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Comparisons of the Liquid Lightning and KGSSHV Solid State Stax Amplifiers - Page 6

post #76 of 210

Yeah it's the one from the loaner program. I have it until Monday, so I'll post again after then.

post #77 of 210

Congrats Peter! Great ears have led you to a truly high-end setup.

post #78 of 210

I don't get the bass deficiency thing either. When I first listened, there was more mid-bass than I was expecting, but this works very well with the 009s. This leaves the 007 MK1s sounding a bit distant, but if I listen to those and switch, the 009s sound a bit too forward. HD-800s sound anaemic in comparison.

 

I can't help wondering if the issue is that, really, the KG amps were all designed around the 007 where absolute "wire with gain" works best, but that doesn't so much with the 009s, so an amp that works better with them is too weird after over a decade of "this is how it should be".  I really wish I had the time and space to complete the KGSSHV and compare them, ignoring all the history and treating it purely as we do the hobby normally -- out of the desire for listening enjoyment.

post #79 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post
 

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.....

First sentence of the third paragraph right on top of the photo of the LLMKI. ;) The differences between these two solid state amps was actually quite big IMO. Thought about the BHSE, but I'm not ready to go back into tubes again (after about 20 years or so). Then a few comments from El_Doug and johnwmclean about the differences between the KGSSHV and BHSE being so small, I'm in no hurry. :smile:

 

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed the read. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
 

Congrats Peter! Great ears have led you to a truly high-end setup.

 

Thanks Shahrose. I'm very happy with my setup now. I can tell...it's been a few weeks since I visited the F/S section. :p Well except for some portable headphones to add to my comparison thread. ;)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

I don't get the bass deficiency thing either. When I first listened, there was more mid-bass than I was expecting, but this works very well with the 009s. This leaves the 007 MK1s sounding a bit distant, but if I listen to those and switch, the 009s sound a bit too forward. HD-800s sound anaemic in comparison.

 

I can't help wondering if the issue is that, really, the KG amps were all designed around the 007 where absolute "wire with gain" works best, but that doesn't so much with the 009s, so an amp that works better with them is too weird after over a decade of "this is how it should be".  I really wish I had the time and space to complete the KGSSHV and compare them, ignoring all the history and treating it purely as we do the hobby normally -- out of the desire for listening enjoyment.

 

Coming from the 727II, the LLMK1 was an improvement....but the price difference brand new wasn't worth the differences I heard. But I paid quite a bit less than the original price, so I suppose buying it used wasn't such a bad proposition compared to the Stax amps.

 

As mentioned, the differences between the KGSSHV and the LLMK1 was very noticeable. I started off with the LL MK1 and liked what I heard, but there was a smearing that I wasn't used to and the bass didn't seem to hit like it should. Then after about 30 minutes I popped back in my KGSSHV and the differences were there and quickly noticeable as I mentioned in my review.

 

Might see if I can join the LL MK2 loaner program and see what the sonic changes are. But the Bill of Materials and netlist/schematics are the same so I'm not sure how re-routing traces can affect sound quality? I'm a bit swamped at work right now, but in a few weeks if things slow down (hopefully), I'll see if I can get the LL MK2 here in Canada.

post #80 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post

No fluff - didnt care to hear about Norah Jones for the 100th time.

:eek: you dont care about Norah Jones????:D 

 

And no, the KGSSHV is not flat and boring as somebody mentioned before. It makes the 009 sing. Brittle? boring? criticizing "wire with gain" as wrong and stating distortion is better to reproduce the best transducer available? mmhhh......  

 

The LL is very expensive. Too expensive. Should I mention I sold a KGSSHV for 1500 USD?

For something I can not ever see the innards or design? 


Edited by gilency - 9/20/13 at 8:23pm
post #81 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by David1961 View Post

Does anyone know what the time difference is between the LLmk1 coming out and the LLmk2. To me it doesn't seem that long and if that's true, why ?

 

Alex has commented on this before. The Liquid Fire was his first amp and that was followed by the Liquid Lightning. He had not intended changing the design but after a lot of feedback and during development of the Liquid Glass, he decided to go with a different chassis design. The response to the LG chassis was extremely positive and thus when he came to do another run of the Liquid Lightning , he naturally opted to use the updated chassis design. As the amp essentially needed to be redone, he redesigned some of the non essential circuitry and spent much time analyzing the board layout in order to optimize it. I have read in this thread on more than one occasion that the amps are identical, this is not true despite the amplification circuitry not having changed. This is why there was a change from LLmkI to LLmkII and from most of the feedback from owners, this has been a good thing. 

post #82 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post
 

:eek: you dont care about Norah Jones????:D 

 

And no, the KGSSHV is not flat and boring as somebody mentioned before. It makes the 009 sing. Brittle? boring? criticizing "wire with gain" as wrong and stating distortion is better to reproduce the best transducer available? mmhhh......  

 

The LL is very expensive. Too expensive. Should I mention I sold a KGSSHV for 1500 USD?

For something I can not ever see the innards or design? 

 

I thought you were nuts for selling it that low when I saw the ad.

post #83 of 210

It's called not flipping.

post #84 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post

 

The LL is very expensive. Too expensive. Should I mention I sold a KGSSHV for 1500 USD?

For something I can not ever see the innards or design? 

 

I think that's a problem with statement amps these days. $4k-10k is a hard ask for any headphone amp.

post #85 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

 

Might see if I can join the LL MK2 loaner program and see what the sonic changes are. But the Bill of Materials and netlist/schematics are the same so I'm not sure how re-routing traces can affect sound quality? I'm a bit swamped at work right now, but in a few weeks if things slow down (hopefully), I'll see if I can get the LL MK2 here in Canada.

 

The board layout is different. I think it matters. If you want to look at it from the objective point of view (without listening) consider that the objective pope himself had to enlist YoyoDyne for help because his first revision of the ODAC didn't do better than a FiiO E10 in DNR. I'm also not sure if the MK2 uses exactly the same BOM, specially since it appears to have a new input section.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post
 

The LL is very expensive. Too expensive. Should I mention I sold a KGSSHV for 1500 USD?

 

That is a very good price. Even better than $2400 + shipping for a KGSS.

post #86 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

 

The board layout is different. I think it matters. If you want to look at it from the objective point of view (without listening) consider that the objective pope himself had to enlist YoyoDyne for help because his first revision of the ODAC didn't do better than a FiiO E10 in DNR. I'm also not sure if the MK2 uses exactly the same BOM, specially since it appears to have a new input section.

 

 

That is a very good price. Even better than $2400 + shipping for a KGSS.

 

 

To say the least. That is about what the parts cost, retail - in small quantities.

post #87 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by livewire View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

 

The board layout is different. I think it matters. If you want to look at it from the objective point of view (without listening) consider that the objective pope himself had to enlist YoyoDyne for help because his first revision of the ODAC didn't do better than a FiiO E10 in DNR. I'm also not sure if the MK2 uses exactly the same BOM, specially since it appears to have a new input section.

 

 

That is a very good price. Even better than $2400 + shipping for a KGSS.

 

 

To say the least. That is about what the parts cost, retail - in small quantities.

 

The BOM I have here has a parts total before case and transformer of approximately $1015 for a KGSSHV. It is certainly not impossible to go crazy with it though and use more expensive parts.

post #88 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilency View Post

The LL is very expensive. Too expensive. Should I mention I sold a KGSSHV for 1500 USD?

For something I can not ever see the innards or design? 

Thats an 'apple to oranges' comaparison, the KGSSHV being a DIY design under obligation to be sold at part cost without profit and labour charges.

I sold my 3 channel beta22 with backplane board for $600, show me a manufacturer who would be able to price it even remotely close to that. :rolleyes:

post #89 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post


I can't help wondering if the issue is that, really, the KG amps were all designed around the 007 where absolute "wire with gain" works best, but that doesn't so much with the 009s, so an amp that works better with them is too weird after over a decade of "this is how it should be".  

To me wire with gain means that something measures linear and is correctly designed. Id not be interested in buying something that is designed to be less linear to work better with a specific phone.
post #90 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by perrew View Post


To me wire with gain means that something measures linear and is correctly designed. Id not be interested in buying something that is designed to be less linear to work better with a specific phone.

 

Perfectly said.

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