You know the old adage...
Crap in, crap out.
I was thinking of picking up a small NAD 310 integrated amplifier to complement my Kenwood. This model only has 20 watts per channel, however. Does anyone know if this is sufficient to drive my Stax Lambda SB through an SRD-7 SB transformer box?
The first stax I heard (and immediately feel in love) were driven through an energizer by the classic Advent receiver which had less power than the NAD 310. I drove my first pair of Stax with and energizer and the NAD 3020, so I think the the NAD 310 should be fine. That said, it was a lot of years ago and I was budget constrained, so I can't say for certain if I was getting all I could have if there had been a higher end amplifier. I am sure others will chime in.
NAD makes a pretty good amp, generally speaking. Good at delivering decent amounts of current into difficult loads. I would think the little NAD to be a pretty good match for the Stax SRD-7.
The NAD "house sound" is said to be "a little dark" which I think comes from them voicing their amps to avoid emphasizing the "harshness" and "grain" that some people attribute to class AB solid state designs. I think it a fine choice of "voice" for a reasonably priced amplifier that must make certain electronic concessions in order to meet it's price point. I think NAD tends to choose their compromises wisely and generally ends up with products that are more "musical" than similar products from their competitors. I think it will sound pretty darn good.
Using an SRD-7 with Stax 'phones, I think you will find that you don't really need much power at all from the accompanying amplifier. The Stax set up is quite "efficient" as it were, i.e., lots of dB SPL for few watts. I was surprised at how little power it took to drive various Stax 'phones to loud levels on the SRD-7 that I used to own. Sound quality is quite good as well, though I found it a tad less "refined" than the sound from an SRM-T1. The SRD-7 was not vastly different, really, from the SRM-T1, but the T1 does offer just that little extra bit of transparency and... refinement. Hard to put into words.
Thanks for all the responses guys. I'll get the NAD then, especially considering how much smaller it is relative to my Kenwood. I think I'll stay with the SRD-7 until the day I graduate to a pro-bias Stax, likely out of the Lambda series. I'm perfectly content with the sound I'm getting now.
Could anyone point me towards an SR007 MK2 vs MK2.5 (or MK1 vs MK2.5) comparison? I remember reading one in the past but couldn't find it on the search. I'm probably going to get a second SR007. The 2.5s are easy to find, but I'm trying to decide if I should wait longer to get a MK1 instead. I already have an MK2. I've only heard one MK1 and I generally liked it. It sounded very close to my MK2. This SR007 will be paired with a KGSSHV.
I really wish Stax had a MK1.5 :) Just from memory, the MK1 was a little more on the lean side than I'd like, but the MK2 has a bit too much of that dark bassy quality at times!
The HE60 is actually possibly the perfect fit for me, but I gave it to my girlfriend and she's happily listening to that every day, and I stick with the 007A and HE6. You would actually probably love the HE60.
PMing you now, arnaud.
Not sure lean is the way I would describe the 007 MK1. When we did a comparison to the 009 on a BHSE with RFT tubes, the 007 MK1 had more slam on thrash metal and hard rock. Though my 007BL mk1 has fairly fresh pads on it which helps the bass texture. I've seen too many ancient O2s with pads years past their prime (even owned a set), those make the phones sound thin. IMO pads age/quality/fit are crucial to the sound on many planar headphones... maybe even more than the amp or source.
I sold my MK2.5 since it had a touch too much Lambda-esque coloration for my taste. They aren't bad, in fact they're probably light years better than most of the stuff out there.
J-Pak, my impressions are out of stock SRM-727 amp while I am waiting for a BHSE... My mk1 had pads replaced by Stax as part of the refurbish, it's an early batch (702xx) and the pads are very firm (at least in comparison to my mk2.5). The "lean" term is all relative too, I could have said it's flat while the mk2.5 has clear bass bloom in comparison. In any case, I will be posting update once the BHSE is in...
Could you please elaborate on that?
Going by my own SR-Lambda vs. SR-202 experiences, not all Lambdas sound alike, even if there are overall similarities to the sound presentation (like soundstage).
A lttle brightness might be ok since the current ones have a marked treble roll-off. I have 2 SR003's and the portable system and quite like them on occasion, I always take the portables travelling. Unfortunately it looks like Stax is keeping the oddball plug on the new portable amp. That's a shame because you can't use the SR003 phones even though they are basically the same as the portable except for the plug.