Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Delivery times, BHSE, Cavalli LL Mk2, EC Electra, Woo WES and "customer service".
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Delivery times, BHSE, Cavalli LL Mk2, EC Electra, Woo WES and "customer service".

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Greetings.

 

Having had dynamic HP set ups for years and had almost every HP/amp combo there is, I have decided to jump back into Stax and go for an SR-009. The choice of amp is the question.

 

Years back I had an O2 / SRM 717 and I preferred the SS energiser to the 007 by quite a margin.

 

So - do I get a SRM-727 II to go with the SR-009 AND at the same time order a better energiser from one of the above or just do that now - and then wait...wait...wait.

 

The main contender is the BHSE, but the comments on that BHSE thread talk of 20 month waiting times, infrequent updates, and generally, "you'll get it when it's ready". What kind of service is this?! When spending $5k + ??

 

Or the Cavalli LL II - Cavalli say not available till "Fall" - no year mentioned - is this 2013, 2014, 2015? Again, all a little bit vague.

 

What about the EC Electra? And service from Craig? 

 

Finally, having had Woo amps before, I know Jack is brilliant to deal with in terms of sticking to delivery dates, regular updates and just generally being a nice guy all round. 

 

 

Jack Wu excepted, is it right to accept crazy delivery times, frustration, no contact, poor service - i mean, would we accept this in any other avenue of consumer purchase?

 

So do I buy the Stax 727, go for the Woo WES or hang out for the BHSE, CA LL or EC E, and just put up with the issues raised?

 

Surely others have had this decision?

 

Cheers

post #2 of 18
Although I've never heard the KGSSHV with my 009's, I've read good things about it.
I'm not sure about the availability of this amp, but one can be found on Mjolnir-Audio.com
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi David - nice to hear from you.

Have seen your posts on here - informative. You have a BHSE if i recall - how did you find the process?

 

Mjolnir Audio being 'spritzer' who seems to know a lot about all things Stax. I will try to find out costs and availability, unless he chips in here!

 

Thanks

post #4 of 18
Hi 29029,
The BHSE is without question the best headphone amp I've ever heard, however the only downside for me is with it having tubes, I'd never leave it on while I was out, I've also found the right tubes need to be used when listening to the 009's.
With the right tubes the 009 / BHSE combo ( IMO ) is headphone utopia.
post #5 of 18

TW Raven AC :wink: nice !

You already know what you are getting into in case you decide to go with a small scale manufacturer with direct sales, opposed to the traditional full scale distribution model where you'll pay for everybody along the way but have the advantage of a quick order and delivery. That's clearly your choice. I haven't heard anybody not being satisfied with SR009/BHSE once they finally got the amp :D but you know yourself better and going by your post most likely the long wait time is not your cup of tea. David pointed you in a different direction, good luck.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi Icebear - yes you understand the "problem".

I like the best gear i can get / afford BUT I also value service.

 

Taking your money, ignoring you for months on end and getting the product 1-2 years down the line is simply not good enough.

 

As you say, and is widely acknowledged, the end product is peerless (whichever of these boutique amps you go for)and TBH the long wait isn't the issue - it is the attitude that comes with it, the contempt for the customer and the lack of forthcoming information.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

PS - hifi inventory updated. Raven is cool :) 

post #8 of 18
Quote:29029
 The main contender is the BHSE, but the comments on that BHSE thread talk of 20 month waiting times, infrequent updates, and generally, "you'll get it when it's ready". What kind of service is this?! When spending $5k + ??

 

29029, I think you need to do some more research as regards to Headamp and the BHSE.

 

There is a thread in this forum where people keep up with the progress of the BHSE builds.

 

Justin spent months trying to find a supplier who could provide suitable quality standard aluminium for the front panels.

 

With the BHSE you get both sound and build quality par excellence from a small scale builder.

 

Please consult this thread  instead of talking out of your hat. http://www.head-fi.org/t/439657/headamp-blue-hawaii-special-edition/5295#post_10582066

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

I actually got most of my concerns (and not just about Headamp) from Headfi and the actual postings by people who had paid deposits.

 

So I felt I was being fair really.

 

Small scale builder does not equal small scale service does it?

post #10 of 18

If the delivery times are a deal breaker for you, then you will have to take some of the amps on your list off - or find them for private sale.

 

A lot of people on Head-Fi talk about the wait times and many feel like you do - that it is unacceptable.  We live in a world of instant gratification.  I personally don't mind the wait times, sometimes the anticipation is the best part!

 

As for it being unique to this industry, it certainly is not.  My other hobby is watch collecting and waiting for delivery on certain pieces can take months.  Same goes for sending in a watch for service; one company had my watch for nearly 2 years.

 

What about automobiles?  Try and buy a Tesla right now.

 

My wife waited 14 months for a purse.  The list goes on...

 

And these are all large companies with big distribution models.

 

Headamp is basically one guy with a soldering iron (I'm playing it down, but you know what I mean vs an auto maker).  Wu is the exception I suppose.  

 

My suspicion, however, is that many of the amp makers you are talking about are brilliant at building amps.  They were so good at it that people started throwing money at them to build amps for them.  That said, brilliant at amp design may not make you brilliant at business design, hence the challenges.  Or maybe they are intentionally keeping production limited to keep a certain work/life balance.  There could be many private reasons for keeping things the way they are.

 

I guess my point is, when it comes to boutique products, regardless of the industry, there can be wait times.  Long wait times.   If that deters you, so be it.  However, in most cases, they are worth the wait.

 

My advice to you would be to get something readily available to drive the SR-009's and put in a order for the amp that best suites your taste.  Get to know the SR-009's and when the novelty starts to wear off, your new amp will arrive and you can start all over again!  

 

All the best,

 

-Paul


Edited by bigfatpaulie - 5/30/14 at 7:43am
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 29029 View Post
 

Hi Icebear - yes you understand the "problem".

I like the best gear i can get / afford BUT I also value service.

 

Taking your money, ignoring you for months on end and getting the product 1-2 years down the line is simply not good enough.

 

As you say, and is widely acknowledged, the end product is peerless (whichever of these boutique amps you go for)and TBH the long wait isn't the issue - it is the attitude that comes with it, the contempt for the customer and the lack of forthcoming information.

There are accounts of some people claiming this. My personal experience is usually, if you ask nicely and try a different contact option if one doesn't work, you will get an answer. There can be various technical reasons why messages are not being received, with no ill intentions on the receiving end.

I am on the waiting list for a GS-X MkII and had no communication issues at all - just my $0.02 ;).

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Paul and Icebear - thanks for your comments. Really useful food for thought.

 

I guess like a lot of folk, forums get used as a source of information. Here in the UK, I don't know anyone who has any of these boutique amps, let alone anyone who has been through the buying process. My only source of info is here, so when you read some of the comments and take into account you could be waiting 1-2 years for something, it is a concern.

 

I only wanted to start a debate and see what came out - good or bad - to see what I should do. I am fairly sure i'll get the SR-009 and start off with a Stax energiser, likely the 727 II and then in a few months order the "end game" amp, whether it be the BHSE, Electra, Cavalli or Woo.

 

I wasn't having a dig at Headamp or any of the other people / manufacturers, I was just fishing for info, advice and general comments over the buying experience.

post #13 of 18
I suggest that you consider putting the Ray Samuels A-1 electrostatic amp and preamp on your list. It's not only a great electrostatic amp but also a great sounding preamp. You can see pictures in my profile. The headphone section of the amp greatly improves with tube rolling. The preamp section is worth the price alone. I've heard the Stax 727 and a Cavalli prototype hybrid electrostatic amp and the A-1 handily beats both to my ears. The SR-009 driven by the A-1 provides a touch of tube warmth and a nice full body sound, with excellent bass. Highs are extended without being bright. Soundstaging and imaging are the best I've heard. I think I waited about 4-5 weeks to get my A-1. Ray provides great service too. He upgraded the caps to the latest production level for free other than the shipping cost. I'm very happy with my A-1/SR-009 combination.
post #14 of 18

There is actually a great builder for the KGSSHV and he's right in your backyard. As for your concerns with the BHSE wait time, it's not like this isn't a known 'issue.'

So you go into it knowing you're going to wait and overwhelmingly the consensus is it's worth it.

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Steve - thanks for your input - i'll have a read up on this. I owned an Apache many years ago - great amp :)

Paradoxper - yes you are right. From my research, I'd say you are totally right on both counts.

Plenty to think about :)

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