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Spritzer stars in Innerfidelity Big Sound 2015 video - (but not in person!)


complin
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Bob Katz is an audio mastering engineer and author of a popular book on audio mastering. Katz has mastered three Grammy Award-winning albums and one nominated album. He has received acclaim from audiophiles and his book on mastering has received acclaim, with some considering it the "definitive work on mastering

Spritzer is cited in the video regarding his Stax expertise, mods, amplifier design and building - Congratulations !

  

 

Edited by complin
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Does anyone have additional thoughts on the 007 vs the 009?  In the past, I've seen Spritzer agree with Bob's assessment.  Having recently heard the 009s, I would hardly describe them as so unbalanced though.  They seemed well within the nebulous range of neutral while powered by the demo Blue Hawaii.

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It seems that Bob and I share a taste in headphones.  :)  If that is an early set then I get his reaction, the modified 007 is just a far better transducer.  This is especially true if you tend to listen at higher volume levels, that's where the 009 falls apart and the 007 just craves more power.  The amp also can't be blamed here as the KGSS is on the warmer side of the spectrum. 

Me thinks Bob and Tyll could use a loaner amp to try out.  Either a KGSSHV mini or a Carbon.  The special KGSS Tyll has is great but both the HV and especially the Carbon just step it up a notch.  The detail retrieval the Carbon can muster is just absurd... 

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Does anyone have additional thoughts on the 007 vs the 009?  In the past, I've seen Spritzer agree with Bob's assessment.  Having recently heard the 009s, I would hardly describe them as so unbalanced though.  They seemed well within the nebulous range of neutral while powered by the demo Blue Hawaii.

I think you could live with either headphone as a "reference", but it gets a bit dicey when you compare them side by side. The 009 just tends to have a lot more energy in the treble so things sound a bit unnatural- not only things like high hats and splashes but (what I perceived to be) reverb and and soundstage effects. Personally I think it tries to force these things on you as a constant reminder that it sounds detailed, at the expense of "accurate reproduction". It might be why spritzer recommends putting some distance between the back of the earpad and your ears with some foam.

It might just be my particular unit, but sometimes my 007 also obscures some of the details in the recording because of how it reproduces bass- sometimes there's too much reverb in that region. Probably also something I can tune with the fit, even though I've done so a few times in the past. It's not as offensive as the 009, which is why I ended up selling my unit a few months ago.

I might be a hipster though, I think the SR-Omega is the most neutral, but that's a different can of worms 

 

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I think you could live with either headphone as a "reference", but it gets a bit dicey when you compare them side by side. The 009 just tends to have a lot more energy in the treble so things sound a bit unnatural- not only things like high hats and splashes but (what I perceived to be) reverb and and soundstage effects. Personally I think it tries to force these things on you as a constant reminder that it sounds detailed, at the expense of "accurate reproduction". It might be why spritzer recommends putting some distance between the back of the earpad and your ears with some foam.

It might just be my particular unit, but sometimes my 007 also obscures some of the details in the recording because of how it reproduces bass- sometimes there's too much reverb in that region. Probably also something I can tune with the fit, even though I've done so a few times in the past. It's not as offensive as the 009, which is why I ended up selling my unit a few months ago.

I might be a hipster though, I think the SR-Omega is the most neutral, but that's a different can of worms 

 

The SR-Omega does a lot of things right but I'd be hesitant to call them more neutral, mostly due to the bass as it gets so out of control when you push them.  Still great though...  :)

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That's interesting, I've used higher volumes for the Omega in order to make some of my comparisons to the 007. I'll evaluate them again when I can hook it up to a Carbon or T2.

 

The 007 does soundly beat the Omega in the weight/comfort department though

Edited by nopants
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Having both the 007Mk1 and the 009 I have always been torn between the two. When I first had the 009 it came over as very bright but I put this down primarily to the source as the 009 helped me to hear how artificial some of the recordings sounded. I gradually moved to a Non Over Sampling DAC which sounded much more natural, smoother and less artificial, I have never moved back. 

Compared to the 007 the 009 is like opening a window, letting in greater clarity and detail so I was quite surprised at Bob's comments. However; moving directly from the 007 to to 009 is aurally quite a shock to the ears, especially if perhaps as Bob is not familiar with the 009 at all. Presumably the EQ should work just as well on the 009 too? It's just that it has quite a lot going for it over the  007 such as being easier to drive and extended frequency range.  

Personally I have always shied away from EQ as it can introduce yet more processing of the musical signal, and I always feel all processing degrades the signal to a lesser or greater extend. Tyll did you get a feel for the preferable domain to do the EQ in. I know in your tests it was presumably digital EQ in JRiver? However; many professionals prefer analogue EQ as it's sometimes claimed to be less intrusive.

Given that the HD800 you used for the EQ test is modified, are you going to repeat the test with a non-modded sample?

As you have Anaxilus among your review team I presume you are going to try the EQ HD800 on him? Would be an interesting conversation. I know he is not a fan of Stax saying they sound too ethereal. 

The other surprise were Bob's comments regarding HiFi Mans new flagship the HE-1000. I understand he feels it changed the tonality of his reference recordings which given its impressive frequency response is a serious issue, so cant really be classed as accurate or neutral. Having not heard it myself, listeners seem to either be extremely enthusiastic or are somewhat underwhelmed. Certainly so far it does not seem to have scored as highly as one would have expected given the express hype train that's been running for the past several months.

 

I have to say that having the opportunity to listen to the 009 and 007 side-by-side had me changing my views somewhat...there's things I like about both. 

Then I heard Bob's modded 007, which basically split the difference, and felt, "Yeah, that's the ticket." 

 

 

Edited by complin
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I have to say that having the opportunity to listen to the 009 and 007 side-by-side had me changing my views somewhat...there's things I like about both. 

Then I heard Bob's modded 007, which basically split the difference, and felt, "Yeah, that's the ticket." 

 

Makes me start chanting "one of us! one of us! one of us!!!"  ;D  The current 007Mk2 with just the ports plugged (the springs still being stock with the earpads in the "Mk2 position") is the best 007 I've ever owned and thus the best headphones there are for me.  They are pretty much a more engaging version of the Mk1 with even better bass performance and detail retrieval.  Color me very impressed...  :)

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As an aside, really enjoying all the Big Sound articles. Really really cool project. I like the way you are handling the blind testing aspects, by not embarrassing anyone but just assuring the reader that yes, blind testing between components is REALLY hard.

I'm in a place right now where I think, yes, differences between sources and amps aren't as drastic as maybe I once thought they were, but also there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a kick ass amp in front of me when listening to tunes. If it brings me joy, then its improving my music listening experience.

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Makes me start chanting "one of us! one of us! one of us!!!"  ;D  The current 007Mk2 with just the ports plugged (the springs still being stock with the earpads in the "Mk2 position") is the best 007 I've ever owned and thus the best headphones there are for me.  They are pretty much a more engaging version of the Mk1 with even better bass performance and detail retrieval.  Color me very impressed...  :)

Do you have any photos or instructions or even just tips on how to plug the ports? I'm loving the new 007A stock, but all this praise has me wondering! I remember reading somewhere that replacing the earpads is tricky..?

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