The Stax Thread III
Jan 17, 2022 at 6:57 PM Post #21,661 of 22,403

BassicScience

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Both the SRD7 and Woo Wee are sort of low-end energizers, the iFi iESL I would rank above them, but you can also get commissioned an energizer built to a higher spec like with every other amp, this path is worth exploring, especially if you already own a very good speaker amp.
I'm curious to hear more about these commissioned energizers "built to a higher spec" than the iESL, which I currently own. The transformers in the iESL were custom-designed by iFi specifically for driving estats, and are very high tech. The biasing circuit is also very clever and high quality in the iESL. Given that, I'm a bit dubious that most, if any, DIY energizer solutions would best the iESL technically, but I'm open-minded.

I'll also say that I'm getting very high quality audio though my iESL. I recently auditioned my Shangri-la Junior through a BHSE at The Source AV and didn't necessarily feel like it was on another level from my setup. The bass, in particular, was not as palpable through the BHSE. Mind you, I was using a different DAC (Chord DAVE) at the shop and didn't have my equipment there for a direct A/B, so I can't make any definitive statements at this point, but I did gain confidence that I'm not leaving a ton on the table with the iESL in my current setup.

As a relative estat newbie, I'm looking forward to auditioning more estat amps/energizers as I have access to them. Since I already own a stellar preamp, I really wish the makers of estat amps would sell discrete estat power amps in addition to the ubiquitous integrated amps they all offer.
 
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Jan 17, 2022 at 9:06 PM Post #21,662 of 22,403

eskamobob1

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It sounds more 007 than 009, but has a presentation similar to the He90 family.
It's hard to rank things because the tonal balance is so different.

Tier 1) Sr-omega / He-90/ He-1 / SGL Sr / possibly SRX9k
Tier 2) Sr009S / CRBN / Sr007 mk1
Tier 2.5) Sr009 / Sr007 Mk2 / SGL Jr
Tier 3) He60 / Lambda models

I have only demoed both and not owned but TBH I would put HE-60 atleast on the same tier as 009 as a whole package. The added cohesion and much much more balanced tonality I think deserve it that placement. That said, I'm not exactly a fan of the OG 009 so...
 
Jan 17, 2022 at 9:19 PM Post #21,663 of 22,403

Chefguru

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I have only demoed both and not owned but TBH I would put HE-60 atleast on the same tier as 009 as a whole package. The added cohesion and much much more balanced tonality I think deserve it that placement. That said, I'm not exactly a fan of the OG 009 so...

Yeah - I made the tiers, but they're all kind of in the same league with different flavors outside of maybe the T1 stuff.
I've owned/heard the 009S (with jazz), He90 (with classical), 007 MK1 (with layered electronics) reach peak summit hi-fi on the right systems.
I'm curious what the he60 can do on a T2, but don't expect it to reach that level. If you like the He60 you'll probably think the CRBN is above the 009.
 
Jan 18, 2022 at 12:41 AM Post #21,664 of 22,403

lostrockets

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was weighing my options to power new electrostatic headphones and future proof it for upgrades (eg stax sr 007.

rather than get a dedicated amp i was looking into using my existing elekit 8200 with an adapter (uses speaker input ->electrostatic headphone output) but i read that amps with a transformer (eg elekit 8200) dont like to power another transformer which is what a stax adapter is...

can anyone clarify or explain why?
 
Jan 18, 2022 at 10:34 AM Post #21,665 of 22,403

eskamobob1

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Yeah - I made the tiers, but they're all kind of in the same league with different flavors outside of maybe the T1 stuff.
I've owned/heard the 009S (with jazz), He90 (with classical), 007 MK1 (with layered electronics) reach peak summit hi-fi on the right systems.
I'm curious what the he60 can do on a T2, but don't expect it to reach that level. If you like the He60 you'll probably think the CRBN is above the 009.
yah, I guess it wouldnt suprise me to find out the 009 scales further than the h60. ive only heard both on a BHSE tbh. would be cool to try both on something like a 3es or t2
 
Jan 18, 2022 at 10:40 AM Post #21,666 of 22,403

makan

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yah, I guess it wouldnt suprise me to find out the 009 scales further than the h60. ive only heard both on a BHSE tbh. would be cool to try both on something like a 3es or t2
I have the 009S, ES1A, shangrila jr, 007mk1, HE60 and just sold my 009. The HE60 has something unique in that I enjoy its mids and the vocals the most compared to the other hps. They sound very nice out of my tube amps (megatron and headamp aristaeus).
 
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Jan 18, 2022 at 8:42 PM Post #21,667 of 22,403

Chefguru

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Funny hack that happen to me yesterday by accident.
If anyone is complaining about the sr009/sr009s not having enough bass - if you flip the headband upside down and wear it that way it increases the clamping force and creates a better seal = more bass.

Might be time to DIY a new headband
 
Jan 20, 2022 at 10:09 PM Post #21,668 of 22,403

monsterxman

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Have had chance to compare Lambda NB with 404 signatures and they both have their merits. 404 are probably technically better in most / all? respects - bass, detail retrieval, brighter, cleaner sounding, and more dynamic.

The NB are less fatiguing and I now know why so many love them. There’s a bit of subdued magic in how they sound. Hard to really put to words. For me they are set, forget and just get lost in your music. They do enough of the good things you expect of an electrostat while being so easy on the ears. Thanks to those who replied to me earlier.

With that said, If anyone has a pair of low bias Sigma’s they want to unload, please drop me a note. My setup is optimized for low bias and those might be my end game. :)
CBE5B8CB-50F6-4415-8102-EDB22C77A587.jpeg
 
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Jan 22, 2022 at 12:05 PM Post #21,669 of 22,403

Menkau-ra

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Have had chance to compare Lambda NB with 404 signatures and they both have their merits. 404 are probably technically better in most / all? respects - bass, detail retrieval, brighter, cleaner sounding, and more dynamic.

Is it true that 404 have the most bass from all Lambdas?
 
Jan 22, 2022 at 12:13 PM Post #21,670 of 22,403

padam

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Is it true that 404 have the most bass from all Lambdas?
That would be the Lambda Pro I think, but of course it depends on where the emphasis is.
There is also the 404LE with a bit deeper bass compared to the normal one.

And also worth mentioning that the amp has just as much effect on the bass as the choice of headphone.
 
Jan 22, 2022 at 12:41 PM Post #21,671 of 22,403

Menkau-ra

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That would be the Lambda Pro I think, but of course it depends on where the emphasis is.
There is also the 404LE with a bit deeper bass compared to the normal one.

And also worth mentioning that the amp has just as much effect on the bass as the choice of headphone.
Seems like 404LE are the most expensive Lambda on the second market.
 
Jan 22, 2022 at 12:46 PM Post #21,672 of 22,403

padam

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Seems like 404LE are the most expensive Lambda on the second market.
That is why I was pointing out the amp differences, you can spend more on that instead, just focusing on what has more bass alone is not necessarily the most important aspect. To give you an example: the Lambda Nova Signature might have slightly less bass than the 404, but because the high notes are smoother you can hear the bass more cleanly. Even changing tubes on an SRM-T1 can have a significant effect on bass quantity.
To make comparisons even more complicated, with certain headphones, you might not even listen at the same volume level, with estats changing the volume is not as linear as with other types of headphones.
 
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Jan 22, 2022 at 2:13 PM Post #21,674 of 22,403

goldwerger

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That is why I was pointing out the amp differences, you can spend more on that instead, just focusing on what has more bass alone is not necessarily the most important aspect. To give you an example: the Lambda Nova Signature might have slightly less bass than the 404, but because the high notes are smoother you can hear the bass more cleanly. Even changing tubes on an SRM-T1 can have a significant effect on bass quantity.
To make comparisons even more complicated, with certain headphones, you might not even listen at the same volume level, with estats changing the volume is not as linear as with other types of headphones.
I’ve noticed that non-linearity as well. I’d love to understand the reason for that? Thanks..
 
Jan 22, 2022 at 2:18 PM Post #21,675 of 22,403

zolkis

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