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The Stax Thread III - Page 135

post #2011 of 11956
I've been paranoid about my stax ever since I bought a second hand 007 that was imbalanced (lucky I got to return it). So, this is probably overkill, but I got a dehumidifier cabinet to protect them:




It seems over the top, but I live in super humid Tampa where having ants crawl out if your light sockets and getting into your stuff is just a fact of life, so I figure it's worth the investment. Kind of looks cool too though smily_headphones1.gif
post #2012 of 11956
Quote:
Originally Posted by glorkaglickflic View Post
 

DOES THE STAX DRIVER UNIT HAVE TO BE PROTECTED FROM DUST?

_____________________________________________________________

 

 

I have the SRM 323 S and have never shielded it from dust.  I have had the unit for about 3 months.  I don't seem to see this issue mentioned in the forums so I thought I'd bring it up.  If there is dust, should I use a Dust Buster type of handvac to remove it or use a standard vac, or use one of those bulb-type of air blowers they use to clean camera sensors? Are there dust covers available for this unit?


Dust is not good for electronics in general, if you can aviod excessive dust it would be better for the driver.

Just use cloth to cover it up when not in use, it should keep most dust off.

post #2013 of 11956

I am just about to purchase my first Stax system and then I have to see this: a guy from Tampa using a dehumidifier cabinet to protect his Stax gear. I live in New Orleans and I believe we have Tampa beat when it comes to relative humidity. So far, I have had no issues whatsoever with our notorious humidity compromising the sound of my dynamic headphones. But I'm beginning wonder:  Just what the heck am I now getting myself into with electrostatic cans? Should this really be a concern? Will the term "parasitic charge" become a part of my daily vocabulary?

post #2014 of 11956

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Edited by glorkaglickflic - 4/12/14 at 4:50am
post #2015 of 11956
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangler View Post

I've been paranoid about my stax ever since I bought a second hand 007 that was imbalanced (lucky I got to return it). So, this is probably overkill, but I got a dehumidifier cabinet to protect them:




It seems over the top, but I live in super humid Tampa where having ants crawl out if your light sockets and getting into your stuff is just a fact of life, so I figure it's worth the investment. Kind of looks cool too though smily_headphones1.gif
You guys have me worried. I live on the coast in South India where humidity typically hovers upwards of 80% and summer temps can go as high as 110F.
This dehumidifier not only looks cool but seems to make a lot of sense for me. Gosh, all this for extra resolution and detail😳
post #2016 of 11956

Humidity is probably not a major problem, Japan itself can get very humid during summer.

If it get too wet during use, such if the hair of the user is wet, then there is a higher risk of shorting or arcing. Otherwise it should be a problem.

post #2017 of 11956
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx79ez08 View Post
 

Humidity is probably not a major problem, Japan itself can get very humid during summer.

If it get too wet during use, such if the hair of the user is wet, then there is a higher risk of shorting or arcing. Otherwise it should be a problem.

Clearly then, the answer may be to use it only in air-conditioned rooms. I've just invested in the 007 mk1 and the KGSShv and never once thought about these risks.

post #2018 of 11956
My srm-t1 has a thick layer of dust, hasn't been opened in 20+ years tongue.gif
post #2019 of 11956

Dust in electronics increases the risk of short circuit and arcing. It also reduces the heat dissipation ability of components, increasing the temperature of them, which shortent the life span of the system.

 

Dust in driver of electrostatic headphones is reportedly the cause of distortion and the so called "squealing" sound.


Edited by rx79ez08 - 4/12/14 at 2:23am
post #2020 of 11956

Stax stand + dust cover for my SR-009, and back to its box sometimes. Nothing special for old cans (SR-5, SR-Lambda), except a stand.

Some protection (tissue or whatever) on amps to avoid dust inside.

Weather is pretty temperate in Paris :)


Ali

post #2021 of 11956

Yes, I agree, dust is an issue and can't be ignored.

 

With my Stax SRM-717 I take the top off twice a year and blow it out, and wipe off the tops of the

heat sinks.

 

With my SR-007s I put them on a stand which sits inside a glass bell jar. I drilled small holes in

the top for breathing (for winter and any mould issues. The position of the stand is away from direct

sunlight, and away from any radiators (another potential problem).

 

Stax use a thin plastic type of film for the speakers, so obviously this is fragile, can be damaged

by dust ingress and excessive heat (both while not in use and while playing music!).

 

So, I think as long as you store your phones when not on your head in a similar type of dust free

environment, they will last for years. My preference if have a dust free enclosure that is not toally

sealed to the environment.

 

I am not so sure a sealed bag is a good idea myself, as it could

promote mould and damp around the leather cups (perspiration and hair grease in the leather).

A silica jell bag will help but for that to work effectively it requires a total seal on the bag.

 

Here is my stand and glass dome. The stand is a simple Brainwave Perspex and aluminium stand glued

to the Wooden display base. I then fashioned a cable exit to the base.

 

post #2022 of 11956

Using a little rubber-bulb type air squirter is likely to introduce MORE dust into the driver, not remove it.  And besides, you can't get at the driver anyway- it's inside a set of dust seals.  Lightly blowing some air into the earcup will do NOTHING to the driver.  It's sealed away in it's dust envelope.

 

Stax drivers are sealed within a dust shield, kind of like a plastic bag around the driver.

 

Besides, dust levels in a normal domestic environment are not terribly high and thanks to the dust seals dust doesn't really get inside the drivers.  I don't cover any of my headphones. They all continue to work just fine.  I don't think there is any more reason to worry about Stax headphones and dust than with any other gear.

 

If you thought there was dust inside your Stax drivers, you'd have to tear open these dust seals, and then dust the drivers with DUST FREE dry gas (i.e., technical grade dry nitrogen) in a DUST FREE environment such as as an ISO Level 6 or better cleanroom to be assured of success. If you have the $1 million to build the cleanroom, then by all means proceed....

 

Then you have to replace the dust seals, for which there is no known field procedure.

 

While I have heard of people taking apart a Stax driver and repairing it at home successfully, I have also heard of many failures when trying this.  If the driver is already BAD, well there's nothing to risk.  But if you are trying to IMPROVE a working sub-par driver-  gee-  GOOD LUCK!

 

Really high humidity and hot weather CAN negatively impact all kinds of transducers- not just Stax drivers.  When it comes to Stax drivers, high humidity MIGHT cause the diaphragm coating to break down, and it can also weaken various adhesives used in various places in the driver and the headphones.  Poorly coated diaphragms will lose efficiency, and things like channel imbalance and maybe even distorted sound could result.  Only fix is a new driver.  Some folks have re-coated the diaphragms, but a recoated driver will have different electrical and acoustic characteristics, won't be a Stax driver (though it might be close in performance if you are really lucky and highly skilled.)

 

If there is dust inside the driver, the most common symptom is squealing, hissing or a kind of "crying" sound.  Koss electrostatic headphones sometimes come from the factory with a dust mote installed in a driver...and they will do some squealing and hissing, it's a fairly quiet sound but it is definitely audible.  I think maybe Koss doesn't have a cleanroom for electrostatic driver assembly.  I worked at Koss in 1976 and I don't remember a cleanroom, I remember them assembling ESP-9's out in the factory.  But maybe the drivers themselves were assembled elsewhere in some kind of cleanroom, I don't know.  What I DO know is that if you buy ESP-950's and one or both drivers squeal, you can send them back and Koss will replace them, Koss offers a lifetime warranty on their electrostatic ESP-950's.

 

Channel imbalance is typically NOT caused by dust, but by something like element spacing being out of tolerance, or some problem with the diaphragm coating.  I do not know of anyone who has successfully fixed an imbalance-challenged Stax driver at home.  Problems with wiring, soldering and so on might also cause channel imbalance, although I would guess these causes to be rare.

 

Dust in the amps?  Well, dust gets into electronics all the time.  Pots get scratchy, connectors get noisy, in tube gear, tube sockets grow microphonic  and so on.  Don't store electronics in a woodworking shop, stone quarry, coal mine, fabric production environment or other high-dust locations.  If your amplifier is kept in a normal home setting, it's probably a good idea to open the amp chassis up every 5~10 years and hit it with a little "canned air" dust removal product.

post #2023 of 11956
Quote:
Originally Posted by marlowe19 View Post
 

I am just about to purchase my first Stax system and then I have to see this: a guy from Tampa using a dehumidifier cabinet to protect his Stax gear. I live in New Orleans and I believe we have Tampa beat when it comes to relative humidity. So far, I have had no issues whatsoever with our notorious humidity compromising the sound of my dynamic headphones. But I'm beginning wonder:  Just what the heck am I now getting myself into with electrostatic cans? Should this really be a concern? Will the term "parasitic charge" become a part of my daily vocabulary?

 

Man ... just get your rig set up and enjoy it. I live in Houston ... and it's wetter than a dog's mouth around here and on a yearly basis. I've never had any  issues with my Stax stuff.

 

The humidifier is kind of a novel thing. Totally not necessary (not a bad thing, either if you want to get that OCD and  have the money) ... but it's ridiculous to think that it's necessary for such. 

 

If your even slightly worried about humidity? When not in use, just keep your cans in a gallon size zip lock bag (fit's perfect) with a little silica packet inside. Personally, I put mine in ziplocks when not in use ... but don't worry about silica as we run the AC consistently enough through the day to keep things fairly dry indoors.

 

LOL ... but don't sweat (if I may) the whole bloody humidifier bit .. 

 

;-)

post #2024 of 11956

I'd be interested to hear from Stax owners in high-humidity places, to learn if any problems attributable to high humidity were ever actually seen.  I would guess that problems of this type are rare.

==================

 

Likely the channel imbalance issue which seems to be something that plagues at least a few owners is due to something out-of-tolerance just a smidge - like stator / diaphragm spacing, diaphragm tension or coating density. The drivers have REALLY tight tolerances for all these things, if they're off a little, or change over time, you could end up with a little imbalance.

 

If the imbalance is slight-  well that's what they make BALANCE controls for! ALL my Stax amps have separate left-  and right-  level controls, I imagine that it's not against International Law to use them to even out a channel imbalance (except in Iceland, perhaps.)

 

By the way-  have you had your EARS CHECKED recently?  Audiophiles should have their hearing tested regularly, to see if they are damaging their hearing with too high an SPL, and just to see if your EARS have a channel imbalance!  (I know mine do!)


Edited by milosz - 4/12/14 at 4:10am
post #2025 of 11956
I am not even sure humidity is that much of an issue. You have to see how humid it gets here in the summer, i don't know if it competes with florida but it reminds me of DC in the summer. Stax gear is at least designed to operate in Japan weather i would assume.

As for dust, i am not too worried either with the dust covers in front of the drivers. For safety though, I simply keep my phones in their original carrying case / box.
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