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Audeze CRBN


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7 minutes ago, TMoney said:

Some great choices!

Out of curiosity, are there five non-stats you like above the other dynamics you've heard?

I would love to know as well! I recently found out that there are some electrostats that I love and some that I hate, and that electrostats aren't necessarily the only thing I'm looking for. I'm still looking for top tier end game stuff - whichever category it ends up under. Since black Friday is nearing, Im tempted to order the Hedd and a Raal headphones to contrast against some of the top electrostatic stuff.

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1 hour ago, plaurids said:

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?

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. 

1 hour ago, TMoney said:

Some great choices!

Out of curiosity, are there five non-stats you like above the other dynamics you've heard?

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. 

Edited by spritzer
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4 hours ago, spritzer said:

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....

"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.

Edited by plaurids
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5 hours ago, spritzer said:

I didn't like the RME at all.

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...

Edited by plaurids
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8 hours ago, spritzer said:

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. 

I remember years ago you thought the Joseph Grado hp-1000 was good.. another one that's been out of production for 30 years

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11 hours ago, plaurids said:

"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.

Stax being annoying using the same serial number range 14 years apart.  That set might be from the initial 2007-2009 production

4 hours ago, TammerDown said:

I remember years ago you thought the Joseph Grado hp-1000 was good.. another one that's been out of production for 30 years

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. 

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7 hours ago, spritzer said:

Stax being annoying using the same serial number range 14 years apart.  That set might be from the initial 2007-2009 production

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!

Edited by plaurids
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8 hours ago, spritzer said:

The bad behavior was Stax using the serial numbers, nothing to do with the sound.  :)

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)?

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4 hours ago, plaurids said:

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)?

Those always sound a bit off (not as bad as the Mk2.5 units but still) so they are further down the list

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There was a transition at some point in probably 2009 (though it could be earlier) that I noticed with the sets at Canjam '10.  The midrange had this etch to it which nothing I could do to alleviate.   The first sets of the Mk2 did not have that and when I finally bought another set of Mk2's in 2014 (or '13... can't remember) it was gone. 

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On 11/6/2021 at 6:00 AM, catscratch said:

I bought mine in 2007 or 2008, I don't remember, but I also didn't port mod it. So that might have helped fix the issues too. I did port mod my current 007A and yes, it makes a huge difference.

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.
 

On 11/6/2021 at 4:36 AM, spritzer said:

Those always sound a bit off (not as bad as the Mk2.5 units but still) so they are further down the list

With the port mod, how much up your list do they go?

Edited by plaurids
Added update on official arrival of the Stax SR-007 Mk II on Brazil
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10 minutes ago, spritzer said:

I always apply the port mod so my impressions are always with that in place. 

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)?

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  • 3 months later...

Issues:
1) The headband can twist out of straight-line, minor design flaw.
2) The CRBN has a serious "e-fart" issue. I first tried listening to them right when they arrived, and the temp/humidity of my room must have been too hot because just having the two pads lightly touch each other created serious distortion noises. On-head, even a minor touching shift caused a thunderous cracking noise. I'm giving them another go now since the temperature dropped ten degrees, and the effect is minimized but still apparent. You need to put these on or off your head very carefully - the sound it creates is 85+DB right next to your ears. Other people who were asking about this: this is not normal for any of the Stax models (6?) I've owned. I contacted Audeze to make sure this isn't a defective unit because it seems insane to think they thought this was acceptable for a commercial product.

 



First impressions sonically:
 The CRBN is sonically a step down in terms of clarity/soundstage and an even more significant step down in detail/separation from the Stax 009S. The CRBN has less bass than I expected too; the Sr009S is not that far off when I use the Carbon amp.
However, that's the "on paper" look at things. CRBN has a totally different game they're playing. The presentation is so diffused compared to 009 that it has an extraordinary "filled-in" effect. As mentioned before, the bubble of the soundstage is perhaps half(?) the size of the Sr009s, but it has the illusion of seeming like it can create sound in all directions within it (up/down, diagonal), where the Stax sr-009s is more like a straight string from ear-to-ear, and images appear highly separate on that string. I heard a song on the CRBN where an instrument moved from the back of my head to the front ... don't think I've ever listened to any headphone capable of such an effect. Instruments blend together, but in a musical way that enhances the harmony. Voices, for whatever reason, cut through the separation better and sound tonally correct. I find myself less fatigued, tapping my foot more, enjoying music. This headphone has a lot of soul.

IMG_3457.jpg

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Glad you're enjoying them. I'll ask my colleagues about your case, but what you're describing doesn't sound normal to me. My experiences with the CRBN showed it to have a fairly normal amount of "e-fart" noise compared to Stax and other 'stats I have used.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update: Audeze swapped out my CRBN for a new unit. New unit still does produce loud sticking/farting noise when pressed hard but is significantly less sensitive when on head. It's now no longer a problem and shouldn't deter anyone from purchasing an otherwise really fantastic headphone.

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  • 1 month later...

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