This post points to several problems related to the Stax SR-009 headphones. Despite their high price tag, several models seem to be affected by channel imbalances developing over few months upon purchase. There have been several reports on Head-fi lamenting this situation.
It seems that most problematic headphones come from grey market sources such as Price-Japan, an online store known to export Japanese gear outside of the official channels.
It’s a bit discomforting that a headphone model costing this much (over 5000 Euro in Italy, at the time of writing), is being plagued by such problems.
In any case, when buying from a source like Price Japan, or other grey market channels, even if the price is lower, there is no warranty,
People buying used Stax SR-009 should be very aware that the headphone they are getting might develope (or have developed) channel imbalances, and, in my opinion, should favor the regular distributors, even if this means to pay higher price for the headphone.
I am quoting an an excerpt, coming from a Head-fi member, which I find very representative (note, PJ stands from Price-Japan).
<< Hmm, I didn’t know this page exists. I’ll have to share my story here, hoping that some one could tell me what to do, or not at least this would give others an idea of what the worst could have happen and be informed in their decisions. at the present I am greatly discouraged…
Ive got a pair of 009s which is imbalanced out of the box from day 1 bought from PJ, and actually I bought it together with a 727A.
the imbalance is quite severe that I had to listen with the right volume control tweaked higher than the left on the driver. (which im not sure if its really a default that you have to do this for a new driver unit, which I doubt it)
I suspected that its the headphone that’s the problem since thats what one would normally expect,
having not known anyone around my area with another driver to test with,
I sent a mail to PJ and was discouraged to get it sent back by the guy over and over again saying that many wasted money for pointless round trips. After a few mail exchange, they finally gave permission for a repair.
That took around 6 weeks until it finally get back to me. I’ve been informed that both left and right drivers are being replaced, which I thought its suppose to be just the right side that’s the problem but oh well…
upon listening, the problem is still there, more so its exactly the same as my impression previously and no change what so ever left>right…
I wrote another mail to PJ and this time they started becoming hostile. I thought I would try to sought for a refund, but PJ turned me down in quite a hostile way. They don’t do it, and they say I would have to send it back for a repair even though if this is an endless game.
Fine! I shall play your endless game, only this time I sent both my driver and headphone together.
I packed my driver in the box forgetting to tweak the right volume knob down since that’s the position I listened to for my imbalanced 009.
since I sent the boxes off, I wrote a mail to PJ requesting them to put a simple note in saying “please ensure that the knobs are aligned to the bottom”. they revert with contempt saying that I demand them too much and refused to do it, even then claiming a second time ship back was much harder than the first, and again the same feedback about wasting my shipping. If feels like they offered warranty reluctantly without genuinely wanted to help you get things fixed…
another 1.5 months had passed (which is now), and they finally returned the stuffs to me, only that this time, they charged me 50$ extra in addition to shipping since they couldn’t find any fault in it. I paid and received my phones and drivers back in a week.
guess what?, its still there, the imbalance exactly the same as before. The strange thing is that the volume knob of the driver is still tilted at the position I previously requested PJ to put a note on… I cant help but think that all these times, my things are not being fixed nor was it even being checked on at all.
And now, Im a sad guy being left with this piece of gear which im too guilty to even sell it on Head Fi, both the amp and the phones which is faulty is still a mystery, and I know shipping this back is not going to help any more and I have spent more than enough… Perhaps I should list it on really cheap soon and hoped for the best.
I spent more than half a year worth of salary accumulation just to reach my Hi fi dreams, and it did nothing but overwhelmed me with grieve and disappointment that I cant even enjoy listening to musics any more, with this amount spent, i will be through with hi fi for a long time… >>