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Driving the TakeT H2 - Page 8

post #106 of 181
I think driving the outer electrodes of the TakeT Headphones with the >200V required for reasonable SPL is a SAFETY HAZARD

I believe the outer electrodes are essentially unprotected and nothing but fabric and slotted plastic grill separates you from the conducting electrode surface

In the event of wet hair – sweat – drips/spills you could have a conductive path to your head from the outer electrode

The outer electrode should be redundantly connected to Safety Ground or floating with appropriate Reinforced insulation, I think >4000 V Hipot is necessary with the high V required by the H2

The better safety story would be for the grill to be conductive and Safety Ground connected

I am not claiming the TakeT H2 is safe under normal use but it could be Fatally UnSafe if the outer electrode is electrically hot as with Balanced drive from a grounded CT xfmr or a direct drive balanced output amp

The wiring diagram for the TR2 shows one side grounded - not the CT
post #107 of 181
I'd like to upgrade to the TakeT H2 someday, and the first step to doing so would be understanding how to drive it adequately.
I've read the whole of this thread in an attempt to understand how to do that - and instead I've just gotten myself terribly confused.

I don't want to derail the discussion with my newbie queries, but...

So - so far the consensus is that, for the best quality sound, you want to leave the TR2 out entirely and rewire the headphones to terminate in a connection that links them directly to an amp? Does that mean making them terminate in XLR? Does terminating in XLR make them "balanced"? If I wanted to use the same amp that I'd get to drive my TakeT H2's with my other headphones too, would I need to rewire them also, or are there adapters, or amps that have both XLR and the normal (larger sized) headphone jacks?
I just really don't understand what to do go for at this point, sorry.

If you want to PM an answer so that my question doesn't interrupt your tech talk, that's fine, I'll post a reply letting the thread know that I've gotten an answer so that no-one wastes time writing when I've already gotten the information I need.

Thanks...
post #108 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
I think driving the outer electrodes of the TakeT Headphones with the >200V required for reasonable SPL is a SAFETY HAZARD

I believe the outer electrodes are essentially unprotected and nothing but fabric and slotted plastic grill separates you from the conducting electrode surface

In the event of wet hair – sweat – drips/spills you could have a conductive path to your head from the outer electrode

The outer electrode should be redundantly connected to Safety Ground or floating with appropriate Reinforced insulation, I think >4000 V Hipot is necessary with the high V required by the H2

The better safety story would be for the grill to be conductive and Safety Ground connected

I am not claiming the TakeT H2 is safe under normal use but it could be Fatally UnSafe if the outer electrode is electrically hot as with Balanced drive from a grounded CT xfmr or a direct drive balanced output amp

The wiring diagram for the TR2 shows one side grounded - not the CT
Having never seen the H2 I wasn't aware of this. Nobody should ever wear a headphone like this or any other headphone that uses high voltage with wet hair as it is very dangerous.

I'm not especially fond of the whole balancing thing so they should be driven SE for the time being until somebody has tried it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyface View Post
I'd like to upgrade to the TakeT H2 someday, and the first step to doing so would be understanding how to drive it adequately.
I've read the whole of this thread in an attempt to understand how to do that - and instead I've just gotten myself terribly confused.

I don't want to derail the discussion with my newbie queries, but...

So - so far the consensus is that, for the best quality sound, you want to leave the TR2 out entirely and rewire the headphones to terminate in a connection that links them directly to an amp? Does that mean making them terminate in XLR? Does terminating in XLR make them "balanced"? If I wanted to use the same amp that I'd get to drive my TakeT H2's with my other headphones too, would I need to rewire them also, or are there adapters, or amps that have both XLR and the normal (larger sized) headphone jacks?
I just really don't understand what to do go for at this point, sorry.

If you want to PM an answer so that my question doesn't interrupt your tech talk, that's fine, I'll post a reply letting the thread know that I've gotten an answer so that no-one wastes time writing when I've already gotten the information I need.

Thanks...
The H2 will not work with any other amps so they are like electrostatics in that regard. They can be used with a Blue Hawaii which is an electrostatic amp but it is very powerful so normal ones will not work.

Terminating something with an XLR plug will not make it balanced but it separates the ground for each channel so they can by driven balanced. Using a push-pull amp isn't always better then single ended as many here believe but the phones will be much better with a bigger transformer or a direct drive amp, be it single ended or not.
post #109 of 181
Thanks for your response! I'm still really confused though... If "the H2 will not work with any other amps", what's all this in the thread I read about people saying it sounds better without the TR2?

so confusing..
post #110 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyface View Post
Thanks for your response! I'm still really confused though... If "the H2 will not work with any other amps", what's all this in the thread I read about people saying it sounds better without the TR2?

so confusing..
You can make it produce sound with a big amp that can output enough voltage and handle the impedance but these aren't dynamic headphones so different needs and rules apply. It isn't confusing when you look past all the misinformation out there and look at the basics. They are like electrostatics or electrets i.e. high voltage, high impedance devices that need either a transformer or a dedicated amp to work. They vastly different from either of the elec's as they need lower voltage and much more current.
post #111 of 181
This information means very little to me since I am not familiar with electrostatic equipment.

All the information here seems to be at a level much higher than I am familiar with. Everyone's talking about different cables, dropping the TR2 from the system, XLRs and balancing, different amps, etc., and it just doesn't make sense to me.

I'd really appreciate if someone just said what's best for the TakeT H2's, to make them a balanced, well-driven system without getting crazy-expensive. Does that mean rewiring them? Does that mean dropping the TR2?
post #112 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
I think driving the outer electrodes of the TakeT Headphones with the >200V required for reasonable SPL is a SAFETY HAZARD

I believe the outer electrodes are essentially unprotected and nothing but fabric and slotted plastic grill separates you from the conducting electrode surface

In the event of wet hair – sweat – drips/spills you could have a conductive path to your head from the outer electrode

The outer electrode should be redundantly connected to Safety Ground or floating with appropriate Reinforced insulation, I think >4000 V Hipot is necessary with the high V required by the H2

The better safety story would be for the grill to be conductive and Safety Ground connected

I am not claiming the TakeT H2 is safe under normal use but it could be Fatally UnSafe if the outer electrode is electrically hot as with Balanced drive from a grounded CT xfmr or a direct drive balanced output amp

The wiring diagram for the TR2 shows one side grounded - not the CT
Would one of you that is able to articulate this well email Mr. Takei and raise this concern please? I love the possibilites of these cans but don't care to die just yet
post #113 of 181
crazyface, I'm no expert but here's what I've been able to pick up. Hopefully others will correct my mistakes!

As far as I know all H2s come terminated to a 4 pin XLR, I don't think he i doing the TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) plug anymore.

To run without the TR2, straight from an amp, I made a cable like this, with a female XLR on one end and banana plugs for speaker outputs on the other end:




You don't rewire the H2s at all.

Using a 110w x 2 10 year old Yamaha amp without the TR2 does give superior sound, but only at lower levels as the H2 start distorting easily at higher volumes.

With the TR2 connected, they will go much louder but have bass roll off at the bottom end and the sound just isn't as good.

Listening at lower levels is much better without the TR2, but higher levels require the TR2 as the Yamaha amp just can't supply the voltage. The H2 are the wrong type of load for the amp, it is happy giving many watts into a 8 - 16ohm load, not hundreds of volts into a many thousand ohm load.

You want be using the same amp for H2s and any other headphones except maybe electrostats as normal amps can't cut it. I have used the RPX-33 and it works ok, but just doesn't have the grunt, only putting out 10V p-p while the H2 need a good few hundred. Using the TR2 doesn't help either as the load is all wrong.

As far as I can tell, the eonly amp which everyone agrees will work is the KGBH SE, $4500 and only 10 made. Maybe more next year. There is currently no amp in existence designed specifically to drive the H2s. Hopefully that changes soon.

Alternatively, hopefully someone can confirm a better transformer so we can use loudspeaker amps which need a load from 4 - 16 ohms, generally, as the TR2 is insufficient for the job, sadly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyface View Post
I'd really appreciate if someone just said what's best for the TakeT H2's, to make them a balanced, well-driven system without getting crazy-expensive. Does that mean rewiring them? Does that mean dropping the TR2?
It just doesn't exist yet unfortunately. Unless $4500 is not crazy-expensive.

It would mean dropping or replacing the TR2.

As for "balanced", The fact that the H2 have separate connections for L and R, + and - (4 pins) only means that they are capable of being driven balanced by a "balanced" amplifier. I won't bother trying to explain what balanced amps do exactly, I think I know but will probably get it wrong. Best to google/wiki that one.

What I think is that single ended amps share a common ground signal but a balanced amp gives each channels negative a mirror image of the positive. So each channel gets it's own discrete negative signal. I know there is much more to it than that though.

So a normal amp gives a + signal to move the driver and that's it. A balanced amp gives the opposite signal to pull the driver back to where it was.

Is that right, anyone?

As for the risk of electrocution, I understand their may be a risk but I'm sure listening to the H2 with wet hair is one of the safest things I do everyday, statistically. As soon as someone gets zapped I'll start being worried. Hopefully that won't happen. It is worth mentioning the danger, but don't get too upset about a threat which has never occurred. Worry about the daily activities you partake in which are relatively highly likely to kill you.
post #114 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
Having never seen the H2 I wasn't aware of this. Nobody should ever wear a headphone like this or any other headphone that uses high voltage with wet hair as it is very dangerous.
Does this apply to electrostatic headphones?
post #115 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by educator View Post
Does this apply to electrostatic headphones?
It does and is clearly stated in all Stax instruction manuals. While the phones would most likely only give you a little zap they can be badly damaged by a drop of water and take the amp with it. There is only 1mm from stator to stator so it doesn't have to be big.
post #116 of 181
Can someone shead a little more light on the KGBH-SE please. Is it a single ended version of the KGBH using just one output board? Would it be able to drive Stax cans still or is it limited to the H2? If there are other differences could you please help us to understand them. Thanks!
post #117 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsonad View Post
Can someone shead a little more light on the KGBH-SE please. Is it a single ended version of the KGBH using just one output board? Would it be able to drive Stax cans still or is it limited to the H2? If there are other differences could you please help us to understand them. Thanks!
The KGBH-SE is a regular Blue Hawaii with a redesigned current source to make the build simpler and with a time delay on the HV line to preserve tube life. Everything is mounted to one PCB instead of the one per channel in the previous version. It is a Stax amp by design but I'm sure it can be modified to drive the H2.
post #118 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin gilmore View Post
The KGBH-SE would work absolutely great out of the box with no modifications except for a stax to take-t adapter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The KGBH-SE is a regular Blue Hawaii with a redesigned current source to make the build simpler and with a time delay on the HV line to preserve tube life. Everything is mounted to one PCB instead of the one per channel in the previous version. It is a Stax amp by design but I'm sure it can be modified to drive the H2.
Thanks Spritzer, your posts have been a great help in understanding the world outside of dynamics Dr. Gilmore had posted this on a previous page. It seems that the KGBH-SE is the best of both worlds. Having one amp to cover both Stax and the H2 is what I was hoping for. Now I just need to sell off some extra gear and save for a new amp
post #119 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsonad View Post
Thanks Spritzer, your posts have been a great help in understanding the world outside of dynamics Dr. Gilmore had posted this on a previous page. It seems that the KGBH-SE is the best of both worlds. Having one amp to cover both Stax and the H2 is what I was hoping for. Now I just need to sell off some extra gear and save for a new amp
I try to spread the electrostatic word...

I hope this extra interest will light a fire under Justin to build more of them. I can understand him doing a limited edition as the original didn't sell all that well, mainly due to inaccurate reports here that it was on par with the KGSS. That might be true with the horrible stock tubes but put in some NOS tubes and be prepared to be amazed.
post #120 of 181
Does SE stand for Special Edition or Single Ended?
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