Stax SR-009 and SR-007 Mk1 earpad DIY mods
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edstrelow

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  Hello gents. Please bear with me , I'm a 'newbie' to the whole Stax arena, having just acquired a pair of the SR-007's. Question - there is some sort of 'spacer'? baffle-screen type thing that is behind the earpad grille. Any idea what it's purpose is??
 
Thanks to any & all who can clarify.
Do you mean the mesh or the metal plate?  The former is probably to keep crud out of the drivers while the latter holds the drivers in place.
 
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bearFNF

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  Hello gents. Please bear with me , I'm a 'newbie' to the whole Stax arena, having just acquired a pair of the SR-007's. Question - there is some sort of 'spacer'? baffle-screen type thing that is behind the earpad grille. Any idea what it's purpose is??
 
Thanks to any & all who can clarify.

Can you get us a picture?
 
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Mobiustereo

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I will attempt to get a picture. You can also feel some sort of mounting connection? directly in the center of the ear piece. I'm leaving on vacation early today, so won't be able to post a pic until I return. Til then, the mystery deepens...Thanks.
 
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Tachikoma

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I think you mean the spring. It adds a little more distance between your ears and the transducer, I think. I just took it off on my pair and I think, it sounds much more immediate, and the bass feels a bit heftier too.
 
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edstrelow

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  I think you mean the spring. It adds a little more distance between your ears and the transducer, I think. I just took it off on my pair and I think, it sounds much more immediate, and the bass feels a bit heftier too.
Years ago Spritzer recommend flattening the spring on the A/Mk2 007, which has much the same effect as removing it.  I have added 1/4 inch of sorbothane on top of the metal plate, so that now sets the height of the mesh.
 
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zolkis

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Some update here on the 007: I ended up using the upper part of the 007 black earpad filling mounted into the 009 leather part. Somehow the density, mass, and structure which is present in the earpads controls pretty well the timbre. This would be Pad6 for the 007, and it's slightly more neutral than Pad4. Also, it's far easier to make: you can reuse the filling of the 007 earpad (well, the lower 3mm urethane part needs to be removed but it's reversible), and use the leather shell of the 009 pads.
 
Looks like with Pad4 and Pad6 I have managed to bring the SR-007 to the level of the 009, with only a slight remaining coloration caused by its midrange dip which I cannot help, and yet I actually prefer it about 60% of the time vs the 009, probably because the more bass and the larger than life sound stage. I love for instance how piano base resonance goes with the 007. However, the 009 is the best (= more accurate, more realistic, better timbre) phone - even though it has a slight 1K peak and I am sensitive to it and makes the perceived sound a tiny bit upwards tilting compared to 'live music normal'. That is a point I wanted to arrived to: compared to live acoustic music, all these headphones suck: one has not enough presence, or bass, or has a colored timbre, etc. The 009 is the one which arrived closest to live music but it ain't fully perfect, and I often actually like the 007 with Pad6 more. Maybe I will redo the 009 earpad mod, which makes it a bit warmer and with more defined bass, and try again - unless I'll miss again its "stock" neutrality.
 
Yesterday I looked at some old plots [1] made about the (stock) 007, 009, LCD-2, HD800. I feel the Audeze (LCD3?) could have the best potential from that bunch for a smooth natural sound, but likely won't ever match the speed (and hence neutrality) of the 009. Maybe a new mod project...
 
Also, my modded TH900 fares pretty well, and plays about in the same league as these Stax, except the last bits in smoothness and musical refinement, but with deeper bass.
 
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goobicii

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anyone have freqency response measurements of SR-009 with the bass pad mod? 
 
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Westron

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Hey zolkis,
 
I was looking at your pad mod post and thought you might be able to help me out with an issue. I have abnormally large ears (not too big, but big enough) and they press against the driver cover/mesh in my SR-009s, it is pretty uncomfortable. What would you suggest would be the best way to thicken up the pads and move the drivers away from my head.

To give you an idea, the Audeze LCD-2/X/XC earpads were too thin for me and I felt the Fazor against my ears, I had to get LCD-3 (thicker) earpads to keep it far enough away. The LCD3 pads are about 2 inches thick at the back and 1.5 inches in the front.

Any suggestions? I was thinking of a few things: 1. LCD3 EARPADS, no idea if this would work, 2. Adding more cushion in the SR-009 pads (would a significant increase in foam be too much to hold in?), 3. Thicker felt ring
 
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TheAttorney

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Hi Westron
 
It's very easy to move the 009's earpads away from the ears - much easier than the more substantial zolkis-style mods because you don't have to take anything apart.
 
Firstly, there is some give between the pad and driver casing such that you can lift the pad and slide in slithers of foam/ felt or any material that is, say, 1-3 mm thick depending on how far out you need to go.
 
Secondly, if you only lift the back half of the pad, it will change the angle of the drivers pointing into your ears, which some say improves the focus of the sound. In this case, you'd cut a sort of crescent shaped slither of foam/felt to match the shape of the back half of the pads. Use paper to make a template. Spritzer posted a photo of this on the Stax thread of the Other Site a while back. In his case, I think he just stuffed a few smaller pieces of foam rather that cut a single crescent.
 
I use this simple mod myself. 2mm of a felt-like material borrowed from my wife's sewing kit, back half only, was fine for me in that (1) it stopped my ears touching the driver and  (2) It did seem to improve the sound slightly, but I wouldn't swear to this as I haven't tried swapping with and without to absolutely confirm my first impressions.
 
Originally, only one of my ears touched the driver casing and that only very slightly, so it was never a big problem in the first place, but this simple mod has removed the problem entirely.
 
@ zolkis, I'm interested in your 009 felt Pad change, but it seems fiddly work to me: removing dust protectors, loosening screws, cutting things apart, etc. I fear with my clumsy fingers, the 009's will never be quite the same again! To get the pad materials in and out, is it necessary to do unstitching and stitching of the leather skin?
 
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zolkis

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@ zolkis, I'm interested in your 009 felt Pad change, but it seems fiddly work to me: removing dust protectors, loosening screws, cutting things apart, etc. I fear with my clumsy fingers, the 009's will never be quite the same again! To get the pad materials in and out, is it necessary to do unstitching and stitching of the leather skin?
 
You don't need to unstitch or cut any leather, and the mod is reversible. However, I don't recommend this mod to the 009 any more, unless you crave to change the balance for more bass and don't mind getting more relaxed mids, not speaking about the slightly changed sound signature. A reference ought to stay a reference. If you decide to proceed though, you need to follow the correct procedure of changing the pads on the 009:
- remove the dust grill
- pinch the pads so that the heads of the screws become visible, and unscrew a few rotations on each screw
- pull off the pads
- fold out the leather pads and remove the stuffing, which consists of 2 layers, a softer and a harder one
- for separating the hard layer (in order to replace with felt), you do need to cut between the soft and hard layers (which later you can stack on each other with no change to the sound, or re-glue with a self-adhesive film).
Assembly is in reverse order.
 
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Westron

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  Hi Westron
 
It's very easy to move the 009's earpads away from the ears - much easier than the more substantial zolkis-style mods because you don't have to take anything apart.
 
Firstly, there is some give between the pad and driver casing such that you can lift the pad and slide in slithers of foam/ felt or any material that is, say, 1-3 mm thick depending on how far out you need to go.
 
Secondly, if you only lift the back half of the pad, it will change the angle of the drivers pointing into your ears, which some say improves the focus of the sound. In this case, you'd cut a sort of crescent shaped slither of foam/felt to match the shape of the back half of the pads. Use paper to make a template. Spritzer posted a photo of this on the Stax thread of the Other Site a while back. In his case, I think he just stuffed a few smaller pieces of foam rather that cut a single crescent.
 
I use this simple mod myself. 2mm of a felt-like material borrowed from my wife's sewing kit, back half only, was fine for me in that (1) it stopped my ears touching the driver and  (2) It did seem to improve the sound slightly, but I wouldn't swear to this as I haven't tried swapping with and without to absolutely confirm my first impressions.
 
Originally, only one of my ears touched the driver casing and that only very slightly, so it was never a big problem in the first place, but this simple mod has removed the problem entirely.
 
@ zolkis, I'm interested in your 009 felt Pad change, but it seems fiddly work to me: removing dust protectors, loosening screws, cutting things apart, etc. I fear with my clumsy fingers, the 009's will never be quite the same again! To get the pad materials in and out, is it necessary to do unstitching and stitching of the leather skin?
Thanks a lot! Super useful information. I will try that asap, if that works then I won't ever have to risk damaging these quadrillion dollar cans.

Do you ever use any type of adhesive or do they usually just sit there?

Also do you use a square shape or actually match the shape of the pad and make it into a semi-circle?
 
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TheAttorney

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I matched the exact shape of the pad (into a semi-circle, or what I call a crescent). Whether that's important I don't know.
 
I added a smaill square of double-sided sellotape to keep it it place, thereby enabling it to be removed easily if necessary. Otherwise it tends to shift occcasionally,
 
@zolkis, thank you for the extra instructions. I'll certainly think anout it.
 
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Westron

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  I matched the exact shape of the pad (into a semi-circle, or what I call a crescent). Whether that's important I don't know.
 
I added a smaill square of double-sided sellotape to keep it it place, thereby enabling it to be removed easily if necessary. Otherwise it tends to shift occcasionally,
 
@zolkis, thank you for the extra instructions. I'll certainly think anout it.
Made stencils of the pads and cut those out of a foam mattress type material (in fact just made a vertically symmetrical mirror image stencil with respect to the rear part of the ear pad) and used each half to distance the rear of the headphones/grill from my ears. The process was easy and harmless, and bore great results. No longer do the rough grills press against my ears and the soundstage is a little clearer, with a relaxed and reduced high mid 'ee' format sound(like when you press your headphones close to your ears).

Hi five!
 
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TheAttorney

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Isn't it great when a plan comes to successful fruition :xf_eek:)
This rarely seems to happen at work.
 
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