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About powertoold

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  • Birthday September 27
  1. The Headcase Stax thread

    Basically gold drivers and MLER"2" instead of MLER I guess we can't complain since they're the same release price.
  2. The Headcase Stax thread

    In the example song I posted, it's actually not very "loud" volume wise, but it's definitely a lot of bass. My issue isn't that I listen to everything very loud, but sometimes I hear distortion, and I have doubt in my mind whether or not it's my system or the music, and that leads to decreased enjoyment. I just want to point out that I think the 007mk1 on the kgsshv is magical. I've heard almost all of the best headphones (ironically not the 009), and I've yet to find one that bests the 007mk1, especially in it's subwoofer-like subbass. It's also incredibly non-fatiguing and neutral. Yes, it's missing a bit of high end sparkle, but I don't find myself wanting more.
  3. The Headcase Stax thread

    Yea, with my Lambda Nova Signature, when there's too much bass, it starts to either rattle or sound flappy / flabby. My 007mk1 doesn't sound like that, but they have a totally different enclosure, so maybe the symptom presents itself differently.
  4. The Headcase Stax thread

    Thanks for trying it out. "To the bone" doesn't pose any problems for my 007. "Gave your love away" has a lot more bass, to the point I feel that my 007's drivers can't handle it.
  5. The Headcase Stax thread

    I've tried it with several different DACs and input types. I find it very odd that not more people have encountered this issue. I think the active Stax community isn't very large and perhaps not many listen loud (~70% of live volume). With the YouTube video I posted, the distortion occurs within the first 10 seconds, and without the distortion, the bass sounds very smooth. When it's distorted, it has a bit of grain and bassy crackles, just like when a dynamic speaker can't handle the bass. The song is really smooth, so you can definitely listen to it loud.
  6. The Headcase Stax thread

    I'm using the 4vrms XLR output from a CEC DA53 balanced DAC from 2007. I find that the distortion is volume dependent. For example, at around 12pm with the XLR output, I can hear the distortion, and with the 2vrms RCA output from a different DAC, I can also hear the distortion at around 3pm (similar volume as XLR at 12pm). I've tested all sorts of variations over the past month (optical, USB, different amps, different sets of Stax, different cables, etc.). The only thing that I haven't tried is a different power/outlet environment.
  7. The Headcase Stax thread

    Thanks for the warnings. I don't think I listen very loud, and I usually only listen for about 30 minutes a day (I avoid music otherwise). I did try to increase the current output on my kgsshv 500v off board, but the distortion is still there, and perhaps maybe even worse for some bassy songs? Maybe it's a limitation of the 007mk1 (and my LNS). I don't think it's a matter of loud mastering. Even if a song is mastered loudly, I don't think it should cause distortion. With the 007mk1, I had faith that the "perfect" sound (to me) was possible, but this distortion issue is making me feel hopeless about chasing perfection. During the first few seconds of this song, at high volume, the bass distorts quite a bit. When I turn it down, it becomes controlled again. Granted I may be expecting too much, since when it isn't distorted, my 007mk1 rumbles with the subbass in a way I haven't heard with other headphones: https://youtu.be/1otWWvzy7f8
  8. i'm on a roll... the kgsshv

    Scratch that, I was on AC rather than DC 🤡 After lowering the output bias resistors and increasing the output current, is the volume supposed to be louder? It seems similar in terms of loudness to me.
  9. i'm on a roll... the kgsshv

    I was able to parallel the resistors to an effective 125R and double checked it using my multimeter. I checked the Balance and Offset voltages before and after the procedure, and they were essentially the same (~0v). I didn't have to adjust the pots at all. Did I do something wrong? The amp sounds essentially the same, with the volume being similar at the same positions on the knob. 🤯
  10. i'm on a roll... the kgsshv

    Just to be clear: Turn off and unplug amp for 5 minutes Change the output bias resistors Turn on amp and leave on for 10 minutes Ensure the + and - for each channel at the Stax plug is as close to 0V as possible by screwing the Balance screw on the respective channel board. Ensure the + at the Stax plug and ground (will need to find a ground lead on chassis) for each channel is close to 0V by screwing the Offset screw on the channel board. Done? Thanks!
  11. The Headcase Stax thread

    Thanks for your help. I'll definitely try to increase the output current from my kgsshv from 5mA to 7mA or so (it has a SumR and was made around 2011, and I've heard some issues with the SumRs around that time, so trying to be conservative). It's not that I want to listen at deafening volumes, and I rarely listen to the point of ringing ears. I want to believe that my system is capable of deafening volumes, so I don't spend a lot of my time wondering if I'm hearing distortion or a part of the recording.
  12. The Headcase Stax thread

    Thanks for that link. I do find that for older songs like Spin Doctor - Two Princes, which was mastered at a lower volume, I can crank it to 3-4pm on my kgsshv and barely hear any distortion. What confuding factor in all of this is why my Porta Pros can sound fine on a song that my 007 struggles with lol
  13. The Headcase Stax thread

    I would hope it's a component in my chain, but I've tested it and tried to isolate the problem over the past 2 months and can't seem to figure out the source lol. It's frustrating to have "high end" equipment with little to no volume headroom. And I'm not even listening anywhere close to dance club volumes. Ironically, I have some Porta Pros that don't have any distortion at higher volumes on some songs that I have issues with. I've also gone through 3 pairs of 007s, 3 different DACs, and 3 amps in troubleshooting this. For most of that time, I thought it was my amp or DAC. For example, with an srm 1 mk2, the distortion was very obvious after 1-2pm. On the 007tA, after ~3-4pm. On my kgsshv, on some songs, it's obvious around 1pm, but it seems less prone to it, so maybe it can be improved with a "better" amp? Though, it seems at similar absolute volumes, the 007tA and kgsshv distortion similarly.
  14. The Headcase Stax thread

    I have a 007mk1 with kgsshv ~5mA output. I keep hearing distortion at high volume levels, mostly noticeably in the bass of modern music, but I can hear partial tearing in all sorts of genres. Is this a limitation of electrostatic headphones? I also have heard it on the HE-1, with my LNS, on my 007tA, and on several different DACs. Is there a Stax setup out there that you can listen to at deafening volumes and have virtually no distortion with all genres of music? Or am I expecting too much? I really love the signature of my 007mk1 but I always feel like I'm listening to it on the verge of distortion (usually anywhere past 1pm on my kgsshv with balanced DAC).
  15. i'm on a roll... the kgsshv

    This is probably a ridiculous question (I know little about circuits and DIY), but doesn't the 580v bias come from the power supply? If I'm only changing resistors on the output stage to increase the current, why would a rebias be necessary? This is for a 500v off board version, which I'm just trying to increase the output current on. Someone tell me it's a bad idea