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The Headcase Stax thread


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

I have compared the 009 and 009S running from the same amp (T8000) today. The room was somewhat quiet, but I had only two source options: my iPhone (connected through Apple's lightning adapter direc

Look what just showed up.  I decided to treat myself for my birthday...    Sounds brilliant with the HE90 and is pretty much required to use them.  Also the build quality is nothing short o

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Do you have a speaker amp? If not, go for a new SR-202/SRM-252. They'd be the easiest to find since they're in production. Otherwise, you can try tracking down some vintage SR-Lambda and SRM-1/Mk2.

The SRD-7 seems to be quite a highly rated adapter if you have a speaker amp.

thanks mate! no speaker amp here unfortunately, but i'll look into the SR-202/SRM-252 and see if the price is right.

where do you guys buy this stuff anyways?

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So you want something under $500 bucks... PriceJapan has reasonable prices already. Audiocubes2.com also sells Stax, but at a significantly higher price. There's always www.eifl.co.jp too. You will have to contact them for prices.

If you want something even cheaper, then you'll have to start looking on eBay. Unfortunately, Stax fever is at a high at the moment. 10-20 year old headphones (eg SR-Lambda Pro, Signatures) are going for almost $400-500+ on their own. The SR-Lambda should be quite a bit cheaper though. A pair of pro bias Lambdas (I believe they were Nova Basics advertised as Lambda Pros) went for just under $250 on eBay.co.uk a week ago. Best of luck.

I'm certainly not the best person to ask about vintage Stax as my own electrostatic journey only began November 2006 with the SRS-4040 Signature System, a relatively new/recent system.

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To put it bluntly, an emphatic no.

I don't think the S-001/SR-003 represent the electrostatic sound as much as something like a pair of SR-202 would. I had a pair of pro-bias SR-003 for a couple of months. Out of the 006t (I'm guessing much better than the portable amp), the SR-003 sounded congested and had rolled-of treble. It sounds ok for jazz and rock, but really doesn't cut it for something like Beethoven 3rd Symphony. The tonal balance is all messed up. On the other hand, you'll find the bass very satisfying and the midrange unsually detailed and refined for a headphone of this price. I like to think of the Baby Stax as the "baby O2" as they do exhibit striking similarities, just that the O2 doesn't sound congested at all.

My 2 cents.

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I was going to write a description of the SR-001/003 but about halfway through writing it up I realised I was just rewriting milkpowder's comments in different words so I scrapped it. Needless to say I agree. The SR-001/003 are great for what they are, and are arguably one of the better buys for the money in a number of regards. They do not share many traits with their larger brethren though other than the tonal similarities to the O2. Due to this they aren't really a good starting point if you want to get a feel for stats.

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Shit, I knew this was going to happen, i just knew it >:D

Reading all about the nice electrostat sound, enjoying a K340 immensly and always looking for something new I wanted to try some Stax...

I watched ebay for some time, but the prices are sooo inflated it is not funny!

So in the end I went the pricejapan route and ordered the smallest set... at roughly 40% of the local price!

About 20 minutes ago the nice post man rang the bell (7:15 AM) and I ripped the package apart in my haste to get the goodies set up:

First impression, build quality is nice, the headphone feels solid, the amp looks so tiny...

Of course I have the 100V version living in a 220V country (Switzerland) and so (a point in favour of the small version) I only had to replace the wall wart. Stax does a dirty thing here by reversing the polarity compared to almost anybody else! I would like to know how many systems have been fried because people plugged in any adapter they had, and only worried about the 12V....

Anyway, the amp lit up (phew...), I connected the rest of the stuff, put some music on and the phones on my head and

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

Mind, the stuff is barely out of the box, not burned in, nothing of the sort....

I can not really put my listening experience into words, but let me tell you that at the moment I think this system does everything right!!!!

(Just for reference I have here a Beyerdynamic DT880, a Proline 750, an AKG K1000 and the aforementioned K340), and just for pure listening pleasure this Baby-Stax already holds its own!!

So, if someone wants to try, this "cheap" solution is the way to go, I think.

I am looking forward to the system burn in and I am also looking forward to a set of SRD6 / SR-5 (hopefully Gold) that I snagged a few days ago and see how that compares.

Anyway I now have officially paid my entry into the Stax club and I can tell you I am very glad I did!!

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I had a similar reaction when I first heard my Lambdas. It was an eye opener, so far as what headphones/earspeakers are capable of. I've since calmed down a bit :), but I still enjoyed my Stax immensely. Listening to a little Genesis on them right now, actually. :dance:

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Thanks

Listening to David Bowie (Station to Station) right now.... All I can tell you that so far this combo is very involving.

Of course this is not the end-all, for starters on this CD (that has been gently remastered and thus is not that loud) I need to crank the amp rather high, and I will need to see how I get on with the leather pads etc...

:dance:

Still, this is better then I hoped!

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god damn it, reading this thread has me interested.

so what's the cheapest way to get a good introduction into Stax for home use?

Stax SR-001 Mk II -- I disagree with the other opinions here, it's surprisingly good, and is actually competitive at its price point for a complete headphone/amp system.
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Stax does a dirty thing here by reversing the polarity compared to almost anybody else! I would like to know how many systems have been fried because people plugged in any adapter they had, and only worried about the 12V....

I have to admit I was a victim of that. :-[

They solder the fuse to the board too which makes fixing it that little bit of extra effort. Glad to hear you're enjoying the baby Stax, they're a lot of fun and a great deal for the price.

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are you rocking an 001, peter?
No, but Dave (dave1) had one, and I got to listen to it extensively -- almost bought it, but it fills a weird niche -- one that I don't have unfilled. Basically, I went one step up to the SRS-3010. Also, they're open, which doesn't interest me. The SRS-3010 allowed me to get a new Stax amp that I could eventually use with my 4070 (which I still don't have, either).
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what would you pay for a SRM - 1/MK-2 with a Lambda Pro?

Recently, I would say I would pay about $300+ for the SRM-1/MKII (if it has both a normal and pro) and about $400+ for the Lambda Pro. You should be able to score a SRM-1/MKII for under $300 if you waited (but it probably won't have both pro and normal outputs).

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I agree the W5000 doesn't have a lot of bass impact, especially compared to the L3000, PS-1 or SR-007. It doesn't fare too badly though compared with the SR-SC1 or SR-404.

This may result in me getting demoted again in "this Stax thing of ours."

I think the W5000+HA5000 is competitive vs. the 404+006tII or SR-SC1+T1W. The W5000 has very good details, speed, air, imaging, separation and soundstage. Notes three dimensionality is also good, with realistic attack and decay. Smoothness and sense of liquidity is better, and I think the W5000 is more refined.

I also think the W5000+HA5000 is more sensitive to source material quality. The range between horrible-sounding and sublime seems greater.

since the inclusion of myClassA Diy amp concoction, i agree 101% with everything you're saying about the W5k esp. on ancilliary sensitivity. hmmm based on your impressions, it mite seem that the 404+006 combo isnt much of an upgrade. man...this sux the ducks!

so what should i aim for interms of having real upgrade in electrostatics without going ape on the bank acct?

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since the inclusion of myClassA Diy amp concoction, i agree 101% with everything you're saying about the W5k esp. on ancilliary sensitivity. hmmm based on your impressions, it mite seem that the 404+006 combo isnt much of an upgrade. man...this sux the ducks!

so what should i aim for interms of having real upgrade in electrostatics without going ape on the bank acct?

Well the 4070, O2, HE60 and HE90 are all much more expensive so I'm guessing aren't options. If you're wanting to better a 404+006 combo buying new then from my knowledge that really only leaves the Airbox SR-SC1 in the ballpark which is a modded SR-404. Still on my list of stats to hear despite Carl owning a pair. Other options may be vintage stats or or perhaps KOSS stats but I don't know enough to provide helpful suggestions regarding those.

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I don't have the Ultrasone Edition 9, and am not very interested in it.

The W5000+HA5000 is very good, but can't compete against the O2/HE60/4070 + KGSS. I don't have the SR-404, so haven't tried it with the KGSS. The SR-SC1 benefits less from the KGSS and I think it does reasonably well with the SRM-T1W.

I would consider a 404+006tII system a step below the W5000+HA5000, while the SR-SC1+KGSS should be roughly equivalent. Note that the 404+006tII system I heard was at a shop and the source was a Lavry DA10. >:D

I doubt slwiser heard the same W5000+HA5000 as me. :P I use an Isotek power conditioner, a custom 100V step-down transformer, selected cables, and either the Chord DAC64 or Accuphase DP-500 as source. I believe he has the Lavry DA10, which I also have and which I don't use with the W5000+HA5000. >:D

I don't believe my W5000+HA5000 system is "best," but I think another W5000+HA5000 system will require a better source and a lot more time and money spent on experimentation to beat it.

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Got a question:

what would you pay for a SRM - 1/MK-2 with a Lambda Pro?

what would you pay for a SRM Monitor?

Would either amp be "better" then the SRM252?

The Monitor is anybody's guess as they are a SRM-1 Mk2 with the horrible diffusefield eq built in but people bid like crazy on these things. The SRM-1 Mk2 is a better amp then the SRM-252 but it depends on which version of the amp you would buy. There are A, B and C revisions with significant variations depending on when they were built.

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The SRM-1 Mk2 is a better amp then the SRM-252 but it depends on which version of the amp you would buy. There are A, B and C revisions with significant variations depending on when they were built.

Oh! There are multiple revisions of the SRM-1/MKII? Interesting!

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Got a question:

what would you pay for a SRM - 1/MK-2 with a Lambda Pro?

what would you pay for a SRM Monitor?

Would either amp be "better" then the SRM252?

I guess your post is referred to the ebay.de auctions.

If so :

The Lambdas are probably no Lambda Pro since they do look different from my pair.Mine have no printed lettering at the sides.Ask one of the collectors which Lambda incarnation they actually are.The Pro has usually a higher market value than other vintage Lambdas.

The protective foam is obviously deteriorated but that's quite normal for old pairs.Usually the old pads are hardened and must be replaced, and replacement pads/foam are often sold as bundles anyway.

Spritzer might know which variety it exactly is (he's one of those crazy collectors), and he's the odd man out that detests the Pro so he might even value another variety higher.

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I'm not crazy... much... ;D

If you are talking about that combo with a silver SRM-1 Mk2 then that is a real Lambda Pro. It says Professional on the top of the earcups so they are the real deal. If yours are unmarked then they are Normal bias Lambdas that could have been upgraded as they are the only Lambdas with unmarked top plates.

Regarding the Pro's then I'm far from the only one that doesn't like them. They were slammed by the reviews back in the early 80's but seeing that there was no competition they sold a huge number of them.

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