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Advice needed on a 'final' TOTL Electrostatic amp within $2k price range.

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

Alright, it’s time for an electrostatic amplifier upgrade, enough with issues from aging tube electrostatics or DIY’s done by others.  I’m thinking of finally purchasing something brand new from a reputable dealer that will not only have some kind of warranty, but longevity in the long run.

This ‘new’ amp will primarily be for my HE60(Baby Orpheus),  Stax SR-007 Mk1, HE Audio Jades,  Koss ESP950 and my Stax 404LE.

Yes, I know that the ultimate route to go would be a BHSE or KGSSHV or LL etc (all headphones in the roughly $5000 range).  But I really can’t afford nor justify (especially to the spouse) such a financial outlay.  I was hoping to keep it within the +/- $ 2000 range.  I have always liked  the warmth and musicality produced by tube amplifiers, but certainly am open to solid state or hybrid models.

I’m looking for a much improved sound than what I currently have with my T-1 and eXStatA, and ease of use, quality and reliability with longevity down the road.

Any help, suggestions, comments would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

Bryan


Edited by charliex - 10/18/12 at 11:04pm
post #2 of 61
Thread Starter 

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post #3 of 61

If you know how to DIY or know somebody that can DIY for you, I think the KGSSHV is by far your best bet.  You'd be able to have as many outputs as you want since those run at different bias voltages and the SQ is up near the top.

post #4 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

If you know how to DIY or know somebody that can DIY for you, I think the KGSSHV is by far your best bet.  You'd be able to have as many outputs as you want since those run at different bias voltages and the SQ is up near the top.

 

Sorry, but I am not a DIY'er and am not comfortable around electronics.

post #5 of 61

Nothing commercial at 2K$ exists the fits this bill.  The original KGSS would have been the perfect fit but Justin doesn't make them any more. 

post #6 of 61

Used Headamp KGSS units pop up for $1.7-2.1 every month or two.  I'd throw up a WTB ad.

post #7 of 61

What's about GES?

 

 I think around 2000$ you can get a maxxed GES.

 

I've not tried it, but I've contacted several owners of the amplifier and all without exception commented me that GES behaves fantastically with the SR-009. I think that the HE60 output can be included as option.
 
Regards
post #8 of 61

I'm curious about the GES ouput. All the stax amps are listed with specs for rms output voltage (300-400v) but I haven't seen an rms output voltage spec for the GES. Anyone know what it is?

post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chodi View Post

I'm curious about the GES ouput. All the stax amps are listed with specs for rms output voltage (300-400v) but I haven't seen an rms output voltage spec for the GES. Anyone know what it is?


Hi Chodi:

 

Dr. Gilmore wrote about voltage ratings for many electrostatic amplifiers. Details here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582518/electrostatic-amplifiers-voltage-ratings

 

GES is 1200 Volts...

post #10 of 61

I'm immensely enjoying my Transistor-Amp V4, built for me by Andreas (www.high-amp.de). When paired with the SR-007A, it is very clearly superior to my Stax SRM-007tA, which is collecting dust now. To my ears the sound is noticeably more open and transparent.

 

I believe it pushes 1500V stator to stator. Cost-wise, it turned out very comfortably within the price range you're considering.

 

One thing I'm not sure about is the availability of some of the components - Andreas told me that they were discontinued, and were getting fairly hard to find.

 

Other than that, I can't fault that amp in any way, shape or form. It also doesn't get very hot - stable around 55C in the hottest spot.

 

-- Dmitri

post #11 of 61

The GES is pretty good with the 009 and HE60.  For a sub-$2k category, I'd shortlist a KGSS, SRM-727II, and GES.

post #12 of 61

I have a 2006 Headamp/Gilmore KGSS coming in the mail that has been passed around on here. Some built around that time came with Black Gate caps. I doubt I am getting that lucky but it's a custom that has a single dact so maybe they went all out. I wonder if there was much change between the older ones and the ones before they were discontinued. I do have a 717 now to compare and see if there is much of a difference. These drivers sell quickly and usually get most of your money back if you do but usually have to be quick to get one. I just look at it as more fun than having money in the bank. I don't think that second hand GES's sell as quick though.

post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycalgary View Post

I have a 2006 Headamp/Gilmore KGSS coming in the mail that has been passed around on here. Some built around that time came with Black Gate caps. I doubt I am getting that lucky but it's a custom that has a single dact so maybe they went all out. I wonder if there was much change between the older ones and the ones before they were discontinued. I do have a 717 now to compare and see if there is much of a difference. These drivers sell quickly and usually get most of your money back if you do but usually have to be quick to get one. I just look at it as more fun than having money in the bank. I don't think that second hand GES's sell as quick though.

 

All the KGSS or KGBH amps built in that era with black gate caps have them sticking out the top of the enclosure -- so that's how you'd know.  The exception is the version called the "KGSS DX" which was built in a taller and less wide enclosure.  But only about 3 of those were built.

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 #14 of 61

Much improved sound over the SRM-T1 and the GES does not add up in my book. 

post #15 of 61
For those who know these issues, in technical terms and returning to Dr. Gilmore said about different amplifiers output voltages

Are sufficient GES 1200V to handle with ease the SR-009?
My listening conditions will be always with a moderate SPL.
I would like an objective assessment because subjectively may exist differents points of view about "driving"....


Maybe I am wrong, but the Stax need a minimum of 580V and the existing voltage reserve is used in the dynamic changes of the sound
 
is this correct or not?confused.gif

Edited by Sahara - 10/20/12 at 8:16pm
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