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The Headcase Stax thread


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Isn't everybody glad that I'm crazy enough to buy this stuff and have Kevin rip it apart?   

I have compared the 009 and 009S running from the same amp (T8000) today. The room was somewhat quiet, but I had only two source options: my iPhone (connected through Apple's lightning adapter direc

Ok...I had an interesting morning.  It isn't every day that one takes apart HE90 drivers.    Sorry no picks as I was too freaked out while handling something so delicate and well...fucking unobtainium

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Those things aren't really physically capable of delivering decent bass due to the lamination driver design, which is why they had to use DSP.  Even then, they could only increase the SPL of bass frequencies but impact is still limited by their small excursion. 

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Indeed, they are just silly in every way.  I also love how this was touted as some cheap solution but is a mediocre 5k$ package which nobody buys.  Back in the day the market was flooded with cheap electrets and doing something like that now with a simple amp would be far cheaper. 

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21 hours ago, n3rdling said:

Those things aren't really physically capable of delivering decent bass due to the lamination driver design, which is why they had to use DSP.  Even then, they could only increase the SPL of bass frequencies but impact is still limited by their small excursion. 

Even the DSP couldn't help them...they just sounded slightly better and a tad more "stat-like" thank the K701s. 

14 hours ago, spritzer said:

Indeed, they are just silly in every way.  I also love how this was touted as some cheap solution but is a mediocre 5k$ package which nobody buys.  Back in the day the market was flooded with cheap electrets and doing something like that now with a simple amp would be far cheaper. 

Lol, what, you don't have $5k lying around in your sofa cushions like most folks?  :P

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;)

Seriously though I'd be interested if this wasn't a complete dead end.  Nothing I can use with it, no other amps or headphones so it is just this.  Ditto for the Senn HE-1 though I did ask for an empty shell with just the drivers but I got a solid no!!!  :)

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Yeah, I think the Sonoma is more a "lifestyle" item than an audiophile thing. You know, young exec who owns a BMW, a full set of Danish modern furniture, and wants a stylish headphone set to display - sort of like a B&O system.

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I've said it before, but I guess it bears repeating... I have no idea why Sonoma Acoustics went with a Warwick Audio driver for their statement headphone, since that driver was designed to be a modular, low-cost alternative to a traditional electrostatic driver. They would have been better off with just about any other high-end driver, including off-the-shelf dynamic ones... but I guess you can't charge $5k for a system if you use plain vanilla dynamic drivers. Or maybe you can these days, considering the crazy prices everyone else is charging.

The FR looks quite nice in Tyll's measurements, and I'm guessing there's a lot of nifty DSP work going on in there to massage some semblance of neutrality out of these drivers, but it's wasted effort that would be better spent on something that performs well in the first place. Hopefully if they do a follow up headphone, they'll use an actual high end driver.

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That's one of the reasons why I take those measurements with a grain of salt, you need to trip the drivers up before they show their true colors.  I remember when Tyll did his first electrostatic amp comparison and asked me for advise as there just wasn't a lot of difference to him.  I simply told him to turn up the volume with more demanding material and that sorts the out right quick.  It's not that the differences wouldn't be there lower down but they are harder to discern. 

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On ‎6‎/‎30‎/‎2018 at 5:17 PM, eggil said:

Didn't notice it as much with the 009. That means I can not read while listening to the 009S :(

I've no problem with glasses.

Using those.:)
IMG_0166.thumb.jpg.d6a87d649be0b321d33a05100e282955.jpg

 

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@spritzer Not sure if you've had enough time to evaluate which you prefer out of the the current flagship Stax. SR-007 MK1, SR-009 & SR-009S (Ok two current as MK1 aren't no longer made).

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The current 007Mk2 is excellent and an upgrade over the Mk1 really (once port modded) and that would still be my top choice.  The only ones which can reproduce the full range without any issues.  The top end on the current Mk2's is improved and amps like the Carbon means they are not dark at all. 

The 009's are too bright and even when fitted with EP-007 earpads they are just grating to me.  The earpad change has helped though, they are now more dynamic and not as uninvolving as the 009's have always been. 

As for the 009S's, they are growing on me with the older 009 earpads plus I did some small tweaks to improve the sealing.  They are still bass deficient but at least the top end doesn't make me want to cut off my ears...  It's nice open top end and with the older pads they have a bit more focus which the stock setup really lacks. 

While I've been digging around in the 009's (both sets) I just wonder why Stax did certain things.  Why isn't the housing more substantial?  Why is that crummy glued on bit next to the cable entry?  Wasn't there some better way to make a baffle than this hackjob?  

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16 hours ago, spritzer said:

The current 007Mk2 is excellent and an upgrade over the Mk1 really (once port modded) and that would still be my top choice.  The only ones which can reproduce the full range without any issues.  The top end on the current Mk2's is improved and amps like the Carbon means they are not dark at all. 

The 009's are too bright and even when fitted with EP-007 earpads they are just grating to me.  The earpad change has helped though, they are now more dynamic and not as uninvolving as the 009's have always been. 

As for the 009S's, they are growing on me with the older 009 earpads plus I did some small tweaks to improve the sealing.  They are still bass deficient but at least the top end doesn't make me want to cut off my ears...  It's nice open top end and with the older pads they have a bit more focus which the stock setup really lacks. 

While I've been digging around in the 009's (both sets) I just wonder why Stax did certain things.  Why isn't the housing more substantial?  Why is that crummy glued on bit next to the cable entry?  Wasn't there some better way to make a baffle than this hackjob?  

I'm on the fence at the moment, I just received my SR-007 Mk1 I got locally. I just worried they might suffer from driver failure. Especially now that you mention the MK2 are better with the port mod. Are the Mk2 less prone to driver failure?

 

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I've never seen driver failure in a Mk1 which wasn't related to the operator doing something really stupid or bad amp design.  The cable is an issue but the drivers are just fine. 

That being said, there are some lemons out there as Stax had serious QC issues at one point. 

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14 hours ago, spritzer said:

I've never seen driver failure in a Mk1 which wasn't related to the operator doing something really stupid or bad amp design.  The cable is an issue but the drivers are just fine. 

That being said, there are some lemons out there as Stax had serious QC issues at one point. 

Did we ever find out what the causes of the early SR-009 driver failures where?

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Too funny....

As for the 009's, this is very much still a common thing and Stax have never admitted to the issue.  I know of one set which was sent back three times for new drivers and last I heard, they still work but it is a pretty staggering failure rate. 

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