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post #586 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
After all the advice here, I've revised my original plan of waiting to pounce on a cheap SR-X into a plan of waiting to pounce on an SR-X or an SR-5 gold. Which at least does double the prospects, what?
The SR-5 Gold's are going for astronomical prices recently so I would wait for a SR-X. They might have the same driver but the housing is much better and so are the pads but it won't be cheap though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfraser View Post
Hi. I have an SRD-7/SR-XMk.3 that I got in '78. Believe it or not, it's been powered up virtually continuously ever since, at least polarised. That's what I was told to do, hope it was good advice! Is there anything I can test for to see if there has been electrical deterioration? Everything looks fine to the casual eye, and obviously my ears aren't what they were when I was ~20, but the sound seems fine i.e. no rattling/vibration/scratchiness/etc. Thanks.
When the phones are polarized they attract dust. Stax and other electrostatic designers use a DC+ polarizing voltage to minimize the dust buildup. 80% of all the dust in a normal home has a + charge so they are automatically repelled. The divers also have a dust cover on each side, a mylar film on the ear side and a finely woven nylon mesh on the back side that keeps most of the dust out. One of my SR-3 New sets were so filthy when I received them that the metal grills were completely covered in dust and dirt but there was no dust inside the driver so the covers work.

Channel imbalance is a sure sign that something has gone wrong inside the driver and so is low level hissing and low level distortion. Electrostatic driver rarely rattle or vibrate so if they do not have any of the above symptoms they should be fine.
post #587 of 24765
^ Thanks, I'll check for possible imbalance/hissing more carefully, haven't noticed any. I guess low level distortion is what I meant by "scratchiness", that's sort of how it comes across in damaged phones, like a bad LP.

Several years ago I was thinking of getting new pads, you are right they are cheap in the SR-X, but the headset is otherwise pretty decent IMO as far as comfort and durability. What I found out is I could get custom-made (shoemaker!) thin leather pads for the same as what the originals would cost. Thing is you couldn't clean the leather as well as the vinyl. My original pads look ugly but still work fine.

I was told long ago, so wisdom may have changed, that this old Stax model (and maybe others?) take at least a day to "settle" (into their normal sound) after being polarised. This may be BS...I've never tested the theory. So if you use them regularly best to leave polarised. What do you think of that?
post #588 of 24765
Some of the older stats can take a while to charge up but it isn't something I would worry about. It's always wise though if they have been sitting idle for a month or more to let them charge for a while before listening.

I have some phones here that I'm unable to get new pads for so I'm going to get a local leather shop to make me some new pads. I like the SR-X pads better when all of the vinyl has worn off though it does affect the sound a bit.
post #589 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The SR-5 Gold's are going for astronomical prices recently so I would wait for a SR-X. They might have the same driver but the housing is much better and so are the pads but it won't be cheap though...
Do you meant the housing of the SR-X is better in the sense of more durable or of producing a better sound? And are the earpads simply more comfortable? I notice that many used SR-X have ruined earpads, while on old SR-5 they are nearly always intact. In either case, I won't bid above say 120 euros, on point of principle as I don't want to help drive up the used prices.

I also have a quick question about the self-biasing SRD models. Is there some reason to prefer the mains-powered ones, or are the SB alright?
post #590 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
There is always personal choice but I doubt many of the He90 owners have spent years building a setup around the O2's because they will automatically think they are inferior. Why shouldn't they be since they cost 1/5 of the He90. I did love the He90's the first two weeks I had them but when I started a direct comparison I heard how flawed they are. This superior performance is nowhere to be found and even when I cripple the SR-007 with a bad amp they still manage to sound better with every thing I throw at them. If someone that owns both phones and has spent large amounts of time building around both of them favors the He90 I will be happy for him, but you can't gauge the SR-007 ability in a short audition. It takes months to fully learn about them.

My main annoyance now is the bad engineering that was put into them. The fact the when you push them towards the ear the mylar sticks to the stator screams that they didn't know what they were doing. It's almost if Sennheiser opened up the textbook and saw the minimum recommended D/S gap and said thats fine! Stax is at 60% off the recommended maximum with the Pro bias and 40% with the Normal units. Some how people have accepted it as ok that no two pairs sound the same but to me it is unacceptable. It is very hard to make electrostatic driver correctly the first time, let alone mass produce them but many companies smaller then Sennheiser have pulled this off in the past. To my ears, when it is working the Beyer ET1000 does more things right then the He90. Sure they are over 30 years old but they sound great out of a Stax amp.
The gist of your post is the same issue I hold regarding the difference of Lambda Pro vs. 404's. Lambdas are, at first listen, more "musical" (at is, more "forgiving") but 404's are more technically "adept". Therefore when switching from one - say, the Lambda Pro - to the 404, the 404 will seem to be the poorer performer.

This is not the case. The 404's are definitely more capable, but the system must be re-tailored in response to match the changes the 404's bring to the table. Once this is done, the 404's will definitely sound better and the "musicality" will return to your system.

But they are not a 1-to-1 swap. Doing so will simply put the pair of headphones that were not initially designed as part of the system, as the 'whole', to a disadvantage.

What Spritzer is saying is that, when both headphones are in systems individually attuned to the attributes of the headphones - which, ideally, any system should be - the SR-007 is indeed more technically adept than the HE-90, and create a better listening experience. But it's the system as a whole that is the key to unlocking the potential.
post #591 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
Do you meant the housing of the SR-X is better in the sense of more durable or of producing a better sound? And are the earpads simply more comfortable? I notice that many used SR-X have ruined earpads, while on old SR-5 they are nearly always intact. In either case, I won't bid above say 120 euros, on point of principle as I don't want to help drive up the used prices.

I also have a quick question about the self-biasing SRD models. Is there some reason to prefer the mains-powered ones, or are the SB alright?
The SR-X is much better built. They were built for the pro market so they were going to have a rough live. The SR-1 and all up to the SR-5 have some serious structural flaws so don't drop them... This translates into sound because the SR-X is very inert to resonances but when you remove the internal padding the housing is turned into a tunnel that causes the midrange to sound "boxed in".

I don't like the SR-3/5 pads since I can't get them to fit right. I tried SR-007 pads on the SR-X but it altered the sound to much. The stock Sr-X pads give me the best results but I like them more without the vinyl.

The SB draw the bias of the transformer secondaries so it is in the signal path but they still sound great. My speaker setup isn't high end enough to detect any huge difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake View Post
The gist of your post is the same issue I hold regarding the difference of Lambda Pro vs. 404's. Lambdas are, at first listen, more "musical" (at is, more "forgiving") but 404's are more technically "adept". Therefore when switching from one - say, the Lambda Pro - to the 404, the 404 will seem to be the poorer performer.

This is not the case. The 404's are definitely more capable, but the system must be re-tailored in response to match the changes the 404's bring to the table. Once this is done, the 404's will definitely sound better and the "musicality" will return to your system.

But they are not a 1-to-1 swap. Doing so will simply put the pair of headphones that were not initially designed as part of the system, as the 'whole', to a disadvantage.

What Spritzer is saying is that, when both headphones are in systems individually attuned to the attributes of the headphones - which, ideally, any system should be - the SR-007 is indeed more technically adept than the HE-90, and create a better listening experience. But it's the system as a whole that is the key to unlocking the potential.
Yes that is the main point. I like the clearer sound of the Signature line of Lambdas but the older models aren't bad at all. They are slightly colored to to the wool inside the cups and some may like that more. What bothers me most is that they can be slightly bright at times but thats easy to compensate for.
post #592 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The SR-X is much better built. They were built for the pro market so they were going to have a rough life. The SR-1 and all up to the SR-5 have some serious structural flaws so don't drop them... This translates into sound because the SR-X is very inert to resonances but when you remove the internal padding the housing is turned into a tunnel that causes the midrange to sound "boxed in".

I don't like the SR-3/5 pads since I can't get them to fit right. I tried SR-007 pads on the SR-X but it altered the sound too much. The stock Sr-X pads give me the best results but I like them more without the vinyl.
Fascinating stuff, spritzer, well done: this has saved me a lot of messing around with my SR-Xs! I'd been on the verge of getting some new pads, as friends of mine keep asking what are the little black bits in my ears, but I'll just wait until all the vinyl drops off (and that's $30/€20/£15 saved!).

I've soldered my SR-Xs now, and thanks also for the tip about flux/solder drips/spits: a piece of cardboard cut to size made the operation much safer, and there is a definite benefit on the sound as a result. I'd contemplated taking out the wadding, as you suggested, but left it in, prefering to do one change at a time.

Also I'd been curious about the SR-5s (especially the Golds) but SWMBO will go (even) mad(der) if I buy some just out of curiosity... still, I'd love to hear them, and would maybe prefer the lack of direct on-ear pressure that the SR-Xs give after a while...

Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The SB draw the bias of the transformer secondaries so it is in the signal path but they still sound great. My speaker setup isn't high end enough to detect any huge difference.
I think it was on the previous thread where I related how shocked I was that a mains bias SRD-7 did NOT sound better than an SRD-6 self-bias: I had expected noticably better performance from the mains bias, and the SRD-7 has thicker leads and is bigger/heavier... if anything, the SRD-6 had the edge!

I'm still waiting to read other people's point of view on this...
post #593 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The SR-X is much better built. They were built for the pro market so they were going to have a rough live. The SR-1 and all up to the SR-5 have some serious structural flaws so don't drop them... This translates into sound because the SR-X is very inert to resonances but when you remove the internal padding the housing is turned into a tunnel that causes the midrange to sound "boxed in".
Has anyone heard the SRXIII pro? These are even more scarce on the market than Sigma Pro's? In fact I have never seen one for sale. I recall that Kevin Gilmore stated on Headwize that he had 2 pair and that they were not for sale.
post #594 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
Yes that is the main point. I like the clearer sound of the Signature line of Lambdas but the older models aren't bad at all. They are slightly colored to to the wool inside the cups and some may like that more. What bothers me most is that they can be slightly bright at times but thats easy to compensate for.
I just received my SR-202's from Audio Cubes II. Now I will be able to do a comparison of the 404 (my old 4040 system that I sold), 202, low bias Lambda and Lambda Pro. I will be using a SRM-1mkII and SRM-006t. In previous listening tests the Lambda Pro came in First, the low bias Lambda came in a close second and the 404 in Third place. I listen to mostly Classical and Jazz on Vinyl. I wanted a second Lambda Pro but the used prices are too high so I am trying the 202's. It's interesting that used Lambda Pro's are going for more than the 404's (from Japan direct) new!

AudioD
post #595 of 24765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by edstrelow View Post
Has anyone heard the SRXIII pro? These are even more scarce on the market than Sigma Pro's? In fact I have never seen one for sale. I recall that Kevin Gilmore stated on Headwize that he had 2 pair and that they were not for sale.
I'm still looking. I've seen them come up two or three times, but haven't won one yet. I'm thinking the Alphas (same drivers) would be more to my taste, though.

Sigma Pros are rare, but they're not that rare.
post #596 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Blue View Post
Fascinating stuff, spritzer, well done: this has saved me a lot of messing around with my SR-Xs! I'd been on the verge of getting some new pads, as friends of mine keep asking what are the little black bits in my ears, but I'll just wait until all the vinyl drops off (and that's $30/€20/£15 saved!).

I've soldered my SR-Xs now, and thanks also for the tip about flux/solder drips/spits: a piece of cardboard cut to size made the operation much safer, and there is a definite benefit on the sound as a result. I'd contemplated taking out the wadding, as you suggested, but left it in, prefering to do one change at a time.

Also I'd been curious about the SR-5s (especially the Golds) but SWMBO will go (even) mad(der) if I buy some just out of curiosity... still, I'd love to hear them, and would maybe prefer the lack of direct on-ear pressure that the SR-Xs give after a while...



I think it was on the previous thread where I related how shocked I was that a mains bias SRD-7 did NOT sound better than an SRD-6 self-bias: I had expected noticably better performance from the mains bias, and the SRD-7 has thicker leads and is bigger/heavier... if anything, the SRD-6 had the edge!

I'm still waiting to read other people's point of view on this...
Just rip the rest of the vinyl off, thats what I did. The only vinyl pads that I have ever liked are on the ET1000, they are oh so soft but they still stick to the head after 5 minutes.

I didn't solder them on for the simple reason I had some extra plugs that fitted so I could easily swap cables. Thank you Magnavox for all of the extra connectors!!

The SR-3/5 are great for some mellow listening when the SR-X is more monitor like. You can pickup a SR-5 for cheap if you are lucky.

The SRD-6 uses the same transformers and its bigger brother so the difference shouldn't be that big in stock form. The stock transformers are far from being transparent so it would possibly be a bigger difference in a modded unit. It doesn't matter where the bias comes from because it isn't a constant supply, only an incremental one. The phones can play for nearly 30 minutes without a bias supply and the differences you are noticing are because one supply has a higher voltage then the other. I've compared my SRD-7 SB and Mk2's and there isn't a big difference but my speaker amp is far from being ideal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edstrelow View Post
Has anyone heard the SRXIII pro? These are even more scarce on the market than Sigma Pro's? In fact I have never seen one for sale. I recall that Kevin Gilmore stated on Headwize that he had 2 pair and that they were not for sale.
I haven't but I have seen a few of them for sale over the years. I'm going to buy one eventually but they are pretty far down on my list.

I think Kevin should do another electrostatic comparison like he did on Headwize back in the day. I'll be doing one some day but I think I need some more cans and to figure out the ESP9's.
post #597 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiod View Post
I just received my SR-202's from Audio Cubes II. Now I will be able to do a comparison of the 404 (my old 4040 system that I sold), 202, low bias Lambda and Lambda Pro. I will be using a SRM-1mkII and SRM-006t. In previous listening tests the Lambda Pro came in First, the low bias Lambda came in a close second and the 404 in Third place. I listen to mostly Classical and Jazz on Vinyl. I wanted a second Lambda Pro but the used prices are too high so I am trying the 202's. It's interesting that used Lambda Pro's are going for more than the 404's (from Japan direct) new!

AudioD
Keep us posted. I like the Lambda Pro's but I like the Signature more. They get no respect though like the original SR-Lambda.

People are willing to pay crazy money for all things marked Stax but you can still get some great deals.
post #598 of 24765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
I think Kevin should do another electrostatic comparison like he did on Headwize back in the day. I'll be doing one some day but I think I need some more cans and to figure out the ESP9's.
Have you got a link for this? I've read a number of Headwize threads, but I can't say I've ever read that one.
post #599 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
Keep us posted. I like the Lambda Pro's but I like the Signature more. They get no respect though like the original SR-Lambda.
I'm beginning to come to the same conclusion. I've had the Lambda Pro and Signatures head to head for a few months now and while I still like the extented highs of the Pro, the slightly mellower presentation and strong bass of the Signature (relative to the Pro) is winning me over.
post #600 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by edstrelow View Post
Has anyone heard the SRXIII pro?
Not many, if anyone, around here have ever listened to one.
I am looking out for a pair as well. So if/when the next pair show up for sale I am afraid there will be a serious bidding war...

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiod View Post
I just received my SR-202's from Audio Cubes II. Now I will be able to do a comparison of the 404 (my old 4040 system that I sold), 202, low bias Lambda and Lambda Pro. I will be using a SRM-1mkII and SRM-006t.
Great! Make sure you keep us posted.
Quote:
I wanted a second Lambda Pro but the used prices are too high so I am trying the 202's. It's interesting that used Lambda Pro's are going for more than the 404's (from Japan direct) new!
I have also noticed that their going rate have gone up. They seem to go for ~$350 these days.
We should be pleased that we already own a pair.
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