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The Stax Thread III - Page 175

post #2611 of 3461
No health concerns.
580V would sound better.
post #2612 of 3461
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin778 View Post
 

I just received my first Staxes, they are the Lambda Pro Classic with srm-xh.

 

(sorry for the s*tload of questions ;) )

 

1. Are there any health concerns of using electrostatic headphones for a long time? I use my headphones (sorry, earspeakers!) for about 5-6 hours a day when I'm using my laptop

2. Is the Pro Classic different from the old Pro? I can't seem to find much about the Classic version.

3. The foam pads are gone, do they make any difference in sound? The earpads are ok as they were almost never used.

4. The SRM-Xh delivers 280V while the LPC are 580V, is it worthwile to upgrade to the SRM-1?

Yes there ARE health concerns! Be sure to MEASURE how loud you are listening! Good transducers tend to encourage louder listening than is good for your hearing.  Get a cheap SPL meter (Parts Express, Radio Shack, eBay) and MEASURE how loud the sound is at your preferred listening level. (i.e., put the headphones on and listen for a while, then adjust to a level that you dig.  Remove the headphones and put a sheet of cardboard with a hole cut in it flat against the earpad. Push the mic of the SPL meter through the hole a bit and check the reading.)

 

For 4~6 hours of listening, in my non-medical opinion, I believe you would be sure to avoid hearing damage listening no louder than 85 dB .

Here are some loudness/time facts to consider:

  • At 95 dB, damage will occur after four hours of exposure per day.
  • At 100 dB, damage will occur after two hours of exposure per day.
  • At 105 dB, damage will occur after one hour of exposure per day.
  • At 110 dB, damage will occur after 30 minutes of exposure per day.
  • At 115 dB, damage will occur after 15 minutes of exposure per day.
  • At 120-plus dB, damage occurs almost immediately.

SEE http://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/surgery/blog/headphones-and-earphones-can-cause-permanent-hearing-loss-what-you-need-to-know

post #2613 of 3461
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin778 View Post
 

I just received my first Staxes, they are the Lambda Pro Classic with srm-xh.

 

(sorry for the s*tload of questions ;) )

 

1. Are there any health concerns of using electrostatic headphones for a long time? I use my headphones (sorry, earspeakers!) for about 5-6 hours a day when I'm using my laptop

Only if you play them too loudly for extended periods

Don't use them with soaking wet hair :D

2. Is the Pro Classic different from the old Pro? I can't seem to find much about the Classic version.

I think the one you are referring to an earlier entry level model and is supposedly less refined, but IMOE the difference is not that great

3. The foam pads are gone, do they make any difference in sound? The earpads are ok as they were almost never used.

The foam helps to stop debris entering the driver chamber like hair, dandruff, ear wax etc. Providing the pads plump and seal well they should be ok

4. The SRM-Xh delivers 280V while the LPC are 580V, is it worthwile to upgrade to the SRM-1?

I think you may be confusing two things here. Is the 580v you refer to the Bias Voltage? The 280V I presume is the voltage swing of the SRM-Xh?

post #2614 of 3461

Well, according to Wikipedia:

 

SRM-Xh 1997 280V 1x RCA 1x Pro Bias Solid state

 

Wait a sec...bias voltage and output voltage are two different things? :eek:

 

I never listen to music on high levels ( unless it's Pink Floyd or Black Sabbath ) :D

I have to admit that on the 2nd day I have mixed feeling about the LPC and SRM-Xh, i find this combination a bit fatiguing.

 

The Pro Classic are from about 1994 but if they are the entry model it would be very confusing as the Pro was TOTL at the time.


Edited by martin778 - 6/27/14 at 9:28am
post #2615 of 3461

Fatiguing in what way?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by martin778 View Post
 

 

I have to admit that on the 2nd day I have mixed feeling about the LPC and SRM-Xh, i find this combination a bit fatiguing.

 

post #2616 of 3461

Somehow recessed and laid back mids and grainy highs also not too much bass (btw - why do they have so much bass when you keep them about1cm from the ears?)


Edited by martin778 - 6/27/14 at 10:36am
post #2617 of 3461

Do you prefer quite a forward sound, i.e. Grado style?

Yes the Lambdas are a bit laid back but I would say very easy to listen too.

The highs should be really extended, relatively smooth and shimmering, not grainy

The bass should be well textured but not prominent like many dynamics, so you might perceive them as a little lighter than some.

 

Have you tried them with a different source. I see you have a CD player I've personally no experience of.

  

Quote:

Originally Posted by martin778 View Post
 

Somehow recessed and laid back mids and grainy highs also not too much bass (btw - why do they have so much bass when you keep them about1cm from the ears?)

post #2618 of 3461

I haven't heard Grado cans yet but before I bought the Staxes I had AKG K530 and the AKG's sound much more 'relaxed' than the electrostats. I also had DT990Pro 250Ohm in the past but I dumped them when one channel started to distort after 3 months of use.

 

The Vimak DT-800 is a quite old CD player from the 90's that was aimed at the hi-end market to compete with Wadia, Krell etc. The company went under quite rapidly after their totl model receiver a not-so-good review in Stereophile, sadly. It's a marvellous sounding player (warm with greath soundstage) equipped with 18 bit Motorola DSP and only Vishay BC and Panasonic FC/FM caps, it also weighs a ton due to diecast front panel and thick copper plated chassis.

 

I had to replace the drive a few weeks ago and made a couple of pics, they are not the best quality but they should give you an idea:

https://picasaweb.google.com/113866476427071010829/VimakDT800?authuser=0&feat=directlink

 

The Lambdas sound much better connected to the CDP, using Audioquest King Cobra interconnect than connected directly to my notebook which sound quite hollow and tinny compared to the CDP.

However I can still hear that little bit agressiveness in the sound. I wonder if it's the SRM-Xh's fault as I have the old version based on the original SRM-X.


Edited by martin778 - 6/27/14 at 1:34pm
post #2619 of 3461

Just wanna say my SR-407 sounds way better now that I upgraded to the beta22 with the woo wee. All the major problems I had with them completely went away.

post #2620 of 3461

Oh, that's interesting, driving Stax with a Beta 22 / transformer setup.  Beta 22 is a lovely amp.  (Insert shameless plug for pictures of a Beta 22 that I built  HERE )

 

I've driven Lambda Signature, SR-007 MK1's and recabled ES-950's from an SRD-7 driven by various amps:

 

Monarchy SM70 (the real class A original version)

AMC CVT-2030 (class-A amp with EL34 outputs and MOSFET driver; highly under-appreciated amp)

Pass Firstwatt J3 (class A power JFET amp)

Forte 4a (with Soderburg mods)

Dynaco ST70

Sugden A28

H-K Citation II

Old NAD 7250 receiver

 

My faves here were the CVT-2030 and the Forte 4a, though really there was not much difference between any these amps- with the exception of the NAD receiver and the Dynaco Stereo 70.

 

The NAD sounded noticeably "darker" - not really rolled off highs as far as I could tell, yet still "dark."  Not muffled, or dull in the highs, not a lack of detail,  yet still dark sounding.  Hard to put into words.

 

The Dyanco Stereo 70 had nearly a total lack of detail. Again, oddly, it did not sound like rolled-off treble, but it sounded like all the detail between sounds and within sounds was somehow smoothed off.  The Stereo 70 sounded that way on my my Quad ESL-57's also. The Stereo 70 was all recapped with good quality / audiophile type caps, good / matched NOS tubes and etc but it still sounded "smoothed over" and not detailed.

post #2621 of 3461

That's odd about the Dynaco, i haven't heard it myself but it seems to be a quite highly regarded amp?

 

 

By the way, what is the correct description of the SR-404 signature? SR-404 Lambda Signature or simply SR404 Signature?

post #2622 of 3461

Gee I don't know about 404 Signature or Lambda or what have you.  I don't know much about the 404 / 507 etc models.

 

Lot of folks like the Stereo 70 'cause it's an affordable tube amp, a classic, and has 'liquid midrange'  and decent bass, but it's a rather dated design that doesn't compare to modern amps in some ways. The Stereo 70 wasn't as good as the best designs of it's own era, either.  My H-K Citation II sounds FANTASTIC, no lack of detail there.

 

Maybe there was something wrong with the particular Stereo 70 that I had, but I don't think so.  It measured OK.

post #2623 of 3461
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

I've driven Lambda Signature, SR-007 MK1's and recabled ES-950's from an SRD-7 driven by various amps

 

Perhaps I have already mentioned this, eventually I repeat it as a side note: in countries with 220-240V power grid, it is worth trying the SRD-7 via a 100V step-down transformer, since the SRD-7 works with that 'native' voltage. With 230V it basically gets a near square wave power supply signal through the Zener's. I listened to it with and without the step-down transformer (using an EL34 PP amp), and it was much more preferable with the transformer: smoother, more refined, more relaxed as opposed to the original's edgier, rougher, but slightly more spacious sound.

 

Then, one can take and improve the SRD-7 design, in power supply and better transformers/other parts, and the difference can be quite big, depending on parts quality. I know it's been debated, but in my experience a properly done transformer solution with a good amp goes very close to the best, at a moderate cost. Also, it has more of the 'see through' transparency wrt the amp behind than the SRD-7. The best I've heard was quite a monster of a prototype, with a circlotron-like SS amp behind: made the 007 sound explosive with tremendous energy. It was more dynamic than my TH900. The high voltage amps may be more neutral and certainly faster, but I liked what I heard, and IMO electrostatic headphones benefit more from a bit more energy than (even) more resolution - YMMV.

However, the SRD-7 is a tremendous value, especially if one also happens to have a good stereo amp/speakers. Otherwise getting/building e.g. a KGSSHV may be a better idea for total cost vs sound.


Edited by zolkis - 6/29/14 at 3:27am
post #2624 of 3461
Quote:
Originally Posted by zolkis View Post
 

 

Perhaps I have already mentioned this, eventually I repeat it as a side note: in countries with 220-240V power grid, it is worth trying the SRD-7 via a 100V step-down transformer, since the SRD-7 works with that 'native' voltage. With 230V it basically gets a near square wave power supply signal through the Zener's. I listened to it with and without the step-down transformer (using an EL34 PP amp), and it was much more preferable with the transformer: smoother, more refined, more relaxed as opposed to the original's edgier, rougher, but slightly more spacious sound.

 

How could a square wave rectified output possibly affect the sound through the bias voltage of electrostatic headphones? It's charging up a DC supply cap through a voltage multiplier, and then there is no-load placed on the capacitor (the diaphragm draws no current - if it did, electrostatic headphones would not work). This means the high voltage cap is charged to a peak voltage, and then nothing happens on subsequent mains cycles except maybe a few picoamps of trickle charge. If you charge a capacitor with sine wave or square wave, it is scientifically impossible to discriminate the input after initial charging even with the finest measuring equipment if there is no load on the capacitor.

 

And to top it off, the diaphragm of electrostatic headphones is a strong low-pass filter well below audio frequency, this is why it is a resistive coating instead of a conductive coating. If this were not the case, electrostatic headphones would not work due to charge migration. So even if on the off chance you invent some piece of measuring equipment that can measure ripple that doesn't exist, the headphones would just filter it out.

 

 

Conclusion: In the opinion of science, don't waste your money on a step down transformer for an SRD-7.

post #2625 of 3461

Well, thanks... looks like one can never trust the ears :).

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