The Stax Thread III
Aug 4, 2020 at 9:14 PM Post #18,886 of 21,485

Tugbars

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4. The shape of the dome / diaphragm does not change the number of modes for the most part (the surface area does on the other hand)

I was talking about electrostatic drivers there. From what I know, the shape of the driver is related to what modes the driver will have. Round shaped drivers tend to sound dark around 2-4khz, but at treble range they really shine. Elliptic shaped drivers find a middle point between linearity and treble performance.(HE-1)

Thanks for the clarifications overall. : )
 
Aug 5, 2020 at 8:45 AM Post #18,888 of 21,485

BenF

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I've tried Googling and searching this thread and Head-Fi as a whole and just cannot seem to find any concrete information about amping Stax headphones so I apologize if this is well-treaded information.

For a little background: I got into the estat world a couple months back with the Koss ESP/95X from Drop and absolutely LOVE it. Using the oratory1990 Harmon target parametric EQ settings in Roon really made these come to life and then purchasing a Stax SRM-353X amp and the converter cable from Fong Audio took them to a whole new level.

I took it one step further by adding my GS-X mini to chain as a preamp and I'm completely blown away by how the ESP/95X sound now. Bass is so tight and slams almost as hard as my HD800 did (I know they're not known for having a lot of bass but they do slam reasonably hard when EQ'd and amped appropriately) and the entire presentation feels tighter, faster, and more engaging. I use the GS-X mini in high-gain mode and with the ESP/95X, I have the 353X's volume turned up all the way and the GS-X mini is used on the 4th or 5th notch (about 8-9 o'clock) depending on the music and that is LOUD.

I'm considering the L300 Limited Edition and the SR-007 MK2.9. I've read a lot about both and understand that the SR-007 is very difficult to drive with most people recommending a KGSShv Carbon to properly drive them but I don't have an extra $4600+ for another amp. So I'm curious...if I'm preamping with the GS-X mini into the 353X, would that make up for the fact the 353X is underpowered/less-than-ideal for driving the SR-007 by itself? From what I understand, the jump between the L700 and SR-007 is massive and noticeable so I'd hate to get the L300 Limited and then constantly wonder what I'm missing with the SR-007 but also don't want to spend the money on the SR-007 if they're going to be pretty disappointing without a Carbon or Carbon-equivalent amp.

I own L300LE and L700, and auditioned 007 - all are huge disappointments to me.
The 007 was auditioned on the latest Blue Hawaii SE at Headamp - so lack of power is not the issue.
Neither of these three could give me 1/10 of pleasure that L300 gave me - it has the largest "wow" factor, that can only be matched by 009.
The only two clear upgrades from L300 are Stax 009 and Takstar Pro 82 (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/tak...iew-impressions-and-discussion-thread.849965/)

I strongly advise not to buy any of these Staxes without auditioning them on the exact chain you will use.
 
Aug 5, 2020 at 10:16 AM Post #18,891 of 21,485

Tugbars

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I own L300LE and L700, and auditioned 007 - all are huge disappointments to me.
The 007 was auditioned on the latest Blue Hawaii SE at Headamp - so lack of power is not the issue.
Neither of these three could give me 1/10 of pleasure that L300 gave me - it has the largest "wow" factor, that can only be matched by 009.
The only two clear upgrades from L300 are Stax 009 and Takstar Pro 82 (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/tak...iew-impressions-and-discussion-thread.849965/)

I strongly advise not to buy any of these Staxes without auditioning them on the exact chain you will use.

You would really love SR507 then. SR507 is like L300 on steroids. When I am in the mood to enjoy headphones which sound like as if i made someone angry and yelling to my face from 2cm distance, I switch to those. This is my pair, the build quality on SR507 is really amazing:
IMG_20200804_082250.jpg

I believe dark sounding headphones may sound dull and lifeless if you don't spend quite a lot of time with them. After switching from listening to my SR507s(or L300) to 007, I always find 007 sound too dark and dull. Then my ears get used to it, When i switch back to 507s, I can't like them anymore and actually makes me want to come here and write huge paragraphs on how much they suck.(technically too, even with SR507 which is the most detailed sounding lambda I've listened so far) Of course I'd never do that. This might not be the case with everyone of course.
 
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Aug 5, 2020 at 10:59 AM Post #18,892 of 21,485

BenF

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You would really love SR507 then. SR507 is like L300 on steroids. When I am in the mood to enjoy headphones which sound like as if i made someone angry and yelling to my face from 2cm distance, I switch to those. This is my pair, the build quality on SR507 is really amazing:
IMG_20200804_082250.jpg

Saying that some headphone is like L300 on steroids, is like saying than someone is crazier that Dennis Rodman :jecklinsmile:
L300 is already hopped-up on steroids.

I believe dark sounding headphones may sound dull and lifeless if you don't spend quite a lot of time with them. After switching from listening to my SR507s(or L300) to 007, I always find 007 sound too dark and dull. Then my ears get used to it, When i switch back to 507s, I can't like them anymore and actually makes me want to come here and write huge paragraphs on how much they suck.(technically too, even with SR507 which is the most detailed sounding lambda I've listened so far) Of course I'd never do that. This might not be the case with everyone of course.
Sure, we can get used to any sound signature - we all used to listen to cheap headphones and still enjoyed music somehow...
But paying 007 prices for this kind of veiled, dark sound just doesn't make sense to me.
All the best headphones I heard sound natural, not "dark" or "bright" - 009, Abyss, Utopia.
 
Aug 5, 2020 at 1:40 PM Post #18,895 of 21,485

BenF

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Maybe mjolnir audio has one

How does the sound of the l300 and l700 differ? What about the l300 makes you like it more BenF?

L300 is one the most transparent headphones I ever heard, on par with 009.
It sounds very natural, and has a huuuuuuuuuuuuge soundstage - thanks to its perfect treble, which provides a lot of "brilliance" to the sound, while staying shy of introducing sibilance. It has a perfect timbre (especially in female vocals), and can create an illusion of listening to the actual concert, not a reproduciton of recorded music.
It's only con is the poor bass quantity/quality.

L700 sounds a lot darker, with smaller soundstage, not transparent at all - the sound is colored.

Here are my comparisons of L700 and L300 with L1000 (L300 + L700 pads):
L700 with L700 pads - Warm sounding - tonality is too sweet, small soundstage, excellent bass. Boring sounding.
L1000 is superior in everything but the bass - L700 has thicker bass with better decay

L700 with L500 pads - Soundstage increases (still smaller than L1000), mids are not as warm, more clarity.
Bass quality is degraded to somewhere between L300 and L1000 levels. L1000 is clearly superior in everything

L700 with L300 pads - Sounds much better when the headband is fully opened (with less pressure), especially the bass.
Soundstage increases (equal to L1000), clarity is as good as L1000. Tonality is a bit sweeter than L1000 - I like it, it's perfect (same as L300?).
No warm veil whatsoever.
Bass - surprisingly good, at or slightly below L1000 level .
Comfort - not great, ears are touching the protective layer, especially when the headband is in the closed position (not recommended anyway).

L300 with L300 pads - Amazing soundstage and clarity, largest wow factor.
Bass is underwhelming in both quality and quantity. Too thin with little decay.

L300 with L500 pads - Soundstage is increased over L1000, so is the clarity. Not as warm as L1000.
Bass quality is about as good as L1000
 
Aug 5, 2020 at 2:35 PM Post #18,896 of 21,485

Tugbars

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Are we listening to same headphones? I have L300 and it has one of the tiniest soundstages I've ever experienced with any type of headphones. L300 soundstage has almost no width and on top of that, that soundstage is not even a tall soundstage like SR507 or 404LE has. Left and Right channel soundstages are not connected to each other. They don't create a full round(360 degrees) headstage in or around your head. I don't know how to explain it but I'll try: L300 soundstage is like having one tiny small bubble next to your ear with almost no width, sounds are layered there or directed to you from there. Most of the time, due to lacking width in soundstage, L300 layers instruments ridiculously close to each other, especially during well recorded string quartet pieces. L700 on the other hand has quite a bit soundstage. Soekris 1541 + KGSSHV Carbon is what I use. L300 also almost completely rolls off after 10khz, I don't know what you mean with perfect treble... really. I guess you confuse bright sound with transparency here. Because through a shouty(and/or bright) presentation the detail is more accessible to the listener, It doesn't mean those headphones are more detailed.

If i had to rank these headphones I'd give 100 points for resolution & detail of 009S, L300 can just get 50 from me.(HD800 has better resolution than L300) I had 009/007/L700/L300(I still have L300 with me) with me for a long time. I AB tested them for I don't know how many times. It's amazing how subjective differences make us think different about same headphones. Anyway, I'm surprised. Wow.
 
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Aug 5, 2020 at 3:09 PM Post #18,897 of 21,485

armani006

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that you all argue with no evidence, write on what equipment you listen to. Here maybe one is listening on the old multi-bit DAC and the other on the new delta sigma..
 
Aug 5, 2020 at 3:23 PM Post #18,898 of 21,485

Tugbars

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that you all argue with no evidence, write on what equipment you listen to. Here maybe one is listening on the old multi-bit DAC and the other on the new delta sigma..

Yes, that is healthy. We are not audio engineers. I think we(most of us) are only qualified enough to share subjective opinions. This skepticism is important to keep forums clean from pseudo science in my opinion. Sometimes I share what I read in articles too, however, I have never studied amplifier design or transducer design in an institution. My knowledge, if there is any, is only partial and missing a lot of parts. So I try to most of the time share only subjective experiences.
 
Aug 5, 2020 at 3:51 PM Post #18,899 of 21,485

T3RIAD

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that you all argue with no evidence, write on what equipment you listen to. Here maybe one is listening on the old multi-bit DAC and the other on the new delta sigma..

That's good to an extent, but you can also go too far with it.

"I don't like the L300 soundstage; it's too small."

"Really? You must not be hearing it right. Try getting a better DAC."

"I upgraded the DAC, still don't like it."

"That can't be right. Have you tried running it through tubes?"

"Got a BHSE, still sounds bad."

"Obviously your interconnects are poorly matched..."

At some point just admit that different people like different things.
 

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