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The Headcase Stax thread


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11 hours ago, arnaud said:

This new plug idea makes no sense to me. He's blabbing about the need to come up with cheaper amps affordable to all, yet better performance than Stax offerings. But, how can a new plug design make this any cheaper. Also, AFAIK, it's not like Stax is ripping off their customers with current pricing so am not sure what can realistically be expected from non-Stax commercial offerings.

The Ether E prototype shown in Tokyo a couple months back was utterly inefficient (LLmk2 at max volume to get decent loudness from a bricasti M1, BHSE at 3-4PM!).

My guess here is that Dan will find someone to make non-direct drive amp with high voltage gain transformers (and/or high bias) to drive his Ether E, hence he does not want to use a Stax plug to avoid people frying their Omega phones when trying to A/B out of same amp...

arnaud

 

This is exactly the point, how hard is it to make a fully Stax compatible electrostatic.... well it's fucking easy.  All the required specs are out there and if it is any good (read not Jade or King Sound) it will sell.  On the other hand you have the Floats who nobody cares about any more.  Seriously, there is no chatter about them at all. 

As for the amps, well I know for a fact that cheap electrostatic amps is a non starter.  People just don't want them, they only want the really expensive stuff.  These are also not the basically line level dynamic amps which can be made quite cheaply.  There are no cheap high voltage transistors, even in bulk and opamps are only useful for the input of these. 

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10 hours ago, Arthrimus said:

Hey I said if you wanted it bad enough. I didn't say it was a good plan. :) 

"It could be made out of petrified pig shit and spark plug connectors if you wanted it bad enough..."

See?  Now it's obvious that I'm being derisive about that course of action.  The way you phrased it, in the context of the conversation, it wasn't.  Well, I didn't get that anyway, but what do I know. 

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2 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

"It could be made out of petrified pig shit and spark plug connectors if you wanted it bad enough..."

See?  Now it's obvious that I'm being derisive about that course of action.  The way you phrased it, in the context of the conversation, it wasn't.  Well, I didn't get that anyway, but what do I know. 

Sorry, I guess my threshold for absurdity is a bit lower than yours. 

How about this? "it could be made out of a wheel of sharp cheddar and some rusty nails." 

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13 hours ago, kevin gilmore said:

actually a very hard hardwood like ebony, or blackwood, maybe rosewood, that kind of thing would work just fine and have low capacitance and high breakdown voltages.

(goes off to find suitable piece of wood to stick into the mill using existing program)

 

Cool, and that would be a PURTY plug!

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14 hours ago, kevin gilmore said:

actually a very hard hardwood like ebony, or blackwood, maybe rosewood, that kind of thing would work just fine and have low capacitance and high breakdown voltages.

(goes off to find suitable piece of wood to stick into the mill using existing program)

 

Finally found another use for some Mallee Burl...    :wub:

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Just checked the thread on HF and I think Dan might indeed be retarded as he got zapped by a Stax plug?  First of all, not on anything we or Stax have built.  Any idiot knows we put protective measures in place so the risk of a short is non existent.  I just love fear mongering like this which has no basis in reality as he's trying to sell the HF idiots onto his stupid idea. 

So he's going to include adapters anyway to use with the Stax standard and this is somehow makes it easier to source the plug?  Yet he is working with some company on a custom plug but they can't make a Stax plug?  I mean how stupid is this shit?  Also, Stax don't own the plug even if they have used it for 57 years.  It is a common design which was widely used back in the day but has only really survived on microphones.  Any claims of payments to Stax for the use of "their" plug are just... well fucking stupid. 

Lastly, he thinks that people will want to use this in a portable setting?  Making a portable amp is not easy and well past the know how of most amplifier manufacturers.  Any idiot can make something like the King Sound M-03 as it is just opamps feeding transformers.  Sounds like shit too...  The reality is that most people want to use their portable phones at home.  I've certainly received numerous requests to make a home amp for the Shure KSE1500. 

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6 hours ago, spritzer said:

Just checked the thread on HF and I think Dan might indeed be retarded as he got zapped by a Stax plug?  First of all, not on anything we or Stax have built.  Any idiot knows we put protective measures in place so the risk of a short is non existent.  I just love fear mongering like this which has no basis in reality as he's trying to sell the HF idiots onto his stupid idea. 

So he's going to include adapters anyway to use with the Stax standard and this is somehow makes it easier to source the plug?  Yet he is working with some company on a custom plug but they can't make a Stax plug?  I mean how stupid is this shit?  Also, Stax don't own the plug even if they have used it for 57 years.  It is a common design which was widely used back in the day but has only really survived on microphones.  Any claims of payments to Stax for the use of "their" plug are just... well fucking stupid. 

Exactly and exactly. I sat here for a couple of minutes trying intentionally to get shocked by my SRM-1 Mk2 and couldn't manage it. I'm not sure how you could possibly do it accidentally. Unless he tends to pry the the plug out with a screwdriver, which is actually a distinct possibility since one of the stated goals of his new connector is "easier insertion and removal."  

I keep asking how creating a new connector that will need adapters is going to fix the supply chain issue that will still exist for Stax plugs and I keep not getting an answer from anyone over there. 

 

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Funny thing is that we went through this same thing with the Hifiman abominations.  They thought that the 5 pin XLR would somehow work but had to include a Stax adapter anyway.  All of this is just so stupid, you need the fucking Stax plug anyway which the normal HF member would never understand.  Instead they turn this into the usual "let's defend the manufacturer" instead of calling them on their crap.  It's amazing that nothing has changed over there in all this time as we had the same shit 10 years ago... 

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On 6/18/2016 at 9:18 PM, arnaud said:

This new plug idea makes no sense to me. He's blabbing about the need to come up with cheaper amps affordable to all, yet better performance than Stax offerings. But, how can a new plug design make this any cheaper. Also, AFAIK, it's not like Stax is ripping off their customers with current pricing so am not sure what can realistically be expected from non-Stax commercial offerings.

The Ether E prototype shown in Tokyo a couple months back was utterly inefficient (LLmk2 at max volume to get decent loudness from a bricasti M1, BHSE at 3-4PM!).

My guess here is that Dan will find someone to make non-direct drive amp with high voltage gain transformers (and/or high bias) to drive his Ether E, hence he does not want to use a Stax plug to avoid people frying their Omega phones when trying to A/B out of same amp...

arnaud

 

Yup, very inefficient.  The BHSE needs to go between 3-4 PM at the Atlanta meet to drive the Ether E.  New plug?  Definitely a wrong move by him...as well as coming up with a cheaper and better amps for his Ether E.

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To me, it seems like the main intent is to create a new ecosystem of phones and amps that don't mix with Stax stuff (and accessorily work around inefficiency issue of current ether E design).

I am too close to Stax to be neutral but I don't see MrSpeakers running circles around good old Stax with this. The L700, I feel, is stunning for the price and sounds great out of budget amps. It's thus not an issue of cost and I don't see a new plug changing this.

Now, if we're talking about heavily sponsored brands on head-fi that would be given massive exposure for new amps / phones and this special club new plug, I can imagine though that there will be a crowd for this. Not the old farts like us that is... Actually, reading the posts of stillhurt and the likes, it's like they really really welcome something that's not compatible with stax.

Meh, head-fi these days...

arnaud

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38 minutes ago, arnaud said:

To me, it seems like the main intent is to create a new ecosystem of phones and amps that don't mix with Stax stuff (and accessorily work around inefficiency issue of current ether E design).

I am too close to Stax to be neutral but I don't see MrSpeakers running circles around good old Stax with this. The L700, I feel, is stunning for the price and sounds great out of budget amps. It's thus not an issue of cost and I don't see a new plug changing this.

Now, if we're talking about heavily sponsored brands on head-fi that would be given massive exposure for new amps / phones and this special club new plug, I can imagine though that there will be a crowd for this. Not the old farts like us that is... Actually, reading the posts of stillhurt and the likes, it's like they really really welcome something that's not compatible with stax.

Meh, head-fi these days...

arnaud

Yup, the L700 is quite a nice sounding phones for the price.  Agreed on the heavily sponsored brands take on headfi.  With the new plugs and rather inefficient design, Dan can partner with Cavalli to make a new amp for it.  A win-win for Mr. Speaker, Cavalli, and Jude.

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Their biggest problem is the real market for this stuff and how grossly they overestimate it.  Sure they might sell a few units to the idiots who always follow the latest hype train but what's after that?  The hype train moves on very quickly which is where companies like Stax come in.  There is no hype, just steady sales all over the world with brand recognition that even the other big boys would kill for.  That has certainly been my experience when talking to people from the large companies and Senn especially get very defensive when I propose a shootout between the two brands. 

They are also doing it all ass backwards, alienating the hard core fan base (aka the Mafia) which would only have helped in the long run.  I've said it many times before but HF just doesn't matter any more.  It's a place to discuss what ever hyped up crap there is this week and that's all.  There is no depth so the people who actually care (and are the backbone of all of this) never go there anymore.  Bring on the fucktards whose sole purpose in life is to cozy up to the MOT's to try and get something for free and feel important while doing it. 

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I was chatting with arnaud via PM about this earlier and, in reference to the likelihood that MrSpeaker's new wave of electrostatic headphones gaining a significant foothold, I said this:

"No chance they could. Stax has a huge and loyal user base who doesn't give a crap about/hasn't ever heard of Head-Fi or MrSpeakers who will continue to be loyal customers. Stax will continue to know what they are doing (for the most part :tongue_smile:) and continue to make high quality and reasonably priced products."

There's really no scenario where another player makes any meaningful inroads in the electrostatic headphone market. It's just too niche, and we're all crazy people.

Edited by Arthrimus
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Don't worry, it's 2 years now already, I think its time I make a reappearance on that site to try and set things straight when I hear these new e-stats from Dan. No fuck will be given.

 

I think a new plug means Dan doesn't want people to truly know how craptastic the phones or amplifier is going to be when tested from and against Stax offerings.

Edited by DefQon
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The only way using a new set of plugs makes sense is if they plan to release a line of amps themselves or planned along with other manufacturers.  I'm not sure how many amps they'll be able to sell considering they'll only be able to power Dan's stats.  Seems like even a noob entering the stat game would be much more likely to pony up for the adapter and use a normal Stax jack amp to open up the possibility of using other stat HPs as well.

I'm not seeing how changing the connector (by making it a different dimension or using wood etc) will make much difference in the overall capacitance of the headphones.  The length of that bit is miniscule when compared to the overall length of the cable and the total capacitance added by the stators, and the dielectric constant of Teflon is already very low (2.1) and comparable to wood (1.4-2.9 in general).

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4 hours ago, spritzer said:

Their biggest problem is the real market for this stuff and how grossly they overestimate it. 

Stax are already cheap...SRS-2170 (and now 3100), used or vintage stuff that is most of the time more reliable than hype-of-the-month new stuff (who said Audeze ? :ph34r:). I understand Dan's approach about different voicing, but saying he'll make the e-stat market (far) bigger with 4-digits stuff sounds...well...presomptuous to say the least.

I don't understand this plug thing neither. IMO, nothing to do with technical and/or provider issues whatsoever, just part of the business plan. The HF thread is not particularly revealing, there's plenty of people who don't like Stax, its reputation (or the way they picture it), the community around (which may be rude sometimes, BTW :P), etc... Putting more distance beetween us-inflexible-zealots and his products might be a smart move for Dan when it comes to money. Time will tell. ^_^

Ali

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13 hours ago, spritzer said:

Bring on the fucktards whose sole purpose in life is to cozy up to the MOT's to try and get something for free and feel important while doing it. 

I think it's even more maliciously pathetic than that -- the hype train basically tries to make some falsehood true through repetition, and these people aren't even in the engineering compartment!  It's as if being an early adopter is in itself something to be admired, but what they really are is a cog in a propaganda perpetuation machine. 

I'd much rather be in the perpetual skepticism machine, myself.  Truth will out. 

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