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The Headcase Stax thread


thrice
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I finally created yokes for my Stax L700 Mk1's that I'm happy with for sound and comfort.  I get a great seal and I can move my head freely without the plastic creaking.  It took me several attempts to reduce the clamp - and at first I thought I'd gone too far, but for the last month they've been awesome.  They're almost as comfortable as my Koss Esp95X - though they sound better.

I'd be happy to share the STL I used to get them printed, but I take no responsibility for you damaging your headphones.  I think the only risk is that the existing stax bolts are torqued on very tight, using an o-ring for retention.  If you're not careful, the screwdriver can slip and cause damage.  For that reason I went with countersunk bolts and replaced the o-ring with a nylon washer.

The end result spaces the pads out 2CM if hung from a headphone stand.  I'm actually now using the wooden Stax stand I have, without fear of wearing out the pads due to the clamp.  I had my yokes printed out of vapor polished nylon from Jawstec in the US.

 

StaxYokesSmall.jpg

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On 5/15/2021 at 1:11 PM, Pirx said:

Could you share more pics and a little bigger (that last is terrible small) ?

Unfortunately - this site limited me to a picture of 17kB for the above.  I did take a couple side view pictures showing how the yokes rotate past the Stax stop on the cups.  But now my limit is 4.23 kB?  I apologize for the potentially stupid question - but can someone explain how I can exceed that limit?  Can I only add new pictures by deleting the previous ones I've submitted?

 

I don't know if this is against the rules to even mention, but I'm also going to post the larger pictures on Head Fi's Stax thread.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

I'm a total newb so please forgive any unintentional idiocy. I got an old pair of SR-5 Gold with a SRD 6/SB adaptor and although I use them infrequently and give them time to build up charge when I turn them on,the R channel definitely seems to be producing more volume than the L. Any suggestions? I love them,the sound is unlike anything I've heard in 40+ years of collecting audio headgear so any/all comments appreciated.

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That is quite normal for these old sets and there can be a number of failure points, bad cable, corrosion inside the driver or the resistive coating on the diaphragm has started to break down. 

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18 hours ago, RodCan said:

Hi,

I'm a total newb so please forgive any unintentional idiocy. I got an old pair of SR-5 Gold with a SRD 6/SB adaptor and although I use them infrequently and give them time to build up charge when I turn them on,the R channel definitely seems to be producing more volume than the L. Any suggestions? I love them,the sound is unlike anything I've heard in 40+ years of collecting audio headgear so any/all comments appreciated.

Since you're using a passive driver box, you can compensate for the volume mismatch if you have a balance function on your amp. What are you using to power the SRD 6/SB? I have one of those myself. I might pick up a set of the SR-5 Gold. They are quite gorgeous phones!

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Can anybody from the Stax braintrust offer some recommendations in terms of good earpads for the Stax Lambda? The foam on mine has started turning to dust, and the pleather is just blurk.

 

I've looked at original and 3rd party, and the pickings seem really slim. The current EP-507 leather pads look a bit nicer than the last set I bought, and they should fit the old Lambda, but the price is a bit nutty. I have also seen some 3D printed converters for sale to use more traditional pads, which is very intriguing. Although I am pretty handy with 3D printing, so printing my own and using a set of angled Brainwavs pads is definitely an option.

 

Is there anything I have missed?

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Holy shit. I think the EP507 was about half that price when I got my pair. 

I've heard nice things about Vesper audio, they are probably the nicest looking 3rd party earpads you can get. Its that or the adapter I guess.

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30 minutes ago, Tachikoma said:

I've heard nice things about Vesper audio, they are probably the nicest looking 3rd party earpads you can get. Its that or the adapter I guess.

Ah, Vesper, thanks for the reminder! I found their website a while back but didn't see any prices and it all seemed a bit weird. A little more research, and I see that they are just a supplier of fully customised pads.

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Stax just tripled the price of the 507 pads and the only other Lambda pads are the 207 pads so slim pickings out there.  I've never tried the Vesper units but their other pads have been great. 

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I had a fairly good experience with Vesper, they obliged my request to replicate my Mk1 pads' dimensions fairly closely. Whether those two pads sound the same or not is something I'm going to properly test once I get a pair of in-ear mics... in terms of comfort they beat my Mk1 pads by actually sealing on my head though! I think my head is not the right size for my Mk1 😅

 

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  • 1 month later...

Does anyone know the 'KGSS-A' which mentioned here https://www.head-fi.org/threads/fs-stax-kgss-a-aka-srm-727a-with-kgsshv-output-stage-price-dropped.773487/

Looking to build one, but can't find the instruction.

"KGSS-A", aka a Stax SRM727A modified with Kevin Gilmore's instructions, in order to replace the original output stage of the 727 with KGSSHV output stage, by replacing several of the original transistors with the 2sa1968 and improving some parts of the signal path."

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've gotten it in my head that I'd like to try crafting a closed-back mod for either my L700 or 007A, a la the CES-A1 official "mod" for the 002/003. Has anyone attempted this before? I only found a Thingiverse file for a L300 back replacement making it closed, but giving no room for air or anything to dampen audial reflections. I'm thinking I'd want a shape like the 4070 with a multi-layered web of material to dampen the sound, that way I could create a 4070-like shell without needing all the insulation that made the 4070 so heavy.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/16/2018 at 8:11 PM, spritzer said:

The comfort is excellent and the sound is also excellent if just a tad too bright.  Easy enough to fix with the KSE1500 EQ...  Much better than the Stax stuff but at a hefty premium. 

Hi @spritzerDid they sound bright with the foam tips or the silicone ones? I found the foam ones (comply) or the shure yellow ones ever so slightly dark but the silicone tips from spin fit just a bit too bright on some types of music. I’m Wondering if there are any “Goldilocks” alternatives (using the kse1200, not the 1500). 

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Afternoon all,

Picked up a bargain on a pair of SR3s (original, not new version) with an SRD-5. They are pretty nasty and have clearly not been used in years. When connected to an amp they are barely audible and distorting heavily.

Have replaced the caps in the energiser, can't confirm that the bias is correct (shitty multimeter) but am fairly confident that the issue lies with the diaphragms.

Have disassembled the drivers - the diaphragm appears to be intact, although the silvered coating has been worn away in places from contact with the stator. Measuring resistance with coins shows a fully conductive surface.

Now, from what I've pieced together, I know I should re-coat the diaphragm, but I am still unclear as to how. Intend to use this run of the mill anti-static spray; would really appreciate if someone could elaborate exactly how I should apply it so it coats the surface instead of beading in small droplets.

Cheers :)

 

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3 hours ago, Juansan2 said:

Hi @spritzerDid they sound bright with the foam tips or the silicone ones? I found the foam ones (comply) or the shure yellow ones ever so slightly dark but the silicone tips from spin fit just a bit too bright on some types of music. I’m Wondering if there are any “Goldilocks” alternatives (using the kse1200, not the 1500). 

I haven't had set for a couple of years now so I haven't played with them at all. 

3 hours ago, kirilljerdev said:

Afternoon all,

Picked up a bargain on a pair of SR3s (original, not new version) with an SRD-5. They are pretty nasty and have clearly not been used in years. When connected to an amp they are barely audible and distorting heavily.

Have replaced the caps in the energiser, can't confirm that the bias is correct (shitty multimeter) but am fairly confident that the issue lies with the diaphragms.

Have disassembled the drivers - the diaphragm appears to be intact, although the silvered coating has been worn away in places from contact with the stator. Measuring resistance with coins shows a fully conductive surface.

Now, from what I've pieced together, I know I should re-coat the diaphragm, but I am still unclear as to how. Intend to use this run of the mill anti-static spray; would really appreciate if someone could elaborate exactly how I should apply it so it coats the surface instead of beading in small droplets.

Cheers :)

 

I would also check the diodes in the SRD-5 as they can also be toast.  As for the coating, just spray into the air and run the diaphragms through the mist.  That is a good way to control how much goes on the film. 

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Recoated the diaphragm, reassembled and the issue persisted.

Took apart the headphone plug and found the hose clamp shorting all 5 outer pins.

Even without the hose clamp, all 3 wires to one ear are shorted together.

Wired the driver straight to the energiser board and, sure enough, it sounds wonderful! Time to make a nice replacement cable.

The old driver sounds noticeably worse than the one I re-coated, so still a massive thanks to spritzer for the tip.

Pissed off that I ignored that 1) troubleshoot the easiest and most obvious bits first; and 2) electronics is the science of contacts (as the old Russian saying goes).

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got an old type A SRM-1 Mk2 JDM, I want to convert it from 100v to 220v but there is no exterior jumper so I'll need to wire the voltage selector myself.

 

20210829_023732.thumb.jpg.4b4979f7927ed60d5d1bbe5c650c9835.jpg

From reading previous threads, what I should do is remove the jumper between green and brown and simply swap brown for blue right? Also even using a step down converter and having the amp successfully turned on there is still no sound what so ever. I replaced the electrolytics and there's power going into ever component I tested but complete silence. Curiously though the amp should be rated for 370V RMS but I'm getting around 420V RMS from the rails. I suspect it may be due to the stepdown transformer being rated 110-120v instead of the 100v, hence my desire to change the voltage.

 

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Right so apparently I didn't read enough. I found an old post by spritzer that said it worked find with his C-series SRM-1 Mk2 and meant for amps that didn't come with a jumper. Though mine isn't a c-series it didn't ship with a jumper but heck it should work. Tried it out and it powers on, no explosions, no burning, nothing. Plugged in a headphones AND there is still not audio. Though I have discovered that the normal bias does not energise at all whereelse the pro bias does, there's also a hissing sound too only from the pro bias. A quick voltage test from the rails show mid to upper 360V so it seems the voltage change has been a success. Given that the caps I used are rated at 400V, I think I may go find some new ones... My biggest worry though is the transformer is a goner so I'll test that out.

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  • 2 weeks later...
11 minutes ago, Pirx said:

Your link to the image doesn't work 😞

Can you just paste it here, please?

Just a teaser image anyway. Could it be a gold plated copper mesh stator again? The fixations certainly remind me of the Hifiman electrostats.

STAX X.jpg

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8 minutes ago, spritzer said:

That's probably the mesh stator but I have very little enthusiasm for this.  All of the Stax prices are now nuts so this is probably going to be 10k$ or more. 

That is really sad true - they are doing little progress or even backward lately but prices always go significant higher :(

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