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The Stax Thread III

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by currawong, Aug 20, 2013.
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  1. Whitigir

    Rom what people speculate, it won't be beating Gilmore designs. It probably get close to Kgst ? I would say just stick to Gilmore and stay happy for a while longer :D
    kensonic likes this.
  2. Tachikoma
    There's a 4070 in there, and Tyll has a BHSE or something I believe.
  3. arnaud Contributor

    kensonic likes this.
  4. anticute
    I have not read this entire thread, so apologies if this has been answered before.
    I have the opportunity to buy the "old" Lambda, with a SRD-7 SB (don't know what the SB stands for) for about $300. Is this a good deal, and should I go for it?
    Currently, my main headphones are K7XX, how would these compare when it comes to SQ, details, sound signature etc?
    Also, I understand that the SRD-7 needs the signal from a normal amplifier, but would it work with 230V without a voltage converter?
    I would greatly appreciate if someone could help me out a bit, I've never used or heard electrostats.. :)
  5. astrostar59
    I would take care on that. It is really old, and probably will need some refurbishment on the HPs (pads at least) and I would question if the SRD-7 is ok as well. I had this system back in 1980 and it was ok then I guess. The normal bias Lambda was a bit etched in the treble and very bass light. With a typical DAC front end it will sound thin and brittle IMO. The other issue is you will need a speaker switch on the amp outputs, or the unit will be fed permanently while you also feed your speakers.
    My view is keep saving and go for a used Stax amp and a pro Lambda like the Lambda Nova Signature which in the one I had was much smoother and had decent bass response. i.e. more like the current Stax sound.
  6. Pokemonn

    sorry resurrect old post. Questyle advertise say SR-009 needs a pre-amp. In my experience. pre-amp tend to remove 007/009s treble etch/brightness. it sounds oh so smooth and addictive.
    i use Luxman DA-200 build-in class A buffer pre-amp to feed modified 727.and it really works.
    The Questyle Audio CMA800P Pre-amp  


    Even the very best occasionally needs a little help. Presenting the Questyle Audio CMA800P, commissioned by STAX, to bring out the full potential of their Flagship SR-009 electrostatic earspeaker system. All hand made in Japan, and only available on a custom order basis, the pinnacle of the STAX line, the SR-009 provides sound with a natural clarity and exquisite detail demanded by the most discerning of audiophiles, but to bring out their full dynamics, to provide unprecedented deep, articulate and controlled bass, to remove that last bit of haze in the treble, a pre-amp was needed, and STAX felt that only Questyle Audio, had the technological expertise, and the auditory finesse to build it.

  7. dubharmonic
    I happen to like the combination of brightness and speed that comes with Stax setups. It's what sets them apart from dynamics and planar magnetics. 
  8. labrat
    The SRD-7 SB (Self Biasing) is for Normal bias only, and here in Norway a fair state version can be had for less than USD 30.
    They are also multi-voltage, unless stated in the back they are set for a specific voltage (some actually were).
    The old Stax headphone is, as previously stated, also possibly heavy worn, so you should check the state it is in.
    The price is not low anyway.
    I was offered, in a shop, not so long ago, a demoed SR-207 for USD 300.
  9. Ali-Pacha
    Respectfully disagree.
    Lambda NB are one of the least etched of all Lambdas, especially out of SRD boxes. Extension and details are not as good as Lambda Nova Signature, but they have kinda foot tapping signature, very pleasing. And they are all around very well balanced, more engaging than the dull-ish LNS.
    OTH, if old Lambdas could often show their age, SRD boxes are pretty indestructible, so no real worry on the transformer. Moreover, NB boxes are very common and very cheap, and they already act like a switch : on = headphones, off = passive pass-thru to speakers
    Anyway, 300$ for a SRD-7 + Lambda could be a fair price if (and only if) condition is very good. For a well-balanced sound avoiding the potential issues of vintage, I would go new Lambda line (L300/L500/L700).
  10. astrostar59
    Check out this thread for more info
    Going back to my first Lambda basic and SRD-7 it was ok, as an entry to Stax, but hardly representative of the later models IMO. Also be careful, the SRD-7 may be ok if not abused, but the HPs will probably have aged badly, coating can be damaged, dust problems, foam surrounds gone etc. My advice, for that money look for something more recent. Even if the set was stored for years, the contacts in the drivers could have corroded and damp in a garage or attic would not be kind. 
    They do come up, I would keep looking.
  11. JimL11
    In my limited experience the old Stax headphones and transformer boxes are very reliable.  I have had an SR-5 headphone since the mid-80s, and I recently picked up a set of SR-3 New phones that are even older that worked perfectly.
  12. ericj
    The electrets are susceptible to damage from being driven too hard, I believe there have been reports of damaged drivers of the type that come in the SR-X and SR-Γ as well. 
    I have an SR-5 i got cheap by way of Spritzer due to a channel imbalance. Turned out it just needed the wiring fiddled with. Probably corrosion on the connectors. 
    Some of the old drivers need a lot of time to "warm up" or "charge" or something. And some get quieter the longer they are plugged in. This is mostly a problem with the Stax OEM products from Radioshack, Philips, Marantz, etc, that are basically an SR-3 driver, right? 
    Foam does degrade but it can be replaced. I don't see how dust could be a problem unless there is physical damage to the dust cover that all Staxen have on the drivers. 
    Micro-Seiki electrostats are pretty rare these days, probably because they used an unstable polymer in the drivers. You won't find a pair that works and still has the original drivers. 
    Some Koss ESP-950 develop a buzz or whine, but Koss fixes them for free no questions asked. ESP-6 and ESP-9 and presumably ESP-10 often suffer from dead ear pads (in stock for $5) and ear-sweat related corrosion on the contacts, as well as dead form in the cups. 
    The transformer boxes don't have anything in them that can "age". It's possible that SQ could be improved by replacing the components with modern equivalents that have a lower noise profile, but a little doubtful. Some people remove the PTC thermistors and MOVs from the boards, but i think this is probably a bad idea. I've been working, on and off, on boards to update an old SRD-7 to basically an SRD-7 MkII, with some adjustments, basically the best ideas from all of the transformer boxes. But I don't have any ready to sell. I need to print out and test another revision. 
  13. bearFNF Contributor
    My Lamda NB and SRD7/SB have worked fine since we bought them in the 80's.

    Also as a note, my SRD7/SB does not have a power plug. Just runs off the speaker taps of a power amp. Recommend at least 15 amps for run it.
  14. Jaab
    I saw in yahoo auctions japan a strange amplifier compatible stax and dynamics headphones but no logo it's
    apparent. Has Somebody some information about it?


  15. Tinkerer
    It's two separate amps in the same box or a couple transformers for voltage hooked up to the dynamic amp. It's the only way you can do that. Not a recipe for a good electrostatic amp in either case, and a crazy price on top of that.
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