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The Stax Thread III - Page 124

post #1846 of 2799

I think it's the upper mids or treble that you guys may be referring to. The Highs were quite extended but sibilant. My ears.

post #1847 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by jring View Post
 

Gentlemen,

 

while not having ventured into the summit forums yet (as opposed to real summits of which I have climbed a few), I now have a question about my latest head-fi acquisition which hopefully can be answered here.

 

I have gotten a pair of lambda pros off german ebay for a steal and after fixing two broken leads and replacing the torn headpad with a piece of leather cut to size they are playing nicely with my old power amp and the included srd7-mk2.

 

The pads are not too good though and probably should be replaced - but since I felt sweaty below them even in winter I was thinking about getting SR-507 leather pads as replacement...

 

- will they fit (I think yes from what I read - but comments welcome)?

 

- will they change the sound signature and if yes, in what way?

 

- will they increase comfort and especially feel less sweaty?

 

So if anybody is using 507 pads on any other lambda, I'd like to hear your experiences.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Joachim


When I got tired of the worn pl pads of my LNS I bought the leather pads from AudioCubes, very expensive because of the extra import tax I had to pay. But I'm very satisfied. A great fit and no sweat, they are not sticky like the pl leather.

 

The sound has improved, too IMO. I recommend them.

post #1848 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangler View Post

2 very basic and unrelated questions:

1) in stock configuration, does the bar/spring on the 007 face the front or back? I got mine second hand, and while I don't think the previous owner made any adjustments, I just want to check.

 

The first 007 Mk1 I tried was owned by a Stax dealer (first-hand), with no mods at all, and the bar pointed to the front. I think it's the same with the 009. The placement is likely not as much for sonic reasons, but for comfort: my ear touches the bar if it's pointing to the back (even when it's pointing down or up).

 

Quote:
2) Do you find the 009 to be brighter, less bright, or just as bright as the 507? Ive heard a few different opinions, but not enough to get an idea of what the consensus is. I've also never been fortunate enough to hear the 009, so this would provide a nice point of reference.

 

They are different kinds of brightness: the 507 is lower in frequency and a more narrow distribution. People who find the 507 etched (I don't), are usually still fine with the 009. They sound similarly open, the 009 being the more balanced/neutral and more open sound, with better.. everything. Yes it is perhaps with more high frequency energy, but rather evenly spread out, is not disturbing me at least. Also the more and better bass and more transparent midrange, with bigger sound stage puts the treble energy in a good context. I am not sure if I can really quantify the differences, but it's similar "house sound", and a departure from the 007.

 

In general, I prefer the natural neutral sound of the 009 over the darker, warmer and more euphonic 007 Mk1, but the treble of the 009 is indeed a bit high when compared to the 007 Mk1, so the latter may be preferred with some types of music. The treble of the 007 is definitely enough for me, just right. However, the 009 is better in many ways whereas the 007 is better only in some ways and some music... so if there has to be one headphone, the 009 is the best - pair it with the right amp.

 

You have to listen to the 009, really. You need to make your own choice for your own ears/auditory cortex and wallet. If you like it, get the money and buy it... you won't regret. However, when you want to compare it to the 007 Mk1, more time is needed, since the 009 makes a better first impression, but the 007 Mk1 may win you over with time. As described earlier, it is possible to tune the 007 to sound less warm and more neutral, by rotating the bar downwards (and doing the foam mod), but AFAIK there are less or no possibility to make the 009 sound more warm, except perhaps more stuffing to the back half of the earpads, and amp/tubes choice. So in the end the 007 Mk1 may just fit the bill better. I could live with either - but when a choice is given, life is hard :).

post #1849 of 2799

I think people are somewhat off-base talking about the reason that some of us feel that the 007 (esp. mk I) really come alive with an amp capable of higher voltage swings -  and it is NOT just volume.

 

The SLEW RATE is important. Most electrostatic amps just can't swing ENOUGH voltage FAST ENOUGH (with low distortion) into the reactive load of an electrostatic driver.

 

If everything else was equal - slew rate, distortion, etc - then higher voltage swing would only mean a louder output.  But when it comes to electrostatic amplifiers, things are NOT equal, and so the QUALITY of sound that a given electrostatic earphone is capable of has limits imposed on it by the amplifier's capabilities.  An amplifier that is capable of delivering the best in terms of high slew rates and low distortion is also capable of greater-than-average voltage swings.

 

Listen to an 007 on a DIY T2 then listen to it on an SRM-T1 - or even the  SRM-727 etc-  you'll hear the difference.  And that difference is NOT just "moar volume."

post #1850 of 2799

Thanks for all the replies re: electrostatic headphones  / electrostatic speakers.

 

I found them interesting.  It seems that folks who like electrostatic headphones also like panel speakers. 

 

Personally, I have found that even the most expensive well-regarded dynamic speakers still sound like "sound coming out a box."  On the very best examples, it can sound like actual musicians are inside that box,  but the BOX is still there. 

 

(And by the way, I know that Magneplanars are not electrostatic. They are planar magnetic, with ribbon tweeters.  But, like full-range electrostatic speakers, they do not have BOXES. )

post #1851 of 2799

The only thing lacking with panel speakers (the ones I've heard including the hybrid Martin Logans) is low end where an additional active subwoofer added into the same room with the right placement can make it more enjoyable, some of the vintage Quad's I've heard sound bland and diffused. Very good in one particular area but lacking in other areas making the music sound incoherent like forcing odd puzzles into a spot where it does not belong.

 

Funny thing you brought up "sound coming out a box."  On the very best examples, it can sound like actual musicians are inside that box,  but the BOX is still there." I'm actually having this problem with one of the speakers I have at my house and so far with some room treatment, placement and bottom end dampening it has helped with the sound. If it sounds like a box it means 4 things: room to big and too hollow, improper speaker positioning - set too far apart or too close and lack of internal dampening or deteriorating dampening and finally could be just a bad speaker..

 

So far with what I've experienced is that some multi-way dual woofer (usually xover between mid bass and sub woofer) or dual tweeter dynamic speakers is that the sound can be overpowering, hard to describe. Another problem is rather than sound and soundstaging surrounding the listener it is shot directly at the listener in the face, quite annoying and sound can come off unnatural, un-positioned with a cold and sibilant extension to the high or upper registers in the treble. But a cure for this is positioning and choosing the right speaker for the right room (size, wall and floor type).  


Edited by DefQon - 3/26/14 at 2:54am
post #1852 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post

 

Funny thing you brought up "sound coming out a box."  On the very best examples, it can sound like actual musicians are inside that box,  but the BOX is still there." I'm actually having this problem with one of the speakers I have at my house and so far with some room treatment, placement and bottom end dampening it has helped with the sound. If it sounds like a box it means 4 things: room to big and too hollow, improper speaker positioning - set too far apart or too close and lack of internal dampening or deteriorating dampening and finally could be just a bad speaker..

 

I agree with this. Proper internal damping and proper room with some treatment make a huge difference, and it's the minimum someone should invest in if serious about speakers. All the dynamic speakers I mentioned above sound out of the box, with much better sound stage than any headphone. For hybrid dyn/stats, it's still the JansZen speakers that I would prefer. As a matter of fact, I may prefer them over most dynamic speakers, so milosz can count me in, too :). However, they are not purely stats. In addition, I've heard close or better dynamic speakers; they have also evolved a lot. It matters not only in the bass, but also in the midrange and even high frequency micro- and macrodynamics. Big panels tend to smear things a bit and sound more compressed. Often good dynamic speakers (and also headphones) may sound cleaner and resolve e.g. orchestral crescendos better. However, at the physical size of headphone membranes, this effect is minimal if it matters at all, and I seem to prefer (full range) stats there. They just have that natural, clean, open, lifelike sound everyone loves here.

post #1853 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post
 

 

Big panels tend to smear things a bit and sound more compressed. Often good dynamic speakers (and also headphones) may sound cleaner and resolve e.g. orchestral crescendos better. However, at the physical size of headphone membranes, this effect is minimal if it matters at all, and I seem to prefer (full range) stats there. They just have that natural, clean, open, lifelike sound everyone loves here.

Agreed. But as an example with older Quad's, compressed and smeared sound is an indication of a refurbishment and restoration to be performed, that is if amplification is not a problem. 

 

As with Miloz's question, the upper tier Dali dynamic speakers are the best to date that I have heard to date, besting the Dragon's, ATC, Martin Logan, Quad's and few other high 4 figure speakers I've heard at our dealers showroom (and a few times another speakerphiles house). I definitely don't agree with more expensive is better but if one is going DIY route, a good and well designed cabinet with the right dampened chambers for drivers can impact sound bigger then just dropping good VIFA or SEAS drivers. DIY gives you that satisfaction retail doesn't. This doesn't just limit to audio and speakers though. 

post #1854 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post
 

I think people are somewhat off-base talking about the reason that some of us feel that the 007 (esp. mk I) really come alive with an amp capable of higher voltage swings -  and it is NOT just volume.

 

The SLEW RATE is important. Most electrostatic amps just can't swing ENOUGH voltage FAST ENOUGH (with low distortion) into the reactive load of an electrostatic driver.

 

If everything else was equal - slew rate, distortion, etc - then higher voltage swing would only mean a louder output.  But when it comes to electrostatic amplifiers, things are NOT equal, and so the QUALITY of sound that a given electrostatic earphone is capable of has limits imposed on it by the amplifier's capabilities.  An amplifier that is capable of delivering the best in terms of high slew rates and low distortion is also capable of greater-than-average voltage swings.

 

Listen to an 007 on a DIY T2 then listen to it on an SRM-T1 - or even the  SRM-727 etc-  you'll hear the difference.  And that difference is NOT just "moar volume."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dude_500 View Post
 

Unlike in conventional headphones where the cable does not measurably affect the output of the headphones, in electrostatic headphones it actually can definitely play a major role. It depends entirely on the amplifier whether or not it will matter. Electrostatic drivers are capacitors, and the cables are capacitors. As it turns out, the cable is quite a fraction of the total capacity of the headphones. Increasing this capacitance may or may not change the sound quality. Electrostatic drivers run at such high voltages, that slewing the voltage in these capacitors actually takes milliamps or even tens of milliamps of current (might not sound like much, but we're at hundreds of volts!). If the amplifier has sufficient drive power and is well designed, it really shouldn't change anything. If it's a lower power amp or lower design quality, it might be at least measurable.

 

In terms of conventional headphones, imagine a case with a 300 ohm driver, where the cable is 100 ohms. Changing this cable to 300 ohms by extending it would change the impedance of the system and would change how it is loading the amplifier. Fortunately for conventional dynamic drivers, cables are <<1 ohm.

 

Given the bias currents and topology of the Blue Hawaii, it is my opinion that there might be a very slight measurable difference using a 15 foot cable, but I would be shocked if the difference could be perceived by any human (of course assuming you're unaware of the difference in cable length). On the other hand, if one were using a Stax transformer box, I would be quite surprised if the average listener couldn't tell a difference.

 

 

These quotes deserve to be united since they are both related. I have found both beautifully explained. Thank you.

post #1855 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post
 

I think people are somewhat off-base talking about the reason that some of us feel that the 007 (esp. mk I) really come alive with an amp capable of higher voltage swings -  and it is NOT just volume.

 

The SLEW RATE is important.

The SLEW RATE is meaningless.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by milosz View Post
  Most electrostatic amps just can't swing ENOUGH voltage FAST ENOUGH (with low distortion) into the reactive load of an electrostatic driver.

 

 

Classic unsubstantiated claim.


Edited by dripf - 3/26/14 at 8:15am
post #1856 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by dripf View Post
 

The SLEW RATE is meaningless.

 

 

Could you please elaborate ?

post #1857 of 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by kothganesh View Post

Could you please elaborate ?
This should be good... popcorn.gif
Looking forward to dripf's fourth post.
post #1858 of 2799

Assuming a linear audible frequency response (which is reasonable) from the amplifier, we can use the output Vrms to calculate the slew rate of the amplifier. This is meaningless as it describes nothing more than we already know.

 

The context of SR in the case of ES headphones is the calculation of current required to output 20 kHz at a required loudness. This is simple SR * capacitance. Where there is a current insufficiency SR is effectively limited.


Edited by dripf - 3/26/14 at 7:25am
post #1859 of 2799

Although, if you do transpose the formula into SR = current / capacitance, things aren't looking so great for my hot air.

 

By this I mean that I've proven milosz's point. :rolleyes:


Edited by dripf - 3/26/14 at 12:06pm
post #1860 of 2799

I'll be the first to admit that I have a fairly limited understanding of what such factors mean in practical applications (i.e. outside of circuit topology theory and conversation topics for electrical engineers).

 

In particular I'm unsure of the implications of damping factor and slew rate in the electrostatic realm.

 

That's why I'm genuinely curious as to how and when the theoretical limits of electrostatic amplification might be breached, particularly from individuals who have first-hand experience with such audible distortion/clipping. This is not just for something like a SRM-252S or SRM-323S or SRM-T1, but also for justifying the increments from a KGSS to a KGSSHV to a BHSE to a SRM-T2.

 

I have the money for just about anything short of a SRM-T2/DIY-T2, but I just can't justify the outlay. Let me say that my first-hand experience with the KGSSHV was less than revelatory.


Edited by 3X0 - 3/26/14 at 2:14pm
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