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High Rollers
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Everything posted by padam

  1. Trading up from a standard KGSSHV to a Carbon is logical. None of them are from those reputable builders, or in the EU. So no, I haven't seen anybody switching to this shitbox just yet, but one never knows based on how some people think. I can only say I am really surprised (saddened) that some people just willingly refuse to use any of their senses, when everything is laid out quite clearly for them to see - if they want to, but that's their choice. Unfortunately, at this place, BS comes out as what it is, which is BS.
  2. I have listed two builders already, who will do it for a lot less. You already wrote people switching to this from Gilmore designs which is BS, because there is literally nothing on the used market (maybe once a year maximum, and it gets sold very quickly). As far as I'm aware, nobody is switching from a properly-built (Carbon). If you are happy to waste your money on this and try to promote it, just because it is Austrian and drives dynamic headphones, knock yourself out (and continue to be embarrassed). I have a local contact with a CCS modded SRM-T1S, so I have a decent idea of what that sounds like. I don't even understand how's that in relation to any of this, the Aeras uses the 6S4A tubes, but it is a different design altogether.
  3. https://www.inexxon.com/online-shop/paltauf-verstärker-amplifier/ Some specs are here, a full Carbon with GRLV+GRHV costs a lot less, maybe even a modded 727 is more than competitive against it... And of course there is also this one, the Eksonic Aeras, which I am sure is also going to be excellent (was presented at CanJam and most people said it really wasn't far off the DIY T2) and distributed within the EU as well (with warranty, if you are worried about that).
  4. Soren Brix in Denmark and Dukei (Miroslav) are also reputable builders, you can either get a Carbon or a Grounded Grid, they are more or less similar, one is all-solid state, the latter is a hybrid, mostly solid-state with 6CA7 tube output. I would also ditch the X9000 for a 007, as in my experience, the X9000 still sounded anemic on the KGSSHV. The amp makes a big difference, but it's not going to fundamentally change the character you are hearing from the headphones. You can also read more and see, that it's not a universally-loved headphone just because it's the most expensive. I've gone back to listening to the modded 727 with the 007 Mk1. Yes, I really miss the control, precision and dynamics of the KGSSHV so I will intend to sell the 727 at some point, but I would not really call this combination unenjoyable, especially for the price. And the more prominent upper mid, more subdued treble, more diffused staging of the Stax amp seems to have a decent synergy with the headphones. I definitely don't fancy the softness, lack of dynamics and bass control (this is the most annoying) but I think it is partly due to headphone itself (as I read it as still a little loose on the Carbon), but it's still the same character that is full, unoffensive and quite enjoyable. Bending the arc assembly and fixing the headpad made just as much difference as the amp.
  5. Besides the different colour, it's interchangeable. Or if it is still in one piece, you can just shorten it, this was done on mine recently, worked just fine.
  6. Really solid start to the season. Not as much of a change in racing as I expected, but a definite improvement, there is a lot of re-shuffling going on with the new rules, more difficult pitstops, etc. and the order might change significantly as the season goes on and teams figure out different concepts, seems quite unpredictable. Bring it on!
  7. I have seen an SR007 Mk1 with a service bill attached, having the arc assembly and cable replaced with black parts. So I guess they still service it, it's just not clear to me if they offer these parts separately.
  8. Lambda Pros are the most common, therefore one of the cheapest vintage Staxes. Unless you find this version collectible for some reason, it is smarter to wait for a less abused one. It won't cost that much more and it will sound a bit better (more precise L-R channel matching) and far less likely to encounter any problems in the future. I really love and hate the Lambda Pro in equal manner. I love it because the sound quality is really amazing for the price, it has a great sense of dynamism with deep bass, it has weight, it has general smoothness, no midrange etch to speak of. But I also hate it for three reasons: treble, treble and treble. Just ear piercing in one specific region. If there is some magic EQ that manages to tame this but without killing its clarity and character, I would like to know about it. I have tried, tweaked etc. multiple times and always preferred the sound without them. There is also the fuzzy imaging and bass, but those really don't bother me much, they clear up on the KGSSHV, maybe the Carbon tames them more, I'm just not sure it can do enough, maybe I just need to get old to appreciate them more than I do now. I also thought about ditching the damping but unless it improves the treble then it makes no difference to me. I found it interesting that another Stax, that has some of this treble character (and mentioned in many different reviews, like this one) is the (early) 007 Mk1. But it is only lukewarm, rather than boiling hot. Coupled to the bass, it makes the treble more impactful, so in a way it is a "smart" coloration, but it definitely contributes to a feeling of being slightly V-shaped.
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Equipment-used-for-play-back-in-the-listening-test-STAX-electrostatic-head-phones-and_fig6_322528453
  10. If Fernando trusts El Plan, so should we
  11. Found another unicorn in this X9000-related article (subscribers only) SR-Omega prototype made out of gold plated solid brass. It's heavy.
  12. Digging the looks of these 2022 cars with the big wheels and everything.
  13. You can use Voigtlander Leica M lenses on any mirrorless camera with an adapter which are also excellent and compact, so choose whichever one you like the most. There are also Voigltander FE lenses which work natively on Sony mirrorless cameras. At this point it does not matter if it is Canon Nikon Sony or Panasonic, they all use stellar glass (but they cannot make it with AF in that compact size)
  14. What's the intended purpose? If that involves shooting people, you can just keep all the lenses (maybe you don't need all of them) and buy a mirrorless body like the EOS R or EOS RP with an adapter and your life will be a whole lot easier with the AF system, tilting touchscreen, etc. (and you can also try shooting video as well in some situations, really useful). If you are patient enough these two will pop up for cheap prices, barely used.
  15. 3600€ for the DAC and the PSU at this place, the local dealer offers a bit of a discount on this, maybe with decent trade-in as well (DS-10 plus version costs a bit more, only differs regarding inputs). The Lumin X1 cost is 13500€ and I didn't impress me in a similar manner, maybe I will revisit that one day. If I look at vintage DACs I need to sort out USB, no streaming options, no preamp functionality, etc. etc. Time is money and I'm not sure if it is worth trading in one for the other, if there is one that seems to give me what I want. But yes DACses nowadays seem all over the place as well as prices for audio gear. For instance, my sub-200€ SR-X Mk3 normal bias that is classified as "entry-level" takes full benefit of this DAC. Update: found a minty one locally, negotiations are currently standing at 2370€ for the DS-10 DAC with the PSU-10 EVO. A little tempting...
  16. A few months after I tried the Lumin X1 (maybe not in optimal circumstances), the Gold Note DS-10 + PSU-10 EVO gets a two thumbs-up from me. I would love to know if there is anything better from the R2R camp for this price (or this level of sound quality for cheaper), but this unit sounds amazing with all my Stax headphones. Excellent versatility and build quality as well, changing settings that influence the sound could be interesting, but I didn't feel that was necessary. I don't like paying for something that I don't use, which are the internal PSU and even the headphone amp (which is quite powerful and supposed to be very good as well). Not portable like the Lavry, not that happy about giving up crossfeed, and there was this blinking blue LED at the rear that was probably tied to some wifi setting or something which I had to cover. Otherwise highly recommended. (like all reviews say, but they generally say the same about pretty much everything...) Well done, Italy.
  17. Yes, after finding out the traits of these new drivers, I think about using them in a Sigma shell, if it is better than my best Sigma Pro, then it must be something special (the Sigma Pro already is, but the KGSSHV is still unable to control it, the sort of thing that measures poorly, sounds a bit unclear at first with wooly bass, then you recalibrate and works (again, the system made any Sigma more interesting) Thoroughly agree, but I have spent (wasted) time with EQ many times. I personally find it detrimental, so I wouldn't want to use it on anything. I probably have no idea how to do it well. I observed oddities, like if I slightly "miss" the target I would want to change, it sounds a bit more natural. And I would probably have to constantly switch it back and forth depending on the material. The only one where I might use EQ is the Lambda Pro. Quite like this one (for the price as mentioned and I think it is also holding its hands for a Carbon - at least...) sounds good with things like Dave Brubeck Quartet (excellent impact, no mid emphasis). Damped like the NB (maybe even better without it), good weight, over the top deep bass and stage- But the upper treble peak is ear-piercing for most of the time. I only take it down very slightly, any more and it looses character. The other EQ I tried is the normal bias SR-X Mk3, seems quite flat with not quite enough bass (rolled-off treble, can't be cured) but in the end, I switched back. So, the solution seems to be: KGSSHV Carbon + SR-X Mk3 Pro (possibly custom pads as well). The X9000 needs no EQ (unless you are a basshead), sounds drier than others, but it just picks up whatever is in the system. I am unfamiliar about tuning speed, I don't hear a major shift with that characteristic with Stax amps vs KGSSHV. I am also not saying that the Omega is realistic (it can also sound too fast). I am just saying, at some point this becomes bothersome to me, with a consequence: the shorter duration of the notes hit with more of a 'hard' quality, with the slightly longer duration on the Omega it becomes easier on the ears and I think less unrealistic and not in bothersome territory. There is a sweet spot, where the whole "show" becomes an otherworldly experience, that's what I expect at this level, and with many types of different materials. The Omega is always dialled back to 9.5 instead of 11 on the X9000, and it is fine like that to me, it has several issues (chief among is the amp requirements - the X9000 seems somewhat easier to drive but still benefits from it - since that is even more $$$ and living on water + rice for another year) and just like the HE90, it sounds pleasing with all of those faults (as a biased owner, I might even say character traits, if the bass is "too perfect" on an estat, it can rock less).
  18. Now this X9000 thingy... I am waiting in anxiety for Birgir's impression on it, as it might sound good with the types of music he is listening to. I have borrowed one (with a DAC, amp, cables, the whole shebang) from a lovely owner due to his lack of time to listen for a whole week now, and I have changed my mind like 5 times. I think it is probably the fastest headphone I've heard with the best, ultra-precise spatial detail, very foot-tapping, this is the type of music where it is very impressive. but also the one of the most unrealistic (in the second one, it just goes to the next slow-paced track and it starts to sound weird). Yes, it reproduces even more of what's in symphonic music, if there is more textural information that makes the sound become more natural, they are kind of "overwritten" by its new technical level that it is playing at. Maybe I am clueless, but I think they have taken it too far regarding diaphragm thickness. They have managed to take the speed over 9000 (That's impossible!) I think it can be tuned to be better (waiting for the 'S' version...) I don't know what's the slowest, lushest amp possible to make it somewhat more enjoyable for me. (Or use several amps and change the sound depending on the music) But I don't see the point of buying the fastest out there to make it slow. Yes, it has mesh transducers like the SR-Omega with impeccable build, and you can actually buy one (with warranty), there are similarities, like big but lightweight, big stage, etc. but they sound nothing alike. I can see 009 owners seeing this as a big upgrade, that was the previous one I tested (not like this, unfortunately, only with the amp...) and I think it sounded "very intense" (restraining myself here), but the speed wasn't taken to this extreme level. I have also tested the L300 Limited and my impression of it is very much a love or hate thing. Basically, an interesting new transducer technology, struggling to get out. Compared to older Lambdas it is badly built, uncomfortable, unsealed pads means bye bye deep bass, trades airiness for precision, uneven frequency response. Maybe deliberate product segmentation? They have resources to do a Lambda that is miles better than these ones. Good thing they still have the 007 Mk2 at least...and they realised the screw-up with the supposedly 009-style diaphragm - they just won't tell us the units affected... For example, based on all the positive-negative thoughts about the Audeze CRBN, it seems that they have aimed to make it sound less ethereal (damped, weighty, not as ultra-fast) which I think is a good thing, but they have also lost some of the wow-factor. This is completely the other direction, and if it really has any resemblance to the HE90 I am all-in for it. In my very distant memory, that headphone still has the best reproduction of timbre and musical notes. They appear and disappear 'normally' with weight behind them. I couldn't care about blurry imaging, murky bass, upper register anomalies etc. However, looking at the whole picture, the Omega is starting to be more and more competitive now, an emerging superpower, like China. Kind of interesting to read the contemporary comparisons by darth nut, I think these newer, more advanced sources and amps can change the sound perception compared to way back then. Also, just a side note: some people not hearing certain things about KGSSHV etc. aftermarket amps not being that much better to a standard Stax amps may need to change sources(I wish some things would not take a step backwards in this earlier iteration, but overall more impressive and transforms some headphones and does not cost that much more than my modded 727), the two work together effectively as a combination. When I heard an expensive DAC last time, the amp and circumstances weren't that good. You can't just save on one and ignore the other because this review says it is the greatest value jada, jada... And you don't even need the SR007 etc. to be in need of this change. But some headphones definitely do a damn good job in a cheap system, it is just hard to back when they can sound similar, yet 100% better. Giving these back won't be comfortable one bit. I mean the amp & DAC (maybe cables), not the headphones. So, basically, he has one side covered and I have the other side covered... :) And of course, another new problem I have now, is that I have accumulated so many of these, and when the system is good, they just all become better at what they do best, a lot of them being too cheap to just ignore compared to the price of certain elements in the chain. I expected to play the elimination game a whole lot easier, it doesn't really work, but I need to change things at some point... But then again, there will be a time where we might be back to the normal universe from this alternative one, and there will only be precious little time left to actually sit down & listen to music (in a completely dark and silent environment, some headphones really need this, even the X9K becomes more impressive/less annoying with this mismatched system). Happy listening!
  19. Speaking of Alonso vs Hamilton, am I imagining things, or does it seem like he still likes to subtly give him the finger (5:22, 0:15)
  20. I think that's not necessarily true, Prost vs Lauda (1984) or Hunt vs Lauda (1976) or Häkkinen vs Schumacher, Alonso vs Schumacher, and I am sure there are lots of other examples they all their disagreements but also had a tremendous amount of respect for each other (even Prost and Senna reconciled which the documentary didn't really show). I can't see these two liking each other, like, ever. All they care about is winning the championship, whatever the cost. They were racing to the DRS line, he wanted to back pass him that way. It is unclear if the Mercedes team knew about this 'plan' and that is why they did not immediately tell Lewis that he should move forwards. To be honest, it wouldn't have changed this outcome anyway. Huch earlier in the season Max gave up a race win by giving up the position in the wrong part of the track, and the commentators said giving the position back instantly was being way too generous. The decision itself was also quite questionable considering in that case it was him getting pushed off the track to a corner where otherwise one just simply run wide without penalties, no consistency whatsoever during the season. The Senna-Prost days have long one, even in 1997 Schumacher could not do that against Villeneuve without consequences, with cameras and sensors everywhere and teams ringing up Michael Masi and running to the stewards like schoolboys on every tiny detail, let's just say it is pretty difficult to do...
  21. That is true. However, there's not a lot else you can do against a car this fast on the straights and with DRS as well. It's just eating you up, race by race, it does not matter that much how hard you can quality, which is extremely frustrating. It's not like Lewis didn't do things like that against Nico and vice versa - and they were teammates as well, so one would think that in that case, that is a lot less likely to happen (same situation may arrive from next year with a faster teammate, unless they've made some 'pre-agreements'...) Now we have this confrontation with drivers in different teams, who are also fully against each other on all fronts, on and off track.
  22. Depends on your viewpoint on the SR-X MkIII. The SR-X Pro has a bit better bass extension, precision and detail, while the Gamma Pro has slightly more bass, slightly better treble extension and a more open, more musical (mid-focused, warm) sound. Close relatives with slightly different strengths and weaknesses, but both are among my current favourites. These velour pads that came with the last set solved the comfort issue as well as boosting the bass slightly, I just don't know what they are...
  23. a few impressions from the SoCal meet: no. 1 " Audeze CRBN , silky, great low end for an estat, impressive soundstage, faster than the lcd-5 but without the same tactile feel. Sounded MUCH better out of the mjolnir audio than the Z10e. Very different than Stax, and I really enjoyed these. I may not even need to hear the sr-x9000 before deciding to put my order in. Sounds like the waitlist is until Jan … crazy." no. 2 "The best sound for me were the Audeze CRBN's. These are my next dream headphones. They sound totally different from Stax, and have their own sound signature that I really liked. They were musical and had a visceral slam/punch I haven't heard in my own collection of electrostatics. I've never heard the HE-90's, but the CRBN's sound like what I dream a HE-90 would sound like." no. 3 "Unfortunately I don't think they bring anything to the table. As a big 009 fan, I think if you are making a non typical estat-like estat, you better have something special to justify the specific amplifier requirement. This definitely doesn't have either the 007 magic or the 009's extreme detail and lightness. I might need some more time with it but so far I haven't found anything impressive from them." no. 4 "listened to the CRBN after auditioning the LCD-5. Solid headphone, although I preferred the HFM Shangri-la Jr. due to its superior soundstaging and overall refinement. Probably my favourite headphone that I heard today! I detected a bit of grain in cymbals on the CRBN, although the audition was too brief to make any definitive statements. Bass was definitely above average on both the Audeze and HFM by 'stat standards. Some dynamic compression seems to be a fact of life with this technology vis-a-vis planars, but the Shangri-la Jr. does offer more resolution than even the Susvara, and I'm intrigued for sure. Will listen to both again tomorrow and update my impressions." no. 5 "CRBN (some un-obtainium set up). After hearing these I understand why some people warship e-stats. The CRBNs have a delicate presentation, but they don’t ever sound thin or lacking in body. The overall frequency response is very similar to the LCD-5, but the presentation is a lot different. The bass is excellent in texture and level, easily better than the Susvara. Not as punchy as the LCD-5 though. Midrange is equal to or better than anything here. More body to the vocals than the Susvara. Treble, comparing here again to the Susvara, the Susvara are pretty magical, but I like the texture of the CRBN a little better. The soundstage on these is larger, open and layered in a way where I could easily forget I was wearing headphones. The build quality and comfort here again are equal to or better than anything. As far as pure aesthetics, these are the best looking headphones I have ever seen. In person they are stunning." no. 6 "I had a short opportunity to A/B test CRBN and 009s on Mytek & BH. (Also heard CRBN on Mjolnir Audio but I felt the A/B test was much more interesting.) CRBN sounds very tonally correct, polite, but didn’t carry the sparkles nearly as much. Sound stage is smaller than 009s. I felt CRBN is more similar to Elite and Utopia than to 009s. I personally would pick 009s every time over CRBN. I didn’t get to test bass heavy songs at all, which I heard is what CRBN excels at. What a pity." no. 7 "But now for me and the one BURNING question I had was how does CRBN sound on the Blue Hawaii Special Edition? As some one who still owns and enjoys the original 009 my curiosity was peaked! And honestly... for starters I feel like CRBN does everything the original 009 set out out to, it retains that insane sense of speed and detail I love about 009 BUT has a slightly denser tone with noticeably stronger bass with all the detail and transparency I've come to expect. It's sound stage is a little more intimate too and all in all while I still love the original 009's lovely tone, exceptional nuance and delicacy. I could 100% see my-self picking up CRBN as a compliment for when I want that extra bit of weight, heft and intimacy without any lose in the speed or detail that I love about Electro Stats! But overall I feel that CRBN really captures and delivers the true spirit of Audeze! Powerful, detailed TRUE to life BASS! A natural weighty mid range with amazing speed and clarity that alongside with crystal clear highs are all presented within an outstandingly cohesive and precise sound stage. I for one can't wait to get a little more time with BHSE and CRBN! It's likely going to become my new favourite thing to hear at each show until I'm ready to pick up a set for myself!" no. 8 "Overall a fluidic, semi-sweet / modestly dry (in a good way), linear sound with the full FR represented. Bass texture was spot on but overall leans ever so slightly towards a brighter signature not far off from Stax SR-009. Soundstage was great as well, but may be a small step behind Stax Lambda series in that regard. Sense of PRaT was nearly impeccable, though drums may not hit with quite as much authority as a well driven dynamic or planar headphone (something Mark Cohen of Audeze also confirmed). These pull it off so nicely that one may not even notice any shortcomings whatsoever, and can do almost any genre with finesse and seemingly left over headroom to boot. This paired exceptionally well with what I believe was the Mjolnir Audio Carbon e-stat energizer. For a comparison to the SR-009 I would have to do more testing, but I would say the SR-009 has superior sense of resolution, speed, depth and emotional / visceral quality. Not necessarily better overall, just different." no. 9 "Holy moley this was the headphone of the show for me. I'm an electrostatic headphone fan, and the CRBN's bass surprised me. I find the SR-009/009S to be too bright for me and I much prefer the Dan Clark Audio VOCE over them. I don't know how the Mjölnir Audio Carbon sounds since the only thing usually at these shows is the Blue Hawaii, but the CRBN sounded pretty solid out of it. Volume-wise, I needed to turn the volume knob quite a ways for the CRBN, so either the Carbon doesn't output a lot of power (which I doubt since it's made by spritzer/Mjölnir Audio), or the CRBN isn't very sensitive (whose technical specification is unlisted on Audeze's website). There was good texture and presence in the bass region, more so than the other estats I've heard, but it didn't overwhelm the midrange. The midrange had excellent clarity and timbre overall, but was a tad bit warm-sounding to me from the bass region. Unlike any other estat I've heard, the bass seemed to take the main stage away from the midrange, as the mids seemed laid-back in comparison (which reminds me a bit of the 007 MKI from memory). The frequency response sounded more linear/smooth overall compared to what I'm used to hearing from the SR-404. The treble, like a lot of estats, was silky smooth and retains a lot of detail overall. Image separation paired with the Carbon sounded excellent, which is another feature I find estats to do well compared to other transducer types. The soundstaging seemed a bit small compared to the 009/009s/VOCE to me, and was more rounded than the SR-Lambda series. Compared to what I'm used to hearing with the Lambda series, the images were spaced more around my head versus left/right and vertical, which I appreciate. Also like most estats, I was able to turn up the volume really high without experiencing any fatigue. The other transducer types don't seem to be able to replicate this effect, and I have no idea why. Comfort-wise, these rock. Audeze's headband on the CRBN is quite comfortable. Paired with the supple leather earpads, the CRBN fits snugly, but not too snug on my head. The oval-shaped earcups fit on my head pretty well even with glasses on. At 300 g, this thing is insanely light! The "cube" pattern on the earcups' grill is also pretty unique-looking. I feel like I've seen this pattern somewhere else, but I can't put my finger on it at the moment. The strain relief parts from the earcup look more sturdy than those of STAX."
  24. As Hugo wrote, listening sessions will be open to the public in limited numbers in a weeks' time. So be patient, impressions will come. Maybe Head-Fi will also obtain a demo pair from Woo Audio or Stax, etc.
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