STAX SR-009S - need setup advice

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by themidsizelebowski, May 24, 2020.

  1. themidsizelebowski

    themidsizelebowski Rando

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    I am going to buy the STAX SR-009S earspeaker, but am a novice in the high-end audio world, and need some advice selecting a full setup (amp + preamp) that won’t limit the performance of the SR-009S.

    My reason for this purchase is that I used to have a STAX SR-L500mk2 with an SRM-252ii amp, hands-down some of the finest products I’ve ever owned, despite being a far cry from flagship-tier. I absolutely loved the unique STAX sound signature. I have been meaning buy a new STAX product for some time.

    My former setup:
    Headphones: SR-L500mk2
    Amp: SRM-252ii
    Preamp: Integra DHC-40.1
    Preamp specs: http://www.integrahometheater.com/Products/model.php?m=DHC-40.1&class=Preamplifier&source=prodClass

    Planned new setup:
    Headphones: SR-009S
    Amp: SRM-007Tii, or SRM-D50
    Preamp: Integra DHC-40.1

    I would like to avoid spending ~$6000 on an amp unless it is truly necessary to maximize the performance of the SR-009S. If I can get 90% of the way there with a more reasonably priced product that would be preferable. Hopefully the 2 options I listed above would be sufficient.

    I also want to make sure my pre-amp is not a limiting factor. I’m hoping that won’t throttle performance somehow. I believe an advantage of the SRM-D50 amp would be that I could bypass the need for a pre-amp? Not sure, help very much appreciated, I’m leaning toward the SRM-007Tii if the setup above would work.

    Usage will be for music, movies, games, connecting to a PC and PS4.
    Thank you in advance for any advice. I apologize for my embarrassing lack of knowledge, and if this is not the right forum for questions like this.
     
  2. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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  3. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    1. All the STAX amps suck, even their latest $6000 amp, especially with their more capable SR-007 and SR-009.
    2. You should not be using a preamp in front of a dedicated headphone amplifier, unless you have a very good reason. More stuff in the chain, less transparent.
    3. You don't need to spend $6k, but something in the $2k range, from the likes of https://mjolnir-audio.com/ would be suitable. You can also try to find suitable designs used on HF.
     
  4. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    There is a KGSSHV for 2300USD there. A pretty killer deal for an amp which should mop the floor with Stax offerings.
     
  5. Firegon

    Firegon Rando

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    The cheapest, truly capable option is the old, standard KGSS. They are not that common these days, but if You wait, You can pick one up for roughly 1000 USD. Outperforms every stax energizer I've heard - except the original T2, but that one is a collectors item. Note that I haven't heard the T8000, but people seem to unanimously agree this thing is rather overpriced and energizers based on KGs projects are way better in terms of performance per buck.

    Though if You're willing to spend a bit more, KGSSHV for 2300 USD is certainly a great choice. I'd say it's the best choice if You're willing to spend such money.

    I'll also throw one more option:
    You could try devices like ifi iESL, LST ( Linear Stax Transformer ) , LRT( Lundahl-Ryl Transformer ) or Woo Wee. They basically enable You to use Your speaker amplifier as an energizer and the results are often much better than stax energizers. Obviously the sound quality depends on the speaker amp itself, but if You have an option to test such a device ( and obviously if You have a speaker amplifier ) - why not give it a go?
     
  6. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Bottlehead seems to have just come out with their own e-stat amp in the sub-$2000 range. It's not on their site but it's mentioned on their forums. You can email them if you are interested.
     
  7. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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  8. themidsizelebowski

    themidsizelebowski Rando

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    Thank you everyone, I truly appreciate all the replies. Sorry I didn't post this in the dedicated STAX discussion thread, thank you for notifying me.
     
  9. fls.audio

    fls.audio Facebook Friend

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    I have both the standard KGSSHV and Carbon. The difference is quite large due to the much higher bias current of the Carbon. The KGSSHV has been in the storage room for a while without much use. I also like tubes with the Stax but due to the very hot weather here, the Carbon is much more friendly.
     
  10. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Poopsmith

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    Moved to advice threads
     

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