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Useless Stax O2mk1 impressions. Stax O2 rig on a budget $2300 total

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by wind016, Jul 26, 2011.
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  1. Duckman
    Could you describe for me how you apply your PSP Neon in your setup.
    I generally use iTunes and would have no way that I know of to filter the music through a 3rd party EQ.
    Sorry if it's a bit OT.
  2. wind016

    Getting used to the sound of electrostats is not like getting used to the sound of a bright or dark headphone. You just have to get used to the extremely fast presentation, which is a very good thing to get used to. It's less fatiguing in addition to all the benefits of a faster driver.


    Actually, I was finding the midrange to be a bit recessed, but I noticed that the upper mids and treble were just a bit emphasized. I'm not sure if it is due to the Anedio or not, but most of my headphones are EQed with the treble and upper mids down.
    Don't be too concerned about the overall difference in db for the EQ. It changes depending on how sensitive to treble I am at that point in time.
    Equalization with Audio Technica W11R
    Equalization with Sennheiser HD598
    Equalization with Stax O2 mk1

    No worries. This thread is open to anything and it's going slow anyways.

    I use foobar and I've just started changing everything to foobar. It's worth it because you can still use iTunes.
    This is what I do and I try to do things as organized as possible so things are neat.
    1) Download foobar and I manage the foobar library by linking it to the iTunes music folder. That way I still use iTunes to make changes to songs and will affect both libraries. I also manage FLAC files with foobar since iTunes is not compatible with FLAC. Also, I have Winamp to convert FLAC files into WAV files so iTunes can play them. Then I use iTunes to convert the WAV files into MP3s or whatever.
    2) I use George Yohng's VST wrapper DSP with foobar. It's the most stable DSP that I could find that allows me to use VST plugins.
    3) I download VST EQ plugins and run them through the VST wrapper. FYI, foobar can only run 32-bit VSTs since it's a 32 bit program.
    I hope this makes things easier to make the change from iTunes. So I have iTunes to make changes to my music files' tags, add music, and transfer music to iPhone. I use foobar for listening to music. I use Winamp to convert FLAC.
  3. The Monkey Contributor
    The recessed mids might be related to the amp. I noticed what I perceived to be recessed mids with my O2 and the SRM-1/MK2 and also a bit with the 007tii.
  4. Duckman
    Thanks for the detail. Unfortunately for me Foobar doesn't run on a Mac.
  5. wind016

    That begs the question, how do people with MACs use VSTs?  Can you use RTAs? PSP Neon HR 2.02 is also in RTA form. I hope you find an adequate solution.


    I think that is definitely part of it too. I don't remember recessed mids as far as I could remember -which isn't so much- from the Blue Hawaii. It kind of struck me suddenly for a bit. But the fact that I didn't notice I was wearing the Stax O2 mk1s backwards for a whole day could have been part of it too [​IMG]
  6. pigmode
    ^ Did you get a chance to compare to the MK II? If so, what were your impressions? 
  7. wind016

    I never got the chance to hear the mk2 nor any of the lower Stax either. That is my only regret in this hobby so far [​IMG]
  8. purrin

    Unless you really like boom boom boom (in a uncontrolled kind of way), there's not much to regret about the mk2. That being said, I know people who like the mk2s though.
  9. WilCox Contributor


    I try to stay out of the mk1 vs. mk2 debate since too many people have strong opinions, whether or not they have heard them or own them.  However, when I see a statement like this, I feel it important to give a counter-opinion regarding the mk2.
    I purchased a mk2 a few years ago and started reading here on the Head-Fi about how poor they were relative to the mk1.  So, wanting to experience the famous mk1, I purchased one directly from Japan.  It's a great headphone but the differences between the mk1 and mk2 are very minor.  Yes, the mk2 may have a bit more mid-bass, but it is far from uncontrolled.  Bass is well defined and certainly more articulate than the LCD-2 (which is also one of my favorites).  I have kept both the mk1 and mk2 since they both are very enjoyable listening devices.  I have owned electostatic headphones since the '70's and about 5 different Stax Lambda models since the '80's.  The Omega's, by far, are the most satisifying music reproducers for me which lets me forget the equipment and get swept away by the music.
    My guess is that there are a few more mk2 owners here who enjoy them as well, but don't talk much about a them just to avoid the criticism.
  10. deadlylover
    007A (mk2) owner here. I port modded them to supposedly sound more like the mk1, I prefer it that way. Best of both worlds really. The better strain relief is useful for me since Mr. roller chair tends to say g'day to my cable quite often.
    The difference isn't that big at all, but if you dropped this much dosh on a headphone, it'd better sound exactly the way you want it to.
  11. purrin
    Powered by an SRM323, all Omega IIs have varying levels of uncontrolled bass compared to being powered by say a KGSS or BHSE. It's not so bad with the mk1, it's pretty bad on the mk2. Surprisingly, the bass is OK on the mk2.5, even with the extra boom on the mk2+ series.
    It's all relative, especially once you know what the Omega IIs are truly capable of.


    Exactly. The first thing I would do if I had mk2s would be the Spritzer spring mod.

  12. wind016

    I have to agree with this. There is absolutely nothing about it that makes the O2 ruin your music listening experience. There's no screaming treble, no fatigue, and even pounding bass is not fatiguing. It feels like the music is just there; nothing added or detracted. If I wanted a more organic feel, I would have grabbed my ATH W11R, but after growing accustomed to the Stax O2, I don't feel like the W11R is any more organic sounding anymore. With the Stax O2, I can just listen to music now without thinking about my equalizer or my equipment at all. In fact, I think the Stax O2 is about as easy to listen to as my Yuin PK1 earbuds. I was able to listen to those earbuds so easily for hours and without a sense of discomfort, unlike practically every full sized or on-ear headphones I've heard. Simply, it's a very pleasant sounding headphone [​IMG]
    The biggest problem is that I won't take the Stax to me in bed. Sometimes I wake up with earbuds under my butt or with the wire strangling me.
  13. wind016
    One more thing.
    Olivia Ong and a bunch of my favorite artists have new albums, so you all know what I'm doing. [​IMG]

    I have an extremely girly taste in music. I'm sorry I'm a sensitive thug.
    BTW, does anyone know what actually happens when you wear the Stax O2s with wet hair?
  14. deadlylover
    Yeah that's what I love about them, they simply present the music. And I don't mean that in the typical audiophile "it's so transparent" or any of that garbage, but the O2's just leave the music hanging there, and it's up to you if you want to actively listen, otherwise, everything disappears into nothingness.
    It's a breath of fresh air for a passive listener like me, I don't have the time anymore to *just* listen to music, I'm usually doing other things, and I can just blast the O2's and it won't balls up my train of thought.
    Water is not good for an electrostat, I'm guessing the water increases the electrical conductivity of the air and cause the diaphragm to arc with the stators, causing all sorts of nasties. KG lost his O2's at a meet a while back, sad day indeed.
    Dude, the O2's are the best full size sleepy headphones in existence. The headband, cable entry and pads all independently rotate. So you can have the headband near your forehead to lift all the weight off, the cable entry can be routed safely away, and the pads can be set for the best seal. You can always bend the arcs back into shape if something were to go wrong. The mk2 has a good strain relief, so no problems there.
    But I don't do that anymore nowadays just in case I go drooly drooly on them =P.
  15. spritzer
    Any discussion of Mk2's isn't complete without stating which Mk2 you have as they sound nothing alike.  The SZ2 units sound very close to the Mk1's and simply by adjusting the headband for the correct fit they are close enough to care.  That's indeed how I have my very early SR-007A setup.  No port or spring modding necessary though the former is needed if you want the bass to behave like on the Mk1. 
    Then we have the Mk2.5 or the SZ3-xxxx, these I don't care for since they are so bloody forward.  The laid back nature of the earlier models (and indeed the SR-Omega) is gone and end result is a bloody mess.  I have only done light mods to my set but I honestly don't think I turn these into something useful. 
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