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High Rollers
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Posts posted by spritzer

  1. They are not as focused as the 007's so the sound stage is more diffused, the bass isn't as impressive and not quite as much detail either.  More than anything, this is just a different approach and won't supersede the 007's for me.  It's nice though to have something different at times and it's not annoying after a while (like the 009's for instance) or just crap like the Voce.

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  2. 46 minutes ago, Orb said:


    I recall that you were disappointed with the SR-009S bass response in comparison with the SR-007MkII, though you found the bright treble response to not be as objectionable as the SR-009.  Do I have this correct as your main concern?

    Much appreciate your insights on this, thanks!


    The hot treble was fixed but there is a massive hole in the bass response and I don't know how they could ship something like that. 

  3. 20210901-DSC00267.thumb.jpg.0429bc26b92c078e16336bc734e91905.jpg

    It's been a month but the CRBN is finally here, well this is actually the second set I've received.  First set was one of two units to have an assembly issue which Audeze have now identified and fixed.  I sent that one back and they sent a new one out.  Now these are loaner sets but if I want to keep it, I will buy it.  Just wanted to make that clear as I always own everything I tear down.  The first set was setup to make it easier for me to take a peek inside so the pics I'll post later, will be of that unit.  They are identical though and to say the CRBN looks gorgeous... well that would be an understatement.  First thing that came to my mind when lifting out of the sturdy aluminum flight case, was a comparison to the Hifiman Shangri-la jr.  Similar price range (I paid 4000$ for my set back in the day) and by comparison the Shangri-la looks like a 200$ Aliexpress special.  

    The carbon fiber headband, the forged carbon earcups and nice thick leather earpads.  Yeah, this is for sure no Hifiman product and it really puts Stax to shame with their shitty SR-009 headband design.  Not that I was expecting anything less from Audeze but the attention to detail is nothing short of exemplary.  Nice long strain relief on the cables as they enter the cups, the quality of the Stax plug, the sheer comfort of having these on the head (even with my melon of cranium) and the list goes on.  The only issue I could find with them (and it was true of both sets) is a rather strong chemical smell as they are fresh out of the box.  It doesn't bother me at all but it might bother some so best mention it. 

    In terms of amp requirements, they are rather power hungry.  It was a clear design choice to make them a bit less sensitive so the amps need to be pushed further in terms of volume level but it's nothing extreme.  I had a KGSSHV in my system when the first unit arrived so I kept that to compare against the new one.  It drives them just fine but the Carbon is a better choice with roughly 4 times the power.  I would place the KGSSHV/KGST as the baseline for them to get excellent performance and it only gets better from there. 

    Now it's been only been an hour or so with this second set (a few days with the first one) so it's early but first impressions are great.  To keep it short, it's what the Sennheiser HE90 could have been but never managed to do.  The CRBN has that same ethereal, diffused quality but with far more midbass and bass presence.  They are not the bass monsters which the 007's can be but there is enough there and they are not bright or forward sounding at all. 

    I'll post some more impressions later and the teardown pics as well. 

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  4. It's always great to have new sets to play with but the recent Stax sets have just been such a massive letdown.  The 009BK is the only one of the recent sets I've actually kept but that's more down to me needing to have a set of 009's rather than using them for fun.  The 009S is such a disappointment... 

    Speaking of the CRBN... I'll be posting about that soon as I have them sitting on my head right now...  ;) Ohhh and teardown pictures as well. 

    • Like 6
  5. 1 hour ago, Sarieri said:

    Es1a is just a sloppy clone of omega. It sounds okay but the build quality is no where near any of the stax, the headband especially. Seems to be 3D printed with some type of nylon coating, which peels off easily like hail.

    It is a copy of the SR-Omega so it has all the same issues as the Omega... i.e. a headband which Stax should never have used for them.  They break... a lot... and have since 1993. 

    As for the ES-1a, i have been using my set pretty much daily for 18 months now and they are still perfect, no issues at all and always sitting on a Stax stand... even with a couple of tumbles to the floor as I pulled on the cable. 

    • Like 1
  6. Some progress on my end, the amp is up and running now.  It only took a new KGSSHV psu, new transformer, new power switch and I also swapped out the Stax socket as that nylon one just bugged me.  I also dropped the voltage from +/-400V to +/-350V as hacking up the amplifier boards would have been a lot of work and the lower voltage negates most of that. 

    Couple if funny things, the sheer number of misspellings on these boards is hilarious, bias is always written "Bisa" and look carefully at the text on those amp boards for some hilarity. 

    One other thing, I was going over the PSU board and noticed one thing, the caps for the bias supply are 630V rated... now to generate the bias this is a voltage doubler, it takes the raw AC input (which is 325V or so) and doubles it.  For that the parts need to be rated at least double the input voltage and guess what... 2*325V is more than 630V.  That is assuming the line voltage remains stable and there are no spikes.  Yeah everything done to save just a little bit of money. 

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  7. 1 hour ago, catscratch said:

    I have a McAlister heap of scrap too, but it's in a basement that flooded a few times (though the amp never got wet afaik) so it's probably beyond repair. I'll check. It never worked properly to begin with so no big loss. McAlister pulled some dodgy shit with shipping it too, delaying it forever then claiming he sent an amp that was lost. At the time I just wrote it off as a learning experience.

    If you want to let it go then I'd love to mess with it.  Having these basket cases around is just so much fun...  :)

    3 minutes ago, Turcoda said:


    @kevin gilmore

    Since I have your attention here, let me begin by prefacing this with stating that I'm just a lowly software developer currently working in transportation software and mostly autonomous vehicles. I have no electronic engineering background, and as such, you'll have to forgive my total ignorance in the matter. However, sometimes I do like looking into potential side projects for fun. I'm honestly curious about something that crossed my mind a few weeks back and wanted to know your take on it. Something I was genuinely curious about was whether either of you have ever used software to generate any of your amp designs, and if not, whether there would be any value to it. I would be curious to know what an algorithmic approach to developing amps could achieve and whether some kind of evolutionary approach using something akin to genetic algorithms would optimize parameters and specs of a schematic to either reduce cost, maximize efficiency, increase simplicity, or increase performance. I'm sure some kind of fitness function could be derived to determine some of these parameters, but I doubt all of it would be very trivial. Firstly, I'd like to know if there exists anything like this out there. For all I know amp designs are as efficient as they'll ever get... but I am kinda curious about algorithmic takes on the matter.

    Something like that could work as a helping hand (similar to what we have in Spice and other simulation software) but it's no replacement for the human mind.  The issue with everything is that building stuff (as in physical stuff) is hard and you run into issues that nobody thought of.  One thing comes to mind, my very expensive office chair at home failed this week.  It basically split in half where it was attached together with 4 M8 screws.  Now they were large torx units and the head was only about 10mm in diameter and with the deep torx head, there was not a lot of material there to actually make the connection.  Add to that they had not been properly tightened at the factory and bam... the heads broke off.  If they had been torqued to spec then it would have been fine but just that little bit of play (plus I'm a mountain of a man ;)) was enough to make them fail.  We've had similar stuff happen with the PCB's we've used and parts that should work just fine but are marginal. 

    Then we have the issue that if you were to design like that, that means trusting datasheets etc. and well no... just no.  :)

    • Like 1
  8. Here is something that has been cooking for a while but I've been just too busy to do anything about it.  So JR Audio out of China have been building our amp designs for a while now and I started to hear horror stories almost immediately.  They naturally have no right to use our designs and work in their crappy products but since when has that stopped anybody...  I have been looking for one of these amps for a while now as I want to rip it apart and well... one owner contacted me.  I'm going to ask him to come here and tell his story which is quite the tale.  Let's just say Caveat emptor...

    So here is the amp and it arrived dead which will soon be clear.  It is the KGSSHV version and well... it doesn't resemble my amp in any way...  🙄


    One funny thing is that the Stax socket is made from nylon so the quality starts there.  😉  20210902-DSC00290.thumb.jpg.2176f34566980537f1a217cc107bc08d.jpg

    Nothing remarkable here but that voltage marking is directly lifted from my amps.  Completely identical... 


    Here is where I started laughing, this thing uses clone versions of old PCB's I made back in the day.  The amplifier board (as can be seen by the date which they also copied) was in some of the older KGSSHV mini amp but this one is quite a bit bigger.  Same goes for the PSU which was in the first KGSSHV minis but this one is 2.5cm wider and 1cm taller.  All the components are in the same spots... it's just a bit bigger. 


    Now here is whats wrong with it, see the bridge rectifier in the middle.  That larger chunk of plastic shouldn't be sticking out of it. 


    Here is one amplifier section and I just find it hilarious that they do a direct copy of my 7 year old PCB but manage to completely fuck it up while doing it.  So all of those resistors are 1/4W units and that is a big no-no.  Most are well shy of that power level (though not all) but the voltage ratings for many of those resistors is well below safe levels.  It also annoys me (Kevin even more) that they have removed all values off the boards and replaced them with generic labels.    We have always pushed for proper markings on all boards so they can be serviced at any time. 

    Another thing clear in that picture are the 10M90's on that small heatsink on the PSU.  They have a lot of voltage sitting on the metal tab so they naturally use a silpad and metal screw.  Fucking amateur hour here. 



    Another picture of the damage and one more of the underside:


    One nice attention to detail... or lack thereof is no thermal paste or silpad on the PSU pass transistors.  Nothing at all and since the chassis is powerder coated, it has a hard time passing heat through the thin metal below.  It's a shame I don't have any of these old PCB's in stock just to show how much of a blatant rip off they are.  I'm tempted to order some (as I have the Gerbers for everything) just to show off what they are up to. 

    Now what happens to this amp, well it belongs to me so I'm going throw out the PSU and the transformer plus replace all the necessary resistor on the amplifier boards to make this safe.  Then I'll just keep it for shits and giggles.  I'll update the thread when I do some more work on this clusterfuck. 


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  9. 3 hours ago, Juansan2 said:

    Hi @spritzerDid they sound bright with the foam tips or the silicone ones? I found the foam ones (comply) or the shure yellow ones ever so slightly dark but the silicone tips from spin fit just a bit too bright on some types of music. I’m Wondering if there are any “Goldilocks” alternatives (using the kse1200, not the 1500). 

    I haven't had set for a couple of years now so I haven't played with them at all. 

    3 hours ago, kirilljerdev said:

    Afternoon all,

    Picked up a bargain on a pair of SR3s (original, not new version) with an SRD-5. They are pretty nasty and have clearly not been used in years. When connected to an amp they are barely audible and distorting heavily.

    Have replaced the caps in the energiser, can't confirm that the bias is correct (shitty multimeter) but am fairly confident that the issue lies with the diaphragms.

    Have disassembled the drivers - the diaphragm appears to be intact, although the silvered coating has been worn away in places from contact with the stator. Measuring resistance with coins shows a fully conductive surface.

    Now, from what I've pieced together, I know I should re-coat the diaphragm, but I am still unclear as to how. Intend to use this run of the mill anti-static spray; would really appreciate if someone could elaborate exactly how I should apply it so it coats the surface instead of beading in small droplets.

    Cheers :)


    I would also check the diodes in the SRD-5 as they can also be toast.  As for the coating, just spray into the air and run the diaphragms through the mist.  That is a good way to control how much goes on the film. 

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