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Mini-Review: HeadAmp KGSS vs Blue Hawaii SE - Page 6

post #76 of 130

Thanks for the great review. When you say that in order to appreciate the BHSE one needs a “really good source,” I would be curious to know whether you think that the Bel Canto DAC 2.5 would qualify. 

Thanks

V.

 

post #77 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by verwandlung View Post
Thanks for the great review. When you say that in order to appreciate the BHSE one needs a “really good source,” I would be curious to know whether you think that the Bel Canto DAC 2.5 would qualify. 

Thanks

V.


I can't say as I don't have any experience with that DAC. The only Bel Canto source component I've heard was the CD-1 (CD player) and I was definitely unimpressed by it when I owned it, which was about 3 years ago. Back then I also had the Plinius CD-101 and the dCS P8i simultaneously, and IMO the Plinius pretty easily beat the other two sonically.

 

Would like to spend time with the newer Bel Canto sources for fun but I'm sorta past the point where I have an active interest in pursuing other sources than my current one, simply because I like its sound so much and doubt that I'll find anything better without going into the next higher price bracket which I'd rather not do (specifically the >$10K bracket).

 

Though I haven't heard your source I'll provide this advice: the source I'm using has been the best I've heard to date and I've compared it to various CDPs that originally retailed for up to $10K. And with my CDP being the best I've heard yet, I still feel like I'm just scratching the surface of the BHSE's potential. So I don't think a $2K source would really merit the BHSE - in your case I'd be more inclined to suggest the KGSS.


Edited by Asr - 11/24/11 at 12:02am
post #78 of 130

Thanks Asr, 

 

Do you have any idea how long a BHSE can last? I assume that those amps are build to last many years, right? Would it be fair to assume that 10 years from now, 20 years, it would still be working fine? I am asking because I am not intending to “upgrade” all the time!  I guess I would rather buy the BHSE and use it with my Bel Canto DAC 2.5 and MK2 for a few years and probably get a better source, say, in 6 or 7 years. Would this make sense, or is there something I am missing here?

 

Thank you very much for your appreciated reply.

 

Best,

 

Verwandlung 

post #79 of 130

tubes wear out, will need replacing every few years "a typical oxide-cathode glass power tube, such as an EL34, will last about 1500-2000 hours"

 

the Gilmore's power supply uses electrolytic caps, I assume Justin uses them too - they may need replacement every few decades

 

moving parts like volume control and switches may go eventually depending on use

post #80 of 130

Thanks jcx.

 

I was told that Justin at Headamp may eventually replace the KGSS, that is, build a solid electrostatic amp but, as he told me, at the quality level of the BHSE. This is the kind of thing which would interest me pretty much. Especially because it would require a little less care (at lest no tubes to replace every now and then). Although, I am not sure I cant wait too long to replace my Stax 323ii, which I am using now for my MK2!

Best, 

 

Verwandlung

post #81 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by verwandlung View Post

  I guess I would rather buy the BHSE and use it with my Bel Canto DAC 2.5 and MK2 for a few years and probably get a better source, say, in 6 or 7 years. Would this make sense, or is there something I am missing here?

 



Sounds like a good plan to me. I doubt that everybody who have BH have 10K sourses.  I just guess that 90% of BH owners have <2K sourses.  Do not recall but somebody around here have Pico DAC as a sourse for his BHSE.   Bel Canto DAC 3 is hard to beat in under 2K category.  I have Mytek 96 studio dac that I paid $600 and going to keep it until I find  something drastically better.  I think it depends on  what kind of sound you after.

cheers!


Edited by vvs_75 - 11/24/11 at 12:40pm
post #82 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by vvs_75 View Post



Sounds like a good plan to me. I doubt that everybody who have BH have 10K sourses.  I just guess that 90% of BH owners have <2K sourses.  Do not recall but somebody around here have Pico DAC as a sourse for his BHSE.   Bel Canto DAC 3 is hard to beat in under 2K category.  I have Mytek 96 studio dac that I paid $600 and going to keep it until I find  something drastically better.  I think it depends on  what kind of sound you after.

cheers!


I would suggest the Neko D100 it costs 1400$(1300$ promo) some one from the Canada program liked it better than Bel canto dac3, the wyred 4 sound dac 2 and the PS audio cullen 4. https://www.nekoaudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=289&p=673#p673

Even though I didn't hear the Bel canto I did hear the neko and definly can vouch for the neko, the most musical dac analogue like yet detailed DAC I have heard.

 

You can test it on your home before buying since the US and Canadian program is still going on.


Edited by BoogieWoogie - 11/24/11 at 1:24pm
post #83 of 130

Anyone heard anything about the successor of the KGSS? Justin mentioned it in passing in an email, but without telling much about it, as to whether or not he already had something in mind that he would like to build and when it would be. Just told me that he had his hands full with the BHSE now!


Edited by verwandlung - 11/24/11 at 1:04pm
post #84 of 130

Probably the KGSSHV, google it for more info.

post #85 of 130

The KGSS successor would most likely be the KGSSHV.

At the moment it is only available as a DIY build. Nobody manufactures it proffesionally.

Dont hold your breath for HeadAmp to make one.

As you mentioned, they are swamped with BHSE orders.

Cavalli Audio will be releasing a newly designed solid state stat amp soon.

It is called the "Liquid Lightning". Keep an eye out for it.

 

FWIW, I have a Neko D100 MkII DAC for sale.

post #86 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post

The KGSS successor would most likely be the KGSSHV.

At the moment it is only available as a DIY build. Nobody manufactures it proffesionally.

Dont hold your breath for HeadAmp to make one.

As you mentioned, they are swamped with BHSE orders.

Cavalli Audio will be releasing a newly designed solid state stat amp soon.

It is called the "Liquid Lightning". Keep an eye out for it.

 

FWIW, I have a Neko D100 MkII DAC for sale.


I certainly will! Has anyone heard it so far? Is it supposed to sound better than the old KGSS? How does it compare with the BHSE?

 

Incidentally, someone who apparently knows Justin told me that Justin told him that there is little chance he would build a KGSSHV, since it would directly compete with the BHSE and that it doesn't really make sense to divide the labor one two different competing amps! Is there someone else you know of who may decide to manufacture that thing? 

 

 


Edited by verwandlung - 11/24/11 at 1:42pm
post #87 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by verwandlung View Post


I certainly will! Has anyone heard it so far? Is it supposed to sound better than the old KGSS? How does it compare with the BHSE?

 

 

 

 


I built the first KGSSHV thanks to the designer, Kevin Gilmore's generosity giving me the plans early on.

It sounds great, but keep in mind that it is solid state. It does not have the same rich presentation as the BHSE.

The tubes add that extra dimension if you will, without sounding too lush or euphonic as most tube amps do.

The BHSE is one of those designs that has no equal in the commercial world.

 

The KGSSHV is basically a KGSS with more output voltage swing. (450V to 500V vs 350V)

It also has a modern beefed-up current limiting power supply. 

It is more adept at driving the higher end stat phones such as the SR-007.

 

Recently there was a group buy for the DIY KGSSHV board sets.

About 150 sets were sold. Two of them have been completed so far.
 

 


Edited by livewire - 11/24/11 at 9:30pm
post #88 of 130

Thanks livewire. I wouldn't be able to build such thing myself. do you have pics of completed amps? also, any idea how much the cost? 

Thanks again.

Best, 

Verwandlung

post #89 of 130

It just just occurred to me that your question, two posts back was referring to the Cavalli amp.

It was debuted at the recent RMAF show in Colorado. Many gave it a listen, but I know nothing other

than it is still undergoing some final tweaks before being unleashed to the public at large.

 

I'll post a few pics of my KGSSHV shortly.

It is an "econo-build", no pretty case, just the basics.

It cost me $1000 in parts, I did the labor.

 

Before you ask, I am not in the market to build these for others.

Too many other projects right now.

If you have it built for you, expect to pay a minumum of $2000 for parts and labor.

If you want fancy cases and controls, the cost could rise up another $1000 easily.

post #90 of 130

First pic is on the test bench under test. I had not cleaned up the cabling yet.

Last pic is the KGSSHV debut at a local show earlier this year.

(click pic to enlarge)

 

kgsshv test bed.jpg

 

kgsshv65.JPG

 

SD HF Meet 4-23-11.jpg


Edited by livewire - 11/24/11 at 3:43pm
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