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Stax - Page 8

post #106 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvanrij View Post
Hmm good point, the energy supliance in the Netherlands is one fo the best in the world, so there is no need for filtering of 'dirty power', but I do use powerstrips, so they have to go
The dirty power is inside your home and does not come from the outside. All the crap switching supplies in DVD players, TV's, cordless phones, computer gear etc. pollutes the power by dumping some of the switching noise back onto line. That said I'm not a fan of "power conditioners" and that's why I use isolated, dedicated power lines.
post #107 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by mypasswordis View Post
Are you saying the SR-404 is more extended (and elevated I assume) in the treble than the Lambda Pro? That's interesting, because the Lambda Pro is the same way compared to the normal bias Lambda. I think I'll pass on the new Lambda frames, then.
More extended? Yes, a decent amount more.
More elevated? Yes, a bit more.

A "bit" more elevated, yes, so you may have to tweak a system going from Lambda Pros to 303/404's in order to get back to what you were happy with before. I had to do that with my own system, changing IC's mostly.

In the end it is worth it because the new Lambdas seem to have even greater resolving power than the LPro's, if you can believe it. That, of course, can be a two-sided sword if ever there was one because the LPro's weren't short of resolving power by any means so even more of it may show additional changes you may wish to make with your system.

You know the drill: Welcome to Head-Fi, sorry about your wallet!!
post #108 of 173
I thought the "slightly brighter" SRM-1 Mk2 pro was perfect with SR-Lambda and SR-003 or SR-5NB and ESP950 - slightly bright with SR-Lambda Signature and HE60 but still enjoyable - and too bright with SR-Lambda Pro. Yet, too dull and flat with SR-007 Mk2 when compared to Woo GES or SRD-7 Pro. One of these days I'll have to try a SR-404, but alas I sold both SRM-1 Mk2 Pro after I got my maxed GES with normal and pro bias jacks.
post #109 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickbianchi View Post
Got the stuff together. My baby stax portable arrived and I've been listening for a couple of days from an ipod mini-pin to mini-pin.

Impressions mostly good and frequently impressive. Especially impressed by the fact that when i hear a vocal, I "see" a person singing, it is not just a voice in space. And the detail is exquisite. With one jazz singer, I heard some nasality when she sang; there is the uncanny impession that the nasality was always there when i listened to that song, but I hadn't heard it till now. I am hearing instrumenal timbres and naturalness that is new to me in stuff I listen to all the time, and attack and decay that is very natural. Want to listen with a lot of different source stuff in front of it.

Got my old stax outfit. I dont remember when I listened to it last and tomorrow Ill connect it to my power amp and listen a bit. The energizer is SRD-4 (I cant find it on the list. 3 is 1965 and 5 is 1968) and the earspeaker is SR 30 Electret (1980). Anybody know anything about them?
I do - not only did I sell those models when current I gave a SR-34 set (SR-30 + SRD-4 combo) to my sister as a holiday gift because I loved Stax so much and wanted her to enjoy them as well.

http://www.stax.co.jp/OLD/Photo/Sr34.jpg

Small round supraaural electret earspeakers with small, horizontal-format energizer. Their joy is that unlike SR-5, SR-X and SR-Lambdas on energizers they don't need much power at all to reach their full potential - 30W amp and up will do quite nicely, thank you. Less extended on the top end than the SR-80 "mini Lambdas" (I called them that because, although they were electret, they were encased with Lambda-like grille work) but all the better for it: the electrets have (compared to the electrostats) a lack of bottom end so the mellower top of the SR-30 brought a better overall balance to the plate than the top-heavy SR-80 (IMHO of course). Midrange might have a few small imbalances but IMHO still beat just about any other can of it's era in the same price range in that regard.

Works best if you do not hook the speakers up to the rear engerizer connections (speakers through the engerizer switch) - see if you can hook up the energizer to the "B" speaker set of you amp, if you have it, and switch it that way.
post #110 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I thought the "slightly brighter" SRM-1 Mk2 pro was perfect with SR-Lambda and SR-003 or SR-5NB and ESP950 - slightly bright with SR-Lambda Signature and HE60 but still enjoyable - and too bright with SR-Lambda Pro. Yet, too dull and flat with SR-007 Mk2 when compared to Woo GES or SRD-7 Pro.
I would say that is probably more due to the SR-007's power needs as compared to just about any other Stax can; the 007's are real power hogs and much harder to drive properly versus the rest of the entire Stax line. The SRM-1 just didn't have the nuts to drive the 007's well.
post #111 of 173

SR-34 set

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake View Post
I do - not only did I sell those models when current I gave a SR-34 set (SR-30 + SRD-4 combo) to my sister as a holiday gift because I loved Stax so much and wanted her to enjoy them as well.[
Thanks for the information.
post #112 of 173

staxes, baby and grown-up

I did some listening today to the SR 34 combo, using music I frequently listen to, mostly jazz and classical. I connected the energizer to the terminals of my micrex hybrid amp (uses two EL34s and I just got some great NOS mullards). I have a one-off preamp made by the guy who makes Red Iron guitar amps that uses 6sn7s and I used my NAD t585 as a source. (I usually used a combo of Monachy upsampler, audionote 1-1x sig dac for redbook CDs, but this is one occasion when the dacs in the NAD sounded better to me.)

The listening experience wasn't surprising and it was. Not surprising was that the 34 combo sounded a great deal better with this setup than with whatever receiver I had way back when. I wasnt surprized that, though it was different from the Senns and RS-1s, it could occupy the same neighborhood: I sort of expected that I would say "I could live with this." It's very pleasant to listen to and I never was jarred by anything and didn't want to stop till I'd listened to a whole piece of music. One of the negatives, if you can call it that, is that it sounds too much like the Senns but without the airiness and space of my Senn setup. The sound is mostly in the head.

The surprise was that I found I was more excited about the sound of the new baby stax portable, and I think I'm looking for a grownup version of that.
With the portable, the voices and instruments have a certain increment of information which I haven't heard up to now with other phones that make the listening experience feel "real", for example, the sense that you are listening to a real person sing and not just a voice.

What I think I am hearing is minimal cues that you would experience in a real setting that may make it to the recording but not be accessible with most reproduction equipment. On a recording of Lotte Lenya singing Kurt Weill's American songs, on a track I've listened to a thousand times, I was startled to hear mouth and throat noises that I've never heard before that I would have heard if I'd been standing where the microphone was when she sang it.

Wow. Nothing thrills like significant additional information. On some instruments, it added up to a different dynamic and speed that brought it together and put me face to face with the artistry of the player. A thrill. And a wider and more accurate soundstage. While playing orchestral music, I sometimes marvel that the ornamentation seemed recessed and properly placed (like it would sound in an orchestra hall) and not louder and pushed forward as it does with speakers and other phones. And this from an ipod with apple lossless.

I will listen to both a lot more to see if the experience shifts or changes. I hope I am simply hallucinating because right now I am seeing dollar bills with wings flying away from me in great numbers.
post #113 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The dirty power is inside your home and does not come from the outside. All the crap switching supplies in DVD players, TV's, cordless phones, computer gear etc. pollutes the power by dumping some of the switching noise back onto line. That said I'm not a fan of "power conditioners" and that's why I use isolated, dedicated power lines.

Very interesting point spritzer, I never thought of it that way. But by saing 'dedicated power lines', did you like rebuild your whole house for that? Or do you mean that every piece of audio equipment you use sticks directly in the wall?
post #114 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvanrij View Post
Very interesting point spritzer, I never thought of it that way. But by saing 'dedicated power lines', did you like rebuild your whole house for that? Or do you mean that every piece of audio equipment you use sticks directly in the wall?
Dedicated lines means that the audio gear is on a separate breaker, away from everything else. There is a lot on this issue on both Audiogon and Audio Asylum.
post #115 of 173

Another stax question (or two)

1st: How much does the amplifier that is powering a transformer change the sound of the earphones. I have been assuming that if I powered the SRD-4 with a solid state that it would sound different.

if it changes the sound and I preferred tubes, would it be better to buy a stax amp with tubes or a tubed or hybrid amp to power an energizer.

2nd: If I bought an amp, would a balanced cd or dac source sound better than single-ended. Are there gains similiar to what is claimed for balanced dynamic phones?

I listened a lot more to the SR34 set today and the longer I listened the better it sounded. I am set up so that the stax, powered by a hybrid amp and my senns powered by a Meier Opera are both on, and I can switch between them. After listening to the stax for an hour or so, I switched, and the Opera-equimox-senns combination which is my "best sound I ever had' seemed dark and a bit veiled, yet offered some soundstage and air that the stax didn't. Onward and inward.
post #116 of 173

More listening, same questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickbianchi View Post
1st: How much does the amplifier that is powering a transformer change the sound of the earphones. I have been assuming that if I powered the SRD-4 with a solid state that it would sound different.

if it changes the sound and I preferred tubes, would it be better to buy a stax amp with tubes or a tubed or hybrid amp to power an energizer.

2nd: If I bought an amp, would a balanced cd or dac source sound better than single-ended. Are there gains similiar to what is claimed for balanced dynamic phones?
Id still like to hear any thoughts about this.

As for continuing to listen to the stax: perhaps it's my age entering into this, or perhaps it's different recordings,but not only is it YMMV but MMMV. I seem
to have different reactions to the different phones at different times (I guess that is one way to rationalize a variety of phones!)

I had intially thought that I like the shure E420 better than the baby stax, but after a few days of listening to the baby stax with my ipod, the shures sounded bad to me today. I stayed with them but I wanted to go back to the baby stax. I will see if this impression persists.

I go back and forth between the stax 34 and the Senns (Opera amp). One session I prefer one, another session, the other. I am enjoying both, which points to an outcome.

I'd like to go futher up the foodchain on stax and try the Senns with a balanced amp.

Thanks for listening.
post #117 of 173

more listening, some answers

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickbianchi View Post

I had intially thought that I like the shure E420 better than the baby stax, but after a few days of listening to the baby stax with my ipod, the shures sounded bad to me today. I stayed with them but I wanted to go back to the baby stax. I will see if this impression persists.

I go back and forth between the stax 34 and the Senns (Opera amp).
I dont like listening to the shures with my ipod. They are my second choice now and only if i cant comfortably carry the baby stax or need isolation. I will look around for other phones to walk about with. The baby stax get the most refined sound out of my ipod and seem most "natural" to me.

I have been reading "The stax thread (new)" and getting some answers to questions. The consensus seems to be that different amplification brings about a different sound. While this would seem to be obvious, it isn't so when you are dealing with something you have no experience with. That said I replaced 2 Chinese 6sn7s in my preamp with 2 nos RCAs, and the difference, as they say, was NOT subtle driving the 34 set (or my speakers!)

And I would say that I am now a convert. I really like the lightness and clairty and when I switch to the Senns, it takes time to readjust. The Senns are a different experience which I also like. With certain music I like the greater slam of the Senns and the increased soundstage. I'd still like to hear them with balanced amplification, but for now I will be looking to buy a better stax outfit.

I want to thank everybody for their input and I will continue to pour, a little each day, through that humungous thread.
post #118 of 173
Now you should have Audiocats modify and upgrade some internal parts of your baby stax portable

There's the caps upgrade that doesn't affect battery life, or the parallel lithium rechargable upgrade for more power to drive a better opamp (half batt life), or the full monty "Super Fat Cat ++" which fills the battery bay with caps and you get a piggy back battery pack.
post #119 of 173

baby stax mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Now you should have Audiocats modify and upgrade some internal parts of your baby stax portable
Thanks for the suggestion. I read the review of the mods by Catscratch and some of the ensuing thread discussing several mods, including, I think yours.

It is tempting. One thing that holds me back is the fact that as a portable, the baby stax is a handful,esp with ipod. Im still looking for a way to put it all together so I can conveniently walk about with it. Another thing is that it will probably take me a while before I decide it NEEDS improving -- it is pure enjoyment right now.

It will stay on the back burner for a bit and I'll probably focus on a better home stax outfit.

I do have a question for you about batteries. What is a good brand of rechargable battery and charger to use with this. Also can one use the AAA Lithium batteries that I see these days.

Thanks.
post #120 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by dickbianchi View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I read the review of the mods by Catscratch and some of the ensuing thread discussing several mods, including, I think yours.

It is tempting. One thing that holds me back is the fact that as a portable, the baby stax is a handful,esp with ipod. Im still looking for a way to put it all together so I can conveniently walk about with it. Another thing is that it will probably take me a while before I decide it NEEDS improving -- it is pure enjoyment right now.

It will stay on the back burner for a bit and I'll probably focus on a better home stax outfit.

I do have a question for you about batteries. What is a good brand of rechargable battery and charger to use with this. Also can one use the AAA Lithium batteries that I see these days.

Thanks.
You can use the 1.5v non-rechargable Lithium, but the rechargables are 3.7v and you can only use one of them with a dummy cell in the other battery socket - two of them is too much voltage.

I recommend the Sanyo eneloop low resistance AA NiMH because they hold their charge forever and give up their power more easily, as do the Rayovac NiMH hybrid.
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