From the 2006 archives: STAX DMA-X2. At last, an owner speaks candidly – Part 2 of 3

Dear Howard:

In this I would like to tell you my story about how I got a hold of them, because maybe it will be interesting for you and other Simply Stax readers and subscribers.

Now I have been looking for these for many years and of course the first time I saw and heard them, I could have just bought them.

This though was in 1990 and at Denmark’s Hi-Fi Club they at the time cost 102.000 Dkr. now although this was fairly cheap, in comparison to other countries, this was still a lot of money, especially in 1990. There this was not JUST something you bought and a price tag like that was simply out of my range.

Then about a year ago I entered Stax DMA-X2 into Google, just to see what came up. I didn't expect anything, as this was a very rare and special product, so it was a surprise to me that at that time, still 136 pages came up (now its over 200!).

The very first page that came up, was Savant Audio, from Princeton, NJ in the states. I have many times looked at their site, but as the price tag they had put on, was at 19.000 US$ I always thought that this was an old site and that it wasn't even worth the bother to even call them, because they'd probably laugh at me.

Instead I entered Audioweb and saw that there were some expired listings(four to be exact) of some earlier sales of the DMA-X2 around 1999 and 2000.

One of these had a phone number in the states and I thought that it was worth a try as I didn't really have any other options.

I got in contact with the guy that had them and he told me, that he didn't have them anymore, which of course was no surprise after 5 years or more, but that he could get them back if necessary.

I thought this was a little odd, because either you have them or you don't and if you sold them, I don't imagine that you just ask the fellow you sold them, just to hand them back again???

But maybe he borrowed them or something I didn't really care at the time, I was just thrilled to finally meet somebody that actually could get a hold of them.

He wanted 7000 US$ for them, which I at the time thought was quite expensive, considering their age.

But the biggest problem was exactly as you mention yourself, the power-supply.

He said that they were original 220 V models, but that(and the following maybe just me personal perception of his explanation), he had changed them into 100 V American models, by(and this is the subjective part), opening the amp and then cutting some wires and "Hot wiring" them or something like that and to me it sounded very suspicious, because I thought, that you don't just open the amp. and then amateur-wise, just make 220 V model into a 100 V model.

Of course later I have learned, from the owner where I finally bought as well as your site, that there are models that do have switches between the two voltages(some external and some internal, if I have understood you correctly)(My seller says that the switch on this model is inside the amp. although its not a problem, because they are original 220 V models(it says it on the back plate)).

Anyway this might have been what this American seller meant, but this was certainly not the way I perceived it, when he explained to me. It sounded a lot more like some homemade amateur idea, which probably could be done more or less easily on a 300 pound Sony amp. but NOT on an exclusive amp. like the DMA-X2.

Therefore because of this I pushed the American seller in price to 5000 US$ but He insisted on the 7000. I went up to 6000 and 6500, but at last he got so annoyed with me, that he didn’t want to talk to me, even when I later wanted to give him full price.

After many tries to get him to talk to me, without success I wondered what then to do.

I looked at the internet again and still this bugging page from Savant Audio came up and so as the were no other possibilities I thought ok why not try calling them, as you have exhausted every other possibility.

So I call them up finally and explained myself about that I had seen the amps for sale on their homepage and so although I Knew the page was not exactly from yesterday, I enquired them about the amp.

Well he says, call me tomorrow, because I seem to remember, that I have one pair still in the cellar...... AND MY HEART JUST BEGAN TO RACE AND THE BUTTERFLIES IN MY STOMACH JUST BEGAN TO ESCAPE BY THE THOUSANDS...REALLY SIR DO YOU REALLY THINK YOU HAVE A PAIR LEFT??? YES i BELIEVE I DO, SAID THE SALES MANAGER, BUT I NEED TO GO TO THE CELLAR TO LOOK, BUT I CAN'T DO THAT BEFORE WE CLOSE, HE SAID. SO YOU'LL HAVE TO CALL TOMORROW.

Next day I called with great great hope in my heart.

I am sorry, he said when I called him, we just sold them 3 weeks ago......NOOOOOO – ITS JUST NOT TRUE!!!!!!

But yes it was. He was eager to sell me other stuff, but I only wanted them.

Then at last I saw, that one could place an "Post to want it now" add on eBay and so the same day I went home and I wrote a full description of the amps.

Still months went by and the only answers I got, was from eBay themselves of whether or not I shouldn't change the content of the site, because nobody contacted me. I got so furious sometimes, because I thought it was an answer from someone, and then still the same old message.

But then one day I came home from work a day in may I think it was, THERE IT WAS!!! THE MESSAGE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.

I HAVE THE SAID DMA-X2, the message said in bad English. First I thought it was a prank, but some sent pictures, told me that I had finally come to end station. THEY WERE THE REAL THING IT WAS OBVIOUS. There were close up pics of the inside and the back plate, which was modified in gold, because I thought it was ugly and so he had it custom made.

The guy was from Hong Kong and he had the original Boxes from the store Golden String in Hong Kong, where he bought about 12 years ago. they are from 1993 or 1994 and are some of the latest models, before Stax closed down.

He has given me the original 60 transistors for one amp. in spare parts, which he apparently should have gotten from the new owner of STAX.

I heard them and saw them and they sound just as magnificent as they did then, maybe even better.


Right now I am in Hong Kong and have just made the deal two days ago and they are now on the way to Denmark with DHL and so I can't wait to listen to them in my own home.

I will write more later.

Sincerely

Thomas Lerche.

thomaslerche@hotmail.com