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post #1366 of 24765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
The PS caps are massive too. "I like!" (Borat impression)
Those are Black Gate WKZs. Probably the best available electrolytic power supply caps. Some gigantic automotive teflon caps would probably sound better, but they'd take up pretty much that entire case in terms of real estate.
post #1367 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
It looks like I'll be getting a defective set of Marantz stats' to restore soon
Ah, so that was you. Congrats, you wanted 'em way more than i did.

There's a chance that there isn't a thing wrong with 'em and they just need to charge up for a half hour or so. I mean nothing wrong with them but shoddy construction.

Quote:
That will work. You can get the plug from Allied Elec. and it is the exact same part.
Yeah, it looks like I'm gonna be ordering connectors from allied. Last night i tried to free the connectors from my worthless extension cord, and, well, the bakelite is extremely brittle.
post #1368 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by derekbmn View Post
And so is the 313...

With Class AB amps (to the transformers) I experienced the same things he disliked - A lack of dynamic range , and less air surrounding vocals and instruments. The same can be said with SS preamps in the chain.
What's funny is that Kevin Gilmore says he likes his SS amp better than his Blue Hawaii.
post #1369 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
Those are Black Gate WKZs. Probably the best available electrolytic power supply caps. Some gigantic automotive teflon caps would probably sound better, but they'd take up pretty much that entire case in terms of real estate.
Heh... I found a site selling 100microFarad ones for $130 each
post #1370 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Heh... I found a site selling 100microFarad ones for $130 each
Yeah they're not cheap. I'll eventually get a quad for the KGSS I'm building....but not for awhile
post #1371 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
I also understand that $3-4.000 electrostatic amplifiers never will be any vendors best seller. Their lowest priced unit will most probably take that place. With "masses" I mean a bit more than 10/12 units, but certainly not mass-production in 100's of units.

But I just think it would be more time efficient to construct and fine tune one really good amplifier, then spend more time building that amplifier. Than to constantly construct new amplifiers (one after another), and spend less time building them...
The Aristaeus is not a $4000 amplifier. Justin realized that during the year he spent finishing the design. If he had known going in what the end product would cost him in terms of parts and time, the price would likely have been in the $6000-$8000 range. However, he honored his original price by reducing his profit significantly. His return on his investment was much lower than it should have been.

There is actually very little economics of scale in building a high-end amp. In order to build more amps, the builder has to buy more parts and invest more time. You do reach a point where you know which parts to buy, and how to build the amp efficiently, but all of the top amps are hand-built in the end, and there's a limit to how much you can shave parts costs without affecting quality. The low parts quantity does not allow for much leverage with parts suppliers, unless you can combine parts with other projects to make some large orders. And chassis suppliers are a nightmare unto themselves, almost regardless of quantity. But the same limited market that's not going to buy in quantity means that unless you've sold out the production run in advance, you've got a lot of parts and effort (read: money) sitting on a shelf waiting for a customer.

Tying up large sums of money in amps sitting on a shelf can kill a small operation (and also larger ones). They simply can't do a production run and wait to sell the amps, unless they've got some serious capital investment behind the company. Most of the people building headphone amps simply don't have that kind of resources. Yes, it would be more efficient to fine-tune and build a larger production run (assuming that your customers all want exactly the same thing, which they normally don't).

I'm sure if you were willing to provide the backing capital, any of the companies who build electrostatic amps (and probably some that normally don't) would be happy to do it. If the amps sell quickly, you might see a nice return on your investment. If the amps don't sell rapidly, or don't sell at all, just how long would you be able to go without return on that investment? Would you be able to lose money if the product didn't sell enough to cover costs? That's the kind of question an amp builder has to ask himself before even starting a project.
post #1372 of 24765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkpowder View Post
Heh... I found a site selling 100microFarad ones for $130 each
100mF is quite a dollop of capacitance, though. Most signal path capacitors are within an order of magnitude or two of a picofarad.


Now an 100mF silver/paper/oil cap would be interesting...
post #1373 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
100mF is quite a dollop of capacitance, though. Most signal path capacitors are within an order of magnitude or two of a picofarad.


Now an 100mF silver/paper/oil cap would be interesting...
Those arent' signal path caps...they are for the PS. At least the BGs in the pic, if that's what you're talking about.
post #1374 of 24765
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrice View Post
Those arent' signal path caps...they are for the PS. At least the BGs in the pic, if that's what you're talking about.
Read what I wrote again. What kind of cracked out circuit would use 100mF caps in the signal path?
post #1375 of 24765
Hirsch. That pretty well explains it.
Justin (HeadAmp) don't want to produce any more of his Aristaeus amplifier, because he would either not earn anything (if he sell them for $4,000) or have to ask 50-100% more ($6-8,000) than for the first batch.

Then to prevent the same thing from happening with the Blue Hawaii SE he limit the production to 10 units. So he would not risk taking orders for 50 units and perhaps not break even on costs vs. sales once more...
Thats understandable!


Thanks a lot for clarifying!
post #1376 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
Those are Black Gate WKZs. Probably the best available electrolytic power supply caps. Some gigantic automotive teflon caps would probably sound better, but they'd take up pretty much that entire case in terms of real estate.
The WKZ's are great. I'm probably going with 8 pieces in my Blue Hawaii redesign all bypassed with V-Caps. Couple that to some Tamura transformers and it will be a kick ass dual mono PSU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Ah, so that was you. Congrats, you wanted 'em way more than i did.

There's a chance that there isn't a thing wrong with 'em and they just need to charge up for a half hour or so. I mean nothing wrong with them but shoddy construction.
I didn't want them all that much but they will be easy to fix. It's most likely the copper bars that connect the stators that have corroded. They were made by Stax and use the same drivers as Realistic and Magnavox.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Yeah, it looks like I'm gonna be ordering connectors from allied. Last night i tried to free the connectors from my worthless extension cord, and, well, the bakelite is extremely brittle.
The bakelite is horrible but the trick is to use a powerful soldering iron and melt the solder through the hole in the pin. It takes a while though.
post #1377 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer
I didn't want them all that much but they will be easy to fix. It's most likely the copper bars that connect the stators that have corroded. They were made by Stax and use the same drivers as Realistic and Magnavox.
I only wanted 'em about $40 worth. I've bought a ton of cans lately and I want to get the ESP9 working before i get distracted by other mediocre 'stats.

It's been speculated that Stax intentionally did a poor job of attaching the driver to the front baffle. I was going to try putting a bead of permatex flowable silicone around the outer edge of the driver to make the mounting air-tight.

The flowable silicone is great because it will wick into small gaps where other silicones will just sit on top, and because if you screw up, it peels right off of nonporous surfaces. It's bonding ability is slight at best - it's just a sealant. Won't even lift flat paint off of MDF.

Great for rubberizing fabric and foam, too. A little more perminant in that situation.

Make sure you take lots of pictures for us

Quote:
The bakelite is horrible but the trick is to use a powerful soldering iron and melt the solder through the hole in the pin. It takes a while though.
Sounds like a job for my 800f wedge tip.

But after i get the connector loose, how do i get the business end of the connector off of the barrel of the connector without destroying it?
post #1378 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
I only wanted 'em about $40 worth. I've bought a ton of cans lately and I want to get the ESP9 working before i get distracted by other mediocre 'stats.

It's been speculated that Stax intentionally did a poor job of attaching the driver to the front baffle. I was going to try putting a bead of permatex flowable silicone around the outer edge of the driver to make the mounting air-tight.

The flowable silicone is great because it will wick into small gaps where other silicones will just sit on top, and because if you screw up, it peels right off of nonporous surfaces. It's bonding ability is slight at best - it's just a sealant. Won't even lift flat paint off of MDF.

Great for rubberizing fabric and foam, too. A little more perminant in that situation.

Make sure you take lots of pictures for us
My max was some 80$ but I'm an insane collector. :P The Marantz is a much better stat' then the ESP9 could ever be compared on the same amp. . The only vintage American stat' manufacturer that did something good was Suprex although they were far from perfect.

What Stax driver are you talking about? Stax made some obvious short cuts on the OEM stats while the SR-3 and SR-5 are much better. They were more expensive though but the Magnavox is a text book example how not to make an electrostatic headphone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Sounds like a job for my 800f wedge tip.

But after i get the connector loose, how do i get the business end of the connector off of the barrel of the connector without destroying it?
The barrel is glued on so put some force with a knives edge and it should break free.
post #1379 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer
The Marantz is a much better stat' then the ESP9 could ever be compared on the same amp.
And you paid only twice what i did for the ESP9.

Quote:
The only vintage American stat' manufacturer that did something good was Suprex although they were far from perfect.
Opinions vary a lot wrt low-end stats. I'll keep waiting for a Realistic HP-100 to show up.

Quote:
What Stax driver are you talking about? Stax made some obvious short cuts on the OEM stats while the SR-3 and SR-5 are much better. They were more expensive though but the Magnavox is a text book example how not to make an electrostatic headphone.
I was referring to speculation about why the Marantz SE-1S is arguably the worst of the Stax OEM cans. Specifically too much backwave leakage through the baffle and low-grade damping materials.


Quote:
The barrel is glued on so put some force with a knives edge and it should break free.
Yeah, that's what i was doing last night, and the bakelite that holds the pins together was breaking free, in small pieces. It was coming out of the barrel a little, but i was doing way too much damage.
post #1380 of 24765
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
And you paid only twice what i did for the ESP9.
I never compare the sound of my stats to what I paid for them. They are always compared on how good they sound. The ESP9 are pretty good for their age and a few mods might make them even better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Opinions vary a lot wrt low-end stats. I'll keep waiting for a Realistic HP-100 to show up.
The HP-100 is just another OEM Stax nearly identical to the Magnavox 1A9217. There have only been two makers of electrostatic headphones in the US, Suprex and Koss. The rest was OEM Stax or Micro Seiki.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
I was referring to speculation about why the Marantz SE-1S is arguably the worst of the Stax OEM cans. Specifically too much backwave leakage through the baffle and low-grade damping materials.
If I remember correctly they pushed the driver into place with the backwave foam but didn't really mount it properly. The SR-3 has a rubber ring under the driver and then it is compressed by two pieces of the housing. Proper mounting of the driver is the key to a great sounding headphone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Yeah, that's what i was doing last night, and the bakelite that holds the pins together was breaking free, in small pieces. It was coming out of the barrel a little, but i was doing way too much damage.
I have used pieces of plastic pipes for barrels and covered it with heatshrink and it came out ok.
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