The Stax thread (New)
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Dec 27, 2009 at 6:32 AM Post #12,301 of 24,807

HeadphoneAddict

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I just got home tonight with a borrowed eXStatA tube hybrid amp that I will compare to my WES over the next few days, so this should be interesting. I'll report back when I can.
 
Dec 27, 2009 at 11:43 AM Post #12,302 of 24,807

Duncan_McCloud

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, without any question at all that's disputable.
I for one prefer to drive my Staxes by a combo of a SRD 7 Mk2 SB and a SLA battery powered T-2020 based amp over a SRM-006 or any Stax amp I've ever owned or auditioned for that matter, and I'm not the only one.
You don't need much wattage to drive a Stax via a transformer, less than 10W, and there are some relatively inexpensive low power class D, class A and tube amps out there that do sound way better than your average mass market loudspeaker amp.



:O! That's quite interesting!
 
Dec 27, 2009 at 11:52 AM Post #12,303 of 24,807

GuyDebord

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just got home tonight with a borrowed eXStatA tube hybrid amp that I will compare to my WES over the next few days, so this should be interesting. I'll report back when I can.


I am very much looking forward for this
popcorn.gif
thanks Larry!
 
Dec 27, 2009 at 1:26 PM Post #12,304 of 24,807

Dinan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cosmopragma /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, without any question at all that's disputable.
I for one prefer to drive my Staxes by a combo of a SRD 7 Mk2 SB and a SLA battery powered T-2020 based amp over a SRM-006 or any Stax amp I've ever owned or auditioned for that matter, and I'm not the only one.
You don't need much wattage to drive a Stax via a transformer, less than 10W, and there are some relatively inexpensive low power class D, class A and tube amps out there that do sound way better than your average mass market loudspeaker amp.



Which STAX cans are you driving?

I have heard heavily modded transformers on very good amps and was still not impressed with their ability to drive an O2 to sonic bliss. The sound was exactly what you would expect it to be....that of a great tube amp with an extra transformer stuck in the mix.

Everyone is different in their preferences but the sonic signature of coils and output transformers is very audible to me and not something that I find pleasant.

I suppose if I were to try it, I would want to start with a very good 300B based design like the Air Tight ATM-300. Then at that point, I would just argue for a WES or BHSE.
 
Dec 28, 2009 at 11:30 AM Post #12,305 of 24,807

Duncan_McCloud

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Hi again
smily_headphones1.gif


Sorry if this was laready been asked, but there's a way to change the internal voltage of a STAX 006t amp from 117V to 220V/230V/240V with some internal jumper? or i will have to use an external stepdown ?

Thank you in advance
 
Dec 28, 2009 at 1:48 PM Post #12,306 of 24,807

mobbaddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They are actually very light, to the point I get the feeling that they resonate when music is playing they could do with some damping.


I realized lately that even with the right tips you need the perfect seal to make them sound right. When i insert them too deeply i get the feeling they resonate too, something sounds wrong (the vocals lack texture). I think they only sound good when you feel the "plunger" effect if you see what i mean
biggrin.gif

When i didn't pay attention to that they only sounded good one time out of two or three.

BTW how do they compare with your LNS?
normal_smile .gif
 
Dec 28, 2009 at 1:53 PM Post #12,307 of 24,807

cosmopragma

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dinan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Which STAX cans are you driving?

.



My current cans are listed in my public profile.
Quote:

Everyone is different in their preferences but the sonic signature of coils and output transformers is very audible to me and not something that I find pleasant.


I happen to like the sonic signature of the transformers, and many listeners do so.I think what many listeners like about tube amps isn't the tubes themselves but the little specific distortion added by the output transformers.Besides of that some Tripath TA-2020 based amps are despite of their modest costs fantastic amps.I could afford almost any amp but I'm currently utilizing a DiyParadise Charlize 2 and I'm happy with it.I do own a decent (> $1000 for parts) DIY direct drive amp as well but I do like the <$400 SRD / SLA battery powered Clarlize2 combo better most of the time.
You don't like it, and anybody has to try for himself.

You did mention the O2, and what I personally don't like that much is the heavy FR distortion of the O2 no matter which upstream electronics.That's admittedly a totally different kind of distortion but several times the magnitude of the tiny transformer distortion.
I'm keeping the O2s since they are the resolution king and in combination with suitable music they are great but due to the weird frequency response bad allrounders.All in all (mostly due to more neutral FR and better punch) my favorite Stax is the SR-4070, and that's certainly a minority opinion.

As you already stated:
Quote:

Everyone is different in their preferences


 
Dec 29, 2009 at 4:35 AM Post #12,308 of 24,807
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mobbaddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I realized lately that even with the right tips you need the perfect seal to make them sound right. When i insert them too deeply i get the feeling they resonate too, something sounds wrong (the vocals lack texture). I think they only sound good when you feel the "plunger" effect if you see what i mean
biggrin.gif

When i didn't pay attention to that they only sounded good one time out of two or three.

BTW how do they compare with your LNS?
normal_smile .gif



They sound like mini-O2s, very much so. Compared to the LNS they are darker with much better (less crazy, more controlled) bass and have the usual IEM compromise where things sound more closed-in. I'll experiment a bit more, but unfortunately the only amp I have here at the moment is the T1S, which, like the 007t is with O2s, rather too warm. I tried inserting them deeply then pulling them out a little and the resonance has gone a bit. They feel a bit more comfortable than regular IEMs I've used.

If I ignore the form-factor compromises, I could put them on in the morning first thing and forget that I have headphones that are better in many respects and just enjoy the sweet mids and non-fatiguing treble and know that I don't have to pull them out to hear my wife speaking to me. Now if only there was a portable eXStatA.
wink.gif
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 6:18 AM Post #12,309 of 24,807

HeadphoneAddict

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I hate to say this in the Stax thread, but so far I am enjoying my HE60 more than the O2 Mk1 as an all purpose headphone, now that I have my WES (with Apogee mini-DAC). My HE60 now make a little more bass than my HD800/ZDT, while the HE60 with the GES had less bass than the HD800. I previously had to use a 12-watt amp with SRD-7 Mk2 to get the bass out of the HE60, but giving up some detail and soundstage in return.

The HD800/ZDT still remind me a lot of a properly amped HE60, and I think I prefer both over the O2 Mk1 as far as the full musical experience goes. I do think the O2 are very euphonic and musical, and if I hadn't spent time with the HD800 and HE60 I might not know what I was missing. This is not saying the O2 Mk1 are not great sounding, but that there is something missing, and that something is the soundstage.

The HE60 soundstage is still very big like the HD800, but no longer are the HE60 too airy and etherial with sound floating around the head - rather they are now better grounded with better presence than before. In contrast, the O2 Mk1 soundstage is simply smaller than I would like and everything is squeezed into a narrower space. The O2 Imaging is still precise and the music is refined and detailed, but the soundstage is now more forward, and while wider than it was with the GES it is still not wide enough. On their own the O2 soundstage is not bad, but when switching over to the HE60 and HD800 the whole performance opens up and it's closer to being there. If only I could put the O2 drivers in my K1000.
tongue_smile.gif


When I am in the mood for a warmer and more intimate musical experience I still grab the O2 Mk1, and for loud pounding electronic music they are now better than the HE60 and HD800, where the GES would lack the power to let them do that.

As far as the Jade are concerned, right now on the WES they have a little more bass than they need, with a slightly wider but less deep soundstage vs the O2 Mk1, and with a little more treble sparkle than the O2 Mk1. The Jade are also good for pounding loud electronic music without getting shrill at high volumes like the HE60 sometimes do, but in some string bass jazz solos the Jade's bass is not as controlled as the HE60 or O2 Mk1. And, they are slightly more forward in the mids than the HE60 or O2 Mk1 with the WES, while the Jade's mids were closer to the mark with the GES or SRD-7 Mk2. I'd almost say the Jade now remind me of what I remember the O2 Mk2 sounding like, which wasn't bad but a bit more forward with a bit more midbass hump.

I'm hoping to have some impressions posted re the O2 Mk1, HE60 and Jade with the tube hybrid eXStatA up tomorrow or the next day - I have a loaner in wiatrob's prototype case while Sherwood's and my amp cases get drilled and prepped for our boards.
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 6:29 AM Post #12,310 of 24,807

vcoheda

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i've been listening to the HE60 and HD800 all day today. the sound stage of the 800 is about 2x the size of the HE60.
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 6:59 AM Post #12,311 of 24,807

n3rdling

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I never understood what all the hoopla over overly huge, non realistic soundstages was about. Am I the only one who really dislikes this? I mean, sure, when I upgraded from ipod earbuds and plantronics headsets to the ATH-AD500 it was damn cool to hear a massive soundstage for a while. However, as I got more and more exposure to better headphones, giant soundstages really started to become an annoyance. This is probably my biggest qualm with the HD800 in particular; it's a very good dynamic, but if it was able to actually control the soundstage I'd be way more into it.
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 7:03 AM Post #12,312 of 24,807

HeadphoneAddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vcoheda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i've been listening to the HE60 and HD800 all day today. the sound stage of the 800 is about 2x the size of the HE60.


That was the case with my HE60 on the GES vs HD800/ZDT, but as I said, with the WES the HE60 are even better now. They probably don't actually match the HD800 soundstage, but they are headed in the right direction.

Quote:

Originally Posted by n3rdling /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I never understood what all the hoopla over overly huge, non realistic soundstages was about. Am I the only one who really dislikes this? I mean, sure, when I upgraded from ipod earbuds and plantronics headsets to the ATH-AD500 it was damn cool to hear a massive soundstage for a while. However, as I got more and more exposure to better headphones, giant soundstages really started to become an annoyance. This is probably my biggest qualm with the HD800 in particular; it's a very good dynamic, but if it was able to actually control the soundstage I'd be way more into it.


I don't have any problem with the HD800 soundstage - they are everything I had hoped the K1000 would be.
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 7:41 AM Post #12,313 of 24,807

vcoheda

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That was the case with my HE60 on the GES vs HD800/ZDT, but as I said, with the WES the HE60 are even better now. They probably don't actually match the HD800 soundstage, but they are headed in the right direction.


yes. i recall that when i compared HE60/KGSS to HE60/HEV90, the biggest difference was the increase in sound stage when using the HEV90. for whatever reason, tube amps have a way of increasing the sound stage of headphones. that has been my experience more than a handful of times. so i understand what you are saying.

as for the sound stage of the HD800, it is the largest i have known. single ended or with the wrong amp, i could see the sound being somewhat diffuse, but balanced (or with the right amp) everything locks into place.
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 9:08 AM Post #12,314 of 24,807

mobbaddict

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They sound like mini-O2s, very much so. Compared to the LNS they are darker with much better (less crazy, more controlled) bass and have the usual IEM compromise where things sound more closed-in. I'll experiment a bit more, but unfortunately the only amp I have here at the moment is the T1S, which, like the 007t is with O2s, rather too warm. I tried inserting them deeply then pulling them out a little and the resonance has gone a bit. They feel a bit more comfortable than regular IEMs I've used.


Thanks for the feedback
popcorn.gif

I thought the LNS bass would be at least as controlled, maybe a solid state amp would control it better as well?
But i agree the bass is more controlled than what i expected with the SR-003, they do a great job with hip-hop.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If I ignore the form-factor compromises, I could put them on in the morning first thing and forget that I have headphones that are better in many respects and just enjoy the sweet mids and non-fatiguing treble and know that I don't have to pull them out to hear my wife speaking to me. Now if only there was a portable eXStatA.
wink.gif



And the LNS is one of the headphones?
wink.gif
 
Dec 29, 2009 at 9:16 AM Post #12,315 of 24,807

catscratch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by n3rdling /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I never understood what all the hoopla over overly huge, non realistic soundstages was about. Am I the only one who really dislikes this? I mean, sure, when I upgraded from ipod earbuds and plantronics headsets to the ATH-AD500 it was damn cool to hear a massive soundstage for a while. However, as I got more and more exposure to better headphones, giant soundstages really started to become an annoyance. This is probably my biggest qualm with the HD800 in particular; it's a very good dynamic, but if it was able to actually control the soundstage I'd be way more into it.


I'm with you on this one. Overblown soundstages in headphones tend to go hand-in-hand with very diffuse and inaccurate imaging (though not always, i.e. H2). I value imaging accuracy over soundstage size, and when you have truly accurate imaging you will have a soundstage that reflects what's there on the recording - ballooning outwards when you have a minimally mic'd recording with massive inherent soundstage, and contracting and becoming more intimate when you play something that's close-mic'd and is recorded to just be there in the room without too much spatial showing off.

Diffuse soundstages can be nice on electronica where there is no standard for correct presentation, but on material that is very spatially complex the blurry imaging can detract from the presentation.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Currawong /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They sound like mini-O2s, very much so.


This. The similarity is surprising, especially when it comes to tone and midrange presentation. I think the SR-003 has some of the best mids around, and if you like it chances are you will like the O2 quite a bit as well. It's a stunningly capable headphone for the price, and it scales fairly well too.
 
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