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Rolo 46
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#1
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
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Superlux

Just bought a Superlux headphone amp from Thomann to drive HD650s
Its a Taiwanese replication of a SD 3 ch box with 34db of clean gain.
At I/3rd the price.
I normally hate duplicates but I was so enamoured that Ive just ordered the Superlux S502 ORTF array from Thomman @ £100
My principles are crumbling
I blame coalition Government.
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4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
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I have both too
Rolo 46
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4th May 2012
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You have a coalition Govt as well dear chap.
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4th May 2012
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Our government just fell... And I never had any principles
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4th May 2012
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My trouble with the Superlux ORTF is that, and I am so fortunate, I almost always have enough high end mics to use where I might use the Superlux that it never gets any use.

During the testing, it sounded quite fine to me. Maybe just excess to my needs. I will consider selling it.

D.
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Rolo 46
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4th May 2012
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For my series of orchestral concerts coming up I'm considering the ORTF on the same stand as my fig 8/fig 8 or omni/fig 8.
BBC Radio normally has ORTF and spaced omnis on the same bar
But like Doug I will probably use my MKHs...
At £100 its difficult not to buy.......
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5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
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My problem with the copies of what is made elsewhere is that you are rewarding the copier for bad behavio(u)r. This is not a problem until you are affected. The Roman adage that much of what is justice turns on whose ox is gored is true. Yeah, that headphone amp is cheap, and it is a copy of the SD one. So how would you feel about someone selling pirated copies of your recordings? This is a huge gray area and I do not want to say that anyone is right or wrong here or want to sound too priggish either. I might be tempted myself, too. But it also raises ethical questions in my mind. As usual, YMMV.
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5th May 2012
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Interesting about the HP amp - was considering the SD box (n=battery driven) to replace an ART wall-wart box. I will have a closer look.

The S502 is only a copy of the form-factor of the Schoeps - and it comes in black, not nextel or nickel. Inside, it is patently not a copy of the Schoeps. However, as recounted in another part of this forum, I ran a parallel test (string orchestra) with a pair of Schoeps in co-located ORTF, both pairs running through a BG2 with identical settings. Level difference was just under a dB, a colleague was not able to reliably separate them. A short section of the file was intercut between the two (after level matching) - hard to pick the changes. I have since used the S502 on its own for another string orchestra (Nagra V 24/96K) - no complaints, just proving a point.

I will always use the Schoeps for "serious" work, but S502 is handy for QaD "run and gun" jobs, or where the environment poses such danger that I would not risk putting out the Schoeps.

@Rolo - give the S502 a "soak" (extended power-up) test when you get it, especially given that damp-prone English weather, as my first unit exhibited crackles in one channel (it was winter here when I got it). Replaced without quibble by Thomann - replacement has performed faultlessly so far. Good luck.
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5th May 2012
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H3AD - much more obviously an imitation, even copying the SD spec sheet (except for stated battery life, which is shorter).

However, Superlux distributors here have an efficient Sales Prevention department, so it is unlikely to pose a real threat.
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5th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
H3AD - much more obviously an imitation, even copying the SD spec sheet (except for stated battery life, which is shorter).

However, Superlux distributors here have an efficient Sales Prevention department, so it is unlikely to pose a real threat.
LMAO
Rolo 46
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5th May 2012
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My friend had to put a warning on his website after SD spotted the Superlux clone on it..
However another co respondent thinks Superlux makes OEM for big manufacturers...
Ah well
Its the first bit of replicant kit I have ever bought
Thanks for the damp test Pan, I will put it in the freezer and let it thaw in the kitchen by the Aga
Thats a crucial test in my book.
The S502 is going to be a fast grab device, I m thinking of a suitable Rycote and will take it in on Open Day this coming week
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7th May 2012
Old 7th May 2012
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Was making some wooden APE balls for ECM999's, as one of the tops came loose. Not a real problem, it fits quite tight on the shaft, so easily put back.
Gave opportunity to take some pictures, for now, I'm not going to remove the cover on the pcb.
Attached Thumbnails
Superlux-999-01.jpg   Superlux-999-02.jpg   Superlux-999-03.jpg  
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8th May 2012
Old 8th May 2012
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Found this in a review of the device -

"This is the reply from Sound Devices:

Mike,

Looks like you did NO research before posting this review. The Superlux is an almost identical copy of our HX-3, a product we designed and make here in Wisconsin. It is indeed a copyright violation of our design, down to the traces on the circuit board and text in our user guide. We introduced the HX-3 in 2001 and have been continuously shipping it since then. We focus on the production and broadcast markets, a world that looks so far from your focus.

You can certainly quote me above, and I recommend you get a quote from Superlux, as well. I’d love to see their response.

Jon Tatooles
Managing Director
Sound Devices, LLC"

The review is at Superlux HA3D Amplifier | Headfonia - being an owner of the SD version, I'm taken aback at how much of a clone it is now that I see the pictures in the review. It's a blatant ripoff.

However - when I bought the SD version I did so in a rush to fulfil a particular urgent requirement and only the SD device was readily available at the time. Ever since I've kicked myself for buying such an expensive device when it's hard to point to a cost benefit. I guess Superlux are selling it at a more proportionate price because they didn't have to do the R&D at the outset, but none the less, I can't help feeling that their pricing is more aligned to what such a device is really worth in many people's kit bag.
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8th May 2012
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A couple of afterthoughts -

First, this from the review -

"The sound does have one flaw though, that is the recessed midrange. Midrange is quite clear, but it doesn’t have enough presence and body for general music listening with vocals. So that’s going to be one of the catch with this otherwise great sounding amp. With Electronics and Classical, I don’t see the midrange to be a big problem[...]"

I would be surprised if the measured frequency response of the device (even though only a clone of the SD original) was other than ruler flat - this paragraph is the kind of thing which puts me off reading subjective reviews of this kind. (As for "midrange" not being a "big problem" in "Electronics and Classical, well...) But I guess measurements don't cover "presence and body".

Second, I would have thought it would have been very easy for Superlux to have cloned the circuit but mounted it in a different box, thus avoiding attention from SD. And while they were at it, they could have added unbalanced phono inputs which would have appealed to their target market (and which strike me as a surprising omission from the original SD design, even when accepting that it is designed primarily for the balanced input market - I mean, if you are going to provide inputs for the possibly-naff headphone outputs of other devices, would it really have been embarrassing to provide RCA inputs too, given the price?).
Rolo 46
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8th May 2012
Old 8th May 2012
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The inscrutable oriental mind.
Looks like a job for Holmes and Dear Watson.
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8th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
I will put it in the freezer and let it thaw in the kitchen by the Aga
This is called an accelerated life test. Its life is accelerated to the point it is all used up by the time the test is over.
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9th May 2012
Old 9th May 2012
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I like the cans amp ,just ordered a line output lead for the 30 pin out on the IPod classic.
Its a very portable fidelity solution imho
The S502 arrived today
First impressions
Noisy compared to my MKHs
Difficult to gag for exteriors
Loose image compared with MS

However this may change when I get things sorted, because it sounds good outside, and it didnt pop or bang coming in from the English rain to the warm kitchen .
#18
21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heva View Post
Was making some wooden APE balls for ECM999's, as one of the tops came loose. Not a real problem, it fits quite tight on the shaft, so easily put back.
Gave opportunity to take some pictures, for now, I'm not going to remove the cover on the pcb.
Pictures of the PCB:
Attached Thumbnails
Superlux-ecm999-pcb01.jpg   Superlux-ecm999-pcb02.jpg  
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21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
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The above post possibly belongs in another thread?
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21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panatrope View Post
The S502 is only a copy of the form-factor of the Schoeps - and it comes in black, not nextel or nickel. Inside, it is patently not a copy of the Schoeps. However, as recounted in another part of this forum, I ran a parallel test (string orchestra) with a pair of Schoeps in co-located ORTF, both pairs running through a BG2 with identical settings. Level difference was just under a dB, a colleague was not able to reliably separate them. A short section of the file was intercut between the two (after level matching) - hard to pick the changes. I have since used the S502 on its own for another string orchestra (Nagra V 24/96K) - no complaints, just proving a point.
Which Schoeps capsules were compared? MK4? If you know the MK21-- do you think they would have been more or less difficult to pick out than the MK4? And could you post a snippet of the A-B comparison?

Rich
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