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Stax SR-X Mk. 3 Appreciation Thread!! - Page 2

post #16 of 33
Yes, yes, I see what you mean now, two different things, and I quite agree on the issue of deepest bass extension. My Yamaha orthos can handle deeper notes than can my SR-X, no question.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvdunhill View Post
a lot of people say this to me, then I pull out the mono records (and a phono stage with adjustable RIAA curves) and a mono cartridge .... yup, there's bass there.
We are talking about pre 1982 equipment as things have improved quite a bit since then. Still vinyl has physical limitations that simply can't be overcome no matter how well the rig is engineered but it has so many other strong points it doesn't really matter to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
Yes, yes, I see what you mean now, two different things, and I quite agree on the issue of deepest bass extension. My Yamaha orthos can handle deeper notes than can my SR-X, no question.
Yup we are talking about the same things now. I like the SR-X Mk3 but it has this iconic place like the Lambda Pro and the He90 and it doesn't really live up to it. In other words, bloody brilliant but not perfect.
post #18 of 33
Whether the overblown bass in some of today's music blows over or not, a serious reproducer should ideally be flat from 20 to 20k. In practice, price points have to be hit, SPL limits have to be observed, size and weight issues have to be faced, and so on. For 1975, the SR-X Mk 3 was better than any consumer source and better than most of the electronics. This says more about sources and electronics of the '70s than it does about the SR-X, but you'll get a whiff of how strange the SR-X was to those of us who were trying to get by with the affordable speakers of the time. Suddenly we were hearing what our stuff really sounded like, but though we suspected this to be true, we didn't know for certain at the time-- how could we? Needless to say, the thin bass was the least of our worries, and yes, we could tell even 30 years ago that the bass was thin.

And yes again, before it was declared immoral, illegal and fattening we did turn up our bass controls a little to compensate (for that was our odd little way at the time) and all was well-- so well that we could tell that our turntable arms resonated, our records weren't white-room clean (even after Preening and Parastatting!) our styli mistracked asymmetrically on inner grooves, recording engineers weren't always fast enough to pot down before the orchestral crescendo saturated the tape, our Dust Bugs made this awful wooooodge sound that echoed back and forth across the undamped LP surface, our solid state amps were full of grunge, our phono preamps had the transient response of Jell-O, and so on. Only by violently concentrating could we listen past this stuff and enjoy Iona Brown's soaring violin or the rough harmonies of CSN&Y.

It was hell, I tell ya! [waves cane menacingly]

John Lennon sang "just gimme some truth" and here the truth was, and we could hear the tiny dropouts in Lennon's vocal track. Talk about irony!

So to me it's amazing that a bunch of kids has taken up with this amazing old headphone and actually enjoys listening to it. Yeah, the bass was traded off for the cleanest high-SPL reproduction you're likely to hear outside of a recording studio. Yeah, there's a bit of a rise, very broad, in the upper midrange that masks some of the highest treble. And yeah, the headstage is truncated by the damping material in the back of each earcup. But take a look at how big the SR-X is, how big the diaphragm is (too small to be fully damped by its air load); consider that it cost only about as much as an average pair of speakers back then (even the vaunted Dahlquist DQ-10 sounded like a paper cup by comparison), and that they're still here more than 30 years later being discussed in glowing terms while being used on systems that the audiophiles of the time would've killed just to hear, let alone own, and wonder.
post #19 of 33
I truly agree that the SR-X was a legendary product back then and they still are. They stand side by side with the likes of the Quad ESL and the KLH Nine as legendary products. The driver design, while structurally flawed, was so good they made them for 15 years, unchanged. They were really the great watershed for Stax as it changed the corporate vision.

We damn kids with our vintage toys...
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
Wow I haven't been in this thread for a while, but some interesting stuff here.

I guess I came to the SR-X mk3 without knowing its iconic status. I just saw it as an old pair of headphones that sounded great to me but were so unloved that they wouldn't even sell for $175 + Stax transformer around here.

One of the things I like about the SR-X mk3 is that it is flawed. Sure there's no extension, and sure there's no airiness of soundstage. But while the Lambda Pros do both much better in spades, I like the Lambdas but I dunno, I've never felt the need to own the Pros and my normal biased ones aren't much missed. I guess I had other cans like the Qualia 010 or K 1000 or even the SA5000 if I wanted something fast and airy.

I know, not a fair comparison as each are different and the Lambda Pro has a special place. Just that what it does well, I found, at least to me, I got out of my other headphones.

The SR-X mk3 really only competed side by side, to my ears, with the HP1000. They both offered gobs of texture and physicality, and didn't give a hoot about soundstage or extension. And they were fantastic, lovely how they melt away and just leave you with pure straightforward headphone goodness. Both had different strengths and weaknesses to be sure, but I always enjoyed the nimbleness of the SR-X mk3 as contrasted with the somewhat heavier footed HP1000.

The price tag kind of made it a no brainer that when it came down to picking one, which would stay.

Now I haven't spent nearly enough time with any SR-Gammas or the SR-X mk3 Pro version... I've tried the Gammas from time to time and find them to be absolutely lovely...

Best,

-Jason

Best regards,

-Jason
post #21 of 33
The Gammas are very lovely headphones indeed. They use the same drivers but the housing plays a big part in the overall sound.
post #22 of 33
I like the SR-X/Mk3, but practically never use them because they're so freaking uncomfortable, even way more than any Grado.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I like the SR-X/Mk3, but practically never use them because they're so freaking uncomfortable, even way more than any Grado.
Wuss...
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
Wuss...
I wear glasses, so I have a legitimate excuse not to use supra-aural phones that press down hard on my ears.
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I like the SR-X/Mk3, but practically never use them because they're so freaking uncomfortable, even way more than any Grado.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I wear glasses, so I have a legitimate excuse not to use supra-aural phones that press down hard on my ears.
I don't use my SR-X/MK3 much for the exact same reason.
They apply pressure directly on the ear, which is uncomfortable when wearing glasses
post #26 of 33
why not just take off your glasses while listening to supra-aurals? Alternatively, why not build a spare pair of frames directly to the headband assembly?

edit: ooh, wait-- how about somehow building the stax earpieces directly onto those of your glasses, without the original headband at all? A quasi KSC-75 earclip, complete with glasses?
post #27 of 33
Or just bendify the headband a little, just like you do with Grados?
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
I wear glasses, so I have a legitimate excuse not to use supra-aural phones that press down hard on my ears.
Have you tried using fresh pads as they add a bit more comfort over any worn units. You can also put a Gamma headband on them so they will be much looser and not press as much on the ears.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
Have you tried using fresh pads as they add a bit more comfort over any worn units. You can also put a Gamma headband on them so they will be much looser and not press as much on the ears.
Old pads with the vinyl worn off are more comfortable than fresh pads for me.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
Old pads with the vinyl worn off are more comfortable than fresh pads for me.
There is less heat but they are almost too soft and the fabric leaks bass like... ehhhh.... something that leaks a lot of bass...
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