Amp For My SR-507's - T1... or... 7t... or... GES???
Jan 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Gradofan2

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I've bought a set of 507's to check out the Stax line.  After all the positive comments, comparing them favorably to the LCD2's and HE-6's - I finally decided to give Stax a try. 
 
But... now I have to get an amp for them.  I'm too frugal to go with anything great (e.g. KGSS or BH) - so, I'm considering a T1, and maybe a 7t... or... if I just can't resist... maybe I'll splurge and get a WA GES. 
 
So... my question is obvious... are the 7t and GES enough better than the T1 to justify their much higher cost?  
 
And is any T1 so old that I have to worry about aged / worn caps, etc - replacing caps?  And... if so, where would I have them replaced.  Though, I suppose if that's required, I'd be better off to get the GES, or a newer amp. 
 
I've already read a lot of the related posts, and it appears the T1 is well regarded, and compares well to the 7t for the Lambdas.  But... I'm a bit concerned about the need to repeatedly bias the tubes, when swapping tubes (sensitive trim POTs, etc.). 
 
Thanks for your help...
 
Jan 2, 2011 at 10:49 AM Post #2 of 14

Gradofan2

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"Upon further review..."
 
... it would appear that the T1 might be a bit old, which might result in some needed upgrades and repairs (e.g. caps, tubes, etc.) increasing the cost to the range of the much newer 007tA / 007tII. 
 
So... the 7tA would appear to be the most practical way to "put my toe in the Stax water" - compared to the much more costly GES.
 
So... 507's and 7tA look like they will be it - they're on their way!
 
We shall see... if the "Stax Magic" is what its "cracked up to be" - which several report are as good, or better, than the LCD2's and HE-6's!  I must say... I am still a skeptic. 
 
Jan 2, 2011 at 11:12 PM Post #4 of 14

moodyrn

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I prefer the T1 much more over the srm1. The only time I would take a srm1 over a T1 is if I had one of the harder to drive stax like a sigma. But for any lambda type, IMO the T1 is much better. Biasing the tubes isn't an issue if you're not constantly changing the tubes(which is something I wouldn't and don't do with mine anyway). The only time you have to bias it is when you're swaping them. Tubes generally last for years and unless you're unhappy with the way it sounds, it's not something you're going to do very often if ever. The srm1 is just as old as the T1, so there's a chance you would have to replace some parts in that also. I use to own a srm1 mkii c version which is the best of the srm1 series. But now, it never even cross my mind since owning the T1S. So I would stick with the choice you made and be happy.
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 12:35 AM Post #5 of 14

svyr

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heh, I don't know... I'm pretty happy with SR-507 paired with a restored SRM-1/mk2 rev c. (new electrolytic, film caps caps and some upgraded parts).
You said you prefer T1S in general but never stated WHY. Please do.

Since my TransistorAmp-V3 hasn't arrived, I can't really comment on its relative quality vs other solid state driver units. Haven't tried the tube ones either.

Thing is, you can get an SRM-1/mk2 fairly cheaply (350ish-600 depending on condition and person selling), get the caps replaced for around $50-75ish incl labour (by your local electronics repair guy) provided the rest works. You can also try finding one with either two pro sockets or pro/nor ones depending on preferences and or voltage selector at the back. You can also ask spritzer how to convert it to XLR bal ins (seems like another $50-75ish effort incl parts if you're not into DIY at a local electrical repairs place).

You could always get a tube output stage DAC if you want tube sound, or a rolled off highs dac for a bit of a softer sound ...

To me those options sound cheaper than T1 (which you'll probably also have to replace the caps in if it's old) :D and a lot cheaper than 7t which seems to be 1.5k in good condition
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 1:16 AM Post #6 of 14

svyr

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And is any T1 so old that I have to worry about aged / worn caps, etc - replacing caps?  And... if so, where would I have them replaced.  Though, I suppose if that's required, I'd be better off to get the GES, or a newer amp. 
 


http://www.stax.co.jp/Export/History.html T1 is circa 1987, so old enough to qualify for replacing caps for sure (both shelf life and use wise?) T1W and S are 93/94, so wouldn't hurt replacing the power section caps either. Again, at your local electronics repair shop.
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 11:06 AM Post #7 of 14

Gradofan2

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Thanks for your help...
 
My 507's and 007tA / 007tII are on their way - looking forward to trying the Stax out!
 
And... I got some great prices on this stuff - so, I'm pretty pleased!
 
If they're what everyone says they are... I may just upgrade to the 007 MKII's, or maybe the MKI's.
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM Post #8 of 14

EddieE

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I've heard the SR-007 MK II and the SR-507 side by side and much prefered the SR507. Think it's a matter of taste sort of thing rather than a clear unanimous upgrade from one to the other, despite the price suggesting so.
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM Post #9 of 14

Gradofan2

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Yeah... I've seen others' comments that are similar to your's.  Nice to know, you don't have to "go all out" to get great sound.
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 1:15 PM Post #10 of 14

moodyrn

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Quote:
heh, I don't know... I'm pretty happy with SR-507 paired with a restored SRM-1/mk2 rev c. (new electrolytic, film caps caps and some upgraded parts).
You said you prefer T1S in general but never stated WHY. Please do.

Since my TransistorAmp-V3 hasn't arrived, I can't really comment on its relative quality vs other solid state driver units. Haven't tried the tube ones either.

Thing is, you can get an SRM-1/mk2 fairly cheaply (350ish-600 depending on condition and person selling), get the caps replaced for around $50-75ish incl labour (by your local electronics repair guy) provided the rest works. You can also try finding one with either two pro sockets or pro/nor ones depending on preferences and or voltage selector at the back. You can also ask spritzer how to convert it to XLR bal ins (seems like another $50-75ish effort incl parts if you're not into DIY at a local electrical repairs place).

You could always get a tube output stage DAC if you want tube sound, or a rolled off highs dac for a bit of a softer sound ...

To me those options sound cheaper than T1 (which you'll probably also have to replace the caps in if it's old)
biggrin.gif
and a lot cheaper than 7t which seems to be 1.5k in good condition


This thread have been railroaded enough, what you are asking doesn't have anything to do with what op was asking. Bottom line, I've owned both and much prefer the T1S. I think the op has made a solid choice and will be very happy with his setup. So to the op, happy listening!!! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
 
Jan 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM Post #11 of 14

Gradofan2

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Quote:
To me those options sound cheaper than T1 (which you'll probably also have to replace the caps in if it's old)
biggrin.gif
and a lot cheaper than 7t which seems to be 1.5k in good condition



This thread have been railroaded enough, what you are asking doesn't have anything to do with what op was asking. Bottom line, I've owned both and much prefer the T1S. I think the op has made a solid choice and will be very happy with his setup. So to the op, happy listening!!! I'm sure you won't be disappointed.


I very nearly got the T1 - which I'm sure would have been a great choice for the 507's.  But, I was just a bit concerned I might have to update the caps and tubes... and... the Stax service center told me it could cost $500-800 to do so.  Even if I used a local electronics repair shop, it would still likely be upwards of $300-500.  So... I decided I wanted a newer version... which I found at a good price (way less than $1.5K).  At that price, I would have gone with the WA GES. 
 
I guess older equipment is really the province of DIY guys, which can avoid the labor charges.  I've modified my XCAN v3 with Mike's kit, but that's "way easy" compared to updating a Stax amp, I'm sure.  I guess, if you're going to take advantage of "real bargains" in older equipment it pays to become a bit of a DIY guy. 
 
Jan 4, 2011 at 2:14 AM Post #12 of 14

svyr

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>Even if I used a local electronics repair shop, it would still likely be upwards of $300-500.
 
Just power caps were about $30 - 40 retail price depending on brand, and about 1h or less of labour (it's resolding four caps). Unless your electronics guy is a complete rip off artist, they shouldn't charge more than about $100 in total.( you just want the 4 parts de-soldered and soldered back on, you could order them off mouser or element14/rs-components and just use them for labour :wink: ).
 
That said, if they need to fix something else, you can and probably will run into about $300+(I was charged that for power caps and rewiring the transformer by a Stax auth repairer. Although they  botched up the job/lied that they fixed it and sent it back with a dead bias resistor, so I had to consult Kevin and Birgir here to fix it)
 
As for the tubes, if you found the matching ones, I thought it was unsocket/put new ones in. Not sure how much they cost.
 
 
p.s. at 12 years old for 7t, especially if it was heavily used, probably wouldn't hurt to replace caps either. Unless you bought a 2006+ SRM-007tII *drool*
 
Jan 4, 2011 at 12:21 PM Post #13 of 14

Gradofan2

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I got the 007tA(II), which is newer - so, should be "good to go" with no issues. 
 
I'm sure the Stax service center was quoting me a "high" price, which may have included other updates.  And... I suppose the labor includes the time to test everything, disassemble it, reassemble it and test it again - don't know.  And... I've never seen the inside of one... so, I don't know how much work is required to disassemble it, and reassemble it. 
 
If it's physical design and layout is as simple as my XCAN v3 was, it might take an hour... on the other hand... if it's much more complex... maybe more. 
 
And... yes... I was a bit skeptical about their quote, unless they're doing a major refurb (replacing all parts, etc.).  If all I'm doing is replacing caps and tubes, I would think it could be done by a local repair shop, and cost much less. 
 
As far as the tubes go... from my understanding... they have to be rebiased, which is a bit difficult with these amps - from what I've read (multiple, sensitive trim POTS, and voltage shifts a lot). 
 
Jan 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM Post #14 of 14

Gradofan2

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Quote:
Thanks for your help...
 
My 507's and 007tA / 007tII are on their way - looking forward to trying the Stax out!
 
And... I got some great prices on this stuff - so, I'm pretty pleased!
 
If they're what everyone says they are... I may just upgrade to the 007 MKII's, or maybe the MKI's.

 
My 507's and 007tII/A arrived and I'm listening to them right now.

Their sound is great - even though not fully warmed up!  
 
At this point... I'd have to say slightly better than my RS-1's and AD2000's driven by my WA6SEm, though they're very close. 
 
The Stax setup has a wee bit greater resolution and detail, and has a wee bit smoother upper mids and highs.  The added resolution provides a more refined sound, with more instrument separation and layering - and an overall greater sense of clarity, realism, air and soundstage. 
 
The bass might have a very wee bit less slam, or prominence, if any less, but not much.  In fact, they sound very similar to the AD2000's in most respects.  My Classic RS-1's and "new version" HD580m's seem a very wee bit warmer and richer, but not much.  The overall sound and tone seem very similar to my other phones, just more refined and detailed.  They're nicely balanced from lows to mids to highs, with very little excess emphasis anywhere.  Bass is nicely presented, as are the mids and highs, with no great roll-off, or recession in any of these.   
 
I would say... to me it seems... we're talking about rather small degrees of refinement, not "a giant leap for mankind."   Though, we are comparing a very good dynamic set up to this good Stax set up.

But... all that is with my untrained ear, and with a set up that probably is not yet fully burned in, or warmed up... and... I may just be more of a "Bud Man," than a "Dom Perignon Connoisseur." 

EDIT:  The more I listen to them, the more the "Stax Magic" is revealed - actually they have quite a bit more resolution, clarity and detail than my dynamic set ups.
 

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