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Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition - Page 366

post #5476 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post
I think my next major purchase will be a DAC in the same price-range as a BHSE.

If you just need the DAC without a transport, I'd strongly recommend you read some of the reviews for the dCS Debussy.  You don't 'need' a clock, but you could add an atomic clock later, and that would give you a fantastic very high end sound for under $10k.

post #5477 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post
 

 

I don't own a KGSSHV, maybe you're referring to purk's latest post? Currently I'm using a Cavalli Liquid Lightning (which has some mixed reviews, but I really think it happens to sound great).

 

Alluding to your comments about your DAC, the weakest part of my system now really is my source. The DAC and SACD player I'm using now are both very good, around the $1K range for each, but with an SR-009 and BHSE or Liquid Lightning, I realize they're the bottlenecks of my current system. I think my next major purchase will be a DAC in the same price-range as a BHSE. I'm familiar with your DAC's brand, Audio Note, as well as David1961's brand, Esoteric. I would love to have a DAC from either of those companies, but those are just a little out of my price range currently.


Take a look at exasound (Canada). I have one of their e20 (- see avatar ) with 82fs clock upgrade and I am very happy with it. I use a Krell CD-DSP as source for redbook and the DAC made such an obvious difference compared to the built in D/A, it's not even funny :D.

 

It's about 3k $US and comes with 30 days money back if you are not happy. I have not heard it in comparison with any ultra expensive DAC's (e.g. dcs) but I think sonically this is one of the best values out there. It's pretty light and a small package but if you're concerned about the SQ as first priority,  I highly recommend to check it out.

post #5478 of 5702
Hi Jackskelly
You know the DAC run is a kit I built up. It costs 2,150 US for the DAC 3.1, and it sounds fabulous. If you are in the USA they can build the kit up for you for another 250 US approx.

Something to consider. I personally would put this unit up against DACs costing 5 times that price at least. A none oversampling DAC with tubes can sound extremely musical and less processed
or digital IMO.

I would love to have a DAC from either of those companies, but those are just a little out of my price range currently.

http://www.ankaudiokits.com
post #5479 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post
 


Take a look at exasound (Canada). I have one of their e20 (- see avatar ) with 82fs clock upgrade and I am very happy with it. I use a Krell CD-DSP as source for redbook and the DAC made such an obvious difference compared to the built in D/A, it's not even funny :D.

 

It's about 3k $US and comes with 30 days money back if you are not happy. I have not heard it in comparison with any ultra expensive DAC's (e.g. dcs) but I think sonically this is one of the best values out there. It's pretty light and a small package but if you're concerned about the SQ as first priority,  I highly recommend to check it out.

 

Thanks icebear for the info, I'll definitely look into that. :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico613 View Post
 

If you just need the DAC without a transport, I'd strongly recommend you read some of the reviews for the dCS Debussy.  You don't 'need' a clock, but you could add an atomic clock later, and that would give you a fantastic very high end sound for under $10k.

 

I have read about the dCS Debussy. It certainly looks like a fantastic option. It's definitely one I'll keep in mind when I decide to purchase my next DAC. I don't need a transport so it looks like it would be a good fit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by astrostar59 View Post

Hi Jackskelly
You know the DAC run is a kit I built up. It costs 2,150 US for the DAC 3.1, and it sounds fabulous. If you are in the USA they can build the kit up for you for another 250 US approx.

Something to consider. I personally would put this unit up against DACs costing 5 times that price at least. A none oversampling DAC with tubes can sound extremely musical and less processed
or digital IMO.

I would love to have a DAC from either of those companies, but those are just a little out of my price range currently.

http://www.ankaudiokits.com

 

I'll definitely look into this. That's a lot less than I would expect to pay for a DAC of such quality. I'll continue to ask around and talk to others about their digital equipment.

 

For the BHSE owners here, is the amp particularly sensitive to the source? That's probably a stupid question, haha, I imagine any amp of great quality would be sensitive to the source. I'm probably going to work on getting a high-end turntable set-up much later. It's part of my end goal for my system, but the work and other costs that go into a high-end vinyl rig seem to be higher than that of a digital one.


Edited by jackskelly - 7/3/14 at 1:56pm
post #5480 of 5702
but the work and other costs that go into a high-end vinyl rig seem to be higher than that of a digital one.

I have heard this Phone stage and it is REAL good!

http://www.ankaudiokits.com/L3-Phono-Tube-Rectified-Tube-Output.html
post #5481 of 5702

DIY NOS DAC myself - one of the ANK kits - DAC4.1.  Very smooth, looking forward to hearing with the BHSE, hoping it gets here this summer.

Vinyl - I splurged on another kit - K&K Audio Maxxed Phono with silver step up transformers.

 

Both the kits were 2.5-3K for kits, and some upgraded stuff for them.  If you can solder and follow instructions, these kits are hard to beat for a lot more money.

 

Next up for me will be a DDDAC 4 stack with Sowter transformers, long range a Pass VFet CX1 project.  I only have the group buy boards, JFets, and Jensen transformers so far, so its aways off as I am just about to start assembing the DDAC.  Since I don't currently have a case for any of that, project completions are 3-6 months off.  I hope to be listening to a BHSE soon though.

post #5482 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post
...

For the BHSE owners here, is the amp particularly sensitive to the source? That's probably a stupid question, haha, I imagine any amp of great quality would be sensitive to the source. ....

Not a BHSE owner ... but anyway just a little correction in logic or maybe phrasing :

The amp amplifies whatever signal comes in. Ideally without any alteration (famous wire with gain).

Consequently the all applicable saying "Crap in crap out" holds true also here.

 

In case of a high(est) quality amp, it will just amplify any crap and will not dress it up with some coloration to play nice.

Supposedly the BHSE is the most "non-tube" like tube amp, if that makes sense :confused:.

So I guess, if that's the right context for your question, then possibly a "yes" is the best bet.


Edited by icebear - 7/3/14 at 5:37pm
post #5483 of 5702
A couple of times I've used my iPod as source to my BHSE driving my 009's and I found the SQ to be very good, obviously not to the same level as when I use my K-01.
However, I had to have my BHSE's volume knob at 2 o'clock when I used the iPod to get my normal listening volume, when using the K-01 it's around 10-30.
post #5484 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by icebear View Post

Not a BHSE owner ... but anyway just a little correction in logic or maybe phrasing :
The amp amplifies whatever signal comes in. Ideally without any alteration (famous wire with gain).
Consequently the all applicable saying "Crap in crap out" holds true also here.

In case of a high(est) quality amp, it will just amplify any crap and will not dress it up with some coloration to play nice.
Supposedly the BHSE is the most "non-tube" like tube amp, if that makes sense confused.gif .
So I guess, if that's the right context for your question, then possibly a "yes" is the best bet.

Even worse since the paired headphone is likely VERY revealing which is why you got it in the first place. For some modern music, I have to go to the lcdx as my sr009 is too brutal.
post #5485 of 5702

I have tried both of these brands  and after extended listening with my 009 I opted for a Metrum Octave. I found it to offer a good balance of the best attributes of the Esoteric and the AudioNote (2.1 signature) at a more affordable price.  

Quote:

Originally Posted by jackskelly View Post
 

 

I don't own a KGSSHV, maybe you're referring to purk's latest post? Currently I'm using a Cavalli Liquid Lightning (which has some mixed reviews, but I really think it happens to sound great).

 

Alluding to your comments about your DAC, the weakest part of my system now really is my source. The DAC and SACD player I'm using now are both very good, around the $1K range for each, but with an SR-009 and BHSE or Liquid Lightning, I realize they're the bottlenecks of my current system. I think my next major purchase will be a DAC in the same price-range as a BHSE. I'm familiar with your DAC's brand, Audio Note, as well as David1961's brand, Esoteric. I would love to have a DAC from either of those companies, but those are just a little out of my price range currently.

post #5486 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
 

Whilst we're waiting those last few days weeks for the new batch of BHSEs, here's an update for tube rollers:

 

One of my second set of Psvane EL34PHs the tubes failed yesterday. The set is about 5 months old, with very roughly 400-500 hours of usage.

 

The failure was near identical to the failure I had with the previous set:
After about 3-4 hours of being on, one of the tubes started crackling loudly (both externally and through the headphones) coinciding with sparks of light near the top of the tube. I didn't wait to see how the fireworks display would end, so no damage done.

 

Whilst waiting for Rachel's response (the grant fidelity warranty is 90 days), I'm again looking for alternatives. So any more feedback from the newest contenders? Mesa Boogie STR-447, Tesla and anything else that's been tried recently? Golfnutz, have the Mesa's smoothed out over time?

I have been reluctant to add my experience because I have yet to hear the Psvanes.  Because of comments from The Attorney and David, I purchased a "matched quad" and the pin assembly on one of the four simply came undone, crumpled with insertion into a maxi-matcher tube tester to test for shorts and whether they were reasonably matched. (My experience is that "matched" tubes tend to be all over the place with anode plate current and transconductance, and not necessarily even close to what is stated on the box)  This problem was definitely not because of excessive insertion pressure but clearly a production defect.  I have great respect for the comments on this forum concerning the sonic qualities of this tube but I remain concerned about production quality control. I recently had a Tung-Sol KT120 arc and blow a few circuit resistors on my room system.  Tube failure happens.  The point is that tube testing in a limited production rarity as the BHSE may be unwise.  

post #5487 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholas029 View Post
 

Because of comments from The Attorney and David, I purchased a "matched quad" and the pin assembly on one of the four simply came undone, crumpled with insertion into a maxi-matcher tube tester

I hope you also read my concerns about Quality Control, because all the way I've been completely up front about that, whilst also praising the Sound Quality. When my inner pin cracked, I did suggest to Rachel that it was because it was a combination of very thin and vey brittle plastic. The factory just needed to make it either thicker or more flexible or both. The response was basically that Psvane wasn't likely to change the design any time soon.

 

Regarding my recently failed PH  tube, Rachel responded that it's out or warranty (true), so will cost me to get a single tube replacement  (about $100 including shipping). I'm not going to bother with that, as I still have 6 working PHs to play with, plus...

 

In the meantime, my blue Mesa Boogie set arrived and I've had them in over 3 sessions totalling about 12 hours. I'll reserve judgement on SQ until they've burned in some more - the sound signature in the third  session was different to the first two. What I can say, based  on first impressions, is that this is going to be very interesting - along the lines made by Golfnutz.

 

Here's my first thoughts on Mesa Boogie Quality Control:  The company is very proud of its comprehensive measuring and matching system - a combination of automated computer "RoboTube"  and human checking. Shame then that there is no measurement sheet whatsoever delivered with the tubes.

 

The MBs (for it is they) passed the tap-when-cold test. No rattles at all (good, although maybe not especially relevant to SQ). But when I switched on the BHSE…. Goodness me…. It was like throwing a sack full of angry rattlesnakes onto the BHSE and then prodding them with a sharp stick. Ok, so I exaggerate for dramatic effect. A more objective way of putting it is that I could hear the rattle/whine/buzz from the opposite side of the room (very not good). 

 

Thankfully, that noise died down to almost nothing after about 3 hours. So I'm hoping it will disappear altogether during the burn-in stage - rather like it did with my PHs.

 

Trawling the internet, I've learned the following: the Russian sourced MBs are very much geared towards guitar amps, so they have six grades of  colour coded "strengths" (stronger broadly meaning higher plate current), with White strongest, then Blue then Grey, and the rest don't count for hifi.  The "weakest" grades will merely distort quicker when over driven, which may be perfect for certain styles of rock guitar. One cynic commented that only the Blue and White actually meet the EL34 spec, the rest just being various levels of failures. Hey, this is internet gossip, so it must be true!

 

The MBs are quite small, diameter  about 28mm, compared to 30mm JJs and 32mm PHs. So my recently bought Herbie dampers don't fit at all - not good, but I'll worry about that later. Now back to the listening.

post #5488 of 5702
Can't you guys look for some NOS tubes from a decent seller? I know there are silly money tubes around, BUT there are lots of 50US per tube EL34s about by Tunsol, RCA, Sylvania, GE, Siemens

https://tubedepot.com/products/rft-made-siemens-el34

I get at least 2000 hours on my Tungsol 5687s (1950 pulls from old radio sets). And even more from Bendix 6X5s.

I am very suspicious about these start up Russian new manufacturing. These companies bought the name, but how much follows the original and to
what quality are they made?

Golden Dragon are good new manufacture for 300B and long life. Another is TJ Solid Mesh 300Bs from DIY Hifi Supply (China) and these new manufactured tubes are rock solid build and have 12 months warranty, but only 300B or 45s, they don't make an EL34.

I do feel for the guys who have had premature failures. Tubes are great for sound quality but do come with their own complications. I would look at NOS myself, the price of those PSVanes would be enough for a good NOS quad set I would think?

Maybe get on some of the guitar forums and ask them, the EL34 is a popular amp tube and gets rough treatment in a portable amp for sure.
post #5489 of 5702

I will do just that if the MBs don't work out.

 

But every time I've looked into it in the past I've got thoroughly confused, and the sellers haven't had what I was looking for.

So many variations of NOS and used, and seemingly no rhyme nor reason for the huge price variations. To get a quad plus spares of the famous ones requires a lot of patience, and I have no idea what to look for with the less famous ones. Old doesn't automatically mean it's great or reliable. 

 

My BHSE tube rolling is purely a means to an end - just that the end has been more complicated than intended. I know that getting a tube tester and researching old tubes etc can be fun in itself, but that's not the way for me.

 

Having said that, my first sentence still stands.

post #5490 of 5702
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post
 

I will do just that if the MBs don't work out.

 

But every time I've looked into it in the past I've got thoroughly confused, and the sellers haven't had what I was looking for.

So many variations of NOS and used, and seemingly no rhyme nor reason for the huge price variations. To get a quad plus spares of the famous ones requires a lot of patience, and I have no idea what to look for with the less famous ones. Old doesn't automatically mean it's great or reliable. 

 

My BHSE tube rolling is purely a means to an end - just that the end has been more complicated than intended. I know that getting a tube tester and researching old tubes etc can be fun in itself, but that's not the way for me.

 

Having said that, my first sentence still stands.


Tried the RFT's, not much different than the stock tubes in my system...

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