The Stax Thread III
Jul 25, 2019 at 1:30 AM Post #17,926 of 24,367
The T1S is generally considered good for Lambdas even by many of those who swear by the more powerful energizer theory (I think the harder to drive 009S sounds just fine on the T1S with none of the sonic issues some say would happen on energizers of its power class). Also the 007tII is supposed to be very similar in terms of circuit design as the 006t/T1 energizers. You can also get a solid state energizer for cheaper (353X or 252S) and those will probably have more of a difference in sound than between the T1S/007tII. The only issue with getting a used T1S is that it may be time to replace the capacitors and (probably less likely) tubes. However, I haven't had that done that with my third hand T1S and it seems to be holding up fine so far. The legacy (non Pro) port on the T1S wouldn't really be necessary unless you are getting into real old school Stax (most/all of the models since the late eighties use the Pro port).
Thanks for the reply! This was really reassuring, especially hearing the difference between them would be pretty small, and even the 009S is driven "fine" for it. From what I was reading, it does seem like the differences between the different Stax-official drivers, there's not a substantial difference. I ended up going for the T1S+L700. It actually did come with a bonus oldschool Stax (SR-3) that's in really nice condition. They warned me it has a ground hum in the left channel occasionally, I haven't heard it yet, but not sure what the cause could be for that. Maybe someone here has some ideas? I guess I'll know more when I encounter it myself. The SR-3s still sound nice, even for their age! More mid-focused. And the L700+T1S sounds absolutely terrific! I'm very happy with it. The T1S was boxed and unused until the previous owner bought it from a collector a couple years ago, so I think it should be in good shape for a bit. The tubes were also replaced with higher-quality tubes, and they included the (unused) originals with the sale to me.

No experience on the Lambdas myself unfortunately but you should check out the dedicated thread to see what others think of the difference between the L300 Limited Edition and the L700 (from what I have read it seems minor). These seem to have the same driver so the differences are in the build quality and pads (L500 pads on the L300 Limited Edition) and the housing. You can put L700 pads on an L300 Limited Edition although the pads are expensive ($130ish).
I didn't realise there was a dedicated thread for this, thanks! Checking it out now. I did read they had minor differences, but if anything the L700 should have a slight edge. The L700 set I bought came with a second pair of brand-new L700 pads, so it seemed like a better deal anyway. I figured the a minor upgrade in the headphone will make a bigger difference than a minor upgrade in the energiser.

Good luck, I'm also really looking into a cheaper Stax myself since I like the sound sometimes but the electrostatic sound isn't doing it for me to be my main headphone (in the places it is better it isn't that much better than some of the dynamics I have had though to be fair I have/had some great dynamics and there is a slight bit of artificial "plastic" as some describe it in some sounds that dynamics do better for the stuff I listen to and also the only instruments I have had experience with are guitars which don't sound as real on the 009S as on some of my dynamics... though piano is where the 009S probably does a bit better to get to reality).
Interesting to hear, I wasn't super excited about the 007/009 when I tried them at the store too. They felt smoother than the L700, but maybe for my tastes in music (particularly electronic), they didn't have the same draw. I didn't demo them for more than 15-20 minutes though, so that's just my very-brief first impressions.
Jul 26, 2019 at 4:26 AM Post #17,927 of 24,367
I have a different opinion. Tubes are naturally high voltage low current devices, as are electrostatic headphones. Dynamic and planar headphones are by comparison relatively low voltage and high current, which fits solid state better. And I prefer the sound of tube electronics for electrostatic headphones.
Cold and factual truth. Let's have some dirty sex together.

Jul 28, 2019 at 10:10 PM Post #17,933 of 24,367

2. One stick works for both cups, break stick in half:

3. Roll out a 1/2 stick to where it fits on inner channel like shown below:

4. Break segment off that is little less than 2 ribs of the channel. Will need to have it a little longer than the rib walls so it can seal against them.

5. Roll the piece broken off so it will attach to both ends of the original thicker segment that was rolled out:

6. Press it down and flatten to where it's sticking just above the channel by about a millimeter or so, and push the overhanging ends flush against the surface of the two ribs to seal. Make sure to keep the two rear peg hole clear of the putty:

7. Alternate view:

8. Press on pads at the corners, then work front to rear to press a finger inside pad on the plastic pad plate and press it hard into the cup/grille to seal pads to the housing. Keep working around the inside perimeter until you have it seated as far as it will go, then flatten the oozed seam against the inside perimeter wall with a finger. Hard to get a picture of this, but basically if you can see the putty below then your finger will go above it and under the pad and firmly press down towards the outside...just take your time and use care as you go around the perimeter, no need to rush.

9. Repeat for other side to complete.... then you're finished.

Thank you for posting this mod. I love that the Stax actually has some bass now (I did it to my L300 Limited). Have you experimented with different gaps in the seal? I am hearing some slight boominess/bloatedness in the upper bass or to midbass on some tracks. It just doesn't sound as clean as my LCD2C
Jul 29, 2019 at 5:52 PM Post #17,935 of 24,367
I want to convert one of the pro outputs to normal on my SRM-1 mk2 P.P.
I'm planning to put a voltage divider below, but not sure if resistors value is correct.
Could someone help me? thanks.
don't it have a NB socket already?

Stax tap the NB from the positive rail through 180k+390k to GND, plus a u100F (film) to GND and a 2m2 ballast resistor (which you have forgot to attach to Vout in your schematic)
tapping from the PRO bias will pull down the PRO bias.
Jul 30, 2019 at 1:12 PM Post #17,936 of 24,367
Jul 30, 2019 at 3:24 PM Post #17,937 of 24,367
don't it have a NB socket already?

Stax tap the NB from the positive rail through 180k+390k to GND, plus a u100F (film) to GND and a 2m2 ballast resistor (which you have forgot to attach to Vout in your schematic)
tapping from the PRO bias will pull down the PRO bias.,2,6

you want to duplicate the low bias design here. 180k series, 390k to ground from the +350 power supply. 2 x 2.2M resistors in series.

Loading the 580v line even before the 2.2M resistors won't work due to the high impedance of the voltage doubler.
Thank you!!!
Aug 1, 2019 at 8:56 PM Post #17,938 of 24,367
Hey guys so I have had the opportunity to spend some good quality time with some of the most well known electrostatic headphones on people's minds and would like to provide you with a hopefully short review of my thoughts on them.

- Denafrips Terminator
- KGSSHV Carbon
- Signal Cable XLR interconnects

- Hifiman Shangri-La Jr.
- MrSpeakers Voce
- Stax SR-007MKII
- Stax SR-009
- Stax SR-009S

I will provide the descriptions in the order in which I rank them.

5. Hifiman Shangri-La Jr.

This headphone has the worst build quality of the all which is hard to believe when taking its $4K price into consideration. Then again haven't we all kind of come to expect this from Hifiman. The cable is what can only be described as the worst possible cable to ever come with a headphone at this price and even below. However these things being said the more important aspects to consider are how it sounds. Midrange on this headphone has to be one of the best I have heard on any headphone I have thus far put on my head. I mean it is just extraordinary in just how beautiful and magical it sounds. Bass is competent and for the most part well presented just with little in the way of impact. Treble felt slightly veiled and possibly a little grainy to me. Overall the detail is still there and it really is a great sounding pair of cans, but you will have to decide if midrange glory is enough to justify the price of admission. If you can get it for a steal used then it's absolutely worth it to at least hear for yourself. But for me the fact that Hifiman had the balls to put this on the market for $4K is just a little crazy to me.

4. Stax SR-007MKII
Were it not for the terrible pricing of the Jr. above I would have put this at number 5. I know people absolutely worship this headphone, but I am led to believe that it is either the MKI or a modded version. I say this because this unit was so grainy sounding compared to the others that I could hardly listen to it. Had I not heard any of the others it could have been said that this was a decent headphone, however in this company I would not ever recommend it. I wish that I had an MKI to have tested as I can only imagine it would sound significantly better then the MKII. I have heard the SR-L700 in the past and felt that was far superior to these. I will say this, the bass on these is by far the most impactful of all the electrostatics I have heard and even some planars. So if your into bass and not much else the MKII may be for you. I am aware these well could have simply been a poor representation of the 007's from the factory, but none the less this is the one I ended up with so take that for what its worth.

3. Stax SR-009
I know, I know. How the hell is this number 3? These last 3 were unbelievably difficult for me to put in order and could in all honesty go in any order between the 3 depending upon your preferences. This one is just unreal in its overall accuracy. I have never heard a headphone that could render virtually every sound in a way that just seemed as though it were perfectly represented. The speed of these is just incredible. Few headphones have the stamina to keep up with metal music. These didn't even flinch. Everyone knows the reputation of these and requires little else in the way of description. Could I have afforded it I would maintain ownership of the top three, but as it is I let these go. But if you want the most accuracy without coloration I would venture to say there is no headphone made that would rival these.

2. MrSpeakers Voce
Some may wonder how I came to this conclusion. I have read so many reviews and post's on these that would have led me to believe they weren't that great. I have a hard time understanding why after hearing them. A lot of people said they simply "don't sound like electrostatics." What the hell does that even mean? They are electrostatics so by definition they sound like electrostatics. As audiophiles shouldn't we be embracing diversity in sound signatures? I must also ask if these individuals truly listened to and gave these a shot? They may not have the top end of the 009 or the bottom of the 007. They do however have an incredible and very accurate bottom end with great precision and speed. The top end doesn't sacrifice detail though it may not be as noticeable as on the 009. I think maybe the thing people miss most with these is the midrange. The midrange on these is by far the most detailed midrange I have heard to date. To be honest I never really thought of looking for more detail in the mids until I heard these. The 009's are overall more detailed, but the mids on the Voce are more detailed than the 009's and I honestly could hear midrange details that I couldn't replicate on the 009's. That is one of the main reasons I gave these the number 2 spot. The other reason and perhaps the most important reason is that these are @mrspeakers first electrostatic headphones. Let that sink in for a moment. These are truly great cans with a price tag at $3K (just another plus). Stax owns the top spot here and for most, but Stax has been playing in this league for a long as hell time. If Dan Clark did this on his first shot all I can say is I can't wait for shot number 2 and beyond.

1. Stax SR-009S
These are rightfully designated as SR-009 with the S being representative of subtle change. That subtle change is a slight coloration or musicality infused into the sound signature. In every other way these may as well be the 009, but that subtle coloration was enough to make them my perfect headphone. While I enjoy accuracy, I find I enjoy it far more if tonaly more musical and euphonic. So to date this is certainly the best headphone on the market for me. I truly love the Voce and if you can afford both I believe it the perfect compliment to the 009/S as it will show you things in the music in a different manner.

Anyway I do hope that some of you may find some use for this review. I would love to hear where your impressions varied to mine.

If you read this far. Thanks for reading.
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Aug 1, 2019 at 9:26 PM Post #17,939 of 24,367
@Dan Lee

Great write up!

Nontheless all 5 of those are excellent ear-speakers. :)
Aug 1, 2019 at 11:12 PM Post #17,940 of 24,367
@protoss thank you my friend. You are correct they certainly all are great and as we all know what is amazing for one may not be so for another.

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