The Stax Thread III
Jun 19, 2019 at 9:55 PM Post #17,747 of 25,603
@Trance_Gott Beautiful 4070.

The remarkable legendary 4070! Can you post stand alone beauty shots of the 4070 please! I missed my chance in taking shots of these when i came across them awhile ago :frowning2:

What about STAX DACs. Like DAC-Talent or the old behemoth X1T/X2T are they any good?

The Dac Talent and X1T are legendary DAC's.

The X1T is one of the greatest dacs ever built! And one of the greatest dacs that was ever built was from STAXs! This is a testament on why Staxs is a swiss army knife company. They can do anything!
There is no such thing as a X2T.... Okay well there is, the X2T was a name they just used for the Japanese market. The only thing that was different was the naming.
 
Jun 20, 2019 at 4:30 PM Post #17,748 of 25,603
Voce is easily beaten by 009, 007 an even L700 is better! Soundstage like a tunnel very unrealistic and lacks impact.
I have the 009s, thestax 007mkii (with port mod) and voce powered by the blue hawaii and d/a'd by a blu-dave combo and sourced from a macbook feeding 16bit cds stored as apple lossless
my favorite is the 007. usually the 007mkii with port mod is much nicer than the 009s but (overall), vast majority of most kinds of music sound best on 007
as always, imho only.
Jeff
 
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Jun 21, 2019 at 1:19 AM Post #17,750 of 25,603
I have the 009s, thestax 007mkii (with port mod) and voce powered by the blue hawaii and d/a'd by a blu-dave combo and sourced from a macbook feeding 16bit cds stored as apple lossless
my favorite is the voce- very distinct positioning with no smearing, true tones, exciting with most music. Some very congested recordings sound better on the 007mkii and the 009s and usually the 007mkii with port mod is much nicer than the 009s but (overall), vast majority of most kinds of music sound best on voce
as always, imho only.
Jeff
While I cant agree 100% here. I will absolutely concede that the Voce is fantastic headphone. I think there are a few things about this headphone that people miss when they listen to it. Obviously it will not have the detail of the 009 or 009S. Its advantages are harder to notice as they are not what people typically notice in a new headphone. The Voce is the first headphone I have come across that instead of placing the typical emphasis of detail on the top end they focus it on the midrange and background details. In my initial listening sessions I was able to hear things in the midrange so clearly that I didnt hear on the 009/S. The 009/S still shows you the background in detail, but just not quite in the same way. That being said I do enjoy the 009S above the Voce in every other way.

The other thing that will really impact the Voce and all of your stat cans is a great amp and a great source. You read a post about the importance a great dac on every couple posts. I can attest to this 100% having just received the best dac I've heard to date and experienced the unreal changes it has made to the sound of my setup. Everything improved dramatically. Soundstage, 3 dimensionality, tonality, imaging, and every other audiophile descriptive word you can think of. The change that was most dramatic was the one I least expected to experience. The Terminator instantly made the bass that was previously perceived as weak or slightly underpowered sound perfect and more impactful and accurate. It just goes to show how much information is lost by an inferior DAC.
 
Jun 21, 2019 at 1:42 AM Post #17,751 of 25,603
While I cant agree 100% here. I will absolutely concede that the Voce is fantastic headphone. I think there are a few things about this headphone that people miss when they listen to it. Obviously it will not have the detail of the 009 or 009S. Its advantages are harder to notice as they are not what people typically notice in a new headphone. The Voce is the first headphone I have come across that instead of placing the typical emphasis of detail on the top end they focus it on the midrange and background details. In my initial listening sessions I was able to hear things in the midrange so clearly that I didnt hear on the 009/S. The 009/S still shows you the background in detail, but just not quite in the same way. That being said I do enjoy the 009S above the Voce in every other way.

The other thing that will really impact the Voce and all of your stat cans is a great amp and a great source. You read a post about the importance a great dac on every couple posts. I can attest to this 100% having just received the best dac I've heard to date and experienced the unreal changes it has made to the sound of my setup. Everything improved dramatically. Soundstage, 3 dimensionality, tonality, imaging, and every other audiophile descriptive word you can think of. The change that was most dramatic was the one I least expected to experience. The Terminator instantly made the bass that was previously perceived as weak or slightly underpowered sound perfect and more impactful and accurate. It just goes to show how much information is lost by an inferior DAC.

Nah man, that's bs. all dacs regardless of price sound the same. You don't need to spend thousands for a dac when all you need is an odac really, it's all snake oil man. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::grinning::wink: :wink:
 
Jun 21, 2019 at 4:01 PM Post #17,753 of 25,603
Haha @BreadMaster anyone who thinks a dac under a grand is good enough is simply not paying attention to the hifi community.

@protoss I owe you a great debt for recommending this unit to me man. I was heavily considering the Holo Spring 3 and basically was set on it until you brought this one up. I still can't believe the impact it has had on the sound. I have heard cheaper dacs in abundance back to back and had the most difficult time noticing subtle differences, but with this it is just night and day.

Now I'm thinking of grabbing a Singxer SU-6 to run I2S via HDMI. I am also trying to figure out how or if I can use a tube preamp with the Carbon to inject a bit of tube flavor to the sound.
 
Jun 22, 2019 at 12:51 PM Post #17,755 of 25,603
I haven’t ever written an equipment review or comparison, but for some time now I’ve owned both a Carbon CC and a Blue Hawaii SE and since that isn’t all that common I thought I’d do my best to share my thoughts on the two of them, amateur as the result may be.

I see folks come at describing audio equipment from several different angles, so I think it’s important I try to explain what I look for in my audio equipment. For me it’s all about speed and transparency. The biggest thing I notice about a nice electrost system is the sound of cymbals. I love how crisp they sound. I notice the same thing with sharp transients like a snare drum. They seem to be more precise and clear on a fast system. That’s the most important aspect to me. I also like a nice neutral tone curve, not too bass heavy. I mostly listen to jazz/classical and a bit of electronic. I don’t seem as attached to soundstage as others can be, so I don’t think I’m a reliable source for comment there.

First the BHSE:

I first heard the BHSE in person at the 2018 RMAF CanJam. My main rig at the time was a Chord Qutest -> Stax SRM-353X -> Stax SR-L700. I’d spent more time than I’d like to admit reading through the head-fi forms about the BHSE and was very impressed w/ what I heard at the show, though of course it’s very challenging to evaluate headphone equipment in a noisy environment with so much going on. I wound up purchasing one of the two BHSEs HeadAmp had at the show and it was shipped to me very promptly after the show ended. It was packaged extremely well with perfect reusable foam inserts, and was easy to setup.

Before I even got a chance to listen to the BHSE I was absolutely smitten with its build. Everything is precise and strikes a perfect balance between form and function. It has the most satisfying power switch I’ve ever toggled. I feel like I’m preparing to launch a missile every time I power it on. The circuits have a significant automatic delay to warm up the tubes before activating the headphones, but it’s well worth the wait.

I plugged in my L700s and was floored with the improvement from the 353X. It wasn’t long until I was inspired to pull the trigger on a pair of Stax SR-009Ss. Though the 009Ss are indeed fantastic, I found the step from the 353X to the BHSE to be more impressive than the step from the L700s to the 009Ss. I wondered if the L700s would scale up past the 353X and the answer is clear. They absolutely do.

Now the Carbon CC:

I was enjoying the BHSE system tremendously, but had long been curious about the Carbon. I settled on the BHSE because I was able to hear it in person, and it had two outputs so I could listen with my girlfriend. One day I happened to pull up Mjolnir’s webpage and noticed he had posted some Carbon CCs with two outputs, and got curious. Once again I spent far too much time reading through the head-fi forums about the Carbon/Carbon CC. I’ve never been particularly attracted to tube equipment for largely aesthetic reasons, the extra considerations that come with thinking about when to replace the tubes, or tube rolling, and the disconcerting crackling noise you get as the tubes heat up or cool down. With that and the descriptions of just how transparent the Carbon can be I decided the Carbon sounded like it would be right for me and placed an order.

When I got notice that the package was at the local post office I arranged to pick it up in the morning so I wouldn’t have to wait for it to be delivered. I got the box home and found it thoroughly protected inside the box, but the packaging was not reusable as the BHSE was. While the BHSE’s build quality strikes a perfect balance between form and function, the Carbon’s build quality exudes function. It is sturdy and efficient, but I didn’t find myself lost in its eyes as with the BHSE. The headphone plugs in the Carbon are easier to plug in and unplug from, but don’t have quite as sturdy a feel as the BHSE.

I got everything plugged in and pressed the power button to be greeted by the trademark orange light. I started playing music straight away without the tube delay I’d grown accustomed to with the BHSE. The difference wasn’t quite as stark going from the BHSE to the Carbon as it had been going from the 353X to the BHSE, but there certainly was a difference. I find the Carbon to be significantly more transparent than the BHSE. It is also more neutral tonally. I was never bothered by the BHSE’s bass levels, but when compared to the Carbon I do find the BHSE to be a bit bright and a lacking on low end.

Summary:

The build quality of the BHSE is incredible. It is just as much a work of visual and tactile art as it is a masterpiece of audio circuitry. The build quality of the Carbon is sturdy and reliable, but stark.

The Carbon is significantly more transparent and neutral. Some may prefer the less clinical sound of the BHSE, but for my taste the Carbon is a clear step up.

The convenience of a solid state system is really great. I don’t have to stress if I accidentally leave it on overnight, I don’t have to wait for it to warm up, and it just takes one shelf on my rack. I never have to search around to see what tubes I should try or wonder if the ones I’m using are due for replacement.
 
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Jun 22, 2019 at 7:49 PM Post #17,756 of 25,603
Exactly my problem at the moment: which amp to go for with my 009S.
Love the looks of the BHSE and heard it at the HighEnd in Munich albeit with a Voce and Dave...it didn't wow me and I came away with the feeling that my Border Patrol dac and KGSS is already good enough for me.
But knowing myself I can't really relax until I have one of the two amps, so your evaluation is really helpful and certainly guides me towards the Carbon.
On the other hand I sometimes think I better invest in a better dac and keep the KGSS....? Had the Hex before and after more than a year my ears were utterly bored by it whereas the BP still excites and engages me.
Listen mainly to rock, jazz, folk and never classic.
 
Jun 22, 2019 at 9:13 PM Post #17,757 of 25,603
Does anyone so happen know how to disassemble this Stax normal bias connector for soldering? It's an Amphenol connector that I bought from an ebay seller - I asked the seller yesterday but haven't gotten a reply yet.

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Jun 23, 2019 at 8:17 AM Post #17,758 of 25,603
Does anyone so happen know how to disassemble this Stax normal bias connector for soldering? It's an Amphenol connector that I bought from an ebay seller - I asked the seller yesterday but haven't gotten a reply yet.

No, you don’t disassemble the pins. You strip the wires and insert them inside the pins and let the wires hang out through the hole a little. You then solder on the very tip of each pin. That’s how I did mine.
 
Jun 23, 2019 at 8:47 AM Post #17,759 of 25,603
No, you don’t disassemble the pins. You strip the wires and insert them inside the pins and let the wires hang out through the hole a little. You then solder on the very tip of each pin. That’s how I did mine.

Ah, thanks! Do you so happen to know what wires can be used to make a cable? I'm not sure where to source the wires or whether wires from Mogami W2893 cables would be ok.
 

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