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mjcovher
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Old Stax SR-7 headphones -how to amplify for computer audio use?

I have a pair of Stax SR-7 electrostatic headphones "earspeakers". They have been out of service for a few years in my main sound room, I'm not even certain that they are good as new but I seized on the idea of using these once great headphones for computer audio. The question I have is, how do I properly drive them? I do have a BK ST-140 amplifier available but I need a DAC and a headphone amp/pre-amp.

The Audioquest Dragonfly is one possibility I've been considering but for my situation I'm not sure it would be usable. I am now looking at the NuForce Icon HDP headphone amp/DAC and wondering if this would be a worthy investment or perhaps I should give up on the Stax concept and invest the money in new headphones more appropriate for computer audio.

Anyway, I'd love to use these headphones again but it's been a few years since they've been in action. Using two items I already have, the BK amp and the Stax does have a good feel however.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

MJC

JoeE SP9
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Stax

Try the Dragonfly driving the B&K. Connect the Stax energizer to the B&K and you'll be good to go. That's what I'd do.

mjcovher
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Correction - Stax Model SR-5 w/SRD-7/SB Energiser

Sorry, I got my details wrong in the original posting. 

Any thoughts about integrating my Stax SR-5 Earspeakers w/SRD-7/SB Energiser into a computer audio system?  I need for sure a usb DAC and a preamp.  Would the B&K ST-140 Amplifier I have work well in this system?

Thank you for any advice you can lend.

LyleHughes
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MJC, Sounds like you could

MJC,

Sounds like you could either get a DAC and preamp or just opt for a nice USB soundcard to do both.

What's your budget? Lot's of options out there the better ones being by Prism, Apogee, Benchmark, Lavery, etc...

mjcovher
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Price Range

I am in the $600 price range at the moment.  The AudioQuest Dragonfly USB DAC w/amp is getting mentioned by some people but portability is not really an issue for me - The Dragonfly is the size of a USB memory stick and I would think ideally suited for laptops, plus I don't know if it is a good match for use with a Stax electrostatic "ear speaker".  I was looking at the NuForce Icon HDP headphone amp/USB DAC as well as the Schitt Bifrost DAC but we are talking more money here ... I think. 

JoeE SP9
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connections

A headphone amp is not what you need. There is a reason Stax headphones don't plug directly into a standard 1/8" headphone jack. A headphone amp doesn't have enough output power to drive Stax headphones. That's why they have an energizer that is connected directly to speaker level connections. 

You need:

1. A USB DAC to convert the signal from your PC to an analog signal.

2. An amplifier (not a headphone amp) with a volume control and at least several watts output to drive the Stax energizer.

Or: You could run the output from the Dragonfly directly into your ST-140. Connect the Stax energizer to the speaker connections on the B&K and use the analog volume control on the Dragonfly (through the computer) to control volume.

IMO, a Dragonfly is the most cost effective and probably among the best sounding of your alternatives.

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