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Baby STAX SR-001 MK2 Impressions Thread

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 

I loved these babies so much that I have two of them. They are definitely superior sounding than my ER-4S + Amp rig - which is something I hate to admit.

This thread is for a roll call on baby Stax owners and to keep the interest running

Hope Audiocats and HeadPhoneAddict can chime in soon as they owned perhaps the best sounding electroststic induced battery powered device on the planet.....

Essential STAX Links:
Audiocats SRM-001 MK2 Modding Guide

So it begins....My 1st modded STAX portables:


post #2 of 110
Great toy. I have a love and hate relationship with the SR-001/SR-003. It's a headphone that does so many things right, and so much better than anything else in its price range, that I get annoyed by its limitations (deep bass and treble extention). It would have the potential to become a giant killer with custom molds and maybe tweaks involving the enclosure, but the latter is probably too difficult to make it happen.

Nice pics. How many hours does battery last on your modded unit? And what opamp/caps combination did you use?

As to ER4S, the Audiocats-modded Babystax are better than any other portable I tried, but they lose most of their advantage on the go due to the lack of isolation, reason for I prefer to stick with Etymotics when going around.
post #3 of 110
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately my modded SRM-001 is draining the batt quite fast with the stock 3V (2X AAA). Less than an hour because I was using a pair of AD8065AR and this opamps are power hungry. The output caps now uses boutique Octave Audio custom 0.01uF 630V.

I hope to get better hours with the quad pair of UltraFire batteries which should be arriving today.

Yes, as for commuting about, my ER-4S still is the primary rig. But when I am driving and in a room, I will surely listen to the STAX
post #4 of 110
I really like the SR-001 and mostly use it at my bedside, although I have been known to take it in the car with me because I can listen without any isolation and can hear normal traffic around me (like when listening to the radio through the speakers). I use the Audiocats SFC++ modded SR-001 so much at the beside that I have not turned on my Meier Headfive or Headroom Micro Amp in my bedside rig in months. I feed the iRiver H140 optical into the Micro DAC and then right into the SR-001. The small size of the headband and earpieces makes it easy to lie down wearing it.

The Audiocats modded version takes it to another level, with more bass and treble extension, but the stock one after 500 hours of burn-in was good enough to leave it alone. I kept the stock one as a spare, so if my modded one blew up I wouldn't be without one, or in case I were to send mine in a third time to get the AD825 opamp to replace my upgraded AD8599.

PS: I was getting over 6 hours on NiMH 1.5v rechargables stock, and 3 hours on 2 parallel 3.7v lithium in the modded one, and now my battery compartment is filled with caps and I have an external 6 lithium cell battery pack that should give 9 hours (haven't fully drained it yet).
post #5 of 110
Thread Starter 
I am thinking of buying this monster to power my modded SRM-001,

Yes you read it right, 18000 mAH - if this thing can't power my SRM-001 for more than 24 hours I dunno what else will
post #6 of 110
EFN, your rig in your pics always look like they just came out of the package. Really nice.
post #7 of 110
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by wuwhere View Post
EFN, your rig in your pics always look like they just came out of the package. Really nice.
Three words "Tender Loving Care"

And of course some skills with the camera (proper lighting is key)
post #8 of 110
I'm way too paranoid about the flimsy cables to think of these as portables, but I don't listen hard on the go so it's no problem for me. Benefits of sitting at a desk for 8-a-day, plenty of time to get my fill. So my primary issue is fit.

Did some bendy bendy on the headband which only helps me because I swapped tips with Sony Fontopias. Seem to get a good seal with less pressure needed. Ordered a set of Etymotic 3-flange tips with Fontopia adapters off eBay that will hopefully carry the same benefits plus... Will file a brief report in the mod thread when they arrive. Contacted a couple Stax dealers about alt eartips and got some interest but no experience. Eartip vendors take a look at the rounded rectangle end and take a pass. Lots of fun as is.
post #9 of 110
Hello fishpatrol, thanks for the great hint about Fontopia tips. How do they sound over stock tips?
post #10 of 110
I prefer the Sonys. Since the tips are round, less rotation is needed to get a good seal--less finicky overall. I don't know if the difference in sound is seal or something more. The physical difference is that the Sony tips slide inside the earphone canal while the native tips are large enough to slide outside. I would describe the Sonys as slightly darker, losing a little crispness in a guitar being picked. It's hard to a/b by quickly switching tips. My feeling is that a little more pressure on the Stax tips yields the same response. "Lightness" from Transatlanticism, for example, exhibits this, but this same darkness accompanies the strongest bass. The difference is slight enough that it may be imagined, or there may be a fine grade of diminishing returns in high vs low end from almost-to-max seal. Coloration may be specific to my system as well. I'm willing to chance it for an easier fit that stays in place.

System is EAC ripped ALAC to Bel Canto DAC2 via Wavelength U24, cheap Radio Shack RCA-to-1/8" that needs replacing. What can ~$20 buy me?
post #11 of 110
Update: I have been able to fit Ultimate Ears biflanged silicon tips to the SR-003. They let the drivers stay in my ears without the use of the headband. The first times the biflanges need some work to fit the drivers, after that you acquire the technique. The ability not to have to use the headband is great. I don't know yet if it's an improvement in sound quality. I'll listen to them tomorrow give you some impressions. What I want over the stock tips is more treble (we can hope the biflanges offer that), less midbass hump (the lack of headband and its pressure should allow it). Deep bass would still be immensely welcome, but I don't think these tips will provide an improvement in this regard.

Thanks fishpatrol for the suggestion of Sonys: the UE biflanges have the same internal diameter, so they fit the SR-003 well. I would look also into Head-Direct RE biflanges, and also try to find out if there are any triflanges with Sony/Sennheiser/UE internal diameter: I have a feeling that they would provide the right treble, as well as the so much desired deep bass.
post #12 of 110
Nice, keep us posted on what tips work.

I heard many different iterations of the modded 001, and the improvement from the stock amp ranges from substantial to overwhelming, depending on what configuration you have. Unfortunately parts do dry up fast and some of the best versions are destined to be one-offs unless something similar pops up again.

Mine is the best sounding portable I've ever heard, period, but unfortunately mine is one of the one-offs. I've never heard soundstage this layered and precise in anything outside of the O2. It does need silver cables though since the treble is very polite. However other configurations can have a more aggressive and prominent treble (or pounding bass, or pretty much whatever you want). The drivers can't do deep bass or high treble extension but anything in between is fair game.

They're also the fastest headphones I've ever heard, and pretty much the best thing ever for vocals, though with the better setups you will have to forget about anything but high-end sources to get the most out of them.
post #13 of 110
Boris, is your current modded version the same I have had made?
post #14 of 110
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post
Boris, is your current modded version the same I have had made?
No. I asked for your version, but the parts weren't available anymore. It's an entirely different version and it sounds different. Darker, but even more detailed and with better soundstage that's like nothing else, in portables anyway. I thought yours sounded great with the copper ICs I had, but this one needs silver badly. It doesn't have the massive solid bass of your version though. Also, parts for this one aren't available now either AFAIK so it's a one-off.
post #15 of 110
What capacitors is your version using?
As to tips, I'll let you know. Have you ever thought about getting custom tips for your SR-001? I have been in touch with Tom from Earplugstore, and he could make them for 150$. I am not interested for now, since it's too annoying to have impressions had and sent across the ocean, but you are going to have new custom IEMs made, so you could do two great things in one. There are chances that custom molded tips could make the SR-001 the ultimate headphone, or something in that range.
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