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High end Bakoon headphone amp Japan version discussion thread and Impression Thread - Page 2

post #16 of 118

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/bakoon3/1.html

post #17 of 118

Some initial impressions of Bakoon HPA-21: http://www.head-fi.org/t/575751/new-audeze-lcd3/7230#post_9171131

post #18 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanDude View Post

Some initial impressions of Bakoon HPA-21: http://www.head-fi.org/t/575751/new-audeze-lcd3/7230#post_9171131

 

Somewhat edited:

 

I listened to Bakoon Products SATRI HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER HPA-21 driving LCD-3 today at the Stockholm HighEnd Show (http://highendmassan.se, I’m in the show team). World premiere!

 

The sound is so clean! And none of the attenuated treble that you may feel that the LCDs have. “S”, cymbals etc. are somewhat more noticeable. I could easily take the setup at the show and live happily forever after. Of course I don’t know how much the amp is responsible for that sound. I’m listening to exactly the same songs with my own equipment now and it doesn’t sound as good, more reminiscent of the voltage output of HPA-21.

 

Show setup:

PC with JRiver MC, 16/44 flac – Lindemann USB DAC, battery powered – Bakoon HPA-21 – Toxic Silver Widow cable – LCD-3 (serial number 261xxxx)

 

Home setup:

PC with JRiver MC, 16/44 flac – Lynx Hilo – Bryston BHA-1 – Red Astrachan cable (from Swedish Audez’e importer) – LCD-3 (RMD’d late August)

 

I don’t know how the Lindemann USB DAC compares to my Lynx Hilo.

I don’t know how the Toxic cable compares to my cable, maybe it has some more treble (if it’s really trebly).

And the LCDs could sound different too, of course.

 

The PHA-1 at the show is a pre-production unit. It has 95% of the final sound, and the front is secured with double-sided tape. It is battery powered, the battery lasts for up to 7 hours. It’s heavy, 5 kilos.

For more information on HPA-1 read Srajan Ebaen's Preview in 6Moons: http://6moons.com/audioreviews/bakoon3/1.html

 

The HPA-21 has two HP outputs, "voltage" and "current". The sound is very different IMO. You could almost compare to SE (voltage) vs. balanced (current) sound. The current output has a higher volume level, which makes it harder to compare correctly of course.

 

The voltage output sounds “normal”, more like my BHA-1. The current output opens up the sound, makes everything clearer with more space, details and dynamics. It is almost as if something has been vacuumed away compared to the voltage output. If you believe the manufacturer that would be the distortion...

 

HPA-21 only has SE outputs, no balanced outputs. If it sounds that good, I don’t care.

 

It has two sets of SE inputs, one pair using BNC jacks to connect to Bakoon's upcoming (and expensive) DAC and one pair regular RCA. It would have been nice to have balanced inputs, especially since my DAC only has balanced outputs...

 

The preliminary price is SEK 25,000 to 29,995, which should translate to $2,500 to $2,995.

 

Some crappy pictures:

 

 

 

I will continue to listen to HPA-21 tomorrow, I’ll see if my initial impressions last.


Edited by CanDude - 2/17/13 at 5:19pm
post #19 of 118
Curious what the guts are on a $3000 non-balanced solid state headphone amp without external PSU. Seems fairly pricey, even considering battery power.

Also, the current and voltage slots are probably their way of noting different impedance matches. Most amplifiers will say '32 ohm goes here' and '300 ohm goes here' sort of deal. Current for 32ohm and voltage for 300ohm.
Edited by Maxvla - 2/17/13 at 5:38pm
post #20 of 118

Day two with HPA-21.

 

Unfortunately HPA-21 wasn’t charged during the night so I couldn’t do as much listening as I would have liked. When the battery runs out of power there’s a red light and after a while the amp shuts down. I don’t know if it automatically starts charging or not, I turned off the power switch to be sure. When the power switch is off it charges the battery.

 

The initial impressions of HPA-21 last. However when at a show you turn up the volume due to the surrounding noise and when come home you may listen to a lower (normal) volume level. Hence you hear more treble at the show since you play louder (that’s the way our ears work). So the difference in treble level between the show setup and my own setup isn’t probably as big as I thought. I still believe that the show setup was a little bit more “airy” than my home setup, though. The overall sound signature is the same for the current output as for the voltage output.

 

Bass level and quality seems to be similar to my home setup. Mids are a little bit clearer, not as soft and “thick”, but everything is still there. Treble is clearer and maybe a little bit stronger.

 

It is interesting to switch between the current output and the voltage output. The current output has a clearer presentation, it is easier to hear different instruments. I remember some lower level multi-tracked voices plus a B3 organ. Using the current output you could almost hear the different notes/melodies while with the voltage output everything was presented as a “package”. With the voltage output you listen to a nice HP setup. With the current output everything gets more relaxed, the music flows more naturally. In short, with the current output you’re happier! You almost wonder if you’re listening to LCD-4…

 

When listening to LCD-3 I used the high gain setting and the volume was 09:30 to 10:00 (for the current output). It felt as if HPA-21 has way more power than needed for LCD-3.

 

When HPA-21 is available in April-May I will definitely bring one home and compare it more thoroughly with BHA-1. It is still unclear if it will be made in both silver and black color or only in black. I liked the silver color, even if all my other stuff is in black.

 

I already miss it.

 

Big thanks to Klutz Design and especially to Michael Hollesen for his kind assistance. Klutz Design makes the CanCans headphone stand (I bought two).

post #21 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Also, the current and voltage slots are probably their way of noting different impedance matches. Most amplifiers will say '32 ohm goes here' and '300 ohm goes here' sort of deal. Current for 32ohm and voltage for 300ohm.

 

Nope.

 

To my understanding for the current output the voltage is constant (unaffected by the HP) and the current is modulated by the input voltage.

Output impedance for the voltage socket is about 1Ω. Output impedance for the current socket is about 2.5MΩ.

post #22 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanDude View Post

Day two with HPA-21.

Thanks a lot for your impressions on HPA-21 from day one and day two, your findings are really interesting. I hope I can audition one too in the near future. If this amp was developed with LCD-3 and LCD-2 in mind I just can imagine how good it must sound with both. 

Offtopic: Also thanks for your HDV800 impressions in it's dedicated thread!

post #23 of 118

Really think CanDude said it all but just wanted to add a voice regarding the hpa-21 att the Stockholm show. The setup had the clearest, least muddled sound I think I've heard. Ever. First listen I found it slightly bright but this was coming from a session with tannoy speakers and the lars amps. As CanDude states this is also probably due to all the noise at the show. Later I had another listen and got to try out some more tracks. Impressed by the whole freq range now and again, the clarity is unlike anything I've heard. (My burson + LCD2.2 sound very grainy now).

I haven't had the opportunity to audition so many amps in my short head-fi career but I think most would be impressed by this thing as long as your not expecting tubes.

 

 

post #24 of 118

Good to know I wasn't imagining things!  beerchug.gif

 

When I first put the LCD-3s on my head and listened to a song I know well (These days with Ane Brun) I was amazed at the clear sound and the perfectly balanced bass-mids-treble. I wondered “is this how electrostats sound like” (luckily for my wallet I haven’t had the pleasure to listen to any stats yet). Then I wondered “how did they manage to do this with LCD-3”. When I then saw the labels on the two sockets and started switching between them I soon recognized a more familiar sound when using the voltage socket.

 

HPA-21 (using the current socket) + Toxic cable + LCD-3 produce the best headphone sound I have ever heard!

 

BTW I should have mentioned that Klutz Design is the distributor for Bakoon, but you've probably already figured that out.

post #25 of 118

I hope that I (we) didn't drool too much on the HPA-21 so that Alex and Sankar at Audez'e also can enjoy it! smile.gif

post #26 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanDude View Post

I hope that I (we) didn't drool too much on the HPA-21 so that Alex and Sankar at Audez'e also can enjoy it! smile.gif

We are all drooling !!!!!! .

 

Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed , much appreciated.

Knowing it is a prototype it is encouraging to hear early positive feedback .

No footers ?

post #27 of 118

Very interested in hearing more impressions about this amp. I'm looking for a high-end SS amp to compliment my ZDSE, that would also pair well with an HD800. That said-for $3000 I'd expect a much better looking chassis. Looks bland and generic from the pics...

 

-Daniel

post #28 of 118

Would love to know what it sounds like with dsd by the way. Keep droolig. 

post #29 of 118

I am a bit concerned at present .

I have noticed the drool is drying up a little.

The more I look at the silver version it appears to be a very plain rectangular box .

 

The integrated with apple like form factor to me still is very appealing

I know the performance is most important but in this price segment I shift my expectations upwards .

 

I would have been more than happy with a 2 box unit  and same form factor and more than happy to pay the same 5K price .

The current one box is just starting to look very drab , sorry to say 

My opinion only .

post #30 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

Very interested in hearing more impressions about this amp. I'm looking for a high-end SS amp to compliment my ZDSE, that would also pair well with an HD800. That said-for $3000 I'd expect a much better looking chassis. Looks bland and generic from the pics...

 

-Daniel

+1

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