The Entry Level Stax Thread
Oct 5, 2020 at 6:46 AM Post #3,241 of 3,312

OYV1983

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I don't know why you'd want to bother with a Stax tube energiser. Just get a 353X solid state and be done with it unless you want to spend a lot more and go 3rd party. The 353X is widely regarded as a very good Stax energiser, and the law of diminishing returns seriously applies to energisers at or above this price anyway.

I used to own the Stax 404 and tried it with a 353X and I liked the 006 energizer better. After reading about it and the replies on here, I won't get a 700t energizer. That's for sure. I better not spend way too much on an energizer and buy a very good turntable and cartridge.
 
Oct 8, 2020 at 3:49 PM Post #3,242 of 3,312

streamenterer

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Thanks for your reply.
That's a quite an upcharge for a nearly identical energizer then. I have read about people recommending non Stax energizers, but because the SRM 700T is new, I expected Stax to come up with a decent Stax alternative for aftermarket solutions.

Still I'm curious about the consensus when it comes to Stax energizer synergy with the L700mkII. I'm not sure if I want to buy an aftermarket energizer. It will definitely be way more expensive than the SRM 006TS. Also I'd have to order it from the USA and have it shipped to the Netherlands. Tax and warranty/servicing would be an issue.
I'm using the srm-007tA (same as tii) with L300s and a vinyl source and notice that there's not enough power to drive them. I have the volume at the top of its range at all times, and it's supposed to be harsher at that level. With digital, I have a little more play in the volume control but still not that much.
 
Oct 8, 2020 at 6:08 PM Post #3,243 of 3,312

OYV1983

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I'm using the srm-007tA (same as tii) with L300s and a vinyl source and notice that there's not enough power to drive them. I have the volume at the top of its range at all times, and it's supposed to be harsher at that level. With digital, I have a little more play in the volume control but still not that much.

That's while using a phono stage?
 
Oct 8, 2020 at 7:02 PM Post #3,244 of 3,312

streamenterer

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That's while using a phono stage?

Right, I'm using a preamp w/phono stage (Audio Tekne IT-1) and on speakers I've always noticed a slightly lower volume level on phono vs digital--at 11 oclock rather than noon for most listening. But with the tape out into the Stax amp, it's always at top volume w/phono like I said.

I've got my eye on a Mjolnir Novem all-tube amp ($3200) down the line. A KGST, solid state w/tube output stage, is $3000.
 
Oct 8, 2020 at 8:05 PM Post #3,245 of 3,312

bigjako

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Hello everyone. I recently made my first foray into the world of Stax with the following:
  • SRD-7SB (paired with a Kinter Tripath $40 amp)
  • SRD-X (paired with and without a Bravo Ocean as a pre-amp)
  • Lambda Originals (Normal Bias)
  • SR-5
  • Using a Khadas Tone Board as DAC and a JDS Switcher to swap between setups
I had not planned to get two independent setups, but one thing led to another and here we are. I like being able to move back and forth between them, but may sell one setup in the future.

I got the SRD-X and Lambdas first. For the first 5 minutes I was a little underwhelmed - where was this electrostatic magic I had been hearing about. But then my ears settled in and I could not take them off. I listened to them all day and I'm reconsidering my entire upgrade path away from dynamics and planars to 'better' electrostatics. A few questions I'm hoping you can help me with:

1. I said I listened to it all day, and I think I must have turned the volume up more than I usually do because of how smooth and distortion-free they are. I am normally very treble-sensitive and like dark, warm cans. But the Lambdas were just so smooth that I didn't sense any harsh treble. But that night and the next day my ears actually hurt - they almost felt bruised. Is that a normal part of the experience for anyone? Or are these wonderful ear speakers only going to be suitable for short sessions for this treble-sensitive guy?

2. What is my upgrade path? I think it's getting an L300 with a newer amp, but are the newer earspeakers, like the L300, that much of an upgrade over the older Lambdas? Or should I just forget about upgrading the headphones for a while.

3. If I do upgrade, should I just get something like the Woo GES or the Mjolnir Mini TT as my only 'new' amp? Any downside to getting one of those plus an L300? Before I got these Stax, my next planned upgrade was a ZMF Aeolus and maybe a Woo WA2, but now dynamics feel muddled and veiled to me, even my good ones, and I'm thinking of going down the electro path instead.

Thank you, I appreciate any help from the Stax experts.
Stax.jpg
 
Oct 8, 2020 at 9:39 PM Post #3,246 of 3,312

padam

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The NB Lambda is easily better than most other Lambdas.
I wouldn't replace them (in fact I hadn't replaced them myself, selling other stuff instead, now I ended up with three, which is proably overkill...)
Replacing the amp will be a big step up, although afterwards, you might also need a better source as well...
It gets pricey pretty quicky. (even though it is still peanuts compared to a 'proper' SR-007/SR-009 setup, which is on a different planet price-wise)

The main line is, you got headphones which scale up really well (calling them entry-level is probably misleading)

No, that is not really normal, as you say, you have turned up the volume too much and/or for too long at that level.
The Lambda is excellent at sounding detailed at low volumes, but maybe because there is less impact compared to other headphones, people try to compensate by raising the volume.
All I can say the best thing to do is probably simply try and restrain yourself. You can have the best headphone system in the world, but if your hearing gets damaged, it becomes worthless.
But with a warmer source and amp, it probably gets a bit better at lower volumes as well.
 
Oct 8, 2020 at 11:40 PM Post #3,247 of 3,312

DougD

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The NB Lambda is easily better than most other Lambdas.
I wouldn't replace them (in fact I hadn't replaced them myself, selling other stuff instead, now I ended up with three, which is proably overkill...)
Replacing the amp will be a big step up, although afterwards, you might also need a better source as well...
It gets pricey pretty quicky. (even though it is still peanuts compared to a 'proper' SR-007/SR-009 setup, which is on a different planet price-wise)

The main line is, you got headphones which scale up really well (calling them entry-level is probably misleading)

What options are there for a "new(-ish)" build amp that will work with a normal bias Lambda?

Or even better, will power both NB and pro bias Stax earspeakers.
 
Oct 9, 2020 at 12:59 AM Post #3,248 of 3,312

gefski

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Oct 9, 2020 at 1:54 AM Post #3,249 of 3,312

bigjako

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The NB Lambda is easily better than most other Lambdas.
I wouldn't replace them (in fact I hadn't replaced them myself, selling other stuff instead, now I ended up with three, which is proably overkill...)
Replacing the amp will be a big step up, although afterwards, you might also need a better source as well...
It gets pricey pretty quicky. (even though it is still peanuts compared to a 'proper' SR-007/SR-009 setup, which is on a different planet price-wise)

The main line is, you got headphones which scale up really well (calling them entry-level is probably misleading)

No, that is not really normal, as you say, you have turned up the volume too much and/or for too long at that level.
The Lambda is excellent at sounding detailed at low volumes, but maybe because there is less impact compared to other headphones, people try to compensate by raising the volume.
All I can say the best thing to do is probably simply try and restrain yourself. You can have the best headphone system in the world, but if your hearing gets damaged, it becomes worthless.
But with a warmer source and amp, it probably gets a bit better at lower volumes as well.
Thanks for that. I didn’t even know they were called NB Lambdas but that has now opened up an interesting reading path.

I think I’d like to get a Woo GES based on what I’ve read. I’ve seen them go for a grand recently and with a different source that should be a big upgrade for a reasonable cost. What DAC would you suggest pairs with Stax? I have a Modius and a Modi Multibit and could repurpose one of those, but I was also considering an Airist. i will add he mimby to the OL Switcher this weekend and see what that does.

On my sore ears, I found a write up on Reddit that talked about what I think might be happening. I mentioned I was very treble sensitive and I think it’s because this plays high treble levels that I have not really exposed my ears to very much, and he makes he point of his ears being unused to 2-3k. I don’t really listen at high volume but I may have slightly overdone with the Stax. There’s no ringing in my eara, like from loud concerts - it feels more swollen like a cold. Anyways, I’ll heal up and try again at lower volumes. Spent today listening quietly on my EMU Teaks, which are like a warm blanket.

The upper midrange/presence region also has a sense of «weakness» in the presentation, when you crank the headphone it sounds like it just wants to die (which could also be my ears not handling listening to 2-3k at such volumes). This is a pretty good headphone for weeb music if you don’t listen too loud.

Treble is strange, it has quite a bit of energy moving into the lower treble but then loses a significant amount of energy from 6-10k before picking up a lot in the air regions. This headphone has insane amounts of air and can be a little fatuiging because of that. The fact that the lower treble and midtreble are somewhat recessed also gives the feeling of the headphone being quite a bit warmer than most Stax despite not having that much lower midrange body to speak of.“


So if I keep my NB Lambdas until they fall apart and don’t chase an L300, is there a nice electrostatic counterpart to them? I was thinking of trying the Kaldas as a complementary pair. i like to have some targets, just for the fun of deal hunting.
 
Oct 9, 2020 at 3:24 AM Post #3,250 of 3,312

padam

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What options are there for a "new(-ish)" build amp that will work with a normal bias Lambda?

Or even better, will power both NB and pro bias Stax earspeakers.
Basically anything works, the SRM-T1 and its variants (SRA-3S if you can find one and have it refurbished) do a great job, there is a also mod described by JimL for these amps, which increases the power.
If you want to go cheaper, the SRM-1/MK2 Pro works well, too (I have one of those as well, but they are going to be refurbished)

Thanks for that. I didn’t even know they were called NB Lambdas but that has now opened up an interesting reading path.

I think I’d like to get a Woo GES based on what I’ve read. I’ve seen them go for a grand recently and with a different source that should be a big upgrade for a reasonable cost. What DAC would you suggest pairs with Stax? I have a Modius and a Modi Multibit and could repurpose one of those, but I was also considering an Airist. i will add he mimby to the OL Switcher this weekend and see what that does.

On my sore ears, I found a write up on Reddit that talked about what I think might be happening. I mentioned I was very treble sensitive and I think it’s because this plays high treble levels that I have not really exposed my ears to very much, and he makes he point of his ears being unused to 2-3k. I don’t really listen at high volume but I may have slightly overdone with the Stax. There’s no ringing in my eara, like from loud concerts - it feels more swollen like a cold. Anyways, I’ll heal up and try again at lower volumes. Spent today listening quietly on my EMU Teaks, which are like a warm blanket.

The upper midrange/presence region also has a sense of «weakness» in the presentation, when you crank the headphone it sounds like it just wants to die (which could also be my ears not handling listening to 2-3k at such volumes). This is a pretty good headphone for weeb music if you don’t listen too loud.

Treble is strange, it has quite a bit of energy moving into the lower treble but then loses a significant amount of energy from 6-10k before picking up a lot in the air regions. This headphone has insane amounts of air and can be a little fatuiging because of that. The fact that the lower treble and midtreble are somewhat recessed also gives the feeling of the headphone being quite a bit warmer than most Stax despite not having that much lower midrange body to speak of.“


So if I keep my NB Lambdas until they fall apart and don’t chase an L300, is there a nice electrostatic counterpart to them? I was thinking of trying the Kaldas as a complementary pair. i like to have some targets, just for the fun of deal hunting.
Well I just call them like that, the SR-Lambda is a bit confusing.

I do not consider myself an expert on DACs, my Lavry DA11 is quite old now, been using it for almost 10 years I think and it is still good. I did some short comparisons and I heard more open and more detailed DACs, but they lacked musicality to me and I did not find the Lavry do be 'mushy', just not as clear. Also non-fatiguing.
From what I've gathered from others testing it in recent years, it is not amazing on any fronts, but it is also devoid of any faults and it scores like a 7/10 on all fronts.
So works well for me, I probably need to spend 2-3x more if I want to see a big upgrade.

So at some point I will consider moving on, but for now I can do better on the amp front instead, maybe with a KGST or similar aftermarket solution.
This is basically what an SRM-007t would be without the inherent limitation of Stax amps, namely: limited power handling of the 6CG7 tubes, lack of constant current source, unregulated power supply. So it should be a lot more powerful, we'll see in a few months, hopefully.

I heard a DIY GES some years ago and it did sound very nice with the Lambdas as well (unfortunately I could not buy it), so I can imagine a Mjolnir Octave or similar doing even better.

Yes, it might be a good complement as it looks to be a darker sounding headphone, might better for rock and stuff.
The NB Lambda is great with vocal and instrumental music like jazz, classical, etc. still just a hair brighter than what I consider normal, but it is part of its signature which gives the music a bit of 'focus' and 'euphonic illumination'. It is quite beautiful, actually.
That's why I started hoarding them, the rest of the Lambda family don't quite seem to posess this special ability.

As for volume, I discovered something weird recently: if I listen to high-dynamic range stuff like classical, and then switch to rock, my ears are more "consentient" with staying at a lower volume. If I just listen to rock, which is very compressed, then they crave for more volume (Which is of course worse, because it is constantly at that higher volume, not just for shorter periods).
 
Nov 17, 2020 at 3:17 PM Post #3,251 of 3,312

Moak

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Why is the 2.5 m extension cable SRE-725H not suitable for the Lambdas SR-507 and SR-L700 and for the SR-009? For these types, the SRE-925S is intended, which should cost a mere 140 euros more. Am I liable to prosecution if I use the 725 anyway? Can I damage anything by using it?
 
Nov 17, 2020 at 7:52 PM Post #3,253 of 3,312

Big Yoshi

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Thanks for that. I didn’t even know they were called NB Lambdas but that has now opened up an interesting reading path.

I think I’d like to get a Woo GES based on what I’ve read. I’ve seen them go for a grand recently and with a different source that should be a big upgrade for a reasonable cost. What DAC would you suggest pairs with Stax? I have a Modius and a Modi Multibit and could repurpose one of those, but I was also considering an Airist. i will add he mimby to the OL Switcher this weekend and see what that does.

On my sore ears, I found a write up on Reddit that talked about what I think might be happening. I mentioned I was very treble sensitive and I think it’s because this plays high treble levels that I have not really exposed my ears to very much, and he makes he point of his ears being unused to 2-3k. I don’t really listen at high volume but I may have slightly overdone with the Stax. There’s no ringing in my eara, like from loud concerts - it feels more swollen like a cold. Anyways, I’ll heal up and try again at lower volumes. Spent today listening quietly on my EMU Teaks, which are like a warm blanket.

The upper midrange/presence region also has a sense of «weakness» in the presentation, when you crank the headphone it sounds like it just wants to die (which could also be my ears not handling listening to 2-3k at such volumes). This is a pretty good headphone for weeb music if you don’t listen too loud.

Treble is strange, it has quite a bit of energy moving into the lower treble but then loses a significant amount of energy from 6-10k before picking up a lot in the air regions. This headphone has insane amounts of air and can be a little fatuiging because of that. The fact that the lower treble and midtreble are somewhat recessed also gives the feeling of the headphone being quite a bit warmer than most Stax despite not having that much lower midrange body to speak of.“


So if I keep my NB Lambdas until they fall apart and don’t chase an L300, is there a nice electrostatic counterpart to them? I was thinking of trying the Kaldas as a complementary pair. i like to have some targets, just for the fun of deal hunting.
Any standard dac like those from Topping and SMSL should be fine.
 
Nov 30, 2020 at 7:07 AM Post #3,254 of 3,312

salgado

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Hi everyone, I'm new here and I'm about to (re)enter the world of Stax. I have a few questions.
I'm thinking of buying an L700mkII with an 006ts energizer.

-Would the new SRM 700t be a big improvement or overkill? Has anyone tried it out?

-I'll be using the Stax system to listen to vinyl. Does anyone have experience with that?

I'd like to get in contact with people who listen to vinyl on their Stax. I'm curious about their experience.

I guess it's an old question, but since I recently had a chance to compare L700 (mk1 though) powered by 006t vs 700s ( solid state one, not tube that you are asking for) I will share my few cents. I wrote about it in the l500/l700 thread already. Right to the point : the difference was huge! L700 powered by 700s was a completely new headset. And in short changing from 006t into 700s it was like coming from hate to love for L700, to such extent that I already ordered a pair. Overall sound was less aggressive, base appeared ( which was missing on 006t imho), 3d space and imaging was also much better!

Hope it helps.
 
Feb 18, 2021 at 11:50 AM Post #3,255 of 3,312

vlaca

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Dear Staxers!

I have an original SR-Lambda (normal bias). Its sounds excellent(for me)

I planning to buy another entry level lambda. Available here one used SR-202 and one Nova Basic. Iam soundstage/imaging fanatic, whitch is the better in this regard?(front of my head soundstage and pin sharp imaging :) )

thx!
 

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