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The Headcase Stax thread


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Well, with my newfound love of Stax headphones I thought I'd start a Stax thread. So talk about your Stax cans/energizers/amps...etc.

I've got a pair of SR-Lambda Pro headphones recently and I love them. Right nw I've got them hooked up as follows:

Wadia 23 RCA>Denon AVR-100>SRD-7 Pro>SR-Lambda Pro

I've also heard these out of Hirsch's ES-1 and the 007t amp. The ES-1 trumps all of them of course.

Overall they're the clearest sounding headphones I've heard. Vocals are warm but well articulated, the highs are sparkling and fast. The bass is full and rich but does lack the speed of a dynamic headphone at times...but it can go quite deep on some recordings (Thievery Corporation).

I don't think I've ever been sucked into Paul Galbraith's recording of the Bach Sonatas and Partitas for violin before like these cans suck me in. It's magical....I felt like I was back in music school sitting a few feet away from a buddy playing classical guitar at his recital. I closed my eyes and I was there.

I realize that I'm in the honeymoon phase, but I've never had a hard time putting cans down to go to work, do housework, go to slepp..etc. like I do with these. I don't want to stop listening to them. I' listening to them right now as I type.

I also picked up the SR-84 combo; called the Lambda Jr. by Stax (SR-4 electret energiser and SR-80 Electret headphones). These are a nice little find as well. Good office rig. Set up as follows:

iPod>Sonic Impact T-amp>SR-4>SR-80

Good little combo. Overall retains the same house sound, clear and crisp with more muted bass and less speed overall. But in a pinch they would make a neat little portable rig...can be battery powered since the SR-4 doesn't plug into the wall.

So what's your Stax? O0

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Isn't everybody glad that I'm crazy enough to buy this stuff and have Kevin rip it apart?   

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can i agree with all of the above and leave it at that? :dance:

NO! :mikey2::mikey1: We must argue, debate and eventually descend into calling each other rude and childish names. That's what high-end audio discussion boards are all about!

O0:dance:

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Back in the late 80?s I owned a set of Lambda Pros, really loved them. I have a pretty good memory for things audio, but from memory; The difference between the 02?s and the Lambdas is that the Lambdas have sort of this whitish sheen (Very slight) over everything and the 02?s don?t.

I lament selling them. The store that I was working at burned down, and while I was on unemployment I was forced to sell them to keep myself in Beer.

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Back in the late 80?s I owned a set of Lambda Pros, really loved them. I have a pretty good memory for things audio, but from memory; The difference between the 02?s and the Lambdas is that the Lambdas have sort of this whitish sheen (Very slight) over everything and the 02?s don?t.

I lament selling them. The store that I was working at burned down, and while I was on unemployment I was forced to sell them to keep myself in Beer.

In direct comparison, the OII is just a bit smoother than the Lambda Pro. There's a sense of refinement that the Lambda Pro lacks. However, that sense of refinement can remain in some music that simply isn't refined. Particularly out of the Stax SRM-007t, the Lambda Pro is a more dynamic headphone, that has great punch for an electrostatic can. ES1 drives the OII better than the Stax amp (but by then there was an HE90 in the mix). I can admire the OII in an intellectual sense, but once I heard a Lambda Pro I went out and found one. I've never really had a serious urge to buy an OII, despite hearing it many times.

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...that sense of refinement can remain in some music that simply isn't refined...
Sort of like a redneck drinking a fine wine with a cheeseburger at a backyard barbecue? Or not that bad?

I just found out the MSB DAC actually has jumpers for "smooth" and "detailed". Cracks me up. I might have to play with it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Ok. So I've been spending some time with Dusty's 202 and my Lambda Pro. I can say that the Lambda pro is more detailed with better extension on the top and bottom. They're both fast and have good tonal accuracy. The big difference is weight...of sound.

The 202 just sounds fuller, but at some loss of detail and speed vs. the Lambda Pro. I'll have a better review in the coming weeks. The 202 is no slouch though and I like it, but the Lambda Pro is a toe tapper for sure....it pulls me in more than the 202.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm thinking about getting a 2050A system to start off. I really miss my headphones, and I need to get back into headphones with something new, namely maybe an entry level electrostatic.

I looked through Stax.jp's brochures and have arrived at a few conclusions that seem somewhat confusing:

- Is there a major difference between the SR-202, SR-303, or SR-404? Of course, my definition of "major" might not be the same as others'. From what I understand, all three headphones have the same drivers, but the SR-303 has better pads than the SR-202, and the SR-404 has a better cable than the SR-303.

- What about the driver units? I know that the old SRM-313 is the same as the SRM-212 internally. The only difference is that the SRM-313 has two outputs. Is that the same situation with the new SRM-252A and the SRM-323A driver units? The case might be different since the price difference is somewhat substantial.

As I don't know much about Stax headphones, I'll ask a rather noobish question. Are there different plugs for the headphones/driver units? (Say, is it possible to hook a OII to a SRM-313 for example.) Or is that only an issue with mixing older models with new models?

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I looked through Stax.jp's brochures and have arrived at a few conclusions that seem somewhat confusing:

- Is there a major difference between the SR-202, SR-303, or SR-404? Of course, my definition of "major" might not be the same as others'. From what I understand, all three headphones have the same drivers, but the SR-303 has better pads than the SR-202, and the SR-404 has a better cable than the SR-303.

The 303 and 404 utilize the same driver...it does seem like the cord may be the big differenece. There culd also be differences in the dampening material and housing, but I don't know.

- What about the driver units? I know that the old SRM-313 is the same as the SRM-212 internally. The only difference is that the SRM-313 has two outputs. Is that the same situation with the new SRM-252A and the SRM-323A driver units? The case might be different since the price difference is somewhat substantial.

I don't thinnk the 212 is the same as the 313. There is a big disparity in the size of the units. I think the 313 is a different amp fro the 212. However the difference between the old 313 and the 323 is supposed to be negligable.

As I don't know much about Stax headphones, I'll ask a rather noobish question. Are there different plugs for the headphones/driver units? (Say, is it possible to hook a OII to a SRM-313 for example.) Or is that only an issue with mixing older models with new models?

Yes, you can plug the OII into the 313. The big difference is pro vs. non-pro headphones. All of the current Stax headphones have 5-pin plugs and are thus pro biased (580V). The non-pro plug is for older non-pro biased headphones (6-pin). You can plug a pro headphone into a non-pro plug, but you can't go the other way. Also you can plug an electret (SR-80, 40. 30...etc.) into any plug since they only need the signal and not the bias voltage. But Stax doesn't make an electret right now, you can only buy a used one off eBay.

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Since this is the Stax thread I thought I would mention the results of hooking an SRD-7 Pro up to the First Watt F1 we had at Hirsch's house this weekend. It was amazing. I really want to spend some more time with it. Overall a much smoother presentation. We had the F1 being driven by Hirsch's SDS-XLR. Man what a combo not only for the Lambda Pros but also for the K1000. Time to start work on an F1 :)

While I didn't get a lot of time with the F1/Lambda combo, what I did hear was a smooth clear balance throughout the frequencies on the Lambda Pro...speed and detail were there in spades and there was an added sparkle to the music as well. The high "etch" that you get with the Lambdas was nowhere to be heard...super smooth with more bottom-end. I would be interested in hearing Hirsch's comments regarding this setup as well...I left shortly after plugging the SRD-7 Pro into the F1.

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Since this is the Stax thread I thought I would mention the results of hooking an SRD-7 Pro up to the First Watt F1 we had at Hirsch's house this weekend. It was amazing. I really want to spend some more time with it. Overall a much smoother presentation. We had the F1 being driven by Hirsch's SDS-XLR. Man what a combo not only for the Lambda Pros but also for the K1000. Time to start work on an F1 :)

While I didn't get a lot of time with the F1/Lambda combo, what I did hear was a smooth clear balance throughout the frequencies on the Lambda Pro...speed and detail were there in spades and there was an added sparkle to the music as well. The high "etch" that you get with the Lambdas was nowhere to be heard...super smooth with more bottom-end. I would be interested in hearing Hirsch's comments regarding this setup as well...I left shortly after plugging the SRD-7 Pro into the F1.

What sort of F1 did you guys have? A DIY one or the one built by Pass Labs?

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