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The Headcase Stax thread


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I was talking capitalism, not corruption.....

Wait, same thing.  My apologies.


I remember my younger sister going to Italy with her husband for their honeymoon.


On their return flight, they booked the tickets and found on arrival at the airport that the seats were double booked and they needed to pay extra to make sure they got the flight.


True entrepeneurial spirit at work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have two questions re Stax Headphones;

1. Do the drivers degrade with age?.

2. How can one produce the Stax Fart that people talk about on the Mk2 007's?.


I want to go into a local dealer and have  a listen to a  pair of 7's and 9;s. Just in case I get impatient while

waiting for an early 007 to appear.



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Everything degrades with age but I have some Stax SR-1's here that work just fine and are ca. 50 years old.  Not many dynamics last that long... 


Press the cups towards your head while wearing them. 


I just had a little flashback reading your reference to red spirit.   :frantic:



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IMOE I have never found the so call Stax fart a problem in daily use.


As Spritzer says Stax drivers are quite reliable, i've been using their headsets since the mid 1960's and never had a failure. I have had other problems due to wear and tear like cable strain or a lambda driver that came loose due to the glue drying out, all of which could be easily replaced. Most issues have been very occasional problems with an energiser or amplifier, often again due to age.

Edited by complin
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As I've been discussing this with Antonio, I've recently received a SZ2 Mk2 that is utterly mint.  I assume they were just removed from the box in 2007 for a quick listen and then placed back as there wasn't a spec of dust on them.  Stock they have that SZ2 sound and pretty terrible fit on the head.  The earpads are way out there and the port wide open so everything is diffused with mad bass.  Modified with Mk1 springs and a plugged port they sound awesome though.  They have that ethereal feel of the Mk1 with bass that would make the LCD-2 jealous and the best soundstage there is.  Me like...  :) 


Do the ported mk2 have the same amount of fart than the mk1 or the 009? I've only tried the modded mk2


Yes and no...  The SZ2 version was pretty much open at all times so they just breathed easily when lightly pressed towards the head.  Force them and they will fart but the port is mostly open.  The SZ3 OTOH is better executed so the port is mostly closed when they are placed on the head.  They won't fart as much when placing them or removing them from the head but once settled they will far.  Doesn't stop them from sounding horrid though...


Maybe I should have been more specific and said significant.

Thanks and now I am prepared.


The mylar will last for a long, long time if properly cared for.  It is isn't exposed to direct sunlight or driven hard enough for arc's to take place then it should be fine for the next 50 years on those SR-1's.  What can perish is the resistive coating on the diaphragm as the old ones were carbon based so they can absorb moisture.  Smoking near the sets will also kill them far quicker as any deposits on the diaphragm are not good. 


While something like the Quad speakers will require pretty frequent servicing that isn't true for Stax headphones for a number of reasons.  First of all sunlight as that is the great killer for any ESL, second is the far higher voltage and lastly, pretty crap engineering on how the transducers are made on most sets.  Take the Quad ESL57 for instance, drilled plates in a wooden frame with awful tolerances while the even the first Stax made just 4 years later looked like this:




Stamped brass stators in a molded plastic shell.  These have issues as does everything but the core design is still found in the SR-009... 

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I really enjoyed the modded Mk2, which had a little more lively midrange than the Mk1 once modded (as opposed to in your face mids stock).  They also seemed a little more efficient than my Mk1, with punchier bass as well.  I sometimes wish I still had them, but with Marc's KGBH amp the Mk1 have pretty punchy bass - that almost competes with the LCD-2 rev2 bass now.  


Since I also owned the Mk1 at the time which had a deeper soundstage and a more laid back sound, I think I sold the Mk2 to pay off the new HD800.  At the time I assumed that Stax would not change the sound again and that I could always buy a new pair in the future, and then they went and screwed them up worse with SZ3. 


I'd almost bet money that if Stax changes the SR-009 they'll end up worse not better.  Certainly the SR-507 sounded so much more nasal and fatiguing than my old SR-404LE or current LNS.

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  • 4 weeks later...


I take it that this is the new king of the fucktards?  The amps are clearly to blame here when the headphones have a rather enthusiastic top end.  Better stick it on the 727 with very little HF presence and a sound warm enough to shame most SET's.  Sure... sounds like a plan. 


I do wonder if the GES is part of this?  Does mean we have to make our own 009 design, cobble something together that barely works and claim it has great synergy....

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