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The Stax Lambda Thread

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
As someone in the middle of a stax transition, Ive spent many hours on the black hole that is "The Stax Thread". Hopefully we can break it down into some sub-categories so future head-fi(ers) dont develop carpal tunnel in their search for electrostatics.


How about limiting this one to the now vintage Lambda (normal, Pro, Signature) earspeakers and their associated amps.
post #2 of 88
Thread Starter 
I'll start with a question:

Ive heard the Srm-1/Mk2 and Srd-7pro described as very different sounding, and hard to compare. Does anyone prefer the Srd-7 to the Srm-1/Mk2? (with a speaker amp in the 100-250$ range)
post #3 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchess of York View Post
Hopefully we can break it down into some sub-categories so future head-fi(ers) dont develop carpal tunnel in their search for electrostatics.
At least for the vintage stuff, we WANT them to develop carpal tunnel syndrome before buying anything. Scaring away the half of them who are only casually interested is the only way to keep the prices down for the other half of the potential buyers, the ones willing to put in the time to research and think about what they want.
post #4 of 88
Thats really a tough one to answer as the amplification ahead of the transformer obviously plays the role as to the ultimate sound your getting from it. But there are some general traits of both.

Transformer setup-

Generally an overall more dynamic sound than direct drive amps. But at the expense of dynamic range ..ie: softer parts of the music are louder than they would be (should be..?) from a direct drive amp. A sonic squashing of the sound so to speak.

Tend to mask tiny details and generally less transparent than a direct drive amp.

But as said earlier it is VERY dependent on the amplification setup ahead of it.

Direct drive-

Tend to generally have a slightly more polite sound overall but greater dynamic range.

More inner detail, greater transparency and probably in the end more accurate.

Keep in mind there seems to be exceptions to every rule.

I personally think both setups can sound magnificent.

I really do like the transformers and wish someone would come up with a high(er) end offering. (besides the Illusion as it seems a bit difficult to get a hold of)
post #5 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
Scaring away the half of them who are only casually interested is the only way to keep the prices down for the other half of the potential buyers, the ones willing to put in the time to research and think about what they want.
Im all for exclusivity, but I thought we were all here on head-fi to share our passion for headphones. I think the commitment to a 'stax system' that head-fi(ers) cant use their dynamic headphones on is enough of a deterrent for a casual listeners, and will keep STAX headphones among those searching for the best possible sound. I dont think there needs to be any STAX hazing, the hit on my bank account was punishment enough.
post #6 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by facelvega View Post
At least for the vintage stuff, we WANT them to develop carpal tunnel syndrome before buying anything. Scaring away the half of them who are only casually interested is the only way to keep the prices down for the other half of the potential buyers, the ones willing to put in the time to research and think about what they want.
LOL It's Mr. Professor in you speaking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchess of York View Post
I'll start with a question:

Ive heard the Srm-1/Mk2 and Srd-7pro described as very different sounding, and hard to compare. Does anyone prefer the Srd-7 to the Srm-1/Mk2? (with a speaker amp in the 100-250$ range)
Let me break it down in simple terms:

SRM-1/Mk2 = detail galore, transparent, less punch

SRD-7 = less detail, more euphoric, takes after the character of the amp you drive it with, more bass punch if the amp has it
post #7 of 88
Well one big difference is the srm-1/mk2 has both both normal and pro-bias jacks (so would be able to be used with all Lambdas). Except that is the srm-1/mk2 pro pp. Keep in mind there are different srm-1/mk2 models and even variations between serials of the same model (reported the "C" srm-1/mk2 pros out perform the "A" and "B" serials). How much so I'm not sure.

I think the srm-1/mk2 is crazy for the price and paired with a Lambda/Lambda Pro beats most similarly priced dynamic setups overall, but if I listened to specific genres mostly (say Rock) I'd probably want more impact on the dynamic side. For myself upgrading to the 007t solved this problem.

I agree the Stax (or Ultrasone, etc.) threads become borderline useless as they become chatty and rambling and difficult to search. I prefer focused threads myself, but I do find that this is a Lambda specific thread and immediately we're just discussing amps generally a little funny.
post #8 of 88
Its a tough choice indeed.
I really nice the micro-details, dynamic, speed, sound stage, etc. of the direct drive SRM-1/MK2 Pro. But I also like how the SRD-7 Pro, matched up with a nice power amplifier, held the Lambda's under tighter control (ex. bass punch).

I ended up selling my SRM-1/MK2 Pro, but keep the SRD-7 Pro. So go figure..
post #9 of 88
The transformers do a really nice job. I couldn't be happier with mine. If there is some slight dynamic compression or small loss of detail I certainly don't notice it, but then, I don't listen for it. If I really enjoy what's coming out of the cups I'm happy, and my 'stats via the transformers make me really happy. Thankfully I'm not an anally critical listener, I enjoy my music more that way.
post #10 of 88
Thread Starter 
so it sounds like the srm1/mk2 is more electrostatic sounding and the srd-7pro is more dynamic sounding?
post #11 of 88
Since this is dedicated to out of production stuff, I figure I can ask here. Between the Lamba Sig and the Pro, what makes the Sig more expensive and harder to find? And how different are their respective 'sound signatures'?
post #12 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by penger View Post
SBetween the Lamba Sig and the Pro, what makes the Sig more expensive and harder to find?
Let me do a wild guess...
* The 1µm diaphragm (thinnest Stax diaphragm ever).
* The number of produced units (probably less Lambda Signatures out there than Pro ones).
* The Lambda Signature are higher regarded than the Lambda Pro.
post #13 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by penger View Post
Since this is dedicated to out of production stuff, I figure I can ask here. Between the Lamba Sig and the Pro, what makes the Sig more expensive and harder to find? And how different are their respective 'sound signatures'?
I recall checking the prices of the various older lambdas several years ago when they were still in production and finding that the Signature was very expensive, about 2K, which with inflation, made it more expensive than the current Omegas. Certainly, I wasn't cutting a check for them.
post #14 of 88
I am new to the Stax family myself. Over the past two months getting a Lambda Pro and a new Lambda (303). I was fortunate in scoring a srm1/mk 2 pro and a srd-7pro and find myself listening more to the srd7pro set up with the lambda pros....mainly because I have been listening to more rock, alt rock, electronica lately and the increased dynamic sound just sounds so good. I came from a ultrasone 2500 and ath esw9experience...the lambda pro has very good mids, with just the upper mids being a little edgy and my amp (actually vintage carver receiver) works out to be a great combo. Lambda's have good bass, not as deep as the ultrasones but very satisfying, tight and fast...think Juno Reactor "congo". For Jazz and vocal I do like the newer Lambda with the srm1.
btw the Pico as dac has great synergy with both systems.

Dutchess! team VW, just sold my 1962 Transporter with 25,000 original miles.
post #15 of 88
Not to muddy the thread up, but I guess it is relevant. I'd like to hear more how the Lambdas compare to the Koss ESP/950.
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