You may want to check the polarity of the driver of the Sigma vs the Lambda. If I remember correctly, the Sigma is reversed vs the Lambda apparently in an effort to account for the fact that there is no direct sound from the Sigma driver. I seem to recall a discussion between John Buchanan and Spritzer on this issue.
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Stax Sigma wood mesh housing? - Page 2post #16 of 1073/2/11 at 12:42pmpost #17 of 1073/2/11 at 1:26pmThread Starter
Thanks I will try to look that up. Sounds like the stator wires might be reversed on the Sigmas? I was planing on mounting the drivers flipped over compared to the Lambdas so it is the same side the sound comes from.
The reverse side on the Lambda pro drivers have a mesh cheese cloth type dust cover. I am trying to figure out the best way to mount the drivers. Hoping I can just 2 way tape from the cheese cloth mesh side. I did a few changes that took some time and tried a few things that slowed the project down but now it is really close to the same size as the Sigmas.They still need some more glue then paint but I like how it is going so far.
Here are a couple pics of what they look like so far.post #18 of 1073/2/11 at 4:13pm
The drivers are mounted with the dust cover facing outwards, not into the cavity. There is a phase reversal when reflected off the internal mineral wool, so the Sigmas were wired to compensate for this. That is, compared with a Lambda earspeaker, BOTH sides + and - were reversed. Both sides have their absolute phase wired backwards.
The Sigma Pro used a Lambda Signature driver, not a Lambda Pro driver, so you will be hearing yet another different type of Sigma. The housing looks rather tasty so far.post #19 of 1073/2/11 at 6:22pmThread Starter
So they are mounted the same way as in the Lambdas but the wires are reversed and the sound is now coming from the back of the driver? I am concerned now that I bent the pins so far the other way on the drivers that
if I bend them back one or more may break. If I flip the driver isn't it the same as leaving it and switching the wires? I could be very careful and bend the pins back for one more shot though. Thankspost #20 of 1073/3/11 at 2:58am
Leave it my friend - the only thing that you have there is a phone that MAY not be absolute phase correct. That may also vary according to your preamp, your amp, and recordings, which may or may not be absolute phase correct, and that may change between tracks on an album.post #21 of 1073/3/11 at 12:45pm
I have a phase inverter (some say this should be called a polarity inverter) on an old Denon CD player and the effect on sound doesn't exactly stand out like dogs' balls (to use an old Australian expression) . So I wouldn't worry about it too much either.
I am still curious about phase shift of a reflected sound , which we discussed some time back. I worked for several years with sonar engineers who never even mentioned it, and you would think if anyone would care about this it would be people who were making their living off reflected sound.
Trying to research this on the Interenet I came across a number of references which lead me to think that the phenomena is not a simple one. It seems to be affected by the angle of incidence as well as the rigidity of the reflecting surface and ties in with Newton's Third Law, impedance matching and the like.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-1073322.html indicates no phase shift with a rigid wall.
http://paws.kettering.edu/~drussell/Demos/reflect/reflect.html Deals with string demonstrations in which there is phase shift with a clamped string but not when the end is free.
To which I add one thing I did learn from my sonaring colleagues, that you don't even get a reflection unless the the size of the reflecting object is greater than the wavelength (or was it some fraction of the wavelength) of the sound, so there are frequency issues affecting reflections as well.
As regards the Sigma, it seems to me that one of the profound differences between it and other phones is that because the drivers are located, ahead of the ear, no direct sound is getting to the eardrum from the driver. I would guess that the first sound to get to the eardrum would be that which is reflected off the pinna, with reflection from the the mineral wool coming later. How much and what frequencies come off the mineral wool are unclear to me because some energy may be absorbed.
Now to the extend that the Sigma gives you pinna reflections that is fine since that means that it is giving you something comparable to what your ear would get from a sound source in front of you. Normal headphones fire straight down the ear canal and that would only correspond to sound sources right beside you. This I suspect is one of the reasons why most phones don't sound quite right and furthermore are somewhat harsh sounding . Regualr phones have a pronounced direct signal from the headphone driver which you would not generally experience at a concert where what you hear are sounds that have been bouncing off and and around the parts of the ear.
But when you just run Lambda drivers in the open air, located where the Sigma drivers are, you don't get any bass. The mineral wool of the enclosure is necessary because it probably blocks some of the back wave and also creates a resonating chamber. But which aspect is more important i.e blocking the back wave or cretaing a resonance chamber I don't know.
I think the resonating chamber aspect is not good because it creates some artifactual sound. In this regard the AKG K1000 has an advantage in that it doesn't use a chamber. How it gets its bass up at all I don't know but I suspect some equalizing process must be at work. Still one major complaint about them is weak bass.
I wonder if it woud be possible to create a Lambda-type K1000 by using a second set of drivers in front of the main drivers, running like one of those active noise reduction phones, to cancel the back wave?post #22 of 1073/4/11 at 2:52amThread Starter
"How much and what frequencies come off the mineral wool are unclear to me because some energy may be absorbed."
I am an industrial/commercial insulator. Mineral wool is known as a sound absorbing material. Maybe in a small environment like in the Sigma's it reflects some sound. Say if you built a garage and
on the inside you had styrofoam then in the walls fiberglass or mineral wool that garage would be dead quiet. The syrofoam reflects the sound in but mineral wool absorbes the rest of the sound.post #23 of 1073/4/11 at 1:02pmpost #24 of 1073/11/11 at 8:52pmThread Starter
Pretty close to done now. I will post a few pics. Hard to see because its just a cell phone and they are murdered out. I am going to put mineral wool in soon and aluminum mesh on front to protect the drivers.
I was just listening to the as is to see what they would sound like. I notice the bigger sound stage. The bass is boomy and doesn't go down very deep. The treble is there and the efficiency is pretty good.
The housings are rock solid. It was a fun project and think they look pretty decent.
I put mineral wool in and I have pretty decent bass now can't notice the boom. Fun headphones!
Edited by jaycalgary - 3/11/11 at 9:59pmpost #25 of 1073/11/11 at 10:19pmpost #26 of 1073/13/11 at 5:15pmI am surprised that you would get boominess with these phones before you added the mineral wool, or that you would get much bass. When I pulled my Lambda 404's off their arc assembly and held them in position, more or less where Sigma drivers are I got virtually no bass. I wouldn't have thought that the wire mesh would have acted as any kind of enclosure to make your phones sound any different than the opened Lambdas.post #27 of 1073/13/11 at 6:31pmThread Starter
It could have been partly that I didn't have them screwed together at the time and was very first impressions. I just dyed the mineral wool black. I haven't figured out yet
how I can stop the mineral wool from being irritating. I'd like to leave it nice and open like it is.Maybe I can coat it with a little bit of starch paste? So far I really do like
the sound. The bass doesn't go quite as low as my Lambda Sig's but it has quite a bit more weight behind it. The bass is warmer but there is a lot more tone and I notice
the character of guitars and wood type instruments a lot more. Seems like there is a lot more open space where the music has a chance to separate and breath instead
of being rammed into the ear as quick as possible. A lot of the time the sound is between the ears more forward then normal other times it is in the housings and sometimes
out if front. They were great to watch a tv show with. I want to do it again later in the summer and make 507 Sigmas.
Edited by jaycalgary - 3/13/11 at 6:59pmpost #28 of 1073/13/11 at 7:15pm
I am not sure that I would want to alter the mineral wool. Stax just leaves it uncoated. However with the thin mesh you use I would guess that you would feel the mineral wool when you pick up the earcups. You don't feel the mw with a Stax Sigma because the plastic case has thicker pieces so the mw doesn't protrude through. If you end up sealing the mw on the outside of the earcups. you may end up altering the sound. When I used tape to seal the earcups, the sound got very echoey and boomy. Possibly you could add a plastic grate over the mesh to protect the hand from the mw.post #29 of 1073/13/11 at 7:38pmThread Starter
Had to change out the mineral wool. I was using a piece of block that they use on the outside of skyscrapers and was not very healthy that is for sure.
I changed it to residential mineral wool and hope it will be more manageable. It is a lot more light and fluffy. The headphones took a lot of wear and
tear in the process. Broke more pins off the drivers and thought they were done. Besides the frustration managed to get them back together working.
The headphones are just not as nice looking as they were but that can be worked on. Still not bad for just an idea that turned into something.
Edited by jaycalgary - 3/14/11 at 8:01pm
- Stax Sigma wood mesh housing?
- Headphone Impedance
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