Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition - Page 4

post #46 of 5663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
The amp is absolutely impressed to hold and behold. Even the power umbilical and its' connectors are finely chosen. There is nothing even remotely cheap about it.

Crikey; I just want to straddle that thing and hump it.
post #47 of 5663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer View Post
The amp is absolutely impressed to hold and behold. Even the power umbilical and its' connectors are finely chosen. There is nothing even remotely cheap about it.

http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4108/dsc0776d.jpg
post #48 of 5663
Ok, Ok, I get it.... you all love the looks... the looks arent bad at all, I just was asking for the built quality, materials and execution....

I take your words for it,
post #49 of 5663
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyDebord View Post
Ok, Ok, I get it.... you all love the looks...
What makes you think that?

post #50 of 5663
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcoheda View Post
i like the off-color faceplate.
Me too.

Justin may take a while to build stuff, but his work is top-notch quality.
post #51 of 5663
IMO this by far the most advanced headphone amp in terms of design and materials used. It's by no means an easy task to build a Blue Hawaii in the first place due to the voltages at hand and the massive amount of heat the amp gives off. This is a 200W+ space heater and Justin has gone to great lengths to make sure that it will last a long time by providing efficient ways to get rid of the heat. The tall cones are vital part of this since they allow cold air to reach the underside of the chassis to cool the tubes and the surrounding circuitry.

As for the choice of parts, many of these amps have the best volume attenuator money can buy, a 4-gang Alps RK50. The amp is fully DC coupled so no caps in the signal path to degrade the signal and the PSU caps are made by CDE and Panasonic, both excellent choices. RCA sockets are PCB mount Vampire units and the list goes on and on.

Pretty parts are just band-aids on a bullet wound if the circuit design isn't up to much. The Blue Hawaii and the Stax SRM-T2 stand IMHO head and shoulders above all else when it comes to circuit design and Justin has gone quite a bit further then Stax ever did with the T2. Such small design details as to make sure there is zero interference on the bias line and that there is no bias charge hiding inside the amp section when disconnected from the PSU shows just how far Justin has gone here.

For the record I have one of these on order even though I'm more then capable of building one for myself. The reason is simple, I owned one of the old KGBH units that Justin built and it worked flawlessly for years of heavy use and was beautifully made.
post #52 of 5663
Mine should arrive tomorrow
post #53 of 5663
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomana View Post
Mine should arrive tomorrow
*lets out a whimper because you didn't get it today*
post #54 of 5663
I've tried a few types of EL34 so far and they all work well in the BHSE. The Treasure 6CA7 are just OK, not very good compared to the well-known old stock types. I think they're overpriced in the N. American market, I got them shipped from China for a lot less.

I like the Philips xf4 EL34 DD-getter. There are also some of these DD-getter labeled xf3 or xf5. Don't confuse these with the Mullard Blackburn xf3 and xf4 with a B-code and 0-getter made in the early 70's. The DD-getters were made in either Sittard, X-code, or Brussels, L-code, and made in the late 50's and early 60's.

I also like the Mullard xf1 and xf2 00-getter made in Blackburn in the 60's. Production of the xf2 type seems to have switched to 0-getter around 1968. So xf2 tubes with B9xx or B0xx codes and 0-getter are made in 1969 and 1970, and from 1971 to 1973 they were labeled B1xx, B2xx, and B3xx respectively. After 1973 the xf2's were no longer made, production changed to xf3 and then xf4 types (which were basically the same) for a few more years until 1981, I believe. After that, no more of the great Blackburn tubes.

I've also tried the Philips EL34 metal base made in the late 50's in Holland. These are quite rare and difficult to find matched pairs. I also like them, but I don't think they're worth the risk and high cost given the greater availability and sound of the Blackburn Mullards. The xf2 00-getter is really hard to beat.

Another type I've tried is the Telefunken EL34 with 5-crimpled plates made in Ulm, with U codes. Don't confuse these with the RFT dimple top with 4-crimped plates made in East Germany. These TF are also quite rare. I don't have a well-matched quad so I don't think I'm hearing what they're capable of. There are also TF metal base, but those are super rare, I don't have any at all. If you have some for sale cheap, please let me know.

Oops, maybe I blabbed too much about tubes when everyone is interested in the amp. But hey, the tubes make the amp!

The O2mk1 sounds incredibly good driven by the BHSE. I guess that's not really news. It is supremely refined, with excellent smoothness and liquidity combined with excellent notes separation, imaging and details. I think it sounds even better at louder volume, when a sense of body behind the music notes makes the music almost physical. Sometimes, while listening with eyes closed, I feel like I just have to reach out and touch the singer's mouth and face.

I also like the HE90 and SR-Omega. The SR-Omega has a different type of sound than the O2mk1, it's a different type of listening experience. It's brighter, with a bit more airyness and a larger headstage and soundstage. Imaging and details are probably not quite at the O2mk1 level, but it is still very clean, clear and fast. It is very impressive, probably more likely to impress at meets than the O2mk1, which for me always seems to require some mental recalibration time after switching from another headphone.

The HE90 and SR-Omega are more similar to each other than to the O2mk1. Driven by the BHSE, the HE90 is clean and dynamic. There are still traces of the HE90's euphony and pleasant coloration that makes it so enthralling. It's not as smooth or as musical as when driven by the Aristaeus, maybe, but definitely clearer and more dynamic. Both the HE90 and SR-Omega are slightly bright compared to the O2mk1, or one could say that the O2mk1 is slightly dark. I think different types of tubes suit them. The O2mk1 is superb with the Mullard xf2 00-getter, I'm not sure yet for the other headphones.
post #55 of 5663
[QUOTE=Elephas;5944518]
I like the Philips xf4 EL34 DD-getter. There are also some of these DD-getter labeled xf3 or xf5....I also like the Mullard xf1 and xf2 00-getter made in Blackburn in the 60's. ... The xf2 00-getter is really hard to beat.

Elephas:

Thanks for this information. It really helps in putting a pre-BHSE receipt shopping list together. If I can get a hold of some of these I will provide a comparison with the GE big bottles.

JHellow
post #56 of 5663
Elephas,

is the difference in HE90 smoothness and musicality really big and obvious between the Aristaeus and BHSE? thanks
post #57 of 5663
Elephas,

What's the situation with your Jade? I remember mention was made of modding it in another thread, however, I could be mistaken. I am curious as to your opinion of it with the BHSE. I too am also curious about any further opinions you may have with respect to the Aristaeus v. BHSE with the various phones.
post #58 of 5663
Note that according to the MARKETING material, only Treasures that did not measure well are put out on the Chinese market, and those that test properly are given to the North American market. Thus, any "non-official" seller, especially those from China, are likely to have an inferior product

how accurate this is, I cannot say - but it is worth thinking about
post #59 of 5663
I haven't done a comparison between the Aristaeus and BHSE yet. I'm looking forward to doing so with the HE90.

I've listened to the Jade with the BHSE a few times. It's recabled with a Stax cable. It sounds quite good, it seems well-matched with the EL34 DD-getter while the O2mk2 seemed a bit too thick-sounding and overly bassy with these tubes.

Maybe the Treasure 6CA7 sold in the N. American market really are "specially selected" and superior. Maybe the ones sold in China and elsewhere are inferior. Or it could just be marketing BS. The only way to know for sure is to compare them directly.

I'm willing to send a quad of the tubes to a BHSE or BH owner who has purchased the N. American market Treasure tubes for comparison. Alternatively, I could buy a quad of those myself, but I don't believe in the marketing enough to do so.

The prices I've seen advertised are very high. I think they're good, but not great. I'm comparing them with some well-known old stock EL34 though, so maybe that conclusion isn't so surprising. Given how good the Mullard xf2 00-getter are, I would be surprised if any tube is significantly better.
post #60 of 5663
So the KGBH SE arrived yesterday. I'm using both O2MK1s and Lambda Pros with an APL modded Phillips SACD 1000 to the BHSE (all black, RK50, two pro bias jacks). I'll get back with people in a week or so after I've had some time with this rig, but I wanted to chime in here to say to anyone who's still waiting, it's worth the wait.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition