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Best amp for Omega 2?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

People who have heard several Omega 2 rigs, which is the best amp you've heard them paired with?

 

I'm leaning towards these two...

 

HeadAmp Blue Hawaii

Woo Audio WES

 

for those that have heard these two amps, which amp was better to you and how come?  Keep in mind that my pair of Omegas will probably end up being MKii.  Also please include company reliability in your response.  I've been through the Single Power fiasco and I need to deal with a company who is ethical, reliable and timely.  I never have dealt with Woo or HeadAmp so this comment is not at all an implication of their business practices...I'm just extremely cautious ever since I was burned by SP.

 

Thanks!

 

-Dave

 

P.S. if you've heard both of these amps and clearly prefer a 3rd amp not mentioned I'm definitely interested.

post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 

 

HeadAmp Blue Hawaii

Woo Audio WES

 

Anyone?

post #3 of 14
The T2 is currently in the hot seat for the best amp specifically for the Omega 2 in mind.
Edited by johnwmclean - 12/6/10 at 12:19am
post #4 of 14

It's DIY and costs a mint......

post #5 of 14

I have a BHSE and an O2mk1. I'm perfectly happy with the BHSE and it is definitely a worthwhile upgrade over the SRM-007t2 and exstata's I have owned.

 

I've heard the WES + O2mk2 briefly at CanJam. Not enough experience for any kind of accurate contrast to what I'm familiar with. I can say I was more impressed with the WES driving the Jade (which I don't own) and the HE60 (which I do) than I was driving the O2. It didn't make a bad impression with the O2, it just didn't show anything I had not heard from them before.

 

I was awestruck by Kevin Gilmore's T2 reincarnation. Again I heard it briefly at CanJam so detailed opinions wouldn't be valid. It did show me a couple things I had not heard before with the O2. I seriously wanted that amp and still do. I'm a fairly proficient DIY'er but am a bit intimidated by the scope and cost of the project. I had an opportunity to buy into a slot on the T2 project but declined because it would have required selling the BHSE to finance the build. I second guess that choice a lot though.

 

Since you live in NY, you have CanJam this next summer. Well worth the patience for an opportunity, although brief, to hear what you're considering. You could probably get a Woo before CanJam if you have no patience, but I wouldn't speculate whether a BHSE before then is possible. There is also the KGSSHV diy project that hopefully will be out in force by then and looks like a contender.


Edited by bada bing - 12/6/10 at 3:26pm
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

 

HeadAmp Blue Hawaii

Woo Audio WES

 

Anyone?


I haven't yet auditioned the BHSE for any significant amount of time, but I did have an opportunity to audit both the WES in stock configuration and the RSA A10 Thunderbolt II with a set of upgraded tubes at the Charlotte Can Fest back in August both with the Omega Mk1 and Mk2.  I much prefer the Mk1 to the Mk2 in general.  I have spent almost an hour walking back and forth between the two, but in the end the A-10 sounded like the better amp to my ears and been happy with it since.  It complements my Apache nicely and drives my HE60s equally as well.

 

As far as Ray's reliability is concerned; I own several of his amps and the few times I needed to ask a question from him, he has been always ready to help.

 

Jack Woo said it would have been different with his set of upgraded tubes, alas, he had none with him.  I had not yet bought any of his amps, only his headphone stands so I cannot comment on post-sale support, but I have been left with a positive initial impressions of him and his company after my listening session even though I ended up buying a competitor's product.


Edited by warp08 - 12/6/10 at 4:46pm
post #7 of 14

The T2 and the Blue Hawaii are the best you can get and for good reason.  They cost a lot to build (the T2 quite a bit more thane any BH) but the money is well spent.  Stable PSU and enough current reserve to never leave the headphones wanting.  A KGSSHV run at full tilt would also qualify here. 

 

One step further down the ladder would be the current version of the ESX with a CCS loaded output stage.  The amp with just the old plate resistors is very good but running the tubes properly would make a world of difference.  A normal KGSSHV and to a lesser extent the old KGSS also belong here.  It's too early really but the KGST (think of it as a Stax SRM-007t made with no cost or retail considerations) also belongs here.

 

Further down you have the Stax anps, 717 and the modified SRM-727.  This is what I'd say was the base line for the SR-007.  Great amps but limited in some ways with the 727 being superior.

 

I for one think the WES is in no way a high end Stax amp.  It is highly priced but the performance is sorely lacking and I for one would take a GES over it.  Even before I heard it I knew that it had major issues and it just makes the SR-007 sound bland and uninvolving.  Something they really aren't...

 

As for the A-10, it is typical RSA affair.  Badly designed crap but as a special bonus it is down right dangerous.  Parts driven way past their limits and it makes the Single Power ES-1/2's issues look small.  With the ES amps you have a good circuit made inferior by stupid decisions and not understanding how the amp works.  With the A-10 you have a terrible circuit to begin with (SRPP should only be used as a driver circuit, not output and lets not discuss that "preamp" travesty) and on top of that you have truly shocking lack of proper engineering.  In terms of the specs the Stax SRM-300 is superior in every way and it costs about 700$. 

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Anyone know the dimensions of the Blue Hawaii....I can't find it on the site

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMahler View Post

Anyone know the dimensions of the Blue Hawaii....I can't find it on the site


The amp is about 15.5x13x4.5 (plus tubes) and the PSU is 7.5x13x4.5

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

Reply
post #10 of 14


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

The T2 and the Blue Hawaii are the best you can get and for good reason.  They cost a lot to build (the T2 quite a bit more thane any BH) but the money is well spent.  Stable PSU and enough current reserve to never leave the headphones wanting.  A KGSSHV run at full tilt would also qualify here. 

 

One step further down the ladder would be the current version of the ESX with a CCS loaded output stage.  The amp with just the old plate resistors is very good but running the tubes properly would make a world of difference.  A normal KGSSHV and to a lesser extent the old KGSS also belong here.  It's too early really but the KGST (think of it as a Stax SRM-007t made with no cost or retail considerations) also belongs here.

I'm just curious. Is the 'normal KGSSHV' the one that runs at +/- 450v?

Also, any info on the KGST? I've heard of it for a long time but never saw one in real life, at least in pic.
 

post #11 of 14

It's more a factor of how hard you run the KGSSHV rather then voltage.  In order to make it easier to build the amp uses the 2.5" board mounted sinks but there is only so much you can ask them to do. 

 

No pics of the KGST as mine uses a hacked up PCB from another amp.  I'll post pics when it is in a box...

post #12 of 14

Excuse the intrusion, if anyone is interested

I have some KGSSHV pcbs for sale in the accessories for sale forum.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by spritzer View Post

I for one think the WES is in no way a high end Stax amp.  It is highly priced but the performance is sorely lacking and I for one would take a GES over it.  Even before I heard it I knew that it had major issues and it just makes the SR-007 sound bland and uninvolving.  Something they really aren't...

 

As for the A-10, it is typical RSA affair.  Badly designed crap but as a special bonus it is down right dangerous.  Parts driven way past their limits and it makes the Single Power ES-1/2's issues look small.  With the ES amps you have a good circuit made inferior by stupid decisions and not understanding how the amp works.  With the A-10 you have a terrible circuit to begin with (SRPP should only be used as a driver circuit, not output and lets not discuss that "preamp" travesty) and on top of that you have truly shocking lack of proper engineering.  In terms of the specs the Stax SRM-300 is superior in every way and it costs about 700$. 


Come on, Spritzer- don't hold back-  tell us what you really think.... biggrin.gif

 

 

post #14 of 14

I've heard lots of amps with the O2 mk1, and if I had my choice I would get the BHSE.  Funding such a purchase is a different story.

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