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The Headcase Stax thread


thrice
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In defense of the 9's on the Gilmore amps, I've found their transparent character really lets the source shine through. I've got a couple of sources around all they all sound very different when played through my 9-KGSSHV combo. If you are interested in lushing them, one possible method might beto keep the Gilmore amp and instead look for a lusher source.

What would be an example of a "lush" DAC/CDP? From measurements I have seen most are pretty close to flat to 10 KHz. Differences in harmonics, attack/decay, filters, detail, etc might make something more or less pleasing to someone, but that won't change the frequency response of a headphone.

I would think a better solution would be EQ'ing on your computer/other hardware.

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In my case I've been playing around with tubes in a preamp. I've been trying to sell the preamp for some time, but I figured I'd break it out and do a little experimenting as long as I've still got it.

While its not as optimal as listening straight out of the DAC, different pairs of tubes have pretty different sound signatures. Some of my older "tubey" sounding tubes sound pretty darn lush through the 9-HV combo.

Edited by TMoney
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In my case I've been playing around with tubes in a preamp. I've been trying to sell the preamp for some time, but I figured I'd break it out and do a little experimenting as long as I've still got it.

While its not as optimal as listening straight out of the DAC, different pairs of tubes have pretty different sound signatures. Some of my older "tubey" sounding tubes sound pretty darn lush through the 9-HV combo.

That's understandable. I never thought about running a tube preamp into a headphone amp.

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Spritzer, I'm still a little baffled by your desire for less transparency out of the 09s. Based on the bulk of your posts I've read, you seem to have a strong preference for accuracy and neutrality.

Are the 09s just too accurate to enjoy? It's hard for me to imagine such a thing.

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Reducing transparency to make them work is only part of the equation. If I wanted to do so then I'd just construct some heavily AC coupled amp and use the cheapest capacitors I could find. Hell, let's not stop there and mess with the operating points so the tubes are as non-linear as I can make them. In essence this is what Sennheiser did with the earliest Orpheus amps but they were after a certain "sound" and those transducers need a sympathetic match to reach their full potential. Put them on a wire-with-gain amp and the results are underwhelming.

With the 009 you have a similar situation except they are a Stax Omega so transparency and neutrality are the name of the game. I just think they took the transparency too far, as in it pushes detail into your face instead of just putting it out there. Tame this a bit and you end up with a much more pleasant listening experience.

I've said so before but I do think that the Stax voicing for their cans has been a bit "off" as of late. When making the diaphragms there are certain compromises that have to be made and I think Stax just ventured into the wrong direction. This might be done intentionally to make the cans fit the amps better or is could be something as simple as the new diaphragm material acting up. Let's not forget that Stax went to 1um in 1987 but back up to 1.5um after the extensive research done for the SR-Omega design in 1993.

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Would anybody with a Woo WEE mind opening it up and posting pics? I'm troubleshooting one unit and I have some major concerns about the design which I need to verify.

My son has the pre-production WEE unit that he won at RMAF. I can try to open it this weekend. Does it open from the bottom or top? Which views do you need?

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The top opens up and what I'm after are the bias supply setup and the speaker input/switching. On the unit I'm currently trouble shooting the bias supply is handled by a off the shelf voltage tripler from a CRT tv which is utterly unsuitable for this role. There is also no ballast resistor for the bias supply which is a bad... very bad idea. Second issue is that all the black speaker posts are tied together and the switch only switches the red. Plug in a bridged amp (Class T, high power SS, circlotron) and it will go BOOM!!! No mention of this "feature" anywhere I can see...

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I haven't spent much time with it to be honest as I'm waiting on a good set of L-Pro's before doing any real listening. My main reason for buying it was to unlock it's secrets though.... smile.png

Keep us posted. I have no Lambdas, but if it's somewhat interesting with the OII and 009...

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