The Stax I thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by knerian, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    I tried the bass port mod on a mid-2015 007, and reversed it after a week. It made the Stax fart, normally a rare occurrence, intolerable. Happened every time I moved my head. Some people think the mod does such wonders that they tolerate the side effect. I'm not one of them. YMMV, obviously.

    The Carbon works well with everything, but remember that the two outputs still only have one volume control and the 007 plays quieter than any other Stax (that I know of). Matching listening loudness can be a problem with two people listening to one amp.
     
  2. DronEvil

    DronEvil Rando

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    Thanks for your insights!

    That (volume matching) was also a concern of mine with getting something other than another 007. I may just wait a little longer and save/watch for another used pair of 007s.

    I'm not gonna try the bassport mod for now. I'm kinda afraid of the fart, especially since I wear glasses that I have to carefully position above the cups to get a seal. I also move my head constantly as I listen in my home office, which has a wall of monitors above my desk that I bounce my view around quite often.
     
  3. Ali-Pacha

    Ali-Pacha Friend

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    @gepardcv Sigma Pro have all around same sensitivity as 007 \/

    Ali
     
  4. ogodei

    ogodei Headphone Heaven Gatekeeper

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    The bass port mod can be used on the SZ3 mk2s, yes. If we are discussing the Spritzer blu tac mod it was designed to get the mk2s sounding more like the early mk1s. I haven't heard of anyone trying it on Mk1s but it wouldn't suprise me.

    Good idea? Sure, if you like more bass and are experimental with expensive headphones.
    It will loosen up the bass on ALL recordings, and depending on the quality of the pre-stage you use it may loosen it up more than you want I have thrown a few tube pre-stages in front of my Carbon CC for pretty much for the same reason. Fun, but mostly I found them not able to keep up with the amp on good recordings. If you plan is 'I only turn it on with poor sources' I would say sure depending on the quality of the pre-stage. But really you should just get yourself the BHSE, of you are heading down that path thats where you will end up anyways :)

    The L700s sound great, I don't find them lean at all, though they are slightly less bassy than 007s. For a low cost experiment you could also try the SR-Lambda Pro which I find to be quite nice. If you throw that tube stage on I think either of them would be great for a non-audiophile.
     
  5. JimL

    JimL Tongues KG's hairy starfish for fun

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    The port mod is intended to flatten out the bass response of the Mk II, making it more similar to the Mk I. If you look at the frequency response curves of the various Stat SR007 versions on InnerFidelity, you will see that the Mk I has a relatively flat bass (a bit down in the lowest frequencies) whereas the Mk II has a bass bump and a roll-off below about 30-40 Hz, due to the port - the mod is to block the port with Blu-Tak or something similar. The Mk I doesn't have a port opening, so it doesn't;t need the mod. However, the downside of the port mod as gepardcv points out is it makes the Stax fart occur more often, because the port acts as a vent to break the seal made by the headphone cushions. When you have a good seal, any sudden change in air pressure can cause the Stax fart. Some think the port was introduced in the Mk II specifically because people complained of the fart. If you wear glasses that will tend to break the seal anyway, so you could try the port mod, put on the headphones, then move your glasses out of the way as the last step to avoid the fart.

    Putting a tube preamp in front of the amp will introduce whatever sonic colorations that preamp has.
     
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  6. DronEvil

    DronEvil Rando

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    Thanks for everyone's responses!
     
  7. RiddleyWalker

    RiddleyWalker Friend

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    Once upon a time I owned an SRM-600T w/ Lambda Normal Bias. Looking back, I was a fool to let it go, but you know hindsight 20:20 something something

    Anyways, today I received an SRA-3S (restored by Spritzer) and another Lambda NB. This is absolutely heavenly. One of my main gripes with the Lambda chain I had previously was that it sounded incredible with good / warm recordings, but was too aggressive in the upper mids / highs for bright or poorly recorded stuff. Well the SRA-3S has a Filter switch that seems to bring the treble down a few dB (struggling to find specific info on this). And now the setup is incredibly versatile. Leave the filter off for the good recordings, turn it on for poor / bright recordings.

    If I say so myself, this setup is ridiculously good for the price and is among the best I've heard. Really giving my ZDS -> 650 a run for its money. Trying to contain my enthusiasm until I've had more time with the chain.

    There truly is magic to be found in a proper Stax setup. This probably won't come as a surprise to most in this thread but it's absolutely stunning the sound you can wring out of these old units.
     
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  8. JimL

    JimL Tongues KG's hairy starfish for fun

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    Based on the published schematic, the SRA-3S filter switch puts a 3000 pf cap across the volume control, which is specified as 250k. In combination with a 10k resistor prior to the volume control, this results in a low-pass RC filter with a corner frequency of about 5 kHz, where it is about 3 dB down, rolling off at 6 dB per octave above that - so about 7 dB down at 10 kHz and 13 dB down at 20 kHz.
     
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  9. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

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    I can only speak for the newest SR-007 (bought about a month ago), but I tried Bill-P's idea of switching of the earpads to the Brainwavs flat hybrid pads in conjunction with the Blu-tack port mod. I'm loving the result, and it's really livened up the "boring" nature of these headphones by leveling out the mids. The mid-bass is also no longer super flabby and disruptive due to the port mod. The best thing about it is that I have never had to deal with the Stax fart in this combination. The sound is now much more reminiscent of the L700 I used to own, but with cleaner bass, and the fuller and gentler characteristics of the 007.

    Both mods are reversible, and I would definitely give it a try with the newest revision 007, but the older bass port models might benefit as well.

    Update: I have found that using the metal springs (inserted into rubber grommet without mesh dish) in conjunction with the port mod and Brainwavs hybrid pads creates the best sound. While it brings out the mids, the Brainwavs pads without the springs compresses the sound and heavily reduces the impact that the original pads provided. Including the springs adds a ton of space and air to the 007 while restoring bass impact and tonality. It also makes them a lot less warm and what I can only perceive as much more neutral. It is very easy to switch between using the springs and without them by taking off about half of the earpad and inserting/removing the spring. Then you don't have to start the process of putting on the earpads all over again. It makes comparing the two quite easy. As clichéd as it sounds, the difference is night and day (or at least extraordinarily obvious). Remember that this mod will only set you back about $35 and is completely reversible.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea if there is a Mk 1 equivalent for this, since I think the spring mechanism is different. I leave it up to Mk 1 owners to experiment with this if they want.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  10. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    Update. Recently I have tried the 007 Mk1 mods like the Mk2 mods, i.e. using the original 007 pads with only the upper foam part. The 009 pads open up the 007 even more, but there is a little more and somewhat softer bass impact with the 007 pads, while still sounding more open than with the original pads. In other words, the 007 Mk1 and Mk2 mods can be considered the same. If someone already had 009 pads, could try those as well, but I'd say it's not imperative.
     
  11. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    anyone tried the 4170 system, or its components (SR-407 and SRM-006tS)? I'm thinking about this as an upgrade to my Koss ESP950 (with Vesper pads). I love how the Koss' sound with orchestral music. I don't think anything beats stats for transparency.

    Anyways, there's a good deal on HF for this system, so looking for opinions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
  12. numbercube

    numbercube Acquaintance

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    The Stax 407 would be a downgrade in most ways.
     
  13. gepardcv

    gepardcv Almost "Made"

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    Can't comment on the Koss, but I have heard the 407 and 006t, and am not a fan. The 407 sounded weird to me compared to other Lambdas. Can't describe it exactly and it's been a few years, but it had strange FR boosts everywhere. The 207 is more natural. The 006t has a bit of unattractive mid-bass bloat. The 252S is IMO a better amp.
     
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  14. JimL

    JimL Tongues KG's hairy starfish for fun

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    If you like, you can borrow my modded SRM-T1 to see how you like it in combination with the Koss. If you like it you can pick up a used T1 series and do the mod yourself. Never heard the SR407.
     
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  15. jcn3

    jcn3 Rando

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    i've been in the stax community for about 10 years -- my sr-404/srm-007t combo took me to a new place, blowing my old hd-600 set-up completely out of the water!

    just received my sr-l700s in the mail today -- wow, they take my stax experience to a new level right out of the box. i look forward to seeing what happens as they break in a bit.

    i was debating in my mind sr-007a vs. sr-l700 -- decided that the sr-l700s were the best match for my srm-007t. the 007t doesn't get a lot of love, but i think it's perfect for my needs (and drives the l700s easily).

    only concern with the srm-007t is the caps -- it's about 15 years old so will need to think about that fairly soon.

    anyway -- the love shown the sr-l700s is justified. they're a nice piece of kit!
     
  16. Bagged Milk

    Bagged Milk Friend

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    Lambda Nova Basic S/N B00206

    Bought these for $130 in March and fell in love. Oddly percussive and impactful bass which I wasn't expecting from a stat, cleaner than my HD600 in the mids, slightly dirty treble but also wonderfully even and extended to 20k. Has the Stax tone with the upper mids being a bit forward, but it's mostly clean there so I don't mind it. Unlike my Pioneer monitor 10, which has a peak at the same spot around 1.7k but is accompanied by a short lived resonance that makes it a bit hard to listen to depending on the source material. Throws a pretty good 3d stage as welI and imaging is the best of all my current headphones. Was a pleasant surprise.

    [​IMG]
    (Credit for image goes to Ishca)

    Measurements

    [​IMG]
    (Above measurements courtesy of Ishca)

    [​IMG]
    (Credit to Takato14 for this set. CSD done at a -60dB noise floor. Distortion and impulse done at 95dB. I have measurements from Takato of my HD600 and some other stuff if anyone needs a reference for the rig)
     
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  17. DronEvil

    DronEvil Rando

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    Thanks for this! I'm actually currently using the Brainwaves pads as i found them much more comfortable than stock. I will try the port mod + reinserting the springs and see how it goes!
     
  18. DronEvil

    DronEvil Rando

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    Sorry for double post, but does anyone know what the deal is with Stax warranty service in the USA currently? My 007s are not that old but they now have channel imbalance/distortion in one ear. It doesn't go away when I jiggle the cable at the cup, but i can hear the sound fluctuate a little bit. I bought them from a HFer who had only had them for a month and then got the itch and upgraded to the 009. I believe he got them from Yama at the begging of 2017.

    I reached out to the Canadian Stax dealer but haven't gotten a response. Does anyone have any advise for how to get these fixed under warranty in USA currently?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  19. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    We first, you will likely need the receipt.

    Have you contacted Yama?

    update: looks like Yama is not an authorized Stax dealer anymore, but I'm not sure about there.

    USA repair work is listed on the Stax site as being done my RPD Ltd. Very odd, as RPD appears to be a warehousing company, but edifier (tax parent company) is listed as a customer. You could try calling them at 206.780.9623 or 817.665.2160
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  20. DronEvil

    DronEvil Rando

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    Just an update, I talked to some people on HF and I got the email contacts necessary to start eh warranty process in USA. I reached out and have begun the process (just trying to find the receipt to give to them). They responded within 24 hours! If anyone is in a similar boat, message me and I'll give you the email addresses.
     

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