Don is not lying or falsifying anything, two other people heard the issues in person and this amp was built by a well known and respected DIY'er. I know some of the issues experienced were similar to the issues livewire (and others? Don't feel like searching through the whole thread) had on pages 44-45 of a KGSSHV thread somewhere and were solved upon a transformer replacement but I believe there were other issues as well. This thing was shipped a few times and sent out on loan twice though so who knows. Also, ever since an unfortunate accident with a hot chocolate explosion in late december, my house has been haunted by the ghost of swiss miss past and it is really messing up my listening room.
Thanks for the review MH. I've owned a couple Stax amps and had the LL, KGSSHV, Electra, and BHSE in my possession (and the LL2 in a few private auditions) and definitely considered doing a review on more than one occasion. Personally, I think the differences stated sometimes are a little overblown due to the old schoolyard politics and perception wrangling and no amount of walks with family is getting me in the middle of that morass. I'm into being tarred and feathered but only by my wife and we have a safe word. Thanks for amassing the courage, (despite it not gelling with what I heard.)
On the topic of the LL1 & 2 as you asked for feedback at some point, I heard them side by side and while it wasn't night and day, they were clearly different amps with slightly differing presentations. Whenever I wasn't sure I would just look at the front panel and remember which one I preferred. I wondered how cleaning up parasitics could affect the sound that much but then I heard the BD1 and 2 (or version 1.2) with cleaned up parasitics and it was very different indeed and Doug mentioned that was the only real change there as well. Alex also changed fab houses between 1 and 2 which may change some of the little things and build quality on the board itself, don't know how much that would affect sound though as it should either work or not work.
Sometimes I wonder about how the cable change to JPS might have affected the sound but I do not want to go down the road lest my house be filled with Nordost and MIT next year at the expense of my quality of Life (I'd have to buy the cheap generics for breakfast rather than the real Life I eat every morning.). I'll go on thinking cables aren't a factor until I die or win the lottery. (Isn't that what we all do, kind of? Insist whatever we can't afford isn't a factor as it would downgrade what we have from being the best to something - *gasp* - lesser? That is, until we can finally afford the next 'step up' and what we had before suddenly becomes 'clearly inferior.' And you can't be an audiophile without having an epiphany at least once an equinox that requires a system revamp to accommodate having 'rediscovering your music collection' with X product while never discovering new music because none of its as good as the old days when you first heard 'so happy together' on the radio on the way to that fishing trip that is one of your fondest memories with your dad, and no nostalgia for youth and familiarity has nothing to do with yesteryear's music being better than today's trash. What's up with today's music? One song on the radio tells me to "drop it like its hot" and the next song tells me "don't drop that thun thun thun." And here I am sitting paralyzed in my car having no idea whether I am supposed to drop it or not! I'm still waiting for the next hit single to tell me whether I can indeed drop it or whether its something worth holding onto.)
I'm not sure how much this Abe Simpson train-of-thought post helps, if at all, but I used to tie an onion on my belt. It was the style at the time.