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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

Ok...I had an interesting morning.  It isn't every day that one takes apart HE90 drivers.    Sorry no picks as I was too freaked out while handling something so delicate and well...fucking unobtainium

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Hello all,

I have decided to shift over to this site after several years at the other main headphone site due to an inexplicable editorial shift there which appears to be directed at downgrading Stax listeners. After complaining a few times and getting nowhere I decided it was time to move on. Isn't the internet great or what?

Re: the Koss ESP6 and 9's. I still like mine even with an 007A and some good Lambdas and Sigmas to play with. I have been trying in a very desultory fashion to run the ESP9 off a Stax amp. So far without success but when I get some time free I wil try again.

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Hello all,

I have decided to shift over to this site after several years at the other main headphone site due to an inexplicable editorial shift there which appears to be directed at downgrading Stax listeners. After complaining a few times and getting nowhere I decided it was time to move on. Isn't the internet great or what?

Re: the Koss ESP6 and 9's. I still like mine even with an 007A and some good Lambdas and Sigmas to play with. I have been trying in a very desultory fashion to run the ESP9 off a Stax amp. So far without success but when I get some time free I wil try again.

Hey there, good timing! Do you happen to know what current model Koss headphones have earpads that will fit the ESP6? I emailed Koss customer service and they said there are no replacement earpads but I know people have gotten them before.

I thought the ESP9 didn't have any circuitry inside, so all you have to do is lop off the plug and then resolder a Stax plug on with the correct connections. Also remove the foam inside.

Edit: Maybe you have the same problem as me and have to un-tie the rear stators to each other (and to ground).

Edited by mypasswordis
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The ESP9 has a lot of circuitry in the cups so you can't run them of a Stax amp without fashioning an external box for the circuit boards and wiring up a 6 core cable directly to the drivers.

My bad, I guess it's not until they did the ESP10 that there wasn't anything funky going on inside. Other than the funky resistors and ceramic caps. Okay, I guess make that the ESP950 then.

FFUUUUUUUU edstrelow, come back and answer me so I can order pads.

Any moar impressions on the 407?

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My bad, I guess it's not until they did the ESP10 that there wasn't anything funky going on inside. Other than the funky resistors and ceramic caps. Okay, I guess make that the ESP950 then.

FFUUUUUUUU edstrelow, come back and answer me so I can order pads.

Any moar impressions on the 407?

All I know is that I have been able to order a replacement pad for the Koss esp6/9 based on another Koss dynamic phone. Only cost about $6.00 and was a bit tight but I don't know the name. I would send Koss an e-mail.

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All I know is that I have been able to order a replacement pad for the Koss esp6/9 based on another Koss dynamic phone. Only cost about $6.00 and was a bit tight but I don't know the name. I would send Koss an e-mail.

Yeah that's what I figured but when I emailed Koss customer service they said they don't have it, so whoever emailed me back doesn't know what s/he's talking about.

Maybe you can help with pad identification?

Did the pads look like this?

PRO4AAT_1.jpg?OpenElement

Or like this?

4907034101160.jpg

Or something else? TIA.

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An odd question perhaps,

Could one use an amp like the Sanders ESL Sanders Sound Systems ESL Amplifier

To directly drive a Stax headphone without using a transformer? A bias supply would have to be added in somewhere in the box which changes from speaker to 5-pin connector obviously.

The description says:

"It will drive the most difficult (low impedance and reactive) loads without strain or damage, which is why it is ideal for driving electrostatic loudspeakers."

The power rating (360 watts RMS into 8 Ohms and 600 watts RMS into 4 Ohms) also suggests that it is voltage-limited at 8 Ohms. Isn't that (~54 volts RMS) too little voltage headroom for Stax headphones?

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Sanders Sound Systems’ ESL amplifier operates at high voltage (plus/minus 92 volts). This will drive most ESLs to "ear-bleeding" levels with voltage to spare.

That's not much. Wonder why they say it's for stats though - I always thought stat speakers needed extra high levels (kV) to work properly? Or is this only true for the bias supply?

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This bandwagon has been trundling along now for 366 pages, so it's time I jumped on it.

I've had a good run of luck lately, spare cash in the bank, paid for me & Mrs Expanding to have a nice holiday, some (to my eye at least) good audio deals to be had.

Firstly, I picked up a nice pair of SRX Mk 3. Then, needing something to drive them, I picked up a Lamba and SRM-1.

Last night, a set of O2 Mk 1 on audiogon dropped their price to a reasonable level, so they were also picked up.

I'm in Perth, Australia, and have little opportunity to audition amps. This thread would suggest that the SRM-1 will be adequate at best for driving the O2's.

I can afford a KGSS from Justin. If I wait a few months, I can probably afford a BH. Is the BHSE still available?

I've also scanned the KGSSHV thread, so waiting for this project to develop is also an option.

Looking for advice/experiences as auditioning is not an option for me.

My current source is a stock denon 3910. A better dac is also on the cards down the track.

The SRX Mk3 and O2 Mk1 have both been in the house for a week, but I had no means of driving them.

Today's post brought the Lambda and SR-1 into the house.

I thought I'd start at the ground level and work my way up.

First listen - SRX Mk3 - Kind of Blue SACD.

I've come exclusively from dynamic headphones (HD580, HD590, K701 and for a while I owned Grado HF-1).

First impression - best headphones I have ever heard. I've been listening to Kind of Blue for nearly 30 years and have never heard this level of detail before.

Second Listen - Lambdas with Caravanserai SACD.

First impressions - even better than the SRX-Mk3. What I used to attribute to inadequacies in my signal chain I now put down to some extent to limitations in delivery by dynamic technology.

What hit me first was the engagement and lack of fatigue.

For about 5 years I was aware that I was short sighted, but never got around to visiting an optometrist. When I finally did, and received my first ever glasses, I can recall quite vividly my brain tingling as unused neurons were suddenly activated by being required to process all this additional visual information.

I just had the exact same neurological experience listening to the Lambdas.

Well, the O2's will be my next listen, and some time down the track I'll acquire a better source and amp.

I'm very thankful I took the time to read this entire thread and put a bit of faith in the views of the posters.

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The SRX Mk3 and O2 Mk1 have both been in the house for a week, but I had no means of driving them.

Today's post brought the Lambda and SR-1 into the house.

I thought I'd start at the ground level and work my way up.

First listen - SRX Mk3 - Kind of Blue SACD.

I've come exclusively from dynamic headphones (HD580, HD590, K701 and for a while I owned Grado HF-1).

First impression - best headphones I have ever heard. I've been listening to Kind of Blue for nearly 30 years and have never heard this level of detail before.

Second Listen - Lambdas with Caravanserai SACD.

First impressions - even better than the SRX-Mk3. What I used to attribute to inadequacies in my signal chain I now put down to some extent to limitations in delivery by dynamic technology.

What hit me first was the engagement and lack of fatigue.

For about 5 years I was aware that I was short sighted, but never got around to visiting an optometrist. When I finally did, and received my first ever glasses, I can recall quite vividly my brain tingling as unused neurons were suddenly activated by being required to process all this additional visual information.

I just had the exact same neurological experience listening to the Lambdas.

Well, the O2's will be my next listen, and some time down the track I'll acquire a better source and amp.

I'm very thankful I took the time to read this entire thread and put a bit of faith in the views of the posters.

Even with owning the O2 Mk1, which beat all my other phones, I still find the SR-Lambda and SR-5 gold edition to be exciting and engaging to listen to. With the O2 you'll find them more demanding of a strong amp, but once you give them what they want they'll make you very happy.

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For about 5 years I was aware that I was short sighted, but never got around to visiting an optometrist. When I finally did, and received my first ever glasses, I can recall quite vividly my brain tingling as unused neurons were suddenly activated by being required to process all this additional visual information.

I just had the exact same neurological experience listening to the Lambdas.

Well, the O2's will be my next listen, and some time down the track I'll acquire a better source and amp.

I'm very thankful I took the time to read this entire thread and put a bit of faith in the views of the posters.

Nicely put. And I'm glad you're enjoying them. I look forward to your O2 impressions.

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An odd question perhaps,

Could one use an amp like the Sanders ESL Sanders Sound Systems ESL Amplifier

To directly drive a Stax headphone without using a transformer? A bias supply would have to be added in somewhere in the box which changes from speaker to 5-pin connector obviously.

The way I see it is that this is just a normal speaker amp which is stable into the very low impedance of ESL's but it isn't used to drive them directly. It's just a factor of the 20 output devices and a gigantic transformer but there is simply not enough voltage at hand here to drive 'stats directly.

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The 007A I got last week had the ports, could have been older stock though.

There were 2 small holes in the black earpad plate on the cable entry area, and a crescent shaped opening through one of the bigger holes.

Covering the holes with some bluetak (on the black plate) brought back the fart on my set. (#SZ2-1728).

Hope this helps

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If you are up for removing the earpads and see what is going on then that would be great. I still have the pics of my first SR-007A so it would be easy to compare.

Not sure if these help, but there you go:

5328824681_c0f92a0c77_z.jpg

5329436150_b603552136_z.jpg

I dare not to go deeper :P Not sure if there's something else behind.

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