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Amplifiers shootout for Stax 009 (Eddie Current Electra, AudioValve RKV + WooAudio Wee, Stax SRM727 / SRM007t2) - Page 4

post #46 of 98
If subjective analysis through listening or the atheistic look wains, try some good old circuit research.
At the end of the day the net value of your listening pleasure is all that counts. For me personally I like a well implemented design with strong technical sense.
Any watch will tell the same time thereabouts, but a well made piece is a work of art. Same principal applies to audio and whether you care for such things.
The 009s aren't a difficult load and don't need the BHSE to sound decent, hence similar results over multiply amps.
post #47 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric65 View Post
 

Otherwise, with 6-10 volts average output voltage at the output of RKV (on a maximum 80 volts) for listening to an average level of 74-80 dB, and a load> 2 KOhms, there is no audible distortion. The degree of transparency and presence of sound is exceptional with 009 Stax headphones (without the 1:50 Wee transformers (bypassed)).

 

Otherwise, the RKV amplifier is used directly (without Wee transformator) to gain a high voltage (6-12 volts average ; maxi 80 Volts RMS), but with a very low power: maybe 40 mWatts to maximum output voltage of 80 volts RMS for a Stax 009 with an 145 KOhms impedance. (NB: the RKV can produce 3 Watts with a load of 200 Ohms)

 

 

Potentiometer RKV 15 h (mean level "medium to high" loudly enough for me): 7.42 Volts (77.5 dB SPL)

 

 

 

 

Potentiometer RKV to 17 h (max) (mean level "strong" too hard for me): 12.72 Volts (83 dB SPL)

 

 

Potentiometer fully RKV (17 h) and with the Wee transformers bypassed, I just registered to a peak voltmeter level of at least 56 volts on a percussion (large drum) in a jazz recording of Henry Texier "Mad Nomads" that corresponds to a peak noise level of at least 96 dB SPL !

 

Otherwise, I always confirms the high degree of transparency and clarity of sound, and the realism and the strong presence of the vote.

Always zero audible distortion or noise (breath).

 

Be careful : to operate the combo RKV-Wee with enough gain (the transformators Wee shunted), it is imperative that the source (dac) has an output with an enough high level ; if it is not the case, the amplification gain of the RKV will be too weak to reach an average level expected of listening of 80 to 84 dB SPL (enough to use) and  a maximal (peak) modulation of 96 to 100 dB SPL.

 

Eric

 

With my RKV -Wee + 009 and Wee transformers shunted, serving me only the bias voltage of 580 V pro Wee (a priori identical to bias voltage of 580 Volts pro to the SRM 252) and direct amplification of my RKV directly connected to the 009, I get tonight, with my audio system, listening to a CD, but certainly a little compressed however, fairly representative of what comes out now in variety, CD Nolwenn Leroy " Bretonne " (3rd title), a more than satisfactory level : average listening level obtained on CD (3rd title) deafening , between 85 and 90 dB SPL , with a peak level , on percussion, not least 102.4 dB ! ( new record !)

 

 

RKV -WEE 009 ( transformers of Wee shunted ) (CD Nolwenn Leroy " Bretonne " (Title 3 ) of the potentiometer fully RKV ) (global peak levels and frequencies)

 

 

(NB: for 102.4 dB SPL with a nominal sensitivity of Stax headphones (SR-009) : 101 dB / 100 Volts RMS, requires that the RKV so a little more than 100 volts RMS output , but here on a charge very weak (very high 145,000 Ohms impedance) (NB: PCL805 tubes RKV are given out for 80 volts on a load Ohms 2000 , the nominal impedance for the use of these first 805 PCL tubes, originally used on CRT televisions, is between 4,000 and 16,000 ohms , these tubes may run up to 170 volts and 0.20 A in output pentode in mode) .

 

Otherwise, to locate you my average level of listening to music , the level that I think best in the evening although quiet (noise environment < 35 dB) is when I can hear ( discern ) , the same time as the music played , the rustling of my fingers located right next to the earpiece of the headset (NB : rustling fingers meter measured between 60 and 70 dB SPL)

 

Eric

 

My apologies for my bad english

 

Original post (in french) http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post177872800.html#p177872800


Edited by eric65 - 11/22/13 at 5:56pm
post #48 of 98

Gentlemen, well done!  I commend you for not only taking on this challenge (and surviving what must have been an arduous weekend), but for also taking the time to compile and share your results with the Head-Fi community.  As you discovered, exercises like this can be very enlightening, especially when conducted under such controlled conditions.

Regarding the following note in the opening post:

Note that we also had another DAC (TotalDac D1 dual) and while another objective of the meet was to perform a blind shootout of 3 dacs (PS audio, Audiomat, TotalDac), we ran out of time...

I'm very much looking forward to hearing the results of your next challenge... the triple DAC shootout.  I'm  particularly interested in the TotalDac D1-Dual and how it compares as it's been very well received in early reviews and preferred by some over other tier 1 DACs, some costing several times more.  Any thoughts on when this shootout may take place?

post #49 of 98
Thread Starter 
Might never happen as frederic got mad with eric, eric got mad with pierre, and I got mad with both (I was marely helping to translate though so I am highly replacible wink.gif ).

And after that, we wonder why french people have such reputation lol wink.gif.

I can vouch for the total dac though, had it at home for a day or so and still vividly remember the experience... The review from michael lavorgna on audiostream resonates with what I heard.

I now wonder how much of that was listening to nos ladder dac (comments of fluid sound, excellent decay / reverb and realistic placement of instruments in the room always show up in the reviews of such dacs) vs. the contribution from the very expensive laser trimmed resistors in the d1.

In other words, how close to the d1 can one get with something like a HEX....

Arnaud
post #50 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzfan View Post
 

Gentlemen, well done!  I commend you for not only taking on this challenge (and surviving what must have been an arduous weekend), but for also taking the time to compile and share your results with the Head-Fi community.  As you discovered, exercises like this can be very enlightening, especially when conducted under such controlled conditions.

Regarding the following note in the opening post:

Note that we also had another DAC (TotalDac D1 dual) and while another objective of the meet was to perform a blind shootout of 3 dacs (PS audio, Audiomat, TotalDac), we ran out of time...

I'm very much looking forward to hearing the results of your next challenge... the triple DAC shootout.  I'm  particularly interested in the TotalDac D1-Dual and how it compares as it's been very well received in early reviews and preferred by some over other tier 1 DACs, some costing several times more.  Any thoughts on when this shootout may take place?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Might never happen as frederic got mad with eric, eric got mad with pierre, and I got mad with both (I was marely helping to translate though so I am highly replacible wink.gif ).

And after that, we wonder why french people have such reputation lol wink.gif.

I can vouch for the total dac though, had it at home for a day or so and still vividly remember the experience... The review from michael lavorgna on audiostream resonates with what I heard.

I now wonder how much of that was listening to nos ladder dac (comments of fluid sound, excellent decay / reverb and realistic placement of instruments in the room always show up in the reviews of such dacs) vs. the contribution from the very expensive laser trimmed resistors in the d1.

In other words, how close to the d1 can one get with something like a HEX....

Arnaud
 

 

False Arnaud, I became completely Zen since I no longer participate in the debate, at least on HCFR.;)


Otherwise, if you want to know everything about the famous meeting on 7 and 8 September 2013 between Frederick, Pierre, Karim and I (Eric), entirely, hour by hour, for both comparative blinded and unblinded of these four amplifiers, but also for an short blind test between two dacs: one at 10,000 Euros (Dac TotalDac D1 Dual of Frederic) and another 300 Euros (small dac Teac UD of Karim), then I invite you to read this thrilling experience on the following link (in french) (NB: Arnaud refuse to translate this text here on Head-Fi, you will soon understand why ;)).
Happy reading and good learning French (excuse me in advance for a few spelling mistakes in this post)

 

Link to read the post, not very short ;) : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post177755754.html#p177755754 (in french)

 

Eric


Edited by eric65 - 12/18/13 at 12:23am
post #51 of 98

PS : I'm not angry with Arnaud ("un_casque_ou_rien" on HCFR) and I always enjoy his interventions (here or elsewhere) and I warmly thank him for his help in work translation (French-Japanese-English). 

 

Otherwise, in general I quite agree with him and I really appreciate his scientific rigor and approach. :)

 

Eric

post #52 of 98
Thread Starter 
Good, see it's not all that bad, some of us get along wink.gif.

So eric, when are you buying the abyss?

Arnaud
post #53 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

So eric, when are you buying the abyss?
 

 

I ? in my lifetime ? NEVER ! (but I'm biased) ;)
(NB: I could, financially)

 

Maybe in the afterlife (in hell ...) :biggrin:

 

The first temptation of Christ (biblical table)

 

Eric


Edited by eric65 - 12/18/13 at 3:27am
post #54 of 98
Haha nice one.
post #55 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Might never happen as frederic got mad with eric, eric got mad with pierre, and I got mad with both (I was marely helping to translate though so I am highly replacible wink.gif ).

And after that, we wonder why french people have such reputation lol wink.gif.

I can vouch for the total dac though, had it at home for a day or so and still vividly remember the experience... The review from michael lavorgna on audiostream resonates with what I heard.

I now wonder how much of that was listening to nos ladder dac (comments of fluid sound, excellent decay / reverb and realistic placement of instruments in the room always show up in the reviews of such dacs) vs. the contribution from the very expensive laser trimmed resistors in the d1.

In other words, how close to the d1 can one get with something like a HEX....

Arnaud


Thank you for sharing your experiences with the TotalDAC.   This is just speculation on my part, but I believe the "discrete" ladder (R2R) DAC implementation allows the D1 to be sonically superior to other DACs using off the shelf DAC chipsets, but who knows.  Regardless of what "magic" is involved to produce the sound, I'm of the belief that I would realize a greater sonic improvement in my system with the TotalDAC (at least potentially) over that of an upgrade to an exotic electrostatic amp vs my current SRM-727II.  Without having heard the TotalDAC, I may be wrong.  Perhaps one day I'll have the opportunity validate my belief.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric65 View Post
 

 

 

False Arnaud, I became completely Zen since I no longer participate in the debate, at least on HCFR.;)


Otherwise, if you want to know everything about the famous meeting on 7 and 8 September 2013 between Frederick, Pierre, Karim and I (Eric), entirely, hour by hour, for both comparative blinded and unblinded of these four amplifiers, but also for an short blind test between two dacs: one at 10,000 Euros (Dac TotalDac D1 Dual of Frederic) and another 300 Euros (small dac Teac UD of Karim), then I invite you to read this thrilling experience on the following link (in french) (NB: Arnaud refuse to translate this text here on Head-Fi, you will soon understand why ;)).
Happy reading and good learning French (excuse me in advance for a few spelling mistakes in this post)

 

Link to read the post, not very short ;) : http://www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/post177755754.html#p177755754 (in french)

 

Eric

 

Thank you for sharing the link. Trying to read your epic account of the events using Google translate was brutal.  I had to reformat using Word to read it in its entirety, and even then, some of the meaning may have been lost in translation.  Nevertheless, I followed along with extreme interest and came away with an even greater appreciation of your efforts, and that of all others involved.

 

NB: I especially enjoyed the epicurean color sprinkled throughout the review session descriptions.  Good food is always a welcomed companion, I say.

 

If the DAC shootout ever does come to pass, rest assured your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you Eric, et al.

post #56 of 98
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzfan View Post


Thank you for sharing your experiences with the TotalDAC.   This is just speculation on my part, but I believe the "discrete" ladder (R2R) DAC implementation allows the D1 to be sonically superior to other DACs using off the shelf DAC chipsets, but who knows.  Regardless of what "magic" is involved to produce the sound, I'm of the belief that I would realize a greater sonic improvement in my system with the TotalDAC (at least potentially) over that of an upgrade to an exotic electrostatic amp vs my current SRM-727II.  Without having heard the TotalDAC, I may be wrong.  Perhaps one day I'll have the opportunity validate my belief.

I only have direct experience comparing my 727 amp to the LLmk2 using my own source (that is not the most resolving dac this world has known).

Having done the comparison at home some 24h after the shoot out between my dac and the D1 (also at home, with my 727/009 combo), I can tell you now that you're much better off spending the money on a single board D1 than upgrading the 727 to the LLmk2 unless you source is already excellent.

My direct experience was so shockingly revealing I lost all in trust in the 3rd party stat amp market for a while. We seldom discuss sources but battle amps to death over here, it's like putting the cart before the horses at times.

Since that, the Electra crossed my path and, make no mistake, amps can make a difference even for the seemingly easy to drive 009...

About the discrete ladder dac vs. much cheaper IC ladder dac approach from metrum, that is indeed the $$$ question smily_headphones1.gif. Of course the output stage, digital interface and eventual reconstruction filters also matter a lot but the ladder NOS approach does seem to make a lot of sense for people like me who've never ever enjoyed a single upsampling machine or software.
post #57 of 98

Arnaud, you should visit again Stax leaders in Tokyo, and insist that they produce a successor to the mythical T2 amp (as had been expected when your famous interview 12.12.12).

 

Otherwise, Stax SR-009 + T2 "like" amp + dac TotalDac D1 Dual http://www.totaldac.com/REFERENCE-D1-eng.htm (or possibly BHSE with a very "analog" source, type dac Total-Dac D1-Tube ? http://www.totaldac.com/D1-tube-eng.htm) is for me the best we can hope and dream to have. :)

 

Eric


Edited by eric65 - 12/19/13 at 4:31am
post #58 of 98
post #59 of 98

In conclusion: listening headphones Stax 009 with the RKV amp (in live)  without use the voltage transformers (1:50) of Wee, is much better than if  we connected the transformers.

The resulting gain with the RKV with voltage transformers shunted is obvious and this amplifier should be now considered one of the best amplifiers to be associated with the 009 (for a listening level not exceeding 100 dB, which in practice is more than enough) in any case much better than with the SRM 007t2 amp (even with the Wee transformers plugged), better than the SRM 727 amp (without the wee transformers) and probably also better than the Electra amp, if we considered the gain of the Electra on the RKV (with the Wee transformers connected) as enough moderate (see non-significant in blind listening), while the gain of the RKV (without the Wee transformers) seems to me (yesterday evening) really so obvious compared to the RKV amp with the voltage transformers of Wee connected.

 

Link for more info : http://www.head-fi.org/t/504489/woo-audio-electrostatic-energizer-new-product-from-woo-audio/75#post_10299803


Edited by eric65 - 2/24/14 at 2:26am
post #60 of 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric65 View Post
 

Arnaud, you should visit again Stax leaders in Tokyo, and insist that they produce a successor to the mythical T2 amp (as had been expected when your famous interview 12.12.12).

 

Otherwise, Stax SR-009 + T2 "like" amp + dac TotalDac D1 Dual http://www.totaldac.com/REFERENCE-D1-eng.htm (or possibly BHSE with a very "analog" source, type dac Total-Dac D1-Tube ? http://www.totaldac.com/D1-tube-eng.htm) is for me the best we can hope and dream to have. :)

 

Eric

 

Eric,

 

I'm listening right now to 009 + BHSE + D1 Dual and if anything can get better than this, I think my head would explode.

 

My big issue now, evaluating the TotalDAC, is the the digital volume control has to be set at -30dB or lower feeding my VTL amps to Nola speakers.

The digital attenuation kills the magic.  I tried comparing 0dB attenuation in DAC + BHSE vs. -28dB attenuation in DAC and more gain in BHSE and it was no contest.  The BHSE attenuator is much superior to digital volume control at those levels.

 

I'm trying to find a way to keep Vincent's DAC but I don't use a pre-amp (or want one) and the digital volume control is a roadblock for me.

 

Marty

 

p.s. If the T2-like is really noticeably better than the BHSE, I don't want to hear it!  These *&! head-fi meets have already cost me much more than I ever anticipated :) 

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