HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier (Playback 56)

Equipment report
Categories:
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
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HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier
HeadAmp Blue Hawaii SE Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier (Playback 56)

when listening for the acoustics of the venue where a recording was made (e.g., the reflections of sound off of walls and floors, etc.). We found the Stax/HeadAmp combination does a great job of revealing the spaces in which various recordings were made Likewise, the overtones of an instrument are, along with delicate transient and textural details, the source of its color, but only if they are reproduced in proper proportion to the fundamentals of notes (e.g., the decay of a plucked guitar string should be audible, but not louder than the body of the note). Once again, the Stax/HeadAmp pair comes through with overtones, textural details and the like that are easy to hear, yet perfectly integrated with the fundamental sounds of the instruments that produced them.



Related to, but different from, detail resolution is the idea of instrumental separation. In live music, one can often hear the band or orchestra as a whole, but also hear individual instruments without everything being muddled. The Blue Hawaii/Stax pair is superb at allowing you to focus you attention broadly or narrowly, just as you might do when listening to live music. This ability is a hallmark of dynamic capability, and indicates the circuitry can handle passages where signals swell dramatically or become diminished in level—all without any increase (or noticeable change) in distortion. No matter what the music does in a dynamic sense, the BHSE sounds delightfully consistent and unflappable.