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Old 19th January 2013, 03:24 AM   #1
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Default Stax upgrade recomendations please.

Currently I have a pair of Stax SR-X mark 3 ear speakers with a SRD-6sb adaptor.
Pretty happy with them overall, but what would be the next step up from these ?

Thanks.......
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Old 19th January 2013, 08:38 AM   #2
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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The next step up is a matter of opinion. Some would tell you to get a direct-drive amp, some would say that that srd-6sb is a treasure to cherish.

I too have a set of SR-X III. They are brutally honest monitoring 'phones. If you want to hear exactly what is wrong with a recording, they're your tool.

They lack thump. if your pads have gone totally flat i recommend new pads. New actual STAX(tm) pads. They still sell them. staxusa will sell you a set for $30.

A couple years ago a frenchman discovered that if he cut a dense foam rubber ball (like a dog throw/catch toy from petsmart) in half and attached each half to the back of the SR-X III, he found some thump. I haven't tested this.

For your next earspeakers, though, I recommend Stax SR-Lambda. Normal bias. Will work with your SRD-6SB.

Koss ESP-950 are a whole other ball game in electrostatic headphones. They can rock out in a way that no stax can. MSRP is $1k but they are routinely sold for $650ish. including portable amp and carry case.

If you are interested in a direct-drive amplifier, I am an unabashed booster for Alex Cavalli's eXstata design. If you have trouble finding a board set, tell them i sent you. I was on the prototyping team and Alex sort of knows me.

Last edited by ericj; 19th January 2013 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:20 AM   #3
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Ta.
brutally honest, yes they are, and i like that because when you get a well done recording, it makes you remember why you spent the money..

i replaced the pads with generic ones, and they are super comfy, not leather, but some synthetic that comes close (better ?) to it.

I remember that ball mod, actually, i do have a sheet of 'acoustic foam', something for me to try.

compatability with the current adaptor isnt an issue for me.
I was considering the new 009's, uuuuuntil i saw the price..

$2k wouldnt bother me, if i know theyll be a significant step foward..

These Koss, theyd be better than several 'ranges' higher in the Stax camp ?

Amplifier, I'm using a pass x150, is there any point in going for the direct drive units ?

Are current new high end dynamics and planars worth considering ?

Audeze:LCD-3
Sennheiser:HD800
Hifiman:HE-6

Again ta for your help...
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:33 AM   #4
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Most of the current high-end dynamics that i've heard illicited a "lolwut?" response from me.

The ESP-950 has the largest diaphragm in an electrostatic headphone on the market currently. They are very rock-friendly in a way that no stax really is. They are something special.

The amp they come with is Not Bad, but not fantastic. They want 600vdc bias and can run off of the 580vdc "pro" stax bias without problems but with some DIY cabeling.

Direct drive amps will give you a clarity that is, well, different from using transformer boxes. If there is some way you can audition one, I recommend it.

I see you have the LCD-3 which i have not heard. I have a vast collection of vintage magneplanars and found the LCD-1 a bit off the mark and the LCD-2 not bad. I also have a tiny axe to grind with the audeze team because i am pretty sure the design of the LCD-1 driver was based largely off of some forum posts i made on head-fi.org but they never so much as offered me a pair at cost or said "hey thanks man".

and i still think elongated pentagonal diaphragms are a good idea. they just didn't do it quite right.

HE-6 is out? I'm way out of the loop. I hope they settled the issues with too-thin wood earcups long ago.

I couldn't make myself love the HD800. But at least it wasn't the Beyer T1, which got an unapologetic "Nope. NEXT!" from me.

my bias is skewed away from headphones that cost a whole lot of money. There is a good chance that you could really enjoy a Stax Omega II, especially if it came with a decent direct-drive amp. I found nothing at all wrong with that headphone except the price. I grew up poor and have uncontrollable pangs of frugality that prevent me from buying such things.
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Old 19th January 2013, 09:51 AM   #5
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Ta.
I suspected the dynamic and planars would be a poor second place.
(thinking about my speaker listening experiences)

Noo i dont have the other phones, only the srx3's

reason i mentioned them is i found a dealer in my country that does decent pricing --> Headphonic: Browse Products | Headphonic: Australian Headphone Specialists: Buy Etymotic, Alessandro, Audio Technica, Ultimate Ears, Talisman, Meier Audio and more

sadly they dont do stax..

Doing an ebay hunt, i would consider the sr-507, (then an adaptor)
the sr-007's (new) are pushing it (us$2500)

currently reading a looooong thread on the koss --> KOSS ESP-950 Thread

at ~600-1000 they are a bargain, even if i do get a better direct amp..
would love to know how they compare to the 507's.

sadly Australia is such a backwater, i doubt ill find a place to try any of these in person..

and yes i dont like spending if i can avoid it, but i like to know my 'investment' is long term, the srx's are what ? 25+ years old now ?
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Old 19th January 2013, 02:02 PM   #6
Limp is offline Limp  Norway
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You might want to read Tyll's big top-class comparison.

No LCD-3, but the HE-500 gets unexpectedly good marks.

He's also got measurements, but little written, on other electrostats. Like SR-507 and ESP950.
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Old 19th January 2013, 03:43 PM   #7
jcx is online now jcx  United States
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looks like you just miseed the Sydney meet - might check for others later in the year

Can con 3 (Sydney,Australia meet) - Jan 12th 2013 - 9:30am-6:30pm, Epping.
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Old 20th January 2013, 02:16 AM   #8
ericj is offline ericj  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old'n'Cranky View Post
Ta.
I suspected the dynamic and planars would be a poor second place.
(thinking about my speaker listening experiences)

Noo i dont have the other phones, only the srx3's

reason i mentioned them is i found a dealer in my country that does decent pricing --> Headphonic: Browse Products | Headphonic: Australian Headphone Specialists: Buy Etymotic, Alessandro, Audio Technica, Ultimate Ears, Talisman, Meier Audio and more

sadly they dont do stax..

Doing an ebay hunt, i would consider the sr-507, (then an adaptor)
the sr-007's (new) are pushing it (us$2500)

currently reading a looooong thread on the koss --> KOSS ESP-950 Thread

at ~600-1000 they are a bargain, even if i do get a better direct amp..
would love to know how they compare to the 507's.

sadly Australia is such a backwater, i doubt ill find a place to try any of these in person..

and yes i dont like spending if i can avoid it, but i like to know my 'investment' is long term, the srx's are what ? 25+ years old now ?
I should clarify - the current breed of magne-planars are largely impressive but you should absolutely audition any of them for a substantial amount of time with every style of music you like before buying any of them. But that's good advice for anything that costs a few thousand bucks.

HD-800 got a "lolwut?" from me. Beyer's T1 got ripped off my head in disgust and i have lost all hope for the company eugen beyer founded.

Seek out ozzie headphone enthusiasts on head-fi. i know they are out there.
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Old 20th January 2013, 07:33 AM   #9
awpagan is offline awpagan  Australia
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Old'n'Cranky

How much into diy are you?

I have an eXstata SS amp, was working, just dismantled for parts for another project.
Stereo pcb's and psu pcb's still in one piece and should still work.
Just finished a KGSS that the ESP950 are on, looking at the SR507's myself.

Tried the HE500's nice lows and mid's but didn't have the finer details or highs of the electrostatics, so they went back..
And they do need a powerfull amp.

Unfortunately it seems once your use to the electrostatics, the others well..

ps
beware of headfi, some people have vested interest their own products.
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Old 20th January 2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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How much into diy are you?

I've done a bit
currently using a DCB1


I have an eXstata SS amp, was working, just dismantled for parts for another project.
Stereo pcb's and psu pcb's still in one piece and should still work.
Just finished a KGSS that the ESP950 are on, looking at the SR507's myself.


If I did an exstata I'd go the ss route too.
but It sounds like the kgss may be a better unit.
I can afford the 009's (just), but common sense is telling me if I do anything I'd be smarter with the 507's


Tried the HE500's nice lows and mid's but didn't have the finer details or highs of the electrostatics, so they went back..
And they do need a powerfull amp.

Unfortunately it seems once your use to the electrostatics, the others well..

ps
beware of headfi, some people have vested interest their own products.


Yeah, grains of salt are plentiful around my place
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