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Driving the TakeT H2

post #1 of 181
Thread Starter 
I'm definitely very interested in getting these, but they will necessitate a full revamp of my system, starting with an amp that can actually drive them.

I plan on using them with the TR2 transformer box, which means that I need some sort of speaker amp. I've heard that the TR2 can't be used with a tripath amp... Um... what's a tripath amp? And what kind of amp can I use with them?

And what would you recommend as an inexpensive speaker amp for driving these headphones? By inexpensive I mean $500-$1000, though if there's something that's cheaper that still manages to sound good I'm all ears. I prefer tube to solid state in the sense that the sooner I never have to listen to a solid state system, ever, in my life, the happier I will be. However, the H2 is rather bassy, so it will have to be a very clear sounding tube amp...
post #2 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post

I plan on using them with the TR2 transformer box, which means that I need some sort of speaker amp. I've heard that the TR2 can't be used with a tripath amp... Um... what's a tripath amp? And what kind of amp can I use with them?
Tripath is a company that provides chipsets for socalled "digital" switching amps.
Amps based on this technology are well known for driving the hard to drive K1000s decently.Combined ground like the Taket is a no-no, you'd fry the chip this way.
Quote:
And what kind of amp can I use with them?
Any amp that's suitable for combined ground.No balanced amps, unfortunately.
Since my old Marantz 2235B stopped working last week all working amps in my house are either balanced or Tripath based .......
Quote:
And what would you recommend as an inexpensive speaker amp for driving these headphones? By inexpensive I mean $500-$1000,
There are no new tube speaker amps in this price range where I live.They tend to be rather expensive.
The only tube amps I'm aware of in this price range are the nOrh SE9 and SE18.
You'd have to import them yourself from Thailand, no local service.
I've once auditioned a (tuberolled) nOrh SE9 in combination with the K1000s, and I did like it.
post #3 of 181
You could combine the H2&TR-2 with an older solid state speaker amp for quote little money. The NAD 3020 goes on eBay all the time for reasonable money and to the best of my knowledge it shouldn't have any issues with a bridged ground.

If you do buy the H2, it shouldn't be difficult to reterminate it to 4 pin XLR, the trickier part would be doing the same to the TR-2.
post #4 of 181
Thread Starter 
Bah, seems like this is a more expensive proposition than I originally intended. And I still need to decide between this and O2/KGSS. Thanks for the NAD pointer, a ss integrated is definitely the most ecomonical solution for the time being. I'll keep an eye out for the nOrh amp too.

I doubt I'd have the courage to rewire anything in an $800 transformer box or $1500 headphone. Probably blow myself up, too.
post #5 of 181
800 dollar transformer, 1500 dollar headphone, 1 grand for amp...you are getting closer and closer to the cost of Blue Hawaii + O2...
post #6 of 181
You don't need a 1 grand amp really, same as you dont with the K1000. You can connect an expensive headphone to a cheaper amp and then upgrade the amplifier when time and/or money permits.

Hell, depending on used integrated prices, the cheapest option would be to use 2 T-amps. And just utilise one channel from each.

If I didn't have the comparatively low power needs of the Ergo AMT to deal with, id get rid of my little tube amp and move to a NAD 3020 or similar. The only reason I mention the 3020 specifically is because its well known, well regarded and generally cheap.

If I were in your position and deciding between the TakeT setup adn the Stax setup, I would go for the TakeT.However we are all aware of my opinions and that I have not actually heard the O2 from a ball grabbing amp like the KGSS or KGBH.

If only you were in Europe.
post #7 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
If only you were in Europe.
His options would suddenly be as limited as yours

Its rather weird, the KGSS is a widely supported amp but there is not a single review of it in existence, and I can't find anyone that has one in his setup! There is little bits and pieces I had to sift this forum for to do this...

Also, there is a number of Chinese speaker amplifiers sitting on the ebay market that could potentially be used, and the lovely audiogon forums. If anything, getting a tube amp there should be very doable for the $1000 budget.
post #8 of 181
"If only you were in Europe."

That way I could let you hear/loan you the set I have. Find out if its what you are after without gambling the money. They should be with cosmopragma tomo or Friday if they aren't already there. I'm looking forward to his report on how the RKV copes with their massive load.
post #9 of 181
Thread Starter 
Man, I'd give a non-regeneratable bodily appendage to live in Europe, and it has nothing to do with being able to hear more headphones (though that's always a plus ). However, at least for the present, I'm tied to this infernal place. I can't make it out to a meet reliably either, so I have to pester people with these inane threads.

The O2/KGSS or possibly Woo GES and the H2/TR2/speaker amp are my main options at the moment. I think I'd prefer the H2 based on the descriptions, but of course not having heard either I can't really say. All I know is that if one doesn't do it for me I'll try the other, and hope it all works out.

I say H2 because electronic music occupies an increasingly bigger share of my listening time (75%) and I think the H2's better slam/impact will make it more satisfying in the long run. The 404 has a very nice open sound with great detail and instrument separation, but it doesn't have the bass slam or the dynamic range, and the treble needs to settle down. I guess my ideal headphone would be something with an SR-003-like tonal balance, though more extension at either end, SR-404-like soundstage and detail, and ES2-like slam and impact.

More specifically, I want to hear each and every instrument or electronic sample perfectly spatially separated and presented as their own entity (the 404 is good at this). I want a realistic tone and tembre but slightly saturated tone color (the K340 does this brilliantly IMO). I want driving, toe-tapping impact and dynamic range (something that neither the 404 nor the HD650 can do, but the ES2 and to a lesser extent the K340 do this well). Then, I want a somewhat lush, mellifluous veneer cast over the music that makes it a bit more, well, musical, vivid and engaging, sort of like listening to music with a few drinks in your system as opposed to listening stark sober - not quite enough to mask detail or skew the tonal balance out of all proportion, but enough to give it that extra magic. This, from my experience, is what the HE90 does - presents everything accurately enough to not jar you out of the sonic illusion, but overlay it with a layer of velvety lushness. The ES2 does this too, which is why it's my favorite at the moment. The K340 would do this too, but its treble is out of control, on my pair in any case, which basically kills any long-term enjoyment I get out of it. It still makes for a very nice, engaging and somewhat rowdy listen. It also needs very loud volumes to shine, which my ears are less and less able to tolerate. The HD600, in the right system, hints at this potential as well, but it's far too slow and undetailed in any system that I have at my disposal to consider it a primary contender.

I think the H2 is closer to this than the O2, but I guess I'll know eventually. By the end of the summer I'll have one system or another at my doorstep. I was not too far away from being able to afford an HE90, but seeing how latest pairs are selling for $8k or more, I'll have to wait a few years.

Anyway, that's the situation, as if anybody cares

Erm... I'll have to look up intergrated solid-state amps for the time being. The 3020 sounds like a good place to start.
post #10 of 181
Can I use the following in my sig? LOL

Seriously, that's a great description of what great sound "should sound like".

Makes me wonder how long it took you to write that, let alone, how long it took you to realize what signature you were looking for.

I'd love to buy these new phones. I think there's potential here. As a trained physicist, I love the idea of piezoelectric phones. Keep this thread going!

>More specifically, I want to hear each and every instrument or electronic sample perfectly spatially separated and presented as their own entity (the 404 is good at this). I want a realistic tone and tembre but slightly saturated tone color (the K340 does this brilliantly IMO). I want driving, toe-tapping impact and dynamic range (something that neither the 404 nor the HD650 can do, but the ES2 and to a lesser extent the K340 do this well). Then, I want a somewhat lush, mellifluous veneer cast over the music that makes it a bit more, well, musical, vivid and engaging, sort of like listening to music with a few drinks in your system as opposed to listening stark sober - not quite enough to mask detail or skew the tonal balance out of all proportion, but enough to give it that extra magic. This, from my experience, is what the HE90 does - presents everything accurately enough to not jar you out of the sonic illusion, but overlay it with a layer of velvety lushness. The ES2 does this too, which is why it's my favorite at the moment. The K340 would do this too, but its treble is out of control, on my pair in any case, which basically kills any long-term enjoyment I get out of it. It still makes for a very nice, engaging and somewhat rowdy listen. It also needs very loud volumes to shine, which my ears are less and less able to tolerate. The HD600, in the right system, hints at this potential as well, but it's far too slow and undetailed in any system that I have at my disposal to consider it a primary contender.<
post #11 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pageman99 View Post
Can I use the following in my sig? LOL

Seriously, that's a great description of what great sound "should sound like".

Makes me wonder how long it took you to write that, let alone, how long it took you to realize what signature you were looking for.
5 minutes to write, if that. About two years of experience with hi-fi headphones, LOTS of headphones owned (see profile) and a few meets, and I'm just beginning to get a notion of what I want. Lots and lots of money spent, but I think it was well worth it, and I'm sure I'll be spending lots and lots more. Hey, people spend more than this on drugs, so on the whole this is a far more constructive hobby

Feel free to quote or misquote or whatever you feel like doing with it
post #12 of 181
I'm very interested and I was wondering, would a K1000 capable amplifier be sufficient in driving the H2? Since I'm already a K1K owner, I like the idea of reterminating a H2 with a 4 pin XLR and using my existing tail-end adapter off the speaker taps of my integrated SET. Would this be a possible solution to bypass/ eliminate the need of the TR2 transformer?

My apologies if this has already been discuss before.
post #13 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by catscratch View Post
<...lots of information involving sound preference...>
So I'll get one and you the other, I am on the verge of jumping at KGSS+O2, I'll explain later as to why in particular. It was terribly under-driven at the meet, but I am pretty sure with a powerful SS amp the treble and upper mids should open up. This or some powerful dynamic amp and every dynamic I can get my hands on...problem is that none of them solve the problems I have with dynamic headphones entirely.
Admittedly...our demands apart from you wanting alot of bass, are terribly similar. Pretty sure that there makes the description of a perfect headphone for 95% of the people, they just don't know it yet.
post #14 of 181
Thread Starter 
I could also summarize the sound that I want in one word, if need be:

Vivid.

What the ES2 and to a lesser extent the K340 have in common is that they are able to grab you and carry you away into the music with their very vivid, lively, attention-grabbing sound. At the same time, they have very few technical flaws to detract from the experience and jar you out of the sonic illusion. The HE90 is less vivid but more technically perfect, and the overall effect is much the same.

A lot of systems sound good but sterile and not very emotionally engaging (404, HD600 in the wrong system), or vivid and attention grabbing but technically imperfect (SR-003, K340 in the long term, HD650), or just plain rubbish to my ears, so what I'm after is a very fine line that very few systems have been able to walk. And yet, when they do, the result is magically, incredibly obvious.
post #15 of 181
Meh...bass-heavy R10 exhibits those qualities, just need god of amplification/source. (Apache worked nicely). I am mildly praying your sr-404 sounds right for me, that would solve alot of troubles and uncertainties. (I am far friendlier with detailed dry sounds than most people are).
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