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The Headcase Stax thread


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Good news, everyone: SR-404LE pads are in stock now, and Craig can get them for us.

They're $85 per pair for one, but $65 per pair for 4. I'm not sure if the scale becomes more beneficial after that point.

I'm getting a pair, and I'd be happy to broker three additional pairs for any interested parties. More than that is more than I'd like to contend with.

So first three takers interested in real sheep leather lambda pads at $65 + 5-10 for shipping should PM me -- sooner the better.

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I must say, I'm tremendously enjoying the SR-007's. They are by far the best sounding and most enjoyable phones I've yet to own. The HD800's were nice, but I felt they were too sterile and analytical, as well as sibilant at times, which killed any enjoyment from long-term listening. I have no regrets selling them.

The SR-007's on the other hand, are warmer and far more engaging. Although they may be missing a little of the treble and lower-bass (<60hz), the existing frequency spectrum ,particularly the midrange, is reproduced so naturally and effortlessly that it sucks me into the music like no other. Now I just need more time in the day to go through my entire music collection ;)

If a new amplifier truly improves these like everyone says, then musical Valhalla must be within reach. I was skeptical of electrostats for a long time, but oh what a converted heathen I have become.

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Some quick impressions from the train. :D

I have noticed that the fit is crucial, to the point that, depending on earpads orientation, the bass can go from overwhelming to balanced. Different L/R earpads orientations can bring bass imbalances as well.

There is a general sense of fluidity, effortlessness, but also some lack to impact, apparently.

I don't know the reason, but the SRX Pro to me had more vibrating deep bass although being overall leaner. The deep bass is there with the O2 though, Amon Tobin's Stoney Street proves it... The deep notes, as said, tend to be very fluid rather than vibrating, but enveloping to the lowest tones.

Treble, on first impression, seems right and not peaky. I don't think they are dark either, nor have suppressed treble. It's very electrostatic in its feeling of smoothness. Anyway I'll have to listen to certain music to evaluate the degree of resolution in percussions.

It's too early to provide impressions about the midrange but I am not detecting any shoutiness in any regions.

Resolution is extreme, still, as many have commented, there is a "relaxed" attitude to the sound.

If anything, I think the O2 has in fact a personality in its being "unimpressive", as Birgir says: certain passages sound "indifferent", like not conveying emotions, but I'll have to see how this is going to grow on me, and in general to get used to them before making a reasonably insightful statement in this regard. The lack of impact seems to have a role, though.

Imaging is well defined and extremely lively, but not tridimensional as I had come to expect, at least with the first tracks. I have just listened to Younger Brother, Massive Attack, Franco Battiato and the said Amon Tobin.

About the fart: I have really heard worse, at least until now. It's far from exteme and in fact very manageable, and not as annoying as other Stax were.

Comfort is great in general. The looks are much better in person than on pics.

Isolation is good, much better than Lambdas. With the 404, I could hear dogs barking from outside my house and they were very intrusive, while the O2's shape shields me more from unwanted distractions.

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The 717 is polite and mellow. If you have a source that's polite as well you will have a very laid-back sound. Somewhat like I got out of the 840c. The Opus is nowhere as polite, and the system is more forward and impactful, but has its own problems. I think a forward, dynamic, slightly bright but not edgy source with great attack is what the 717 needs. Of course what the O2 needs is something a lot bigger than the 717, but that's another story.

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Yep. It's super easy to make the 717 clip (basically anywhere after 8/10 of the volume knob).

But I don't listen nowhere near there (I turn the knob at around 4-5).

The main problem with me acquiring something like the Blue Hawaii SE, apart from money, would be the heat developed by such amps, which would prevent me from using the setup during the hot season.

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I think I'm going to have to go O2 again as well. I have to take back my borrowed 007t today :( but will investigate building or having built a KGSS or T3 (?). I think if I listened to classical all day long, I might just use HD-800s but so much of my music doesn't benefit from the cavernous soundstage the HD-800s give balanced. I'm suspecting that HF-2s + bagels + chax wipes mod will be a better all-round dynamic can for me for most of my music, especially if I get an O2 rig.

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Sherwood, were you as impressed with the SR-404 limited anniversary edition with leather earpads at the recent meet as I was? They sounded quite good on the GES, with very little etch if any.

Absolutely, I was. I'd need to give it a really proper listen before real assessment, and preferably that would not be at a meet, but it's about the best I've ever heard the lambda frame sound. It was certainly good enough to have me scrimping and saving for a pair to replace my beloved SRs.

Tyler, it looks like I'll have a pair on the way. They might get here in time to put 50-75 hours on them before RMAF.

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@Tony: Yep, that pretty much mirrors my impressions. Thats why its important to have a few vintages to mix things up with the O2 <_<

The SR-3 (not the "new" model apparently) I have is far from perfect (they have a huge channel imbalance, although it is improving after being plugged in for a few days) and gets trounced by the O2 in every technical aspect but damn they're musical, and so much fun to listen to.

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