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The Headcase Stax thread


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On 1/25/2021 at 7:25 PM, o7_brother said:

Does anyone know which of the two variants of the SR-009 is newest? One has black lettering on the wooden box, the other has golden lettering. I'm under the impression the black-letters variant is older but I'm not sure.

Any help would be appreciated.

The latest one has the same box as the SR-009S with the golden lettering.

Edited by padam
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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone know much about the T1W? There’s one for sale locally and I’m wondering if it’s worth trading up my T1S for it. I’ve been putting together a CCS circuit board, but haven’t installed it in the T1S yet. The preamp output is certainly interesting, but I’m most intrigued by the variable bias output— and wondering if it would have any benefit for my 007A, especially after the CCS mod?

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On 12/31/2020 at 4:37 PM, catscratch said:

So I went ahead and modded my L700 mk1. I'm generally pretty skeptical of Lambda mods, but my yoke broke on the left side and I fixed it with duck tape and a coat hanger, and mysteriously my coat hanger solution ended up being far more comfortable than the stock setup. So I got to wondering if there was a way to custom-make a better yoke, and lo and behold, someone else has already done it.

These are 3d printed by Socas and they work pretty well. They allow for a wider range of motion for the earcup and they fix the problem of having too much pressure at the top of the earpad and not enough at the bottom. So if you're one of the people who, like me, can't wear the current generation Lambdas properly, this is a solution. You will need a Torx 6 screwdriver to get the screw out that holds the yoke in place, and after that it's an easy swap.

This does affect the sonics a bit. In the past I always read accounts of people hearing the L700 as overly warm and a bit congested and wondered what on earth they were hearing, but how... that's kinda how it sounds. The frequency response gets rotated clockwise, the highs are much smoother and more palatable, but the midrange shout and upper mid dip gets even more noticeable.

The solution of course is EQ. I'm not gonna post all of my settings since you really need to personalize your own EQ but -5db at 1150hz q1.41 and +2db 3khz q0.5 evens out the mids, then you also need to drop the peaks in the highs - which we all hear in different places - and adjust the lows to taste.

I have a MiniDSP ears now and will probably be able to EQ more accurately, but I thought I'd give a heads up to @yaluen and others who are in the same boat that there is a fix, and you don't need to write the current-gen Lambdas off (though I don't know if this works for the L300/500). This thing sounds very smooth and natural now, with great imaging and clarity but a bit lackluster impact in the lows, which I'm sure a more powerful amp than my 717 will fix.

Oh, and the Mk2? My opinion of it has turned pretty sharply downwards. I prefer my modded mk1 by a good margin.

L700_work.jpg

Do the SOCAS yokes include the roughly 5 degree inward angle of the originals to increase clamp?  It's unclear from the ad.  The headband angles inward, and the original yokes angle in even further.

 

I recently designed my own version to hopefully get rid of the squeaking every time I move my head. But I'm waiting for them to get printed in nylon and shipped before I can suggest if they work.

 

On mine, I removed the inward angle for now so I'll get less clamp.  I'm not sure how much effect that will have.  I may put the angle back in a second revision.

 

The SOCAS yokes still limit rotation front to back.  They seem to keep the "stop" at the top of each cup?  On mine, I'm allowing free rotation front to back as well as top to bottom.

 

I'll report back how mine work, but I don't expect to get them until next week.

 

 

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The Socas yokes angle inwards too. I'm not sure how much. The clamp is substantial and a little bit uncomfortable with glasses on, but more comfortable than the stock yokes.

They still limit front to back rotation, as the tab that limits it is on the headband and you would have to redesign the headband to remove that. However the tab on the earcups that limits top to bottom rotation fits under the yokes, and the only thing that limits top to bottom rotation is the physical size of the earcup, which is wider than the yokes at its widest point. So you'd have to make much wider yokes to allow for completely free top to bottom rotation.

I don't have any issues with fit with these, but there are some occasional issues with excessive clamp.

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41 minutes ago, catscratch said:

The Socas yokes angle inwards too. I'm not sure how much. The clamp is substantial and a little bit uncomfortable with glasses on, but more comfortable than the stock yokes.

They still limit front to back rotation, as the tab that limits it is on the headband and you would have to redesign the headband to remove that. However the tab on the earcups that limits top to bottom rotation fits under the yokes, and the only thing that limits top to bottom rotation is the physical size of the earcup, which is wider than the yokes at its widest point. So you'd have to make much wider yokes to allow for completely free top to bottom rotation.

I don't have any issues with fit with these, but there are some occasional issues with excessive clamp.

Thanks for the quick reply. To bypass the stop on the headband and free front to back rotation, I made the top of my yokes round.  I'll report back how it works and provide pics if it does.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I received my yokes last weekend and they were a successful first test, but I have to revise them.  I made them too flimsy.  I ordered new ones that are nearly twice as thick and twice as wide, with generous fillets where they won't interfere with the cups.  They were printed out of nylon, then vapor polished.

That said, the result was extremely comfortable and I get a great seal with the occasional stax fart. Since the stops don't prevent rotation, I could bob my head to the music without the cups squeaking or groaning.  That still would happen if the cable pulls on the cups.

I'm sharing a picture of what they look like now in comparison to the originals. I'm also showing all the hardware Stax uses to connect the current yokes.  It's obvious they were over designed - the yokes and cups free swing around the metal sleeves no matter how much you torque the screws.  My only explanation for the stops is that Stax felt having the cups free swing, would look flimsy from a quality standpoint.

YokeComparison.jpg

Assembly.jpg

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Not a troll, just a goblin of sorts. Just swapped pads between L300 and L700mk2 and I find the lowered bass charming on the 700s. Juts have a modded SRD7 here now, but enjoy myself immensely. Been disappointed with SoCas padmod-adapters for this series, and also Brainwavz's similar adapters for the Senn HD6series, so I am growing suspicious of second editions, and flashy fixes for finance. 

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Hello,

I would like to ask for some clarification on the differences between the SR-009S, 009 and 009 BK beyond the driver and colour.

Inexxon.com gave the 009 the highest score (five stars), but only 4.5 stars for the 009 BK because of the impact of "the new earpads" on sound.
Btw, the 009S got also 4.5 stars.

But staxaudio.com states for the 009 BK: "Same as SR-009" apart from colour and the limited edition serial number.
Also, staxaudio.com does not list in the "parts" section any different earpads for the three 009 versions.

So, are there any differences in earpads between the three versions or in yoke, arc (head band), etc apart from driver and colour?

Thank you!

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all 009's are treble happy headphones. 009 is overwhelmingly treble happy, 009S has slightly better control in treble range. I don't know about 009BK. 

Just buy ES1A. It's better in every way.(only except imaging and that's just a slight difference). 

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Haha. 009's treble harshness has been addressed by Kevin Gilmore and Birgir and they have designed a whole new amplifier to solve this problem.  That's KGSSHV Carbon.  If you want to deny that, go on. If you want evidence, just check 009's frequency response. Anything besides measurements are "generalized statements" and opinions. This whole thread is 545 pages of opinions and generalized statements. Mine was no different. 

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I appreciate that my question has been read and that reactions were posted.

My intention was to avoid arguments on subjective hearing impressions and just ask about mechanical differences between 009, 009 BK and 009S beyond the driver. In particular I wonder if they all share the same earpads.

I have listened to the 009S and liked it a lot, but never had 009 or 009 BK in my hand. I am wondering about the differences between the three versions because some special offers have appeared for the 009.

There is of course the option to order 009 and 009S (and some amplifier because I have none for estats, e.g. D10, D50 or 353X) online and compare them at home. But I would like to reduce cross-country ordering and shipping of expensive items as much as possible, so any help from you would be appreciated.

If there was unanimous agreement on the sound differences of 009 (equal to 009 BK?) and 009S then this would be also helpful, but the above six posts indicate that this is not the case.

Thank you!

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What is a practical way to level match an electrostatic headphone with several amplifiers?
As a tool, a multimeter would be available.

For a specific example, take a single 009S and three amplifiers: D10, D50, 353X.

As a first attempt, I might measure the unloaded voltage for the, say, left channel at the output of each amplifier and match it to a common value, say, 50 V for a some test sine wave.

But then the output impedance of the amplifier is not accounted. And the output impedance of those amplifiers is not available on the internet (at least for me). And even if it was available somewhere, the impedance of devices is usually given as a real number rather than the underlying complex number, so an accurate calculation of the voltage at the load would be not possible.

To measure the loaded voltage for dynamic headphones is more practical because the cables can be rather easily handled because 3.5 mm jacks (and some creativity) give easy access to the wires while the headphone is connected.

But for an electrostatic setup with a Stax cable I would not really know how to access the wires under load. And then also to ensure safety at those higher voltages.

Any ideas would be welcome!

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The best way to answer that is with a picture

Jack the black cat takes a nap

 

please don't kill yourself trying to level match stax

 

 

 

 

 IMG_20171003_211546.thumb.jpg.32305260e0288090bf74bb18d816e808.jpg

Edited by ktm
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Taking a step back and a nap is always good advice. Thank you.

At the same time, my hearing is not good enough to differentiate in a shop environment between amplifiers without level matching the headphone. Before buying, I would like to be sure (to some extent) that I pick the right amplifier.

Measuring the unloaded voltage in a Stax plug output up to 50 V looks safe to me with a CAT III 600 V DMM. On the other hand, bare wires in some configuration for loaded voltage measurements look less safe - for me and the devices.

So, if anybody in this forum has ever tried to level match a single electrostatic headphone with several amplifiers for auditory comparison purposes then I would highly appreciate your feedback.

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