X-Feed and Electrostatics
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Headphoneus Supremus
Apr 14, 2003
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Apr 14, 2003
I wonder if anyone has fed any electrostatic headphone via the X-feed or the Meier Cross solution. For anyone who feels that the bass on the electrostatics is light and becomes more "accurate" but secretly yearns the bass-head sound, this is one tweak worth pursuing. Aggressively.
Albeit my Koss electrostatics are on the low end of the food chain as far as electrostats go, the leap in the impact of the low end is astounding. On the Telarc SACD Sampler I, Monty Alexander's "Moanin" seemed to sound a little less forward on initial presentation as compared to the uncrossed version, but almost immediately the bassline's impact while previously compact, suddenly explodes. Other good examples for the improvement in kick include John Mayer (Your body is a wonderland) and Sheryl Crow (Soak up the sun) from the Grammy 2003 compilation.
Besides just improving the kick factor the soundstage is perceptibly more in front of your face than inside your head. A great example of the low end performance enhancing playback listenability is the Peter White SACD (Chasing the dawn) where the spanish guitar suddenly sounds much more rich and complex.
Listening to U2 (I still haven't found what I'm looking for) on redbook is a completely different experience with the x-feed. This is especially the case when you consider the initial bars where the drums and bass start the number. Same case with Eagles (Hotel California). The improvement in dramatics at the begining of each track often leads to a more gripping overall performance and a more rivetted listener (in my case, anyway). Two tracks that were previously extremely disappointing with the Koss were Gwen Stefani (Hollaback Girl) and Snoop Dogg (Drop it like it's hot). With X-feed the effect is unnerving with no apparent similarities in the sound before and after.
My ultimate reference for low end has always been Neil Diamond (Song sung blue) particularly the opening bars. With my previous Grado experience as well as my speakers, I've always enjoyed this particular track. Now with the Koss, I still love the clean presentation. However, it sounds too clean with a loss of the "dirty" bass for a lighter presentation. Not so after X-feed. COmpletely Rocks. Big time!
Interestingly, I had no improvement in presentation with my Grados in any combination of interconnects, sources or amps. I had almost sent the X-feed back to Pinkfloyd out of disappointment. Thank God I didn't. The Koss and the Cross are twins separated at birth. I wonder if other electrostatic amps particularly the Stax SRMs would benefit the same way (particularly the SS amps.)
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