Saturday 23 May, 2015 - 5:50AM, a bright and warm morning in Tokyo...
At last, I get some time to unpack the BHSE, let's get to it before the kids wake up!
The box has some slight compression on the corners but nothing too scary, let's open...
Nice, Justin did not forget the offset adjustment tool and my PSVANE are there.
There you are blue hawaii!
You haven't been warned enough, seeing Justin's craftsman work from your own eye is just jaw dropping.
No picture can do it enough justice but I will try my best...
I need the power supply, looks like it's at the bottom of the box.
Again, no visual defect whatsoever. I just imagine Justin using a loupe to inspect each one of these before shipment.
Space is tight in the rack but BHSE has found a home.
Now for the scare moment. I plug the umbilical cord with much care, trying to figure out how the amphenol plug guides align.
I remember reading about a horror story of an owner plugging it the wrong way...
I connect the power cord, making sure the amp is off. I turn it on. I hear a faint pffuuuu sound, maybe from one of the tubes on the left.
Shoot, there's only one of the power leds on! Dang! Shoutzy!
I turn it off after a bare couple of seconds....
I look over the amp, trying to smell. I have done a bit of boards soldering in another life, I have made mistakes and smelled them. No, no peculiar smell here, no smoke whatsoever.
I try to look through the perforated top cover, are there any burnt traces there. What am I going to do? How much is going to cost in shipping and how long will I have to wait?
This is silly. I waited 2 and a half years for this. I take these nice pictures and what do I have? Just a heavy paper weight??
Maybe the cuts
Ok, let's fire an email to Justin. It's 7:32AM here, he may see it today.
7:43AM, email from Justin. <<The right led comes on after 2 minutes.
Do you mean 2 minutes elapsed, the led failed to come on, so you turned it off?>>
[you moron] <= is what he must have thought I think
Another couple of emails later I am powering it up for the second time.
1min30. TADAA!!! The second led comes up, sigh... Maybe I should stop coffee.
I know I should check the voltage bias but I am too curious. I plug the SR009... First impression: not much.
The bass is cleaner than the SRM727 amp but I still can notice a bit of bloat. Not shrill in the least, I push the volume and don't feel any compression.
So, it's sounding good but it's not like I am falling from the chair. Kids have woken up, running around, my time is up...
Later in the day, looking for the voltmeter, I finally find it. I look at the video from Justin again. Don't you like the stax plug overlay? That's my contribution to Justin's work :).
Well, I realise my voltmeter is only rated for 600V DC. I don't expect to get 600V with the Psvane tubes, Justin's already tested them. What do I do?
I go to the local hardware store, can't find what I am looking for. It's 4:30PM, I don't want to go all the way to akiba for this...
Back home, I do some search on this thread and elsewhere. I can't find much but the offset Justin mentions in the video is nowhere near 100V, should be fine no?
I want to try, I give it a shot... I get very similar figures to what Justin reports in the video. I make the adjustments, piece of cake!
It's 8:30PM, I will just leave it warm up for a while as I was not that thrilled when listening to the unit cold...
9:30PM, kids have finally started their night. I plug the 009, queue up Avishai Cohen latest record (From darkness), it's sounding quite a bit better than this morning!
What jumps at me is the clean tight bass, and how sounds emerge to pitch black background (I guess it makes sense given the title of the record ).
Another very pleasant surprise is the instrument layering. I really should start A/B comparisons later with the SRM727 amp but I have listened to this recording quite a few times before and it does feel different.
Last point is the lack of compression. I seem to listen at the same volume level as the SRM727 (9AM) but it now sounds much cleaner than the Stax amp when I go behind 9AM. The loudness increases much faster than the Stax amp, by that I mean that 10AM on the BHSE feels like 11AM or 12PM on the SRM727 (subjectively, maybe I am hallucinating).
BTW, I got the RK50 in there and oh my do I like the feel of the volume. It's quite stiff but supremely precise. With the fast rise in loudness, I would not recommend anyone to use a stepped attenuator with the same ramp, you'd always be frustrated about being between 2 steps.
10:30PM, I have now gone through the 2nd offset adjustment. I play Daft Punk's Random Access Memories and well, it's just kicking some serious ass!
It's just sounding better and better it seems. The bass is a bit forward but that's recording specific. It is anything but bloated, what a relief at last! I love the texture of the mid / highs, so much for the reputation that the BHSE and SR009 don't get along...
A final shot to conclude, hope you enjoyed the unpacking and the read :
PS: source in my signature, via Monoprice XLR cables.
Awesome @arnaud, glad that everything turned out great! Though I'm really envious, that's exactly what mine will be like, except that mine will be configured for US voltages.