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High Rollers
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Everything posted by spritzer

  1. Stax being annoying using the same serial number range 14 years apart. That set might be from the initial 2007-2009 production It's been so long since I tried them but yeah, I liked the HP-1000 back in the day but the Stax SR-X Mk3 Pro's blow them out of the water being the same design idea.
  2. What age is that? Stax used the SZ2 for the initial release in Japan and they are using SZ2 for sets shipping now. Special type of bad behavior there.... I didn't like the RME at all. For me most dynamics are just a disappointment so I tend to just leave them alone. The few that stand out over the years are the HD800 (once properly driven), Audeze LCD 2 and 3... can't remember any more off the top of my head. I've tried plenty over the years but none worked for me, Abyss, the hifiman crap, Mr. Speakers etc.
  3. I doubt the X9000 will be on that list but we'll see: SR-007Mk1 SR-007Mk2 (latest version) SR-Omega HE-60 SR-Lambda Nova Signature (which the CRBN replaces) Congrats!! I was slow to order them as I really had to talk myself into getting a high end Stax again... ECC99's sound bad in that circuit so I'd stick with the 6CG7's.
  4. Finally, I’ve had some time to sit down and dot down my final thoughts on the CRBN. They’ve been here for a couple of months, but I really wanted to have a Carbon CC up and running to try them on before I wrote anything final. I rustled up some pretty ghetto front and back panels this week, so I finally have one for my own system. Feeding it is a Denafrips Terminator DAC but I’ve tried it with a number of other sources plus whatever amps I’ve up and running at any given point, KGSSHV, KGST, CCS modified Stax amps etc. Now I want to start with how it’s been living with them for the past two months, in a word flawless. No issues at all with this second set, no imbalance, noises from the drivers… nothing like that. They are also supremely comfortable, and I’ve worn them for hours on end with no discomfort. Now this is Iceland so not exactly warm and the all-leather earpads might be an issue in warmer climates. Audeze might make hybrid pads like the Sennheiser HE60/90 but here I just open a window to cool down... 😉 Also, a word on driving them. They are inefficient and do need a lot of power. Anybody claiming otherwise is just full of it and thinks gain and position of the volume knob has anything to do with power levels. They are not quite 007 bad in this regard but they do reward a more powerful amp when pushing them. Baseline for excellent performance would be the KGST/KGSSHV line but even with the CCS modified Stax amps they work well at moderate volume levels. Push them though and yeah… you need power behind them. So how do they sound… well TLDR, how I’ve always wished the Sennheiser HE90 should have sounded but never did. These were my first impressions, slightly oversized soundstage and not as precise as others but far from the mess that is the HE90. Plenty of deep, well controlled bass too but not quite up to the 007 level. They can get bright when the source calls for it, slightly excessively so at times, but far from the forward nature of the 009’s. The soundstage is a bit larger than life, but it makes for plenty of presence and separation so while not pinpoint accurate, they are very close to it. Overall, they are just so balanced and pleasant to listen to regardless of what you feed them. Now for the only real issue, the damping is something which has annoyed me more and more. Now as some might know… I’m a bit picky… just a tiny bit… 😛 and while it is not always apparent, some songs or parts of them just sound off to me. This generally true for every headphones I use so I remove all damping when I can. Also, a large part of why I like the 007’s so much due to their innovative air damping. Now on the CRBN the damping is damn good, but I can still tell it is there. This is not like the Sennheiser HE-1 for instance, where that bloody amp with its mosfet based output stage and joke of a front end just spreads its dirty fingerprints on everything. This is far more subtle and only affects some tracks so for instance, it is too closed in when it shouldn’t be, bass has a twang to it that shouldn’t be there… something like that. This is a very minor gripe, and this is me being super picky so take it as you wish. Still, I’d love to try these drivers with less damping… 🙂 So, this aside, there is so much to recommend here. They are certainly not cheap but just holding them you can see where the money has gone. Plug them into a good amp yeah, they will impress. The only issue for me it they have rekindled an old project, take some LCD-2’s and fit them with custom electrostatic drivers. Anybody know of a cheap set I can buy? 😉 Now I’ve not received my SR-X9000000000000 yet so I can’t compare them but on its own the CRBN is a great product. They are not perfect (what is?) but as a first stab at making electrostatics, they are damn impressive. I’m adding this set to my collection, and they are certainly in my top 5 all-time greats. I really must say they are a breath of fresh air as the releases over the last few years have been such a disappointment. It really has been a 10-year slump now so here’s hoping we get something excellent over the next 10 years.
  5. I thought some electrolytics looked off but can't tell with any certainty from the pics. Make sure none of them are domed or have any leakage around them.
  6. Can you post some detailed pics so we can better understand what might be going on? If something stops working after a while like that than it is usually a component, solder joint etc. loosing contact due to thermal expansion but it could also be something else.
  7. Fucking hell... look at those insane ramblings and the Carbon... fuck, what utter trash.
  8. It might be a cable issue so try moving it close to the headset and see if anything changes. If it is dust inside the drivers, there is not much that can be done. Simply opening up the driver will expose it to further dust contamination and this is so small you can barely see it without some instrumentation.
  9. I'm not a fan of the glue either (having refurbed way too many Stax sets over the years) but at least they are using the super nice 3M glue which is not a pain to clean up. The Stax stuff, especially the stuff from the 80's, is super nasty
  10. It's hard to gauge that but the early 2000's sets are just fine now if they have been taken care of.
  11. I assume it is Jude running said HF youtube channel and then yeah... clueless as the day is long that one. They are hard to drive so something like a modified T1S would work but... it depends on the volume levels. The modded Stax amps work well a low to medium volume but push them and they start to struggle.
  12. It's not felt but some woven material, might be similar to what Aumkar is using on the RR1's.
  13. Stax serial numbers are meaningless so they offer no guide at all. There was never anything wrong with the 007A/Mk2 treble so it's just as it should be. The Mk2.5 had rather nasty treble but that was a decade ago.
  14. I have a very recent 007A and they are very nice, just straight out of the box. Stax have changed the earpads a bit but otherwise they are the same.
  15. I think the main issue that tubes take a crap ton of abuse and are nearly impossible to kill (except with excessive power) so they are the refuge of the hack job.
  16. Those boards might have been milled on one of those cheap table top CNC's...
  17. I would recommend something powerful so as a baseline, the KGSSHV or the KGST. Audeze made these intentionally inefficient so they need plenty of clean power to behave. As for the LTA Z10e, I would never recommend that thing. Kevin and I are actually looking for one to tear apart as there are pretty much no internal pics and based on their own comments, it is all kinds of stupid. What little snippets I found was the 300V max EL84's driven at 700V so you have all the same issues as Stax do in their amps, massive compression. If the Zotl is actually connected to the tubes while in electrostatic operation, then that is a huge issue as well. EL84's are the same as 300B's, they should never be used in electrostatic amps. Simply not suitable.
  18. So basically this with an extra stage and a healthy dose of fuckup
  19. Who needs to twist wires and caps after the ballast is a big fucking no-no
  20. It's been a long week so not a lot of time to sit down and listen to the CRBN but when I've done so, they always deliver. No issues at all like the first set had and they are very comfy for a couple of hours or so. I'll try to sit down for a few hours straight but they are so light and the earpads so supple that I don't foresee any issues. It did take me a while to get used to the more diffused sound stage as I thought they were off balance a few times. Just the different presentation playing with my head... I'll take some more time until my final impressions but how about some teardown pics instead. Now do remember that this set was headed my way and Audeze knew I would tear it apart... so they were nice enough to not fully adhere the earpads. That's why they have the paper backing on them. First shot showing the gorgeous carbon shells. Earpads off showing the baffle and the nylon screws which secure the baffle to the back. The 3M adhesive they are using for the earpads is very strong so these are no easy headphones to get into. The earpads are very thick and some of the nicest I've ever seen so I don't foresee having to replace them anytime soon. Another shot showing the (phenolic?) baffle. Now remove the screws and the set comes apart, the baffle screws through the earcups and into the back piece. There is quite a bit of foam behind the drivers but it is very open. Audeze were shooting for a fairly high damping design so this makes sense. Here is the frame with the foam in place. That small dot falls off easily which is good, that means no adhesive in place to make a reflective surface inside the foam. The back cover is a very nice piece and I like the use of fine mesh to keep most things out of the cups Now remove the foam from the picture above and we have the back of the driver. They have gone for connections through the structure to the different elements unlike say Stax who take it all to one point. Nothing wrong with either way of doing things. Here you can also see the construction of the cable which is woven and it feel like it's two triple strands from the Stax plug, up through the cable split and into each cup. I do wonder how much capacitance braiding the cables like this does add to the system (a flat cable always be superior in that regard) but its similar to what Sennheiser do on the HE-1 and Mr. Speakers on the Voce. Far cry better than the crap Hifiman call a cable... on a 18k$ set of headphones though. Another shot the driver free of the earcup. Same thick woven material used for the dust covers front and back. Side profile showing just how thin the driver sandwich is and also its MRI safe roots are evident. Not a whole lot of metal in that, similar to what Sennheiser did with the HE series back in the day. The HE60 was just two pieces of extruded plastic, painted gold and then the mylar stretched onto the frame. Kinda funny to see this approach compared to what Stax are doing with the SR-X, ever more complicated stator designs whose benefits are not quite clear. Last but not least, the very nice plug on these. That is aluminum and then molded plastic... very nice indeed.
  21. 100K!!?? Yeah any headphones connected to that amp won't live much longer and the distortion must have been pretty intense.... Gotta love it when people go for complete incompetence... In the age of super cheap PCB's, none of that makes any sense.
  22. That thing is so utterly fucked. Pure limitless incompetence all around there. I think we need a list of badly made crap, RSA, McAlister etc. Viva Audio is the newest one I'm laughing at, holy crap they are badly made and the part choices there make no sense at all. They use PSU caps notorious for shorting (Rifa) as coupling caps... in 20k$ amps. Very Singlepower...
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