One Day Ticket for Stax Galaxy - The STAX Compendium

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by sorrodje, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    After a brief wait my SR-300LE arrived yesterday from Japan for $630 shipped.
    I let them energize while I listened to my Airbow SC-1's before a quick comparison. It was easy to quickly switch back and forth due to the SRM-T1S's two Pro sockets.

    Immediately the 300LE sounded a little louder, more upfront, and dare I say bassy, wow. I took a few measurements as well...

    300LE FR.jpg
    300LE distortion.jpg

    SC1 distortion.jpg
    300LE vs AIRBOW SC-1
    300LE vs SC1.jpg
    For the life of me I couldn't get them to seal to my coupler, and they had no Stax fart either. As @sorrodje mentioned in his L700 measurements, it appears they behave like Lambdas do when they have a broken seal, and the leak is designed into them to bring up the midbass at the expense of low end extension. Not to mention the increased distortion in the low end compared to the SC-1.

    I played around with a McDonalds straw and breaking the earpad seal when I had the SR-207/252 set, and ultimately let them go due to the grating treble. Once in a while when listening to the SC-1, I yearn for some MOAR BASS and break the seal for a few tracks, but don't intend to permanently mod them. The 300LE gives me that fun bass when I feel I want it, and can happily live beside the SC-1, and Lambda Pro in my Stax stable.

    I haven't heard any of the newer Lambda's (L300, L500, L700) so I can't compare how these 300LE fair against them. From memory I like them more than the SR-207 (that unrefined treble, OUCH), SR-202 (lacked technicalities, maybe it's age had something to do with it, but the SC-1, and Lambda Pro I have kicked it's ass in my book). My head is fairly round and wide (bowling ball?) so the lack of mobility in conforming to some people's head doesn't affect me, but I could see how it could be a problem for folks with a narrow head.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2018
  2. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

    Oct 20, 2015
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    Cerritos, CA
    Looks like a considerably rougher L700. I own the L700 and they are one of the smoother and more relaxed sounding lambdas in the treble that I've heard outside of the original normal bias. Also seems to drop off in the bass much faster with much more midbass hump. Perhaps the pads or clamp are to blame?
  3. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    Impossible to compare my 300LE measurements to @sorrodje L700's, as they are two different measurement rigs. Could be the earpads, but I played with the clamp and positioning on the rig over and over, and almost all the results were identical. I'll admit I was shocked by the bass roll off myself. In the first post of this thread the difference between a good seal and a bad one is shown in a measurement. The thing is, the Stax Lambda I have encountered have all shown increased bass with a broken seal, these 300LE do not increase whatsoever when the seal is broken, supporting the earlier idea that the broken seal is built in. Maybe it has more broken seal than the L700, I don't know, and there is only one way to find out.

    I would like to measure your L700 if possible, and re-measure the 300LE at the same time so conditions would be the same. Then we could have a legit A/B to debate. I also wouldn't call the 300LE FR rough by listening to them so far.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2018
  4. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    My curiosity got the best of me and I didn't feel like waiting around to try a L700 side by side with my 300LE, and more importantly to try pad swapping. So I ordered a set of L700 pads. Quite a bit more pricey than the old 507 lambskin pads at $120 shipped vs $70 shipped. I couldn't find a Japanese seller that could ship to the States for a reasonable price, so I was stuck with ordering from Stax USA's website which is run by Woo Audio. They still had to order them from Japan and the wait was approximately 10 days from time of order to delivery, which isn't too bad all things considered.
    L700 pad on the Right and L300LE (L500) pad on the Left image2.jpeg

    The L700 pads are noticeably thicker and more plush. They were also a little harder to mount, and were a lot more snug than the stock pads. Better seal? My hopes were immediately raised, as I had tried taping around the perimeter of the stock pads to get a better seal, and it worked quite well, bringing low end extension measurements very close to the Lambda's of yore, but looked way to fugly. Some dude on HF also used some thin weather stripping to seal them, but I wanted to avoid going that route.

    My initial measurement looked like the seal problem was fixed, the bass bump was gone and extended much lower then the stock pad. Then I mounted the old stock pad for a direct A/B... what? the bass bump was gone on these too, but didn't extend as well as the L700 pads, interesting. Did the stock pads get broken in more and become supple and seal better? They were stiff right out of the box. Or did the driver loosen up a little? I really don'y know, Regardless the L700 pads seal better and extend further down low.

    Green L700 pad
    Yellow L300LE pad
    L700 PADS VS L300.jpg

    Are the 300LE the poorman's L700? I still don't know, and they are selling out in Japan, and US retailer's delivery dates have been pushed back significantly. Now with the plush L700 pads these really do feel like a Limited Edition, thanks Stax, I like 'em.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention the Stax fart is back with the L700 pads
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2018
  5. Hennyo

    Hennyo Rando

    Dec 22, 2015
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    Just want to thank JK47 and others for posting at least superficial and even better measurements of the L300 and other headphones. They're very valuable. These combined with a headfi 300Limited Seller describing the 300Limited as more base heavy, V shaped than the l300 have recalibrated, steered me back to the l300.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018

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