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The Headcase Stax thread


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My NYC representation and I have a long standing agreement concerning his HF-1s, sorry. :)

early gift for your daughter? it will have more than 150 thousand hours of burn in when you give it to her for grad present. the wood would be like.. fossilized..

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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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The silver's quality is a huge factor as is the insulation. Soft or age annealed silver wire, small gauge (28AWG+) and solid core has worked best for me so far and I can't see any reason to start upgrading. Making you own cables is easy and allows you to use the exact same stuff inside the components.

I'll post some pictures of the mod when I have time but it might have to wait until the weekend.

I'm not quite up to making my own cables yet, but maybe with enough time I'll get there. ATM it's Headphile BlackSilver, which isn't that bright with the 003, but the O2 is on a different level of revealing.

prove it.

And how would I go about doing that? Videotape a full DBT, and get a notarized signature of authenticity through a paid legal observer? Publish a study in a journal? That's not realistic, and you know it.

Better yet, YOU prove that I can't hear it, on my rig, in my system.

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Out of curiosity for the few people in this thread talking about a the o2 mk2's having a drop-off in deep bass, what is your definition of deep bass?

Reaching as far down as the 4070 can but with real bass and not some clinical showcase of what should be there. None of the stuff I listen to reaches all that far down but the Mk2 has trouble replicating deepest bass drum and organ tones while the Mk1 can do it effortlessly.

Its not like that sort of thing is irreversible though... as long as you're brave enough :D

Tell me about it. Fixing glue failures is possible if you are brave (stupid) enough but misaligned stators... :o

I'm not quite up to making my own cables yet, but maybe with enough time I'll get there. ATM it's Headphile BlackSilver, which isn't that bright with the 003, but the O2 is on a different level of revealing.

It's really easy to construct a cable that beats most out there but if you are OCD like me it can take hours for a simple 75cm stereo cable. It's all about the damping...

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You're saying the SR-007 Mk2's bass is not linear by comparing it to the K701?

Haha, hahahaha!

No, if you read the entire post you'll understand I try to avoid general conclusions before longer period of listening. I'm saying that all our initial impressions are comparative, not objective and correct.

So I still can not say which sound is linear - Omega's or those of the k701.

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Tell me about it. Fixing glue failures is possible if you are brave (stupid) enough but misaligned stators... Shocked

Well, its not like you have anything to lose if the glue's already failed.

Speaking of bluetack mods, I put small pieces of bluetack on the three contact points at the back of the SR-5 which "supports" the drivers, and it helped to damp the SR-5's siblance very nicely. I still have to experiment a bit more though, my right channel sounds a little "dead" compared to the left after the mod.

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Well, its not like you have anything to lose if the glue's already failed.

Speaking of bluetack mods, I put small pieces of bluetack on the three contact points at the back of the SR-5 which "supports" the drivers, and it helped to damp the SR-5's siblance very nicely. I still have to experiment a bit more though, my right channel sounds a little "dead" compared to the left after the mod.

You might be over damping the driver or putting too much pressure on the top of it and thus more tension on the diaphragm.

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No, if you read the entire post you'll understand I try to avoid general conclusions before longer period of listening. I'm saying that all our initial impressions are comparative, not objective and correct.

So I still can not say which sound is linear - Omega's or those of the k701.

I don't understand why there are both comparative and objective/correct impressions. The best way to evaluate a headphone IMO is to compare it with other headphones. An "objective/correct" evaluation of a headphone still needs a frame of reference, something to compare it to. You can compare it with your memory of a live performance or speakers, but I think direct comparisons with other headphones, as many as possible and with a large variety of amps and sources, is better.

I like the K701. Its bass is actually not too shabby when driven by a Zana Deux; decent amount of impact and not too anemic.

I assume that linear bass means that there's an equal amount of bass throughout the entire range, from the lowest up to the lower midrange. The K701's bass isn't one of its strong points, but I would assume that it is reasonably linear.

Comparing them with test tracks and test tones is probably the best way to find out. The downloadable Real Traps test tones range from 010 Hz to 300 Hz.

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You can compare it with your memory of a live performance...

I think it's the only way to evaluate ANY component. Every comparative review has a huge amount of subjectivity which is influenced by personal tastes.

So compared to the k701+Corda Prehead combo the Omega IIMk2+SRM-727II system has more prominent midbass and a distinct drop below 30Hz (roughly). I still don't know which is true and more linear.

Personally I like the Omega's type of bass more.

Comparing headphones with test tracks and test tones is just not correct when we talk about bass region. Try it. :)

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I don't think live performances are the best or only way to evaluate a headphone (or speakers). It is one of several ways.

Some jazz performances, acoustic vocals and other more intimate settings are excellent reference points. Some classical performances, if you have a good seat. And familiarity with the sound of a piano, a solo violin, a drumset, a trumpet, etc.

But other types of music aren't as suitable, such as pop/rock concerts or dance clubs for dance music and electronica. A lot of music I listen to on headphones don't have a "live performance" reference point. Comparing two or more headphones is more useful in many cases.

I've heard the K701 several times with a Prehead Mk2 SE. I think the K701's bass performance is better with the Zana Deux. >:D

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I'm willing to guess the majority of music you listen to was not recorded live, so why use that as the only criteria?

Quick question, any opinions on what's the most mellow Lambda?

Why not open it beyond the Lambdas?

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I'm willing to guess the majority of music you listen to was not recorded live, so why use that as the only criteria?

Why not open it beyond the Lambdas?

I'm open to suggestions. It's just that there are a lot of things I really like about the Lambdas.

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Just off a long listening session with the O2 MkII, and long listening sessions aren't something I usually do. But, I stayed home sick, so what the hell.

I'm really surprised how well it handles metal, but it has a very different presentation of metal than what I'd consider traditionally "good." It keeps up with every riff, every drum stroke, and every bass note, but it does all this without losing its lushness. So, the music has punch, it has speed, but its main quality is still the distinct O2 lushness, which is not how metal is typically presented. So, it's a coloration if you will, but it works. It doesn't hurt that the O2 is dynamic as all hell. Well, I lie, I don't know if Hell is really all that dynamic - but the O2 is.

The deep bass dropoff doesn't bother me since bass guitars don't go that low anyway. The added midbass makes for a bass-centric presentation on some tracks that have an overemphasized bass to start with, and without silver cables there is a bit of bass bloat. But, the SRD-7 Pro isn't going to drive the O2 without bass bloat to begin with, and silver cables only mask that (or maybe it's the copper that has a bit of extra bloat on it, and the O2 just shows it up).

Classic rock is handled brilliantly. Seriously, I've yet to hear it better. The lushness plays into the slower tempo and more jazzy instrumentation, and everything sounds like it should, if not better. A bit too much bass at times on more bass-heavy recordings but meh. Copper FTL. Once again, the sound is sometimes so dynamic it even goes against the recording so to speak; quiet parts are very quiet - but have a lot of pop and cut through the ambience nicely - and loud parts hit hard. Very hard. My ears are ringing.

Interestingly enough, the O2 doesn't mask sibilance. If it's there, you will hear it. I thought it would with its ultra-linear treble, but I guess that's the nature of an ultra-linear treble. The HD650 has dips in the lower treble that mask sibilance when it's there, but the O2 is linear through those regions and recording imperfections come through in all their glory. Sibilance still doesn't hurt your ears like it would on a bright(er) headphone.

Vocals can at times have a shouty character, but that's more my source. Guitar tone is perfect, but distortion can at times be given a slightly colored character thanks to the general lushness.

So, uh, yeah. O2 can't rock? :kitty:

I really would compare the O2 to a fine wine. It just has that bouquet of tastes and aftertastes - or in this case, layers and layers to the recording - that still doesn't interfere with the fullness of it all, and doesn't break up the overall picture. Infinite depth of detail, but with a focus on drive and overall presentation, and a very realistic tone despite a very liquid and effortless lushness. Or, lushness and musicality without excessive euphony, if you will.

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Great impressions but plug those ports and the bass is even better and the midrange is the best you can get with no "shout" on the vocals... >:D There is no other headphone I would rather use for rock though some of the classic 60's stuff sounds sublime on the SR-3/SRA-3S combo. :P

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i think trying to compare a system to a live purely acoustic performance is a worthless endeavor, as an amplified stereo system is never going to sound like a purely acoustic performance. hell, a recorded performance isn't ever going to sound like a purely acoustic performance simply because the amplified recording process, in and of itself, has a sound. i've never heard a stereo system, no matter how good, that really sounds like a night at symphony hall. actually, the stereo systems usually sound better. ;) i've sat in many an orchestra (amateur and professional), so i have a pretty good handle on what that sounds like...
But don't you see? You just did it yourself. You compared a recorded performance against a live performance, just as a reference point.
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More questions about questions (and maybe an answer):

1) Which icky foam? The one inside the Lambda Pros, or the foam from the earpads?

2) If you want to open up the headphones, and if the LP is like my Nova Sig, the screws are at the corners, just pry the earpads a little to get to them. As for taking the earpads off, well, you'll just have to use double-sided tape if you lose too much "stick" after removing them =P

3) No comment. :P

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Great impressions but plug those ports and the bass is even better and the midrange is the best you can get with no "shout" on the vocals... >:D There is no other headphone I would rather use for rock though some of the classic 60's stuff sounds sublime on the SR-3/SRA-3S combo. :P

Yah that'll get done pretty soon. I do want to get completely familiar with the current sound first, since I don't want to have to swap back and forth. That, and I have to work up the courage to dissect my shiny $2k phones. I have a hard time opening up a sandwich without something going wrong, and I wager this takes a bit more... responsibility.

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More questions about questions (and maybe an answer):

1) Which icky foam? The one inside the Lambda Pros, or the foam from the earpads?

2) If you want to open up the headphones, and if the LP is like my Nova Sig, the screws are at the corners, just pry the earpads a little to get to them. As for taking the earpads off, well, you'll just have to use double-sided tape if you lose too much "stick" after removing them =P

3) No comment. :P

1) The foam from the earpads.

2) I see the screws. So I don't have to take off the earpads to get to the foam right?

2a) When one buys replacement pads, do they screw in the same way?

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The pads are stuck to the base via a very sticky double-sided tape. Use a sharp edge (knife) to carefully pry the pads off. Make sure the tape comes off with the pad. If you rip the pads from the tape, you'll have to remove any residue tape and resort to buying new replacement pads, so be patient and take your time!

The screws are not for the earpads. Removing the screws will give you access to the drives themselves. So yeah, either "rip" the earpads off or "rip" the foam out.

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