Shure KSE1500 Review - Shure KSE1500 Sound Isolating Electrostatic Earphones
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goodvibes

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Thanks. Haven't heard 407/507. Interesting how we're passing time waiting for Shure. I think the message here is that bass and electrostatic are not adversarial terms in earphones. Like any headphone, it will be a unit to unit evaluation. 
 
In this design, since the amp is part of the package, Shure got to chose the bass character they wanted, It's very easy to to give a rising bass curve below 100hz in the analog domain with only a few passive bits before the amp stage. If you want more bass, they do offer EQ as well.
 
It just that there doesn't seem to be any consensus on what is a correct low bass quantity on IEMs. I'm of the mind that some rising of slope below 100hz sounds most like free air listening due to crosschannel bass bleed and reinforcement in free air acoustics but how much is always a question and what happens when all the bass is in only one channel of a source. It would then appear to be too high so to get it about right will always be an approximation. There is no absolute right or wrong on what a bass slope should look like and it may be better to err slightly on the low side (which for me would still be a subtle rise) for a monitor type device. 
 
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audionewbi

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I think the important part is the IEM leaves room for other companies to make amps to suite the KSE1500, if it proves to be popular. I had a chance to try the SR009 using the stax amp and I didn't like it, however blue hawaii amp was a different story. 
 
I guess the question I want to ask is whether the blue hawaii amp unleashed the potential of the SR009 or that it added the coloration that made it more suitable for me?
 
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goodvibes

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  I think the important part is the IEM leaves room for other companies to make amps to suite the KSE1500, if it proves to be popular. I had a chance to try the SR009 using the stax amp and I didn't like it, however blue hawaii amp was a different story. 
 
I guess the question I want to ask is whether the blue hawaii amp unleashed the potential of the SR009 or that it added the coloration that made it more suitable for me?
The amp thing is a bugger. I still have a SRM1 MK2 PRO 'A' around that I like. I also had or at least compared to later, supposedly better/improved versions with B,C and D designations etc. This A version was always the best of the bunch. 
 
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audionewbi

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  The amp thing is a bugger. I still have a SRM1 MK2 PRO 'A' around that I like. I also had or at least compared to later, supposedly better/improved versions with B,C and D designations etc. This A version was always the best of the bunch. 
Why does the sound of sr009 changes compared to the stax on amp, this is what I dont understand. Surely stax would not design an amp that under utilizes their own product?
 
I dont have the experience to make heads or tails of it in stax world. I am still remaining hopeful about shures stax and I will not allow the high price tag to make me overly skeptical. However I also will not be easy on it too.

Good news I have two months to save for it as the shure stax dont get released in my area till last jan next year. 
 
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Yubacore

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  I'm in the exact same boat!!! 

Personally for me it's the A12+Chord Mojo (or some other DAC) vs KSE1500. 

Hopefully someone who's listened to both can give a review!
 
 
I'm thinking along these lines as well, kse1500 or mojo+ciem. Though not sure about which ciem it would be.
 
From what I gather, the Chord Mojo pairs better with K10 or Layla/Angie, so I'm not as sure as you are. The Mojo+ADEL combo works fine apparently, but I haven't seen anyone talking enthusiastically about syngergy or fantastic matching or anything of the sort (as with the Sirens/K10s). The JHs are just too big for me, I would never consider something that will protrude that much from my ear, but the K10 is on my list. Also waiting to see how the new UERR is received, among others.
 
Waiting for more impressions/reviews!
 
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goodvibes

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  Why does the sound of sr009 changes compared to the stax on amp, this is what I dont understand. Surely stax would not design an amp that under utilizes their own product?
 
I dont have the experience to make heads or tails of it in stax world. I am still remaining hopeful about shures stax and I will not allow the high price tag to make me overly skeptical. However I also will not be easy on it too.

Good news I have two months to save for it as the shure stax dont get released in my area till last jan next year. 
They're still voltage amps and I've never heard 2 amps of anything that sound identical. Like you said, we don't know which is actually more correct but I suspect the Blue Hawaii cost goes towards something. I can take or leave tubes but this is an application where they are more than viable. So much of an audition is also source dependant. 
 
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analogsurviver

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  They're still voltage amps and I've never heard 2 amps of anything that sound identical. Like you said, we don't know which is actually more correct but I suspect the Blue Hawaii cost goes towards something. I can take or leave tubes but this is an application where they are more than viable. So much of an audition is also source dependant. 
ES amps are actually the ones that will be most under the magnifying glass for their performance - because, if well implemented, electrostatic drivers will reveal - well, everything.
 
When developing my own ES amp I learned quite some tricks. In nutshell - it took me over two years to get it to really sing, where strictly from the circuit schematics orthodox traditionalists hanging mainly in Sound Science threads here on Head-Fi would have said "it is all the very same thing". True - on schematics...
 
Trouble is - it sounds anything but alike.  And I was not under any financial constraints - I simply saved up till another, yet more exotic and commercially unavailable electrical part was being made possible trough "any method goes". Stax, or any other manufacturer, has to build something that will be commercially viable - Orpheus 2 included. 
 
So, no surprise amps from third party can exceed Stax's own. And, yes, nowhere in audio tubes are as at home as in ES amps.
 
That headphone/amp combo has landed me a job - with Benz Micro Switzerland. No other person could disect the performance of their phono cartridges to such minute detail as me - certainly not in late 80s/early 90s. Compared to that performance, Stax Lambda /SRM1MK2 is quite pedestrian...
 
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speedracer1

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  They're still voltage amps and I've never heard 2 amps of anything that sound identical. Like you said, we don't know which is actually more correct but I suspect the Blue Hawaii cost goes towards something. I can take or leave tubes but this is an application where they are more than viable. So much of an audition is also source dependent. 
Hi goodvibes, 
I agree...The Blue Hawaii is providing +/-600 volts!  
I think a part of the money that is shaping the dynamics/sound of the SR-009 is is going towards the cost of a massive power supply.  Frankly the build quality and components used are outstanding.  The Blue Hawaii is and example of a true purpose built amp squarely focused on providing the proper environment to allow the SR-009 to sing
 
Sincerely,
-Speed 
 
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Kunlun

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  Why does the sound of sr009 changes compared to the stax on amp, this is what I dont understand. Surely stax would not design an amp that under utilizes their own product?
 
I dont have the experience to make heads or tails of it in stax world. I am still remaining hopeful about shures stax and I will not allow the high price tag to make me overly skeptical. However I also will not be easy on it too.

Good news I have two months to save for it as the shure stax dont get released in my area till last jan next year. 
Well, it seems to be a thing that a manufacturer's paired amp gets beat by 3rd party amps--look at Sennheiser's amp for the HD800 or Hifiman's amp for the HE-6. It's not absolutely, but many sets of ears prefer those headphones with amps other than the ones their own manufacturer made. There are always trade-offs, except with the Blue Hawaii, the trade-off is only in the pricetag (I've heard it with the 009 and it's pretty great). We'll see how the kse1500 does with its paired amp. I'm not sure we'll see 3rd party amps for it unless it really takes off, though.
 
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The 37dB of isolation seems to be interpreted as a new claim from Shure.  The SE846's are listed as the same isolation.  I don't believe I obtain anything close, but that's what they claim. 
 
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goodvibes

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  Hi goodvibes, 
I agree...The Blue Hawaii is providing +/-600 volts!  
I think a part of the money that is shaping the dynamics/sound of the SR-009 is is going towards the cost of a massive power supply.  Frankly the build quality and components used are outstanding.  The Blue Hawaii is and example of a true purpose built amp squarely focused on providing the proper environment to allow the SR-009 to sing
 
Sincerely,
-Speed 
The 600 V part isn't difficult at all but it may be a case where the phone sounds better to some when slightly overbiased. Tends to bring up color and round things out a bit. For instance low bias Stax work (kinda) fine if you rig it for high bias jacks and it plays as loud as a normal listeners would care for but it clearly sounds better at it's intended bias due to the physical parameters of the driver. A slight bias change is acceptable if the maker prefers it that way. I'm sure there are other attributes that make that amp VG as well.
 
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I'm thinking along these lines as well, kse1500 or mojo+ciem. Though not sure about which ciem it would be.
 
From what I gather, the Chord Mojo pairs better with K10 or Layla/Angie, so I'm not as sure as you are. The Mojo+ADEL combo works fine apparently, but I haven't seen anyone talking enthusiastically about syngergy or fantastic matching or anything of the sort (as with the Sirens/K10s). The JHs are just too big for me, I would never consider something that will protrude that much from my ear, but the K10 is on my list. Also waiting to see how the new UERR is received, among others.
 
Waiting for more impressions/reviews!


What's the general view on the best DAC for the Adel A12??
 
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I sure hope the KSE1500 is like 4K to TOTL BA C/IEM's 1080p (level of clarity).
 
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