STAX SR-009S Headphones

Thursday, 19 July 2018
by Test account Test account

After a prolonged period of time at the top of the hill, the legendary SR-009 is being upgraded, with the SR-009S headphones. With a much improved driver element, and rigid chassis, the latest SR009S is certainly a step up in performance.

Sound element with new fixed electrodes
By fixing the electrode diaphragm it can become infinitely thinner, the air resistance will be de-creased and the permeability of sound waves will be improved. Technically thinner electrodes are poor in rigidity and suffer from vibrations of their own and the sound can become muddy and this is something that STAX had to overcome. The SR-009S has an improved the electrode design further than in the SR-009 with the integration of the most adavanced technology available.

The edges of the electrode holes have been smoothened using an after-etching process to reduce air resistance, and make the permeability of sound even better. Moreover, by gold plating the electrode it has further decreased any unwanted vibrations. Finally, the sound clarity has been achieved by reducing the resistance of the electrode itself.


Tough solid aluminum chassis
The solid aluminium chassis firmly secures the driver, contributing to an improved clarity of sound. Furthermore, the case thickness has been reduced to limit the flow of condensation-and-rarefaction air waves from the sound element more smooth.

New designed guard mesh
The intensity has been increased by giving roundness to the “guard mesh” of the sound element, which has lowered the influence of reflection and improved the resolution of the sound being produced.

●Type:push-pull electrostatic large circular sound element, open-air type enclosure
●Frequency response:5 – 42,000Hz
●Electrostatic capacitance:110pF (including cable)
●Impedance:145kΩ (including cable, at 10kHz)
●Sound pressure sensitivity:101dB / input 100Vr.m.s. / 1kHz
●Bias voltage:DC580V
●Right/left channel indication: Golden solid line (left) and dotted line (right) on the cable
●Earpad:Genuine leather (skin touching portion), high-quality artificial leather (surrounding portion)
●Cable:Silver-coated 6N (99.9999%) OFC parallel 6-strand, low-capacity special wide cable, 2.5m full length

●Weight:583g (including cable), 441g (without cable)

HDV820 By Sennheiser Announced - New Amplifier

Thursday, 19 July 2018
by Test account Test account

Sennheiser have announced their successor to the HDVD800 with the launch of the HDV820 digital amplifier. It was 2013 when Sennheiser first launched their HDVA600 analogue and HDVD800 digital headphone amplifier to pair with their HD800, HD700 and HD6xx range of headphones. They were incredible feats of engineering and the sound was amazing from both of the units. Wind on 4 years and Sennheiser are now replacing their much loved HDVD800 with the brand new HDV820 digital amplifier.

Choosing to stick with the amazing and highly regarding ESS brand of DAC chipsets Sennheiser have chosen to up the anti and selected the DAC capable of receiving data from any source outputting up to 12.3MHz. The previous HDVD800 was capped to 24/192 so this will be a big step up.

A bold move has also been taken by Sennheiser with their range of outputs levied on this new amplifier. With a breadth of audio outputs that include XLR3, XLR4, 6.3 mm- and a 4.4 mm Pentaconn socket, it is easy to find the optimal way to connect your headphones with the HDV 820. It performs brilliantly with digital sources, whether optically via coax or via USB, and features balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) analogue inputs.

We are keeping an eye out at this years Munich High-End show in May as we will then have further details in relation to price. I speculate that it will be around the £1500 - £1600 mark and release date is still to be announced.

Chord Hugo 2 Announced

Thursday, 19 July 2018
by Test account Test account

Alongside Poly the Chord Hugo 2 was also officially unveiled at CES 2017. The new Hugo 2 features the latest WTA filters, better performance. This new breed of Hugo kicks off from where the original outstanding Hugo was. Increased performance and new filters take the Hugo series up another notch.

The Hugo 2 has been dramatically redesigned with all-new casework, flexible new features, plus next-generation technical and sonic performance at £1,800. Chord have announced both the Hugo 2 Silver and Hugo 2 Black

The precision-machined aircraft-grade aluminium case has a sharper, lower profile design than the original Hugo and four spherical control buttons. The spheres, which are top-mounted, allow for future expansion side-modules. The top-mounted volume-control sphere that was found on the original Hugo has been retained and made larger for more intuitive operation.

The stylish new design and additional functionality has further made the Hugo a device for both indoor and outdoor usage and with the inclusion of a full-function remote control adds further flexibility and the practical line-level output mode of the original has also been retained.

New levels of technical performance

All areas of the original Hugo have been improved upon with performance gains having been made in timing accuracy, noise reduction, headphone amp power and dynamic range. Chord Hugo 2 DAC / Headphone Amp

Four digital inputs

Akin to Hugo the Hugo 2 offers four digital inputs (optical, coaxial and HD USB) plus extended-range Bluetooth, with high-resolution file playback up to 768kHz and up to DSD512 (Octa DSD), via its HD USB input. Analogue outputs include 2x RCA, plus 3.5mm and 6.35mm headphone outputs.

User-selectable filtering option

A new addition comes in the form of four-function switch filter, operated by its own control sphere. This offers the user a useful degree of user-selectable frequency-shaping, bringing warm and soft or transparent and incisive presentations, giving additional flexibility and user control.

Battery life improved

Battery playing time has increased to c.14 hours and USB fast charging over micro has been included: fast (1.8 amperes) and slow (less than one ampere). An indicator shows charging and battery-charge status.

Lower distortion, better output stage

To further improve of the output stage and reduce distortion even more brand new digital DC servos have replaced the inline capacitors which helps power-drive performance and capability of the output stage.

Technical specifications

Inputs

  • 1x Optical TOSLink 24-bit/192kHz-capable
  • 1x RCA coaxial input 24-bit/384kHz-capable
  • 1x HD USB input 32-bit/768kHz and DSD512-capable
  • 1x aptX Bluetooth (extended range)

Outputs

  • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 1x 6.35mm (1/4 inch) headphone jack
  • 1x (pair) stereo RCA phono output

Specifications

  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: <0.0001% 1kHz 3V RMS 300 ohms
  • THD and noise at 3V RMS Ref 5.3V: 120dB @ 1kHz 300 ohms A Wt
  • Noise 2.6 uV A Wt: no measurable noise floor modulation
  • Signal to noise ratio: 126dB A-weighted
  • Channel separation: 135dB @ 1kHz 300 ohms
  • Maximum output level (to clipping at 1% distortion): 94 mW 300 ohms; 740 mW 33 ohms; 1050 mW (8)
  • Output impedance: 25 milliohms (0.025 ohms)

Technical features

  • Advanced digital volume control
  • Crossfeed filter network
  • Four-stage frequency-shaping filter
  • Fast-charging batteries via Micro USB giving c.14 hours operation
  • 49,195K tap-length filter (near double the original the Hugo)


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