The Stax Thread III

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by currawong, Aug 20, 2013.
  1. Hubert481
    Would be great - please put the result on Davids big comparsion thread
    wink likes this.
  2. JimL11
    Well, reportedly the Trilogy amp uses 4 6C3PI single triodes and 2 6H6PI dual triodes. Based on the number and types of tubes, this means that the circuit is either similar to the DIY Stax A circuit from 1968, or the Egmont/TubeCAD circuit with diff amp input and diff amp outputs. These are the two simplest, least sophisticated possible circuits with enough gain to constitute an electrostatic amp. Any of the current Stax amps, tube or solid state, have much more sophisticated circuit designs for significantly less money than the Trilogy. We're not even considering any of the Gilmore designs, or the SRX Plus, for that matter. In fact, based on Jason Stoddard's blog comments, Schiit Audio decided against building a similar circuit for sale as a $1000 electrostatic amplifier.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  3. walakalulu
    Yes I read that missive by some guy in Iceland who dismisses everything that he or his favoured few don’t design themselves. Having spent a few weeks listening to it comparing side by side to the Stax T8000 and their older top energiser I can confirm that the H1 sounds quite different with more depth and body than either Stax unit at the expense of some top end air and detail but you pays your money and settle on what appeals to your own ears irrespective of measurements that often bear little relationship to the final sound.
  4. DJ The Rocket
    Hey guys I'm looking for some opinions. I have a feedback modded 727A and a pair of Lambda Pros. I'm thinking about downgrading amps to a 353 (or possibly a 252) and using the extra cash to upgrade headphones, to the L300 or L500. Is this a good tradeoff, or will I end up missing my 727 and wishing I just waited longer to buy better headphones without selling it?

    I listen to EDM if that effects anything
  5. JimL11
    Well, spritzer is VERY opinionated, but he is also very technically knowledgeable. I don't always agree with everything he says but I respect his opinion. In any event, technical details aside, the point is that the H1 appears to be a very simple circuit and I don't see that it is worth anywhere near what they are asking for it. If it was selling for, say, <$1000, I would consider it reasonable value.
    ToroFiestaSol and VandyMan like this.
  6. Pahani
    Well, I can tell you that the Stax amps sound different, even to my untrained ears. I have not heard 727, but currently own 252S, SRM-1 Mk2 Pro, and 353X simultaneously. And while 252 isn't bad by any measure, between those three models at least, you get what you pay for and each step up is better to my ears, and in the order listed.

    I fully expect BHSE and the KG energisers to sound substantially better still, but this poor boy will never be able to afford them ;p 353X is the pinnacle of what I am able to spend.

    That being said, listening to EDM with my L700 + 353X combo, I substantially prefer my "fun" dynamic cans, the TH-X00 Purplehearts I've modded.

    For reference, I listen to a lot of Deadmau5. I mean a LOT :p

    The bass in "HR 8938 Cephei" both hits harder and is more textured with the Purplehearts to my ears, and is just overall more fun. This is true for most EDM, I simply want more bass (volume) than either my Stax 207 or L700 provide. They certainly aren't horrible, I'm just spoiled by my X00's.

    In "My Pet Coelacanth", I actually prefer the L700s, for added detail in the reverb effects, and what I've always perceived as a more 3D-like soundstage on the Stax..not necessarily larger mind you, but more enveloping overall. In this song, there are reverb effects that shoot up and out from your head, and I SWEAR he's consciously trying to paint the image of his mouse-head mascot with sound waves! And at least to me, this effect is much more apparent on Stax.

    I watched a tour of his house on the Linus Tech Tips YouTube channel, and Deadmau5 is nearing completion of one of the very few Atmos-capable studios in the world; so it seems likely to me that the need for a 3D-like soundstage will be more important in new tracks from him.I expect I'll have a harder decision to make deciding which headphones to use for his music in the future.

    I also don't EQ my system.....others who do may have different findings to report. Also, owners of L300 and L500, which I haven't heard.
  7. JimL11
    Amazon sells the NDF-550U by Nissyo for around $65 - two wire plug rather than 3 wire plug, however.
  8. oktapod
    Following up on the L700 + KGxx amp question I posted a few days ago, would moving from my current Stax 006T energiser to a better amp (e.g. KGSSHV) achieve better results than trading my L700 for 007 or even putting more money into a pair of 009s?

    Someone suggested buying everything and selling on what doesn't work. Nice idea, but I have limited funds and so don't want to make any pricy mistakes...

    Another question would be whether 009s would be a step too far for the 006T. Or indeed the 007s.

    At present, with L700+006T, everything is in balance and although I suspect there's a fair bit of Stax magic I don't get, it's still way better than I ever got out of HD800+SPL Phonitor. Everything just has a *rightness* to the sound, and it truly doesn't sound 'hifi' in the sense that I can just enjoy the music. However, you know how this hobby is, and I sort of crave a bit more......

    So, I could:

    (a) stick where I am and be happy... yeah, right :wink:
    (b) trade L700 for 009 and keep 006T - will this sound unbalanced and wrong? Can I live with that compromise for a year or two until I'm able then to fund a better amp?
    (c) trade L700 for 007 and keep 006T - same as (b) but I'd be able to get that better amp sooner
    (d) keep L700 and buy a better amp

    What I can't do - in one step anyway - is switch from L700 AND buy a better amp. And maybe that would be a mistake anyway, as I'd be struggling to understand where the improvements originated, which is sometimes fun too...
  9. JimL11
    Hard to say. As a general rule, changes in transducer make a bigger difference than changes in amplification. The KGSSHV has better drive capability than the 006T, due to the fact that the latter has plate resistors which soak up a lot of the signal current whereas the KGSSHV has constant current source loads which use very little current to operate. The SR007 in particular is considered harder to drive and for that reason will do better with a KGSSHV than the 006T. The SR009 is easier to drive so there may be less of a decrement, but again how much you will notice depends on your sensitivity to such things. Some people don't really notice significant differences with amps compared to changing headphones, whereas others do. Things get a lot closer if you can find someone to modify the 006T to use current sources - in fact, IMHO a modified 006T is fully capable of driving an SR007 - but this is strictly DIY and will, of course, invalidate the warranty, assuming it is still in force. Then the issue becomes whether you prefer the solid state character of the KGSSHV or the more tube-like character of the 006.

    This is one of those try before you buy, if you can - easy to say, sometimes difficult to do.
  10. statfi
    FWIW, I originally got my 009s and listened to them happily for a year with my SRM-T1 (!). (I am into resolution, so there was not much of choice for me between the 007s and 009s.) Getting the BHSE was a huge improvement, but I don't regret this procedure. Doing upgrades in a bunch of steps is financially inefficient, so I am glad I did not need to do that. A year later, when I jumped for the BHSE, HeadAmp and all their competitors at RMAF had 009s for demos, so I was more at home going from table to table using their 009s to ultimately choose the BHSE. The only thing I would change is that I actually should have taken my own 009s to RMAF to do the auditioning of amps.
  11. JimL11
    The SRM-T1 is still a decent amp - Stax were using it as one of their reference amps until several years ago.
  12. gilency Contributor
    Ha Ha. Spritzer is one of the best when it comes to electrostatics.
    I would pay attention to what he says if I were you.
    If Kevin Gilmore speaks: well, he is the King :)
  13. DJ The Rocket
    Thank you for this! This is exactly the kind of opinion I was looking for! I suspect I would agree with you here

    I found this quite surprising! I haven't tried a THx00, but I'm pretty down on dynamic drivers in general for EDM.

    I'm familiar with Deadmau5, but not more than casually. I wonder if by accident or design his music works better on dynamic cans than the EDM I listen to. I know my taste in music has changed with my headphone tech, the stuff I dug before getting my Stax has much simpler, much less complex basslines compared to what I go for now.

    I really like live PAs by Monolink or Ben Bohmer, mixes by Madmotormiquel and de kustenaar's tribute series of mixes, and Crussen's old Lektern mixtapes. HVOB's Trialog EP is my go-to album for testing subbass performance :) But I am going to try to find a good copy of Coelacanth to see if I hear what you're talking about :D
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  14. DJ The Rocket
    There's a Monolink set just called "Sunset" that was a go-to set before feedback modding my 727; at one point about 20 mins in the bass drops so hard it felt like my earspeakers were going to blow off my head sideways! It was awesome, one of my all time favorite moments wearing headphones.

    It was initially disappointing after the feedback mod when this didn't happen, and it took all my willpower not to change it back right then. After getting more time with the mod, I do think it's an improvement overall. The tighter, more accurate bass almost always trumps the few times I miss the added distortion.
  15. wuwhere Contributor
    Latest addition is the exotic GZLOZONE low noise 15vdc 5.3 amps LPS with R-core transformer imported from PRC for the Exogal Comet DAC (79w vs. 25w). This LPS is big.
    I just placed them on top of the Oppo and KGST to take these images.

    IMG_20180101_125336277.jpg IMG_20180101_125705978.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
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