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The Stax Thread III - Page 172

post #2566 of 2967

Technically this is true in some respects (objective measurements) but it's not borne out by subjective listening IMO, particularly in audio amplification and in driving electrostatic headphones specifically.

In fact scientists have now realised that the vacuum tube has much to offer and are actively developing combined solid state and vacuum tube devices.  http://www.gizmag.com/nasa-vacuum-channel-transistor/22626/

 

"NASA and the National Nanofab Center in South Korea are working on a miniaturized "vacuum channel transistor" - a best-of-both-worlds device that could find application in space and high-radiation environments.

Vacuum tubes, or thermionic valves, have almost disappeared from our day-to-day life, save for some purist sound rigs and high-power radio base stations. Their replacement - solid-state transistors - are easier to manufacture, cheaper, lighter, last longer, and consume much less power. Valves, on the other hand, are more robust in high-temperature and high-radiation environments and yield a higher frequency/power output than standard transistors.

NASA/Nanofab researchers are developing a device the combines the best aspects from both vacuum tubes and solid-state transistors. Their prototype "vacuum channel transistor" is only 150 nanometers in size, can be manufactured cheaply using standard silicon semiconductor processing, can operate at high speeds even in hostile environments, and could consume just as much power as a standard transistor."

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by James-uk View Post

Tube amps are flawed based on limits in technology just like analogue recording and storage were. Digital and solid state are in another league . It's a fact. That's not up for discussion. What is and needs to be considered is personal preference. That can't be accounted for so there is no point in arguing about it.
post #2567 of 2967

Just because an amp has a tube in it doesn't make it a tube amp.  I know that sounds weird, but a lot of amps are hybrid amps, meaning they use both transistors and tubes.  In fact, most "tube amps" for electrostats are hybrid amps.  The BHSE is closer to being a solid state amp than a tube amp.  In fact, one could make the argument that tubes are ideal for driving electrostats.

 

Also, amp "roll off" is a grossly exaggerated and misguided phrase.  Most of the time you're looking at a max of something like -1.5 dB @ 20 kHz.  Likely not even audible, and certainly not important.  "Roll off" is really only meaningful for the actual transducers, unless you're using something especially terrible like the Zanden DAC.

post #2568 of 2967

Forgive me for assuming all tube amps have rolled-off highs — that's the most frequent characteristic that I see other people (and reviews) citing about the difference. When I've tried tube amps before, I've either detected no difference at all from (good) solid-state, or that rolloff. Usually no difference at all.

 

But, as I said, that was just one reason I wasn't considering tubes. The two others:

 

- Tubes can be finicky, and eventually burn out. I don't want to tube-roll. I don't want to buy NOS tubes from Russian missiles on eBay (again). I don't want to have to figure out what to replace them with, and where to get more, when they die. I don't want to diagnose a weird imbalance or noise in one ear when a tube gets flaky. I want an amp that works the same way every time.

 

- Tubes seem to pick up noise more easily, and I'm surrounded by computers and phones and tablets with cellular radios all the time. When I spent some time with a couple of tube amps at home, I had problems with my most sensitive and detailed headphones — the Beyer T90 — having audible noise from both tube amps that they didn't get with two solid-state amps in the exact same setup. And from what everyone says, the SR-009 are particularly sensitive and detailed.

 

Are these concerns unfounded?


Edited by marcoarment - 6/13/14 at 6:17pm
post #2569 of 2967

I wasn't aiming my post at anyone in particular, there just seemed to be some misconceptions being posted.  I agree that the differences between sources and amps are blown pretty out of proportion, and think the headphone is by FAR the most important part of the chain.  If I were in your situation I'd look at one of the current production SS Stax amps or a vintage SRM-1 or SRM-T1.  Note the latter uses tubes and does indeed have a 'tubey' sound, so I'm not sure you'd prefer it.

 

Tubes are more finicky/less set and forget than transistors.  As for the noise problem, it could be a number of things and really depends on what kind of noise you're talking about.  It could be bad power/regulation, sensitivity/impedance of the headphones, chassis shielding design, etc.

post #2570 of 2967
I thought people jumped on STAX gear, but I've been trying to sell my 006T for months. I really enjoy it but its too nice haha I don't deserve an amp of that caliber on my desk.
post #2571 of 2967

Anyone here use (or have heard) a Schiit DAC with the KGSSHV / 009?

post #2572 of 2967

I dont think its anything to with it being a Stax amp but just that people are short of money at the moment. Just the cost of living, food rent, energy etc. On UK forums there is lots of great equipment, some at bargain prices but its just not selling. I think you will find DIY amps can be even harder to sell and get back anywhere near the investment back you put into them.

I also think Stax amps are dissed here far too much, there is always something better at a price, but how many other commercial headphone amps are still fully functional after three or four decades?

   

Quote:

Originally Posted by DutchGFX View Post

I thought people jumped on STAX gear, but I've been trying to sell my 006T for months. I really enjoy it but its too nice haha I don't deserve an amp of that caliber on my desk.
post #2573 of 2967
This was posted in the entry STAX thread, but I thought someone here might be curious too. Since Tyll received the custom electrostatic headphone amplifier, he's offering to measure electrostatic headphones. I sent in my SR-207 purchased last year and I just received them back today with a data sheet of measurements.



They look pretty much identical, if not better than the SR-507 measurements he did previously, so I'm not sure why anyone in their right mind would purchase the SR-507 over the SR-207 when the SR-207 is $535 USD less from STAX USA's pricing. Actually, looking at the SR-009 measurements, the SR-207 measures pretty close to that too. Not too bad for a $390 (that's 1/11 the price of the SR-009) headphone! Not bad at all. : o
Edited by miceblue - 6/13/14 at 11:07pm
post #2574 of 2967
Quote:
Originally Posted by zachchen1996 View Post
 

Anyone here use (or have heard) a Schiit DAC with the KGSSHV / 009?

I use the Schiit Gungnir with the KGSSHV and previously the Stax 717. My HP is the 007mk1.

post #2575 of 2967

Yes the Stax entry level stuff is a real bargain IMHO

post #2576 of 2967
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcoarment View Post
 

 

 

- Tubes can be finicky, and eventually burn out. I don't want to tube-roll. I don't want to buy NOS tubes from Russian missiles on eBay (again). I don't want to have to figure out what to replace them with, and where to get more, when they die. I don't want to diagnose a weird imbalance or noise in one ear when a tube gets flaky. I want an amp that works the same way every time.

 

- Tubes seem to pick up noise more easily, and I'm surrounded by computers and phones and tablets with cellular radios all the time. When I spent some time with a couple of tube amps at home, I had problems with my most sensitive and detailed headphones — the Beyer T90 — having audible noise from both tube amps that they didn't get with two solid-state amps in the exact same setup. And from what everyone says, the SR-009 are particularly sensitive and detailed.

Never had so many noise problems as with my KGSS and the 009.

It is so sensitive that even the flickering of the MacbookPro display or a Iphone/ipad nearby can be easily heard.

With the Stax Amps there will be no noise at all. Its going to be interesting how a BHSE will act. CANT WAIT(2 1/2 years now waiting) to find out!

 

The DAC is a ESOTERIC D02 and cabling the good stuff from Wireworld, so that could not be the source.

 

I have a very quiet surrounding which may a reason that i´m more sensitive in hearing than others. My Summit X Electrostatic Loudspeaker for example have a noise problem on the active sub amplification, very subtile, that most of the other Martin Logan Summit owners haven't recognized.

---The Martin Logan ReQuest Speaker with the same Amp, a Lyngdorf TDAI2200, did not have any noise.

 

Karl


Edited by karlgerman - 6/14/14 at 1:07am
post #2577 of 2967
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

This was posted in the entry STAX thread, but I thought someone here might be curious too. Since Tyll received the custom electrostatic headphone amplifier, he's offering to measure electrostatic headphones. I sent in my SR-207 purchased last year and I just received them back today with a data sheet of measurements.



They look pretty much identical, if not better than the SR-507 measurements he did previously, so I'm not sure why anyone in their right mind would purchase the SR-507 over the SR-207 when the SR-207 is $535 USD less from STAX USA's pricing. Actually, looking at the SR-009 measurements, the SR-207 measures pretty close to that too. Not too bad for a $390 (that's 1/11 the price of the SR-009) headphone! Not bad at all. :

 

Thanks for that miceblue; I said I didn't need to spend so much on "earwhatsits".

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582131/is-anyone-building-the-kgsshv/420#post_10559430

post #2578 of 2967

This sounds like mains borne electrical interference so might be worthwhile getting hold of a simple mains filter to plug your audio equipment into. http://www.james-audio-sales.co.uk/index_mainsnoiseexplained.htm

As far as i'm aware the KGSS is not usually subject to such problems. I would pm Kevin Gilmore or Spritzer on this forum and ask if they can help you diagnose the problem or find a solution  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by karlgerman View Post
 

Never had so many noise problems as with my KGSS and the 009.

It is so sensitive that even the flickering of the MacbookPro display or a Iphone/ipad nearby can be easily heard.

With the Stax Amps there will be no noise at all. Its going to be interesting how a BHSE will act. CANT WAIT(2 1/2 years now waiting) to find out!

 

Karl


Edited by complin - 6/14/14 at 5:30am
post #2579 of 2967

thanks, we had some conversation already. one known thing is the transformer which has to be changed to a sealed highquality version. Spritzer told me that he had some transformers that tend to generate a humm.

 

and nothing of the other equipment ever had a problem with interference noise. 

 

but mains filter are always worth a try!

post #2580 of 2967
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

This was posted in the entry STAX thread, but I thought someone here might be curious too. Since Tyll received the custom electrostatic headphone amplifier, he's offering to measure electrostatic headphones. I sent in my SR-207 purchased last year and I just received them back today with a data sheet of measurements.



They look pretty much identical, if not better than the SR-507 measurements he did previously, so I'm not sure why anyone in their right mind would purchase the SR-507 over the SR-207 when the SR-207 is $535 USD less from STAX USA's pricing. Actually, looking at the SR-009 measurements, the SR-207 measures pretty close to that too. Not too bad for a $390 (that's 1/11 the price of the SR-009) headphone! Not bad at all. : o
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