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Is it time for Stax?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone


I've been thinking about this for a while and came to a conclusion today. There really isn't much left for me in the headphone world of dynamics and orthodynamics. I have heard just about every headphone I am interested in listening to that involves these two driver types and I own one headphone each that is very well regarded. The HD800 is a great dynamic and the HE-6 is a great orthodynamic. There are other flavors of good but haven't been excited about any release since the HD800 and HE-6 so I'm highly considering venturing into Stax. That does require a completely setup as my amps won't work. Also no I won't go into speakers.


What I'm wondering is at what point of Stax should the entry be for me. I want a progression in quality from my HD800 and HE-6. Also yes I am aware of that huge Stax thread in the Summit Fi area but that thread is over 1k pages long and hard to go through it all unless you give me like 3 months lol however I digress. There's four Stax models that I am aware of. Those are the 407, 507, 007 and of course the 009. Which Stax model would be the entry level for me? I have a guess at the very least it would be the 507 based on price but price doesn't always automatically mean quality so some guidance on that would be appreciated.


Also another thing would be amp. I am aware of the two HeadAmp Stax amps in the BHSE and the Aristaeus but both of those are made to order and require a wait time of longer than I am willing to wait and a cost of higher than I am willing to spend at least right now. Then there's those Stax SRM amps but to my knowledge they aren't sold in the US unless I find something in the FS. What would be a good amp that pairs well with the different Stax models. Lastly there is also bias which I've read about in various Stax threads such as pro bias and normal bias and not too sure what that is.


Any recommendations on where to start would be appreciated. Thanks!

post #2 of 10

Having listened to the SR-007Mk2 and SR-009 for a short amount of time, I can sadly say that they are on a completely different podium when compared to what is usually referred to as very high-end. If I could, I would go back and stop myself from listening to the high-end Stax rig, aswell as a few speaker systems, ignorance is bliss.


If you're strongly into the headphone experience as you clearly are, it's an inevitability, I say go for it. If you post in the Stax thread I'm certain they'd be able to give you a better comparison of the Lambda and SR-007/009 models aswell as amplifier recommendations.

Edited by eltocliousus - 12/1/12 at 8:02pm
post #3 of 10

I don't know where I picked this up, I thought it was a good read.



Stax_Saga.pdf 45k .pdf file
post #4 of 10
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post
Then there's those Stax SRM amps but to my knowledge they aren't sold in the US unless I find something in the FS.

erm, http://www.headamp.com/order/index.htm#stax-drivers

post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by dcpoor View Post

erm, http://www.headamp.com/order/index.htm#stax-drivers


I will be adding a couple models soon as well -- the SR-407 earspeaker and SRM-252S amp.

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

post #6 of 10

With going for a Stax rig, you really need to listen to a setup rig to hear what you like and prefer, there is one thing common with all Stax electrostat's is that they can sound (one's I have heard) bright or you may be susceptible to it's bright tonality more so than other's. You really have to give it a listen, but as you go up the Stax chain, the higher end models won't be as much as a problem for the lower models but you have to try it out yourself.

post #7 of 10

I have a bunch of dynamics, including the usual suspects like HD800's, and also planars like HE6 and LCD2.  They all have their good points. For example, for bass depth and texture, the LCD2 is hard to beat (probably the LCD3 is as good in the bass but with less recessed highs, but I don;t own LCD3's)


I also have a whole bunch of amps and DACs, balanced, solid state, tube, Beta 22, Bottlehead Crack/Speedball, etc etc


But when I got a pair of Stax Lamdas, followed quickly by Stax SR-007 MK I and Koss ESP950, I realized that in terms of transparency and detail, nothing beats electrostatics.  They have great bass, too, but not the same bass 'impact' or slam of good dynamic or planar 'phones- although the ESP950 comes close in terms of bass punch.


And nothing I've heard comes as close to neutral purity as the SR-007 MK I   (I have not heard the SR-009, don't want to hear them, would have to sell a kidney to get them.... and the thing is after I heard them I JUST MIGHT...)

post #8 of 10
I believe anything below the sr-007 would just be a sidegrade. I think the sr-007 is superior to the HE-500 and hd800
post #9 of 10

The SR-007 (MK1) have a totally different sound signature to the HD800 and HE-500's. But you would need a very expensive setup with the HD800 (to bring it to its max potential) to scale a Stax setup that is less in cost.

post #10 of 10

I have the SR-007 MK1-I think they are great! Smooth but detailed presentation in my set up Which is a Stax-727-11 -converted by myself to an even more open and natural sound they give depth and a musical presentation.

            I have no wish for SR-009s then I would be hearing too much detail which for me would reduce the musical presentation.

              Remember in a live situation in a theater or stadium sound has to travel through the air to reach your ears you could call it analogue processing the music is changed and slightly smoothed [.unless you are seated in the front row a few feet from the band]

                That's why  many like "tube sound"-nice and smooth its built into your  make-up of normal listening while outside the house.

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