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Amp for the Stax Omega II's - Page 3

post #31 of 96
You ask me not to compare it to a BH SE as the price tag is more expensive than a normal BH yet you yourself refer to the ES-1 at the non-stock price when making points about its over valuation. I quote: "When you are paying 8k$ or more for a headphone amp I'd like to see something more exotic." Many people are not paying that much for an ES-1 as the stock price is 4-4.5k...

And I think its funny that you say "I'm sure many people will like the sound as many like the Sennheiser stats but my ears aren't as forgiving. " As again you have not heard the amp so how do your ears, as godly as they might be, come into play?

Also basing your decision solely on a schematic... I mean even you said sometimes the design/parts do not explain why something sounds good as in the case of your Meridian G08. I don't have your post archived and I'm not going to look for it so if I misremember forgive me, but I believe you said something like crappy design/parts (Switching power supply, crappy transport) but yet it sounds wonderful, to you.

Anyway, this is the last post in this thread for me. I think you are a really smart guy and that you know a ton about electrostats/electrostatic amps and DIY. The amount of facts/figures that you can drop when asked anything about these topics is amazing and I thoroughly respect that. But I think in this case you are being caustically biased against an amp you have 0 personal experience with. Because in the end everything does depend on that experience (Like the Mullards/G08 you favor. Are either of a superior design/build that makes them pleasing to you? No, its the sound they bring).
post #32 of 96
I loved the Blue Hawaii.
post #33 of 96
Thread Starter 
Now that the amp is ordered, hopefully a well-loved set of O2's will hit the For Sale section.
post #34 of 96
You do make some good points here and I'll try to clear up my views on this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
You ask me not to compare it to a BH SE as the price tag is more expensive than a normal BH yet you yourself refer to the ES-1 at the non-stock price when making points about its over valuation. I quote: "When you are paying 8k$ or more for a headphone amp I'd like to see something more exotic." Many people are not paying that much for an ES-1 as the stock price is 4-4.5k...
The BHSE is a statement product and a lot of time and work goes into designing something that will only be built in 12 units. This cost needs to be recuperated so the price is increased to well over what a simpler Blue Hawaii in a normal case with a simpler PSU would cost. Most of the extra cost as little to do with sound quality so a normal Blue Hawaii would cost about 3k$. The stock ES-1 will sound much worse then a stock Blue Hawaii as it has caps in the signal path. You need to spend a lot of money to get good ones (just ask those that are upgrading their Woo amps) and their influence on the SQ is huge. The Blue Hawaii at 3k will have other better parts as well and for 400$ you could upgrade all the caps to Black Gates or even better, all film caps. These options are much more expensive in the ES-1 so we would be looking at around 6k. My comment about the 8k$ wasn't meant in the context of the BHSE but many units have been sold at this price and there should be a tube rectified PSU and a simpler tube compliment at this level. You can always upgrade a design but there comes a time, and a price level, where a new approach is needed. You could also do what Lamm does and sell a simple amp with stock parts for 110k but that is simply criminal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
And I think its funny that you say "I'm sure many people will like the sound as many like the Sennheiser stats but my ears aren't as forgiving. " As again you have not heard the amp so how do your ears, as godly as they might be, come into play?
My ears are actually not that good since my work area is filled with loud machines and other noises but I'm good at noticing small problems and focusing on them. This is all down to training, experience (I may be young but I started this all 12 years old) and having great teachers. I do know that many will not like the things I like and that comment was to clarify that. It is well known that I'm not terribly fond of the Sennheiser He's but many are and I'm fine with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
Also basing your decision solely on a schematic... I mean even you said sometimes the design/parts do not explain why something sounds good as in the case of your Meridian G08. I don't have your post archived and I'm not going to look for it so if I misremember forgive me, but I believe you said something like crappy design/parts (Switching power supply, crappy transport) but yet it sounds wonderful, to you.
Schematic can tell you a lot but the layout and the parts tell you more. Things are often more then the sum of their parts and that's why Stax manges to make such good amps at the insane price level. They have to make money and so does the distributor and the dealer.

The Meridian did sound wonderful when I bought it but it is going to be sold soon as my tastes have evolved. The designs pretty simple and the parts aren't the best but Meridian is the oldest high-end CDP manufacturer and they know a thing or two. Still the cost cutting has left its mark and I'm moving on. The G08 makes a lot of people happy but it doesn't cut it for me anymore.

That doesn't mean I'm a high-end snob as I'm listening to the HE60 through a Stax SRM-Xh fed by the Corda Aria dac. Far from high-end and a great exercise to test the hearing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
Anyway, this is the last post in this thread for me. I think you are a really smart guy and that you know a ton about electrostats/electrostatic amps and DIY. The amount of facts/figures that you can drop when asked anything about these topics is amazing and I thoroughly respect that. But I think in this case you are being caustically biased against an amp you have 0 personal experience with. Because in the end everything does depend on that experience (Like the Mullards/G08 you favor. Are either of a superior design/build that makes them pleasing to you? No, its the sound they bring).
There are reasons why the G08 sounds like it does and those are the same reasons why I'd only use Mullard EL34's. They know/knew what they are doing. Meridian does use very crappy parts but all the digital stuff is first rate and the output stage is simple, yet effective. The same can be said about Meitner as their parts are crap and the PSU horrible so they all need some power cleaner thing to sound good. Mullard invented the EL34 and built them like they were bullet proof. There isn't some pixie dust that causes NOS tubes to sound great, it is all down to how they were built.

I would have bought a ES-1 if it were cheaper or better speced at the basic level because I'm sure it sounds great. I'm very aware of the flaws of my Blue Hawaii and I'm going to improve on it but the ES-1 simply isn't the best option. This opinion has nothing to do with SP's business behavior and treating their customers like crap and shipping out defective products. Stuff happens and you can't meet the deadlines and somebody forgets to check an amp before shipping but they should get their act together but I base my opinion of the amp in its merits.
post #35 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4N6 View Post
Now that the amp is ordered, hopefully a well-loved set of O2's will hit the For Sale section.
You know about the SR-007 Mk2 that will be released before the New Year? The changes are mostly cosmetic but could open up the floodgates for used SR-007's, lowering the prices quite a bit. I might even pick up a second set
post #36 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
You know about the SR-007 Mk2 that will be released before the New Year? The changes are mostly cosmetic but could open up the floodgates for used SR-007's, lowering the prices quite a bit. I might even pick up a second set
Thanks for the heads-up! I did not know that a new version was in the works. If it is just cosmetic, then I will look for a used pair. If there are actual imrovements in sound quality, I might as well spring for the latest and greatest as I am currently starting from scratch.
post #37 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4N6 View Post
Thanks for the heads-up! I did not know that a new version was in the works. If it is just cosmetic, then I will look for a used pair. If there are actual imrovements in sound quality, I might as well spring for the latest and greatest as I am currently starting from scratch.
They are basically fixing some of the minor flaws that occurred with the original over their 9 year lifespan. The cable would break where it entered the housing, the ear chamber is slightly larger to accommodate people with ears that protrude more form the head, the use better leather for the earpads but the redesign was required because the coating on the aluminum wouldn't pass the RoHS standard. Whether this has any meaningful effect on sound quality is still undetermined and we'll have to wait for the release to confirm that.
post #38 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The same can be said about Meitner as their parts are crap and the PSU horrible so they all need some power cleaner thing to sound good.
The newer Meitner stuff yes, older no.

Great post BTW. That being said, is the Singlepower ES-2 based on the same schematic as the ES-1?
post #39 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvdunhill View Post
The newer Meitner stuff yes, older no.

Great post BTW. That being said, is the Singlepower ES-2 based on the same schematic as the ES-1?
The old Meitner stuff is much better made then the current crop. Now it is all about some digital tricks, much like Meridian, and ignore the basic building blocks. It does sound very nice but I'd much rather have an APL player at the same price. Linear PSU with a transformer coupled output.

I don't know much about the ES-2 but the tube compliment is the same. I really hoped that the PSU is redesigned.
post #40 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
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.
I wonder why customers are alway tolerant and forgiving about the procrastinating and delays.
A fellow german head-fier has a jubilee these days:
He's waiting for a KGSS for almost a year now.
I'd like to get one of the amps designed by Kevin Gilmore but Headamp's behaviour is discouraging.
post #41 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma View Post
I wonder why customers are alway tolerant and forgiving about the procrastinating and delays.
A fellow german head-fier has a jubilee these days:
He's waiting for a KGSS for almost a year now.
I'd like to get one of the amps designed by Kevin Gilmore but Headamp's behaviour is discouraging.
I'm neither a tolerant or forgiving man but when the delays are somebody else's fault it's hard to be mad. All that was missing from my amp most of that time was the tube guard so I wasn't too frustrated. The amp has been flawless ever since except I've grown to hate stepped attenuators. I have to upgrade it soon due to the new SE's. Have to stay ahead of the game so DC filaments, separate and oversized dual mono tube rectified psu, new resistors and complete rewiring should do it. Ohhh and a 4 pole Alps RK50 pot.

Waiting a year is way too long if it is a stock unit. If there are some extra options then they can take some time but a year is still too much. Do you know what the problem is?
post #42 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post
The amp has been flawless ever since except I've grown to hate stepped attenuators.
so do I. Here's the best solution out there IMHO (well, perhaps seconded to KG's Penny & Giles stuff, haven't heard those):

http://twistedpearaudio.com/joshuatree/jt.aspx
post #43 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvdunhill View Post
so do I. Here's the best solution out there IMHO (well, perhaps seconded to KG's Penny & Giles stuff, haven't heard those):

http://twistedpearaudio.com/joshuatree/jt.aspx
The Alps RK50 is supposed to be better then the P&G stuff. It's the pot headroom uses, the giant brass one.
post #44 of 96
Where I can found the Blue Hawaii and the BH Special Edition?
post #45 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

Waiting a year is way too long if it is a stock unit. If there are some extra options then they can take some time but a year is still too much.
It's no stock unit.The whole shebang with a pimped case and whatnot.
Actually Justin is "only" 8 months overdue since in the beginning he did predict he'd need 3 months due to the special parts and special case.I remember well we did have high hopes for an opportunity to listen to the amp at the german meet in my hometown.That was in February.
Quote:
Do you know what the problem is
Several problems in a row.
The guy who ordered the amp is quite wealthy and therefor not nervous about the money (the credit card has already been charged) and he's patient and doesn't complain.He doesn't even mention the affair unless he's specifically asked about it.
Naturally it's kind of a running gag.
"It will certainly be delivered in October.But which year is still not clear"
"That's no problem at all.It will come just in time for the Omega III."
And so on.
It's hilarious and nobody thinks it's a scam, but I think it would get on my nerves if it would be my amp.
This is most probably just bad luck and there are naturally specific risks involved in the boutique amp business.
The delivery time of a stock amp might be more predictable.Maybe I should forget any specialties and order a totally stock unit.I'm not that picky about the last 3% of sound quality anyway.In fact I'm quite happy with my current OII rig consisting of a modded Stax transformer and a decent speaker amp.
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