The Stax I thread

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

  1. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Friend

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    IME almost all of the aftermarket amps should handily beat out any of the Stax amps head to head, it's just a matter of cash outlay.

    Original KGSS amps were trading hands for very cheap last year but I haven't seen them pop up in a while. The old kgss is clearly a notch or two above the 717 and 727.
     
  2. microCuts

    microCuts Acquaintance

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    It is also depends on what music you normally play. The Stax amp works good on vocals, jazz, pop. But for EDM, hip hop, those bass heavy and fast music KG amp is the better amp to match with.

    I will still rate KG amp higher just that Stax amps have their own sound signature that appeals certain people too.
     
  3. hykhleif

    hykhleif Rando

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    I listen to all types of music and on my 007Tii i barely reach 60 percent on volume, and sound signature wise I adore the 007Tii, but remember I never listened to anything other than that amp and 323s

    I wish I had an option to audition one of the high end amps that gets talked bout but that is not an option

    maybe I am reading too much and should just settle with what I have , I have and had so many totl planars but the what I am hearing now through this setup with my 007mk2 , tops the hifiman he1000 se, hifiman he1000 v2, audeze lcd4z and mx4 and many I others I have or had, and yes on all genres I prefer my 007 mk2 late 2017 on everything

    as for l300 LE which I have as well its ok, nothing more than that but never touching the 007 mk2 level at all, its nice and good enough together with my hifiman jade 2

    I just adore 007mk2, in my book its flawless, i am thinking bout adding Voce to my collection but have no clue how it compares to 007mk2
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  4. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    Been trying to find a thread to discuss this but this seems to be the most active Stax thread so here goes.

    I recently took ownership of a Stax SRM-T1 to use with my Koss ESP95. The ESP95 sounds great on the Stax. Less dynamic than the Koss amp and doesn't get as loud either but it does offer a smoother and warmer experience which I like. I would prefer it get a bit louder so I have to admit I am a bit disappointed with output power but SQ wise it is all there. I found that using a good source such as FLAC or Redbook allows this amp to present the music much better and cleaner at a louder volume. Poor sources such as youtube or mp3's present well at low and medium volume but past 5 on the gain dial the music starts to break down.

    My question to you Stax guys, which Stax headphone pairs very well with the T1? I was going to buy the new L700mk2 but now I am thinking it might not be a good match for the T1. The T1 seems to me to be underpowered. It could be due to it being a tube amp. I mainly run tube amps and have done so for years now. I good SS amp would be a better match I'm sure but I own the T1 so I thought maybe I should look for a Stax headphone that matches well with it.

    Does anyone have some advice for me? It would be much appreciated.

    P.S. I've seen that there are mods for the T1 and though I build my own RCA cables I have never worked on amps before and I am not sure I would want my first time to be on the T1.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  5. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    All lambdas sound great with your SRM-T1. Make you a favor and grab a vintage Lambda pro or Lambda signature :)
     
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  6. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    Thanks, man. So any Stax headphone with that name would be fine? And do you agree that the new L700mkii would not be a good match? I just want to make sure I'm right in that regard. I'd much prefer to buy something new than buy used, but if buying used is the only way to get that synergy I am looking for with the T1, I will do it.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    I never tried the L700mkII but I heard the L700 so I guess both will work flawlessly with a SRM-T1. if you want to buy new, my opinion is the L700 is a quite safe bet.
     
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  8. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    @sorrodje Thank you! I was worried about buying them but yes I do prefer to buy new when it comes to headphones. I'm going to order the L700mk2 then. Thanks again!
     
  9. n3rdling

    n3rdling Friend

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    Really I think any Lambda would do well from the T1. That amp just pairs very well with that series of HPs for one reason or another. If you only buy new, then any of the new Stax Lambda series will likely be a nice pairing with your amp. If you become open to vintage equipment, I would highly suggest looking for a set of Lambda Signatures...that HP with the T1 are excellent and basically an intro to the SR-Omega sound: super detailed, ethereal, godlike for live music, and some midbass emphasis.

    As a side note, my heart sunk a bit when I saw there have only been a few posts in this thread since April. These are very special headphones, people; let's talk!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  10. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    I have bought several used headphones over the years and each time the seller said they were in perfect working order and each time I received them there were issues with one or both transducers. I have terrible luck. Each one I had to send out to Grado to have them serviced. So I told myself, no more used headphones.

    I'm calling both Stax and Woo Audio in the morning to make sure they have the L700mk2 in stock. Once I confirm one of those businesses has it in stock I am ordering it.

    I'm close to ordering a brand new amp too. The T1 sounds great but it doesn't get loud enough for me. Right now I'm tossing around the idea of ordering a Stax SRM-353x, 007TII, 727II, or Woo Audio Wee and using one of my current amps. This would be the cheaper way to go and I like the idea of being able to swap amps to change the sound characteristics.

    I'm not sure what I will do yet but I without a doubt think the T1 though lovely sounding is not powerful enough for me. I usually listen to music at a normal level but I like to crank it up too and the T1 and ESP95 doesn't jive well much past 5 on the T1. This could be the ESP-95 though so I want to get the L700mk2 first before making a final decision. The T1 might be perfect with it.
     
  11. n3rdling

    n3rdling Friend

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    From my experience it is very unlikely the T1 is the problem if the music is not getting loud enough. If you run your source balanced into the amp with your digital volume at max, it should get plenty loud. Some of those amps will get no louder, and even the TOTL amps will only get like 6-9 dB louder at most IIRC. Please make sure you have your system setup correctly before the amp, as I usually don't go past 12-1 O'clock iirc for loud music.
     
  12. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    My T1 does not have balanced inputs. Everything is hooked up correctly. Running optical out of PC to MHDT Labs Pagoda DAC to passive analog switch box to STAX T1 (and other amps). PC volume is maxed out. Compared to all of my other headphone amps (7 amps in all) all of them get louder than the ESP95/stax T1 combo. Honestly, though I love the SQ of the Koss and Stax combo. I mean..wow. I just need more gain.

    I can turn the gain up to 12 o'clock on the T1 and it's clean. Once I turn to 1 o'clock things start to break down. Now normally I'll be around 9 to 11 o'clock but sometimes I like it loud. At 12 o'clock it is louder but not as loud as I'm used to.

    As I said, this could be the Koss ESP-95 that is causing the breakdown. It could very well be the weakness in the chain. I will try the L700 with the T1 before I look for a more powerful amp. If it gets louder and remains clean then it's a win in my book. If not then I might just buy a woo audio wee and pair it with one of my tube amps or even my Emotiva basx A-100 or maybe a vintage Pioneer that I have laying around...who knows but I have loads of amps to play with so the Wee seems to me to be a good option.
     
  13. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    upload_2019-8-12_13-16-46.png

    Recently got a chance to measure and listen to a pair of SR-009S's. Overall good, but boy, when that 11kHz spike gets going, you can surely hear it. Sounded kinda similar to Meze Empy. Overall liked Koss's Drop-cans better.
     
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  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    I'm used to listen louder than @n3rdling but I never had any volume issue with my SRM-T1 and I don't remember the Koss is so hard to drive. Something is wrong there.

    EDIT : Do you use the good input ? Please check carefully and try both to see if one works better.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  15. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    Yeah I have tried both inputs and both pro outs. Seems the same to me. I use good Analysis Plus Oval One Audio Interconnects.

    Maybe the tubes are tired in the T1. I mean this is an older T1 with the 'B' serial number. Not sure how many hours are on it. Not sure if the tubes are original or not.

    It sounds great though and does get loud just not to my 'loudness' standards. Hopefully I will test it with the L700 in the next day or two.

    /edit: I just ordered the L700mkII. I can't wait to hear it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
  16. I_want_all_the_tacos

    I_want_all_the_tacos Almost "Made"

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    That's really surprising to me that your T1 can't get loud enough. I have never heard a T1, but I currently own an 006t, which I believe is based on the T1 design and quite similar. I have run quite a few Stax sets on my energizer--L300, L500, L700, L300L, SR404, SR-007mk1, SR-007mk2, SR-009, and SR-009S. Even on the Omegas I had no issues getting them to ear bleeding volume levels without distortion. I thought all the modern Lambdas sounded great on my 006t and I enjoy them more on that than on a 353X.
     
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  17. VonAtlas

    VonAtlas Rando

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    Running Lambda Pro's from an SRM-1/Mk2 and getting intermittent static... it comes on strong and leaves after about half of a minute... think the capacitors inside are dying?
     
  18. WhiteNoise

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    Well I'm using a Koss ESP95/X with adapter on the T1 so maybe that is the issue. This is my first Stax amp and my L700mkII just arrived today from Headamp. I will test it with the T1 tonight.

    Will post back my results. If I am not satisfied I may look for a Stax DIY guy that wants to make some money and go through my amp.

    On another note I'm tempted to buy another Stax amp just to compare. I see a 353x and a 007Tmk2 for sale. Maybe one of those would be a better fit. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me plug this L700 into the T1 tonight and see what happens.
     
  19. WhiteNoise

    WhiteNoise Acquaintance

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    Anyone wanna buy a less than two weeks old Koss ESP95/X? lol, kidding. The L700mkII is, WOW. The 95/x is a nice headphone and I was quite happy with it but it does not even compare to the L700mkII. Nope.

    So the T1 still doesn't get as loud as I would like but it is without a doubt louder with the L700, louder, cleaner, clearer, more lively, bigger stage, better separation, better bass, much better mids, should I continue?

    I have been doing some thinking. I think what I am lacking is a balanced system. My Pagoda DAC is lovely but it is SE and I think if I feed the Stax amp a balanced signal that I would get a bump in output, and maybe even better separation. Unfortunately, the T1 does not have balanced inputs. So I think I need to start looking for a new Stax amp and DAC and try out balanced.

    The T1 does sound very lovely though.
     
  20. JimL

    JimL Tongues KG's hairy starfish for fun

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    Actually, the issue with T1 not getting as loud as the Stax solid state amps is real, but it is due to the use of plate resistors in the output section, as opposed to constant current output loads used in the solid state amps. The plate resistors burn up the majority of the signal current. If Stax would update the T1/006/007 amps to use constant current loads they would have the same output capability as their solid state amps. It also tightens up the bass, extends the treble, and decreases distortion. The Stax tube output amps can be rather easily modded by replacing the output resistors with constant current sources, but of course that voids the warranty.
     
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