Stax SR 507 or 407 ?

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by supertrichi, May 12, 2011.
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  1. jeffreyfranz
    Yama told me in an email that all the new Lambdas have the same driver. He said that he felt the SR-407 was the best bang-for-the-buck in the line, and that the SR-507 was, by a small but audible margin, the best. Being an audiophile, I of course had to buy the SR-507. I love it. I have read numerous posts by VisualGuy saying how the 507 isn't very good, but that has not been my experience. It is better, clearly better, than my HD-600, HD-650, AKG K701, Grado SR-80, and Fostex T-40 RP-II (ortho). I have large ears, and I find it very light and comfortable. I use it with a Stax tube amp. In my experience, it is the first headphone that made me really, truly enjoy headphone listening. I also find that the sound is very similar to my Quad ESL-989s with both Pass Aleph monos and BAT VK-60 monos (tube). In my book, that's not too shabby. That is my experience, for what it's worth. YMMV. Good luck. [​IMG]
    landroni likes this.
  2. borizm
    If SR-207, SR-307, SR-407, SR-507 having different parameters (like capacity, resistance) have the same driver, then the cable and pads do the difference.
    How far the SR-207 lays sonically below SR-407?
  3. K3cT
    If it's anything like the differences between 202 vs 303 vs 404 vs 404LE then I would say the differences are minor in grander scheme of things. I do remember that the 404LE has much more detailed and articulated midrange and bass compared to the 202. Edgier-sounding too unfortunately... 
  4. Navyblue
    I really want to believe that all of the have the same driver, so I can just get the 207 or 307 and get the 507 pad which would be a lot cheaper. But...
    If all of them have the same driver, why is it that they have different specs? Earpad difference would not reflect on its electrical properties. If it is the cable, why is it that 407 and 507 have similar specs despite having different cables? While the 307 and the 407 have more spec difference while they have the same cable?
    From what I have researched so far they have identical driver housing.
    Elsewhere I read that the 207 sounded like the 307 and the 407 sounded like the 507. The prices of the bottom 3 models are closer to each other while the 507 is quite a bit more expensive. It seem to make sense so say that the 407 is the value buy.
  5. borizm
    The cable between SR-207/SR-307 and SR-407/SR-507 has different geometry and in effect different capacity, so impedance - that is why specs are different.
    impedance = 1 / ( 2 * PI * capacity * frequency )
    SR-207 spec: 120 pF, 132 kOhm at 10 kHz
    1 / ( 2 × 3.14 × 0.000000000120 F × 10000 Hz) = 132696 Ohm
    SR-407 spec: 110 pF, 144 kOhm at 10 kHz
    1 / ( 2 × 3.14 × 0.000000000110 F × 10000 Hz) = 144759 Ohm
    These differences are rather slight, so probably there is something else making SR-407/SR-507 a better headphones. Earpads?
  6. thainxce


    This is my first stax headphone - Sr 307 , and I do not regret my decision to own it at all. And most of all , I will chose 507 for next upgrading or 009 far beyond . 407 's not good - not bad for this situation when you start with 307 imo
  7. koonhua90
    I like the 507 enough that I sold my LCD-3 the same day I got the Stax. I think it might be due to the amp. I don't think Schiit Lyr is that good of an amp for the LCD-3. All that aside, the planars are too heavy for my neck. 
    I will have the 007Mk1 very soon, and few weeks from now I will get to audition the HD800 and LCD-2 that belongs to another fellow Headfier who lives in Pittsburgh.
    The 507 is quite forward, liquid sounding, yet being transparent and faithful to the source. What I like particularly is the speed and resolution of it. It just handles everything I throw at it with ease. Very slightly tilt up treble, but never harsh nor dry.
    landroni likes this.
  8. dyl1dyl

    Yup, you need something better than the Lyr to really make the LCD-3 sound great (plus your source should be stellar too). I do agree that the 507 is a really nice headphone too, great value at about 1k imo. Best treble reproduction short of the 009s imo. On the whole, from a good amp and source (liquid fire and say a Moon 750D), the LCD-3s are definietly better but the 507s are certainly great headphones.
  9. koonhua90

    Better is relative though. There too many dynamic headphones, and there are so many amps and cables to choose from, so I went for the easy way and got the electrostats [​IMG]
    Main detraction on the LCD-3 for me, is the weight and the clamp. I wouldn't say the LCD-3 is better in every way. They trade blows, with the LCD-3 having great extension and bass punch, warmth smooth sound, greater width and depth. On the other hand, in terms of clarity, speed, detail extraction, resolution, the 507+T1 as a package clearly outclasses the LCD-3+Lyr. And it happens that I put a lot of emphasis on those criteria.
  10. dyl1dyl


    Yup, comfort is a big negative for the LCD-3. Thats true, the 507s do beat the LCD-3s in speed and clarity. I do feel that the LCD-3s though do detail extraction/resolution about as well from a good amp like a liquid fire or a beta22.
  11. koonhua90


    At the price of a Liquid Fire, I would rather save up and get the Stax 009 instead, and then DIY my own KGSSHV or T2 to go with it (although the latter is very hard to build) [​IMG]
  12. K3cT
    Although the main complaints here seem to focus on the LCD3's veil issues, reusing the arc assembly from the LCD2 is my biggest gripe of them all. Is revising the design to be more ergonomically friendly too much to ask for? 
    Anyway, two years ago I had the same dilemma whether to upgrade to the LCD2 or the 404LE. After comparing them, both properly driven with the β22 and KGSS respectively, I ended up with the orthodynamic as it seems more forgiving and a better all-rounder in general. The LCD2 (and LCD3) is relatively easy to drive and quite forgiving but like the HD650, elevating it from merely "good" to "awesome" is a bit tricky. 
  13. pkshan
    507 is not bright, those brightness & harshness are coming from the stax amp. 
    cheap internal wire, fuse, caps, metal-film resistors,unregulated power supply  etc....
    The real issue of 507 is the timbre, the bass has a little too much impact,
    the mids lack some intimate when comparing to the 80's Lambdas.
    & the highs sound a bit  hard.
    I use it mostly when listen to  rock / techno / orchestral / instrumental music,
    the brasses, bass, electric guitars & drums sound more correct & real on the 507
    for vocals ,I will take the 80's lambdas, the old lambdas sound more relaxed.
    violins, woodwinds are better, smoother than the 507

    DragonOwen, zolkis and kay bee like this.
  14. jeffreyfranz
    I agree with everything EddieE said. I have had many phones, and so far, the 507 is my favorite. I find it very open sounding, the most like my Quads' in-room experience. I use the Stax SRM-006ts tube amp, which most Stax fans say is kind of mellow or soft. All I know is, I'm happy. Also, I have a large, thin head and live in an area that gets into 110-115 degrees in summer, so I chose the leather pads to avoid any sticky feeling the Pleather might give. However, if cost is a major concern, I think you will get almost the same phone for a lot less by buying the SR-407. Good luck. 
  15. zolkis
    I also have the experience that Stax amps sound a little bit brittle, and don't have such good bass the headphones would otherwise be capable of. 
    I use an amp made by an audio research specialist ( - use google translate from Hungarian if interested) matched with my headphone, which made the SR-507 sound incredibly good, with no trace of harshness or treble tilt - and the headphones are not even fully broken in yet (according to the Stax dealer this may take half a year or more). The amp is not on that webpage, it's a new design based on lateral MOSFET's in an interesting circuit, with a 120 W power supply, with huge dynamic headroom. It supports both 6.5 mm jack and Stax Pro plugs. I think if the company made it in series it may be a huge success - but as a research company they mainly develop and sell designs.
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