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STAX 303's EARPADS MANAGE TO REPOSTION THEMSELVES WHILE BEING STORED! plus they creak when...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

I doubt this is news to any Stax owner on here but it is really annoying me to the point if I cannot reslove this I will be selling them!

 

First off is the earpads that presumably have little adhesion so they can be easily removed and replaced. This is fine if they stay in one place once stuck but end up as much as an inch or more from centre nearly every time I decide to use them!

 

Secondly the design is pretty shabby to allow the frame to annoyingly creak during use whenever the user moves their head. I do hope there is a fix for this too other than don't move my head!

 

Thirdly at present I have the 313 amp connected to a QUad 44's tape output and to get a reasonable volume I need to turn the head-amp up to over half. Is this normal or should I increase the output on the adjustable tape module which should sort the problem. Assuming this is the best output to use for the Stax.

 

Your comments will be appreciated please...

post #2 of 15

I have the same Stax 3030 combo and I used it extensively for the past 4 years or so. So:

 

1. My earpads stay firmly in place, I couldn't move them at all without unsticking them first. So in your case I think it's time for some double sided sticky tape of some kind to replace the original.

2. I've read about other users complaining about this creaking, although mine don't do it at all. The solution was to lubricate those joints but I'm not sure I remember correctly, I think it was some silicone spray or something like that. Anyway, take maximum precaution to avoid anything at all (vapors, small particles etc.) reaching the drivers inside. Oh, and a long while ago I remember somebody using some kind of an oil in an extremely small dose. Perhaps others will share their experience in this regard, if nobody helps try to find this info somewhere in the current Stax thread in the high end forum, search for "creak" or perhaps ask there too in the end.

3. I don't know what output voltage comes out of your Quad's tape output but my 313 receives signal directly from the CD player (standard 2V output) and the volume knob at 12 o'clock gives extremely loud sound, I normally listen at 9:30 or 10 o'clock (for classical). Try this direct CD player --> 313 amp connection and make sure you lower the volume before hitting "play".

 

How do you like the sound? If you enjoy it don't sell, this combo is good value especially for the "SH price" you would get for it, provided the source has good synergy with it. Your problems should be reasonably easy to fix. 

post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUADGOD View Post

 

I doubt this is news to any Stax owner on here but it is really annoying me to the point if I cannot reslove this I will be selling them!

 

First off is the earpads that presumably have little adhesion so they can be easily removed and replaced. This is fine if they stay in one place once stuck but end up as much as an inch or more from centre nearly every time I decide to use them!

 

Secondly the design is pretty shabby to allow the frame to annoyingly creak during use whenever the user moves their head. I do hope there is a fix for this too other than don't move my head!

 

Thirdly at present I have the 313 amp connected to a QUad 44's tape output and to get a reasonable volume I need to turn the head-amp up to over half. Is this normal or should I increase the output on the adjustable tape module which should sort the problem. Assuming this is the best output to use for the Stax.

 

Your comments will be appreciated please...


The sticky double sided tape eventually fails (mine lasted about 7- 10 years) and does exactly as you said. Time for some new earpads. Peel off the old earpads, clean off the residue with surgical spirit, stick on the new earpads, making sure they are aligned as per the old pads. Easy.

A small dab of silicone lubricant on the pins securing the arc to the driver cases will stop the creaking. Spray onto a cotton bud in another room and use the cotton bud to apply to the pin.

Volume controls seem to like approx. 1/2 way or more to sound best.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help.

 

I will try direct inputs then but first will adjust the tape out upwards. On the Quad 44 the tape input/output is fully adjustable so should be ok. I suppose if I managed to find the manual I'd be a little wiser ;0)

 

I purchased the 3030 (303&313) second hand from the original owner for £220 ($342) at 18 old & barely used which I though a good price for the Uk market.

 

I do not want to buy new earpads as these are like new apart from the movement issue. I may as well try double sided as suggested but maybe a stronger adhesive type unless anyone else has any other suggestions?  I was considering permanently sticking on Velcro and using that in future and on any new pads purchased? There must be a reason why Stax don't use Velcro surely as it seems to be the ideal solution unless I'm missing something?

 

Also I'm still in the dark about the 'charge time' before listening?

 

Thanks again...

post #5 of 15

That was a really, really great price IMO! You still haven't said if you like them, though smily_headphones1.gif

 

I think Velcro would be a bad idea because these stats need a good seal at the pad - skin contact surface to sound their best. Velcro between pad and baffle would break the seal there. Also, perhaps Velcro could gather dust?! Anyway, double sided sticky tape should be just fine, why would you need to complicate things so much? The replacement pads come with double sided tape, and it works at least for a good number of years as John Buchanan said, and I think finding some suitable kind locally instead of buying the whole replacement pads package should not be so very difficult.

 

About the charging time, it was the common understanding around here that the stats need to be connected to the (turned on) amp for a while before sounding their best because it would take some time before they would be "fully charged". Nowadays people say this is not true and only warming up the amp for a while makes a difference (and I can testify this is true, it does make a significant difference). Furthermore, it is said that keeping your phones always connected to an amp that stays always involves the risk of the phones developing a "parasitic charge" that would ruin their performance. At the end of the listening session, one should either turn off the amp and leave the phones connected or disconnect the phones and discharge them by simultaneously touching all their pins with a finger or a palm. I don't know, I'm just repeating what I've read around here; on the other hand, I'm quite positive nobody should do what I did, keep the phones in a plastic bag that is. This is the supposed way in which I have managed to damage my drivers three times! (because of the sweat on the earpads turning into excessive humidity inside the microclimate created in the bag). It's not 100% sure, but nobody was able to come up with another explanation, so just don't do the same.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by QUADGOD View PostI do not want to buy new earpads as these are like new apart from the movement issue. I may as well try double sided as suggested but maybe a stronger adhesive type unless anyone else has any other suggestions?  I was considering permanently sticking on Velcro and using that in future and on any new pads purchased? There must be a reason why Stax don't use Velcro surely as it seems to be the ideal solution unless I'm missing something?


Tearing off the earpads usually tears the netting in the centre of the pads and so taking the pads off, cleaning off the tenacious stickum and using new tape results in a less than new look. The pads don't normally move at all unless the stickum fails, so new pads gives you the new improved mesh and fresh stickum ready to go.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Buchanan View Post

Tearing off the earpads usually tears the netting in the centre of the pads and so taking the pads off, cleaning off the tenacious stickum and using new tape results in a less than new look. The pads don't normally move at all unless the stickum fails, so new pads gives you the new improved mesh and fresh stickum ready to go.


By "netting" you mean the open cells foam sheet, I suppose. You might be right, my foam was already disintegrating when I had to do the dirty job of removing that sticky thing so I don't know if it would have survived the operation or not.

 

QUADGOD: please be aware that the new style pads don't sound the same as the old ones, but rather worse IMO. See my detailed description here (scroll down a bit, I don't know how to link to a single post).The difference is not huge, but it was noticeable enough to really bother me. In the end, I returned to the old pads and stick a new foam in them, see my 2 posts here.

post #8 of 15

I had the opposite problem to OP - just received some 507/404LE leather pads to try on my 303 and the sticky stuff was so potent that the underside of the old pad ripped a little as it came off. Thankfully the foam filter was intact on the one I tried this morning so it should still be OK to return it to place it if I prefer the original pads SQ-wise.

 

Finers crossed the foam filter remains intact on the second one when I take it off tonight...

post #9 of 15

Don't forget to post your impressions, I'm really curious to know if I'm the only lunatic to complain about this sound difference between the two types of pads. Although you are using the leather pads while I've tried the (new) pleather ones. Also, where did you put the cloth, inside the baffle opening or in the pads pockets? (I assume the leather pads have these pockets too)

post #10 of 15

I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet as I've just moved house and haven't set my rig up yet, but have them on (non permanently so far, just temporarily stuck to the old sticky). I can confirm that the leather pads don't have any pockets - I put the cloth screens directly against the metal mesh.

 

All I can say about them so far is that comfort is great - well it feels exactly the same as the SR507 unsurprisingly. I had issues with comfort from the foam screens, but this is a lot nicer, and the leather is cooler and softer than the pleather. Will post some impressions in the Stax thread when I've had a chance to do some comparative listening.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

 I can confirm that the leather pads don't have any pockets - I put the cloth screens directly against the metal mesh.

 

Well, in that case... "All you need is love!"... ummm, no, I mean "bass". It was not the only issue I had with this pads configuration, so to speak, but it was the most important one for me. Perhaps the leather pads would tilt the bass up a bit...

Also, if you are curious you could try the new pads with vs. without the cloth (and no foam of course - only temporarily, I don't know if it's safe on the long term for the drivers to get rid of the cloth). Without cloth I experienced a bit colder midrange and perhaps 1-2 dB less bass (not sure right now), but more precise, relaxed, detailed and, if you can imagine, subjectively faster sound! An interesting experience, if not for tonal and phones safety issues I would have loved to keep the pads like that, with nothing in the middle.
 

post #12 of 15

Well there are a lot of options for tuning the filter if the cloth doesn't sound good for me, making cut outs from various different foams and cloths or combinations. If all else fails both the old pads came off fine (one with a bit of the outer veneer of the back of the pads missing which should not affect their re-use) so I can put them back on again. I just really did not like the arbrasive irritation of the foam screens on those.

 

Anyway, this thread has gone a bit off topic so I'll save further comments for the Stax thread when I've had a chance to sit down properly and have a listen.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post
Anyway, this thread has gone a bit off topic

 

Indeed! Sorry, QUADGOD!
 

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

 biggrin.gif  Hey no worries guys...

 

So it looks like I shall be using double sided this weekend and having a mess around with the tape output settings on my Quad 44. I had a brief look in the 44 manual (yes actually found one of them) but a lot of the ohm resistance stuff means nothing to me (clear as mud).

I will post soon with a brief outline of what it says in the hope someone on here can get me from opaque to translucent if clear is not an option! At least I may have a little more understanding after that confused_face_2.gif

post #15 of 15

 

Hello everyone:

 

I just took my Lambda Pros out of storage after 10-years. I immediately noticed a flapping noise coming from the left driver, so I took it apart to investigate.

 

There's a fine-mesh screen affixed to the rear of the driver that came partially un-bonded, causing the aforementioned flapping noise. While I was in there I noticed that the black foam basket netting and fibre acoustic insulation was de-composing (dry-rotting) from age, so I contacted Yamas/Accutech, the Stax authorized service agent in the US for a replacement parts quote & availability via e-mail.

 

I received a very professionally detailed reply from them the following day, completely answering my questions along with a parts quote.

 

They explained that the fine-mesh screen was not available as a replacement part, but only with the driver unit itself. They stated; however, that it could be easily re-bonded with a gel-type adhesive.

 

I ordered:

* a pair of two basket acoustic insulators

* a pair of two black foam basket nettings

* a pair of two replacement earpads w/mountings

 

The creaking, or crackling noise that you're referring to may have two possible origins:

 

* One being the yoke pivot pins, as previously stated.

* Air pressure differentials on the driver diaphragms, rattling them, when re-positioning them on your head. I've been told this is normal on a well-seasoned driver.

 

If you're familiar with drum heads the same logic applies here, as drummers claim them to sweeten with age.

 

My Stax have ALWAY made a crackling noise from right out of the box, as well as several, but not all, other pairs that I've ever listened to over the years. Someone once told me that they'd rather hear them crackle/flap when re-positioning them, rather than lose their detail, imaging, openess & transparency.

 

I used Spirit Gum to re-bond the fine-mesh screen to the driver unit, by rolling the gum onto the driver flange with a Q-tip, allowing it to tack up prior to re-affixing the screen.

 

After re-assembling the cans, I applied Silicone Plumbers Grease (very THICK) to the pivit pins with a toothpick prior to their insertion.

 

They're BETTER than new for about $100.00US including tax, shipping, handling and an hour of my time.

 

The reason that I say BETTER than new, is because the diagphragms are broken in and the yoke pins don't creak like they did when they were new.

 

I did an A/B comparison with my freshly re-conditioned 23 year-old Lambda Pros and nearly new pair of SR-507s.

 

6 out of 6 people claimed there to be a negligable difference on the basis of their openess, transparancy, detail and soundstage image per various acoustic music program control variances.

 

Good Luck with your project . . .

 

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › STAX 303's EARPADS MANAGE TO REPOSTION THEMSELVES WHILE BEING STORED! plus they creak when wearing them plus output seems low!!