The Stax Thread III
Oct 16, 2015 at 6:38 PM Post #6,571 of 25,623
   
FYI there are many builders out there that do KGSS and its variations, but Birgir (is it argued?) is the best. He works with Kevin Gilmore (I believe the original/main designer of KGSS) to design the new models. HV / Carbon / KGST etc.....
 
 
From all the reading I've done, this is what I've come up with.
 
KGSS for anything below 007/009
KGSSHV for the 007/009 (because the HV = more power)
KGST for if you want tubes
 
I personally bought the KGSSHV Carbon from him, a tweak on the HV specifically designed around making the 009s shine. 

He is definitely a good designer and builder, but there are other good DIY builders whose amps can be had for less. My favorite sounding KGSShv of the 5 I've heard (including 2 mjolnir minis) was built by Wachara (sp?), the same guy who did those DIY electrostat headphones Tyll raved about. Yes I do own that amp, but it really is the best sounding one -- sounds kind of like a poor man's T2, and I'm thrilled to have it (it was previously Purk's like 4th string amp). I'm also looking forward to getting my Carbon from yet another good builder.
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 8:52 PM Post #6,572 of 25,623
And then there's the voltage adapter you need for the amp.   How does that work?   

 
If you import one of the STAX amps, you would just need a voltage transformer. You could also use a modified power supply. The SRM-212 I owned had a modified power supply that was basically an aftermarket wall wart with the STAX cord soldered on. A polarity inverter may work as well.
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 9:14 PM Post #6,573 of 25,623
...,The 009's bass is also severely underrated imo. I'd like a little more thickness higher up but the bass quality itself is very, very good - not woolly like I'd read a few times. It also goes lower than what many reviewers would have you believe. How does the blue Hawaii affect the bass in comparison to the higher stax amps?
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Like you I consider the BHSE+SR009 the best Headphone experience I ever heard.

Since you have the TotalDAC, have you had TotalDAC's "bass boost" option implémented ?

Don't you think that TotalDAC's "bass boost" option may be the cure to the SR009 bass weakness ( for those who think the STAX lack bass) ?
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 9:43 PM Post #6,574 of 25,623
  @ preproman.  Thanks for your summary/impressions.  I think I will follow suit and skip on the Abyss and buy a SR-009 and a SR-007 mk1 to pair with the BHSE I have on order when the time comes.  Don't know if I'm abandoning all my dynamic/planar stuff completely just yet though.  We shall see heh.


I understand.  No problem there from me.  It's just that once you go Stax you'll never go back. You can also get a Solid State E-Stat amp as well to go with the BHSE - a KGSSHV or a LL2..
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 9:47 PM Post #6,575 of 25,623
Don't you think that TotalDAC's "bass boost" option may be the cure to the SR009 bass weakness ( for those who think the STAX lack bass) ?

 
An alternative is to just boost the bass for free with a parametric equalizer.
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Oct 16, 2015 at 10:24 PM Post #6,576 of 25,623
I have spent counteless hours trying to to equalise the stax bass so that it is similar to the Abyss, but could never get that to happen.  Likewise, I 've tried to get the Abyss treble to sound similar to the stax treble.  I feel that I get closer to the goal adjusting the Abyss as opposed to adjusting the stax.  The electrostatic drivers physically just can't seem to move that volume of air no matter how much you EQ them.
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 10:30 PM Post #6,577 of 25,623
  I have spent counteless hours trying to to equalise the stax bass so that it is similar to the Abyss, but could never get that to happen.  Likewise, I 've tried to get the Abyss treble to sound similar to the stax treble.  I feel that I get closer to the goal adjusting the Abyss as opposed to adjusting the stax.  The electrostatic drivers physically just can't seem to move that volume of air no matter how much you EQ them.

 
Well yeah, you're not going to get the type of bass that planar magnetic and (some) dynamic headphones can do...but it's easy to get the same quantity in terms of frequency response. That's all I meant. Personally I feel that electrostats have higher quality bass anyway. Modifications can help too. I linked to some earlier. And the headphone that is capable of the most bass impact (JVC HA-SZ2000) is only around $200, so that's another option for some who want crazy bass.
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 10:44 PM Post #6,578 of 25,623
I have spent counteless hours trying to to equalise the stax bass so that it is similar to the Abyss, but could never get that to happen.  Likewise, I 've tried to get the Abyss treble to sound similar to the stax treble.  I feel that I get closer to the goal adjusting the Abyss as opposed to adjusting the stax.  The electrostatic drivers physically just can't seem to move that volume of air no matter how much you EQ them.


I'm interested in your insight into this but need more context.
What are your music preferences and source/DAC?
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 11:27 PM Post #6,580 of 25,623
   I realize I could have done it for about the same price as my HE1000's! If there is anyone out there reading this deciding between the HE1000 and the SR-009.....don't be an idiot like me! Go for the Stax!

I did this exactly…I had placed an order for the GS-Xmk2/HE-1K then realized for not much more (at that point) I could go for the BHSE/SR-009 so I canceled my order and placed an order for the BHSE and purchased the SR-009 from PJ which should be here next week.
 
Oct 16, 2015 at 11:28 PM Post #6,581 of 25,623
  I did this exactly…I had placed an order for the GS-Xmk2/HE-1K then realized for not much more (at that point) I could go for the BHSE/SR-009 so I canceled my order and placed an order for the BHSE and purchased the SR-009 from PJ which should be here next week.

 
So what're you gonna use with the 009 while waiting for the BHSE?
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Oct 16, 2015 at 11:51 PM Post #6,583 of 25,623
  Nothing…I'm just going to leave them on a stand until I receive the BHSE. 

 
Nice. One of my headphones is just hanging on a stand because I only bought it to use its pads for a future headphone. It's one of the coolest-looking headphones I've seen and doesn't sound good enough to use, so using it as eye candy works out just fine. ^‿^
 
...But still...I'd hate to have an SR-009 without being able to use it. There are affordable amps available, if you get impatient. Some people had to wait *years* to receive their BHSE, after all.
 
Oct 17, 2015 at 12:40 AM Post #6,584 of 25,623
You can try to find a used SRM-T1.  They're for sale constantly and a unit should run you ~$600 or less.  The voicing is a pretty decent match with the SR-009.  When your BHSE arrives, sell the T1 for little to no loss.
 
Oct 17, 2015 at 1:12 AM Post #6,585 of 25,623
  Nice. One of my headphones is just hanging on a stand because I only bought it to use its pads for a future headphone. It's one of the coolest-looking headphones I've seen and doesn't sound good enough to use, so using it as eye candy works out just fine. ^‿^
 
...But still...I'd hate to have an SR-009 without being able to use it. There are affordable amps available, if you get impatient. Some people had to wait *years* to receive their BHSE, after all.

  You can try to find a used SRM-T1.  They're for sale constantly and a unit should run you ~$600 or less.  The voicing is a pretty decent match with the SR-009.  When your BHSE arrives, sell the T1 for little to no loss.

Yes, they'll look good just hanging around for a while. I'm not in a rush to buy any other amps just to try them…this is why I went for the BHSE, so I didn't buy an amps them want the BHSE and end up spending more money in the end. I'm also in the current batch
# 4 which is a good thing.
 

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