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The Headcase Stax thread


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Registered just to ask this question :D

I've posted on Head-FI here and there, but upon lurking, the people here seem... more articulated.


I have Master 7 DAC from Kingwa, unfortunately his website failed to mention anything about controlling the preamp volume / add-ons you could get. The M7 preamp is stuck at max power, unless I send it back to Kingwa to get volume integrated inline (thinking total cost around $350 because of shipping).

The crux of my issue is preamp volume control wouldn't effect SQ (but I don't have that option...yet) and software volume control does, so I'm at an impasse.


I've never had a big problem with this because I was using the 2.5v stereo output for my previous rig, now I'm using the 5v balanced out with my amp (I got a Carbon from Spritzer). To break down the first 4 volume notches on the Carbon, .75 into the first notch the right cup spins up, another .75 (at notch 1.5 now) the left comes into full balance. To me, comfortable listening is notch 2.5 - 3. What's disconcerting to me is that the volume has 21 notches.

The point is I'm working within an extremely narrow band to control comfortable listening levels. Between notch 2-4 for a maximum range of volume. This leads to my ultimate question. I know there's a difference between headphone volume, and how "driven" the headphones are. I guess I don't particularly mind being contained within a narrow band of volume control, but I'm worried that maybe the amp isn't giving it's maximum potential?

To make this more clear, on a scale of 1-100. Preamp is 100, making me put my amp at 15. Would I get better SQ if my preamp was set at 50 and my amp set at 50? If what I'm experiencing is a problem, I'm going to bite the bullet and send my M7 to get volume control.

Edited by comzee
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Interesting idea. I definitely would like more physical knob movement for volume control. Literally moving the knob millimeters to get the exact volume I want is... less then ideal. Although it's extremely accurate and capable of such things, it feels like I'm performing surgery every time I want to switch volumes.

Not sure if it's just me, but I also do hear a recess is clarity when I use software volume control. Most likely the reason is because I use Tidal, better programs like jriver etc.. might digitally control the volume much better. 

I found these that appear to have good reviews, but if it decreases the SQ at all.... idk?

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I was at the Canjam Europe last Sunnday and was amazed to find that malvalve had developed some Elektrostatic drivers, that were able to put out some real Bass and high resolution.. If he finds someone (I recommended him the right person, but he despises him) who is able to design a good Housing this will be 009/007 Territory. And he plans a Headamp 4 with >2400V stator to stator based on KT77. When he started on topology it seemed to me he has studied Kevins Designs.




Edited by Cucera
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Look at the size of them. Size comparable to the Jecklin Floats.

KGST's starting to surface in Japan:



And then there is this one:


I know the seller won them on an auction last year for about 50000 yen but I did not expect it to have a custom RK50AX2 pot fitted inside?

Don't know any other round pots (other then a few custom ones from Taiwan) that are brass or gold like the RK50...

Edited by DefQon
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On another subject, I bought a normal bias jack off of ebay from this seller in Estonia:


They are delrin, the fit is a bit snug but after pushing the back end of a drill bit into them a couple times I was able to push a normal bias Stax plug into and out of them with just a bit more force than with the HeadAmp jacks.  They seem like a good bet if you're building an amp with normal bias, since Justin (HeadAmp) isn't selling normal bias jacks any more.  He also sells pro bias jacks.  On the upside they're less expensive, on the downside there are striations (machining marks?) across the front, they are delrin rather than teflon, they are black (or very dark gray) and the HeadAmp jacks just look nicer IMHO.

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FYI, PJ now has the Stax SR-L700 for presale on their site. Shipping on October 23rd. 

I'm probably going to order one soon.  :)

I see there is a Carbon mini. What are the dimensions/weight? Thx.

It is roughly 330mm wide, 360mm deep and 100mm tall.  Weight is about 8kg. 

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