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The Stax Thread III - Page 155

post #2311 of 2797
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post
 

I will talk to Stax people this week end during the headphone festival, will report here as usual, but don't expect much news I am afraid...

 

Since you are in Japan, you might be interested applying to this lecture at "Center of the History of Japanese Industrial Technology": http://sts.kahaku.go.jp/diversity/lecture/index.php. Maybe nothing new to you, but I bet it is fun.

post #2312 of 2797

I just got a Lambda Pro on SRM-1.  Just like I heard at a meet, trumpet horns are AMAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZING!!!  :eek: These output horns really well.

 

Thank you Louie Armstrong.


Edited by SilverEars - 5/10/14 at 8:26pm
post #2313 of 2797
Quote:

Perhaps because positive experiences with tuning speakers in the past, I couldn't help tweaking further the ear pads of the 007.

After trying a variety of materials inside the pads, it was shocking how different they all sounded - much bigger differences than between amps. Will post a report with pictures soon, but the good news first: I ended up with an ear pad mod that makes the 007 Mk1 sound quite much more open, with much bigger sound stage, and also with more defined and snappier bass (or another option for lush, wet, softer bass lines a la old reel tape players, depending on your taste). In parallel, I have also experimented with the TH900 with the goal to get the mids work better - and I have very good news there, too.

 

Out of the available stock pads for various headphones, the SR Omega and the 009 pads may be the best choice for the 007, but couldn't find any source for them, original or 3rd party - so these remain to be tested.

 

Some more details on this.

Having two sets of brown 007 pads, I decided to destroy modify one of them to imitate the SR Omega pads. During the previous (http://www.head-fi.org/t/677809/the-stax-thread-iii/2040#post_10459375) experiments, I noticed tendencies I wanted to check further. So far, no springs, inner earpad foam front side trimmed ~2 mm, opening made larger cca 4 mm in diameter.

Now it was time to adjust the leather pad to these, and experiment with various fillings.

 

Initial state:

 

Undo the sewing and take off the inner cover (on the right) and the other side of the flank, resulting in 3 parts: the inner cover (below), the inner flank, and rest of the ear pad.

First, enlarge the opening by cutting a circle: 

 

The result is circular, rather than the original trimmed circlar shape (this was intended).

 

Do the same to the other part:

 

The results so far:

 

Then, redo the sewing (manually or with a sewing machine, depending on your skills).

Note that since the inner diameter has been increased, a ~3 cm long leather extension is needed for the flank.

When sewing, leave the extension part to the end, then cut as it's required and finish the end.

 

In the next phase, cut new fillings and assemble the ear pads.

The picture above is just to suggest the thickness in the front.

 

Next, I experimented with the ear pad fillings. The method was just to push the pads against the drivers (without mounting) and try that way for gross comparison. Then, the winner combinations were tested assembled on the drivers.

 

I have tried 5 materials for the filling: (a) the original foam, (b) open cell foam, (c) active carbon filter pad (for house ventilation machines :), (d) polyester fiber acoustic pad, (e) natural wool felt pads. I ruled out non-carded natural wool filling as it was not practical. The selection was based upon what materials I had at home from earlier speaker tuning, but there may be a lot of materials which sound better than these. One thing to say, there was considerable difference in how did they sound compared to each other:

- original foam has softer, rounded bass lines, good slam, kind of old reel tape sound

- open cell foam had somewhat cleaner bass, and it's still foam (easy to deal with and people are used to it)

- active carbon filter pads increased the effect above, resulting in very spacious, deep, extended, clean bass with superior piano/base strings attack and decay, also making the treble cleaner, and somehow the timing was more consistent over the frequency range, resulting in higher perceived PRAT and resolution

- polyester pads were OK but nothing special; slightly softer sound but so much as the foams

- wool felt is tricky, since it depends very much on density, much more than for the rest. I had medium density pads, they took away all boominess and dark signature, but the results were a bit too shiny perhaps. 

Since the carbon pads were quite stiff, I have put a very thin layer of polyester pad on them, and ended up using this.

The carbon pads are 14-15 mm thick (angle-trimmed 2 mm in the front), and the poly pad 2-3 mm.

 

 

I have tested the same things for the TH900, with the same tendencies, and end result, so this seems to be pretty consistent so far. The sound stage with these pads is huge both in width and depth (perhaps higher, too), and pin-point. Saxophone sounds more direct and velvety, as do synth and strings, violin/cello has more physical body, piano is more transparent and resonant - all welcome.

 

I have tested again using the springs, but again it sounded better without them. However, that is an option to make a darker, more distant sound.

 

Now my 007's sound the same open as with the previous mod, but with the differences described above with the carbon pads. I am eager to compare it to 009 and other flagships, and will get back in a few weeks with the results.

 

Meanwhile, if you can source SR Omega and/or SR-009 pads, please notify me, too :).

post #2314 of 2797
Great, I love modding smily_headphones1.gif
post #2315 of 2797
Keep up the modding. If it works I may have a bash myself, though on an older set.

On another subject
Anyone know what the size of the e-stat market actually is? How many Stax headphones are made per month for example?

I wonder if the market for them is not promoted enough, has no real sized dealer network and thus the audiophile mainstream
customers are ignorant to the SQ on offer.

It may be a pity huge companies (in head phone world) like Sennheiser have not managed to market such a product in real world
volume. The other side of the market IEM is booming I guess because of the portability aspect.

And if the e-stat market was bigger, had more players, surely the prices would come down as mass production went up?

Dunno. I am not complaining, the SQ of Stax gear is that good I will find the money for it somehow, as do other die hards.
It is an expensive hobby though.
post #2316 of 2797

I think people tend to think it's 007, 009 or nothing.

 

And then I think people are scared of weak bass and slim genre bandwidth along with the amplification requirenments.

 

Then there's also the looks and the fact that it seems as such a niche product.. And the horror stories of imbalance and stuff.

post #2317 of 2797
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

I think people tend to think it's 007, 009 or nothing.

 

And then I think people are scared of weak bass and slim genre bandwidth along with the amplification requirements.

 

Then there's also the looks and the fact that it seems as such a niche product.. And the horror stories of imbalance and stuff.

Based on my session with Lambada pro, I have to say that bass is just about right.  It's definitely not bassy, but not weak as to the point where tracks that emphasizes bass gets way too little, but yeah, if somebody is a bass head, this is not it(they should go for a closed back).  

 

I've been hearing Lambda is bright, which is definitely not coming out of SRM-1.  It has right amount of treble, but I think what happens when you raise the volume, everything scales up together, and therefore treble will be much harder to your ears.

post #2318 of 2797
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

I think people tend to think it's 007, 009 or nothing.

 

And then I think people are scared of weak bass and slim genre bandwidth along with the amplification requirements.

 

Then there's also the looks and the fact that it seems as such a niche product.. And the horror stories of imbalance and stuff.

+1 on this ,

Recently,daildozeofdaly { a guy I never met,or even pm'd},was kind enough to lend me his 009's for a week or so.

Not so sure many headfiers who are lucky enough to own a $3600.00 pair of headphones would do.

comparing  a 007a with my 727a { Justin Mod} ,to the 009,brought me into an entire new level of SQ.

In almost all genres of music ,there was a huge improvement & clarity,I found myself listening to the 009 for 8-10 hours at a clip,totally hearing,instruments ,that I never heard before with my other gear..especially with my classical music.

I have been around this forum,for a few years,and,although I am no expert-I know what my old cryoed ears tell me,and I have to say-Stax is probably the finest headphones ,if properly amped,there is....

YMMV.,of course

So,yes,I agree with Davidsh....

 

Mike


Edited by mikek200 - 5/11/14 at 9:36am
post #2319 of 2797
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

I think people tend to think it's 007, 009 + BHSE or nothing.

Fixed Your Post :D

 

Ali

post #2320 of 2797
Mike, are you saying that the 009 sounded better with the 007a, or your Justin modded 727? The reason I ask, is also have a Justin modded 727 (with Omega 2.5s)...and was wondering if the jump to the 009 is significant with the 727...since it may be a while before a Blue Hawaii finds its way here.
post #2321 of 2797

Lornecherry,

 

IMHO,the 009 is a better headphone  than the 007a,with my current amp

 

Understand,if I had to live with the 007a & the modded 727-it would not be the end of the world..The 009 is just an incredible headphone,probably the finest I've ever listened to.

 

Many people have suggested, if I do anymore upgrades,I might wan to consider the Blue Hawaii..but that is another major purchase,and my wife has suggested to me,that,any other major purchases of audio gear,might end in the removal of certain body parts,of mine---if you know what I mean???

 

I just sold the 007a,and will order the 009 within a few days,and see where this takes me...hopefully I will be end game..LOL.

I.m always trying to make myself believe that...

 

Mike


Edited by mikek200 - 5/12/14 at 8:38am
post #2322 of 2797
Quote:
Mike, are you saying that the 009 sounded better with the 007a, or your Justin modded 727? The reason I ask, is also have a Justin modded 727 (with Omega 2.5s)...and was wondering if the jump to the 009 is significant with the 727...since it may be a while before a Blue Hawaii finds its way here.

I can help you with this this week. I have the 007s though Mk2.5s and a 717 which is probably very close to your modded 727.
I am to do a big test session with a head-fier comparing my 007s to his 009s plugged into my 717.

His source is different to mine (K-01) as I have a None Oversampling DAC which has tubed output. However the session
will be a very good indicator to me if I want to jump onto the 009s and if the extra detail is not at the expense of faitigue or treble
edge which I really hate.

The signature of my 007s is to my liking right now on my setup, but possibly a bit down in the upper treble. And maybe the bass slam
is a tad loose if played quite loud. I am hoping the extra efficiency and easier to drive 009s will fix that on my 717, and my NOS DAC will
ensure I got any extra treble edge from the extra detail I imagine the 009s will reveal to me.

I am pretty convinced the extra treble detail of the 009s is the blessing and a curse of this leading headphone. It seems folk who have
problems with that may be either very high frequency sensitive and / or have brighter sounding DACs. I have been through the ringer
with DACs and almost abandoned CD replay until I found none oversampling DACs like the Metrum or Audio Note models. For me, the upper
treble quality of digital was always my problem area, I just didn't like it.

So, just maybe the goal might be get a pair of 009s, and demo a NOS DAC after, to see if it completes the set for you.

I'll report back here later this week (plus with photos of the gear, BHSE, K-01)
post #2323 of 2797
I heard the 007mk2's with my BHSE the other week and didn't rate those headphones, however sometime ago I got to hear the 007mk1's with my BHSE and they sounded a lot better, at the time though I was using SED's whereas when listening to the 007mk2's I was using the Psvane PH's.
With you suggesting some photos of the gear we'll be listening to Julian, it would be a good idea to have a photo taken of your 007's and my mod 009's together, one of my Rooms stands could be used for your 007's.
Also a photo of just your 717 and my BHSE ( amp section only ) at the side of each other.
post #2324 of 2797

Oooh Err... Body parts in exchange for audio gear........ now thats a thought  :eek:

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikek200 View Post
 

my wife has suggested to me,that,any other major purchases of audio gear,might end in the removal of certain body parts,of mine---if you know what I mean???

 

post #2325 of 2797

I have been down this route already and come to similar conclusions

I could not live with the upsampling DAC's either because of the digititus. The problem with stats is that they are so transparent and revealing of all the up stream gear so poor recording or a highly lit up DAC will be immediately noticeable. Personally I went through a number of DAC's and ended up with a NOS DAC too for use with the 007MK1. The upsampling/oversampling versions I tried just sounded mechanical and artificial. I think if you are prepared to spend huge sums on an upsampler then they can be very good but I would find it very difficult to justify the cost of upwards of $30,000! Finally I tried both the Audio Note and Metrum and settled for the latter. I would love to have the opportunity to try the TotalDAC and the MSB Platinum as both of these are ladder DAC's.

    

Having both the 007mk1 and the 009 in terms of amplification requirements they do differ considerably. The 007 Mk1 really needs a lot of power/voltage to make it swing and come to life. The BHSE is an ideal amp for this purpose so there should be a significant improvement overall from a stock Stax amp. In comparison the 009 is relatively easy to drive for example I was listening to it on my little Stax 252 amp last night as I couldn't be bothered to fire up the valve rig, and it was producing excellent sound and impressive bass for such a cheap power source! 

 

The 009 in comparison to the 007Mk1 is much more lit up. Im not sure I would necessarily describe it as bright (unless the recording is that way inclined), not like the Sennheiser HD800's which sometimes catches you out really impinges painfully on the treble end of the hearing!! The 009 certainly improves in some areas over the 007 like extended frequency extremes and soundstage. Its really difficult to describe verbally how the 007Mk1 compares to 009. Some say its a dark sounding headphone, personally I wouldn't describe it that way. Its more that it doesn't draw attention to itself with exaggerated bass or lit up treble. Its a very organic, natural and integrated sound, not the immediate wow factor but the more you listen the more you realise just how great a headphone it is IMHO. Personally i'm not that keen on the stock 007Mk11 but I believe Spritzer came up with some small reversible mods (port blocking, pads etc) to improve the sound to be similar to the MK1.

Just to complicate matters both the 007Mk1's and MK11's appear to have had different generations of Stax drivers throughout their manufacturing lifecycle, so early and late versions won't necessarily sound and perform with an amplifier in the same way which could account for some of the differences in opinion regarding amplification. I don't think Stax have put this information in the public domain so it largely been pieced together by enthusiasts, so mainly anecdotal.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post


I can help you with this this week. I have the 007s though Mk2.5s and a 717 which is probably very close to your modded 727.
I am to do a big test session with a head-fier comparing my 007s to his 009s plugged into my 717.

His source is different to mine (K-01) as I have a None Oversampling DAC which has tubed output. However the session
will be a very good indicator to me if I want to jump onto the 009s and if the extra detail is not at the expense of faitigue or treble
edge which I really hate.

The signature of my 007s is to my liking right now on my setup, but possibly a bit down in the upper treble. And maybe the bass slam
is a tad loose if played quite loud. I am hoping the extra efficiency and easier to drive 009s will fix that on my 717, and my NOS DAC will
ensure I got any extra treble edge from the extra detail I imagine the 009s will reveal to me.

I am pretty convinced the extra treble detail of the 009s is the blessing and a curse of this leading headphone. It seems folk who have
problems with that may be either very high frequency sensitive and / or have brighter sounding DACs. I have been through the ringer
with DACs and almost abandoned CD replay until I found none oversampling DACs like the Metrum or Audio Note models. For me, the upper
treble quality of digital was always my problem area, I just didn't like it.

So, just maybe the goal might be get a pair of 009s, and demo a NOS DAC after, to see if it completes the set for you.

I'll report back here later this week (plus with photos of the gear, BHSE, K-01)

Edited by complin - 5/12/14 at 3:07am
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