STAX: Vintage better value than modern?

I’d be interested in your opinion of the relative merits of the SRM-001, SRM-252 II and SRD-X energisers and specifically, whether upgrading to the SRM-252 II from either of the others would yield significantly improved audio performance. I ask because I’m thinking about ‘rationalising’ my current Stax kit; SR-001MkII and SR-Lambda Pro/SRD-X.

By upgrading from the SR-001MkII to the SRS-005 II, I’d retain most of the portability of the former and also have the option of plugging in the SR-Lambda Pro’s, assuming they’re compatible - I’m guessing that the Lambda Pro isn’t that great a departure from the SR-202 Basic, albeit, they’re separated by a decade or so. Any wisdom you could share on this matter would be gratefully received.

The SRD-X energiser is sonically, despite the passage of years, one of the most musically satisfying energisers STAX made at entry level. The problem is though that spares are almost non-existent and sooner or later the unit will fail. During the interim though, sonically the RM252 II is a little faster, a little cleaner, slightly tighter on the bass and with a greater sense of presence. Upgrading to this would be a noticeable but not a shattering improvement.

You are correct in that the SR-202 is not real improvement over the Lambda Pros and in fact in some ways inferior. In close A/B comparisons against the latest 404 earspeakers (just one down from the Omega-2 earspeakers) fully functioning Lambda Pros stand up well. Upgrading your earspeakers, given the circumstances you have outlined, does not seem a sensible move currently.

in summary then, changing at this stage within the proposed budget would be for convenience primarily rather than substantial sound quality. Personally speaking, if you want to be blown off your feet, try your Lambda Pros into the outstanding (but now discontinued) STAX SR-717 Class A energiser. As close to the ultimate as can be achieved at ‘reasonable’ money and yes, some of my customers preferred it to the much more expensive Omega-2 full system.

Howard Popeck

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