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The Headcase Stax thread


thrice
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Hi

I guess I will walk into the Lion's den!

All kidding aside a new user here looking to jump on the Stax gravy train.  Last year I jumped back into headphones after a 15 year absence - mostly spent with my 2 channel system which takes most of my time.  I put together a tight system with the Utopia headphones and the new Sony Signature series Z1R/WM1Z and their TA-ZH1ES Dac/Amp.  I am now looking to start with a small stand alone Stax system - partly because Stax is so highly regarded in my 2 channel world (Naim/Linn) and also because of a demo I had at my first CanJam last year of the 009/Blue Hawaii at the HeadAmp booth.  I still cannot get that demo out of my mind one year later.

With that said I do not want to jump full blast in (like I did with my Utopia's) and have been thinking about a stand alone Lambda system.  I visited the Woo audio booth on Saturday at CanJam and had the opportunity to demo a 300 Anniversary and 500L through the 353 Anniversary amp.  After that they were able to get their pair of 700's which were on loan at another show booth for me to demo -  however the time I was able to spend with those was extremely short - just a quick few minutes.

My first listen to the 300 anniversary's impressed me quite a bit however when I stepped up to the 500's I felt that everything improved.  Better bass foundation and more realistic timber to the instruments as well as a more "mature" sound - and a bit less strident.

My brief few moments with the 700 did not leave me thinking it was a step up.  Bass was stronger however a bit muddy and it tended to cloud the out of head soundstage and airiness.

The 353 amp was quite nice with all three headphones.

For some reason I came away thinking the 500L was the sweet spot of all three.  Better than the anniversary - and without the increased bass which I felt muddied things up.  

Looking to get some feedback here.  I would have thought the 300 Anniversary would have been the sweet spot of the line considering it utilized certain parts of the 700?  How is the 500 considered by people here?

Thanks

 

PS the only thing which clouds the issue is that I forgot to look at the 300's I was demoing to confirm they were 100%  the anniversary edition (with the gold Stax tag).  I emailed Woo and they said that hey were - however for some reason I am just not sure.  The person at the booth was not the most knowledgeable  and provided several bits of inaccurate information.  They looked a bit beat up to be a brand new model!

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8 hours ago, justin said:

don't worry, it's nothing compared to the electricity that bit coin miners are wasting

Currently 10% of global power generation is consumed by server farms, cloud computing, crypto-currency, data centres and so forth. Google and Amazon alone count for a good chunk of that.

To control that nonsense new installations are located either in cool climates (Like Iceland!), near the sea (to limit air conditioned cooling), and current plans are to site under the sea (security and having lots of cooling *right there*).

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We have so much spare electricity here that it isn't funny.  Just the spare electricity from the largest plant (Karahnjukar) is enough to run all of the cars in Iceland if they were electric.  This only because there has been a lot of snow the last few years so if that were to change...well.. not good. 

As for the DHT's, I just don't get it.  People are stuck in late 30's tech when tubes did get a bunch better later on.  The pencil tubes are excellent though they don't like high voltage all that much... 

19 hours ago, Buzzlulu said:

Hi

I guess I will walk into the Lion's den!

All kidding aside a new user here looking to jump on the Stax gravy train.  Last year I jumped back into headphones after a 15 year absence - mostly spent with my 2 channel system which takes most of my time.  I put together a tight system with the Utopia headphones and the new Sony Signature series Z1R/WM1Z and their TA-ZH1ES Dac/Amp.  I am now looking to start with a small stand alone Stax system - partly because Stax is so highly regarded in my 2 channel world (Naim/Linn) and also because of a demo I had at my first CanJam last year of the 009/Blue Hawaii at the HeadAmp booth.  I still cannot get that demo out of my mind one year later.

With that said I do not want to jump full blast in (like I did with my Utopia's) and have been thinking about a stand alone Lambda system.  I visited the Woo audio booth on Saturday at CanJam and had the opportunity to demo a 300 Anniversary and 500L through the 353 Anniversary amp.  After that they were able to get their pair of 700's which were on loan at another show booth for me to demo -  however the time I was able to spend with those was extremely short - just a quick few minutes.

My first listen to the 300 anniversary's impressed me quite a bit however when I stepped up to the 500's I felt that everything improved.  Better bass foundation and more realistic timber to the instruments as well as a more "mature" sound - and a bit less strident.

My brief few moments with the 700 did not leave me thinking it was a step up.  Bass was stronger however a bit muddy and it tended to cloud the out of head soundstage and airiness.

The 353 amp was quite nice with all three headphones.

For some reason I came away thinking the 500L was the sweet spot of all three.  Better than the anniversary - and without the increased bass which I felt muddied things up.  

Looking to get some feedback here.  I would have thought the 300 Anniversary would have been the sweet spot of the line considering it utilized certain parts of the 700?  How is the 500 considered by people here?

Thanks

 

PS the only thing which clouds the issue is that I forgot to look at the 300's I was demoing to confirm they were 100%  the anniversary edition (with the gold Stax tag).  I emailed Woo and they said that hey were - however for some reason I am just not sure.  The person at the booth was not the most knowledgeable  and provided several bits of inaccurate information.  They looked a bit beat up to be a brand new model!

I haven't tried the 300limited yet but out of the other ones, I like the L500 a lot and more than the 700's.  They are not a bad place to start and so is the L300 frankly.  I use them for testing and they are just excellent. 

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7 hours ago, Craig Sawyers said:

 

To control that nonsense new installations are located either in cool climates (Like Iceland!), near the sea (to limit air conditioned cooling), and current plans are to site under the sea (security and having lots of cooling *right there*).

I love how the big boys are also doing  thermal load-balancing (both within DCs and between them) to save on cooling power, too. Is that DC getting warm? Reduce its load and let a cooler one take the strain while it cools down a bit! Obviously you need to get the hysteresis right when adjusting workload to avoid thrashing, but still- it's a very cool trick when you pull it off. Smartarses.

Edited by Kattefjaes
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6 hours ago, spritzer said:

We have so much spare electricity here that it isn't funny.  Just the spare electricity from the largest plant (Karahnjukar) is enough to run all of the cars in Iceland if they were electric. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/02/13/cryptocurrency-mining-in-iceland-is-using-so-much-energy-the-electricity-may-run-out

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On ‎2‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 2:31 PM, kevin gilmore said:

the viva evidently is also low on gain, and uses and output transformer.

I actually liked the how the Viva sounded (although it was very loud in the main hall and I had to turn the volume all the up to get it to an appropriate listening level).  Would need to listen to this in a quite environment to really know how it sounded.

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23 hours ago, spritzer said:

I haven't tried the 300limited yet but out of the other ones, I like the L500 a lot and more than the 700's.  They are not a bad place to start and so is the L300 frankly.  I use them for testing and they are just excellent. 

Thank you for the reply.  I always believe in going with my gut feeling and mine was that I felt the 700's were the weakest of the three.  Take what I say with a grain of salt (being new to Stax) however I did read that the 700 is not responsive to an amp like the 353 which was being used in the demo and requires something more.  But then again you cannot always believe what you read!

What are the differences between the 300 and 500?  I read pads - anything else?

For some reason I am leaning towards the 300 Limited - I know that it is an unknown however, if for anything, Stax seems to imply that they will be "better" than standard 300's

Thanks

PS - which of the amplifier's on your site pairs up with an intro 300 setup (I guess your alternative to the Stax made 353?)?

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2 hours ago, Kerry said:

I actually liked the how the Viva sounded (although it was very loud in the main hall and I had to turn the volume all the up to get it to an appropriate listening level).  Would need to listen to this in a quite environment to really know how it sounded.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!  ;) 

1 hour ago, Buzzlulu said:

Thank you for the reply.  I always believe in going with my gut feeling and mine was that I felt the 700's were the weakest of the three.  Take what I say with a grain of salt (being new to Stax) however I did read that the 700 is not responsive to an amp like the 353 which was being used in the demo and requires something more.  But then again you cannot always believe what you read!

What are the differences between the 300 and 500?  I read pads - anything else?

For some reason I am leaning towards the 300 Limited - I know that it is an unknown however, if for anything, Stax seems to imply that they will be "better" than standard 300's

Thanks

PS - which of the amplifier's on your site pairs up with an intro 300 setup (I guess your alternative to the Stax made 353?)?

Going by the clusterfuck on HF in the last few days...let's not focus too much on what actually differentiates the Stax units.  They do tweaks that we can never see so sure..different stator designs, different diaphragm treatment and the like. 

Of my amps the closest would be the Octave V2.  Similar design ideas just crammed into a much smaller chassis. 

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I had no idea they would make it compatible. I figured they would want to lock you into their amp. 

 

In the event that the impressions continue to come back negative I hope at some point they get plugged into a known good amp so we can know for sure what the headphones can or cannot do.

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