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About Sonis

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  1. Many consider the Abyss AB-1266 Phi TC headphones to be the best in the world. These US made 'phones certainly vie for the title of best planar dynamic 'phones, if not the best in terms of absolute sound quality. Built like an Abrahms tank, and somewhat unusual looking, these New York State built 'phones certainly do impress in terms of their build quality. At first glance, they look a lot like a medieval torture device, perhaps a chastity belt for one’s ears, but aside from being somewhat heavy, these 'phones are really not uncomfortable at all, but more on that later. The HeadAm
  2. Kay Ho of Stax, asked me to include an expanded entry on the current ownership of Stax: Today, Stax is wholly-owned by a Edifier Manufacturing Limited, one of the foremost audio manufacturers in China who also owns a mainstream speaker brand, Edifier and hifi audio brand, AIRPULSE in partnership with Phil Jones of AE-1 fame. Edifier has retained all manufacturing aspects of STAX in its Japanese facilities and continues to work with a local team to produce these handcrafted Earspeakers.
  3. Sorry Andrew, I’ve never heard a SRM-007tII. I have heard a SRM-007t, but it was on a pair of the original SR-007 headphones, which Stax hasn’t made in probably 10 years, so I resist hazarding a guess about the sound of any of the above equipment with which I am not familiar..
  4. Stax Audio of Japan was founded in 1938 to make electronic equipment and in 1959, they released the first ever electrostatic (ES) stereo, high-fidelity headphones (Stax calls them “Earspeakers”), the SR-1. Since then, Stax has gone through a number of owners, and business models. They have made everything from amplifiers to CD players to DACs. In the 1980’s Stax made a fairly impressive line of electrostatic speakers and they were very highly regarded. Today, Stax is owned by a Hong-Kong based company, Edifier International Ltd, but the manufacturing of Stax equipment is still done in Japan. T
  5. I reviewed this DAC in what I considered the manner in which most buyers would use it. From that standpoint, I disagree with your characterization of the review as unhelpful. I did, briefly, try a high-output battery supply on the Qutest, but didn’t find that if made much, if any discernible difference. Even that was “cheating” because it’s not using the product the way the manufacturer designed it. I tried the battery supply because I wanted to make the Qutest sound as much like the Hugo 2 as possible (which comes with a built-in battery supply). Aside from the lack of it’s own battery supply
  6. Well, it doesn’t get hot enough to pose a safety concern, but both do get warm enough to make one’s listening room feel hotter in summer..
  7. Expensive little suckers, aren’t they? Thanks for the info!
  8. You are right, headphones are a very personal buying decision, and comfort is a big component in that decision. For instance, I don’t find the Stax Lambda series to be at all uncomfortable and due to the lightness of these phones, I find that I can wear them for hours without fatigue. But as you found out, YMMV!
  9. Thanks for the info. I wasn’t aware that connector adapters were available to allow a pair of Koss ESP to be powered by a Stax “pro” compatible amplifier. Could you point us to one of these adapters? Much appreciated.
  10. Very different headphones. As it happens, I have compared the Stax SR-L300 directly to the Sennheiser HD-800. The 800s are good, but directly compared, are a much cruder presentation. They have more “slam” and are probably better for rock, but the Stax have less distortion, better top-end presentation, and a more natural midrange. On the bottom, because of the dynamic phone’s larger diaphragm area and longer excursion, the bass sounds “bigger” with the HD-800, but the bass is slower and doesn’t go as deep as the Stax. The Stax also images better.
  11. I’m not saying that the SR-L300 is in any way better than the SR-009s phones, I’m merely saying that the SR-L300 is closer to the quality of the SR-009s than the price point would indicate as being possible. The 009s are about 10X the price of the L300s, but the former aren’t even really twice as good! It certainly is true that the flagship model is better made, with higher-quality materials than the SR-L300, but sound wise, both are excellent, albeit in different ways.
  12. Can’t help you there. I’ve seen only pictures of the Koss, I’ve never actually seen a pair, much less heard one. But the nonstandard connector puts me off. It means you can only power these with the supplied energizer, and if it isn’t the best sounding way to power them (and I’m not saying it isn’t), you are stuck.
  13. You mean the shape? Well, both the older Sigma series Stax phones (with the angled ES elements) and the Lambda series (like the SR-L300) use the rectangular ear cups. While I agree that they might look clumsy, they are functional and quite comfortable.
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