What is the difference between the regular and the SE? And is this supposed to be an "entry-level" model, that will be followed by something else later in the year?
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Eddie Current Electra Electrostatic Amplifier - Page 2
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One's OTL one's SET. Different tubes used as well - 6SN7's and 6L6's for the Electra, EF86's, a 6SN7, and KT120's (rollable with EL34's) for the SE. Transformer costs will pretty much make up the price difference (together with P2P vs PCB I guess although not sure if that accounts for much.)
I have asked Craig a couple times point blank if these are intended to be end game/TOTL amps. He assured me that while he has some ideas (a 300B stat amp and the like) for the future, he feels that on performance the Electra should hold up well against the big boys. Higher costs would chiefly go to cosmetics/chassis and the like.
Also, even if it does end up being "entry level" (and succeeded by other "more premium" designs) EC first run buyers don't tend to lose much if they do decide to sell later.
I hope to get a chance to compare all the major amps side by side this summer. Definitely an exciting (if costly) time to get into stats.
Edited by Radio_head - 5/31/12 at 8:01pm
I also heard from Craig there will be 3 different tube electrostatic amplifiers and one
solid state electrostatic amplifier. I think the third tube amplifier is the 300B version
with the 274B rectifier, I do not confirm the third one. It's good to know that the SE
version can be rollable with EL34, then I will wait for the SE as I have lots of EL34's but
none of the 6L6GC's. EF86 is not critical and not expensive.
Interesting. Didn't know he had an SS stat amp in the works. He's done it before with the ECSS but I figured he'd leave that to the KGSSHV and the LL (plus the stax offerings) and keep to the tube stuff which he's thought to specialize in.
So essentially what he's hoping for are parallel product lines - S7, ZDSE, 2A3, BA for dynamics, and Electra, SE, 300B long term project, and a solid state project. Lets call it Eddie Current Second Edition Solid State - or ECSESS for short. I'm not sure the stat market is there yet to support that many amps (let alone from one company,) but then again Craig can make smaller batches and runs than some other companies.
The line about the EL34 being rollable with the KT120 was off of memory from a conversation I had with him 3 or 4 months ago - before making that decision it might be prudent to double check with Craig.
To put things in perspective, 50% of the stuff he talks about never makes it to a prototype. And then another 50% never makes it to production. And then another 50% gets discontinued due to lack of interest.
As I understand it he would stagger these releases - if the Electra is successful and has plenty of demand, you release the SE. If both are well received and commercially viable, you add on the 300B, etc. In other words, he'd like to build them and he already has knows what he wants to do but will only follow through with releases if the market's there and interested. He's dropped things from his product line too when they didn't work out.
It's not like he's building 50 and then hoping someone buys them - he'll hold off releasing until he has a full or mostly full run.
So much of the amp market is about hype - the 2A3 for instance got a great review from JP only to languish in relative obscurity (I think maybe a handful purchased.) The BA and ZD/ZDSE have done well. The S7 is getting some good hype (and the new revision looks much better cosmetically than the first run) so that'll probably be successful too. The LF got the most hype of a dynamic amp in recent memory (from all the Canjam posts proclaiming the LCD-2/LF to be the best dynamic pairing ever.) These days (with amp saturation) if you want an amp to be successful you have to have fans who pop up in every "recommend me" thread extolling the virtues of your product.
FYI, Craig's got the 009s (and my 007s) with the Electra down at T.H.E SHOW. The amp isn't directly coupled, so it sounds more along the lines of the Aristaeus than the KGSS/BHSE. It wasn't a very good tonal match with the 007mk2.5s, mainly because the mk2s can tend to be bloated sounding. (BTW, he's running some thick sounding tubes, I know how those RCA 6SN7s tend to sound like. I'm going to bring down a pair of more neutral sounding tubes tomorrow like the Sylvanias.)
The good thing is that the midrange doesn't get all wierd and shouty when I crank up the volume, which I have found to be the case with 007/other amp combos. It's got some of that EC sound with the micro dynamic contrasts. Definitely worth checking out with the 009s or Lambdas. Otherwise it's really hard for me to say because he's running a different source, a Sony SACD player which I haven't heard before. There's a part of me that really wants to haul down the PWD.
Edited by purrin - 6/1/12 at 10:10pm
Had the privilege of listening to the 009's on the electra at the SHOW this past weekend, and my jaw dropped. It is simply the best I've heard from a headphone system - accurate and musical at same time, live sounding, very dynamic, out of head soundstage, and so smooth. They sounded good at low volume and even when I cranked it up, the sound was surpisingly non-fatiguing. They made the LCD-2/3s, also at the eddie current booth, sound veiled and muddy in comparison. It was my first time hearing the 009s as well as the electra so I am not sure which made the biggest difference, but they sounded really good together. I must have spent a good 15-20 minutes listening to them while a line formed behind me!
- Eddie Current Electra Electrostatic Amplifier
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