Damping Mechanical Energy Distortion of STAX and other phones with SORBOTHANE and other materials.
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edstrelow

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dear edstrelow, you have changed my audiophile life and i am glad to be useful... By the way you are right that it is not all that like to discover that an obsolete stax can compete with a higher stax or other high end headphone...  some are a little rude about that news...But even if my Stax SR-5 is no competition with  some over one thousand dollars headphone , (i have no comparison of my own in my experience), the sound of the SR-5 + sorb.  is truly near a natural rendering of the instrumental musical timbre, and this is the MOST important feature in the qualities set of an headphone for me ...
 
By the way i sorb. not only my plastic power strip but also my dac and amplifier, plus the energizer, each made an audible difference of his own, but the 4 mod in unisson made the sr-5 sing...
 

Certainly no dispute about damping amps and the like. The audio shops have been selling sorbothane  footers for this purpose for years although I personally find that small bits of self stick sorb are more effective and cheaper.
 
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edstrelow

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  Much of the other tweaks and effects, other than in this main thread, are being played with in the Orthodynamic Roundup thread, as well as a few behind the scenes not posted and working within the PM system...
There's likely a lot more to follow should they feel the urge to share.
 
Notice the picture here, this is a very clear and extremely obviously improved sounding damping scheme since I have done it in the exact same headphone.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/111193/orthodynamic-roundup/24330#post_12297726
Bucketinabucket applied a couple more bits than me, but effects are likely very close.
He snuck that picture in there, not sure that he posted about it.
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/111193/orthodynamic-roundup/24360#post_12338868
Current impressions however brief, PLUS soon to have a direct comparison between two identical orthos. One Sorb modded, one unsorbed and stock.
 
I know of many other ongoing mods and results yet to be posted.

Good to hear about experimentation in this area.  I finally have some sorb on order to allow me to make comparisons of different types of sorbothane on a set of SRX3 Pro's. The inside portion of these phones come off fairly easily in about a minute and I have an extra SRX3 with blown drivers. So while I can't do an immediate comparison of two identical phones I can compare the effects of different types of damping on the two inside portion by swapping theses  around.
 
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edstrelow

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 my sorbothane sheet arrived my home :wink:
I will try to mod my SR-L700 :wink:
 

A sorbed L700 should be quite interesting.   I have been quite happy with my older sorbed Lambdas, putting the sorb on the back of the metal plates holding the drivers,
 
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edstrelow

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I see sorbothane damping as a cheaper and sometimes more effective alternative to expensive methods to reduce mechanical vibrations which are a hallmark of much high-end audio. As an example is this description of a $20,000 cd player which is:

" housed in a machined solid aluminum case in order to prevent any trace of interaction between the moving parts of the mechanism and the rest of the player"
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/ta-elektroakustik-releases-pdp-3000-hv-sacdcd-playerdac/

A lot of super high-end equipment is heavy and certainly mass will help dissapate vibrational energy, but at a considerable cost. And of course with something like headphones, we don,t want 2 lb headphones. I actually own a pair of such a phone the old Koss ESP6 where the weight comes from step-up transformers mounted in the earcups. When I got this relic cleaned up and usable I noted its lack of harshness compared to the Stax offerings although I had not idea that this might be due to its superior damping characteristics. http://www.head-fi.org/t/234504/koss-esp6-refurbished-vintage-electrostatics
 
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richard51

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i think your remarks are spot on...My sorbothane now are transforming the sound of my planars speakers...i wait for more sorb. i had purchased to isolate my cd player also..

 
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richard51

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by the way edstrelow, i want your advise about the Sr-x mkIII... is it possible to put some thin sorb 1/10 inches for example under the pad , and gluing them if necessary... I dont want to put the sorb externally... do you think that it is possible experiment?  thanks
 
 
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edstrelow

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by the way edstrelow, i want your advise about the Sr-x mkIII... is it possible to put some thin sorb 1/10 inches for example under the pad , and gluing them if necessary... I dont want to put the sorb externally... do you think that it is possible experiment?  thanks :atsmile:  
The problem is that the SRX3 earpads glue on to the front of the earcups. There is no space under them as there is with the SR5. Now if you want to try gluing sorb to the front and them gluing the earpads to the sorb, that might work but it seems messy.

However, the earcup is made of a plastic main case and a metal cover (to which the earpads are glued) which slides off once you undo the two screws at the side which double as holders for the headband. You can put very thin sorb under here, say 1 or 2 mm. In fact that is what I have done myself. If the sorb is too thick, the holes on the metal cover will not line up with the plastic, but you can drill new ones in the metal, or just turn the holes into slots so that metal cover cab be adjusted depending on the thickness of the sorb. The metal cover is very soft metal.

I am about to start some experiments with my SRX3 pro to compare different sorb densities, sizes and the like. When I am done, I may have somexdifferent recommendation for how to sorb these phones.
 
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richard51

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thanks very much, i dont have the sr-x now hence i will wait for your advise after that.... in the meantime, i am in search of the SR-X pro.. I thinmk they are rare and superioir to the normal bias SR-X  is it correct ? ... thanks
The problem is that the SRX3 earpads glue on to the front of the earcups. There is no space under them as there is with the SR5. Now if you want to try gluing sorb to the front and them gluing the earpads to the sorb, that might work but it seems messy.

However, the earcup is made of a plastic main case and a metal cover (to which the earpads are glued) which slides off once you undo the two screws at the side which double as holders for the headband. You can put very thin sorb under here, say 1 or 2 mm. In fact that is what I have done myself. If the sorb is too thick, the holes on the metal cover will not line up with the plastic, but you can drill new ones in the metal, or just turn the holes into slots so that metal cover cab be adjusted depending on the thickness of the sorb. The metal cover is very soft metal.

I am about to start some experiments with my SRX3 pro to compare different sorb densities, sizes and the like. When I am done, I may have somexdifferent recommendation for how to sorb these phones.
 
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edstrelow

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Quote:
  thanks very much, i dont have the sr-x now hence i will wait for your advise after that.... in the meantime, i am in search of the SR-X pro.. I thinmk they are rare and superioir to the normal bias SR-X  is it correct ? ... thanks
The SRX3 pro is very hard to find.  i have read that Stax only made 1000 in total. Mine is a modifed low bias unit with Gamma Pro drivers, made by a guy in the UK.   Some people claim that you can modify an existing SRX to high bias by putting  paper spacers between the diaphragm  unit and the stators. You would then have to  rewire the bias on the plug.
 
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  The SRX3 pro is very hard to find.  i have read that Stax only made 1000 in total. Mine is a modifed low bias unit with Gamma Pro drivers, made by a guy in the UK.   Some people claim that you can modify an existing SRX to high bias by putting  paper spacers between the diaphragm  unit and the stators. You would then have to  rewire the bias on the plug.

 Interesting, indeed they were so rare, i will not dream about that, hence the low bias is my only possibility, i think ...do you know if there is a big difference betweem the normal low bias and the pro?
 
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One thing that came to mind completely out of the blue. Since the topic is stats, I recall reading in the available literature that SONY using a visco-elastic gel in channels of the ECR-800 cup housings.
Since they saw fit to use that "gel" i'll be sticking with the most gel like Sorb.
Just a random thought.
 
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edstrelow

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 Interesting, indeed they were so rare, i will not dream about that, hence the low bias is my only possibility, i think ...do you know if there is a big difference betweem the normal low bias and the pro?
I have both.  The pro has more dynamics and possibly more bass heft. This tends to be the case with pro versus high bias Stax.
 
 One thing that came to mind completely out of the blue. Since the topic is stats, I recall reading in the available literature that SONY using a visco-elastic gel in channels of the ECR-800 cup housings.
Since they saw fit to use that "gel" i'll be sticking with the most gel like Sorb.
Just a random thought.
That was my assumption too.  On the other hand, I have spoken with a Sorbothane company technical rep who suggested using  high duro (i.e. stiff) because it had more mass. I can't say that Sorbothane had a  whole lot to assist in this application. They do make special orders for various  companies. I spoke with a Schitt engineer at CalJam SoCal last year who told me that had a custom order of sorb although I didn't ask what equipment they used it with.
 
I will be trying a duro comparison soon on my SRX3 Pro's.
 
I had never heard of these Sony's although I did once own some Sony electrets and because I got a deal on close-outs, gave several away as presents.  The electrets were good but nothing to write home about.  The little I can find about the ECR-800 indicates that Sony put some advanced technology into them. If they used the gel for damping they were ahead of us.  On the other hand maybe they used them for earpad filler.  
 
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nick n

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A couple more posts, figured I would crosslink them here saves other searches
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/111193/orthodynamic-roundup/24390#post_12371889
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/111193/orthodynamic-roundup/24390#post_12373225
 
 
Cleaned up bass in current configuration but that mod will be added to shortly as soon as other materials arrive by mail on his side of the water and improvements should be synergistic with those materials for even better results. At least a directly noticeable effect with a smaller amount without any other mods:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/111193/orthodynamic-roundup/24405#post_12373727
 
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Getting back to the SR5, I have now also tried the 10 pieces of sorb under each earcup (1/8 inch, 30 duro sorb) of mine and this makes it a new phone.  Brings up the dynamics and gets rid of the somewhat thin sound. Of course to.my ear most undamped phones sound thin and raspy, even the SR009 that I listened to at the last CanJam in SoCal. (However I am pretty sure I could  sorb the 009 into what might be the best phone ever. However my other sorbed phones, the 007, Sigma404, and Lambda 404and LNS are so good that I can't see the point or the need to spend so much money. )
 
The SR5 has a very balanced sound, no obvious tonal imbalance,  although possibly a bit down at the extremes of treble and bass, but not seriously so.  This is the first time I have damped a low bias Stax and I can certainly say it is effective. Some day I might try to mod these to high bias. If their driver is like the SRX3 you could separate the stators from the diaphragm fairly easily. On the other site, it is claimed that all you need to-do is to put an extra spacer between the diaphragm and each stator using a piece of office paper. You would then need to.knock out the middle ground  pin on the plug and join to the remaining ground. High bias does give more dynamics.  Sorbed, high bias 5's could be a knockout. 
 
I am seriously considering getting an SR-5 Gold, just for comparison. Could you please check what are the approximate sizes of the pieces? Thanks! 
This high bias conversion seems intriguing, too.
 
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edstrelow

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I am seriously considering getting an SR-5 Gold, just for comparison. Could you please check what are the approximate sizes of the pieces? Thanks! 
This high bias conversion seems intriguing, too.
I am listening to the damped SR5 right now and remain impressed by how good it sounds from running from my receiver and the mains operated srd6 transformer, which for reasons which remain unclear also needed damping with sorb. Frankly, I had assumed it would be a waste of time to work with the low bias phones, until richard51 reported his success with these phones.

The sorb pieces are each about 3/8 by 1/2 inch and are 1/8 self-stick. With these phones you stick the sorb right on the main plastic body and that probably helps. I just did a comparison on the SRX3 pro, of sorb on the main body versus the metal cover and it was more effective on the main body. I am doing some other sorb comparisons, and depending on what I find, I may replace the 1/8 in sorb on the 5 with 1/4 inch.

I don't know anything about the gold series, but i can say that I am impressed with the basic SR5 design, at least after sorbing.
 
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