The Stax Thread III
Feb 21, 2021 at 7:36 PM Post #19,936 of 20,164

bigjako

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It’s my opinion that the NB Lambdas are pretty special, and not “old tech”. I go back and forth between my L300 LEs and my NBs and I’d say neither is better than the other. I sold my L300s to someone on this forum and he was so disappointed in them (boosted bass among his complaints) that he sold them immediately. I’d say the way they present the high end is their biggest strength and the miss are sweet and smooth. Bass and slam is better on the LEs but I bought them with the blu-tak mod already installed.

I like mine so much that very time I see a pair for sale I debate whether to buy it to keep it in storage.
 
Feb 21, 2021 at 10:13 PM Post #19,938 of 20,164

bigjako

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I have the Lambda NBs and the SR~5. I would just strongly recommend the NB Lambdas. I think there are a couple for sale right now. If you already have a speaker amp, just get an SRD-7 and use that, otherwise you’ll want a T1S or something like the Bottlehead that has both.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 12:11 AM Post #19,940 of 20,164

bigjako

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I may be wrong, but I think they’re just called Stax Lambdas. There were other ear speakers, like the Sigma or SR-5, that used the normal bias, but only one NB Lambda model. I am probably oversimplifying, but that’s my understanding - there’s just one Lambda NB.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 3:21 AM Post #19,941 of 20,164

capetownwatches

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I have connected one of my headphone amps to SRM-353X via the parallel outputs and it seems to work very nicely.

I cannot hear any signal degradation apart from a (possible) slight lowering of output level compared to a direct connection to the DAC.

Has anyone else used this functionality and what was your impression?
 
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Feb 22, 2021 at 9:47 AM Post #19,942 of 20,164

chocolates

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I have an SRM-T1 that I was thinking about selling but I was wondering if I should try some NBs before letting it go.

Is there a specific NB lambda that really shines?
there's only the one NB lambda (the "original"). the other lambdas are pro bias. definitely interesting - very airy and light.
I have connected one of my headphone amps to SRM-353X via the parallel outputs and it seems to work very nicely.

I cannot hear any signal degradation apart from a (possible) slight lowering of output level compared to a direct connection to the DAC.

Has anyone else used this functionality and what was your impression?
I believe they're literally just a passthrough circuit if you open up the amp, so it should be transparent aside from the addition of another interconnect. don't think that should be too noticeable, but it's useful for passing through to a speaker amp or something
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 2:42 PM Post #19,944 of 20,164

Tugbars

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IMG_20210222_161021_HDR.jpg

This is kind of off-topic. This is ES-1A - an Omega I inspired headphone designed and built by only one person who has experience in repairing Omega I's.

I've been comparing these to 007 and 009 back and forth since I received them like 7 hours ago. I think It's safe to say these are my favorites electrostatic headphones right now. These are just only slightly behind of 009 in terms of detail(and 009 may be sounding slightly more detailed because of it's weird peaks in mid range) while being not shy of slamming hard or rumble when the music is asking for it unlike 009. ES1A's bass tonality is on the "ethereal" side compared to 007's authoritative bass. That said, ES1A rumbles harder than on the 007. Mid tonality does not suffer from problems like 007's 2-4k recession or upper midrange bite of 009. There's a 3k peak which I actually find enjoyable however with bad recordings, that 3k peak can make things sound a bit shouty. There's also a 1-1.5k peak like all Stax headphones have, good news is that It's possible to reduce that peak by adjusting metal rings inside the assembly. ES1A has good amount of air between instruments but for a reason that I can't explain, I like 007's high treble performance more. Overall, 007 has better textured mids and treble while ES1A sounding just as much or more detailed(often) than 007. Out of 3, ES1A has the largest soundstage, all 3 have similar depth and height in soundstage size but ES1A soundi even wider than 009. They are kind of heavy but I found ES-1A bit more comfortable than other 2. Both ES1A and 009 have laser precision separation while 007 falls slightly short and for reasons I can't explain 007's can do better layering and gives better spatial information(about the environment where the music was recorded / played). 007 and 009 have better imaging than ES1A(there are more & distinct layers in 007 and 009's soundstage where they position sounds).

ES1A sounds open, fast, extremely detailed with a tonality that makes music more engaging and involving than 007 or 009 for me. I don't have problems with "ethereal"(like 009) sounding headphones. If you do, It's better to check other options. As a wrap up, I think It's safe to repeat what another reviewer said: "these are what the009S should have been."

My audio chain: Soekris 2541 -> KGSSHV Carbon > headphones.
 
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Feb 22, 2021 at 4:48 PM Post #19,945 of 20,164

JLoud

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I have connected one of my headphone amps to SRM-353X via the parallel outputs and it seems to work very nicely.

I cannot hear any signal degradation apart from a (possible) slight lowering of output level compared to a direct connection to the DAC.

Has anyone else used this functionality and what was your impression?
I ran this way when I had the 353x and it worked fine. I couldn't tell any difference either. I didn't notice any difference in volume however through the 353x passthrough. So maybe your hearing is better or your just wondering if it is there. :jecklinsmile:
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 5:45 PM Post #19,946 of 20,164

DesignTaylor

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I think It's safe to say these are my favorites electrostatic headphones right now.
Great write up and I very much agree with your impressions. I got my pair a few weeks ago and continue to like them more and more. I've compared against the 007, DCA Voce, and the L300 LTD. Each can do something the others can not, but the ES-1a probably has the most compelling overall sound to my ears.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 5:48 PM Post #19,947 of 20,164

bigjako

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Great write up and I very much agree with your impressions. I got my pair a few weeks ago and continue to like them more and more. I've compared against the 007, DCA Voce, and the L300 LTD. Each can do something the others can not, but the ES-1a probably has the most compelling overall sound to my ears.
Are the ES-1a's as hard to drive as the 007 (or 009)? Or are they closer to Lambdas? Just wondering if you'd need the Carbon to drive them or if an older 006t or similar would work. I'm staying away from the 007 or 009 until I can upgrade my amp.

PS - if anyone knows someone who can do the CCS mod on a SRM-T1S or a 006t, please let me know. I've posted here and on the other forum, to no luck.
 
Feb 22, 2021 at 9:13 PM Post #19,950 of 20,164

DesignTaylor

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I don't have a high-power SS energizer so I'm likely under-driving everything I've tried. :wink:

Here's what Benson (the guy who builds them) has to say: The 007t or the 727 is a good place to start with for warmer sound, while 717 and KGSSHV are less warm but more neutral. If using lower tier amps like stax 252s or 006t the es1a will not be in its full potential.

I've tried the ES-1a on my stock SRM-T1 and it sounded ok, but not great. On my Mjölnir tuned SRM-007tA they sound pretty incredible. I'm waiting on a transformer box so I can try powering them with my speaker amps. I'll let you know if I learn anything new.
 

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