The Entry Level Stax Thread
Aug 31, 2018 at 12:27 PM Post #2,957 of 3,293

AthenaZephyrian

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I would be wary of anything from Woo, as spritzer has documented that Woo has had problems with their bias supplies, potentially leading to gradual deterioration of the headphone diaphragms.
Welp, it's settled, Imma go budget for now and just get the SRS-3100 package until I can throw cash at a better unit, maybe a vintage energizer. I feel like a vintage energizer is a gamble, but one that could have a nice payoff...people keep telling me not to get one though.
 
Aug 31, 2018 at 12:51 PM Post #2,959 of 3,293

AthenaZephyrian

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If plan on using a pre-amp Spritzer has his Octave III unit he recently made a few of, scroll down to second from bottom:

https://mjolnir-audio.com/products/

Looks awesome....but beyond my means, as I'd also need to buy a poweramp.

I have, at most, $1400 to work with, if I want to sell all my other gear to finance it.
 
Aug 31, 2018 at 1:03 PM Post #2,960 of 3,293

VRacer-111

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Looks awesome....but beyond my means, as I'd also need to buy a poweramp.

I have, at most, $1400 to work with, if I want to sell all my other gear to finance it.

Yeah, 'low cost' Spritzer equipment is still not that inexpensive. Make sure you check the used amp section he has every so often because sometimes he will post up some nice vintage gear that he's reworked and modded (replaced component/capacitors, added custom boards, etc...) and its often not too much more than getting that stock vintage gear in unknown original condition.
 
Aug 31, 2018 at 1:11 PM Post #2,961 of 3,293

AthenaZephyrian

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Yeah, 'low cost' Spritzer equipment is still not that inexpensive. Make sure you check the used amp section he has every so often because sometimes he will post up some nice vintage gear that he's reworked and modded (replaced component/capacitors, added custom boards, etc...) and its often not too much more than getting that stock vintage gear in unknown original condition.

Ooooh thanks. I may get the SRD-7 and a parasound...still about $200 more than I feel like paying, but I figure I can resell my ATH-MSR7's and my Soundmagic HP200's to cover it--not my whole collection. Too bad that Dynalo isn't able to push Stax...

EDIT: Wait...then I'd need to get a preamp to control volume (can't stand digital knobs)...I'm a cheap bastard. ==__== this is frustrating. Sorry for wasting your time.
 
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Aug 31, 2018 at 3:48 PM Post #2,962 of 3,293

JimL11

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So, just to clarify terminology, an energizer (e.g. SRD-7) requires a loudspeaker power amp to drive it. The problem with old Stax energizers is that most of them have a normal bias supply (approx 230 volts DC), which is fine for vintage Stax headphones, but doesn't work as well for the new Stax headphones, which use a pro bias (580V DC). If you use a normal bias with a pro bias headphone it will be less efficient (quieter) and relatively "soft." The only old Stax energizer which has a pro bias is the SRD-7 Pro, which is relatively uncommon and more expensive than the normal bias supplies - I've seen them listed for around $250-300 on eBay. All of these are no longer in production.

Currently, Stax only builds amplifiers, of which the least expensive is the SRM-252. Its limitation is a low current drive due to its small size. It is adequate for driving Lambda series headphones. A used amplifier can be a good bargain, however the older amps such as the SRM-1 (solid state) or SRM-T1 (hybrid with tube outputs) are old enough that they should have their electrolytic capacitors replaced as routine maintenance - any competent electronic technician should be able to do so, or if you are into DIY you can do it for around $60 in parts. BTW, the consensus seems to be that a stock T1 is excellent for driving any Lambda series headphone. For another $40 or so in parts, a good DIYer can modify a T1 to constant current load outputs, which more than double the effective power of the amp and allow it to do a creditable job of driving even the SR-007 series phones.
 
Aug 31, 2018 at 4:18 PM Post #2,963 of 3,293

AthenaZephyrian

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Yup, I know about the amp requirement, which is why I'd buy the Parasound. The energizer I'm looking at is indeed and SRD-7 Mk2 Pro, refurbished by Mjolnir/@spritzer. I'm not sure if playing with a vintage, un-refurbished SRD-7 Pro is, given that...well...old things get worn out...and there aren't any on eBay.

The SRM-1 looks like a great bet, if it can be driven straight from a DAC. It would also fit on my desk a lot better than a speaker amp+SRD-7 Pro. How does the T1's sound measure up to the 252s? Obviously better, but worth the extra $200 (including caps and resistors)? This is looking like my best bet by far, for valuation/performance ratio.

Thanks so much for bringing the T1 to my attention!!
 
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Sep 2, 2018 at 4:59 AM Post #2,964 of 3,293

Pahani

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I don't have a T-1, but my SRM-1 Mk2 is the exact unit in the Z Reviews video. And my ears largely agree with his regarding 252S vs SRM-1 vs 353X (I bought my 353X afterwards).

My particular SRM-1 *may* need to be recapped...but is a definite resolution step up from my 252S. However it does sound slightly bright to me.

When I got my 353X, it kept the resolution step up while fixing the too-bright sound I was hearing. It sounds more fleshed out overall.

As always, IMO, YMMV, etc.
 
Sep 2, 2018 at 6:22 PM Post #2,965 of 3,293

miceblue

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With the single-ended input on the SRM-353X BK, I don't hear much of a difference compared to the SRM-252S.

The balanced input on the other hand has better instrument separation, weightier bass, and a much tamed brightness at the ~2 kHz resonance peak of the older Lambda headphones. I no longer need to apply an EQ to my setup with the 353X balanced inputs.
 
Sep 2, 2018 at 6:26 PM Post #2,966 of 3,293

AthenaZephyrian

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I don't have a T-1, but my SRM-1 Mk2 is the exact unit in the Z Reviews video. And my ears largely agree with his regarding 252S vs SRM-1 vs 353X (I bought my 353X afterwards).

My particular SRM-1 *may* need to be recapped...but is a definite resolution step up from my 252S. However it does sound slightly bright to me.

When I got my 353X, it kept the resolution step up while fixing the too-bright sound I was hearing. It sounds more fleshed out overall.

As always, IMO, YMMV, etc.

It's a good thing bright/non-harmann flat is my MO.

With the single-ended input on the SRM-353X BK, I don't hear much of a difference compared to the SRM-252S.

The balanced input on the other hand has better instrument separation, weightier bass, and a much tamed brightness at the ~2 kHz resonance peak of the older Lambda headphones. I no longer need to apply an EQ to my setup with the 353X balanced inputs.

Phoo. The SRM-1 Mk2 isn't balanced.
 
Sep 2, 2018 at 8:17 PM Post #2,967 of 3,293

ImHereLeft4Dead

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The 252 and the Woo Wee offer about the same sound quality (decent and usable but not great) and the SRM1-MK2 is a pretty big step up from both of those options.
Stax SRD7-MK2 (Pro + Normal Biased) combined with a nice and clean speakers amp (anything First Watt for example) will sound better than everything that I've talked about and costs less than the BHSE and the 3SE Elite from Woo Audio.
 
Sep 2, 2018 at 8:19 PM Post #2,968 of 3,293

AthenaZephyrian

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The 252 and the Woo Wee offer about the same sound quality (decent and usable but not great) and the SRM1-MK2 is a pretty big step up from both of those options.
Stax SRD7-MK2 (Pro + Normal Biased) combined with a nice and clean speakers amp (anything First Watt for example) will sound better than everything that I've talked about and costs less than the BHSE and the 3SE Elite from Woo Audio.

Conveniently, I plan to buy a few of these to recap, decorate with wood panelling, and resell. I may keep one :)
 
Sep 8, 2018 at 8:35 AM Post #2,969 of 3,293

rpeebles

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The 252 and the Woo Wee offer about the same sound quality (decent and usable but not great) and the SRM1-MK2 is a pretty big step up from both of those options.
Stax SRD7-MK2 (Pro + Normal Biased) combined with a nice and clean speakers amp (anything First Watt for example) will sound better than everything that I've talked about and costs less than the BHSE and the 3SE Elite from Woo Audio.

Sorry...newby...STAX L700 Earspeakers are Normal Bias or Pro Bias ? How do you recognise one from the other - number of pins ? How many Normal, how many Pro ?

Thanks & regards !
 

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