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Bakoon HPA-21 headphone amplifier - Page 2

post #16 of 563

Quote:

Originally Posted by CanDude View Post

Concerning the warm up period Soo In says "you will get optimal result starting from 10 minutes or so."

 

Yeah, sure…  What’s Soo In going to say?  “Well, if you want to get to the really really good stuff (i.e. the “bonus round”), you have to commit yourself to a minimum two hour listening session.”? wink.gif  Good marketing ploy that’ll have them beating down his door, don’t you know?  He does.

 

Of course it’s all relative.  Even starting cold you can already tell that the amp is special.  It’s just that you don’t yet realize what luscious little delights are waiting for you down the road.  An unwitting journey into a cornucopia of beguiling sounds and sensations…  Sweet sirens serenading.  Sail on, Homer.  Aargh!

 

One peeve that has already surfaced is that on Bakoon’s next revision, they need to put the charge and power on LEDs smack dab in the middle of the faceplate.  Since the charger and power to the amp need to be on unswitched power so that the batteries can charge while the amp and power conditioner unit is off, you’ve really got to pay attention to turning off the amp manually before turning in for the night.  The tiny white ‘power on’ LED at the bottom of the face plate pointing down just doesn’t cut it.  I’ve now added a piece of aluminum foil extension under the amp to reflect the light outward so that the accentuated reflection may better catch my attention before walking away from the audio gear.


Edited by jacal01 - 5/23/13 at 9:54am
post #17 of 563
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snejk View Post

Nice impressions, on amps and cables.

 

One thing bothers me a bit with the HPA21, the battery. Although I understand the advantages of using a battery I'm still concerned about the longevity/life-time of the battery. A $3000 rendered more or less useless after a couple of years usage isn't very appealing. Have any of you guys heared or seen anything about that? Also, is it possible to change the battery without to much hassle (ie sending it to S.Korea..)?

 

Thanks! Regarding your question I got this answer from Soo In (also added to the Q & A post):

 

Quote:

We are using one of the best and most reliable batteries from Samsung SDI, they guarantee 500 recharge cycles for the battery to reach at is 80% lifetime capacity. So after about 3500 hours, its running time will drop to around 5 hours, but is still usable. (also consider that one can use more than 3 years with 3 hours/day usage)

 

The two battery packs inside the HPA-21 are easily replaceable and will cost approx. EUR 125 + VAT and labour to replace – if ever needed.

 

 

My guess is that your local authorized Bakoon shop will be able to replace the batteries.

post #18 of 563

I listened to the HPA-21 vs. my EAR HP4 again last night, and the HP4 was a little richer, although it was fairly close.

 

I think that I may have figured out what the HPA-21 can hang its hat on.  The remarkable clarity of individual instruments and placements may be rooted in its solid state design, and the current driven analog output somehow emulates the tube’s euphonic full body sound along with the loss in distortion.

 

I have an opportunity in the near future to audition a quality tube preamp with a Darlington transistor current driven headphone output.  It’ll be interesting to hear if the tube gain circuit and current driven output are an obvious synergy notable as an another whole level of euphony.  Of course the different amplifiers will be like comparing apples and oranges, but it’ll be very interesting if any noteworthy similarities come out of the comparison.

 

The other thing I’ve yet to explore is to determine if this full textured organic sound is also associated with the conventional voltage headphone outlet.  If it is, then my hat’s off to Akira Nagai and Soo In Chae, the designers.  I will say that with their recent flagship amps and headphone products, it seems that the Japanese sure like their music sonics lush.


Edited by jacal01 - 5/25/13 at 1:01pm
post #19 of 563
Thread Starter 

I have been listening to HPA-21 with two of my other headphones this weekend. Man was I up for a surprise... more to come!  normal_smile%20.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal01 View Post

The other thing I’ve yet to explore is to determine if this full textured organic sound is also associated with the conventional voltage headphone outlet.

 

That depends on the headphone...  wink_face.gif

post #20 of 563

I'm beginning to think that this "warm-up" period duration may be part of the amp's burn-in process.  I started out last evening's session thinking, "This is already sounding sweet.  Is this 2nd level euphonics in my head or a sole transient delay quality artifact of initial amp burn-in?"  Then, about 40 minutes into the CD the volume was noticeably louder along with the sonics overall enhanced.  That this increased euphonics seem to appear sooner now is indicative that the full weight of the amp's sonics coming on line may actually be a function of the amp's burn-in period, and that the 10 minute delay that Soo In refers to in the FAQ and noted in the 6 moons review as "Bakoon's advanced bias circuit is said to create thermal readiness in 10 minutes." may actually be an attainable result after the amp is properly broken in.     

post #21 of 563
Thread Starter 

Listening impressions with HE-6 and HD 800 are now added to the first post!

post #22 of 563
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacal01 View Post

...the 10 minute delay that Soo In refers to in the FAQ and noted in the 6 moons review as "Bakoon's advanced bias circuit is said to create thermal readiness in 10 minutes." may actually be an attainable result after the amp is properly broken in.     

 

LOL Srajan copied the answers I got from Soo In and rewrote them a little... just guessing of course. biggrin.gif

post #23 of 563

Considering the source is in common (Soo In), at least his info is consistent if independently derived.  O'course, the time element is everything: what did who know and when? wink.gif

post #24 of 563
Thread Starter 

Audeze Partners with Bakoon and Klutz Design

 

http://www.avguide.com/article/audeze-partners-bakoon-and-klutz-introduce-new-lcd3-package-the-show-2013

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audeze View Post

Mike and Jude,

 

Thanks for allowing us to be a part of The Headphonium at T.H.E. Show.

 

We look forward to participating the show and the live panel.

 

For those attending, you'll be among the first to see a great new all-in-one headphone combination we will begin offering with our partners, Bakoon Electronics and Klutz Design. This package will include a pair of Audeze LCD3 headphones, a Bakoon HPA-21 headphone amp and a Klutz CanCans headphone stand and will be available for $4,995--a significant savings compared to purchasing each component separately.

 

If you're attending the show, we invite you to stop by and learn more.

 

- Team Audeze

Hopefully more people will learn how good this combination really is now, so it's just not me and a "cunning linguist" from Houston any more...  beerchug.gif

post #25 of 563

Looks like a great combo. The Klutz stands look the business, but I could personally do with some of the lesser ones. Nice little saving overall.


Edited by negura - 6/1/13 at 4:05pm
post #26 of 563

I've read a review that the Bakoon 5210mk3 wasn't a good match for the LCD2. I hope this time things have changed for better with the new model. 

post #27 of 563

Great review CanDude, here it is my review also, I liked it a lot.

Very transparent, having a multi layered sound and smooth as a tube amp, I will miss it that is for sure smily_headphones1.gif

post #28 of 563

Great review, DarKu.  Your comments about the level of detail and transparency are spot on.  I was a little surprised to read that you thought the HPA-21 was a little light on bass impact and weight, considering that you did review the amp with LCD-2 and 3 headphones included.  One thing that I found when detailing my amp impressions is that it really revealed the quality of the recording, so that if there was any sonic deficiencies, it could generally be easily isolated to the source material.  I didn't check the vintage of your review reference albums, but I know that the quality of CD recordings can vary widely, with the 80s and 90s the worst period for compressed sonics and poorly engineered releases.  I find that generally the newer CDs are of the best recording quality as far as frequency presence and extension.  You really have to pay attention to your audio components in your signal path, because this amp will reveal its limitations and weak link.  Myself, I started my HPA-21 listening impressions with TH900s, so that there was lotsa highly defined and tight bass to ooh and ahh over.  Still, my LCD-2s only reinforced that initial impression.

 

I think that the tube like smoothness and body of the overall sound and level of musical engagement (after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?) could be better emphasized.  But, your review is your own.

 

Kudos for using a Chord QBD76 HDSD DAC in your signal train, though.  If the SATRI-Link cable is also as signal integrity preserving and transparent as Bakoon claims, then I’m looking forward to see what DAC offering they’ll release for mating with the amp.  Hopefully it’ll not be yet another single bit DAC chip also ran, and even an R2R ladder DAC as per earlier generations would most likely be price prohibitive with the requisite resistor matching.  I would like to see them use the FPGA technology as implemented in the Chord and some other high end DACs (e.g. dCS Vivaldi).  And of course DSD playback capability and the latest data file resolution capability (32/384?).  wink.gif


Edited by jacal01 - 6/5/13 at 7:41pm
post #29 of 563

Does anyone know if the more expensive bakoon amp, the amp-11r has the same or even better performance with headphones than the cheaper hpa-21?

post #30 of 563
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachchen1996 View Post

Does anyone know if the more expensive bakoon amp, the amp-11r has the same or even better performance with headphones than the cheaper hpa-21?

 

It's actually the other way around, HPA-21 is an improvement of the headphone part of AMP-11R. I don't know if the new AMP-12R is improved concerning the HP output, but my guess is that HPA-21, as a dedicated HP amp, is still Bakoon's best HP amp!

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