Inital Reactiosn to my Stax SR-404/SRM 717 combo
Apr 1, 2006 at 11:24 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

jaybar

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I have the Stax SR-404/SRM 717 combo for only two days. My initial reactiosn are:

1) Much for testured sound than some prior dynamic systems (Senheisser HD 650, HD600, AKG K1000).

2) Voices sound like they are more attached to a real 3 dimensional body.

3) Quicker and lower bass with more dimentionality, speed and nuance.

4) Warmer/darker right out of the box, but that is changing.

5) More cerebral and contemplative. The K1000's had much more wow factor.

6) The most confusing is the "head-stage". The headstage is wider (except for the K 1000's, maybe a tad flatter (front to back) and much more pushed to the back of my head.

7) Slight diffuseness of the sound, relative to dynamic headphone. This makes it slightly harder to judge left/right balance than with dynamic headphones.

Questions:

A) Does this change with break in? if so, how?
B) Would I be best served by eventually moving to the Omega II Phones.

Tube amps are NOT an option for me.

Thanks,

Jay
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 3:10 AM Post #2 of 7

edstrelow

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I have not heard the K1000 so I cannot compare with that but I recently did a review of the 717/404 making some comparisons with other electrostatic phones. http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=167301

I would expect some changes with break-in. Is this a new system? Are you using an upgraded power cord for the 717? Stax amps are very power hungry and I like to plug them directly into the wall plug, and not through a power strip. I would also suggest some form of vibration control on the amp. I like sorbethane feet myself.

Most electrostatics are very revealing of the equipment ahead in the chain and can sound very different with changes in associated equipment.

I don't know what your experience is with electrostatics but there is some agreement in these forums that they also need significant warm-up. Some people leave the amps and phones on all the time. Others have suggested just leaving them charged up (good except there are no commercial products to do this).

I would suggest:1) leave the phones connected to the amp at all times; 2) leave the system on for 4 hours a day for 2-3 days. Then let them warm up for an hour, play them loud for a few minutes and then check the sound.

If you use them every day, a half hour warm up should get them pretty much to their full potential.

I like the 404/717 combo but I also have the older Sigma pro's and I really like what the 717 does with these phones. The Sigma is the original Stax "earspeaker" and I believe the 1000 resembles them in that it mounts the transducers forward of the ears. If I am not mistaken, the 1000 is hooked up directly to a power amp so its sound is much determined by the amp

The 404 seems to have a fairly flat lower register, i.e. no lower/mid/bass peak. I think it is very neutral in this regard but many people like a bass peak in part because this can enhance the rhythm of pop/rock music which has a lot of energy in this region. I have noted that the Sigma, which uses essentially the same transducers as the lambda, has a significant lower/mid bass bass peak. Even though it is less efficient than the lambda, it has more punch.

On the other hand, the lambdas, 404 etc. are exceptional with classical orchestral music.

.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 4:17 AM Post #3 of 7

jaybar

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Thanks so much for the reply.

My system is:

1) Ayre AX-7 Integrated
2) Ayre CX-7 CDP
3) Ayre P-5x phono stage
4) Cardas Golden reference IC's
5) Magnum Dynalab tuner
6) Shunyata power cords and Shunyata Hydra 8
7) Rega p9 TT with Benz Ruby

Cardas wood blocks under many components

Jay
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 11:56 AM Post #4 of 7

John Buchanan

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Does the Ayre Cd player have balanced outputs - if so, try using those instead of the single ended. Seems to be a bit less bright and consistently sounds better to me than single ended. I use a Studer CD player into the 717 and out to a Lambda Nova Signature set. I'm very happy with this set.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 12:29 PM Post #5 of 7

jaybar

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I am using the balanced output of Ayre's CDP into the balanced input of the Ayre integrated and have always been.. Since I have multiple sources, I need to feed the input of the SRM 717 from the tape output of the Ayre integrated. This can only be done by single ended cable. If I wanted to connect durectly from my source to the headphone amp, I would need to keep changing cable all the time. Most folks here have a headphone system based on single source, which would allow them to use the balnced inputs on the SRM 717.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 1:44 PM Post #6 of 7

applebook

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IMO, the Omega II blows away the K1000 (my favorite dynamic can) in soundstage depth and imaging. I've not heard the 404, but the OII's imaging is anything but diffuse. Additionally, vocals, like the 404, are simply amazingly realistic and "bodied" on the OII --a trademark of 'stats.

The OII is a much darker can than the K1000 and has no impact other than deep bass, but once you get acquainted with it, you really appreciate its finer aspects.
 
Apr 2, 2006 at 7:55 PM Post #7 of 7

Don Quichotte

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jaybar
7) Slight diffuseness of the sound, relative to dynamic headphone. This makes it slightly harder to judge left/right balance than with dynamic headphones.


I've noticed this too with my Stax 3030 and it doesn't change with break in. Anyway, it doesn't bother me.
 

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