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The Headcase Stax thread


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20 hours ago, catscratch said:

I'd save up for a good amp and go the 007 route personally, but I also got adjusted to the L700s clamp over time, and I modded it with socas yokes, so now it fits well and is decently comfortable.

Thanks I'll definitely give your words a long thought. I didn't find the general clamping force too hard but the pads are too thin so the plastic case dig right into the glasses above the ears.

I actually went out today to try the 007's but they only had 009's. I thought why not 😁 and the fit was actually surprisingly comfortable! They had it setup on a D-50 (I'm not sure what it is, I'm new to Stax) and I was left really underwhelmed. I couldn't put my finger what was exactly wrong, but just like you said it was really dull and almost had no dynamics. If the 007 + 353x are similar in dynamics then you've saved me from making the wrong choice.

Upgrading both headphones and amp is a bit too much for me, but those mods you mentioned are interesting, will read up on those 👍 Also just curious, what type of regular headphones do you enjoy when you're not listening to Stax?

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53 minutes ago, reuben3 said:

I actually went out today to try the 007's but they only had 009's. I thought why not 😁 and the fit was actually surprisingly comfortable! They had it setup on a D-50 (I'm not sure what it is, I'm new to Stax) and I was left really underwhelmed. I couldn't put my finger what was exactly wrong, but just like you said it was really dull and almost had no dynamics. If the 007 + 353x are similar in dynamics then you've saved me from making the wrong choice.

I had the D-50 at my home for about two days and agree that the dynamics or lack thereof are mediocre. I returned the D-50 because my wife and I thought the sound from a D-50/L700 was actually worse than a 252/L500. Apparently it's something to do with an outdated DAC in the D-50, along with the amp itself being an old design compensated by a stylish chassis?

I'm using a 353x now for my x9000s while I wait for a Carbon, and something is definitely off--very few music choices have any crispness, to the point that I am using aggressive EQ to take out the thick fuzz in anything that isn't classical. But now all vocalists sound like they're on helium. Interesting in any event to get to understand more about audiophilia (real word?) with a mismatched setup that will improve through experience.

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2 hours ago, reuben3 said:

Also just curious, what type of regular headphones do you enjoy when you're not listening to Stax?

I use the HD650 for 90% of my listening, basically all of my casual listening. For music listening, I use the L700 and SR-007, both modded. I went down the Focal route for a while and they were pretty nice, but too fatiguing, and in the end I preferred Stax. But I do like the lively Focal-ish sound, they just need to fix the highs on pretty much all of them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/6/2019 at 3:26 AM, Jon L said:

Anybody have any idea on price? ?

 

DHTstat.jpg

I have been getting back at this..working up to a limited run of these as the STAX SR-X9000 and Audeze CRBN have made that need to happen. But the chassis is extraordinarily expensive and difficult to produce, so I am working at ways to fix that. Also need to put it on the scale, thought it was 45lb but feels more like 60lb haha. It's really not that big of a footprint (13.5x18), but it makes the BHSE look like a toy.

Power consumption is 190-200W depending on tubes, with 90-100W of that being heaters. The bottom of the amp is ice cold and the top is pleasantly toasty. The first 3 stages have recessed slide switches on top to switch 6.3 to 12.6v heaters, so common tube types are:

1st: 6SN7/12SN7, 12AU7 and many others w/ 8 to 9 pin adapter
2nd: 6SL7/12SL7, 12AX7 and many others w/ 8 to 9 pin adapter
3rd: 6N6P, ECC99, 12BH7A, possibly others such as 5687 w/ pin-out adapter
4th: Emission Labs 20B-V4
grand-cayman-proto-2022.jpg

Edited by justin
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On 6/2/2022 at 10:04 AM, justin said:

I have been getting back at this..working up to a limited run of these as the STAX SR-X9000 and Audeze CRBN have made that need to happen. But the chassis is extraordinarily expensive and difficult to produce, so I am working at ways to fix that. Also need to put it on the scale, thought it was 45lb but feels more like 60lb haha. It's really not that big of a footprint (13.5x18), but it makes the BHSE look like a toy.

Power consumption is 190-200W depending on tubes, with 90-100W of that being heaters. The bottom of the amp is ice cold and the top is pleasantly toasty. The first 3 stages have recessed slide switches on top to switch 6.3 to 12.6v heaters, so common tube types are:

1st: 6SN7/12SN7, 12AU7 and many others w/ 8 to 9 pin adapter
2nd: 6SL7/12SL7, 12AX7 and many others w/ 8 to 9 pin adapter
3rd: 6N6P, ECC99, 12BH7A, possibly others such as 5687 w/ pin-out adapter
4th: Emission Labs 20B-V4
grand-cayman-proto-2022.jpg

In terms of power I assume this is a step closer (but not surpassing?) a T2? 
We talking above or below the 5 figure point?

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It's been years since I listened to it, but Justin's beast is really quite outrageously good sounding, I can't wait to hear what it does with the CRBN's big ol' drivers. I just remember being floored by what an improvement it was over the BHSE with the 009/S.

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On 6/3/2022 at 10:55 PM, TammerDown said:

In terms of power I assume this is a step closer (but not surpassing?) a T2? 
We talking above or below the 5 figure point?

It's more power than BHSE, but not by much. There isn't really much point. There are already several competing tube amps that put out less voltage swing than STAX's entry level amps. Pushing the envelope on component specs to achieve another fraction of a dB more output wasn't the goal.

as for the price, well over 10k. there is absolutely no way this amp wouldn't be. I could exceed that in bill of materials easily. How much is the MSB, 40k? The Sennheiser HE1 w/ headphone is $59k. The Shangri-la Sr w/ amp is $50k. This will be much, much less than either of those and sound better with SR-X9000 or CRBN.

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44 minutes ago, justin said:

It's more power than BHSE, but not by much. There isn't really much point. There are already several competing tube amps that put out less voltage swing than STAX's entry level amps. Pushing the envelope on component specs to achieve another fraction of a dB more output wasn't the goal.

as for the price, well over 10k. there is absolutely no way this amp wouldn't be. I could exceed that in bill of materials easily. How much is the MSB, 40k? The Sennheiser HE1 w/ headphone is $59k. The Shangri-la Sr w/ amp is $50k. This will be much, much less than either of those and sound better with SR-X9000 or CRBN.

No need to justify, Justin. I know the work deserves a high price tag - I'm just trying to determine how much money to set aside :). 

The power question is because I have no idea anything from an engineering standpoint. I'm just trying to gauge from a tier standpoint is this like a T2 level amp or more like a megatron... etc

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I think similar to Megatron output, so still a lot. max output on the market wasn't goal, more about the DHT sound. if there's an electrostatic headphone that needs more power, going from one of those amps to the other won't be enough of a difference. you may have 1dB, 2dB max more headroom

Edited by justin
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/25/2021 at 12:01 AM, naiy8oaY said:

He wants to (somewhat) objectively determine which of the amps is actually the best. To accomplish this, he absolutely has to level match them pretty precisely, and using a multimeter to do so is actually a very good choice. Otherwise the amp that is even slightly louder in the comparison will appear to sound better, masking any minor differences that may actually exist.

For several reasons my reply here took some time.

The measurement of the loaded output voltages of the Stax amplifiers last year went smoothly. (Load was 007 resp. 009).
[For safety reasons, I was more than 1 m away from all devices and open connections when I made the measurements of the high voltages. In particular, I restrained from touching the volume knob at all.]

The outcome was that the loaded and unloaded output voltages agreed up to the last digit of the DMM (50 000 count).

So, matching levels for a specific estat headphone with different amps can be achieved by simply matching the unloaded output voltages - at least for the tested Stax amps D10 and 353X and above mentioned headphones.

It would be highly appreciated if someone could share a general reason why loaded and unloaded voltages of estat amps are always equal - if this is the case.

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On 5/15/2022 at 6:19 AM, reuben3 said:

Hello everyone! I've just got my first Stax headphones L700 + 353x but I can't seem to get a good fit. I wear glasses and I get splitting pain around the ears in a matter of minutes. Are there any mods I could do on the L700? Or maybe I could consider the 007mkii if its design is more glasses friendly? Does anyone have similar experience with the fit + glasses?

I understand the 007mkII will have different tonalities, but will the the 353x be able to drive them ok? I'm not quite in a comfortable position to upgrade both headphones and energiser.

Thanks.

 

have the same issue, I love the L700 mkII but it clamps more than I like so I use it less often (almost never these days). I later got a SOCAS non ported XB700 modded L500 and the final result is a nicer balance. I like how it sounds (still no as good as L700ii to me), the extra depth gave a more expanded and 3D soundstage , maybe not the most realistic, but still a nice to have even in a small collection. (bear in mind I compared original L500ii and L700ii side by side and the most obvious difference to me was size of soundstage, the L500 sounded like a "smaller speaker").

also have the 007A and it is much more comfortable, but not a fan of its sound signature. the 009S may be a great fit for you, also easier to sound right on more amps imho.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings everyone! After a few years of listening to STAX setups on exhibitions and shop demo units, I finally got mine last week, SRM-212 and SR-407! They sound impressive and transparent even with my current DAC, which is a small dongle (Sonata HD Pro)! Guess I will be saying goodbye to both dynamic and planar HPs!

image.thumb.png.25b0f4e658349a51946154a27f3f3f32.png

Given that this is my first STAX setup, I have questions that I would humbly ask members here.
I have read somewhere that with spacer mod, STAX L-#00 series sound quality will significantly improve. Does it also applies to older Lambda unit such as mine?
I am also hoping to scale up my amp, going with DIY designs. May I have recommendations on DIY solid-state amps to build?


Thank you!!

 

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On 7/9/2022 at 9:28 AM, nopants said:

For the Lambdas you can use the SRX Plus or KGSS/KGSSHV/KGST, whichever fits your budget

Thank you for the reply, guess I will go with KGSS variant especially KGSSHV Carbon :)
May I know where I can source the PCB for them? And I also heard that several of the components for KGSS reached their End of Life / production terminated. Is there anyone here that stockpile some of these components for other members to buy?

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On 5/10/2022 at 9:44 AM, spritzer said:

Ehhh Mk2.95 now... we kinda boxed ourselves in with the 2.9 moniker...  😉  Not much different from the Mk2.9 (which dates back to 2014 at least) , new earpads being the biggest change.

This is interesting, would you say this has had any notable sonic differences or is more of one of those "changed for the sake of changing" things with little impact on sound?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Please accept my apologies for any lowering of the signal to noise ratio in advance but my sincere and profound thanks (as a philistine of all things electronic) to people like Birgir, Kevin, Justin and the rest of you that have influenced (directly and indirectly) the creation of masterpieces such as the one below and the influence they have on the lives of us mere mortal lovers of music.  This is the culmination of a dream of over 15 years in the making:

A2791156-BF91-491B-B977-20C5BF0037DD.thumb.jpeg.48c3aef33d4d9028792f85bdbfc5ab8a.jpeg

Special thanks to Birgir for his efforts and support to this community at large  

 

Edited by Juansan2
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On 5/4/2022 at 11:46 AM, spritzer said:

The Paltauf is a bad joke... I mean look at it:

palatauf.thumb.jpg.84bbe5ee74faf5311696e2c4bffe527a.jpg

It's a speaker amp with the electrostatic signal taken off the plates through capacitors.  Yeah... all the issues of doing that. 

Lol, yeah. What kind of wires are these holding the tube PCB to the side panels, really? And those wood panels, why, to slowdown cooling?

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On 8/5/2022 at 7:06 AM, Juansan2 said:

Please accept my apologies for any lowering of the signal to noise ratio in advance but my sincere and profound thanks (as a philistine of all things electronic) to people like Birgir, Kevin, Justin and the rest of you that have influenced (directly and indirectly) the creation of masterpieces such as the one below and the influence they have on the lives of us mere mortal lovers of music.  This is the culmination of a dream of over 15 years in the making:

A2791156-BF91-491B-B977-20C5BF0037DD.thumb.jpeg.48c3aef33d4d9028792f85bdbfc5ab8a.jpeg

Special thanks to Birgir for his efforts and support to this community at large  

 

The black front panel looks amazing! Congrats!

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