HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Amp

General Information

The Blue Hawaii SE (BHSE) is based on a solid-state + tube hybrid design by Kevin Gilmore. A quad of EL34 tubes drives the electrostatic headphones.

Physical Dimensions (in inches):
- Amp chassis: 15.5" (width) x 12.5" (depth) x 3" (height). Attenuator adds 13/16" to the 12.5" depth and the RCA jacks add 11/16" more. Cone feet add 1 1/2" to the height and the stock Mullard EL34 tubes when installed add 3 3/4" more.
- PSU chassis: 7 5/8" (width) x 12 3/8" (depth) x 3.5" (height). Cone feet add 1 1/16" to the height.

Latest reviews

Pros: amplifier porn to look at ;o)
Cons: you have to wait a while to get it, unless you buy it 2nd hand
About having to wait a while to get it is not that bad because I ordered mine August (1987) and it finally arrived yesterday (07/08/2012)... I got the Alps RK50 upgrade with it. Only joking
I ordered it last year because I was only 5 in "87" but anyways waiting a year isn't that bad because it's here now (it actually came 3 days early
). It's not that long to wait at all and in the mean time you can buy things to make the experience even better like a better CD player, D.A.C, cables, more CD's, a better rack and so on. It's best not to listen to every new thing for the first time "together" and I'll explain why if you like. For Anyways about the B.H.S.E getting hot that's nonsense
because it never gets too hot so that you're unable to put your hand on it (it's only just a little bit warm and I had mine on for something like 5 hours last night). At least that's how mine is
. The results will probably be different if you touched the tubes, valves or whatever those giant glass things are sticking out of the top of it but then again I wouldn't recommend that because that will probably damage it (via the oil from your skin
). It might give you a mild burn as well but then again the amplifier is far more important than your puny skin so that's the least of my worries
. I don't have much amplifier experience except my X-Can V3 and my Rudistor RP1000 MKII but the B.H.S.E slaughters them all
. But then again I have to put the headphones I used with the amplifiers into consideration as well
. Anyway the only issue I had with my setup were some sounds were there but were FAR softer than what they were on my other setup (dynamic). Not all the sounds just one instrument or something. Maybe it's about time I upgraded my Linn Genki to a balanced source
. Maybe a DAC (Berkley Alpha DAC Series 2) along with the new source will fix it
. Maybe all that won't change a thing at all because maybe the song was meant to be like that
. Maybe the B.H.S.E lets me hear songs the way they were meant to be heard
. Anyway when the amplifier arrived I went into an over excitement mode giggling and all that like a mad man
. When I set it all up I let it burn in for about 70 minutes to heat up the tubes (I didn't know what the warm-up time was
) and while doing that I went on the internet to find that mystery number (it's apparently 2 minutes, when the other LED lights up Justin said). Anyway when I listened to it I listened to 48 CD's and I've never been through that many CD's in the one sitting
(up to about 1:15 AM). Oh well there's another 260 something CD's to go
That wasn't much of a review but I'll leave all that for the golden eared people with more experience with this sort of stuff
I'm going now back to my hermit lifestyle that the B.H.S.E has pushed me into. I should write a poem about that
PS: As you can see I gave the design 4 and a half stars but yet said it was amplifier porn to look at
. The reason for the 4.5 stars is because the SN: 52 (that's mine) is simply written on the back of it whereas I believe it should have been a little badge on the top right corner of the amplifier or something (as well as the P.S.U). That's just my opinion and maybe I'll make it myself or ask Justin to make 2 for me, post them to me and them stick them there somehow myself. The thing's on spikes as well and apparently spikes make the component vibration worse (I'll post the link to that story if you like) but that's not a problem because you can unscrew them with your hands (it's not like they're welded onto the bottom so you're stuck with them for life
). The only other problem with the design is even with the best photographs you still won't understand how beautiful it looks in real life
. Oh yeah and with the price I put that's a good estimate of how much it cost me + shipping. Maybe it was $100 over that
. Oh well it doesn't matter.
-It's me again (Snake Eyes). About hearing certain sounds really softly it's all OK now and those sounds that I would previously barely hear are now there just as loudly as they are on my dynamic headphones and amplifiers. Why it's like that now and wasn't like that before I don't know but that doesn't matter. What matters is that it's all working flawlessly now.
The above bit in blue is the comment I made about my review and I decided to add it to the review because someone might not click on the comment and so doesn't see that the quiet sounds are now fixed and think "oh my gosh I'm not going to buy it now".
Is the pic yours? I'm really curious what headphones those are
Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes
I can't remember if that's actually my pic or not. Oh well if it is then the headphones should be the Stax SR-009 (th\ey're the only headphones I can use with the B.H.S.E). I should take a new picture later today just so I can have a pic that's definitely my stuff ;o).
Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes
Wait a minute that's definitely NOT my stuff in the pic because my B.H.S.E has a silver faceplate. I regret that as well because I should have gotten a blue faceplate... "BLUE" Hawaii. Get it ). Oh well I will see what I can do via taking it off (as well as the volume knob) and getting someone to re-anodize it for me.
Fast, detailed, neutral... the epitome of "wire with gain"
....is there a Part 2?
Night Crawler
Night Crawler
You mean to tell me... there's more?!? O.O
Pros: Sound, build quality, envy factor
Cons: my wallet hurts...


There are no comments to display.