Jump to content

No sir, you made a mistake (long text)


Recommended Posts

What with one thing and another there has been precious little music listening in my life for a considerable period of time.

First there was the holidays (making do with a CD Walkman and a JVC boombox) then the return, the new job, the newly pregnant wife (mood swings from Florence Nightingale to a Boa Constrictor with a bad attitute and a headache) and, of course the horrors of New York.

All in all this has left me bereft of the Heresy's and the tubes for weeks. The only listening I have managed to squeeze in has been on my new Stax headphones for short late night sessions.

At first the sound seemed flat and lifeless to me, say 2 dimensional but not as a result of staging more as if instruments were being played with too little passion on behalf of the musician.

Over the weeks I was less and less aware of this feeling, to the point that last night I was listening to one CD after another in rapture. Questions arose therefore in my mind, how has this happened? Am I merely getting used to the sound? Is the amp running in? Did my Heresy's ever sound as good as this?

Today the wife went out for the afternoon. Time to test the Heresy's once again, maybe a side by side analysis or some such thing.

Tubes on and left for a full hour to warm up properly whilst I did a few chores and finished off a project for work.

Finaly ready. XRCD (Three Blind Mice recording) of Saxaphone Colossus Sonny Rollins (VICJ-60158) on the Marantz, bottom in leather clad recliner, one ice cold beer, one cigar, sit back, play.

Drums, snares a pedal drum and then the Sax cutting in. Stop the CD. Get up. Wack up the volume. Sit. Play.

Same again, but this time live, oh so live. I close my eyes. I am no longer in my living room but in a smoke filed sleapeasy whilst the Sax sways the drummer gyrates and the double bass plucks its atmospheric lilt though my soul. There are only 5 tracks on this album, each soaring to new heights of musicianship, gently I am reminded of the sound that has eluded me these past weeks, no, not reminded of, reintroduced to.

This is the shattering, stiring total body experience that slipped as easily out of my consiousness as it slide in over the welcome mat when I first set the system up. How quickly we forget the nuances of truely great sound. There is no need for a side by side comparison, the difference is total. One plays great recordings, the other provides transport to the original venue with the live players.

Now don't get me wrong. These Stax are remarkable speakers in their own right, possibly among the best in the world of headphones (ear speakers in their own language). They tantalise the ear, create full sound-stages, envelope the listener in the recording and never become tiring, but, they are still headphones. What does that mean? It means that aside from the obvious complete lack of an SPL they totally concentrate the music on the ear.

In contrast, listening to the Heresy's, here, in my living room (I have to keep reminding myself I am still here) is anything but a purely aural experience. This is that double bass strumming its way through me so that I feel, more than hear, it, suspended invisibly in space a few feet in front of me, raised slightly on the stage to the right of the centre.

All the while that Sax slices through the air, emminating from slightly left of centre and wrapping itself around the entire ensemble, regularly tossing the lead back to the centrally placed, angled piano, so that the pianists fingers can run with it back and forth over the keys only to pass it back once again.

Have the Stax improved or "run-in"? Maybe yes, maybe no. Somehow its academic now, the pianist is playing, the Sax soars and I should go to concentrate on their efforts, after all, I dont want to upset them.

Klipsch - as live as it gets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maxg -

Very well said. I have very much the same emotions while listening to my Cornwall's. Sometimes it is better than live and that is why I love Klipsch so very very much.




Main System -

Cornwalls (L/R main)


RS-3's (white)

SVS 20-39CS

Harman Kardon AVR 510

Hafler P505 (running sub)

ProMedia 4.2 v400 for PC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well said, I think that dynamic range has been lost as a marketing emphasis because CD don't have it and even SS amps still need to give far more power than what they are rated for to give the output they did to sound real (150 watts sounds like a lot, until you realize that you need 512), but with DVD-A around the corner, I am hoping that dynamic range will be become hot again, I love the linearity of mny old Stax, but they are merely faithfully accurate, not musically live ...


horns, tubes, subs, leather couch & female vocalists

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You said it right headphones(earspeakers)cannot match speakers.Like you said speakers provide "total body experience" no headphones can no matter how accurate or how expensive.

I have the Grado RS-1 and Sennheiser HD600 and even with a good headphone amp these in no way replace my Dynaudio,Klipsch or Spendors.The total body experience is what music is all about. Smile.gif

Agree 100% here

TheEAR(s) Now theears

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...