Jump to content

Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/23/2022 in all areas

  1. First indoor show since covid -- Jeff Tweedy at the Fillmore. He's added another son on backing vocals in addition to the drummer. We also found the poster for the show we saw 20 days before Sophie was born.
    7 points
  2. I’m going to post this in its own thread as so many people are asking me for X9000 impressions, and it makes sense to have them somewhere where they are easy to find. I was also going to take some pictures to add to this review but I’m just wiped. Might add some later if these ever present storms let up for some good light. I’ve now had the SR-X9000 here for over a week so time for a writeup... as my email inbox is full of people asking for just that. 🙂 First impressions were very promising, the build quality is superb, and those drivers are just a marvel to behold. I do like the new replaceable cables even, though it is a bit of a copy of the King Sound setup, and they really should include a 2.5m cable and a 5m one, the 1.5m makes no sense to me. The earpads might be a tad too big in terms of open area for their own good but they are well made and comfy. That new arc design is also excellent, far better than the 009 mess. The inspiration from the SR-Omega is clear but the build quality here is far, far better. Same loose feeling fit too; they mostly just hang off the head with minimal clamping. I really like how they drew inspiration from them, but I also have some issues with how that was executed… more about that later. The system I’ve been using them in is my main rig, Denafrips Terminator DAC feeding a Carbon CC all being fed from my main PC. Now for the sound, these are clearly voiced in the same direction as the 009/009S but not as horribly colored as those two. They sound open and lively with decent bass and the forward slant is there but far better than the predecessors. I remember thinking… “these are what the 009’s should have been 11 years ago” so yeah, not bad at all. For some recordings they really work but yeah… a few tracks in and the cracks began to show. A bit of a backstory, I’ve likened buying Stax to being in an “abusive relationship” for the last 15 years. Back in 2007 they brought us the 007Mk2’s with all of their issues. Sure, they could be fixed easily enough with some blutac but yeah it was a sign of things to come. At CanJam it was confirmed there was a new version of the 007Mk2’s out and they were even worse (the Mk2.5 as we called them), the blutac helped but could not fix the terrible voicing. Then it was announced a new flagship was incoming and the SR-009 landed in 2011. Now we all remember the clusterfuck that was, drivers failing left and right and forward sound with pitiful bass response… yeah, I’m not a fan. One bright spark was in 2014 when I got a new set of 007Mk2’s and they had clearly been changed for the better. The port finally kind of worked and the voicing was more like the Mk1’s. Then we got the limited edition 009BK (2016?) which I found to be a small improvement over the 009 but still that same sound and finally the 009S is 2018. Less said about them the better, quickest I’ve ever sold one of my flagship phones there… That brings us to the present and since the wait for the SR-X9000 was so long, I had time to bolster my collection to compare against them. I got a used set of 009S just to make sure I didn’t like them (that was still the case), a Voce (not arrived yet due to some shipping snafu’s) and finally the one I really wanted, a SR-Omega with early 007 Mk1 drivers. I had a set a decade or so ago and it’s really the only set of headphones I truly regret selling. I also got my final set of Audeze CRBN’s to compare against the new kid on the block. I had a lot of fun doing so and after a few hours I gravitated to a direct A-B test of the SR-Omega/007 against the X9000. Makes sense as they are a similar idea, put a more modern driver into that same basic housing design. That did reveal the two main issues with the X9000’s, the bright edge to everything which is just borderline annoying and more distracting than anything. Second are the imaging issues… First off, the brightness, with the 009’s they were really intolerable, and I’ve never been able to just sit down and enjoy a listening session with 009’s. It’s not that bad here but it’s always present. Some tracks it just blends in and becomes part of the sound while on others it stands out and takes away from the immersion. What makes it worse is that there is no logic to which tracks have that edge to them, bright ones which I would expect to have it… well it just blends in while darker ones have it. Must be a resonance issue as there is so little damping here. Now with the imaging, I think Stax made a mistake having the outside screen angled like that. On the SR-Omega it is perfectly parallel with the drivers but on the X9K, it is maybe 3mm further out towards the front. This or some part of the driver structure might be the culprit for the odd imaging. Let me clarify, they throw a large soundstage but it’s very much a “three blob affair”. Nothing wrong with that really but it’s the front imaging which sounds off for me. It’s all a bit to distant and boxed in while not being as focused as the 007 soundstage. When you pick up on it, it becomes very apparent and distracting. As comparison, let’s take the SR-Omega and SR-007Mk2. The SR-Omega throws a wide soundstage but it’s all a bit loose and diffused. Now the 007’s (all of them really) have a much tighter, more focused soundstage which also does something unique, there are layers to it. With the SR-X9000 it’s more like the SR-Omega (which makes sense) but more localized to the three blobs and the middle one has that odd boxed in effect while being a bit distant. Now other than these two things, these are well made and high performing sets, but these two things annoy me enough for them to not make my top/best ever list. The SR-007’s are more laid back and “darker” but also more neutral and truer to the original sound. The SR-Omega/007 is a more fun and looser version of that sound but those slight deficiencies just make them a welcome change, doesn’t make them any less neutral. They simply act as a bridge bringing those two sounds together, absolute purity of the 007 with the more warm and loose nature of the SR-Omega. I feel I should also talk a bit about the new kid on the block, the Audeze CRBN. Now I’ve had a few of them here, prototype units to the final production version and it really is the antithesis of the SR-X9000 is terms of fit and sound. The CRBN is snug as it hugs your head with thick and supple earpads. The sound is far more damped so it is darker but still very open and expansive. Now they aren’t perfect, they have that slight issue with the midrange presence due to the heavy damping, but it is minor overall. They are really what the HE90 could have been back in the day, more diffused than the 007’s but with proper bass. Nice way to tie back the 007's were always being compared to the HE90 back in the day. Lastly, how are they to drive. Well… as one would expect with a driver this size, they need a lot of power to behave. That brightness will quickly get out of control, especially at higher volume levels when the headphones don’t have enough power behind them. I’ve only tried them on a couple of amps so far so I’ll need more time with that, but I’d say powerful and neutral amps will suit these just fine. Conclusion/TL; DR These are good but not as good as they could have been. They are too forward sounding though not as bad as the SR-009, 009BK or 009S. I crave neutrality over everything else, the headphones should just present the sound with as little an impact on it as is possible. If they fail to represent a part of the spectrum, that’s fine but if they add something… then I have a problem with it. The brightness and imaging issue does disqualify them due to that, but I will keep them around, nonetheless. With some material they work well and plus I’m in a collecting mood… 😉 I'll probably add to review later on as I spend some more time with them. Finally, I’m going to be a bit cynical and think Stax are doing this sound signature on purpose and not for the obvious reasons. This is exactly the type of sound which grabs you on a quick audition or impresses the useless audio reviewers out there who don’t know any better. Back in 2002 the 007’s got no love at all as they are the definition of “unimpressive at first audition”, let along not many amps around at that time which could drive them. Stax are clearly now trying to make money and not audio purist just trying to make the best product possible, nothing wrong with that, so I’m glad this wasn’t a complete hack job like the 009S.
    6 points
  3. Hey! I know that guy! Video is time-stamped. Congrats, Kerry, and good luck at the show!
    4 points
  4. I'll be there showing off our new amp Stop by. We're in the Majestic room.
    4 points
  5. thanks, it was a good day
    3 points
  6. Currently a chilly 64 degrees in scenic B'town. We might get 6-12" of snow by the end of the week. I rate that a solid New England/10.
    2 points
  7. The new machine is certainly shiny. This 16" display is pure pleasure after 6 mos of staring at the three ghetto-ass panels I have attatched to my Wintendo. Also everything is amazingly fast and responsive. With that said, this has been the bumpiest ride in a new Mac I've ever had. I have mostly sorted out 1Password (NOT the SaaS version, KTHX) now. Mostly. AgileBits are downright malicious with their browser extensions. I sorted out a weird "log in to you Apple account to continue" issue that had been resulting in an endless gear icon yesterday. I even got notoriously finicky Mixlr up and running./ Where I have not been so lucky is Traktor. I installed a fresh version of Native Instruments's utility "Native Access" and through that a fresh version of Traktor. So far it launches and immediately beachballs. I've done a number of google searches and NI swear up and down that the latest version of Traktor Pro 3 (3.5.2) works just fine with OS X Monterey. Not for me, it doesn't. I haven't even attempted to import my 6000+ tracks, nor gotten to the point where I can try.
    2 points
  8. Best of luck Kerry!
    2 points
  9. We would be very thankful if the occasional visitors and review readers refrained their enthusiasm and need to post void messages. This is not Twitter.
    1 point
  10. The Weber Looking Glass is exactly what you would expect: perfect and worth the money, but a luxury. I mean, espresso at home is. But this mirror is perfect for the purpose. The Flair mirror is merely adequate, and repurposed makeup mirrors I’ve tried don’t really work well.
    1 point
  11. Good stuff Bryan! I went to a couple roaster/cafes in Louisville, over the weekend. All I can really report back is that my coffee game at home is pretty strong. Of course, I’m just making for me. Easy to pull one great shot with this workflow.
    1 point
  12. It is close to being true. Apollo 13 - Dates: Apr 11, 1970 – Apr 17, 1970 Jack Black - Born: August 28, 1969 But She was still badass. And Jack is okay too.
    1 point
  13. Miles Español Various Artists 2011 Killer Example:
    1 point
  14. R.I.P. Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) age 76...
    1 point
  15. ^^ I knew he was doing this video but hadn't seen it yet. Thank you for finding it
    1 point
  16. Well the review is live...
    1 point
  17. Happy Birthday Dan! May all your Wordle scores beat Brent! Wordle 248 3/6 ⬛🟨⬛🟨⬛ ⬛🟨🟩🟩⬛ 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
    1 point
  18. i took a week off caffeine recently for elimination-testing reasons and the bean stash wasn't entirely empty... of course i didn't stop buying and now my counter collection is absolute 🔥
    1 point
  19. https://maringarden.org/events/eos-ensemble-chamber-music-for-the-holidays/ Some sublime seasonal chamber music with the good burghers of Ross, Patrons of the Marin Art and Garden Center and Miscellaneous Brits.
    1 point
  20. ^^^ Yup, it was 55F at 5AM so I said fuck it and rode my bike to work only to be greeted with a winter storm warning (for Friday). It is 65 and sunny currently. Tonight it is supposed to drop to 19. This shit is bananas. B A N A N A S.
    0 points
  21. Sorry to hear about the loss of a family friend, Dan. Your closing paragraph is pretty much spot on, in my opinion. My fear/concern/not-sure-what-to-call-it is that I don’t know what it takes to just get people back to being reasonable? Maybe they were never reasonable but I didn’t see it because there was not single dividing line like Trump and COVID both have been? At this point I’m ready for half of America to try to convince me that the Ukraine just invaded Russia.
    0 points
  22. Yikes. I just heard that one of my mum's oldest friends (named Susan, like half the women from her generation are) died of Covid. Her husband was very sick with it, but has survived so far. Neither were vaccinated. Robert, the husband, was a Vineyard native. He was a good friend of my father's growing up. He was an odd character for his entire life, but very mechanically inclined. He fixed everything from 2 cycle lawn mowers to large yacht engines. Over the last ...35ish years, he withdrew into right wing media, mostly via AM radio. In a less divided time than our current one (that post-9/11 idyll known as 2005) he confided to my mother that his only source of news was "right wing radio." I hadn't seen either of them in over a decade. Certainly not in the Trump or "post" (MFer ain't exactly gone) Trump era. At no point going back to the 1980s did I ever discuss politics with Robert. I strongly suspect he was hugely anti-vax and therefore Susan had to be as well. This marks the first time that someone I've known personally (and for my entire life, I might add) has died to covid due to their anti-vax stance. I'm gonna be "Knuckles at the end of his radio show" real here for a second: I can be friends with people with whom I have massive disagreements. We can have irreconcilable differences on tax or military policy, gay rights, what the fuck ever. As long as I don't have to hear about it, we're good. I'd like to ammend one my precvious statements:" This anti-vax bullshit isn't "pants-on-head" retarded. It's beyond that. It's "what are pants?" Water boils at 212 degrees Freedom and 100 degrees Communist. Reality is what remains when you stop believing in it. Get fucking vaccinated, you are a danger to yourself and others. When did we collectively lose 2/3 of our IQ points? Good fucking LORD.
    0 points
  23. R.I.P. Mark Lanegan at age 57...
    0 points
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.