What amp/dac & headphones/speakers are you using?

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by ajkun, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    And they sound nothing like a poor man's Orpheus, Shangri La. A poor man's headphone has to at least have a similar FR presentation but without the top end sound and aesthetic (qualitative and quantitative, R&D) refinements the latter has. The FR between all 3 are not the same.

    Posting stuff like that is what causes some random person reading it without any experience parrot your post and use it as a matter of fact on another forum as advice or statement.
     
  2. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

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    Holy shit.

    Of course they don't sound like a poor mans either. Stop flexing some bullshit knowledge about headphones nobody gives a fuck about. It was straight satire, most people would see that pretty clearly Matty K Dawg.
     
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  3. Bourke

    Bourke Member

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    Why are mum and dad always fighting about headphones....:shock::shock::shock::shock::shock::shock::shock:

    ^goes to his safe place, the one without judgement of which thing is better or elitist^

    That's case in point, buy the thing, use the thing, if you like it kool
     
  4. GrantG

    GrantG Member

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    Wow, just wow. I came here to read up on the magni 3, and leave wanting to spend 50x that on a set of electrostatic cans and amp... Curse you audio gods!
     
  5. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    Wow didn't even realise this thread existed. I wanted to post this stuff in the retro gear thread but this but now I know about this here I go albeit with a bit more content than I originally intended.

    I am by no means audiophile, severely hearing impaired actually (got some cool aids :thumbup:) but I do have interest in general audio, tech, love music and headphones. Anyway, I've casually heard of electrostats and stax after all my dad is probably what you would call an audiophile (but he doesn't 'like' headphones!) but all I know is that stuff can be very expensive. If you see where I am going by now I got a bit lucky, i know a guy who knows a guy, who knows a guy... (i'll leave out some more controversial stuff here) and happened upon this bit of kit. I haven't had a chance to set it all up and listen due to some health issues but hopefully allowed in this thread ;)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now this isn't all of it and sorry for the crap photos I just haven't had the time. The kit for the most parts includes 2x Lambda Pros, 2x SR-3s (bit worse for wear but working, they are old after all need good clean up) and SRM-Monitor (couldn't find too much about this one aside from stax historical site, something about some ill-fated EQ technology but a rare item nonetheless) the NOS DAC was given to me courtesy of dad (hes got a lot of shit, and I didn't have a dac near worthy of these bad boys). All in all, the whole kit set me back less than 4 figures, not sure if this was best deal or not but yeh. The driver will probably need a recap at some point, lambda cans otherwise very clean and of course I did listen several times over a period of time before biting the bullet. All I can say for lack of better words is; sounds pretty darn good. Not claiming this is anything seriously hi-end just thought I'd share, if anything a humble start in fulfilling my electrostatics curiosity. Not sure what I may be getting myself into, but I do find myself pretty content regarding audio gear, still using these cans for past six years - otherwise I just have too many other hobbies and financial obligations in life. I just like music (and bargains?)!

    Just for kicks, here is just a tiny, tiny bit of all my dads stuff just to get an idea. (And yes, most of that stuff is custom hand made - he is far from rich after all)

    [​IMG]

    Hope some of you may enjoy post despite my crappy writing :thumbup:
     
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  6. Bourke

    Bourke Member

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    Where have you been for the last 7 years and +800 posts..???? :D:D:D
    coz we been here, arguing over nothing for the most part..LOLOLO

    As long as you paid the lower end of 4 figures, then your dad was looking after, no point burning a family member on audio gear, that's blasphemy.
    Value wise i'd guess $350 each earspeaker and no idea on the SRM, it's either a unicorn or a dud egg...Thumbs up for the OCTAVE+STAX combo....transparent and detailed sound stage comes to mind..:thumbup:
    Only info I have is from STAXINTERNATIONAL com, it's a SRM-Monitor from 1988, also released CDP-CD Player and ED-1 Montior(diffuse field).

    Rebuilding the phones is prob a very good idea, for long term enjoyment, check HEADCASE or HEADFI for help....Also check MJOLNIR-AUDIO coz Bilgir has rebuilt/recon'd many a Stax.
    Next time you see your dad, give him a thumbs up from me, for having the audacity to buy a set of strange Japanese ear phone things, that makes anyone wearing them look a goof-ball.

    One last thing, you are the spawn of my current experiment, that is to say, giving younger ppl or ppl in general access to quality audio gear, to show that it's "a thing", and maybe to inspire the next generation with music.
     
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  7. Bourke

    Bourke Member

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    My Metrum Flint turned up, did some A-B for a few songs...It's a big unit, was thinking fits in palm of hand, but it's as big as a full open hand to finger tips, weighs a kilo.

    pc-(lossless-24/88khz)-spdif-out
    in-ADI2-ELEAR

    in-FLINT-EMOTIVA BASx100-ELEAR
    Volume matching is close enough, but who cares.
    Short answer is yes, sounds better or a lil different to the ADI dac, I can pass-through the ADI but too hard and don't care enough, unless you believe amps can add detail for headphones, which I don't atm anyways.
    The background levels are cleaner and sharper, better retrieval of info.
    Instead of hearing drums in background , I can hear kick drum/snare drum, with ease....Maybe some bass bloat or over play, maybe some vocal fade in-out which is odd, but it might be truth or a bad rip.
    On Stax should be cray cray for details.
     
  8. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    hahahaha.. glad you liked post the post :) But yeh like I said I am pretty firmly grounded in other interests and hobbies, not sure what the ideal post/time ratio is but most my time on here is in the photography, engineering and electronics sections (in line with my hobbies and studies respectively) when I joined 8 years ago yes computers personally all the rage but ironically less so now... probably least but it'll always be there.

    ATM I just have more time to post as i'm still recovering slowly from multiple visits to ICU, hence getting a chance to post all this. To get an idea on what I been up to just recently check here:
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/long-term-project-container-studio.1261368/

    Unfortunately dad is not that proactive, as much as I would like but nonetheless have drawn some inspiration and interest from his passion for it all including very technical aspects I don't even fully understand (yet?). We both didn't have any real idea on the current market prices but I first listened to these about a year ago and kind of fell in love (I may be hearing impaired but I can recognize pretty much distortion free output and 'unique' neutral signature). Only recently have I had the chance to see the guy again and kind of promised to myself if he even still had all of it I would get it if not too unreasonable which is what it came to I suppose. I'd say it was midway of 4 figures (including fuel and other factors etc) not so bad but the opportunity was there and I've just not seen these often on internet, much less in person where I had opportunity to test very easily. Funny story, dad absolutely hated the look of them - thought it was ugly AF but I rather liked it albeit I am more involved with design and can appreciate it for what it is (also gravitate to more practical, smart and utilitarian design and ofc its gotta be black too, lets not forget I like jpn cameras which are much the same).

    Dad is also a really generous person re DAC. At first I was skeptical, never heard of NOS tech and what he said he got it for left me thinking can't be that great (whys he giving it to me after all? :p) but after a bit of obligatory research its pretty clear the whole point of it atleast earlier versions was price point to performance. If anything a great dac for me and should be a very nice fit for the stax (little tid bit re hearing loss bass is especially muddy and overpowering for me - hence initial interest in ES qualities). I may spring for a metrum hex or or menuet in future as they come down in price - just as the next step up (16?) and convenience of a USB port and not to mention will fit very nicely with the SRM driver design wise (size, dials, aesthetic) :weirdo:

    Coming to the stax driver unit, yeh its huge (few kg too) and the EQ is definitely very different I just havent listened enough yet to assess its characteristics or purpose re unicorn or not. But I am happy to have it for sure, its also one of the few to still have a non-pro bias jack so I get to play around with the SR-3s too. We did open it up a year ago (despite HV risk) and looked pretty good, i've lost the photos I took then but I will try find them. I did briefly have a look that mjolnir a while ago but gees thats just crazy $$$ but I do know who to contact if I'm having any trouble. I would like to have a listen to the tube drivers though (dad is huge believer). Also since I've got two cans each I will most probably try muck around with the lesser one out of curiosity (the earpad foam has deteriorated a little) once time allows.

    Just re current audiophile status, I may have lied a little I'm not sure. Dad of course has big influence on me for obvious reasons but I also have been lucky enough to have a friend who dabbles with all this high end stuff. His work can be seen here:

    http://horns.pl/en/homepage/
    http://horns-diy.pl/en/

    We met while ago through other mutual interests (hi end scanner tech) but talk about audio from time to time. Latest I've heard he is refurbing some old floor standing electrostats (quads?) and planning on making some huge ES with his own film and ES coating along with headphones. I believe he rejected job offer with Voxativ (came to him) to pursue this, he also didn't want to relocate to germany for family reasons. All pretty impressive stuff to a mere noob like me. I even dabbled a bit on the idea of making simple ES grills for some in the wall speakers. They seem technically easier to make then a box or horn design (not so much open end) but from what I understand from dad is that they are just difficult to drive and maintenance is a problem which I trust. Maybe I'll wait to see how my friend does...:D

    Also just some BG info, have been using B&W P5s (original) for past 6 years or so to give any indication of where I'm at in this journey. First heard them young, after using apple earphones just plugged them straight into my good ole iPod 5G and played back some ALAC files, I'm easily swayed (my relative could get them as cost for me too) so yeh. Jumping in the deep end at this point methinks so bear with me!
     
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  9. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Nice purchase.

    The SRM Monitor will definitely need a recap and offset and balance readjustment after over 2 decades.

    Make sure not to leave the Stax headphones in any sort of direct sunlight, long term exposure can cause the mylar diaphram too shrink, sag and potentially stick to one of the stator, also causes deformation to the Lambda pad, dust filter/backwave foam, headbad and plastic housing. The SR-1, 2, 3 and 5 inspired cream white housing can also yellow over time as well.

    If you need guidance or tips/tricks and info on anything Stax or electrostatic related, feel free to message me. Happy to help.
     
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  10. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    Cheers mate, will do when I come to to it :thumbup: Having said that, the cans are in boxes and unfortunately all this kit is most likely to be packed away for quite a while till I get sorted with container and studies, would you recommend recap sooner rather than later? Yes, the SR-3s are looking a littler creamier than stock, I have to find an earpad for one them too. I imagine a little uv cleanse with some kind of solution will do the trick like most of these older plastics? The diaphragm and stators are a lot more concealed so maybe that is possible without degrading them? Not exactly an issue though but I like mucking around.

    One thing thats bugging me and I can't seem to find a solid answer but what would these Lambda Pros be equivalent to in the current stax lineup? I imagine on the lower end like the SR-L300s if they have made any progress in the last few decades... (or not so much)? Just curious re replacement costs and if I ever wanted to go new in future having a good idea on what to expect.

    Oh speaking about electrostats just remembered the bloke also chucked in another pair, very old surplus military from a tank system apparently. Maybe I can get around to investigating that and poster a little later.. :D
     
  11. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Get it recapped once you start using it, you can either do it yourself or get it done via somebody who knows truly understand these things (e.g myself). The solder pads and traces are brittle and easily tear off whilst desoldering the old electrolytic capacitors. Don't use any cleaners on the housing. Just wipe it down with a damp chamois if not in use. 50 + year old plastics may not react great with some modern cleaners.

    I own a pair of Lambda Pro's and have heard all the current offerings. The L300/L500 are nothing special, the L700S is the only decent modern "Lambda" headphone, at a premium The treble is slightly recessed on the Lambda Pro's with a bit of Mid bump which makes em seem punchier and darker sounding than its normal bias Lambda bretheren and the LS, LNS models. There is still a bit of that smooth old Lambda magic to them that modern Lambda's don't have which either sound bright as fuck or unlinear and bright as fuck.

    Electrostatic technology has been virtually the same since 1950.
     
  12. Camm

    Camm Member

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    Grabbed a pair of the Super Xfi Air C's.

    Interesting bag these ones. Excellent separation and wide staging. But has a tendency to exaggerate at times, especially vocals (this is with the Super Xfi shit turned on obviously, turned off the headphones are an acceptable set of bluetooth cans but nothing special).

    Still, the tech has promise IMO.
     
  13. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    That is interesting re lambda position, I thought it would of still been on the lower end. I guess that is capitalism for you..
    As I thought, I didn't see much change with the modern models, sure housing and material changes to reflect the more profitable premium market (like real leather pads, alu hands or thicker plastic instead of this more brittle stuff). The redesigned stators/circular housing is interesting but is there any merit? Im not sure it is 5k or whatever's worth of difference say for the top end, any personal experience? Despite all material/design changes are they still almost weightless and so comfy on my head? These are probably on the looser side due to age but as I understand that was one of the goals.

    In any case, I better look after these ones I got :D
     
  14. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    5k? That's SR-009 territory and yes it is better than any Lambda made. The only contest within the Stax family is the SR-009S which is the latest and greatest, new 009 version and more expensive, the O1 and O2's.
     
  15. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    Yeh that is current top of line right? Have you heard them personally?
     
  16. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Owned all 3 except the new 009S. My headphone stable has been cut down long ago, don't have as many headphones as I used to.
     
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  17. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    Nice, definitely out of my territory but curious nonetheless. So definitely worth the 5K or whatever over the good old lambda pro originals? I imagine it would need equally fitting top of the line driver as well :p
     
  18. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    RRP for the 009 are around that amount but I bought and sold my 009's back in 2013-14, so quite a long time ago. Purchased them for $3k from PriceJapan.
     

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