Stax Lambda Nova Classic system Headphones

4.8/5 (5 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bert majoor a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
after a burn-in period of 500 hours! and always powered on,the sound is stunning with my marantz cd17mkII(mute-transistors removed). very musical and superb emotional involvement. more dynamic and 'real' sounding as srs-4040 system,with more strong and deep bass,smoother highs and less colouring. excellent soundstaging and layering. very precise placement of instruments and voices. what more can I say? the best headphone system for the money(and above)! If it was possible I give it 6 stars!!

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   penhold nl



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bent A Iversen a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is actually not a review of the Stax Classic system, but an explanation of (in my experience) the difference between the Classic and the almost twice as expensive Signature set.

Here are the current equivalent Norwegian prices:
STAX Signature - $1800
STAX Classix - $1100
STAX Basic - $700

MOST IMPORTANT TECHNICAL DIFFERENCES:
1. The Classic has only one "Pro" output. This means that if you want to listen simultaneously with your friend/wife/colleague or whatever you should consider the Signature which has two. But you must ofcourse buy another headset (costs about $400). The Classic does however have an extra non-Pro output, so if you have an old set of Stax's you can use them.

2. The Classic has got only RCA inputs and outputs. The Signature also has a balanced (XLR) inputs. So if you need to use XLR you must buy the Signature. I doubt if there is any significant loss in sound quality between XLR or RCA. Provided, ofcourse, that you use high quality interconnects.

3. The Classic does not have Tube amplifiers, so they don't need to warm up over several hours to give their best. Nice if you are in a hurry, or use it only occasionally.

DIFFERENCES IN SOUND:
STAX headphones, or Earspeaker as STAX calls them, are of course untouchable in terms of absolute sound quality, so I will not comment on the sound other than it is truly exceptional with extremely deep bass, crisp and detailed mids and as airy and delicate treble as you could want.

The Classic is a tiny bit crisper than the Signature, perhaps due to the tubes vs. solid state. So it effectively seem more detailed than the Signature, although the Signature actually might resolve more detail. I am not sure about this, since I have not heard a difference in resolution myself. Bass is also a little stronger on the Classic, again this might be relating to the tubes.
All in all, in my opinion, this means that you should buy the Signature if you listen to acoustic-based music, fx classical music, jazz, and so on. And if you listen mainly to "electronic" music as rock, pop and such you might prefer the Classic. And consequently save about 700 dollars which you can spend on a better source or Interconnect.
(or god forbid - more music?)

I have listened extensively to both the Classic and the Signature sets, and also the Basic set. In comparison to its more expensive brothers, the Basic has quite a bit more "in a can" sound, less bass and not so controlled and airy treble. The Basic itself, ofcourse, is also very good, but I will recommend anyone who's into serious headphones to consider the Classic which is not that much more expensive considering what you get.

PECULIARITIES WITH STAX HEADPHONES:
Yes, they are very strange animals the STAX, apart from being strikingly ugly they also have a few peculiarities worth mentioning:

1. Do not parther them with cheap electronics!
The STAX is so revealing and transparent that they scream if partnered with bad sorces or interconnects. An extreme example is my current set-up in which I have a Stax Classic (about $1100), Wireworld GoldEclipse3 interconnect (about $2000/1m), and a Denon DCD725 cd player ($199 five years ago). The Gold Eclipse is supposed to be one of the most revealing and transparent cables available today for any price, and needless to say, it sounded quite horrible. I could actually hear lots of the Jitter that everyone fears, distortions, clicks (?) and and other sounds that was not supposed to be there. When I substituted the Gold Eclipse with a $60 audioquest interconnect, most of the errors were smoothed out, but the whole setup sounded very dull. Though still miles better than many very good loudspeaker setups, believe it or not. I am saving up for a high-end CD player as fast as I can.

2. They need at least a couple of weeks of burning-in on low volume before they come near to Peak Performance. Many people neglect this and subsequently think that the STAX' are no good.

3. Since they are a fully open design, sound leaks both out of and into the STAX. This means that you can't hear a lot of the finesse and detail if you listen in an noisy environment.
Likewise, if you are listening in a silent environment, people near you can hear much of the sound. This is not a big problem, but if it is for you, you might consider the Grado RS1 instead.

All in all, the STAX is a shortcut into Hi-Fi Nirvana!
If you are a serious audiophile with a limited budget, you should get a Stax and a very good interconnect. You rarely need more than half a metre and thus can afford a much better IC than if you had to buy it for a loudspeaker setup. Then you get the best source you can afford.

Now you have a system that you can listen to when you want and as loud as you want, since it does not bother anyone around you. There is no need for a dedicated sound-isolated listening room, and you dont need a large area so place humungous loudspeakers and amplifiers on.

The only disadvantage is of course the fact that they are headphones, and you have limited freedom of movement while you are listening (although STAX provides you with a 2.5 metre cable, and extension lenghts are available).

One hot tips if you are on a budget is to try the YBA CD Special, which can be had for about $700 which equals the price difference between Classic and Signature!
It is shockingly good for the money, and complements the STAX with a wonderfully airy, rythmic and detailed sound.

Highly recommended!!!

System used:
Stax Classic headphones
WireWorld Gold Eclipse III interconnect (Expensive)
Audioquest Topaz interconnect (Cheap)
Denon DCD-725 cd player

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Lyric Hi-FI



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed strelow a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 15, 2000

Bottom Line:   
see above

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ed Strelow a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Excellent phones for serious listener of classical and acoustic music, also good for DVD's. I wish more recording studios would use electrostatic headphones for monitoring. This type of headphone is expensive but will sound much better than speakers costing many times more and is especially useful if, like me, the family rarely gives you the peace or quiet to enjoy a speaker system. Very happy when used with my CEC 5100Z belt-drive CD player and Sony DVD player. My wife and I are able to sit down and watch noisy and/or R-rated movies after the kids go to bed. The sound is impressive and the dialogue is much more intelligible than through my speaker system. I suspect that if more movie enthusiasts heard good 2-channel headphone reproduction, they would be less inclined to buy surround sound speaker systems.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Allan Mok a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 17, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I like to enjoy music through headphone during midnight. I am now using two different headphone systems. One of them is Stax Lambda Nova Classic system including Lambda Nova Classic headphone and SRM-3 driver. It is a very good system. Some hi fi enthusiasts think that Stax's products are very expensive. Stax have some reasonably priced models. Weighted with its sound quality and comfort, I can say Classic system is one of the best buy. The merit of Stax's models is they are come with headphone amplifer(stax says driver unit). These driver units are prefectly matched with their so called "earphone". I have Sennhiser 600. It is marvellous but you have to match it with a good amplifer which may be very expensive. If you like to use headphone and do not want to spend too much. Try to get a Stax's classic system or the basic system. If you are willing to pay more. Try their tube powered models.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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