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High Rollers
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Everything posted by spritzer

  1. I'm way behind on posting pics off all the shit I've been buying recently but yeah... if it is available I can get my hands on it. Those portable amps out of China are utter crap though...
  2. I can't see where the bias is handled, looks to be missing the adjustment for the second stage plate and no output resistors. The bias supply is always where Woo amps have fallen flat without seeing it, hard to give it a clean bill of health.
  3. I've spent some more time with the headphones now (when I really should be testing out the new CRBN) but I like these a lot. They really do nothing wrong, soundstage is a bit flat (flat earpads though) and they aren't great with small detail retrieval but other than that they are neutral, honest sounding and I can spend hours listening to them. Now for the wanky things (besides that name, seriously... anus in your company name can never be a good idea ) such as the box these ship in: Almost Voce bad but at least it is well made, unlike the Mr. Speakers box. Here is the silly dual cable for these, male 3 pin XLR's on one end 3 pin mini XLR's on the other. It feels terrible and I'll rip it apart later. What truly bothers me is this shit, these are cheapest XLR's you can buy short of the knock off Neutriks and they are pushing 600V bias and 200Vrms through this? Yeah it's not ok... I'm thinking about what I'm going to do with that energizer as the transformers seem to be pretty decent. Probably just fit my own PSU to it and change it to three Stax sockets that the headphones actually fit into.
  4. I've had my eye on these for the last year or so but waiting for a cheap set to come up. There are three versions they sell and I found the cheapest one for sale, brand new in the box with the transformer adapter. I'll take some pics of the system tomorrow (shortest day of the year here so... yeah not great for photos) but I've at least a pic of the headphones and the internals of the transformer box. Here they are and I quite like the looks and the build quality. They are using mini XLR's which is not ok but questionable connector choices are a theme here. The stock cable is beyond crap (more on that tomorrow) so I'm using a Stax PC-OCC off my RR-1's. They feel substantial but also light and fit my head snugly at the largest extension. Carbon Fiber headband and the leather is nice. On their site they claim the Minima is supposed to have pleather earpads but these are clearly genuine leather. These look very similar to earpads I've bought from China in the past and nothing wrong with the quality. I shone flashlight through the driver to you all could see the structure, very unusual drivers here. Now onto the adapter box... yeah this is not good. That's it... and yeah there are so many issues here. Let's start with this gem: It's hard to capture on "film" but the IEC input and the fuse holder are completely uninsulated and mere millimeters from the metal frame of the transformers. Thankfully the chassis is earthed but yeah, this is not to code and an instant CE violation there. In the first picture you can also see there is no protection for the transformers at all and we will get to why that is an issue. Now the active parts: The bias supply is driven directly off the mains, no isolation between you and the wall. Now this was commonplace in the 70's but now... I'm not sure this meets any modern standards. The bias supply is a simple voltage doubler and for 117V they just add another doubler on top. There is then a 600V zener clamp to make sure the bias doesn't rise above that threshold. None of this has the elegance of the Stax bias supplies and frankly this is just sad. For instance the LED for power indication is driven directly off the mains, through one tiny resistor. Now you might notice those 3 pin XLR's there and yup, they are the stock outputs for the Euridiche, the Stax output is just for convenience. One of my biggest gripes is with using XLR's as they are in no way rated for these voltages, especially the cheap, no-name, units they are using. Also check out the clerances on that PCB.. bias and high voltage signals less than 1mm apart. Then we have what scares me the most, see those traces which go right to the edge of the board and into pin 3 of the XLR's...? Yeah that is the bias so 600V is sitting there, pressed right up against the chassis with exposed solder connections. Sure this is after the ballast resistors (one 4m7 for the Stax and separate 10M units for each side of the XLR's) but still... They have a lot of faith in the powder coating on the chassis. Finally the Stax socket, 3D printed and fed directly off the XLR sockets. Almost no way to actually cram a Stax plug in there but you know, I almost had to use a hammer. 😉 Then we come to the final issue, on paper these appear to be Stax compatible despite the stupid XLR connectors and similar bias supply but nope... they are so inefficient that my usual test amp (Icepower 50 module with a preamp tacked onto it) was at max volume to get these to my normal listening level. I plugged in my test SR-207's as well and they were at half volume using this transformer box. As seen in the first pic, I've fitted them with a Stax plug but they make the Carbon CC work for its pay so yeah, you need a very powerful amp to drive them. Now finally, how do they sound... pretty damn nice actually. 🙂 This is off the Carbon CC prototype in my rig right now and they are very balanced sounding, slightly dark sounding but very mellow and open. They are not overly forward or bright, unless when called to be and I can listen for a few hours with nothing bad to say really. Bass is plentiful and deep, midrange has a nice presence to it and the soundstage is pretty good. Top end is a tad dark but it is very mild and they make for a relaxing and pleasant package. So TL;DR... great headphones that are let down by being too inefficient, frankly unsafe transformer box and stupid cable/connector choices. Change the cable to Stax and drive them off a powerful amp and the sound is great.
  5. There are far simpler ways of making that bias supply, a simple voltage divider off the B+ would work just fine. For the pro bias, I'd put an adjustable voltage doubler off the main transformer, see something like the original KGSS article on Headwise memorial.
  6. Feel free to post pics and we'd be happy to take a look at them. You open up the top panel and there are cans inside of there you need to open up as well.
  7. See the Megatron thread to read about everything Felista Audio... its about par with Jr audio in build quality.
  8. Yup, never solder close to electrostatic drivers without covering them with something solid as any flux splatter with go right through them.
  9. It is likely due to dust or some other debris inside the driver which is shorting between the film and the stator.
  10. Here is the code: 1,3,6 is 100 volts 2,4,6 is 120 volts 3,5 is 220 volts 2,5 is 240 volts
  11. I agree, if this isn't a loose wire then somehow a charge got stuck on the diaphragm. That should get back to normal over use so I'd just leave them sitting and playing music.
  12. The 009 headband is such an utter pile of crap... The winner for the most stupid headband goes to one mystery electrostatic I'll be posting about soon.
  13. Interesting how much is borrowed from the Omega but better implemented 30 years on. Funny to see only five rivets holding the earpads on as the sixth one interfered with the cable entry back then... One concern I have is the thin housing as on the original and how that might behave when pushing them. At least there is no fragile acrylic shell here which will break after 30 years...
  14. I'm still waiting for my set and no word on when it will ship.
  15. I always apply the port mod so my impressions are always with that in place.
  16. There was a transition at some point in probably 2009 (though it could be earlier) that I noticed with the sets at Canjam '10. The midrange had this etch to it which nothing I could do to alleviate. The first sets of the Mk2 did not have that and when I finally bought another set of Mk2's in 2014 (or '13... can't remember) it was gone.
  17. Those always sound a bit off (not as bad as the Mk2.5 units but still) so they are further down the list
  18. The bad behavior was Stax using the serial numbers, nothing to do with the sound.
  19. Stax being annoying using the same serial number range 14 years apart. That set might be from the initial 2007-2009 production It's been so long since I tried them but yeah, I liked the HP-1000 back in the day but the Stax SR-X Mk3 Pro's blow them out of the water being the same design idea.
  20. What age is that? Stax used the SZ2 for the initial release in Japan and they are using SZ2 for sets shipping now. Special type of bad behavior there.... I didn't like the RME at all. For me most dynamics are just a disappointment so I tend to just leave them alone. The few that stand out over the years are the HD800 (once properly driven), Audeze LCD 2 and 3... can't remember any more off the top of my head. I've tried plenty over the years but none worked for me, Abyss, the hifiman crap, Mr. Speakers etc.
  21. I doubt the X9000 will be on that list but we'll see: SR-007Mk1 SR-007Mk2 (latest version) SR-Omega HE-60 SR-Lambda Nova Signature (which the CRBN replaces) Congrats!! I was slow to order them as I really had to talk myself into getting a high end Stax again... ECC99's sound bad in that circuit so I'd stick with the 6CG7's.
  22. Finally, I’ve had some time to sit down and dot down my final thoughts on the CRBN. They’ve been here for a couple of months, but I really wanted to have a Carbon CC up and running to try them on before I wrote anything final. I rustled up some pretty ghetto front and back panels this week, so I finally have one for my own system. Feeding it is a Denafrips Terminator DAC but I’ve tried it with a number of other sources plus whatever amps I’ve up and running at any given point, KGSSHV, KGST, CCS modified Stax amps etc. Now I want to start with how it’s been living with them for the past two months, in a word flawless. No issues at all with this second set, no imbalance, noises from the drivers… nothing like that. They are also supremely comfortable, and I’ve worn them for hours on end with no discomfort. Now this is Iceland so not exactly warm and the all-leather earpads might be an issue in warmer climates. Audeze might make hybrid pads like the Sennheiser HE60/90 but here I just open a window to cool down... 😉 Also, a word on driving them. They are inefficient and do need a lot of power. Anybody claiming otherwise is just full of it and thinks gain and position of the volume knob has anything to do with power levels. They are not quite 007 bad in this regard but they do reward a more powerful amp when pushing them. Baseline for excellent performance would be the KGST/KGSSHV line but even with the CCS modified Stax amps they work well at moderate volume levels. Push them though and yeah… you need power behind them. So how do they sound… well TLDR, how I’ve always wished the Sennheiser HE90 should have sounded but never did. These were my first impressions, slightly oversized soundstage and not as precise as others but far from the mess that is the HE90. Plenty of deep, well controlled bass too but not quite up to the 007 level. They can get bright when the source calls for it, slightly excessively so at times, but far from the forward nature of the 009’s. The soundstage is a bit larger than life, but it makes for plenty of presence and separation so while not pinpoint accurate, they are very close to it. Overall, they are just so balanced and pleasant to listen to regardless of what you feed them. Now for the only real issue, the damping is something which has annoyed me more and more. Now as some might know… I’m a bit picky… just a tiny bit… 😛 and while it is not always apparent, some songs or parts of them just sound off to me. This generally true for every headphones I use so I remove all damping when I can. Also, a large part of why I like the 007’s so much due to their innovative air damping. Now on the CRBN the damping is damn good, but I can still tell it is there. This is not like the Sennheiser HE-1 for instance, where that bloody amp with its mosfet based output stage and joke of a front end just spreads its dirty fingerprints on everything. This is far more subtle and only affects some tracks so for instance, it is too closed in when it shouldn’t be, bass has a twang to it that shouldn’t be there… something like that. This is a very minor gripe, and this is me being super picky so take it as you wish. Still, I’d love to try these drivers with less damping… 🙂 So, this aside, there is so much to recommend here. They are certainly not cheap but just holding them you can see where the money has gone. Plug them into a good amp yeah, they will impress. The only issue for me it they have rekindled an old project, take some LCD-2’s and fit them with custom electrostatic drivers. Anybody know of a cheap set I can buy? 😉 Now I’ve not received my SR-X9000000000000 yet so I can’t compare them but on its own the CRBN is a great product. They are not perfect (what is?) but as a first stab at making electrostatics, they are damn impressive. I’m adding this set to my collection, and they are certainly in my top 5 all-time greats. I really must say they are a breath of fresh air as the releases over the last few years have been such a disappointment. It really has been a 10-year slump now so here’s hoping we get something excellent over the next 10 years.
  23. I thought some electrolytics looked off but can't tell with any certainty from the pics. Make sure none of them are domed or have any leakage around them.
  24. Can you post some detailed pics so we can better understand what might be going on? If something stops working after a while like that than it is usually a component, solder joint etc. loosing contact due to thermal expansion but it could also be something else.
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