Nectar Hive Electrostatic Headphone Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Dec 3, 2020.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Read here for initial subjective impressions:
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/nectar-hive-electrostatic-headphones.9829/

    I will be providing mostly measurements with limited subjective impressions pre-measurements. In a nutshell, the Hive is a great e-stat. The presentation is closer to the Sennheiser estats (HE60 and HE90) or HE Jade than the STAX headphones. This meaning they have a more tactile attack. Bass slam actually seems stronger then even the Sennheisers. I believe there were some design considerations made here with regards to diaphragm tensioning, which is quite low. The downside is that the diaphragm has a tendency to stick to the stators if the headphones are not put on very gently. The workaround is to put the headphones on first, let the pressure equalize in a second, and then plug in the headphones in. Running a lower bias can help too. If one likes the ethereal and limp STAX sound, then it is possible that the Hive may not suite them. Personally, I love their presentation. Tonally, they are bit like the HD600s. The stock pads have an 8kHz peak that emphasize sibilance. Fostex woody like pads flatten out this peak a bit.

    DSC00328-1.jpg

    This will not be a full set of headphones measurements - at least not yet. I am moving to another state in another two weeks, but I wanted to at least get a few measurements in as a teaser. I should be up and running around New Years. Looking forward to 2021. This year has been shitty. But shitty times can sometimes provide new opportunities and shake us up from our tendency to seek comfort.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The measurements taken below were with the bias set at 580V using the iFi Pro iESL energizer and Schiit Vidar. The energizer can supposedly work with headphone amps, but most headphone amps do not appear to have sufficiently high gain.

    I took four measurements below. With the "Fostex Woody" Pads and the stock pads, and with the blue foam dust cover on and off.

    Nectar Hive
    Stock Pads
    Frequency Response
    R Channel
    upload_2020-12-3_14-6-32.png

    Nectar Hive
    Stock Pads with blue foam dust protectors
    Frequency Response
    R Channel
    upload_2020-12-3_14-11-16.png

    Nectar Hive
    "Fostex Woody" Pads
    Frequency Response
    R Channel
    upload_2020-12-3_14-8-35.png

    Nectar Hive
    "Fostex Woody" Pads with blue foam dust protectors
    Frequency Response
    R Channel
    upload_2020-12-3_14-10-20.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2020
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    That's it for now. Will follow up in three to four weeks maybe? Headphone measurement gear is going into the box.
     
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  5. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Thought this stuff wouldn't be written until next Jan or so, but glad to see some posts (if not all) now.

    As a (ex) stax-retirer, never imagined I could ever return to estat game. Hive was one of the most unexpected dark horse in 2020 among my hp adventures. Hope more folks to get their hands on them too.
     
  6. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: Upscale Audio; recovering HFM addict

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    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I little bit like the above. I'd say the Hive as configured above is brighter particularly in lower treble compared to LFF HE6. HE6 seems to have more mid-treble.

    I am ex-stats too, but three things changed the equation:
    1. Nectar Hive is not only high performance, but affordable.
    2. Hive isn't limp dick like other estats. I am totally willing to trade off the diaphragm sticking to the stators for this. And even then, it's not a big deal. Simply put on headphone first, then plug in after. Never had an issue with sticking after following this procedure.
    3. Not cheap, but the @iFi audio Pro iESL has changed everything. The current STAX amps, from their entry level to TOTL are stupid expensive for price to performance. In fact, I dislike the sound of all STAX amps, including their current TOTL which was jaw dropingly disappointing, that I didn't want to talk more about it after post or two. Their entry level SR-353 sounds like butt. I will do a writeup of the iESL in January, but I found it to translate characteristics of several power amplifiers I tried with it. The iESL / Aegir was quite excellent and I personally found this combination preferable to the likes of KGSS / KGSSHV. More resolving of fine detail, more rounded, more nuanced, and much better microdynamics. The step-up-transformers are everything and I think it's obvious iFi knew what they were doing here.
    It will be January for a full set of measurements and supplementary impressions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Is there still that iFi Pro iCan on tour? I'm curious about the two meshing together. Paging @iFi audio ...
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I will send mine on tour. After I retrieve it once I get settled in Texas.
     
  10. shabta

    shabta Facebook Friend

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    It would really great to see how much current the iESL provides to the headphones. It's the current that makes amps likes the carbon, BHSE etc. sound so good.
     
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  11. bluesaint

    bluesaint Rando

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    Not sure if you tried and have feedback on iESL+ your Vadar/Aegir with iESL's XLR headphone output with planars or dynamic cans. I personally found it to be better than dedicated headphone amps when driving the likes of Susvara and other less efficient cans. Allows one good speaker amp to power eStat, Planars, Raal SR1a , and ofc speakers.
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The iESL would not be providing any current. It would be the power amps which are running through the iESL transformers which provide the current. The iESL "transforms" high current low voltage (low impedance speaker loads) into low current high voltage (high impedance capacitive estat loads). The better the transformer, the more efficient, lower distortion, and high fidelity the process.
     

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