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Comparisons of the Liquid Lightning and KGSSHV Solid State Stax Amplifiers - Page 4

post #46 of 210

Quote:

Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

And I didn't make the air-buds comment. You might want to re-check that. :rolleyes: 

 

Well:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

And my comments stand. Sorry....the bass does seem to cut off at 80Hz and become very much "one-note" style as Birgir put it. The KGSSHV is spectacular with the SR-009s and as I mentioned fires on all cylinders....great bass, mids, treble, imaging, transparency, etc...(you name it). 

 

That kinda describes apple ear-buds: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AppleEarPods.pdf

 

But yeah, didn't say that explicitly ;)

 

I actually feel your first preliminary review 3 weeks ago was closer to what I heard. But who knows.

post #47 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

 

yeah i don't think its apple ear buds either, thats the LL2, this is the LL :D

 

once again, YMMV, etc.

 

This kind of blind bashing of products people don't own or have quite a bit of experience with is why I left STAX crew and limit my time on HF. Talk about bad fellowship.

post #48 of 210
i said ymmv,,,
post #49 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

I have an LL2 here, on loan. Given the comments about the bass I've been trying it with tracks that have deep bass and I wouldn't describe it as having "nothing going on under 80Hz" at all.

 

As for posting schematics, I'd say given someone is trying to make their livelihood from the amp, doing so would be extremely rude. Maybe discussing possible improvements with Alex would be better, if you and Kevin both have good intentions.

 

The LL2 is a totally different beast in terms of sound. 

 

In any event, I wouldn't describe the LL as being bass lite or having "nothing going on under 80Hz." I agree with the slight smearing quality of the LL and also it's difficulty at reproducing the extremes (we are talking about subjective deep sub-bass and high air). One thing I felt the LL did better than the KGSSHV was in the microdynamics department. Although the KGSSHV has probably the best driver control of any stat amp I've heard, I felt it sounded rather flat and boring. Just a different point of view and YMMV depending upon personal preferences and sonic priorities.

 

In any event, discussion of the LL is only interesting from a historical perspective since the LL2 has superceded it.

 

Spritzer's public releasing of technical schematics and opining on areas where the amp could be improved would be in poor taste, considering his close association with Kevin Gilmore's "competing" designs which can be found in various DIY amps Spritzer and commercial amps Headamp have sold.

 

I think it is time to get something out of the way, given one of Spritzer's previous posts: According to Stax, the KGSS is a copy of the 717, no licence involved.  Given Kevin's regular habit of posting designs of commercial amps for DIY, I don't see a problem if it is something no longer made, but I do see a problem in essentially trying to screw over manufacturers by doing so with current production amps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post
 

I don't see anything wrong with posting schematics.  I think every manufacturer, especially those selling expensive amps, should publicly show large pictures of the internals.  They should be proud of their work and use their craftsmanship as a selling point.  The ones that seem to purposely avoid showing the insides come across as having something to hide.

I totally agree. Years ago manufacturers routinely did this. The fact that they don't do this anymore is more a marketing ploy than anything else. All audio amps are electrically simple. Anyone with a couple of semesters of college electronics can easily reverse engineer even the most complex of them. There are no "secrets" here. 

 

Years ago they didn't have Chinese manufacturers copying the design on the spot, or competitors. Regardless, even if they DO publish schematics, only people such as yourself can understand them. I can certainly understand Alex being reluctant to post a schematic, especially given the fanatic attacks from the Stax Mafia (living up to their name).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankCooter View Post
 

I totally agree. Years ago manufacturers routinely did this. The fact that they don't do this anymore is more a marketing ploy than anything else. All audio amps are electrically simple. Anyone with a couple of semesters of college electronics can easily reverse engineer even the most complex of them. There are no "secrets" here. 

 

X4

 

the LL could very well be an entry lvl stax amp in a regular case with the only cool thing being the blue knob...

 

I think it's pretty clear, given what an entry level Stax amp looks like internally and the LL2, that's not the case. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post
 

$4.8k for the LL? I always came off the impression that it was $3k. Add a bit extra on top of $4.8k and a bit of wait time you can have a BHSE in your hands or have roughly enough to build 2 KGSSHV or buy/build a KGSSHV and get an O2 MK1. Yumm...

 

Well, it's not an apples-for-apples comparison: First, DIY amps don't have to cover manufacturer's expenses (research, building up a supply of parts, dealing with multiple suppliers, paying staff, etc.) You can have a BHSE in your hands if you wait a year for what was, until fairly recently, only a single person hand-building them. As well, Justin doesn't make a great deal of money from each amp, so you really are getting a bargain, if you can stand waiting. 

post #50 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerodeefex View Post
 

 

This kind of blind bashing of products people don't own or have quite a bit of experience with is why I left STAX crew and limit my time on HF. Talk about bad fellowship.

 

It's not specifically with Stax, you see it all over the place with every product, if the user is disappointed with a product in the first place, why invest more time and effort going further down the path you disliked in the first place?

 
It's like the fanboys that endlessly bash the HD800's having little or no experience with it at all because they feel the T1, LCD2/3 or HE-500 etc is better, vice versa for the other products out there. 
 
You're always going to get this sort of thing wherever you go. In Birgir's case and if you're not limiting the bashing part to him, his done a lot for the community here more so than anyone else here or out there, if it were not for his contributions and people like KG aftermarket stat amp's would not be what it is today period, these have had strong influences onto other manufacturers. Yes some of his impressions on other stuff can be quite harsh or come off as being negative but hey, that's just one man speaking up for the rest of the crowd too scared to speak up for themselves, it's only his personal subjective/objective findings so don't treat it as the final word.
 
People have been skeptical about the price to part/performance ratio with the Cavali stuff for a long time excluding the companies strong followers out there and it's a good thing for people like spritzer and MH or any others to break down things into perspective with non meet comparisons so users are well aware of what they are paying for, how things can be improved through feedback which is more important than anything else.

Edited by DefQon - 9/19/13 at 4:55pm
post #51 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

Quote:

 

Well:

 

That kinda describes apple ear-buds: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AppleEarPods.pdf

 

But yeah, didn't say that explicitly ;)

 

I actually feel your first preliminary review 3 weeks ago was closer to what I heard. But who knows.

 

Just to clarify, they were right out of the box impressions and I put the LL1 in first. The look on my face when I switched back to the KGSSHV was more like WTH (and not a good thing for the LL1). :smile: 

post #52 of 210
I was waiting for Eric to throw his wrench in the works but it seems like he's holding off for now. wink.gif

This may be just adding oil on the fire but the recent blind test performed in France did highlight that all bets are off when you leave expectations / preconceptions and other placebo effects aside.

That is, again I am fracturing an open door here, differences between amps are typically blown out of proportion, orders of magnitude lesser than differences between stax transducers.

Once level matched, and in true blind testing, it appears even golden ears have a tough time differentiating gear, at least on short term listening.

To make things worse, visual attributes / brand reputation (the famous house sound thing) / design topology (for those that can understand it) all appear to strongly influence perceived sound quality to the point that, in the listener's mind, differences between 2 amps are very very real / obvious.

I am not saying peter and birgir are imagining things that aren't there. Actually the output capacitance issue mentioned by birgir sounds like a clear objective sign that LL is no way a transparent amplifier.

But, I can certainly imagine opinions differ (just like between mid-/high-range sources) because we're talking about differences that are in the range of subtle and that, unless you're searching hard for them / expecting them, you simply may not notice.

Personally, I am not giving up on upgrading my rig at some point, but certainly I don't have huge expectations after all I read after these many years. Mind you, I personally am much more influenced by and technically familiar with mechanical and acoustic aspects of the the transduction than the electronics side.
Edited by arnaud - 9/19/13 at 5:20pm
post #53 of 210
yes correct non transparent
post #54 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

 

I think it is time to get something out of the way, given one of Spritzer's previous posts: According to Stax, the KGSS is a copy of the 717, no licence involved.  Given Kevin's regular habit of posting designs of commercial amps for DIY, I don't see a problem if it is something no longer made, but I do see a problem in essentially trying to screw over manufacturers by doing so with current production amps.

 

 

Years ago they didn't have Chinese manufacturers copying the design on the spot, or competitors. Regardless, even if they DO publish schematics, only people such as yourself can understand them. I can certainly understand Alex being reluctant to post a schematic, especially given the fanatic attacks from the Stax Mafia (living up to their name).

 

 

I think it's pretty clear, given what an entry level Stax amp looks like internally and the LL2, that's not the case. 

 

 

Well, it's not an apples-for-apples comparison: First, DIY amps don't have to cover manufacturer's expenses (research, building up a supply of parts, dealing with multiple suppliers, paying staff, etc.) You can have a BHSE in your hands if you wait a year for what was, until fairly recently, only a single person hand-building them. As well, Justin doesn't make a great deal of money from each amp, so you really are getting a bargain, if you can stand waiting. 

 

 

 

+1. In general, we don't allow schematics of commercial products to be posted here, unless it's with the permission of the manufacturer, or can reasonably be called vintage.

post #55 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

 

Just to clarify, they were right out of the box impressions and I put the LL1 in first. The look on my face when I switched back to the KGSSHV was more like WTH (and not a good thing for the LL1). :smile: 

 

yeah thats my first impressions as well. mostly a "thats it?" kinda reaction. 

 
maybe Cavalli is just an acquired taste, whereas the KGSSHV seeks true linearity and transparency. 
post #56 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefQon View Post
 

 

I wasn't commenting on Birgir or his contribution to the community here. I was specifically pointing out that inflammatory comments and bad fellowship leave a bad taste in my mouth.

 

With regard to the use of IMHO and YMMV on the Internet, it doesn't exempt everything you say from being interpreted otherwise. Especially amongst newcomers, reading posts like that by members with really nice gear in their sig becomes gospel.

post #57 of 210
Selling  multiple "DIY" amplifiers at far more than what original commercial amplifier (Headamp KGSS/SRM717) sold for while denouncing competing commercial amplifiers is unbecoming.
 
Clamoring for schematics from commercial amplifier manufacturers should then amount to clamoring for receipts for parts going into a supposed "DIY" amplifier.
 
Besides, internal pictures are plentiful and made available. In fact the same person's friend whose designs are being sold by a commercial amplifier manufacturer claiming to post technical schematics has in fact posted the schematics of the LL on another site if I recall correctly and was termed as a clone of the SRM-323. Are they reneging on their findings?  Or is this a year and half late peer review? 
 
Further, given one's person's "designs" being sold by a manufacturer while the other is selling multiple DIY amplifiers for profit, I do believe they'd make the grade to be classified as MOTs.

Edited by sachu - 9/19/13 at 5:51pm
post #58 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

I was waiting for Eric to throw his wrench in the works but it seems like he's holding off for now. wink.gif

This may be just adding oil on the fire but the recent blind test performed in France did highlight that all bets are off when you leave expectations / preconceptions and other placebo effects aside.

That is, again I am fracturing an open door here, differences between amps are typically blown out of proportion, orders of magnitude lesser than differences between stax transducers.

Once level matched, and in true blind testing, it appears even golden ears have a tough time differentiating gear, at least on short term listening.

To make things worse, visual attributes / brand reputation (the famous house sound thing) / design topology (for those that can understand it) all appear to strongly influence perceived sound quality to the point that, in the listener's mind, differences between 2 amps are very very real / obvious.

I am not saying peter and birgir are imagining things that aren't there. Actually the output capacitance issue mentioned by birgir sounds like a clear objective sign that LL is no way a transparent amplifier.

But, I can certainly imagine opinions differ (just like between mid-/high-range sources) because we're talking about differences that are in the range of subtle and that, unless you're searching hard for them / expecting them, you simply may not notice.

Personally, I am not giving up on upgrading my rig at some point, but certainly I don't have huge expectations after all I read after these many years. Mind you, I personally am much more influenced by and technically familiar with mechanical and acoustic aspects of the the transduction than the electronics side.

 

Honestly...the differences were like listening to different headphones and this was through weeks of direct A-B comparisons. Cable differences, I can chalk up to this no problem, but not this. 


Edited by MacedonianHero - 9/19/13 at 7:55pm
post #59 of 210

MH, the Liquid Lightning used was the MKI? Didn't see that mentioned anywhere in the first post, only saw it mentioned in the previous posts.

 

Thanks for taking the time for the write-up but for me you didn't really say anything that I didn't already suspect. ;) Someone needs to send you a BHSE, I'd personally be more interested in a comparison of the KGSSHV to that instead....or a comparison to the original KGSS.....

post #60 of 210

Have to disagree with a few of you claiming that currently sold amps shouldn't have their schematics posted. It is from the schematics that we can discern if they are worth the huge price tags regardless of the marketing influence. It's a really sad place in this niche of the audio/audiophile market when hype is valued more than science.

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