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Are STAX really too expensive? Thinking thread (okay and maybe advocating).

post #1 of 198
Thread Starter 
I am always puzzled - why do people think Stax are actually too expensive to use? A typical head-fi user building a home setup will put together a rig using a $200-300 headphone + $200-300 amplifier, resulting with a rig around $500.

Then when a user is interested in something new and someone suggests Stax (go heralds/devil's advocates of Stax who keep at hard work of letting people know that there is more to this hobby than just mainstream dynamics) - there is a typical response from the person: "I don't want anything ultra-expensive."

Reality check:
Stax SRS-005a Headphone + Amp @ $399
Stax SRS-2050a Headphone + Amp @ $599
Stax SRS-3050a Headphone + Amp @ $899

Okay, maybe the last one is a stretch, but quite a few people had no problem getting D5000 + an amp, you know? Can someone please explain to me what is stopping you guys from trying these systems that are known for their detail/resolution levels, soundstage, and generally excellent finesse at their price levels, without the troubles people complain about (these are observations, not my own complaints) with D2000/D5000's construction issues, K701 clumsy comfort, HD600/650 veil/slowness (without going balanced), and needing to upgrade amps over and over to get them better...?

I don't mean to say that everyone should go out and buy one right now - but I think it is illogical to just brush them off because they cost too much. If you can buy an amp for your dynamic, you can buy one of these systems instead of the dynamic+amp.
post #2 of 198
Dude, you can't plug Stax in the ipod, did you see that ugly plug? It's not the price it's the plug.
post #3 of 198
Part of it will be that you can't spread out your spending as both the amp and phones are useless without each other so you need to get both items at the same time = bigger lump investment. With dynamics you can do it any way you want and the phones will always work. There's also the fear that if you don't like electrostats you have to again sell both items to recoup your cash. Dynamics you can pick 'n' mix more freely.

Still that's no excuse not to do it anyway
post #4 of 198
For me it's because they look really cheap for how much they cost and I've read that the build quality isn't too good. I'm not paying 100's of dollars for something that's going to fall apart.
post #5 of 198
I am struck by the same thing.
They clearly respond, and exclude Stax, without knowing what they talk about. Shame really, since they should have known what they miss out of.
post #6 of 198
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faust2D View Post
Dude, you can't plug Stax in the ipod, did you see that ugly plug? It's not the price it's the plug.
LOL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasiveMunkey View Post
For me it's because they look really cheap for how much they cost and I've read that the build quality isn't too good. I'm not paying 100's of dollars for something that's going to fall apart.
Huh? Where did you get that idea? On the contrary - the amount of troubles with Stax (%-wise) is pretty damn low (exclude the out-of-production ones since those do have age behind them, but even those are going strong for the most part).

Granted, I agree, their looks are not expensive, but the build quality claim is not even remotely correct. Besides - you listen to headphones in front of a mirror?

Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
I am struck by the same thing.
They clearly respond, and exclude Stax, without knowing what they talk about. Shame really, since they should have known what they miss out of.
I have only one potential theory but it is so pretentious, it almost sounds like Ultrasone-fans. It takes experience to appreciate what Stax do - especially to acknowledge what their users say about them, and that still has little to do with the Stax just being brushed off as 'too expensive and too cheap looking'.
post #7 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasiveMunkey View Post
For me it's because they look really cheap for how much they cost and I've read that the build quality isn't too good. I'm not paying 100's of dollars for something that's going to fall apart.
Where did you read that the build quality isn't good?

The build quality of the plastic electrets (SR-30 (which is SR-60 in europe) and SR-80) isn't good, but it's not so much that they fall apart as it is that they don't stand up to any abuse at all. Better build quality than grados, that's for sure.

Sigmas are kinda fragile as well from what i hear.

As for lambdas, well, sure, you can't step on them, but they're not going to fall apart.

the rest of them are all pretty sturdy, AFAIK.
post #8 of 198
Those little Stax earphones that fit in the ear are supposed to be some of the fastest headphones made.


Mitch
post #9 of 198
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by braillediver View Post
Those little Stax earphones that fit in the ear are supposed to be some of the fastest headphones made.


Mitch
They are. Its quite scary to realize that after listening to the whole dynamic fleet and coming back to electrostatic equipment.
post #10 of 198
The thing is that people usually start off with dynamics, and usually purchase an amp + a set of headphones.
And then when they want to go electrostatic, they need to purchase a new amp + headphones, added up these costs can be quite significant.

If you start with elecrostatic and buy the 3050 system or something similar, it's relatively cheap.
post #11 of 198
The little staxes are pretty awesome. Very fast, monstrously deep bass and exceedingly smooth and refined.
post #12 of 198
to me, its more the point that you can only use stax with that equipment. the lack of range (within a price group) is the main downer, not the price.
post #13 of 198
krmathis, i'm curious, are Stax' lower end models are good? How do they compare to K701, for example?
Also, what is cheapest amp for Stax?
post #14 of 198
I think most people are scared by the idea of "electrostatic" and the high voltages involved.
post #15 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Sigmas are kinda fragile as well from what i hear.
Nah, they're built well, they're just huge and can flop around on their hinges with the headband, so you have to be careful with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gautam View Post
to me, its more the point that you can only use stax with that equipment. the lack of range (within a price group) is the main downer, not the price.
I use a Superex headphone out of my Stax energizer, thanks to an adapter made by Spritzer. Faust2D uses a Koss ESP950 out of his, thanks to an adapter made by ericj. And you can build (or have built) an amp that can handle every electrostatic headphone standard. As long as bias voltage ratings are compatible, a plug adapter is all that is required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QQQ View Post
krmathis, i'm curious, are Stax' lower end models are good? How do they compare to K701, for example?
Depends: for those whose ears are attuned to the speed and timbre of planar drivers, even an old normal bias SR-5NB, SR-X, or SR-Gamma would trump a K701. For those who miss the tactile "punch" of dynamics, these headphones would not come up to the 701. The only thing to do is find a way to try electrostats or other planars and find out which one your ear tells you is for you.
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