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HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Amp

Posted

Pros: amplifier porn to look at ;o)

Cons: you have to wait a while to get it, unless you buy it 2nd hand

About having to wait a while to get it is not that bad because I ordered mine August (1987) and it finally arrived yesterday (07/08/2012)... I got the Alps RK50 upgrade with it. Only jokingbiggrin.gif I ordered it last year because I was only 5 in "87" but anyways waiting a year isn't that bad because it's here now (it actually came 3 days earlybeerchug.gif). It's not that long to wait at all and in the mean time you can buy things to make the experience even better like a better CD player, D.A.C, cables, more CD's, a better rack and so on. It's best not to listen to every new thing for the first time "together" and I'll explain why if you like. For Anyways about the B.H.S.E getting hot that's nonsensemad.gif because it never gets too hot so that you're unable to put your hand on it (it's only just a little bit warm and I had mine on for something like 5 hours last night). At least that's how mine iswink.gif. The results will probably be different if you touched the tubes, valves or whatever those giant glass things are sticking out of the top of it but then again I wouldn't recommend that because that will probably damage it (via the oil from your skineek.gif). It might give you a mild burn as well but then again the amplifier is far more important than your puny skin so that's the least of my worriestongue.gif. I don't have much amplifier experience except my X-Can V3 and my Rudistor RP1000 MKII but the B.H.S.E slaughters them allbiggrin.gif. But then again I have to put the headphones I used with the amplifiers into consideration as welleek.gif. Anyway the only issue I had with my setup were some sounds were there but were FAR softer than what they were on my other setup (dynamic). Not all the sounds just one instrument or something. Maybe it's about time I upgraded my Linn Genki to a balanced sourceconfused.gif. Maybe a DAC (Berkley Alpha DAC Series 2) along with the new source will fix itconfused.gif. Maybe all that won't change a thing at all because maybe the song was meant to be like thatconfused.gifconfused.gif. Maybe the B.H.S.E lets me hear songs the way they were meant to be heardconfused.gif. Anyway when the amplifier arrived I went into an over excitement mode giggling and all that like a mad manL3000.gif. When I set it all up I let it burn in for about 70 minutes to heat up the tubes (I didn't know what the warm-up time wasconfused.gif) and while doing that I went on the internet to find that mystery number (it's apparently 2 minutes, when the other LED lights up Justin said). Anyway when I listened to it I listened to 48 CD's and I've never been through that many CD's in the one sittingbiggrin.gif (up to about 1:15 AM). Oh well there's another 260 something CD's to gobiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif.

That wasn't much of a review but I'll leave all that for the golden eared people with more experience with this sort of stuffredface.gif.

I'm going now back to my hermit lifestyle that the B.H.S.E has pushed me into. I should write a poem about thatetysmile.gif.

PS: As you can see I gave the design 4 and a half stars but yet said it was amplifier porn to look atconfused.gif. The reason for the 4.5 stars is because the SN: 52 (that's mine) is simply written on the back of it whereas I believe it should have been a little badge on the top right corner of the amplifier or something (as well as the P.S.U). That's just my opinion and maybe I'll make it myself or ask Justin to make 2 for me, post them to me and them stick them there somehow myself. The thing's on spikes as well and apparently spikes make the component vibration worse (I'll post the link to that story if you like) but that's not a problem because you can unscrew them with your hands (it's not like they're welded onto the bottom so you're stuck with them for lifebiggrin.gif). The only other problem with the design is even with the best photographs you still won't understand how beautiful it looks in real lifeksc75smile.gif. Oh yeah and with the price I put that's a good estimate of how much it cost me + shipping. Maybe it was $100 over thatconfused.gif. Oh well it doesn't matter.

-It's me again (Snake Eyes). About hearing certain sounds really softly it's all OK now and those sounds that I would previously barely hear are now there just as loudly as they are on my dynamic headphones and amplifiers. Why it's like that now and wasn't like that before I don't know but that doesn't matter. What matters is that it's all working flawlessly now.

The above bit in blue is the comment I made about my review and I decided to add it to the review because someone might not click on the comment and so doesn't see that the quiet sounds are now fixed and think "oh my gosh I'm not going to buy it now".

Posted

Fast, detailed, neutral... the epitome of "wire with gain"

Posted

Pros: Sound, build quality, envy factor

Cons: my wallet hurts...

...incredible! L3000.gif

HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Amp
Description:

The Blue Hawaii SE (BHSE) is based on a solid-state + tube hybrid design by Kevin Gilmore. A quad of EL34 tubes drives the electrostatic headphones. Physical Dimensions (in inches): - Amp chassis: 15.5" (width) x 12.5" (depth) x 3" (height). Attenuator adds 13/16" to the 12.5" depth and the RCA jacks add 11/16" more. Cone feet add 1 1/2" to the height and the stock Mullard EL34 tubes when installed add 3 3/4" more. - PSU chassis: 7 5/8" (width) x 12 3/8" (depth) x 3.5" (height). Cone feet add 1 1/16" to the height.

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Adjust Bias for the Vacuum Tubes (for tube-rolling)

 

Tools required: digital multimeter and trimpot adjustment tool (included with new BHSE amps), or another type of non-conductive screwdriver-type tool with a tiny flat-head.

 

Directions: Locate the trimpots, right by the tube base rings - there are 4 of them. Face down directly at the top of the amp to see them - they're gold in color and are slotted on the top. Bright direct lighting is advised to help see them.

 

  1. Let the amp warm up for at least two hours (maybe more, until it reaches full temperature).
  2. Place the probes of the multimeter between the + and - output for that channel (in the Stax socket diagram seen below, red in the + [positive] output, black in the - [negative] output) and adjust the back trimpot for 0 VDC.
  3. Now remove the black probe and connect it to the shell of an RCA socket on the back (aka ground) and adjust the front trimpot for 0 VDC.
  4. Repeat for the other channel.

 

Stax Pro-bias socket diagram:

 

stax-pro-bias-connector-schematic.png

 

Also important: make sure to note which tube socket you use for each of the 4 tubes! If you accidentally change sockets on a tube, you may need to re-bias the amp.

 

HeadAmp should have written down the tube sockets for the stock EL34s for example on each tube's box.

 

 

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