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Noob Stax research

post #1 of 148
Thread Starter 
I would like to learn more about stax headphones and their technology. I've used the search function, but it brings up just too many things. can anyone point me to a thread that explains the stax concept, and characteristics of their sound? I am of course wondering if they are for me, since so many swear by them. would love to hear from some of the old schoolers. thanks in advance.
post #2 of 148
Hardly an old Schooler myself, but I just wrote a PM about this very topic to another member. I'll forward it to you.
post #3 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post
I am of course wondering if they are for me, since so many swear by them.
You will have to search yourself for needs, wants & budget to circle in on the model you are looking for. Then you will have to try them for yourself, no matter what people write. You might be best served if you can find a head-fier or head-fi meet nearby where you can audition.
post #4 of 148
I hope this gives you the info you are looking for:
Stax Earspeakers Overview - Wikiphonia
post #5 of 148
post #6 of 148
My advice, after doing your research, is to look for an inexpensive vintage setup. You should be able to get a SR-3, SR-5, or SR-3 clone for under $200.
post #7 of 148
Thread Starter 

hmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
My advice, after doing your research, is to look for an inexpensive vintage setup. You should be able to get a SR-3, SR-5, or SR-3 clone for under $200.
I didnt realize I could find something for so little. will one of these under $200 setups give me a stax experience worth noting, or will it just be an introduction to the sound signature. It would be great to get an affordable setup, but I would rather not get an inferior setup that is sub par, then end up saying "stax aint for me". I know the real answer is to find these things, and listen, but as we know, that is harder than it should be.

I dont mean to sound negative. I thank you VERY much for throwing me those suggestions, and I will be looking for them.
post #8 of 148
The cheaper setups can give you a good taste, and they have reasonable resale value.

Stax bargain hunting outside of the confines of the head-fi forsale fora is tricky business for two reasons.

1: If an electrostatic hasn't been used in years, it probably needs a few hours of power before it will wake up. Also, people who don't understand the transformer boxes ("energizers") that hook up to a speaker amp often hook them up wrong, and get no sound at all. So sellers will often list a potentially working item as broken.

2: Sometimes they really are broken, even when the seller says they work perfectly.

Sometimes, you get lucky. My SR-X III + SRD-7 cost me something like $98 shipped, and works perfectly. Needed new pads that cost me $25 from a different ebay seller. Apparently a lot of SR-X 3's have one or both driver on the way out, but mine doesn't.

Sometimes they're easy to fix. Sometimes the channel imbalance is just a wiggled connector away from being fixed. And sometimes it's a gonner.

Sometimes, if the seller doesn't know if they work, you can help them hook them up for a proper test. But they may have to leave the energizer turned on with the headphones plugged in overnight before they work properly.

My only other advice is not to pay too much for stax electrets. I don't think any of them are worth more than $100, unless they're in literal NOS condition. The SR-30 (which is SR-60 in europe) and SR-80 are also fairly fragile, unlike the rest of the Stax line.
post #9 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keithpgdrb View Post
I didnt realize I could find something for so little. will one of these under $200 setups give me a stax experience worth noting, or will it just be an introduction to the sound signature. It would be great to get an affordable setup, but I would rather not get an inferior setup that is sub par, then end up saying "stax aint for me". I know the real answer is to find these things, and listen, but as we know, that is harder than it should be.

I dont mean to sound negative. I thank you VERY much for throwing me those suggestions, and I will be looking for them.
Nah, I've owned stax headphones on both ends of the price spectrum and the O2 doesn't really make me feel like tossing the lower end units out the window. The SR-5 with lots of mods holds its own against the O2 (as far as enjoyment goes), to my ears.
post #10 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tachikoma View Post
Nah, I've owned stax headphones on both ends of the price spectrum and the O2 doesn't really make me feel like tossing the lower end units out the window. The SR-5 with lots of mods holds its own against the O2 (as far as enjoyment goes), to my ears.
What mods do you recommend for the SR-5?

So far the only thing non-stock about mine - that i know of - is that it's wearing a pair of mediocre K240 pads.
post #11 of 148
how much to vintage stax amps cost? since i don't have a speaker amp
post #12 of 148
A lot. A couple hundred bucks at least, usually.

Unless you find some guy on craigslist selling an SRD-X for $50. But i already bought that one in ft. collins.

if you're going for cheap, a vintage speaker amp and a transformer box will probably give you better sound quality than the entry-level amps.

It doesn't have to be a big speaker amp. Some people use a T-Amp. 10 watts will do it.

I've hooked up an SRD-7 transformer box to the Philips MCD708 mini-system i bought on ebay for $94 shipped (dvd player, amp, speakers) and it doesn't sound bad at all.
post #13 of 148
I'm very satisfied with my inexpensive Stax. I have no desire to spend the amount of money a new or used pro bias setup costs. The SR-3 clones I own are not as good but give a good flavor for cheap. I paid $15 for the clone Magnavox and $35 and for the K Mart clone. They're well worth that cost. I use the Magnavox at work. I'll probably switch to the K-Mart as soon as I rewire them.

At home, I use a vintage NAD that I got at Goodwill for $15. At work, I use a SI Super T amp that I bought used for $75. As soon as I get a small preamp, I'll be using a vintage Toshiba mini amp. You can also use the SI v2 T amp which is $50 and is smaller than the transformer boxes.

Edit: My SR-Gamma is better than any dynamic headphone I own and my SR-3 and SR-5 hold their own against them. The SR-Gamma was $125 with out an adapter, the SR-3 was $110 with an adapter, both over the summer. The SR-5 was $75 without an adapter last year. Because it was my first stat, and I had it a couple of weeks without being able to listen to it, I ended up paying $75 for a SRD-7 which was too much, but I really wanted to hear the SR-5.
post #14 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomzDayz View Post
how much to vintage stax amps cost? since i don't have a speaker amp
Depends which amplifier you target.
Anything between $3-400 (SRM-1/MK2) to $7-8000 (SRM-T2) I would guess.
post #15 of 148
Hey guys..

Whats so special about Electrostats? ..what am i missing in Dynamics?

I mean i know the Basic design ..but what about the actual Sound?


No one has actually written something for a layman for example like me out there to understand.
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