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Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition - Page 337

post #5041 of 8718
First I'm pleased Paul enjoyed his experience in listening to the headphone system I have, and hope it helped in making his decision on which headphone / amp he might be going for.
Regarding research and testing, I did read quite a bit about the BHSE before I got it, same with the 009's, ( not as much about the 009's ) but I wasn't able to test them both before buying, but I did the K-01 which is why I got it, another reason I got the audio equipment I have is looks, however I never liked the 009's headband which is why I changed it.

As said, not everyone can afford the likes of the K-01, but I'm not wealthy, the gear I have was paid for from a 25 year savings plan I had that matured in 2011.
My home needs decorating but because I spent most of that savings on my audio gear, and I now haven't much money in the bank, I'm having to have my home decorated over time, but that doesn't bother me because I get a lot of pleasure from listening to my headphone system(s).
post #5042 of 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scruffy7974 View Post


David's system provides a truly engaging and immersive experience. Reproduction of recordings presented in such a way that are detailed but not fatiguing. You could quite easily listen for hours and hours then go back for more.

V.R.,

P.

I have to say the none fatiguing SQ that's coming from my 009 / BHSE, is only the result of using the PH tubes, to which I'd like to thank Ed ( Golfnutz ) and Richard ( TheAttorney ) for their comments about those tubes.
When I was using the stock Mullard's and SED's, some of the songs in my collection sounded very uncomfortable, but the PH's have made those songs very enjoyable, however this is only the case with the 009's, I tried Paul's SR-007mk2's with my BHSE while using the PH tubes and wasn't that impressed ( sorry Paul ), the 007mk2's did sound very good, but IMO not the same level as the 009's.
However, I'm thinking the PH tubes might have had something to do with that which is why when Julian visits me and if he brings his 007mk2's, I'm going to try the stock Mullard's first, then the PH's
post #5043 of 8718

The BHSE was primarily designed to drive the SR 007 MkI/MKII the 009 did not exist when the design was produced (based on the Stax SRM-2 hybrid)

The 007's and the original Omega need a lot of umph to shine at their best, hence the BHSE high voltage output/swing.

Since the 009 is much easier to drive, as has already been said, and does not need such an amp from a power point of view. However; you may prefer the sound signature of some of the third party offerings like the BHSE. Many of the Stax amps do a decent job if you are not looking for that last ounce of performance, and on the second hand market can offer great value for money IMO. For sure the BHSE is one, if not the best stat amp you can buy if you want to spend $5000. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

Possibly slightly different topic: I have the 007s Mk2.5 and use a Stax 717 amp to drive them. I think my front end is sorted (tubed DAC). I am getting a good sound right now, but am interested in how far it can go yet.

 

I have already ordered the BHSE, but I am curious. Would folk here say the 009s with the 717 amp sounds better than the BHSE and the 007s?

 

Thus, if you were me, and could only afford one or the other, would you get the 009s to replace the 007s powered by the 717

or

keep the 007s and drive them with the BHSE??

 

It seems a few on this forum are happy with their 009s driven by a Stax amp. I think the 009s are a lot easier to drive?

 

This hobby is fascinating (and expensive).


Edited by complin - 4/26/14 at 1:16am
post #5044 of 8718

IMHO the 007 MK1 is smooth but I would certainly not call it coloured, in fact its one of the most natural sounding headphones period if properly driven. Some would argue its the best stat headphone ever produced.

Yes the 009' do sound different as they have a brighter sound signature like all of the current Stax range, but this can be a double edged sword.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by karlgerman View Post
 

in my opinion and experience using a 007 mk2 and a 009 with the Stax SRM 006tII tubeamp and a KGSS, there is no way to come close to the sound of the 009.

I thought that maybe my KGSS,  which has more punch and sounds more aggressive than the tubeamp, would be prefect to handle the 007mk2.

The coloured smooth sound of the Omega is still recognisable. A improvement but the 009 is a different level with both amps.

I could imagine that a KGBHse provide the most natural sounding to the 009. Can´t wait to compare this to my other amps.

 

My source is a MacbookPro and a Esoteric D02 DAC, similar to David1961 equipment.

 

Al I can say is comparing the SR007 to something like an Oppo PM1 is a travesty! Just because the 007 doesn't have a more *in your face" sound signature will not mean a loss of detail retrieval. Yes the 009 is a great technical advance and it has pushed the boundaries in some areas over the 007, but like all designs its a compromise. So I think if you have spent some time with both you will hear they are equally great products, just that a different set of compromises have been made. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post
 

My experience is similar to Karlgerman's (similar equipment).

Get an SR009-based system. (If you just want an SR007 system, you might as well get an Oppo PM1 system for a lot less money I think.)

The 009 stands alone in my book among the top phones and is a historic achievement and  a major advancement in sound, even for Stax. There is nothing like it.

 

Edited by complin - 4/26/14 at 1:55am
post #5045 of 8718

I can't say for sure, I am yet to do an A/B between the 009s and the 007s, and of course it is impossible to demo the BHSE with my 007s unless I can get to a meet, which is also impossible at the moment in Spain. I am too demo David1961's 009s and BHSE, but without an 007 in the house.

 

I wonder if any Head-Fi users have an 009 with the SRM-717. I somehow doubt many will, as if you are spending that much on the 009s it would probably mean they would have replaced the 717 at the same time?

 

I imagine more folk would have upgraded their amps first? The Stax amps have got a bit of a hammering over the years, and its seems serious users have moved away from them to alternatives?

 

Stax for me is quite an odd company. They have streaks of brilliance, yet make some fairly obvious mistakes (727 being an example). The Stax sound is to me addictive, yet to others, they just don't get it. If you are in the former camp, it often seems to become a path to the top models, however long that takes.  

 

My upgrade path at the moment seems to be leaning towards getting the BHSE, and possibly at some point in the future look at upgrading my 007s to the 009s. At least the 009s don't take 12 months delivery.

post #5046 of 8718

Personally I would try and get a loan set of the 009's and see what you make of them in terms of their overall sound.

I see you have some great source components which for Stax users is vital to getting the best out of your set-up.

You may find the Audio Note preferable to the M2Tech stack with the 009's as it could be too much of a good thing.

IMO the BHSE is likely to benefit your 007's more than the 009's in terms of improved performance.

 

Regarding the Stax amplifiers. I think generally they have been unfairly given bad press as most of the third party producers are competing at the high end only $5000 +/-. Yes its always possible to do better especially via the DIY route (KGSS/HV, DIY T2 etc), but parts alone are likely to cost $2000+ and then you need to factor in the time to build it. 

 

Generally they are produced by small boutique manufacturers who don't need to factor in all the other costs which Stax do. (R&D, marketing, dealer network/distribution, dealer markup, country electrical compliance, employing a workforce, manufacturing facility etc.....) So when you factor all this in then something like the BHSE made by Stax would easily cost $10,000, probably more, so how many customers are there likely to buy at this price? They did produce a very high end beast of an amp many years ago on which the BHSE is based, but it was very costly and only few (less than 100 probably) were sold.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

I can't say for sure, I am yet to do an A/B between the 009s and the 007s, and of course it is impossible to demo the BHSE with my 007s unless I can get to a meet, which is also impossible at the moment in Spain. I am too demo David1961's 009s and BHSE, but without an 007 in the house.

 

I wonder if any Head-Fi users have an 009 with the SRM-717. I somehow doubt many will, as if you are spending that much on the 009s it would probably mean they would have replaced the 717 at the same time?

 

I imagine more folk would have upgraded their amps first? The Stax amps have got a bit of a hammering over the years, and its seems serious users have moved away from them to alternatives?

 

Stax for me is quite an odd company. They have streaks of brilliance, yet make some fairly obvious mistakes (727 being an example). The Stax sound is to me addictive, yet to others, they just don't get it. If you are in the former camp, it often seems to become a path to the top models, however long that takes.  

 

My upgrade path at the moment seems to be leaning towards getting the BHSE, and possibly at some point in the future look at upgrading my 007s to the 009s. At least the 009s don't take 12 months delivery.


Edited by complin - 4/26/14 at 8:03am
post #5047 of 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by complin View Post
 
Quote:
Regarding the Stax amplifiers. I think generally they have been unfairly given bad press as most of the third party producers are competing at the high end only $5000 +/-. 

Yes I agree. My 717 is actually rather good. I do dig the one box convieniance aspect of it. i.e. I can take the dog out and leave it on for when I get back. 

 

Which leads me to a question to all BHSE owners. Do you guys leave it on when you go at at all? Even for an hour. I have to pop out at least twice a day for 2 hours and could see me not using it until the evening session in that case, or I would have two switch ons during a typical day at least.

 

I have a tubed DAC and a Tubed Pre-Amp (for my speakers) which I leave on all the time, as it has low voltages and tiny tubes with long lives. The BHSE with it's EL34 power tubes may not be such a good idea?

 

Any thoughts on this. I would guess Justin says switch it off everytime you leave it unattended? I know Woo Audio do...

 

Which makes me come full circle again to wondering if an SS headphone amp would be more practical? At least an LL could be left on right?

 

On warm ups and sonics from cold, I used to have a big SS power amp, and it DID need half an hour to sound it's best, just like tubes. It is the tube short and subsequent damaged caused (inc possible fire) that may be a challenge. I have had one 300B do that in 8 years of running tube amps, and it had only 6 months use (TJ Solid Mesh 300B). Took the right monoblock out requiring a repair.

post #5048 of 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post
 

Yes I agree. My 717 is actually rather good. I do dig the one box convieniance aspect of it. i.e. I can take the dog out and leave it on for when I get back. 

 

Which leads me to a question to all BHSE owners. Do you guys leave it on when you go at at all? Even for an hour. I have to pop out at least twice a day for 2 hours and could see me not using it until the evening session in that case, or I would have two switch ons during a typical day at least.

 

I have a tubed DAC and a Tubed Pre-Amp (for my speakers) which I leave on all the time, as it has low voltages and tiny tubes with long lives. The BHSE with it's EL34 power tubes may not be such a good idea?

 

Any thoughts on this. I would guess Justin says switch it off everytime you leave it unattended? I know Woo Audio do...

 

Which makes me come full circle again to wondering if an SS headphone amp would be more practical? At least an LL could be left on right?

 

On warm ups and sonics from cold, I used to have a big SS power amp, and it DID need half an hour to sound it's best, just like tubes. It is the tube short and subsequent damaged caused (inc possible fire) that may be a challenge. I have had one 300B do that in 8 years of running tube amps, and it had only 6 months use (TJ Solid Mesh 300B). Took the right monoblock out requiring a repair.

You could probably sell your 717 + 007, and pick up a used LL + 009, and come away with a bit of money in your pocket.

post #5049 of 8718
From what I have tried, I'd rather stick with my flawed 727A than trade it for an LLmk2 for listening to the 009.
Hoping the bhse will be a different experience!
Arnaud
post #5050 of 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

 

Any thoughts on this. I would guess Justin says switch it off everytime you leave it unattended? I know Woo Audio do...

 

Which makes me come full circle again to wondering if an SS headphone amp would be more practical? At least an LL could be left on right?

 

A friend years ago worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and he said they left their computers on 24/7 to avoid wearing them out.  One of my audio dealers, who is decidedly not technical, recommends powering down his tube amps when not listening.  This is to reduce wearing out expensive tubes.  I just power everything down when I leave the room for more than an hour, but maybe I should leave the SS items on?


Edited by Rico613 - 4/26/14 at 5:07am
post #5051 of 8718
I wonder how much a Stax amp would cost, if it could be got directly from Stax, like the amps built by Justin can be got. AFAIK Headamp users a distributor and retailer in Australia, but I don't know of any other country.

Regarding the BHSE, while ( IMO ) it does sound pretty amazing when using a source like the K-01, I don't think such a source is necessary for the BHSE to sound amazing.
When I went to the Cambridgeshire head-fi meeting 2012, I was using my iPod as source with my 009 / BHSE, and those that had a listen were very impressed, some were also able to use their MP3 players in which some did.
When Paul visited my place, I could have used my iPod with the BHSE but didn't think about doing so, when Julian visits I will.
Even though Julian isn't bringing his 007mk2 when he visits ( which I don't blame him) , I'm still going to use the stock Mullard's then the PH's, then he'll be able to hear how the 009's sound from both tubes.
post #5052 of 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

I wonder how much a Stax amp would cost, if it could be got directly from Stax, like the amps built by Justin can be got. AFAIK Headamp users a distributor and retailer in Australia, but I don't know of any other country.

Regarding the BHSE, while ( IMO ) it does sound pretty amazing when using a source like the K-01, I don't think such a source is necessary for the BHSE to sound amazing.
When I went to the Cambridgeshire head-fi meeting 2012, I was using my iPod as source with my 009 / BHSE, and those that had a listen were very impressed, some were also able to use their MP3 players in which some did.
When Paul visited my place, I could have used my iPod with the BHSE but didn't think about doing so, when Julian visits I will.
Even though Julian isn't bringing his 007mk2 when he visits ( which I don't blame him) , I'm still going to use the stock Mullard's then the PH's, then he'll be able to hear how the 009's sound from both tubes.

 

I think it matters, especially when you can hear the difference the source has with the BHSE.

 

I would also imagine the wrong source would give someone the impression there's nothing special about the BHSE either.

post #5053 of 8718

I would be most surprised if you are not delighted with your BHSE :D

Personally if I were considering something different I would seriously consider the Eddie Current Electra over the LLMk1/2, particularly with the 009.

Its really a great pity that Pete Millet hasn't bought us an electrostatic amp so far as his dynamic designs are second to none.    

  

Quote:

Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

From what I have tried, I'd rather stick with my flawed 727A than trade it for an LLmk2 for listening to the 009.
Hoping the bhse will be a different experience!
Arnaud
post #5054 of 8718
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfnutz View Post

You could probably sell your 717 + 007, and pick up a used LL + 009, and come away with a bit of money in your pocket.

What an interesting question. I know that David1961, does not leave his BHSE on.

Also do any forum members within the UK own Cavalli LL 2's ?
post #5055 of 8718

@astrostar, there are only 3 things guaranteed in life: death, taxes and Internet Forum Confusion (IFC). The majority of posters here prefer the009s over the 007s, some say "it depends", and some prefer the 007s irrespective of price. The latter include people I  pay close attention to, such as spritzer and ASR (I don't always agree with them, but do always pay attention). The one thing that you can be sure of, is that the moment you commit to combination ABC, there will immediately be a dozen posts saying XYZ is better. But that's ok because ABC and XYZ don't change, it's the IFC that's changing.

 

In your particular case, you seem to be already happy with the 007 sound signature. So going for the BHSE will just make that better.

If you go for the 009s, you'll get a different (more forward) sound signature - which you possibly will love, of maybe not.

 

The BHSE option will be more expensive, but you also get a piece of excellence that will give you immense pride of ownership. And, sorry, I'm going to have to bring it up again: if you've come this far, you have to get those stock JJ tubes changed. If you can live with the quality risk, then it's Psvane EL34PH. If you're an experienced tube roller, then try the NOS xf2s or favourite NOS alternatives. 

 

I was broadly in your position a couple of years ago. I had the 007 Mk1 with SRM-007t mk1, and I liked that slightly dark sound signature (I thought of it as "natural" rather than "dark"). I procrastinated for ages over both the BHSE and the 009s. The route I eventually chose is the route I still recommend:

 

  1. Get the BHSE. Enjoy it with your 007s for a while without changing anything
  2. Don't wait too long before getting the PHs
  3. If you agree you that the BHSE/PH combination is here to stay, then get the herbie tube dampers on trial (more on that another time)
  4. At this point, you may feel you never need to go further
  5. One day, you may get the opportunity to try the 009s in the above combination. I'm still hoping that there will be a 009 mk2 coming out that ALL headfiers agree are better than the 007s. This may never happen, but in the meantime I don't feel I'm missing out much

 

One final thing about 007/009 comparisons. This may seem obvious, but people do still sometimes make some rookie mistakes:

 

  1. The 009s are more sensitive, and in any A/B comparison the louder combination usually sounds more impressive. Don't forget to adjust that volume control.
  2. If you have a component that has a hyped up frequency curve, say in the upper mid region, then a perfectly neutral component will sound a bit dull in comparison.  No matter how much you know that it's the hyped up component that's wrong, the neutral one will still seem dull. I'm not saying that the 009s are hyped up (I haven't heard them enough to comment), but its another A/B comparison mind trick to be wary of.
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