These have a great reputation, but are they actually a step above dynamic headphones in sound quality?
Contributor to The Absolute Sound, EnjoytheMusic.com, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and other fine publications
Which Stax model sports the best quality to price ratio?
I think the basic model 404 is the best in terms of price/quality.
I've been using a Stax Lambda Nova Pro headphones with a SRM-1/ MK-2 amplifier for many years for my on-location monitoring for live classical recordings. The 404 is the current equivalent.
I reviewed a more expensive model (I can't remember which one right now) and it was slightly better, but I didn't feel it was sufficient;y better to justify what I would have had to spend to replace my Stax Lambda Nova phones.
This is John Snijders from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
I have sold audio for more than 40 years and Stax headphones nearly 35 years. Believe me, they are the best. And I don't understand that a magazine as TAS isn't talking en writing about this beautiful product. Seems there is a commercial reason for keeping this in the freezer.
Sorry John, there's no commercial reason.
I have reviewed Stax in the past, and I'm sure I'll review them in the future.
Neil Gader talks about Stax in one of his recent blogs about the Smyth Research Realizer device.
Here's a link:
Tom covered the SR-001s, and his review is here:
I plan to try a one of the larger Stax models as part of my Headphone Quest. Given their reputation, I'm working my way in that direction.
AVGuide webmaster and general drudge
Electrostatic headphones and amps to be more precise are wonderful detail orientated systems with massive amounts of detail, huge presentations and lightening fast attack. There are a number of brands, the cheapest desktop being Koss I believe with their esp-950 system at around $650 up to the Mega MK2 Stax system for about $6k. As members here have stated the sweet spot is around the 3030 (now 3050) or 404 system for bang for buck but having tested the O2 it really is quite different to the lower end Lambda with a much darker signature and more lower end extension.
When I first got into Stax I bought the 3030 classic system preparing myself for the 'lack of bass' most commonly thrown at Stax, but honestly I just got reeducated on what true bass was all about such was the amazing integration and presentation of low end frequency that flowed effortlessly from the headphones.
Even a recent demo of the Koss esp-950 reveals a system much superior in many ways to dynamic or ortho cans at similar price points.
You can of course try the baby stax mobile system SR - 001 MK2 for about $300 but its now discontinued which is a shame since it was one of the cheapest ways to get a feel for the electrostatic sound in the market.