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The Headcase Stax thread


thrice
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The problem is with the description of the plug.

"Bias Normal 6pin"

This should be Pro bias. and should have a 5 pin plug.

Normal bias is the old 230V bias before Stax went to Pro Bias at 580V.

The reason for the pin number change is so that you can't plug the 6 pin plug into the 5 pin socket and blow the phones.

Putting the 5 pin plug into the 6 pin socket will not damage the phones, but they won't work properly.

Edited by wink
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  • 3 months later...

Sorry about the blurry picture but using these settings handheld is a pain. Never can find the bloody tripod mounting plug when I need it...

That is indeed a Lambda Nova Signature driver mounted in the HE90 housing. I had enough parts to build a He90 except the drivers and given they make the SR-009 seem cheap this idea came up and Wachara helped me realize it. It took a lot of measuring but the mounting plates fit perfectly and the only change I'd make is to move the opening a few mm upwards to make it easier to fit the newer Lambda drivers. The HE90 cable is very expensive but the much cheaper HE60 cable works much better for this mod and allows me to mount the drivers the right way around.

This is by no means a cheap set of headphones as these the last set of HE90 frames available anywhere and total cost is north of 4K$... kitty.jpg

As for the sound, well I've always disliked the stock HE90 as there are certain things they just can't do. Deep bass is one of the main problems so the first track I listened to was the same one I used back in 2005 to test that HE90. Passed with flying colors and none of the overhang found in the Lambdas either. Another issue with the HE90 is the very diffused soundstage, I call it listening in a fog as you can't pick where the instruments are. Now the cause for this is twofold, the drivers are a major culprit but the non-angled design of the HE90 earpads and cups is also a factor so with these drivers the sound is not as sharp as the Lambdas but it's not a big difference. I'm rather sensitive to this and it doesn't bother me at all.

On the whole I'm very pleased with how these sound. The detail is stunning which goes to show how good the Lmabdas could be and it's also how smooth the sound it from top to bottom. I'm a very happy bunny... :)

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Well, I have found the answer to the 009 brigthness issue when listening loud or to edgy recordings: I just acquired a refurbished 007mk1 with new headband and earpads! I was shocked by the difference with my mk2 version (SR007A in Japan), it feels similar to the change from 007A to 009! In particular, while the 007A sounds quite a bit more alive for lack of better term than the mk1 version (out of stax srm727A amp), it also has that boomy low end and somewhat of emphasis in the treble. The mk1 is all about smoothness, balance. The bass sounds almost too lean but I appreciate how clean it sounds compared to the mk2 (ported version).

In retrospect, I realize why it is the 007A/727A combo that made me jump to the stax world a few years back: upon short term audition in store, it clearly sounds more impressive than the 007mk1/727A. But now that I have the 009 when I need more bass impact, "resolution", liveliness, I feel the 007mk1 is the perfect complement with its polite / non-agressive / non-emphasizing rendering and especially its ability to play loud without any ear strain. The 007A sounds a bit like a failed 009 wannabe now .

Anyhow, I should have listened to the mafia long ago and am glad I am now a happy 007mk1 owner .

Arnaud

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Sorry about the blurry picture but using these settings handheld is a pain. Never can find the bloody tripod mounting plug when I need it...

That is indeed a Lambda Nova Signature driver mounted in the HE90 housing. I had enough parts to build a He90 except the drivers and given they make the SR-009 seem cheap this idea came up and Wachara helped me realize it. It took a lot of measuring but the mounting plates fit perfectly and the only change I'd make is to move the opening a few mm upwards to make it easier to fit the newer Lambda drivers. The HE90 cable is very expensive but the much cheaper HE60 cable works much better for this mod and allows me to mount the drivers the right way around.

This is by no means a cheap set of headphones as these the last set of HE90 frames available anywhere and total cost is north of 4K$... kitty.jpg

As for the sound, well I've always disliked the stock HE90 as there are certain things they just can't do. Deep bass is one of the main problems so the first track I listened to was the same one I used back in 2005 to test that HE90. Passed with flying colors and none of the overhang found in the Lambdas either. Another issue with the HE90 is the very diffused soundstage, I call it listening in a fog as you can't pick where the instruments are. Now the cause for this is twofold, the drivers are a major culprit but the non-angled design of the HE90 earpads and cups is also a factor so with these drivers the sound is not as sharp as the Lambdas but it's not a big difference. I'm rather sensitive to this and it doesn't bother me at all.

On the whole I'm very pleased with how these sound. The detail is stunning which goes to show how good the Lmabdas could be and it's also how smooth the sound it from top to bottom. I'm a very happy bunny... smile.png

That's really cool and all, but why tie up such expensive parts with this mod? I love my LNS, but is this mod that much better sounding than a stock LNS to warrant not selling the HE-90 parts and pocketing the difference in cost over replacement Stax parts?

A far as sound goes, I really did prefer my LNS over the new SR-507 that I heard at CanJam last year - after side by side comparisons there is no way I'd ever buy a new SR-507 when I have the LNS and original SR-Lambda. The SR-507 had an aggressive lower treble that was a little irritating and definitely not as transparent as my LNS. So, I can imagine how an improved earcup and baffle could improve things with the LNS drivers even more, but wow that's expensive. As they are now, my stock LNS sound very similar to my HE-500 (using equivalent quality amps).

And speaking of HiFIMan. Ray Samuels now has an intermittent driver in his HE Audio Jade, so maybe he'd want to buy your LNS-90 which would give him a functioning headphone plus spare parts in case his HE-90 break?

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Anyhow, I should have listened to the mafia long ago and am glad I am now a happy 007mk1 owner.

Now you see why I've been rabbiting on about this ever since I compared the two side by side, and why I feel like banging my head against the wall when people tell me the Mk2 doesn't have its problems.

Now take the next step and get a better amp. It's as significant to the 007 as going from the Mk2 to the Mk1. More so, actually. The excessive politeness will go away.

What will make me even more happy is if Stax pulls their heads out of their collective asses and fixes the problems in their lineup. Hopefully the money infusion from Edifier - if it even exists - will let them do just that.

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I just love that you think I'd even reply to Ray or take his money. That's just precious... laugh.png It would also take me about 5 minutes to fix that Jade and make it suck a bit less.

It should be quite clear now that the Stax mafia doesn't care about money and the end result is much better than the LNS or even the HE90. This is also fully reversible so if I get some HE90 drivers I just need to unscrew the adapter plates, desolder the cable and swap in the new parts. The LNS these drivers came out of is only good for parts anyway so why not do something like this.

Well, I have found the answer to the 009 brigthness issue when listening loud or to edgy recordings: I just acquired a refurbished 007mk1 with new headband and earpads! I was shocked by the difference with my mk2 version (SR007A in Japan), it feels similar to the change from 007A to 009! In particular, while the 007A sounds quite a bit more alive for lack of better term than the mk1 version (out of stax srm727A amp), it also has that boomy low end and somewhat of emphasis in the treble. The mk1 is all about smoothness, balance. The bass sounds almost too lean but I appreciate how clean it sounds compared to the mk2 (ported version).

In retrospect, I realize why it is the 007A/727A combo that made me jump to the stax world a few years back: upon short term audition in store, it clearly sounds more impressive than the 007mk1/727A. But now that I have the 009 when I need more bass impact, "resolution", liveliness, I feel the 007mk1 is the perfect complement with its polite / non-agressive / non-emphasizing rendering and especially its ability to play loud without any ear strain. The 007A sounds a bit like a failed 009 wannabe now .

Anyhow, I should have listened to the mafia long ago and am glad I am now a happy 007mk1 owner .

Arnaud

Welcome to the dark side. :) The main reason why I'm so disappointed by both the SZ3 007's and the 009 is that all the great Stax models have had this smoothness to some degree dating all the way back to the SR-1. All the greats, SR-3, SR-Sigma, SR-Lambda, SR-X Mk3 PRO, Lambda Nova Signature and SR-Omega all have this trait coupled with some very different personalities. In fact, the more I listen to my "new" SR-Omega the more I think the 009 is just wrong. I've spent a lot of time in the last week reconditioning the original earpads to make them supple again (bloody vinyl...) and this has made fixed some of the brightness issues I've had with my other sets.

Btw. Now you really need to modify the 727... :D

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Catscratch, the thing is ...... another reason why I got the mk1 is because I also put my name down for no less than a BHSE :). It was about time indeed, but the upgrade bug caught up with me... I figured, with kids growing up, it only is going to get more difficult to afford this stuff so do it while you still can even though spare time is scarce these days... Now comes the wait but I don't particularly mind.

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Btw. Now you really need to modify the 727... :D

Humm, I'll wait for the BHSE to get here and settle down before I consider this because I still like very much what the stock version is doing with the 009. You even said you preferred the stock version with that can actually if I recall correctly? I may be progressing to the dark side but I am not quite ready to let this stock 727A/009 pairing go ;)

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What a great experiment Birgir! Why did you choose LNS drivers? I know they are very smooth but not as fast as the 1 micron Lambdas. IMO the Orpheus are very fast and dynamic and the LNS might not be quite comparable speed wise.I believe Sennheiser deliberatly designed the Orpheus to be a diffuse type of headstage, which is great for large scale classical but perhaps not quite as good for small scale stuff like Jazz.Where on earth did you manage to source all those Orpheus parts from?

Sorry about the blurry picture but using these settings handheld is a pain. Never can find the bloody tripod mounting plug when I need it...

That is indeed a Lambda Nova Signature driver mounted in the HE90 housing. I had enough parts to build a He90 except the drivers and given they make the SR-009 seem cheap this idea came up and Wachara helped me realize it. It took a lot of measuring but the mounting plates fit perfectly and the only change I'd make is to move the opening a few mm upwards to make it easier to fit the newer Lambda drivers. The HE90 cable is very expensive but the much cheaper HE60 cable works much better for this mod and allows me to mount the drivers the right way around.

This is by no means a cheap set of headphones as these the last set of HE90 frames available anywhere and total cost is north of 4K$... kitty.jpg

As for the sound, well I've always disliked the stock HE90 as there are certain things they just can't do. Deep bass is one of the main problems so the first track I listened to was the same one I used back in 2005 to test that HE90. Passed with flying colors and none of the overhang found in the Lambdas either. Another issue with the HE90 is the very diffused soundstage, I call it listening in a fog as you can't pick where the instruments are. Now the cause for this is twofold, the drivers are a major culprit but the non-angled design of the HE90 earpads and cups is also a factor so with these drivers the sound is not as sharp as the Lambdas but it's not a big difference. I'm rather sensitive to this and it doesn't bother me at all.

On the whole I'm very pleased with how these sound. The detail is stunning which goes to show how good the Lmabdas could be and it's also how smooth the sound it from top to bottom. I'm a very happy bunny... smile.png

Edited by complin
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