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  • Interests
    Trying to be an audiophile with a tight room and a tight budget...
  • Location
    São Bernardo do Campo
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  • Occupation
    Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at UFABC
  • Headphones
    Stax Omega SR-007A, Stax Lambda Signature SR-407, AKG K701
  • Headphone Amps
    Stax SRM-T1S
  • Sources
    RME ADI-2 DAC, Ifi Micro iDSD Black Label DAC, Fiio X7II DAP, Sony MDS-JE500 Minidisc Deck
  • Other Audio Gear
    M-Audio ProFire 610, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 1st gen, RODE NT1 Condenser Mic

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plaurids's Achievements

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  1. I see, thanks. Enough off-topicking, I suppose... Back to the CRBN: which DACs have you used with it besides the Denafrips Terminator, and which were your impressions with those (if any)?
  2. Also my impression. My SZ2 007A had this odd "boom" in the bass and a depressed response in the upper mids at stock config, problems which were both fixed with the port mod. Anyhow, the 007 is pretty hard to find here in Brazil - Edifier (who currently owns Stax) started selling Stax products officially here this year, but their prices are just insane and they haven't brought the whole Stax lineup yet (they are selling the 009S and some Lambdas). Particularly, no 007's are being sold (edit - November 11th 2021: I stand corrected - they've just started selling the SR-007 Mk II). I found mine used by chance at a great price, in retrospect it was a minor miracle. Unfortunately, it also means that I cannot just sell it and look for a better set - Brazilian custom taxes are no joke and the current USD-BRL exchange rate is not quite favorable right now, both of with make buying even an used 007 abroad beyond my current means -, so I have to make the best out of what I have. That's why I'm modding the hell out of my 007A and my SRM-T1S. With the port mod, how much up your list do they go?
  3. Ah, ok. Now, going back to my original question (duly qualified)... where would the first batch (production year 2007-2009) of SZ2 Stax SR-007A's fit in your top 5 list (if at all, possibly with the port mod)?
  4. That's what I thought, judging from my research in these forums... But maybe I wasn't clear enough in my question: which of the two SZ2 batches of SR-007A's are affected by this "bad behavior" (I do know there is an SZ3 range of serial numbers in between), and what would that "bad behavior" be? Does the port mod help? Thanks!
  5. I understand people complain particularly about its soundstage, which is indeed not very deep, but I like it - I use it connected via XLR (balanced) to my SRM-T1S. With the SR-007A it feels very intimate, as if I were standing where the microphones are. It also serves as a very good IEM source (it works great with my Moondrop Blessing 2 using Spinfit eartips and Dunu Blanche cable) when for some reason I cannot use the SR-007A (e.g. when my hair is wet). I was able to get some (admittedly minor) improvements using iFi's DC iPurifier to clean the power source and the Oyaide Continental USB cable instead of stock. I haven't tried its parametric EQ yet - haven't felt the need for it. I may get the Denafrips Ares II or the Chord Qutest in addition to the RME ADI-2 DAC in the future to get a different flavor of DAC. Wondering how these would sound with the CRBN...
  6. "Bad behavior" for which SZ2's, the old ones or the new ones? Mine's (for instance) serial number is SZ2-1636, got it used in the beginning of this year. Seller didn't buy it new either - I had to replace the headpad's elastic band since it was worn out, otherwise the unit is in fine shape. I reckon it's not very recent, but I may be mistaken... I did the port mod because the stock frequency response was somewhat wonky (bass a bit out of control, depressed upper mids), but that was before I did the CCS mod on my energizer. I've covered the Blu-tac filling the driver ports with a fine tape because it was sticking to the pads. The port mod evened out the frequency response and made the cans quite a bit more enjoyable.
  7. If you port mod an SZ2-serial number SR-007A (say), where would it fit on that list? 😁 Also, thanks for the feedback on the ECC99! Regarding sources... Have you tried it with the RME ADI-2 DAC?
  8. Good to know... Would adding ECC99 tubes to a CCS-modified Stax SRM-T1(S) (say) improve things with the CRBN at higher volumes?
  9. For the glue on the Audezes, I guess so (never had one). Isopropyl alcohol doesn't work so well on the earpad adhesive for the Stax Lambdas, though. Believe me, I tried. However, since the casing is all plastic and the earpad gluing base is so close to the drivers, it's not advisable to use anything else, so one has to make do with it anyway. A lot of patience and care is needed to remove the black gooey, tar-like glue residues without touching the drivers - the former just seem to stick everywhere on the outer case.
  10. In due time: I was thinking... Indeed the CCS mod doesn't address a design flaw of the SRM-T1(S) which causes this loss of frequency response at higher volumes - namely, the fact that the 6CG7/6FQ7 tubes are driven slightly over their maximum voltage spec. It rather addresses a greater flaw which is the major loss of output current in the plate resistors, precisely by replacing them with constant current sources as done e.g. in the KGST. To fix the former flaw as well, some people have also proposed to use e.g. ECC99 tubes instead of the 6CG7/6FQ7 (which, in this case, requires some rewiring of the tube sockets and replacing the cathode resistors in series with the TVR2 trimpots), which have a higher maximum voltage. I did the CCS mod on my SRM-T1S a couple of months ago (I wrote a detailed account of the process mainly for my own use in this thread, as sort of a field journal) and it really did wonders on how my SR-007A performs on that energizer. I'm still using the stock Gold Aero 6CG7 tubes and gauging whether it's worth to do the ECC99 mod or not - I use the volume at 10-11 o'clock as it stands, which is enough for most of the music I hear (classical, choral, jazz, blues, rock and metal), but I do need to go higher occasionally e.g. with some particularly compressed tracks (quite a few rock recordings have that problem), and then I notice the SR-007A doesn't perform so well. Of course, the recording itself may be also to blame for that since these cans are quite revealing of poor recordings (especially with the port mod I use), but I could be also hitting the tubes' limitations on the SRM-T1S's circuit design, I'm not sure yet. So, suppose one has a Stax SRM-T1S energizer with the CCS mod and ECC99 tubes. Will it then be enough to drive the CRBN, even at higher volumes?
  11. Hmm... Good to know. I'm taking the Stax Lambdas as my only former experience with this issue - it's a freaking nightmare to clean the glue residue from old earpads on these. But still... a flagship headphone such as the CRBN ought to have something better. I've read that Audeze's new planar magnetic flagship LCD-5 also has glued earpads. Seriously, even a relatively old mid-fi dynamic headphone such as the AKG K701 has plastic bayonets for the earpads. This can be done without compromising the earpad seal, and makes maintenance and modding far easier.
  12. Let me just mention one minor thing that does bother me about the CRBN, though... The earpads are glued. Why Audeze, on a $4500 headphone? Especially an electrostatic one... I know spritzer reported that the earpads do seem solid and may not need replacement for quite a while, but I did have to replace the (also glued) earpads on my L407 recently and it's not fun at all.
  13. That's the ultimate reason I ended up doing the CCS mod on my SRM-T1S. In stock configuration, it was a good match to the SR-L407 that came with it but it definitely underpowered my 007, to the point I started hitting the well-known difficulties with higher volumes spritzer alluded to above. Things are a lot better now, also considering I'm currently unable to afford a BHSE or even a KGST (custom taxes here in Brazil are no joke). Likewise, the CRBN is pretty much out of reach for me right now but one can always dream... That also raises an interesting point. Hi-end dynamic or planar magnetic headphones usually need a (more often than not similarly priced) suitable hi-end headphone amp to drive them at their best. It makes absolutely no sense to buy a Focal Utopia or an Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC and then plug it straight to an iPhone or a mainstream DAC, when you can get close enough results on such devices spending about one order of magnitude less. Of course, you can also do it with such headphones, but then you'll leave so much refinement on the table, you are no longer doing it for the sake of sound quality but rather of something else. If you take that into account, the estat proposal of always factoring a matching amp/energizer into the cost+practicality equation no longer seems so absurd at the hi-end level.
  14. Audeze CRBN + Mjolnir Carbon... Of course Audeze would do that 🤪 Jest aside, very exciting breath of fresh air on the estats market from Audeze, although the price tag is no jest at all... Given spritzer's impressions on the CRBN pitted against the Stax SR-007 (by the way, I do have to commend his bravery on taking the former apart) and the north-of-$6000 price tag of Stax's new flagship SR-X9000, I'm now thinking how much of a "steal" (as far as hi-end estats go) the 007 has become. Still, I'm quite intrigued by the CRBN, but $4500 for a headphone is way out of my league. Head-Fi's YouTube review of the CRBN claims that it's relatively easy to drive, which clashes with spritzer reporting it above as "intentionally inefficient". Just to have a better idea, how does the CRBN fare against, say, the 007 regarding amplification demands? If I put a CRBN on, say, a CCS-modded SRM-T1S (as the one driving my port-modded SR-007A SZ2 right now), will it be enough?
  15. I've found the culprit. A tiny solder blob which seems to have landed out of nowhere was shorting two solder points in the CCS module's PCB. Removed it, resoldered the module to the unit's PCB... and presto! Left-channel voltages back to normal! Phew! Rebiasing with the stock tubes took a couple of hours (3-4 rebiasing sessions with about one hour in between to wait for the tubes to drift). I'll wait a couple of months to see if it's worth it to start tube rolling. In the meantime... Currently testing my SR-007A with the newly recapped and CCS-modded SRM-T1S. Amazing! It seems a straitjacket was removed from the cans! The CCS mod really makes a difference.
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