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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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I got a near new SR-5 in the mail yesterday and holy hell it sounds good off the KGST.  :)  Even with the stock pads it has good imaging, detail and bass.  Goes to show what driving something properly can do... 

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I'm sure this has been answered a bunch of times already, but google is failing me today, so...

 

I have a Lambda Nova Signature lying around that needs a bit of fixing. In shipping the drivers have come unglued from the baffle. Upon disassembling it I noticed that the dust cover for the left driver, the one that's glued to the baffle, has also become partially unglued from the rest of the driver.

 

So, uh, what do I do? I've been told I need polypropylene glue to glue the drivers back to the baffle - is that what I do? What do I do about the dust cover? How do I prep the surfaces for re-gluing (they're pretty messy with bits of loose glue everywhere)? What tape do I use to attach the earpads back to the baffle?

 

Considering my talent for preserving bits of machinery in an inoperable state for all time, I thought I'd ask first.

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Any strong glue will work for the drivers.  Polyurethane is what is commonly used as it is very strong and stable but with a long cure time.  Martin Logan use tape but they also use it as spacers. 

 

You can use poly to attach the driver to the baffle but it is very strong so odds of removing them ever again, are slim.  Better use double sided tape as that's what Stax use.  Now theirs is crap so any strong glue that doesn't leave a lot of residue works.  I bought once everything I could find locally and some Tesa carpet glue worked very well.  Two different kinds though, the transparent one which is reinforced with some twine is the best one.  Ditto for the earpads, double sided tape there too. 

 

Now with the dust cover compromised you can expect some squealing.  How much is impossible to tell. 

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I have a normal bias Sigma with one side not working. I'm not sure if it's a driver or wiring issue, TBH I don't care to find out. I imagine the straight swap SR-Lambda -> Sigma isn't too difficult. The SR-303 driver and cable swap looked like too much of a pain. If anyone is interested send me a PM or email.

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An hour or so ago I got a brand new SR-007Mk2 delivered to me serial SZ3-2029.  First impressions are positive, the fit out of the box is good and the midrange issues I had with the older Mk2.5 are gone now.  The bass is a joke as is to be expected from a ported design but it is at least mostly controlled and only falls apart at a limited range.  The top end is not as smooth as it should be but it might just be due to the earpad position.  More updates coming and we'll see how long I'll last until I've ripped them apart to mod. 

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Yup, and they sure can rock.  Bass has that slight reverb to it which suits rock perfectly.  I'll reserve final judgement until I've plugged the ports and played with the pads.  This is a bloody good start though...

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On March 6, 2015 at 2:16 PM, spritzer said:

An hour or so ago I got a brand new SR-007Mk2 delivered to me serial SZ3-2029.  First impressions are positive, the fit out of the box is good and the midrange issues I had with the older Mk2.5 are gone now.  The bass is a joke as is to be expected from a ported design but it is at least mostly controlled and only falls apart at a limited range.  The top end is not as smooth as it should be but it might just be due to the earpad position.  More updates coming and we'll see how long I'll last until I've ripped them apart to mod. 

 

Hi Birgir:

 

This is very encouraging to hear for me and very timely.

 

I just received my SR-007 MKII yesterday, North America black version, serial # SZ3-19xx. First pair of Stax electrostatic can I own so I have no reference and no way to assess how it compares to the different versions of SR-007. 

 

This is my first foray into the electrostatic and I don't even have a proper amp to use - currently in the process of building a KGSSHV. All I have on hand is a SRD-7 (normal bias) hooked up to an old Quad 405. I'll be converting the SRD-7 to pro-bias (thanks again for your help) to serve as an interim solution.

 

I eagerly await your findings.

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I know I will get ripped for this, but even if burn-in is 100% totally on the listeners end, e.g. Psychological, how does that translate to not real or doesn't exist?

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You do have a point there and I know that this is a purely psychological phenomenon.  It doesn't exist in the sense that we can't measure it, caps don't magically change after being charged/discharged a few million times (100 hour burn in).  It is also a pure fallacy to think that a one 5 minute session with any component will give you an an accurate impression of its signature, our senses simply aren't that good.  They also just make up shit and lie to us... those fuckers...  :)

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As a Stax newbie myself, it took while to fully appreciate the depth of nuances that my SR-009 deliver over dynamics. Had them 6 months and still experiencing new aspects to the SQ. Whether that is measurably "real" or not, I don't know or even care. Just makes each listening session with them enjoyable.

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Even those of us "burdened" with experience (paraphrasing my favorite saying in Icelandic) still get a bit lost sometimes by just how good this stuff is. 

 

What bothers me about the whole burn in crap is this assumption that our senses and auditory memory are perfect but components made to tight specs somehow drift in a way that can't be measured but is clearly audible.  It took me two weeks for the shine of the HE90 to wear off and I've only become more critical in those 10 years. 

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There is something called "new toy syndrome", but do capacitors not take a while to settle? About a month ago, my Pioneer M22 with newly fitted electrolytics took an hour to warm up before the channel imbalance would go away, now that warm up time has all but disappeared.

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Confirmation bias is tied into the new toy syndrome and I don't see how the caps would be a factor in the channel imbalance.  Something is wrong somewhere and has to be fixed. 

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I am sure so called burn in effect is most likely the user getting more used to the headphones over a long period.I always have this theory about burn in in headphones that I want to try run through. So stop me if it is too silly or improbable.

 

Assuming the manufacturer of a pair of headphones has not ran the driver for a substantial amount of time in the factory, burning in will be the first time the drivers are put under stress experience in normal operation for prolong period.

 

Is it possible that some of the so called burn in effect is the material of the diaphragm adjusting itself according to its mounted tension and nominal load? For example it is probably not impossible for the diaphragm made up of polymer material to slight stretch under constant increased pressure from load. The slight deformation will probably alter the response of the headphones somewhat to a small degree, hence explaining the alteration in sound.

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The M22 is a class A amp and heats up a fair bit as it warms up, so if it has nothing to do with the caps, then its most likely a resistor somewhere that's drifting I suppose. Just about everything else (transistors too) was replaced.

 

Too bad no one has the leisure to organise a DBT for burn-in.

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Interesting development on the latest Omega 2 mkII birgir. You also like the latest 009, maybe your hearing threshold dropped 3dB in the highs recently :-P.

 

Seriously, though, it's great news if Stax is back on track with the voicing of its cans. I am always thinking of the day my mkI will go south and what would happen next...

 

arnaud

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