Some impression of X9000 I would like to share
Mine is the first batch in Japan. Serial number is #6. I have it delivered to Australia immediately after launch and receive it today.
As my system is incomplete at the moment. There are quite a few good cables coming (Odin 2, Stealth Dream etc). This is only a brief introduction of my first impression of X9000.
My setting is:
Source: Jeff Rowland Aeris
Power conditioner: ISOTEK TITAN + NOVA GII
Amp: BHSE (Mullard XF3, Philips Metal Base EL34 Disk Getter), SRM-T8000 (Stock Tube)
Reference Headphones: Sennheiser HE90, SR-009S
The build quality of SR-009S is worse than SR-009 which made me a bit worried about the X9000. But when I open the box, the SR-X9000 just look gorgeous, its build quality is to the state-of-the-art standard. The grey and brown color combination looks very good. Here are some details of the X9000.
Please make sure you read manual when attach the cable to X9000. There are design to stop you attach in a wrong way, but you could still attach the wrong side. I attached the left cable to right unit at the first try and subsequently correct it after I read the manual. There might be some potential harm to the headphone if you attach the headphone cable to the opposite side.
The main impression of X9000 is RELAXED. Yes, no matter what kind of music you play, it give you a very relaxed sound signature. It is not forwarding sound at all. Even you play most intense Orchestra works like Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 by Teodor Currentzis.
You will feel the brass and string instruments hoarse like you are getting fxxked by the Orchestra in climax part when you listen to HE90, but you will never feel that with X9000 even you switch to very high volume. Yes, you can switch to a incredible high volume without getting irritable. However, it is strongly recommended you to control the volume as you wouldn't feel any uncomfortable until you feel pain in your ears. It might cause permanent harm to your ear.
It depends on your taste if this kind of relaxed feeling is good or not. For me, I have HE90 for Orchestra works so it is not a issue at all. But if you buy X9000 mainly for Orchestra, you might need to adjust your source and accessories to fit its style. To me, when playing Orchestra works, the HE90 is like BPO, or even BSO, the X9000 is like NHK. I am not saying NHK is not good, I just prefer BPO.
SENCE OF TABLEAU
The second impression of X9000 is sense of tableau. You sometimes feels that 009/009S is pouring music into your ears like water when there are lot of details, but you will never feel that with X9000. Everything is always well arranged in a good manner, in a relaxed way. It is really a pleasure to enjoy music with it.
Unlike 009S, the X9000 focus on the whole picture rather than details. Each part of music combines together and you even feel the sound is tangible. To me, it lack of the ethereal and diffused sound signature of HE90. It feels more 'real'.
After you listen to X9000, you will find it express music in a more superior and comprehensive way than other STAX headphones. (except SR-Omega, I've never listened to it before)
The X9000 offer incredible soundstage compared with SR-009S and any other STAX earspeakers I have. To me it is even better than HE90 to some extent. It feels like the the sound is emission and diffused in a very neutral way. You will easily forget you are wearing a headphone. (And yes it is very comfortable to wear it)
To compare, when you listen to piano live performance recordings, X9000 is like you seating at the audience seat, HE90 is like you seating on the stage and 009S is like you head is in the grand piano. I am not saying SR-009S is bad. Actually, there are some person prefer to listen to Piano in closest distance to feel the metallic touch of the sound. It's upon your taste.
SOME OTHER FEATURES
Compared with SR-009S and HE90, X9000 is a more neutral sound headphone, it is neither bright nor warmth, but it is still with very significant 'STAX' style.
X9000 is not a bass monster like SR-007. But their base has sort of similarity. Compared with SR-009s, the bass of X9000 is not the rock-firm style. It is a more bouncy, soft yet surrounding style bass. It is more like HE90's bass performance. I personally like it very much. But if you really like lot of bass then the headphone probably is not for you.
I have tried X9000 with all sorts of music, including Orchestra, piano solo, violin solo, chamber music, Japanese POP, Animation music, Chinese Pop, Acapella, electronic music. It fits almost all sorts of music in my opinion.
I prefer to use HE90 to replay Orchestra and Violin works as it is more energetic, but it is after all personal taste. To me, X9000 is too relaxed for some music, it just lack of the spark that ignite my heard. But when I want to listen to music and take a rest, I will definitely prefer X9000.
I compare my headphones on BHSE and I've also tried SRM-T8000. SRM-T8000 can drive X9000 pretty well just as SR-009S. But overall it is even more softer than BHSE. To me I think BHSE is a better option.