Stax SR-007 Mk 2.5 (SZ3) + possible mods

Discussion in 'Measurements (preliminary, research, unsanctioned)' started by Bill-P, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Here's frequency response measurement for the SR-007 on my rig...

    [​IMG]

    And here's measurement of the same 007... with an ear pad swap:

    [​IMG]

    Compared against HE-6 w/ Vegan pads and grill mod: (see anything interesting?)

    [​IMG]

    In case you're wondering, it's the Brainwavz hybrid ear pads. These things:
    http://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Hybrid-Memory-Foam-Earpad/dp/B00ZGGG3KY

    And... let the Stax mods begin. ;)
     
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  2. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    Hey finally somebody put hybrid pads on some STAX so the minority that don't like leather pads like me can actually use them for extended periods!
     
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  3. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Yes, may I add... it's actually very comfy, and considering it's also somewhat easier to put on than stock ear pads (I ditched the dish), it makes life easier all around.

    Here's one last graph to show how linear it is now:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    Dammit Bill I was -this- close to getting rid of that SR-007 itch that has been constantly on me. How difficult was it to do, do you have photos of the new pads in place?
     
  5. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Nope, you ain't gonna get away from your fate. Bwahahaha!

    Here's how it looks like on the headphone:
    [​IMG]

    Just take out the dish and the old ear pads, then slot the new one onto the lips of the circular mesh thing. Should be fairly straight forward, and it won't mess with the original rotating mechanism, so you can still rotate the cup, and the ear pads will still follow. In fact, now the pads will stay put instead of freely rotating like before, which I think is better than having to readjust both pads and cups...
     
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  6. chakku

    chakku Friend

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  7. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    The pads are like... $25... come on. :p

    The only problem with these pads is that they attract lint and dust very easily.
     
  8. chakku

    chakku Friend

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    Do the headphones come free with the pads? :D
     
  9. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    No, but I think the pads may come free with the headphone for some people... :p
     
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  10. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

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    I found the hybrid pads quite a bit brighter than the brainwayvz leather angled pads. In case anyone is wondering they definitely sound different and are not interchangeable sound wise.
     
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  11. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    The effect actually depends on the headphone.

    For instance, it makes the HD600/580 darker... even darker than the HD650:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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  13. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    Actually you have convinced me to try the hybrid leather-velour version as well... sigh... one more pad :). Was that the angled version (40mm high at the thickest)?
     
  14. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

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    Would this pad swap be helpful and or beneficial to the SR-007A version of this headphone? I could save a lot of money that way.
     
  15. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    No, @zolkis, it's not the angled version. You want the hybrid one. I linked to it in the first post.

    And @JonCharles, yeah, it'll work with the A version, since it's basically the same thing but with a different color tone.
     
  16. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

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    That's nice to hear. I want to jump back to electrostatics, and a modded 007 seems like just the thing to finally go above and beyond the lambdas.
     
  17. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    I have tried both the flat leather version (30 mm high), and the hybrid version (also flat 30 mm high) on my 007 Mk1. Will post the measurements later. At least the effect on the bass is very similar. However, the 009 pads still sound better on the 007 than both of the Brainwavz pads. Also, the modded 007 pads sound perhaps better, too.

    However, for this price it is hard to find a better quality pad than the Brainwavz, and they sound good, too (not mentioning they can be modded as well).

    The mods to the 007 pads is the following:
    - fold out the leather flaps from the inner side, turn the pads inside out, and take out the foam insert (use the reverse when assembling the foam insert back);
    - notice the foam insert consists of a 4 mm thick white styrol base and a thicker form-shaped foam upper part;
    - with a very sharp cutter, take (cut) off the 4 mm thick white part, by putting the base on a desk, the foam part facing upwards, pulling the foam slightly up and making small, shallow cuts, barely touching the glue layer between the two parts; first cut through the whole width, then try just pulling them apart; for me they came apart nicely and clean;
    [ - later, if you want, you can reverse this mod by using a double sided adhesive tape, or just put them together and wrap into the leather pads; they will sound the same with or without the glue ]
    - now use only the foam part, wrap it back to the leather pads, assemble it directly to the frame, without using the circular springs
    - enjoy more present midrange, bigger sound stage, etc.
    - you can experiment with 4 mm wool felt rings instead of the styrol ring, but I preferred the foam-only.

    The 009 pads are good as they are, and they don't require the spring either. Just mount them directly on the frame. However, I have modded them for better bass impact and huge sound stage, using carbon foam inserts together with a foam insert made of the same acoustic foam that is used in the Harbeth speakers for instance (more loose structure and stronger). With this pad, I enjoy my 007 more than the 009.

    Any pad mods are much less effective on the 009 than on the 007, and even when they are effective (especially in the bass), I kept returning to the original because the nice tonal balance. It seems that Stax spent quite some time optimizing everything on the 009.

    However, the good news is that the 007 can be really improved by pads. Some of the early findings have been summarized here:
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/754839/stax-sr-009-and-sr-007-mk1-earpad-diy-mods
     
  18. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

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    @Bill-P Did your 007 have the bass port filled in? I'm curious if you or anyone else has ever tried combining the pad swapping with the sealed bass port mod in the mk2 007s. Seems like it could be promising.

    @zolkis Is there any way to get a hold of 009 earpads outside of buying the headphones? Yamas doesn't seem to sell them.
     
  19. zolkis

    zolkis Acquaintance

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    Sorry I didn't notice the question. I have ordered the 009 ear pads replacement from my Stax dealer. It took several months to arrive...
     
  20. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    @Bill-P, thank you for sharing this! I am a diehard HD600 fan (both as a reference tool and for enjoyment) and recently took the plunge on a 007A/323S setup after coming away from a meet very impressed with the SR-007 MkII.

    Well it finally arrived, and to my dismay sounded like it generally measures: with a rather pronounced drop in upper midrange, which, coming from my HD600 was tough to get used to. Fortunately shortly after ordering I found this thread and ordered some of the hybrid pads for myself, and after swapping pads it sounds noticeably flatter in the upper midrange (not to mention more comfortable!) and more enjoyable as a result.

    Should you find yourself in Milwaukee someday I owe you a drink. Cheers!

    EDIT: As a side note, flat pads actually seem to work much more naturally on the SR-007, as it doesn't have any hinges built in to accommodate any change in driver angle so the stock pads felt forced and a bit weird to me.

    Another side note, has anyone experimented with fully velour pads on their SR-007? I imagine would further accentuate the upper-mid response, but possibly at the expense of some low end.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016

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