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The Headcase Stax thread


thrice
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Ain't mine! One of the luxuries of my work is that I get to try out many headphones that pass through us (no, I don't work at the post!). The amp has been modified, judging by the fact that RCA's are not stock and there's only one pair of them. Maybe even one of yours, eh?

Luckily I'm knee deep in another audio project, so there are no free funds. Otherwise I'd be looking for a PCB set and maybe a pair electrostats.

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Hmmm I don't think I removed the loop out on any of ones I've done.  Pop the hood and I'd know...  :) 

In other news, as the SR-Omega owners know all to well...there are no more replacement earpads and the old ones are pretty much awful.  Any set with the stock ones will be mimicking a block of wood by now and the replacements Stax used to sell were pretty fucked as they were just wrong.  First of all they were black and then the dimensions were also wrong.  They are all gone now as well so what to do...  ^_^

20170607_175026584_iOS.thumb.jpg.0441415f887775ee742aa7ce43648bcc.jpg

Well take a crusty set of earpads and re-engineer some new ones with the company that is making the earpads for my headphone project.  Now they are real leather with memory foam.  They are also thicker as they are much softer and the opening was made smaller to control the bass issues if the SR-Omega. 

20170607_175030982_iOS.thumb.jpg.bf459907ea8e112ae82624e003ecdfda.jpg

Now this is the just the first prototype but what an utter fucking pain in the ass to install.  I've sourced the pins Stax used and I'll order some new mounting rings for the next batch but yeah, not easy to install.  Something I'm not sure can be changed but we'll see.  Here they are mounted to the headphones:

20170607_181011855_iOS.thumb.jpg.fac27bd3e1025b1556b81cd0d8db3402.jpg20170607_181014484_iOS.thumb.jpg.dcc3a549f8175816b8bf2fd8f46aadea.jpg

Yup, the "old" earpads are new old stock but mine won't last forever.  Now how does it sound...bloody brilliant and they are so much more comfortable.  Some more listening to be done on my part but some of my issues with the SR-Omega have been greatly diminished. 

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Hmmm I don't think I removed the loop out on any of ones I've done.  Pop the hood and I'd know...  [emoji4] 
In other news, as the SR-Omega owners know all to well...there are no more replacement earpads and the old ones are pretty much awful.  Any set with the stock ones will be mimicking a block of wood by now and the replacements Stax used to sell were pretty fucked as they were just wrong.  First of all they were black and then the dimensions were also wrong.  They are all gone now as well so what to do...  [emoji5]
20170607_175026584_iOS.thumb.jpg.0441415f887775ee742aa7ce43648bcc.jpg
Well take a crusty set of earpads and re-engineer some new ones with the company that is making the earpads for my headphone project.  Now they are real leather with memory foam.  They are also thicker as they are much softer and the opening was made smaller to control the bass issues if the SR-Omega. 
20170607_175030982_iOS.thumb.jpg.bf459907ea8e112ae82624e003ecdfda.jpg
Now this is the just the first prototype but what an utter fucking pain in the ass to install.  I've sourced the pins Stax used and I'll order some new mounting rings for the next batch but yeah, not easy to install.  Something I'm not sure can be changed but we'll see.  Here they are mounted to the headphones:
20170607_181011855_iOS.thumb.jpg.fac27bd3e1025b1556b81cd0d8db3402.jpg20170607_181014484_iOS.thumb.jpg.dcc3a549f8175816b8bf2fd8f46aadea.jpg
Yup, the "old" earpads are new old stock but mine won't last forever.  Now how does it sound...bloody brilliant and they are so much more comfortable.  Some more listening to be done on my part but some of my issues with the SR-Omega have been greatly diminished. 


if you have any extras i'd love to take a pair off your hands. i feel like the nos pair i found is a priceless antique at this point. how does it change the presentation?
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3 hours ago, nopants said:

 


if you have any extras i'd love to take a pair off your hands. i feel like the nos pair i found is a priceless antique at this point. how does it change the presentation?

 

Yep I would love to try a pair as I can see the end of the rainbow for the pair of pads currently installed.

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This is the only set I have now but the plan is to have more made and keep a few around should people need them.  They are not cheap though...  :wacko:  Nothing terrible but my DIY phones project is running into silly money... 

In terms of the presentation, it is pretty much the same as the stock pads.  They have so little padding that it made sense to make thicker pads and have them compress more.  This is what Stax did with the 007's so it carries nicely onto these.  There is maybe a smidge more bass control with these but it's hard to say.  The bass is still a bit loose and the treble can bite a bit so regular SR-Omegas to these ears. 

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My Stax collection lacked the SR-5, so a couple of months ago I bought a SR-5 Gold.

I often read good things about this headphone, but when I listen to it, it leaves me perplexed.
Ok, warm timbre, nice mid range, but I find it quite "weird" in the treble.

It seems that high frequencies are disconnected from the mid range.

The headphones sounds veiled at the top of the midrange / low treble, and the high frequency sound a bit resonant.
It's the first time (after decades) that I hear the SR-5, so I don't understand if it's normal for it to sound like this, or if it's mine that has some problem.
Apparently it is in very good conditions, pads are perfect and soft.
Disassembling the headphone, drivers look pristine, as new.
The charge is instantaneous, there is no imbalance between the channels, no strange noises, in short, seems to be working perfectly.
What do you think?

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1 hour ago, Tachikoma said:

Probably resonance in the housing... so yeah, that's what they sound like.

You could swap the pads with O2 pads if you have a bunch of those lying around.

Is what I suspect.
Even the grid in front of the driver does not seem to me to be particularly transparent, and it may well be the cause of these coloration.
What I do not explain is, how it's possible that such a headphone can be appreciated, I do not like it at all.
To my taste, the SR-X is far superior.

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I thought the SR-X's highs were rather strange, like there's a strange null. I prefer the SR-5 over the SR-X by a reasonable margin.

Its strange that you're describing them as veiled, though. Did you disassemble the drivers themselves? They are using the same drivers as the SR-X.

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38 minutes ago, Tachikoma said:

like there's a strange null

 

What do you mean when you say "strange null"?

Anyway, when I say that the sr-5 sounds veiled, I do not mean to say that it sounds closed, attenuated in the treble.
Subjectively, I feel it depressed at frequencies immediately below, in the area of brilliance.
I can hear the midrange, I can hear part of the treble, but I miss the spectrum portion that links the two ranges.

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4 hours ago, DefQon said:

Apart from the SR-2 and the SR-X MK3 Pro, the SR-5NB is also one Stax model I have not owned or heard. How does it compare to the regular SR-5? 

I own both (SR-5 Gold = last version, black cups and ribbon cable), and I do prefer regular SR-5. The latter are more engaging, more foot-tapping, with this medium to die for.

SR-5NB have more technicalities, but somehow dull to my ears. But hey, remember I'm not a die-hard fan of my LNS (which will end up in some ad to sell), and did sell my 007mk1 because I found them definitely too shy, even out of my BHSE.

Ali

Edited by Ali-Pacha
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One possibility is that somebody has messed with the damping inside the cups.  That said, the SR-5's were always a bit mehhh to these ears.  Having done a lot of work recently with old SR-X drivers fitted with new diaphragms, the drivers can do a lot more. 

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15 hours ago, 2slow4u said:

What do you mean when you say "strange null"?

Anyway, when I say that the sr-5 sounds veiled, I do not mean to say that it sounds closed, attenuated in the treble.
Subjectively, I feel it depressed at frequencies immediately below, in the area of brilliance.
I can hear the midrange, I can hear part of the treble, but I miss the spectrum portion that links the two ranges.

That is somewhat reminiscent of what I heard from the SR-X, but it could be specific to my ears since the SR-X are very sensitive to placement. I don't have an SR-X anymore to compare them, and my amplification system is out of order anyway...

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5 hours ago, Tachikoma said:

That is somewhat reminiscent of what I heard from the SR-X, but it could be specific to my ears since the SR-X are very sensitive to placement. I don't have an SR-X anymore to compare them, and my amplification system is out of order anyway...

Thank you. No, my SR-X experience is totally different from yours. The midrange has some hardness here and there, but  I find the entire treble range rather balanced and pleasant, especially in the Pro (diy edition ^_^).

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