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SR009 / WES / BHSE / LL hit the mainstream - Page 5

post #61 of 594

While I haven't heard the BHSE, (yet, but I'm working on it, har, har) I can say that with a balanced source my LL/009 was always at around 11 o'clock for a comfortable listen. Even 1 PM was waaay too loud for these ears.

 

I'm giving myself a break from headphone listening for the rest of the summer, then come winter I'll probably get another 009 and either borrow or buy both the LL and BHSE so I can figure this out for myself. I've exchanged way too many PMs with other LL owners who for some reason or other seem reluctant to publicly post just how good the LL is, but have no qualms stating so privately. Am I missing something here? 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

Headfier IanG visited my place yesterday evening along with his LL + SR-007mk1's to which we listened to both his 007's and my 009's driven by his LL + my BHSE. When first hearing the LL I have to say I'm quite impressed with how it made both headphones sound, but the 009's sounded better of the two. I felt the same about the BHSE, the 009's were more detailed and transparent than the 007's but like some headfiers have said volume is an issue with the 009's driven by the BHSE. About volume, when using the 009's with the BHSE my optimum level is between 11 and 12 o'clock but with the 007's I could easily go beyond 2 o'clock. The LL is a different matter, with the 009's it's around 3 o'clock but 007's is between 4 and 5 o'clock to get the same volume  the BHSE gives at 2 o'clock. Build quality, I went for the $6000 version of the BHSE and it was worth that on build quality alone, I've no comment about the LL's build quality other than the fact that it's headphone sockets are extremely tight, when I tried to unplug my 009's from it I was afraid the pins were going to stay in it's socket. If it was only down to sound quality, I would have strongly considered buying the LL if I didn't have the BHSE, but other things about it would deter me.

 

                                                         Dave.

 

P.S. The 009's when at the right volume with the BHSE, meaning not too loud, for me give the best SQ I've ever heard. 

post #62 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

Headfier IanG visited my place yesterday evening along with his LL + SR-007mk1's to which we listened to both his 007's and my 009's driven by his LL + my BHSE. When first hearing the LL I have to say I'm quite impressed with how it made both headphones sound, but the 009's sounded better of the two. I felt the same about the BHSE, the 009's were more detailed and transparent than the 007's but like some headfiers have said volume is an issue with the 009's driven by the BHSE. About volume, when using the 009's with the BHSE my optimum level is between 11 and 12 o'clock but with the 007's I could easily go beyond 2 o'clock. The LL is a different matter, with the 009's it's around 3 o'clock but 007's is between 4 and 5 o'clock to get the same volume  the BHSE gives at 2 o'clock. Build quality, I went for the $6000 version of the BHSE and it was worth that on build quality alone, I've no comment about the LL's build quality other than the fact that it's headphone sockets are extremely tight, when I tried to unplug my 009's from it I was afraid the pins were going to stay in it's socket. If it was only down to sound quality, I would have strongly considered buying the LL if I didn't have the BHSE, but other things about it would deter me.

                                                         Dave.

P.S. The 009's when at the right volume with the BHSE, meaning not too loud, for me give the best SQ I've ever heard. 

Hi, David.
Besides the build, what things would deter you from having a LL?
I noticed you also liked its sound. About the sockets, they get better with use.
Regarding the volume, plugged to the same sources, the LL reaches its best spot at 10, while the BHSE sounds its best at 10:30-11:00.
Best
Erico
Edited by ericohgb - 7/24/12 at 9:50am
post #63 of 594

With regard to LL level on the pot, depends if you listen RCA or XLR.

 

Some people are just not public impressions/reviews kind of guys.  More and more these days, a review here is likely to cause all sorts of flame wars on designs, objective/subjective debates, brand loyalty, and of course eventually devolve into cables somehow.  Some people don't want to subject themselves to that.  In private (PMs/emails), where public perception of a product/brand is not a problem, there can actually be more civility, understanding, and ultimately productivity.

 

Edit - The LL sockets are supposed to loosen up after 30 uses.  I suggested to Alex that he "break in" the sockets before sending them out and he may start doing that.


Edited by Radio_head - 7/24/12 at 9:51am
post #64 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

With regard to LL level on the pot, depends if you listen RCA or XLR.

Some people are just not public impressions/reviews kind of guys.  More and more these days, a review here is likely to cause all sorts of flame wars on designs, objective/subjective debates, brand loyalty, and of course eventually devolve into cables somehow.  Some people don't want to subject themselves to that.  In private (PMs/emails), where public perception of a product/brand is not a problem, there can actually be more civility, understanding, and ultimately productivity.

Both are excellent. Can't say the one I like the most.
I prefer the BHSE to listen to my 007MK1/2, while for listening the 009, the LL has been my choice.
Anyway, I would be happy with any of them.
post #65 of 594

Amazing how far a cheap dose of KY would go

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

Edit - The LL sockets are supposed to loosen up after 30 uses.  I suggested to Alex that he "break in" the sockets before sending them out and he may start doing that.

post #66 of 594

I know of no reason that people not posting would make you wonder.   My experience is that people post to complain much much more than they do to praise.

 

I have a LL and a maxed out WES ($7,900 w all the extras) with a BHSE coming in the next couple of weeks and until i can compare all three, i didn't see any reason to post.  This is my first post, so obviously i'm a posting "baby".  :)

 

Bottom line, if the LL and the WES were the same price - i would choose the LL cause I enjoy listening to it more than the WES.  Oh - and for $3,500 more, the WES just doesn't compare.  Although, it does look great at night with the tubes glowing, but I bought it for sound not art.

 

I had a 727II before the WES and the WES is soooooo much better than the Stax and at the time was the only thing I could get.   I am using a Naim NDX/555PS/nDac/555PS as my main source and the 727II just sucked the life out of it.  When I would use a lessor Dac then it wasn't as night and day between the 727II and the WES.  Before the WES, I liked my HD800s better than the SR009s, but the WES totally made the SR009's great.   So I have no problems with the WES at all, but for me I like listening to the LL more.

post #67 of 594
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post
I've exchanged way too many PMs with other LL owners who for some reason or other seem reluctant to publicly post just how good the LL is, but have no qualms stating so privately. Am I missing something here?

Maybe it's because some members of the Stax Mafia have been openly critical of the LL (and the people who like it), and of the WES for that matter.

 

Anyway, it's good to have a (commercially available) solid state amp as an real option, for those that are put off by tubes. One thing  though, judging from photos only, I'm not so impressed with the "plain Jane" boxy looks of the LL. Doesn't have quite the same visual impact of a WES or BHSE - unless you're into blue knobs.

 

It really is time AVGUIDE published their final review - it's been 2 editions now since the BHSE review.

post #68 of 594

True, a shot of Kentucky Bourbon will make you forget all about your socket worries.

 

Edit- that was a reply to mwilson

post #69 of 594

Yes, competition (when fair) is good. Now if it could also drive down prices as a result (crossing fingers and reaching for the shot of Bourbon which Radio_head alluded to - though not what I referred to)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAttorney View Post

Maybe it's because some members of the Stax Mafia have been openly critical of the LL (and the people who like it), and of the WES for that matter.

 

Anyway, it's good to have a (commercially available) solid state amp as an real option, for those that are put off by tubes. One thing  though, judging from photos only, I'm not so impressed with the "plain Jane" boxy looks of the LL. Doesn't have quite the same visual impact of a WES or BHSE - unless you're into blue knobs.

 

It really is time AVGUIDE published their final review - it's been 2 editions now since the BHSE review.

post #70 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericohgb View Post


Hi, David.
Besides the build, what things would deter you from having a LL?
I noticed you also liked its sound. About the sockets, they get better with use.
Regarding the volume, plugged to the same sources, the LL reaches its best spot at 10, while the BHSE sounds its best at 10:30-11:00.
Best
Erico

Hi Erico,

Looks play a big part in audio equipment and while I don't think the LL is really ugly, it's nothing like the BHSE which imo is a thing of beauty. The other thing that's a big put off are it's sockets, Ian also told me they get better with usage but they should be perfect to use the very first time like my BHSE was, they're that tight I was literally worried the pins on my SR-009's would stay in it's socket. The last thing is reliability, I had the BHSE on continuously for almost six hours, I wasn't listening to music in all that time but when I did it sounded amazing and ran without a problem.  If having tubes as part of an amp bothers you then the LL did sound pretty good but I also believe the K-01 played a big part in that. Regarding it's reliability, I don't know, so you might be better off asking someone that knows about what's in side it.

 

                     Dave.

 

P.S. About volume, I'm using their volume knobs as clocks and like I said, with the LL the knob had to be turned quite a bit more than the BHSE to get the same volume. My optimum setting on the BHSE using the 009's is between 11 & 12 o'clock, with Pink Floyds Comfortably Numb and High Hopes I have to put it to 1 and at times 2 o'clock because they sound so good even though I might end up damaging my hearing, however Ian likes it a lot louder than me.

post #71 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by mwilson View Post

I've exchanged way too many PMs with other LL owners who for some reason or other seem reluctant to publicly post just how good the LL is, but have no qualms stating so privately. Am I missing something here? 

 

Yeah, you missed the part where I caught flak here and on the other forum for my LL review.  If you choose to like something the majority doesn't (or vice versa), or you're in the company of a group of very vocal dissenters, it saps any incentive/satisfaction potentially derived from voicing an opinion.  As Radio_head mentioned, people quickly lose the desire to speak up when they're beset at every turn by oft tasteless and condescending responses.

post #72 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericohgb View Post


Both are excellent. Can't say the one I like the most.
I prefer the BHSE to listen to my 007MK1/2, while for listening the 009, the LL has been my choice.
Anyway, I would be happy with any of them.

Actually both myself and Ian thought the opposite in that the 007's sounded better with the LL, and the 009's sounded better with the BHSE with the right amount of volume. Which goes to prove different listeners prefer to hear their music in different ways.

post #73 of 594

Same with the LL; there have been instances when I ran it for 6-8 hours continuously without any issue. Heat-wise, I haven't noticed any difference either past the first 15-30 minutes, after which it stabilized.

 

As far as tube amps are concerned, I haven't had any that didn't happily function after some hours. My only concern was WRT to tube life, as I had some hard to find NOS tubes and didn't want to put the hours on them. However, since the BHSE uses current production tubes this aspect is a non-issue.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

The last thing is reliability, I had the BHSE on continuously for almost six hours, I wasn't listening to music in all that time but when I did it sounded amazing and ran without a problem.  If having tubes as part of an amp bothers you then the LL did sound pretty good but I also believe the K-01 played a big part in that. Regarding it's reliability, I don't know, so you might be better off asking someone that knows about what's in side it.

post #74 of 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

Headfier IanG visited my place yesterday evening along with his LL + SR-007mk1's to which we listened to both his 007's and my 009's driven by his LL + my BHSE. When first hearing the LL I have to say I'm quite impressed with how it made both headphones sound, but the 009's sounded better of the two. I felt the same about the BHSE, the 009's were more detailed and transparent than the 007's but like some headfiers have said volume is an issue with the 009's driven by the BHSE. About volume, when using the 009's with the BHSE my optimum level is between 11 and 12 o'clock but with the 007's I could easily go beyond 2 o'clock. The LL is a different matter, with the 009's it's around 3 o'clock but 007's is between 4 and 5 o'clock to get the same volume  the BHSE gives at 2 o'clock. Build quality, I went for the $6000 version of the BHSE and it was worth that on build quality alone, I've no comment about the LL's build quality other than the fact that it's headphone sockets are extremely tight, when I tried to unplug my 009's from it I was afraid the pins were going to stay in it's socket. If it was only down to sound quality, I would have strongly considered buying the LL if I didn't have the BHSE, but other things about it would deter me.

 

                                                         Dave.

 

P.S. The 009's when at the right volume with the BHSE, meaning not too loud, for me give the best SQ I've ever heard. 

 

From IanG:

 

I rarely post here (or in other fora) because, from my point of view, there is too much destructive criticism which one cannot avoid reading when one just wants to read constructive criticism and/or wholly factual posts.

 

But given that David1961 and I listened to BHSE and LL with 007 Mk1s and 009s last night I thought I'd give my impressions given that David has given his.

 

There needs to be some context here.

 

Material factors in listening impressions, even via headphones, include your mood, your ears(!), room comfort, tracks chosen and volume level selected. Whether one then uses 007s or 009s is of much lesser import in my opinion. And whether one then uses BHSE or LL is of even lesser import, again in my opinion.

 

So how was our listening?

 

In that context, using the LL, we appreciated the extra detail which we thought the 009s revealed, albeit a critic might say he prefers the darker frequency balance of the 007s against the brighter frequency balance of the 009s.

 

With the BHSE we again liked the 009s and felt it was indistinguishable from the LL with the 009s - we were not able to make rapid comparisons because it took time to switch the CD player from RCA output to XLR output.

 

With the BHSE coupled with the 007s we felt the sound was slightly compromised - as if the BHSE was struggling to drive the 007s.

 

This does not matter to us at all because David uses 009s (and I do too and will probably sell my 007s anyway).

 

David really likes the looks of the BHSE and will probably try valve-swapping. He is not a fan of the LL box or the blue bits!

 

For me, I simply would not buy a valve product so the BHSE is out and I do like the look of the LL.

 

The key issue for us on volume was getting the level right. I use a higher volume than David and get an entirely satisfactory volume scale with my LL. David did not like the higher volumes I listened to via his BHSE, for him making the music sound a bit "spiky" - but that is almost certainly about David's listening level choice and not any electronic limitations.

 

Of course, I wanted to go away from this listening session feeling reassured that I had made the right choice. So did David. And I think we both concluded that we had made the right choice for our needs and preferences.

 

QED

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by IanG - 7/24/12 at 1:00pm
post #75 of 594

I'm actually quite the opposite - I would almost always go for a tube amp, if only because of looks. Looks are important at this price point, to me, anyway. Too bad the LL doesn't have any tubes as far as I'm concerned. Like David, I think the BHSE is drop-dead gorgeous in design, but unlike him I also think the LL is drop-dead gorgeous sound-wise. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanG View Post
 
For me, I simply would not buy a valve product so the BHSE is out and I do like the look of the LL.
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