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The Stax Thread III

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by currawong, Aug 20, 2013.
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  1. Jones Bob
    It’s best to be prepared! :L3000:
  2. Ali-Pacha
    Someone here to confirm that some old Stax amps are wired withe the obsolete US norm regarding XLR pins (hot on 3 instead of 2) ?
    That's what I see on SRM-717, for example :

    Or T1-W :



    GarageBoy likes this.
  3. hypersonic
    Hi Stax fans,
    I am on my search for the endgame, the very best headphone for classical music. What's on my mind are the SR-009 and Focal Utopia.
    I don't have the chance to listen to neither of them, but based on the opinion on the internet the SR-009 is super fast, crazy revealing and a bit bright; exactly the sound I'd like!
    The Utopia was described to have 009 level speed and all-rounded, balanced tone. (Which I don't know if I'd like, as my taste is very bright, clean treble, my current favourite is Beyer T1)
    Both cans are regarded to be excellent with classical music. So I'm torn now because I can either get the Utopia and ready to roll with my current system, or spend double for the SR-009 and a mid-range amp (probably Woo Audio's GES or a SRM-006tS)
    I believe many Stax fans here have rich experience with non electrostatic cans too.
    How many of you think the 009 (or 009s) is the absolute best? Or you've heard even better?

    Any advice would be appreciated!
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  4. silversurfer616
    Have both and prefer my SR009S; Utopia is on the bright side but in a 'it makes me nervous' kind of way. Also, soundstage is too small for classical, orchestral work. Stax is faster and has better clarity/resolution.
  5. Tugbars
    Don't shape your final opinion without trying Raal - Sr1a
  6. -HaVoC-Tzu-
    I have the Utopia, but I have heard the Voce and the Voce impresses me more (even though the Voce has a much more boring EQ than the Utopia ), still haven’t heard the SR-009S.
  7. buzzlulu
    I had a BRIEF listen to the VOCE (I own both the Utopia and 009S)
    The VOCE did absolutely nothing for me

    imho if you want a pair of Electrostatics get the brand which invented the genre
  8. hypersonic
    It's very intriguing indeed. I wish I had the opportunity to attend a show to try them all. There are a few others TOTL cans seems to be worthy contenders too.
    The Raal...needs a 100-150 W speaker amp which I don't have. People already have speaker setup would have a much easier decision. But I'm not ready to buy a bulky, high power amp just for this.
    On the other hand, Stax is very proven...If I end up buying one without any audition it will probably be a pair of Stax.
  9. Jones Bob
    Schiit has prototyped and shown a dedicated amp specifically designed for powering the SR1A that directly drives the ribbon drivers without the usual amp interface box. It’s (for now) called the Jotunheim R and will available thru RAAL soon with an expected price of $999.
    joseph69 likes this.
  10. silversurfer616
    Heard the Voce with Dave and BHSE and was left wanting, mainly because I prefer the SR009S with the Pavane and KGST...Voce on Dave was too 'digital'. The only headphone I heard and actually hanker for is the Susvara...to me better than ShangriLa sen and equal to SR009S...but that's my ears.
  11. VRacer-111
    I do like some classical, but not really on neutral and 'bright' headphones... Holst' Planets suite needs that massive low end and punchy, meaty brass. Much rather listen to Holst on my Porta Pros than SR-009s. Now EQ'd and modded SR-L300 Limiteds are just about the perfect choice for classical for me... low end thump, beautiful attack and punch of brass, great holographic sound field presentation, with very nice detail and separation of everything.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  12. tabness
    I had the Utopia and 009S at the same time but by the time my amp came in I had sold the Utopia so I didn't do any direct comparison but from what I remember they were very similar sound signature wise.

    The 009S is not my favorite headphone though (CD3000 is).

    From memory the Utopia strengths are slightly better imaging and impact and 009S strengths are a slightly better midrange and bigger soundstage. In terms of clarity both are basically the best I've heard slightly edging out the CD3000/R10. I can't actually give this to the 009S over the Utopia as from my memories it is really too close to call. I'd need to hear them both side by side again. Then again one of electrostatic technologies biggest strength is clarity so you can't go wrong with the Stax here.

    Because I have the CD3000 and other dynamic headphones I don't miss aspects of the Utopia over the 009S but if I just had to choose between the two it would be harder. Maybe with the stuff I listen to (not classical) it would be the Utopia. Though it seems that the 009S strengths are better suited for classical.

    Also if you like bright it seems the general impression of those who have heard both is to go with the 009 over the 009S (I haven't heard the 009).

    The Utopia is easy enough to drive from a phone also and you aren't tied to an amp like with Stax. It is also lower maintenance and cheaper new. Used both the 009 and Utopia go for around $2000 USD but again you have to get an amp with the 009 (I could use the Utopia from my phone/computer/portable CD player no problem). I do think both headphones are overpriced though (like most top of the line headphones are these days)

    My experience is you don't have to spend big bucks for an amp for the 009S though. I use a T1S and don't hear any of the purported sonic issues with an amp of its lower current/voltage at the volumes I listen to (no bass issues no treble issues and so on). This makes sense from a measurement perspective as the amp should stay well within its linearity at normal levels for almost anything you listen to (and I know Stax knows how to design a linear amp) and the stated 009/S impedance/sensitivity are just like Lambdas with the frequency response in the perceived loudness area actually being higher than the Lambdas. Just a caveat that this is a minority position on this forum though (and the other place) which generally seem to hold that the 009/S are harder to drive than Lambdas and scale better with amplification and so on.
    Misson07 likes this.
  13. hypersonic
    Then we have quite the opposite taste. To me, the porta pros are all bass and nothing else. Luckily I don't really listen to Holst.
  14. hypersonic
    My mind is quite set on the 009 (non s) now.
    I think I'll start with a cheaper amp at the moment, but I can't decide between 353x and 006tS. (Browsing TOTL stuff made me numb with the pricing, they are still quite expensive!)
    At this point I just want a neutral, authentic Stax sound. Would a 353x be adequate?
  15. bmichels
    Now that my SR007 is sold, I have one SR009s on order to complement my SR009 for my BHSE.

    Indeed, I use to have 009 & 007 but, due to sensibility difference, the sould level difference was to big to be able to have 2 persons auditioning at the same time: one was to loud or one not loud enough !

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
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