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Amp for the Stax Omega II's - Page 2

post #16 of 96
blimey

looks like you've come to a decision already but yes, you probably can't go too wrong with the options available from headamp

unfortunately stax's own amps aren't capable of unleashing the O2
post #17 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-cee View Post
unfortunately stax's own amps aren't capable of unleashing the O2
True!
Its a shame that new-Stax did not come up with an SRM-T2 successor. Cause it might have been a great match for the SR-007.
post #18 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
True!
Its a shame that new-Stax did not come up with an SRM-T2 successor. Cause it might have been a great match for the SR-007.

Looking at an automatic translation of the web page for Masters BA-215TM, they seem to say something about it being designed in consultation with Stax.

Of course, given the nature of translation software, it could be the exact opposite
post #19 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
True!
Its a shame that new-Stax did not come up with an SRM-T2 successor. Cause it might have been a great match for the SR-007.
isn't that when new management took over? if my memory of stax history serves correct...
post #20 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvse View Post
Looking at an automatic translation of the web page for Masters BA-215TM, they seem to say something about it being designed in consultation with Stax.
Might very well be!
Hopefully someone take one for the team and write some impressions. Cause very little are known about this amplifiers sound capability..

Quote:
Originally Posted by d-cee View Post
isn't that when new management took over? if my memory of stax history serves correct...
Yes, the SRM-T2 (like the SR-Omega) came from old-Stax which went bankrupt in 1995.
Some of the original engineers joined up and started new-Stax (the current company) in 1996. They developed the SR-007, and updated the Lambda line (SR-303 and 404). But sadly they did not take up the SRM-T2 lead...
post #21 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvse View Post
The KGBH SE is probably not as good a value as the original Headamp KGBH (no longer available), unless you care a lot about how your audio equipment looks.

Most of the additional cost is due to excellent case work / improved PCB / more sophisticated power supply... It's not really clear how much of an effect it would have on the overall sound if any, even compared to a straightforward parts upgrade.

By the way, i have got a Headamp KGSS with a few weeks back, and the improvement over the SRM-717 (which I in turn preferred to the SRM-007t) is nothing short of amazing. The sound is not clinical at all, on the contrary, virtually no sibilance, midrange is very smooth and well articulated.

This places me firmly in the lunatic fringe of audio (hello spritzer!! ) but I suspect (yet have no proof) that it could be at least in part to the black gate power supply capacitors upgrade on my KGSS.

I must say that a el34 or better design is looking more tempting than ever now that I've realised the degree of possible improvement.
It is obviously not as good a value as the original but Justin wasn't making any money making them. I bought mine for about 3000$ with all the upgrades and that is a real bargain. I'm sure that the new amp will be an improvement but I'd like to have the heaters and the signal off the the pcb for as longs possible since those two don't mix but like you said, I'm out on the fringe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
Hrm... Spritzer I have to question whether or not the ES-1 is such a terrible value compared to the Blue Hawaii SE. While maxed out ES-1s surely have great diminishing returns and probably are not worth their value (I haven't heard one maxed out yet)... a stock one is ~4-4.5k (I think 4.5k is the oft-quoted price for stock but in reality it comes with a couple of the listed upgrades on the spread sheet while 4k is the listed price for absolute stock on the spread sheet). The Blue Hawaii SE is 4.5k as well. Disregarding the ability to make good on delivery dates, which Justin of Headamp is much better at no question... I would have to say that the Blue Hawaii SE is going to have to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than a stock (Or whatever you get for $4500) ES-1 to qualify your statement of the ES-1 being overpriced/poor value. Is that going to be the case?

You haven't heard the ES-1, but I do put some stock in your statements that you can gauge the sound by looking at the design... but still... I think the ES-1 to my experience and my ears is a very good amp (Far superior to the KGSS DX even with the O2) and I don't think you can definitively say that the Blue Hawaii SE smokes it to the point where the ES-1 thusly becomes a poor value.

I've heard people who have heard both Blue Hawaii (Not SE) and ES-1 who say the ES-1 has a notch up on the BH and I am sure there are people who will say vice versa. I expect the Blue Hawaii SE to be much better than stock. It has design improvements that sound very appealing and probably better parts (Though that I am not sure of since I hear that Justin of Headamp is no big believer in silver wiring and boutique capacitors/resistors). But the price has been raised (From 2.5k to 4.5k I believe) to match and some of that is definitely going to a far better looking chassis than the ES-1's (Though some people go for that look. I have to admit with the right tubes coming out of it it can look kind of sexy in a retro fashion).

Anyway, to the OP. Sounds like you decided to go with the Blue Hawaii SE... you will be quite pleased. It's going to be a killer amp and Justin of Headamp is an amazing craftsman.
The ES-1 doesn't add anything new except a higher pricetag. It is basically the third take on the T2 concept with a direct coupled driver stage, AC coupled to the output. I'm sure many people will like the sound as many like the Sennheiser stats but my ears aren't as forgiving.

Don't compare the ES-1 to the Blue Hawaii SE as the BH could be sold for about 3k or slightly more if the chassis was similar to the ES-1 uses. Justin had problems delivering my Blue Hawaii on time but he didn't lie to me about it and it certainly wasn't his fault. He did also some extra QC something that Single Power should start doing. I'm not going to get sucked into a debate about the merits of SP amps as I don't care. I wouldn't recommend buying one as I wouldn't do so myself and that's where it ends.
post #22 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
True!
Its a shame that new-Stax did not come up with an SRM-T2 successor. Cause it might have been a great match for the SR-007.
It would be a great match and so is the BH but you could do better...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvse View Post
Looking at an automatic translation of the web page for Masters BA-215TM, they seem to say something about it being designed in consultation with Stax.

Of course, given the nature of translation software, it could be the exact opposite
The amp has a lot in common with the ES-1 so it could sound really great. It is easy to make a Stax/speaker amp hybrid as you just lift the push-pull signal before the output transformer and add a small circuit and it is a Stax amp. Has anybody contacted the company yet and asked if they would sell one to us and if it is 100v only?

Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Yes, the SRM-T2 (like the SR-Omega) came from old-Stax which went bankrupt in 1995.
Some of the original engineers joined up and started new-Stax (the current company) in 1996. They developed the SR-007, and updated the Lambda line (SR-303 and 404). But sadly they did not take up the SRM-T2 lead...
The T2 was simply much to expensive but the system was still cheaper then the inferior Orpheus. What I'd really like to hear is the 1500v bias Omega and the amp they use to design the phones. 1500v bias is speaker territory and you could use an amp that swings 3000v with it...
post #23 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
It would be a great match and so is the BH but you could do better...
I am sure there can be even better amplifiers than the T2 and BH. But they also might end up a lot bigger, and certainly way more expensive.

Quote:
The T2 was simply much to expensive but the system was still cheaper then the inferior Orpheus. What I'd really like to hear is the 1500v bias Omega and the amp they use to design the phones. 1500v bias is speaker territory and you could use an amp that swings 3000v with it...
Modified SR-Omega's running with 1500v bias? Thats quite insane!
Do you have any more info? Cause I can't remember reading anything about them...
post #24 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
I am sure there can be even better amplifiers than the T2 and BH. But they also might end up a lot bigger, and certainly way more expensive.
It will cost a lot more but I am trying to figure out if one could be built relative cheaply, say under 5k$.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Modified SR-Omega's running with 1500v bias? Thats quite insane!
Do you have any more info? Cause I can't remember reading anything about them...
It wasn't modified as they were one of the prototypes they tried while designing the SR-Ω. They tried a number of things before releasing the SR-Ω and the higher bias is only the tip of the iceberg...

Btw. I'm having such a tortures time right now comparing the SR-Ω and the He60 out of the Blue Hawaii while nursing a hangover. It's murder I tell ya!!
post #25 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
Has anybody contacted the company yet and asked if they would sell one to us and if it is 100v only?
I just did!
Posted an inquiry at their website, asking if its available in 230 volts and 120 volts version for the rest of the world. And if they do international sales, or if we need to go through a dealer somewhere.

If I am lucky they will get back to me in a couple of days.
We will see...
post #26 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
It will cost a lot more but I am trying to figure out if one could be built relative cheaply, say under 5k$.
$5k certainly is not bad.
..and this would still be a major upgrade over the BH, right?

Quote:
It wasn't modified as they were one of the prototypes they tried while designing the SR-Ω. They tried a number of things before releasing the SR-Ω and the higher bias is only the tip of the iceberg...
Ok, then I understand. I though you were talking about new-Stax and that they made a 1500v biased SR-Omega clone as part of their way to the current SR-007.

Quote:
Btw. I'm having such a tortures time right now comparing the SR-Ω and the He60 out of the Blue Hawaii while nursing a hangover. It's murder I tell ya!!
Extensive listening sessions and hangover don't match up very well I tell you!
Better clear up your head first.
post #27 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
I just did!
Posted an inquiry at their website, asking if its available in 230 volts and 120 volts version for the rest of the world. And if they do international sales, or if we need to go through a dealer somewhere.

If I am lucky they will get back to me in a couple of days.
We will see...
I can't wait. This amp could be a great alternative to the Sun Audio amp I'd like to build. Very different designs though but each has it's strengths.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
$5k certainly is not bad.
..and this would still be a major upgrade over the BH, right?
Major improvement is a tricky thing to measure. I'm terribly picky so a major change can be unnoticeable to somebody else but and amp like this will have more of everything. By choosing the right tubes and designing a simple, yet effective PSU is could certainly be pulled off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Ok, then I understand. I though you were talking about new-Stax and that they made a 1500v biased SR-Omega clone as part of their way to the current SR-007.
I believe that new Stax stuck with the Pro bias for a reason but I'm sure they have some exotic prototypes locked away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
Extensive listening sessions and hangover don't match up very well I tell you!
Better clear up your head first.
Very true but it is still easy to hear the difference and determine which is better.
post #28 of 96
quote
The ES-1 doesn't add anything new except a higher pricetag. It is basically the third take on the T2 concept with a direct coupled driver stage, AC coupled to the output. I'm sure many people will like the sound as many like the Sennheiser stats but my ears aren't as forgiving.

Not really true. The T2 was a tube/solid state hybrid. The T2 was fully
direct coupled input to output. The ES-1 is in fact similar to the
stax sr-x circuit with much bigger tubes and higher voltages.
This circuit does have a direct coupled output, but does have
interstage coupling caps.
http://www.bonavolta.ch/hobby/en/audio/hdgsta.htm

There is absolutely no way that omega2 headphones can tolerate
anything more than about 650 volts of bias. They would destructively
arc and be completely destroyed.

You could in fact build an amplifier with a higher voltage swing up
to the max of 1200 Vpp stator to ground. You would get about 4 db
more volume than a BH. There are a number of tubes that would
work great for this. They are all bigger than an 6ca7.

The masters amp looks very much like a number of other push pull ultra-linear
designs. Probably sounds very good. The stax output jack is wired to the primary
of the transformer, same place the plates of the tubes are wired. Then a bias
circuit is added. Direct coupled output when wired this way. This is going to sound
very different from most of the other stax amps.
post #29 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
I can't wait. This amp could be a great alternative to the Sun Audio amp I'd like to build. Very different designs though but each has it's strengths.
Me neither.
At ¥160000 it sems very well priced as well..

Quote:
Very true but it is still easy to hear the difference and determine which is better.
Thank god!
post #30 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin gilmore View Post
quote
The ES-1 doesn't add anything new except a higher pricetag. It is basically the third take on the T2 concept with a direct coupled driver stage, AC coupled to the output. I'm sure many people will like the sound as many like the Sennheiser stats but my ears aren't as forgiving.

Not really true. The T2 was a tube/solid state hybrid. The T2 was fully
direct coupled input to output. The ES-1 is in fact similar to the
stax sr-x circuit with much bigger tubes and higher voltages.
This circuit does have a direct coupled output, but does have
interstage coupling caps.
http://www.bonavolta.ch/hobby/en/audio/hdgsta.htm

There is absolutely no way that omega2 headphones can tolerate
anything more than about 650 volts of bias. They would destructively
arc and be completely destroyed.

You could in fact build an amplifier with a higher voltage swing up
to the max of 1200 Vpp stator to ground. You would get about 4 db
more volume than a BH. There are a number of tubes that would
work great for this. They are all bigger than an 6ca7.

The masters amp looks very much like a number of other push pull ultra-linear
designs. Probably sounds very good. The stax output jack is wired to the primary
of the transformer, same place the plates of the tubes are wired. Then a bias
circuit is added. Direct coupled output when wired this way. This is going to sound
very different from most of the other stax amps.
The design is quite different but I meant it didn't bring anything new to the table. Similar output tubes and SS power supply not that there is anything wrong with that. When you are paying 8k$ or more for a headphone amp I'd like to see something more exotic.

I see I misplaced where the coupling caps were in the ES-1. Ohh well, can't remember everything.

The SR-007 should be able to handle nearly 1kv worth of bias. Electrostatic designers use 50v/mil or so as a safe maximum operating point for the bias so that is doesn't arc, no matter how humid. Converting it over to metric and it works out at about 1970v/mm. Stax uses 0.5mm spacers in the pro models so that is just under 1kV of safe bias that Stax built into the Pro standard. I wouldn't really go above 600v and this isn't safe for the Sennheiser He's. They used much thinner spacers and my He60's don't like the extra 40v of Stax Pro bias. Stax did try 1500v as an experiment but that is the same level that Jecklin used for the Floats.

I'm going to use 845's to do the job in a similar fashion to the Morgan Jones output. Use a push-pull choke to load the output and create a reference point to 0v or something to that effect. It would be great fun to convert one of the Sakuma designs like that as they are so esoteric. While the extra voltage is great it is more the current I'm after. I think that could be causing the SR-007 "darkness" as the tough spots are the bass and the treble and they require wast amounts of power to get right. I do believe it is worth the high price to investigate.

The Masters does use a capacitor coupled output from the primary or so could a gather from the poor translation. It doesn't cost all that much for us outside of the US and a few mods would make it even better. The Sun Audio amps are single ended though but the Tamura transformers are excellent and buying them as a kit would allow extensive part upgrades and installation of Stax transformers as well as a dynamic headphone output. It would also need a bias supply but the sound would be very different to all of the other amps out there.
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