Entering electrostats - where's the sweet spot for a nice setup?
Nov 21, 2013 at 4:41 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9


500+ Head-Fier
Feb 3, 2009
I'm not in any hurry, as I haven't collected the cash yet. But I think that I somewhere along the road will get into electrostats. I have only listened to HE-60 and a Stax model which name I forgot. These HE-60 are pretty high end, and they sounded incredibly good. What I recall is impressive amount of detail, good positioning of instruments and a very silky and sweet sound. That's what I want :)
My current setup is Isabellina HPA LFP V-Edition + Beyer T70 (and I'll keep that). For portable I use Colorfly C4 + Tzar350. I'm into airy, detailed sound. I have been through a lot of headphones, also a lot of bass heavy headphones, but never looked back after owning the Ety ER4.
So I guess this is classic.
My question is:
How do I enter the world of electrostats?
Is there a sweet spot in the Stax lineup?
Any good used/vintage models to look out for?
Budget around 1000-1500$ (I'd gladly spend more, but then I'd have to wait a lifetime. I'd rather get started sooner and upgrade along the way)
I plan to use the Isabellina DAC as source.
Nov 21, 2013 at 7:22 AM Post #2 of 9
It would be nice if hififreaks could issue a demo for you in their facillity in Copenhagen, just a small line-up with the 252+323 amps and the 207+307+407 speakers :D
I'd be very interested in your comparison that's for sure :wink:
Nov 23, 2013 at 7:44 PM Post #3 of 9
The sweet spot for me is the original, 1979 Normal bias Stax SR-Lambda, paired with whatever Normal bias-compatible 'stat amp you can get, be it the usual SRD-7 + speaker amp or an SRM-T1.

Naturally, the difficult part is finding one in good condition for sale, but that shouldn't be too difficult for you if you're patient.
Nov 26, 2013 at 4:35 AM Post #4 of 9
dafo: No doubt, an audition with diferent stax-setups would be very interesting. But I don't want to bother hififreaks, when I'm not ready to buy anything yet...
nameless: thanks for your response. I don't have a speaker amp. Head-fi only:)
What makes the original normal bias stax sr-lambda special for you compared to to other electrostatics?
Nov 26, 2013 at 6:26 AM Post #5 of 9
I can understand that, I would also feel obligated to buy something in this case.
From what I have read the sr407 and the srm323s should be the sweet spot and that setup will be my choice sometime in the future when I return to stax.
Dec 21, 2013 at 4:08 PM Post #6 of 9
I just found a good deal on a pair of Stax Lambda normal bias. They are bundled with a srd-6 energizer.
1. As I don't have a power/speaker amp, I need to know how much the amp will affect the sound...?
2. What kind of amp would be a good match in this system: Isabellina DAC  > [amp] > srd-6 energizer > Stax Lambda (normal bias) ?
3. If I'm looking for the best possible way to amp the Lambdas, would it be better to find a Stax amp (instead of the speaker amp/srd-6 combo)?
4. Of course it's all about what I'm looking for soundwise, and I really can't say anything qualified about this, as long as I haven't heard these yet. But I got the deal on the headphones, and I'm tempted to try the cheap digital amp combo just to get started...so, that is in fact the main issue here: will a cheap digital amp be ok for a start? And what would the perfect specs be? I've read somewhere that a ta2021 based amp which outputs 2x25w sounds good with the energizer>lambdas
Dec 30, 2013 at 2:16 PM Post #7 of 9
Got the original SR-Lambda normal bias. Ordered an Indeed T-amp based on the Tripath ta2021 chipset.
Listened shortly to the headphone with SRD-6 hooked up on a Audio Pro Stereo One with 2x40w in 8ohms. Not the best source, but I listened just to hear if the headphone was allright. And it was MUCH more than that. Brilliant, actually. I can't wait to hook it up with my Isabellina dac as source and the T-amp. Thanks for advice on the original SR-Lambda, this really has potential!!!
Dec 31, 2013 at 2:58 AM Post #8 of 9
Glad to hear you're enjoying it!
I forgot to check back into this thread, but as to say what makes them special for me...well, it's a number of things, but mostly the combination of comfort, soundstage, detailed yet effortless presentation, and that midrange, oh yes. Vocals tend to sound veiled on most other headphones by comparison, even Stax's own SR-202.
Simply put, it felt like the one headphone that was made for me. If I could financially justify it at the time, I'd have never parted with my earlier set...
Feb 6, 2014 at 4:33 AM Post #9 of 9
Colorfly C4 > Isabellina LFP-V Ed. > Indeed TA2021 > SRD-6 > SR-Lambda

Isabellina LFP-V Ed. > Ming Da 84c07 > SRD-6 > SR-Lambda


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