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The Headcase Stax thread


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Wow, the O2 really does show up your source like nobody else's business.

Listening with an 840c in the system right now, balanced outputs to 717. It's such a different sound! The Rega was clearly inadequate for the system, with grain, a shouty tone to the upper mids, limited extension top and bottom, and a smallish soundstage. The 840c fixes these problems. The sound is smooth, liquid, and free of artifacts except for a slight sheen on the treble and upper mids - I'm guessing that's the upsampling making its presence known. The tone of the midrange is neutral (actually slightly warmer than the Rega), the highs are very even but slightly pushed forward - very K1000-like, actually - and the bass is deep and tight but not overstated. Soundstage is much more open and three-dimensional than the Rega, and imaging is not bad, though not quite all the way up there.

Basically, the sound is that of extreme transparency and air, with very good detail and a correct tone.

Still, not all is well, since this combo lacks weight and fullness. Midrange is correct in tone and is fluid, but is also a bit thin. It's like looking at a holograph of an image rather than an actual image. Very nice, detailed, colorful, and three-dimensional, but not solid. And, when you crank up the dial to compensate for the lack of solidity, the highs quickly let you know that they are, in fact, pushed forward. Even the Rega sounded distinctly fuller, though on the whole, the 840c is in a different league entirely.

The whole sound signature of the player is very K1k-like, if it makes sense to compare a transducer's sound signature to a player's.

Basically, the player is IMO a very solid mid-fi machine that has the detail of a high-end machine, has a very nice tone, but is somewhat lacking in solidity and fullness, and has a slight digital sheen. Basically, about what I'd expect from a $1500 new player that's worth its money and isn't a rip-off. I'm guessing if it had a discrete output stage, and used a better DAC that didn't upsample, it would have a more robust sound.

Still, I'm not going to complain, as it's a massive improvement on what went on before. On the whole, I quite like it.

Time for more listening.

Time to upgrade your interconnects, Boris.

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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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It's been a while since I've posted. Glad to see everyone alive and well... and in good spirits;D Will need to go back a few pages to catch up on what I've missed - A LOT!

Picking up on the HE60 vs Lambda comparison: you'd have to be mad to choose the latter over the former... then again, I am a self-confessed He60 fanboy.:D

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NO! Time for O2Mk2! :D

STAX made them to fix this specific problem (and major complaint).

No, Stax made the O2Mk2 to sell more blutack to spritzer.

Er, that reminds me. I don't have any blutack. It doesn't matter anyway, because I'm afraid of removing the earpads.

Maybe if Markl Mods offered an O2Mk2 mod service... ;)

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What a nightmare. I just removed an ear pad on my O2 (mk1) and it took over an hour to get it back on. Thankfully I found a comment from Spritzer in the other thread... I think I would have been up most of the night if not for that... :)

"It's not really complicated [!!!]. Remove the metal spring from it's rubber grommet and fix it inside the inner flange on the earpads. Now orient the spring so that the straight bit faces to the seem on the pads and pop it back in place. All that is left is to cram the outer flange into the small groove on the housing. A piece of tape helps to hold the pad in place and secure what you have accomplished so far but it gets easier after the first 10 times..."

The hard bit was the "cramming" of the fabric back into the small groove (last step). I peeled back the outer fabric and just put in the inner layer, with some tape to hold it too. Then gradually added the outer layer, taking off the tape as I went around.

but um yeah go for it..

scared-2.jpg

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No, Stax made the O2Mk2 to sell more blutack to spritzer.

Er, that reminds me. I don't have any blutack. It doesn't matter anyway, because I'm afraid of removing the earpads.

Maybe if Markl Mods offered an O2Mk2 mod service... ;)

LOL

If I were to buy another headphone, it would be a O2 Mk1 + SRM-717. It's a system I'm familiar with and love a lot. The SRM-717 makes even the HE60 sound a bit more focussed and refined vs SRM-006t.

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Well it looks like I may have scored a Stax mystery phone from a guy at a shop I go to who said he bought it years ago for over $500 at the time. It's not a Lambda, he said it's a big round thing but can't recall. Also another set of something else he also can't recall what it is. He said he hasn't used them in years so I may as well have them... for free! :o Should be interesting whatever they are. I'm not gonna look gift horses in the mouth. ;D

Currently he uses his Grados and Senn 650.

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LOL

If I were to buy another headphone, it would be a O2 Mk1 + SRM-717. It's a system I'm familiar with and love a lot. The SRM-717 makes even the HE60 sound a bit more focussed and refined vs SRM-006t.

You want to borrow the O2 for a while, you just gotta ask.

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big and round eh? be the best thing ever if youve scored an sr-omega.

I'd imagine even back in the day the O2 was more than $500 :D Anyway, it comes with a small transfo box so I'm guessing SR-5 too. No idea what the other one is, apparently also either a 'stat or electret from his very vague description. If he's had them and not used them long enough to forget what brand they are, I'm guessing pretty old.

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