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Leaning towards I leaning towards purchasing the STAX SRS-4040II Signature System II.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I leaning towards purchasing the STAX SRS-4040II Signature System II. I am hoping someone familiar with these has time for questions.

1. Can a CD player be fed straight into the headamp?
2. Has anyone tried tube substitutions to positive effect?
3. What after market upgrades are possible either to the amp or to the headphones (i.e. cabling etc.)?

Lastly, is there anyone in either Dallas, Austin TX or thereabouts that would mind me doing a listening session on their rig?
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Canaris View Post
I leaning towards purchasing the STAX SRS-4040II Signature System II. I am hoping someone familiar with these has time for questions.

1. Can a CD player be fed straight into the headamp?
2. Has anyone tried tube substitutions to positive effect?
3. What after market upgrades are possible either to the amp or to the headphones (i.e. cabling etc.)?

Lastly, is there anyone in either Dallas, Austin TX or thereabouts that would mind me doing a listening session on their rig?
1. yes
2. I think I read something about some RCA cleartops, maybe it was Hirsch? I know nothing about tubes, though...
3. You could buy from the very beginning a cryogenic treated 404 called SR-SC1 mentioned here, but it's much more expensive. Another idea is to have the plastic housing of the 404 replaced by a wooden one. No cable upgrade by my knowledge. As for the amp, if it's similar to the discontinued T1, I read in the thread linked above that changing the RCA connectors and the internal wiring, you can ask the knowledgeable Spritzer about it, but it is my understanding that the 006 amp is not a very good amp in the first place, o perhaps you could document a bit more before buying it.
post #3 of 13
I find Silclear contact enhancer does great things for the 404, at least using a transistor amp. I use it on the ic's, power cords and phone plug.

I suspect silver IC's would be good too but I have no specific knowledge here.

Footers under the amps can be helpful. I use sorbethane. Solid footers may work but I believe you need to have to be careful not to have a rigid equipment stand.

Get a better power cord.

I heard that at one time people added lead to the frame of the lambda phones, of which the 404 is a later version, to improve performance. There is an obvious drawback here.
post #4 of 13
i have a 007t and 404 on the way, so i'm entering into the world of stax myself. here's what i've found regarding your questions:

(1) the 006tii has rca inputs on the back. it also has rca outs (a direct pass-through) so you can pass the cd player onto your pre-amp/receiver/integrated.
(2) there are three tubes mentioned: e-h, rca cleartops, and japan-made raytheons. not sure which is the best -- i haven't heard any clear concensus.
(3) really your only easy options are to get a new power cable or interconnect. there is a lot of talk about silver interconnects as being best. there are some third-party folks that make new headphone cables but don't know anything about them. some folks also upgrade internal wiring and caps, but that's more on the older models (i personally wouldn't do that on a new amp that's under warranty).

good luck on your journey.
post #5 of 13
In my limited experience Stax system a very source and IC dependent. So looking into playing around with different the sources and ICs is a good idea.
post #6 of 13
I don't know how I missed this thread until now...

A stock Stax amp is fine for most users but as you edge more and more towards the fringe they aren't all that good any more. The tubes are easy to roll and I find the Japanese Toshiba to be the best match and the various USA made tubes to be a distant second. The amp simply snaps into focus with the Japanese tubes as it was initially designed with them in mind. You can upgrade the various parts of the amp but I would much rather sell the amp and buy either a Woo Audio GES or a Headamp KGSS. Both will be a clear upgrade over the Stax amps.

Other components such as source, cables and isolation devices are important but I recommend a solid foundation for the amp, no power filter/conditioner and silver wires throughout. The problem with silver is that it is very expensive to make it right so a lot of cables use badly made wires and thus sound horrible. The basic rule with Stax is to use something that is very transparent and natural. Power cables are important but since there is a simple linear supply in the Stax amps you need only a simple, well made power cord. No fancy emi/rfi shielding, just quality wire and connectors.

The cable on the phones can't be upgraded easily but since we are dealing with high voltage the cable behaves in a different fashion to a normal headphone cable. Capacitance is the most important aspect and the cable used on the SR-404 is the best that is currently available.

There are some Stax setups in your region and some of the owners might allow you to come and test their setups. You could check the meet section and see if a Texas meeting is on the books.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Another Question

I am also in need of a better CD player, the one I have is a real P.O.S. Which route would LIKELY get me the greatest gains sonically as an initial investment?

1. The SR404 Earspeaker with a KGSS.

2. The SR4040II with a mid level CD deck.

Thanks to all for the kind words and wisdom.
post #8 of 13
woah, someone in Waco ?

anyways, I'm working on a KGSS don't know how long in will be, but probably will put together a meet. Go find the "texas" thread in the meets section and post there so I can make sure to include you in the annoucement.

oh and also, PlaidPlatypus is in San Antonio and has a Headroom KGSS...

Welcome to Head-Fi!
post #9 of 13
This is a very personal choice and we need to factor in a few variables, what CDP are we talking about and at what price. I would personally go for a vintage player from a company that can still maintain it. An older high end machine will, with a few exceptions, sound much better then a comparatively priced new model. The KGSS is a bit dryer sounding do to the all SS design and no coupling caps so a modern CDP will sound like crap because it's more of the same.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

spritzerhttp://www.head-fi.org/forums/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=3343062

What would you recommend Spritzer, not sure what you mean by vintage (McIntosh, Naim, Linn all still in business)?

My last player before getting out of audio entirely, was a Proceed CDD transport fed to a TACT 2.2X pre-amplifier with an upsampling DAC (16 bit/44khz up to 24/192 ). Prior to that it was a Melos CD player with a tube output section. Perhaps a decent player with a tube output section might take the bright off a bit.

I am essentially talking going from my current un-state of the art portable P.O.S. CDP to a all in one CDP for under $1000. I can always work my way up from there.

I realize these are less than optimal choices, but I have to start somewhere.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvdunhill View Post
woah, someone in Waco ?

anyways, I'm working on a KGSS don't know how long in will be, but probably will put together a meet. Go find the "texas" thread in the meets section and post there so I can make sure to include you in the annoucement.

oh and also, PlaidPlatypus is in San Antonio and has a Headroom KGSS...

Welcome to Head-Fi!
Three flavors of Lambda all driven at the same time! (SR-Lambda, SR-Lambda professional, and SR-Lambda Signature)

...HeadAmp KGSS, the guys at Headroom don't even bother making Stax amps. Though I think it would be cool if Headroom were to build a Stax amp as a stament product.

IMO the new "Signature" system with the 006t doesn't sound much better than a SR-Lambda and SRD-X, that you could find for around $200.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidplatypus View Post
Three flavors of Lambda all driven at the same time! (SR-Lambda, SR-Lambda professional, and SR-Lambda Signature)

...HeadAmp KGSS, the guys at Headroom don't even bother making Stax amps. Though I think it would be cool if Headroom were to build a Stax amp as a stament product.

IMO the new "Signature" system with the 006t doesn't sound much better than a SR-Lambda and SRD-X, that you could find for around $200.
wow, that was embarrassing... sorry 'bout that.

I'd definitely recommend listening to some CD players, I agree this is a very personal thing. I'll spare everyone my opinion on the matter
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Canaris View Post
What would you recommend Spritzer, not sure what you mean by vintage (McIntosh, Naim, Linn all still in business)?

My last player before getting out of audio entirely, was a Proceed CDD transport fed to a TACT 2.2X pre-amplifier with an upsampling DAC (16 bit/44khz up to 24/192 ). Prior to that it was a Melos CD player with a tube output section. Perhaps a decent player with a tube output section might take the bright off a bit.

I am essentially talking going from my current un-state of the art portable P.O.S. CDP to a all in one CDP for under $1000. I can always work my way up from there.

I realize these are less than optimal choices, but I have to start somewhere.
You can find a very nice vintage player for 1000$ and by vintage I mean it can be between 5 and 20 years old. Naim CDS (the first one) is very nice, any one of the old Wadia players, and older Sony ES player with the CDP-R3 being the ultimate, older Marantz players etc. They were all built like tanks but you need to clean and take care of the transport about once every year. They really don't build digital like they did as I just got my 1987 Sony DAS-R1 dac and it weighs some 17 kgs and the panels are made out of 5mm copper or aluminum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidplatypus View Post
Three flavors of Lambda all driven at the same time! (SR-Lambda, SR-Lambda professional, and SR-Lambda Signature)

...HeadAmp KGSS, the guys at Headroom don't even bother making Stax amps. Though I think it would be cool if Headroom were to build a Stax amp as a stament product.

IMO the new "Signature" system with the 006t doesn't sound much better than a SR-Lambda and SRD-X, that you could find for around $200.
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