Stax: Worthwhile Investment?
Mar 15, 2007 at 4:21 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

cyanbomb

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Posts
150
Likes
0
Hi guys!
smily_headphones1.gif

I'm flying to Japan on Monday for a week-long vacation. Here's my question: Stax, should I get myself a pair? What exactly is it about Stax that is so special? What kind of damage is my wallet looking at?

I'm so excited... Tokyo is supposed to be electronics heaven, and it'll be my first time. If there's anything else that I should look out for while I'm there, do let me know!
orphsmile.gif
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 4:26 PM Post #2 of 10

laxx

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Posts
2,439
Likes
10
Tokyo is expensive. They also charge an arm and a leg.
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 6:10 PM Post #3 of 10

edstrelow

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Posts
3,128
Likes
194
Quote:

Originally Posted by cyanbomb /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi guys!
smily_headphones1.gif

I'm flying to Japan on Monday for a week-long vacation. Here's my question: Stax, should I get myself a pair? What exactly is it about Stax that is so special? What kind of damage is my wallet looking at?

I'm so excited... Tokyo is supposed to be electronics heaven, and it'll be my first time. If there's anything else that I should look out for while I'm there, do let me know!
orphsmile.gif



Stax specialize in electrostatic headphones rather than conventional dynamic (magnet powered) phones. Electrostatics drivers are exteremely light and yet can be made very large. Sound-wise they are known for very fast transient response, because of the lightness, and low intermodulation distortion because of their size. Most listeners find them to have a more realistic treble e.g. try listening to a bell, and cleaner sounding overall than dynamics.

Electrostatics have also been used for loudspeakers for many decades. The speakers tend to be have very large frontal surfaces and are very expensive. Filling a room with bass tends to be a challenge for most stat speakers although this is not an issue for headphones because of the much smaller amount of air that must be moved. Some stat speakers use dynamic woofers at the bottom end.

Prices in Japan can be good but you should check the prices at EIFL and Audiocubes or AudiocubesII, which ship from Japan. before you go.

Stat phones require a separate amplifier and will not run from a conventional headphone amp (although the speakers will run from a conventional power amp).

Be wary of buying an amp in Japan because the voltages are, I believe, about 10% lower than US. Some shops sell additional transformers, although EIFL is usually able to make voltage adjustments in the amps they sell, which seems a better proposition.

So you are probably safe buying a set of heapdphones, but you may want to get an amp here or order from someone in Japan who can set the input voltage right.

The One exception would be the Stax SRM001MK2 portable phones plus amp. These run about $240.00 combined imported so if you can get a better deal on Japan you might want that. They run off 2 AA batteries so voltage issues do not arise. They have 4.5 dc input if you wish to plug them in to the wall with a wall-wart. They are a great phone and a good introduction to electrostatics at a cheap price to decide if you like their virtues.
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 6:21 PM Post #4 of 10

cfraser

New Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Posts
42
Likes
10
Be wary. Much (most??) Japanese electronics cost less in the U.S. than in Japan. To make it really worthwhile, the thing to look out for is stuff you can't buy over here. Also, a real big current thing is warranty only honored in country of purchase...check before buy. Have fun!!
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 8:04 PM Post #7 of 10

Carl

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
5,368
Likes
16
Quote:

Originally Posted by cfraser /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Be wary. Much (most??) Japanese electronics cost less in the U.S. than in Japan.


Stax don't.
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 9:28 PM Post #8 of 10

macm75

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Posts
293
Likes
12
I'm very content with my SR-303's and DIY tube amp - for my ears it's a wonderful combo.
Hope my response is clear and answers your first question. :)
Big beware - if you purchase in Japan you loose all possibility of USA (Yama's) service and warrenty. If anything goes wrong, Japanese repair is all you have.
My bet is you will go into overload and come back with something else. But... you obviously should at least listen to them while you are there and keep the sound in your memory banks - not an easy thing to find them in US stores (I bought mine w/o ever getting a chance to hear them).
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 9:30 PM Post #9 of 10

cyanbomb

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Posts
150
Likes
0
Haha, thanks for the advice guys, especially the detailed explanation of electrostats. I'm definitely keeping my eyes peeled for nice things I won't be able to get back home. Maybe a Clix2 DAP too?

When I get back from Japan next Sunday, I'll post up pics of my purchases.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 9:35 PM Post #10 of 10

MaloS

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Posts
4,670
Likes
11
Heard 303 and 404 (latter out of 313 and mcallister) - in all honesty I could be quite set with one of those headphones and a nice amp, but not quite ready to have something so big set in my room yet.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top