It’s so exciting-Stax SR-L700 MK2 with SRM-500T listening notes

I finally understand why the editor-in-chief has been addicted after hearing about Stax before, and said that he wanted to buy a set. Now I am also fascinated.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, most of the work of the editorial department moved to home. I have two children who are still studying. As soon as the school is closed, I have to talk about them every day and take care of them online. If I want to go to the company to audition, I only use it at night and on weekends. When I heard that Stax was delivered to the company, Ma uploaded a message to the editor-in-chief Zhiyu and said: I recognize this set of Stax. Alas, who knows whether the long-time editor-in-chief of Harbin Static Headphones will be the first to be the first. I don't want to run the company's listening equipment at night after being a nanny for a whole day.

I frankly said that when I claimed my job, I didn't think much about it. I just wanted to grab some equipment that could be auditioned at home. But when I took Stax home, day after day, day after day. After two weeks of getting along, I finally understood the editor-in-chief's heart. Because I really want to buy a set now.

The Stax headset and driver sent by the agent are all new products. The SR-L700 MK2 is a new version of the Stax mid-range headset SR-L700. The headset driver SRM-500T sent by the agent is also a new product launched only a month ago.

SR-L700 MK2 has changed the bracket and can change the cable

Stax SR-L700 MK2 is almost the same as SR-700, with the same data and specifications. It also adopts an elliptical diaphragm and push-pull electrostatic drive to produce sound. The back of the rectangular earmuffs is a fence-like open design, which is the classic design of Stax earphones. The ㄇ-shaped hard frame supports the structure of the entire headset, and the soft leather headwear is connected to the height-adjusting tenons on both sides. Although the SR-L700 MK2 is not heavy, it only weighs 371 grams without the headphone cable, but the wider head wear disperses the downward pressure when wearing it. Even if it is worn for a long time, it does not feel heavy and neck is sore.

So where is it changed? , First, Stax has changed the earphone bracket, which was originally a straight plastic bracket, and the SR-L700 MK2 has been changed to a metal bracket, which is more durable. Stax also made a small arc at the connection earmuffs. This change can make the earphones more comfortable when wearing.

Second, Stax changed the SR-L700 MK2 headphone cable to a interchangeable design this time. This is not for you to change the cable for tuning, but to avoid sending it to the factory for maintenance if any antenna material encounters an accident in the future, just buy a new headphone cable and everything will be done. Stax headphone cables are not a business, no one is willing to do it, but Stax has to take into account the needs of customers. This interchangeable line design can be regarded as a great sincerity from the original factory.

SRM-500T with dual FET and vacuum tube hybrid DC amplification

The electrostatic headphone driver SRM-500T delivered with it was also hotly released. The original factory only officially shipped the SRM-006tS at the end of April this year. After 11 years, the SRM-006tS was finally discontinued. The input stage of SRM-500T uses dual FET field-effect crystals as the first-stage amplification. The original manufacturer also pointed out that the FETs used are their customized products with excellent specifications and extremely low noise. The output stage is a vacuum tube hybrid DC amplifier circuit, using a pair of 6FQ7/ 6CG7 vacuum tubes. Due to the high temperature, many heat dissipation holes are deliberately dug out on the top cover of the machine. There is no cross-connection of capacitors in the signal path to maintain the purity of the sound.

Low-voltage circuit winding makes the sound more advanced

The internal circuit of SRM-500T is redesigned and the layout is completely different from SRM-006tS. Especially the power supply is redesigned. In addition to the power transformer for high-voltage circuits, SRM-500T has a new transformer with low-voltage circuit windings. Compared with the previous generation SRM-006tS, this additional low-voltage winding can improve power supply efficiency, reduce power loss, and improve overall sound performance.

The SRM-500T has a solid chassis, just like other Stax headphone drivers. The bottom structure uses non-magnetic aluminum alloy to help suppress vibration and shield noise. The sound control uses Alps's dual-axis volume control, which is divided into two sections, which are turned together, and the volume of the left and right channels can be adjusted at the same time. The volume of the left and right channels can be adjusted at the same time, and the volume can be adjusted separately. There are two sets of 5 pin headphone outputs on the front panel, allowing you to connect up to two sets of headphones at the same time. There are one set of XLR and RCA input terminals, and there is also a set of RCA straight-through output, which is called RCA parallel output from the factory. If an amplifier is connected, the signal source before SRM-500T can also be integrated. Into the sound system.

The day after I moved Stax home, I set up the entire system on my work desk. The front end is equipped with Audiobyte Black Dragon DAC, the turntable part includes Audio Aero Prima and Macbook Pro digital output for Black Dragon for decoding, and then sent to Stax SRM-500T with a balanced cable to drive SR-L700 MK2. When the earphones are not in use, they are hung on the original HPS-2 earphone holder. This headphone stand is made of wood and solid wood from Hokkaido, which is elegant and beautiful.

Not Headphone but Earspeaker

I like what the original factory calls my own headphones. Stax does not call their electrostatic earphones a headset, but instead calls them earspeaker, which I will translate as "on-ear speakers". Although this is the headset, the name of the original factory speaks a meaning beyond the definition. Stax’s electrostatic earphones are fully open, and the outside of the earmuffs are only protected by metal barriers, so the sound can be completely exposed. Coupled with the characteristics of electrostatic headphones, SR-L700 MK2 sounds very open, very direct and very transparent.

Pure and transparent, natural and loose

With the vacuum tube driver SRM-500T, the sound sent by the SR-L700 MK2 is pure and transparent, natural and loose. The mid-to-high frequency is its strength, perhaps the help of the vacuum tube. I heard a slightly warm tone, which is extremely pleasing. The warmth of the vacuum tube blends the purity of the sound of electrostatic headphones, bringing rich colors and moist texture, with rich details but no noise. The response speed of SR-700 MK2 is fast, but the sound is not crisp and tough. On the contrary, it is more soft and flexible, a little soft, a little elastic, and it sounds very comfortable. With the combination of SRM-500T, the sound of SR-L700 MK2 is really full of musicality.


There is a lot of information but no irritability, the texture is meticulous and still has thickness

This kind of tonality, to me, a lover of classical music, is really appetizing. Listen to the Franck Violin Sonata performed by Renaud Capcon and Khatia Buniatishvili. At the beginning of the first movement, the piano plays the introductory theme gently and intermittently, and then the violin plays the complete theme in a tune. When I listened to this song, it was midnight, and the surroundings were quiet and the piano floated out. The atmosphere was really good. Stax SR-L700 MK2 does not have any sound insulation effect at all. You can clearly hear the surrounding movement when you wear headphones, as if you were not wearing headphones. The SR-L700 MK2 allows music to blend into the air and space, giving people a sense of time and space.

Capcon's piano sound is full of poetry, not sharp, but clear and three-dimensional. The rich information builds up the texture, color and shape of the sound. Whenever we describe the sound of the sound with rich details and high resolution, it mostly leads us in the direction of frizzy and blunt associations. This seems to be our common experience, but on the electrostatic earphone system of Stax, although the amount of information I get is rich, there is no noise at all. On the contrary, the texture is soft and the lines are smooth. Those faint ups and downs, subtle information, are all presented with a sense of reality on the side. That's why I said that it gives me a sense of being immersed in the environment and being mistaken in time and space.

The beauty lies in the phonology, which is extremely beautiful. Franck’s song is romantic and affectionate and poetic. The version performed by Capcon and Buniatishvili is especially poetic. Listening to the third movement with a fantasy temperament, Buniatishvili played the hazy and gloomy chords of Franck, the violin narrated the emotional verses calmly, and listened to the violin's fast coherent notes, accompanied by the piano semitones descending, the whole person's emotions All were affected and involved in the whirlpool created by Franck. As for the tender cannon at the beginning of the fourth movement, the violin leads the piano to dance due to the pas de deux, and the mood is completely different from that of the third movement. When the music goes to the middle and late stages, the mood is more exciting and more energetic. At the end of the movement, there is a joyous and exciting and loud ensemble. The piano not only retains the crystal clearness, but also retains a warm and moist texture, while the violin is both meticulous and thick. The SR-L700 MK2 can not only express the rich and long aftertaste of the piano, but also express the liveliness and passion quickly.

The levels are clear and intertwined, and they can show their momentum even when they are refined.

Replaced with a large-scale orchestra, the sound of the SR-L700 MK2 is open, allowing the various parts of the orchestra to be opened, and the complex composition of the music can be clearly presented. Listen to Jiri Belohlavek conducting the "Mordao River" in Smetana's "My Motherland" of the Czech Philharmonic. At the beginning of the music, it is a tributary flowing from the upper reaches. The flute and the clarinet each represent a tributary, gradually The ground, gradually, gathered together, and the violin with the sound of the sound was decorated with plucking. When the two tributaries meet and the water becomes strong, the string music is dominated by bass strings first and then joined together. With rich strings and fluid melody, it spreads out of the Mordau River and crosses the mountains, and the French Horn blows out the stream. The hint of the forest. The rolling melody of those layers is really beautiful. Stax SR-L700 MK2 resolves the beautiful stage and voice, with clear layers, but blending with each other. The music shifted to a two-time polka dance, which was a wedding in a village by the river. SR-L700 MK2 shows the richness of bass strings, and there is no problem of weakness.

Next is the Mordau River in the night. The flute and clarinet are accompanied by the violin, playing the river water under the moonlight, and the harp is dotted with sparkling waves. As the sun rises, the theme of the Mordau River reappears, and the music gets more and more intense. At this time, it enters a narrow river valley. The turbulent water flows under the whistling of the piccolo, the percussion of the cymbals, and the rapid and powerful string Out of a tense atmosphere. This powerful ensemble of the orchestra depicts the turbulent currents. The SR-L700 MK2 is not cramped when playing this piece of music. The sound is wide and open. The music is still majestic, but it can maintain a gentle and meticulous style. Can electrostatic headphones not perform the unison of large-scale orchestral music? No, SR-L700 MK2 said no, but it has its accent, it has its tricks.

The vocal image is clear, the vocal details are full, the singing expression is full

After getting along for two weeks, I listened a lot, not just these two songs. Here I would like to mention its performance in non-classical music. As I said before, I was heartbroken for the advantages Stax showed when playing classical music; this does not mean that it cannot be used to listen to other non-classical music. I appreciate its aliveness when playing jazz. For example, when listening to Sarah Vaughan’s 1982 Paris concert, this INF released recording has a great sense of presence. Taking the song "Wave" as an example, it’s on the piano and drum kit. With soft accompaniment, Sarah Vaughan sang this classic old song, both singing and reading a love letter. Her voice is clear and three-dimensional, and the details of the vocalization are rich but not messy, intertwined with an organic voice. Listening to the singing that is full of ups and downs, in the melody, in the volume, in the expression, it has been wailing. Listening to the piano's crystal clear, solid particles, it is especially charming when it is played to the high pitch; the fine sound of the drum set speaks out the benefit of the rich information of the electrostatic headphones.

Static headphones also see full sound quality

Let's play rock music? In terms of impact force, the electrostatic diaphragm is different from the moving coil monomer in structure and principle, and the sound characteristics are different, which cannot be viewed together. But to be fair, in terms of electrostatic headphones, the performance of the SR-L700 MK2 has been quite splendid. Let me take the Lou Reed Live-Take No Prisoners album released by Lou Reed in 1978 as an example. This album is not so much Lou Reed's live performance, as it is Lou Reed's talk show. Speaking or speaking or singing, Lou Reed's voice is always full, with clear voice lines and clear words. The music of the orchestra, whether it is an electric guitar, keyboard, bass or drum kit, is full of sound. It's hard to imagine, isn't it? Although the sound of the SR-L700 MK2 is highly transparent, the mid-range still maintains a fairly good thickness after analysis, with a little warmth. The full bass is deep and rich, and the bass drum is slammed. Will that bass sound be enough? I don't think it at all. If you don't believe me, go and listen to "Street Hassle" and "Coney Island Baby".

Listening to the dummy head recording is especially enjoyable

Around the end of the 1970s, Lou Reed became fascinated by Dummy Head recordings. This album was the best recording in those years. With the atmosphere of live recordings, it became more prominent under the blessing of Binaural recordings. . Dummy Head recording is actually more suitable for listening on headphones than ordinary recording. Headphones are not like speakers, which form a virtual sound field and image through the reflected sound and time phase of the space. It is difficult to reconstruct the sense of space on the stage when restoring general recordings. This is why I try to avoid mentioning the sound field when writing reviews of headphones. However, we can still compare that some headphones reproduce music more concentratedly, while others can push out more discrete spaces. Stax's electrostatic headphones are good at the latter, and the SR-L700 MK2 is the best among them. Playing such Binaural recordings, electrostatic headphones are even more convenient and sound, with outstanding sound effects. On the other hand, this album has also become more exciting to the SR-L700 MK2.

Whenever the agent submits a review of Stax electrostatic headphones, they will bring along a few Dummy Head recordings released by Stax in their own collection. The purpose is also for this, Binaural recording allows the human body to experience the beauty of earphone listening.

Just describing the sound, I think it is not enough to say the surprise that Stax SR-700 MK2 and SRM-500T bring to me. Because no matter how I say this sound, you have to listen to it in the end to understand what I mean by transparent, clear, and clean. What is also called delicate, natural and loose. And for the definition of those adjectives, everyone has their own logic. And what I can describe in words is nothing more than that.

Help me discover the truth about musical instruments

I want to share an interesting experience with you, which happened when I listened to the collection of Beethoven's piano concertos performed by Robert Levin's piano and Eliot Gardiner directed by the Romantic Revival Orchestra. Through the Stax SR-L700 MK2 and SRM-500T system, I discovered things that I had never noticed in the past.

Robert Levin plays the clavichord on this album, and the piano used for each piece is different. The structure of harpsichord is slightly different from that of modern pianos. The hammers are lighter and the movement distance of striking the strings is shorter, so the dynamics are smaller than that of modern pianos. In addition, the sound of the piano is relatively short and the end finishes quickly. The sound has a little metallic tone. The treble is short and clear like a bell, and the midrange is gentle and round. The bass is not as heavy as a modern piano, but has a little hum. When playing piano works from the second half of the 18th century and even the beginning of the 19th century, the claviod has a graceful charm that cannot be expressed by modern pianos. Robert Levin, the scholar pianist, chooses different clavichords according to the age and style of the music. I listened to this album again on the Stax system this time, and I felt completely different from the past.

I listen to the music on Tidal. I don't have a physical CD in my hand, and Tidal didn't elaborate on this album. When I listened to this concerto again this time, when I heard the fifth "Emperor", I suddenly realized that the piano was different. Go back and check the previous four songs, and it turns out that Robert Levin uses different pianos. The sound of No. 1 and No. 2 is more crisp and lively, the sound of No. 5 is more gentle and steady, and No. 4 is different from them, and seems to be somewhere in between. After detailed investigation, it is found that the fifth is the Lagrassa violin made in 1812, the first and second are imitated from the reproduction of the 1790s, and the fourth is the famous American luthier Paul McNulty imitating 1805. Clavician produced in Vienna in the year. Interesting, it's so interesting. Stax led me to discover details that I had never noticed in the past. Have you been led by audio equipment to discover something you have never heard before? That kind of unbearable joy and excitement is what I want to tell you. If there is a Stax system, I am afraid there will be big discoveries every day.

It's so exciting

About Stax SR-L700 Mk2 and SRM-500T, I will stop here. I am not very impressed with SR-L500 and SR-L300, but I am deeply impressed with SR-009. SR-009 is one of the best earphones I have heard. It retains the transparency of electrostatic earphones, but has low-frequency bounce power close to dynamic performance. Listening to SR-009 is an unforgettable experience. This time I spent a long time with the SR-L700 MK2. I have to say that compared to the SR-009, the SR-L007 MK2 is more in line with our traditional impression of electrostatic headphones, and its color, gradation, and detail performance in the middle and high frequencies. , Among the dynamic headphones with the same price, it is hard to see a comparable one. In the mid-bass range, its pure texture and slightly soft low frequency fully demonstrates the beauty of balance when listening to classical music. The vacuum tube charm brought by SRM-500T spreads the beauty of rich texture and makes this combination reveal a fascinating musicality. The combination of SR-L700 Mk2 and SRM-500T is a perfect match!

Want to buy. After just listening to Debussy's "Bega Musk Suite" played by Nikolai Lugansky, I was very excited about it. It seems that I should learn the editor-in-chief first, pack things and send them back to the company as soon as possible. Remember later, Stax will send it, don't listen to it.