Headamp Blue Hawaii Special Edition
Apr 13, 2021 at 3:04 PM Post #9,601 of 9,660

buzzlulu

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Well - there seems to finally be some action on this thread.

Question - I have had a Spritzer Carbon amp for the past two years which I have used primarily with my 009S's and a bit with my L300LE.
I have always been interested in the BHSE as I had the chance to demo it for two years running at CANJAM NY. Each demo was with the 009 (and not my S). Demo's were not long enough for serious evaluation however......it did sound GOOD!!!

Anyone care to pass some new judgement on the BHSE vs. Carbon? I realize there has already been some comments over the course of this thread.
I am not getting rid of my Carbon - simply interested in a possible new toy.
Source remains dCS Rossini/Linn Klimax DS from my 2 channel system ie TOTL end game sources.

I am curious to know if there is enough of a difference between the two to warrant owning both.
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 3:44 PM Post #9,602 of 9,660

JLoud

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Friend of mine picked up Carbon a while back. He has heard my BHSE, I will see if he can post some impressions.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 12:58 AM Post #9,603 of 9,660

Not Deaf

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Well - there seems to finally be some action on this thread.

Question - I have had a Spritzer Carbon amp for the past two years which I have used primarily with my 009S's and a bit with my L300LE.
I have always been interested in the BHSE as I had the chance to demo it for two years running at CANJAM NY. Each demo was with the 009 (and not my S). Demo's were not long enough for serious evaluation however......it did sound GOOD!!!

Anyone care to pass some new judgement on the BHSE vs. Carbon? I realize there has already been some comments over the course of this thread.
I am not getting rid of my Carbon - simply interested in a possible new toy.
Source remains dCS Rossini/Linn Klimax DS from my 2 channel system ie TOTL end game sources.

I am curious to know if there is enough of a difference between the two to warrant owning both.

I've listened to the BHSE and KGSSHV Carbon, but only on the Stax 009, so keep that in mind.

For me, I listened to the BHSE first with the 009. I was very impressed with how smooth the sound was. I'm more of a solid-state guy myself and I prioritize the musicality of a headphone/ system, but I also like all the details in my music. The BHSE is the more musical of the two energizers, I feel like it is more of a relaxing listen, and it would be better suited for certain genres of music or for very long listening sessions. The bass went deeper and was more full-sounding on the BHSE than on the carbon, and electronic and rock sounded more musical to my ears on the BHSE. However, when I finally received my carbon, I was also seriously impressed. The Carbon's soundstage and separation were better than the BHSE and definitely have more of a wow factor to my ears. I remember everything sounding exceptionally good with the BHSE, but everything was more expansive and separate on the Carbon. Classical, orchestral, and even some pop/ rock tracks sounded more complete like you're in the best seat in the house right there with the singer or band. Soundstage became HD800 wide with the 009 on the Carbon without every sound sounding small or far away to cram all the details into the massive soundstage as you get with the "dome" of sound on the HD800. Instead, the 009 was even more speaker-like, and details popped out from across the room - really uncanny to be honest. I don't remember this feeling or sound with the BHSE. I can't say for certain, but I also feel like the Carbon has slightly more detail extraction, maybe just because it is a solid-state. Both energizers are top shelf, best of the best, and either will be a treat to your ears.

Another thing to note - the Carbon has quite a bit more power than the BHSE does. When listening to @JLoud 's BHSE, I believe we had the volume at the 11 to 1 o'clock mark for listening to the Voce, 009, and L700MkII for most songs, and even past that for some higher quality, quiet recording tracks. I usually listen to my Carbon at 8 to 10 o'clock, max and even have a more negative pre-amp EQ on my chain feeding my Carbon than what we used on his BHSE. I've never had my carbon past 12 o'clock even on those higher quality, quiet recorded tracks, and can't as it would damage my ears. There seems to be more headroom on the Carbon, which I guess is why some people say it's better for certain cans like the Stax 007s that are power-hungry.

I think the biggest factors to consider are whether you like solid-state vs tube sound, what kind of music you generally listen to, which headphones (earspeakers) you listen to or want to get, and how much money you have to spend. A HeadAmp BHSE is significantly more than a reputable KGSSHV Carbon build. I also really don't think it's necessary to have both. Pick which one sounds better to your ear and spend your money elsewhere such as getting other cans. I'd personally rather have a Stax 009 and Stax 007 for the different sound signatures they provide, plus other amps/ dacs/ headphones, than spending the price on whichever (BHSE/ Carbon) energizer you don't have.

Just my .02 :)
 
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Apr 14, 2021 at 5:42 AM Post #9,604 of 9,660

Bonddam

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I've listened to the BHSE and KGSSHV Carbon, but only on the Stax 009, so keep that in mind.

For me, I listened to the BHSE first with the 009. I was very impressed with how smooth the sound was. I'm more of a solid-state guy myself and I prioritize the musicality of a headphone/ system, but I also like all the details in my music. The BHSE is the more musical of the two energizers, I feel like it is more of a relaxing listen, and it would be better suited for certain genres of music or for very long listening sessions. The bass went deeper and was more full-sounding on the BHSE than on the carbon, and electronic and rock sounded more musical to my ears on the BHSE. However, when I finally received my carbon, I was also seriously impressed. The Carbon's soundstage and separation were better than the BHSE and definitely have more of a wow factor to my ears. I remember everything sounding exceptionally good with the BHSE, but everything was more expansive and separate on the Carbon. Classical, orchestral, and even some pop/ rock tracks sounded more complete like you're in the best seat in the house right there with the singer or band. Soundstage became HD800 wide with the 009 on the Carbon without every sound sounding small or far away to cram all the details into the massive soundstage as you get with the "dome" of sound on the HD800. Instead, the 009 was even more speaker-like, and details popped out from across the room - really uncanny to be honest. I don't remember this feeling or sound with the BHSE. I can't say for certain, but I also feel like the Carbon has slightly more detail extraction, maybe just because it is a solid-state. Both energizers are top shelf, best of the best, and either will be a treat to your ears.

Another thing to note - the Carbon has quite a bit more power than the BHSE does. When listening to @JLoud 's BHSE, I believe we had the volume at the 11 to 1 o'clock mark for listening to the Voce, 009, and L700MkII for most songs, and even past that for some higher quality, quiet recording tracks. I usually listen to my Carbon at 8 to 10 o'clock, max and even have a more negative pre-amp EQ on my chain feeding my Carbon than what we used on his BHSE. I've never had my carbon past 12 o'clock even on those higher quality, quiet recorded tracks, and can't as it would damage my ears. There seems to be more headroom on the Carbon, which I guess is why some people say it's better for certain cans like the Stax 007s that are power-hungry.

I think the biggest factors to consider are whether you like solid-state vs tube sound, what kind of music you generally listen to, which headphones (earspeakers) you listen to or want to get, and how much money you have to spend. A HeadAmp BHSE is significantly more than a reputable KGSSHV Carbon build. I also really don't think it's necessary to have both. Pick which one sounds better to your ear and spend your money elsewhere such as getting other cans. I'd personally rather have a Stax 009 and Stax 007 for the different sound signatures they provide, plus other amps/ dacs/ headphones, than spending the price on whichever (BHSE/ Carbon) energizer you don't have.

Just my .02 :)
What is the right Carbon model to get? I see from time there's DYI Carbons, but not sure if it's the correct one.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 6:26 AM Post #9,605 of 9,660

Not Deaf

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What is the right Carbon model to get? I see from time there's DYI Carbons, but not sure if it's the correct one.

I'm not sure what you mean by "right Carbon model to get." There are multiple builders out there that make high-quality Carbons. You don't need to spend the money on a Mjolnir Audio Carbon IMO. I personally bought mine from MyHeadFi and had a great experience and received a top-notch quality product. I'm very satisfied with my Carbon.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 12:25 PM Post #9,606 of 9,660

paradoxper

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Well - there seems to finally be some action on this thread.

Question - I have had a Spritzer Carbon amp for the past two years which I have used primarily with my 009S's and a bit with my L300LE.
I have always been interested in the BHSE as I had the chance to demo it for two years running at CANJAM NY. Each demo was with the 009 (and not my S). Demo's were not long enough for serious evaluation however......it did sound GOOD!!!

Anyone care to pass some new judgement on the BHSE vs. Carbon? I realize there has already been some comments over the course of this thread.
I am not getting rid of my Carbon - simply interested in a possible new toy.
Source remains dCS Rossini/Linn Klimax DS from my 2 channel system ie TOTL end game sources.

I am curious to know if there is enough of a difference between the two to warrant owning both.
Carbon will bring a little more weight and extension at the cost of being quite dry in comparison to the BHSE. You will also definitely want to roll the BHSE as you can pair the wrong tubes and find yourself with a very hard treble response especially with the 009. XF2 are rather popular.

If I were you, after evaluating the Carbon and getting a reference for its sound, if it ticks your box, I would look at commissioning a T2. There's no reason not to.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 1:27 PM Post #9,607 of 9,660

JLoud

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Except cost! Of course that usually isn’t an impediment for us afflicted with the audio bug.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 1:32 PM Post #9,608 of 9,660

paradoxper

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Except cost! Of course that usually isn’t an impediment for us afflicted with the audio bug.
What is this concept of cost you speak. :thinking:
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 1:37 PM Post #9,609 of 9,660

JLoud

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Not sure to be honest, I just heard someone refer to it and thought I would throw it out there. It might have been my wife. 🧐
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 2:05 PM Post #9,610 of 9,660

paradoxper

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Not sure to be honest, I just heard someone refer to it and thought I would throw it out there. It might have been my wife. 🧐
AH! Those loud mouths!
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 2:43 PM Post #9,611 of 9,660

buzzlulu

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@notdeaf
Thank you for the extensive and detailed reply.

To everyone else thank you as well.

Perhaps my initial post was confusing as I already own a Mjolnir Carbon which I have had running for the past three years. I was simply getting curious about tubes.

A T2 commission is out of the question. Last I heard a number similar to $10,000 was bantered about
 
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Apr 14, 2021 at 2:58 PM Post #9,612 of 9,660

Chefguru

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@notdeaf
Thank you for the extensive and detailed reply.

To everyone else thank he was well.

Perhaps my initial post was confusing as I already own a Mjolnir Carbon which I have had running for the past three years. I was simply getting curious about tubes.

A T2 commission is out of the question. Last I heard a number similar to $10,000 was bantered about

I’ve communicated to a few parties and found the price range 9,000-15,000 depending on the builder. The bigger cost is the long wait time to source parts (6+ months)
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 3:25 PM Post #9,613 of 9,660

JLoud

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With the pandemic and parts shortages everywhere, it is probably even longer now.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 3:48 PM Post #9,614 of 9,660
Another thing to note - the Carbon has quite a bit more power than the BHSE does. When listening to @JLoud 's BHSE, I believe we had the volume at the 11 to 1 o'clock mark for listening to the Voce, 009, and L700MkII for most songs, and even past that for some higher quality, quiet recording tracks. I usually listen to my Carbon at 8 to 10 o'clock, max and even have a more negative pre-amp EQ on my chain feeding my Carbon than what we used on his BHSE. I've never had my carbon past 12 o'clock even on those higher quality, quiet recorded tracks, and can't as it would damage my ears. There seems to be more headroom on the Carbon, which I guess is why some people say it's better for certain cans like the Stax 007s that are power-hungry.
You wouldn't be able to compare anything on position of volume knobs, since different volume control models can have significantly different curves (and some are offered w/ 2 or 3 different curve options). Then you have gain levels that can be different (most STAX amps are built with gain levels set to 500x or 1000x), and if the source is different then the input volume levels can be different too, ranging from extremes of 1V to 12V

On the BHSE, the volume w/ the RK50 at 12 is about the same as with the DACT at 3, for example - the max output power, voltage swing and gain of the amp remains the same
 
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Apr 14, 2021 at 6:21 PM Post #9,615 of 9,660

Not Deaf

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You wouldn't be able to compare anything on position of volume knobs, since different volume control models can have significantly different curves (and some are offered w/ 2 or 3 different curve options). Then you have gain levels that can be different (most STAX amps are built with gain levels set to 500x or 1000x), and if the source is different then the input volume levels can be different too, ranging from extremes of 1V to 12V

On the BHSE, the volume w/ the RK50 at 12 is about the same as with the DACT at 3, for example - the max output power, voltage swing and gain of the amp remains the same
Ah, makes sense. So which has more power overall - a BHSE or a KGSSHV Carbon then? It seems like the entire estat community has agreed the Carbon is the better match for the Stax 007 as the 007 needs a lot of power to properly drive.
 

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