat route.
Oh thank you for the impression! I was waiting for someone to test L300LTD (my most preferred stax over L700/L404Lt/Omega/etc) with a KGSSHV tier amp I feel sad for my wallet now ... I used to own L700 / own L300LTD / L404, I can tell you at least L700 does not offer enough technical jump over L300LTD, just a tad better and smoother treble performance while bass quantity is less with analytical sound/neutral.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 6:54 AM Post #17,433 of 21,502

Pahani

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I currently have a L300LTD and a normal bias Lambda and was running them through an SRM-1 MK2. I've always wanted a TOTL electrostatic amp and a trade opportunity presented itself for the KGSSHV Carbon that was mutually beneficial for both parties, so I YOLO'd it and pulled the trigger. So far I've only got the L300LTD to run through it, but honestly, it is subjectively one of my favorite headphones so I'm happy as hell right now. If I stay with this direction, I'll probably grab an SR-009 eventually and/or upgrade to a full blown L700. I also wouldn't mind an SR-Sigma Pro or 4070.

Even on the L300LTD (which is an L300 body, L500 pads and L700 drivers), the jump was extremely noticeable. The biggest jump was in transparency and air. The headphone is vapor. It just completely dematerialized into wide-open space. It reminds me a lot of listening to the SR-009 on the Blue Hawaii in this way - when electrostatics get good power behind them they just disappear. It's not quite to the level of the aforementioned 009/BHSE combo, but like 50 layers of veil just came off. I'd be curious to hear both amps head-to-head with an 009 to see which comes out ahead.

The other most noticeable (perhaps even more noticeable) aspect is the bass quantity and quality. The headphone is a lot more visceral and "ballsy" sounding now. It sounds like a BIG amp (and it is a BIG amp, holy crap this thing dwarfs my Glenn OTL, and that's a big amp too! (the GOTL is like 35 lbs)). Sometimes I felt like the L300LTD sounded a little colored or "warmed over" on the SRM-1 MK2 and light on dynamics. On the KGSSHV Carbon, it's like it's more neutral, but also more visceral. The bass is super crispy and clear and now it actually moves you. Subbass seems to be more extended as well, which doesn't surprise me in the least.

Resolution is clearly a few layers deeper. The stage is a little bit wider with more depth projection and WAY more fine layering between the the depth of sonic images. Tone is more neutral and true to life, yet musicality improved as well.

It's really impressive in every way, and has me thinking about diving headlong into the e-stat route.

Ah, thanks for that! Sadly, my chances of being able to afford a KG amp in the future are quite slim. I'm still holding on to my SRM-1 MK2, but mostly just because it has one Normal Bias output and I'd like to retain that capability if I ever run across older Staxes in the future. 353X is the amp I currently use.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 12:07 PM Post #17,434 of 21,502

Hansotek

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Ah, thanks for that! Sadly, my chances of being able to afford a KG amp in the future are quite slim. I'm still holding on to my SRM-1 MK2, but mostly just because it has one Normal Bias output and I'd like to retain that capability if I ever run across older Staxes in the future. 353X is the amp I currently use.

I like both of those amps. I don't think I'll be selling the SRM-1 MK2 anytime soon. The OG normal bias Lambda is still one of my all-time favorite headphones. I was looking at the SRM-353X, until this opportunity came up. I heard that with the L300LTD when they debuted both anniversary editions at Canjam NYC last year, and was blown away by the open stage in balanced mode. You've got a really nice amp there, for sure.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 12:18 PM Post #17,435 of 21,502

Hansotek

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Oh thank you for the impression! I was waiting for someone to test L300LTD (my most preferred stax over L700/L404Lt/Omega/etc) with a KGSSHV tier amp I feel sad for my wallet now ... I used to own L700 / own L300LTD / L404, I can tell you at least L700 does not offer enough technical jump over L300LTD, just a tad better and smoother treble performance while bass quantity is less with analytical sound/neutral.

Yeah, I've had a pretty significant amount of headtime with both. The difference is like 3-5% maybe at the most. The drivers are the same. I got a steal on the L300LTD used. The cheapest L700s I've seen were at least $400 more used and $600 more new. It was just such a no brainer. The headphone's value proposition is highway robbery for the level of resolution you get. If the L300LTD was a planar or a dynamic, it would be like $3K.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 1:10 PM Post #17,436 of 21,502

Dan Lee

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Man if you are seeing that much improvement I can't wait to mine. Right now I can tell the 009 and L700 are great, but not so great as to set them so far apart from the Utopia and in some cases my LCD-4. But if there is that much noticeable difference in them I will be extremely happy because they are the best I've heard right now, but only by a small margin. If that margin jumps for me half as much as it did for you I will be content as hell.

I love the L700, but every time I pick them up they feel like they are gonna bloody crumble into piles of plastic in my hands haha. But I absolutely agree that at the cost point the Lamda's sit at they are insanely good. I feel the $1400 L700 and likely the L300ltd are just as good as some of the $4k offerings out there.

Still a little worried about the left driver on the 009's but they are under warranty so guess there's no reason to worry too much yet. I do wish they would make the L700's with a more solid and nice looking body, but I suppose some would just call that the 009. I just wonder if the extra surface area would create a more engulfing sound experience.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 1:18 PM Post #17,437 of 21,502

Dan Lee

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You own/owned/heard many TOTLs. It is surprising that you are still blown away.
Haha I saw his profile page with the overwhelming list of gear he's owned as well and wondered the same thing. thats the beauty... and curse of this hobby. Seems like there is an unending level of places to go. I have often described it as being similar to a heroin addiction in that you are always chasing the dragon. Just incase someone misconstrues that last statement, I have never used or been addicted to heroin just heard the stories relating to it via psychological studies.

This is exactly why I hope to never hear the Orpheus. I feel like if I know how good it is I would take out a second mortgage on my house to get it which would lead to a divorce and I'd have to work two jobs for the rest of my days and yeah not what I wanna do. So for now I just tell myself it's a mythical legend that doesn't exist haha.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 1:37 PM Post #17,438 of 21,502

-HaVoC-Tzu-

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This is exactly why I hope to never hear the Orpheus. I feel like if I know how good it is I would take out a second mortgage on my house to get it which would lead to a divorce and I'd have to work two jobs for the rest of my days and yeah not what I wanna do. So for now I just tell myself it's a mythical legend that doesn't exist haha.

If I was on the fence on it, i’d make sure to buy a $50k speaker setup before buying a $50k headphone setup. I’d only get the Orpheus If money wasn’t a problem.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 1:46 PM Post #17,439 of 21,502

franz12

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Haha I saw his profile page with the overwhelming list of gear he's owned as well and wondered the same thing. thats the beauty... and curse of this hobby. Seems like there is an unending level of places to go. I have often described it as being similar to a heroin addiction in that you are always chasing the dragon. Just incase someone misconstrues that last statement, I have never used or been addicted to heroin just heard the stories relating to it via psychological studies.

This is exactly why I hope to never hear the Orpheus. I feel like if I know how good it is I would take out a second mortgage on my house to get it which would lead to a divorce and I'd have to work two jobs for the rest of my days and yeah not what I wanna do. So for now I just tell myself it's a mythical legend that doesn't exist haha.

Perhaps, having 2 channel speakers might allow us to stop chasing the dragon. Not because they sound better, but because it would be much hassle to pack and ship such large/heavy speakers (also harder to find buyers in a used market). Headphones/amps/dacs are so easy to ship and find buyers. Also, they are smaller in size, so I feel people rotate their collection at a much higher rate.

By the way, you said the 009 is better only by a small margin with your current setup. Could you tell me what do you mean by 'small margin'? Perhaps, soundstage? I always felt soundstage in the Utopia is small and it is comparable to soundstage in the Ether C Flow.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 2:19 PM Post #17,440 of 21,502

Hansotek

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If I was on the fence on it, i’d make sure to buy a $50k speaker setup before buying a $50k headphone setup. I’d only get the Orpheus If money wasn’t a problem.

I’ve heard the HE-1 on several occasions. And while it is far and away the best headphone I’ve heard, if I had $50K to spend on audio, I’d much rather have a sweet speaker setup at that investment level. Like give me some mid-level MBLs or something... The HE-1 has the best imaging I’ve heard in a headphone, but the imaging on radialstrahlers shreds everything else you’ve ever heard to pieces.
 
Mar 24, 2019 at 2:33 PM Post #17,441 of 21,502

Hansotek

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Man if you are seeing that much improvement I can't wait to mine. Right now I can tell the 009 and L700 are great, but not so great as to set them so far apart from the Utopia and in some cases my LCD-4. But if there is that much noticeable difference in them I will be extremely happy because they are the best I've heard right now, but only by a small margin. If that margin jumps for me half as much as it did for you I will be content as hell.

I love the L700, but every time I pick them up they feel like they are gonna bloody crumble into piles of plastic in my hands haha. But I absolutely agree that at the cost point the Lamda's sit at they are insanely good. I feel the $1400 L700 and likely the L300ltd are just as good as some of the $4k offerings out there.

Still a little worried about the left driver on the 009's but they are under warranty so guess there's no reason to worry too much yet. I do wish they would make the L700's with a more solid and nice looking body, but I suppose some would just call that the 009. I just wonder if the extra surface area would create a more engulfing sound experience.

If you feel like the L700 is gonna crumble, go try a SR-Lambda normal bias, lol! I’m afraid I’m going to break it every time!
 
Mar 25, 2019 at 12:56 AM Post #17,442 of 21,502

VRacer-111

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Ah, thanks for that! Sadly, my chances of being able to afford a KG amp in the future are quite slim. I'm still holding on to my SRM-1 MK2, but mostly just because it has one Normal Bias output and I'd like to retain that capability if I ever run across older Staxes in the future. 353X is the amp I currently use.

Don't you have good stereo equipment (meaning a decent stereo amp) - see where I'm going with this...?

I'll tell you this, the NAD C275BEE stereo amp/ Mjolnir SRD-7 transformer combo is no slouch driving the L300 Limiteds... noticeably beyond what a SRM-323S/353X can do. Subbass impact beyond Argon Mk3, midbass punch right in line with Argon Mk3, overall fuller/more solid presentation of sound, and better smoothness.

You know I love the TH-X00 Purplehearts for bass....but not like I love the L300 Limited's for their bass on my setup even if they don't have the Purpleheart's impact level. Something about that STAX bass when they are running on setup with some power behind it. Only thing l like better for low-end is a properly functioning SR-404 Limited - I really need to try Blu-Tack pad sealing on the L300 Limiteds if it can get it nearer to the 404 Limited low end...
 
Mar 25, 2019 at 6:31 PM Post #17,443 of 21,502

bmichels

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AK SP1000 driving a STAX SR009 thanks to Kingsound M-03 Portable Amp. Very very good sound. Even Jude was surprised by the result ! :beyersmile:



I shortened the looooong cable to make the SR009 more portable...

 
Mar 25, 2019 at 9:00 PM Post #17,445 of 21,502

buzzlulu

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Has anyone connected a Sony WM1Z to a KG or Stax amp?
I wonder if a 4.4 Pentacon Balanced > pair of XLR's cable could be made
 

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