STAX SR-007 (OMEGA II) … A REVIEW AFTER 4 YEARS OF OWNERSHIP
to sequence the flow of this essay such that the reader is gently, gently eased into
increasingly complex concepts. But what I’ve not done is to dumb down the essay. I resisted
the urge to simplify the concepts because I do not want to short-change those readers who
are highly curious about I have to share here.
Readers who listen predominantly to close-miked music (such as rock and pop) may find the
concepts rather alien and detached. Headphone-users who listen predominantly to closemiked music are more apt to go “so what?” or worse “what bullshit is this?” to a large part of
this article, because the things mentioned here lie outside of their scope of experience. If this
describes you, I hope you can suspend disbelief just for the duration of this article, so that
the knowledge gained from this write-up would lie dormant in your memory. In some future
moment when you least expect it, you hear something either at home or at the audio shop (or
at a Head-Fi Meet perhaps?) that will remind you of what you read here.
Readers who habitually listen to music with a lot of ambient cues (such as live jazz,
orchestral and choral) will more readily understand how the spatial subtleties mentioned in
this write-up relate to headphone listening. Such readers may have less problems diving into
the intricacies elaborated later on.
Readers of my review of the Omega II written 4 years ago may remember that I have used
the term “headstage” before, but I did not manage to explain its meaning clearly in that
review - hence some readers may have been puzzled as to the purpose of its inclusion then.
I apologize for your warranted puzzlement. In this current write-up I have finally succeeded in
nailing down the meaning of “headstage” in no uncertain terms. Additionally, I have found a
way to explain the Four Depth Cues in a clear and communicative manner. (The Four Depth
Cues first appeared in my archived essay at HeadWize’s Library, but this current write-up
takes it one step further by having a headphone review structured on the Four Depth Cues.)
It has taken me years to crystallize these concepts into a consistent framework. I am happy
to share with you today the fruits of my labour.
OBJECTIVES OF THIS ARTICLE
The objectives of this write-up are twofold:
Objective 1: to share my feelings of the STAX SR-007 (Omega II) after 4 years of ownership.
Am I still happy with my purchase, now that the new-toy-syndrome has passed? A
comprehensive review of a product owned after a passage of time must surely furnish a
better indication to another prospective buyer of that product’s worth (or lack thereof) than a
review written during the honeymoon period. Also, it is fiendishly difficult to accurately
describe the sonic character of a headphone - any headphone. A few of my detailed
observations now differ from those I made in 1999. Back when I was active in the forum,
there were instances where I promoted this headphone as the best headphone in the world.
But today, as a jaded forum lurker, I wonder about the fruitfulness and sensitivity of such