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Nectar Hive Review (Electrostatic Headphones)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 23 20.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 53 46.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 27 23.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 10 8.8%

  • Total voters
    113

Garrincha

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Perhaps @nectarsoundnet would supply a amp and headphones for a re-test?
Sounds like a good idea. If he is confident that the measurements and judgments here did not do him justice, that should be no difficulty for him. I see the problem with the wiggly FR in the midrange / treble and would very much like to see this bettered if possible. It is such a nice project and would be a great alternative to rare (and mostly expensive) electrostats headphones.
 
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Doodski

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Sounds like a good idea. If he is confident that the measurements and judgments here did not do him justice, that should be no difficulty for him. I see the problem with the wiggly FR in the treble and would very much like to see this bettered if possible. It is such a nice project and would be a great alternative to rare (and mostly expensive) electrostats headphones.
If he is correct that this is a bad measure then I don't like to see his product receive a poor review. (Ditto) It is a intriguing model in that electro stats are not usually priced at this range that I am aware of. Hopefully he can see his way to retest via supplying a different amp and headphones.
 
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amirm

amirm

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If he is correct that this is a bad measure then I don't like to see his product receive a poor review. (Ditto) It is a intriguing model in that electro stats are not usually priced at this range that I am aware of. Hopefully he can see his way to retest via supplying a different amp and headphones.
To be clear, before he goes through the trouble of sending me one, he should post the measurements of it to see if the problems are solved. If they are not, then there is no reason for me to do anything with it.
 
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amirm

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Robbo99999

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To be clear, before he goes through the trouble of sending me one, he should post the measurements of it to see if the problems are solved. If they are not, then there is no reason for me to do anything with it.
Well I wouldn't expect it to change the frequency response, but for sure I thought we'd identified that the amp was the cause of the distortion above 106dB, which also influenced your listening tests because you weren't able to do a bass boost whilst at enjoyably loud levels.....so to me it seems a more suitable amp would at least sort out those two issues whilst of course leaving the wiggly frequency response as it currently is. We really need to hear from @nectarsoundnet though on providing an amp to Amir (as one option) & if he agrees with these points......and then maybe it can be remeasured.
 

sound_matter

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This thread has quite heated discussion (as usual). It's better to focus on how we evaluate Nectar Hive in the end.

The problems that this review claimed were followings.
1) FR above 1k
2) resonances
3) distortion at higher dB.

I just saw previous threads about this product in ASR and other forum with FR graphs.

For #1 and #2, I can see similar data in other graphs. The users of Hive did not show any negativity, but they had a positive response to the product. I am wondering if reviewers had different interpretation with the data.

For #3, it seems that we have no idea what caused this issue. The manufacturer tried to explain it in his best. Maybe an amp issue. But we won't know unless the product is tested with a different amp. The other reviewers did not mention about this issue. It could be a faulty amp or faulty headphones.
 

Zoide

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This thread has quite heated discussion (as usual). It's better to focus on how we evaluate Nectar Hive in the end.

The problems that this review claimed were followings.
1) FR above 1k
2) resonances
3) distortion at higher dB.

I just saw previous threads about this product in ASR and other forum with FR graphs.

For #1 and #2, I can see similar data in other graphs. The users of Hive did not show any negativity, but they had a positive response to the product. I am wondering if reviewers had different interpretation with the data.

For #3, it seems that we have no idea what caused this issue. The manufacturer tried to explain it in his best. Maybe an amp issue. But we won't know unless the product is tested with a different amp. The other reviewers did not mention about this issue. It could be a faulty amp or faulty headphones.
Thanks for sharing.

Keep in mind that some of those earlier measurements might have been with different ear pads.
 

solderdude

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3) distortion at higher dB.

I see no high distortion at higher dB.
The found 106dB SPL max. by Amir (and 104dB being low distortion) follows exactly from basic calculations.

Stax sensitivity = 100dB/100Vrms. Acc to the manufacturer sensitivity is about 6dB lower for HiveX.
So 94dB/100Vrms. 100Vrms = 141V peak.
Pro bias = 580V and thus the max voltage swing that can be had = 580Vpeak = 410Vrms.
410V/100V = 4.1 = 12.2dB above 94dB = 106dB

Good enough for music to play loud but not impressively loud with Harman bass boost.

And yes, maybe the used amp is not ideal for the Hive but other amps won't play it louder.
Consider that in music peak levels of the highest frequencies will not nearly be as high as those of lower frequencies so the higher capacitance and higher output R (asymmetric) for certain stax amps may not be a practical issue. For measuring FR at full power yes...
 

infinitesymphony

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1. Unless @crinacle used a SRM-313 for measurements, don't we already have a second data point taken with a different amplifier (see below) with a similar frequency response result?

2. If you look at the general slope of the curve and average out the deviations it essentially follows the diffuse field target. Listeners who prefer that curve might like the sound of this headphone. It's also possible that for particular listeners, these deviations balance out their own aural imperfections. crinacle's own target curve is similar to diffuse field which is likely why he subjectively awarded these headphones an "A" with the caveat, "Some spiciness in the treble that is HD800-esque." Check out the graph of the HD800 and you'll find a similar headphone.

View attachment 214147
There is a correlation of frequency response above 1khz showing resonances even with Crinacle's measurements. I think @amirm is questioning the response and resonances he observed in his measurements more so than the performance of the headphone in measurements.
 

Roland301

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Pro bias = 580V and thus the max voltage swing that can be had = 580Vpeak = 410Vrms.
The bias voltage has very little to do with the maximum signal voltage that the headphone can handle; that depends on how the stators are spaced and other things. It is just coincidence that the SRM-313 clips at 410Vrms/580Vpp (this is actually a bit higher than its rated 350Vrms spec). Many electrostatic amps are rated for higher, for example Stax's own T2 is rated for 630Vrms and T8000 is 470Vrms.

I think Amir could benefit from acquiring a transformer box such as ifi iESL or Stax SRD-7 Pro so he can test estats however loud he likes, and possibly explore interaction with different speaker amps driving them (SRD-7 in particular can be picky in this regard)
 
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Kyle / MrHeeHo

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I don't really see what the appeal of these is. You could say the lower price but the kind of people who usually buy electrostatic headphones aren't hard up for cash and would likely go for something more expensive or if looking for cheap would go for the Koss because you don't need to spend more than the initial cost to power it.
 

shrimp_dude

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That's a really weird argument. These shouldn't exist because more expensive / better estats exist, as well as a single not well regarded cheaper set from Koss? That's almost the entire estat market right there under $1k - a couple Stax and the Koss.

If you have an energizer these are a great alternative to the Stax "sound" while retaining the speed and detail you expect from estats.
 

Tim

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The Nectar is a great deal when the basic model was $349. However, the Hive version at $649 faces stiff competition. The Koss ESP950 is a stellar value when it is under $700, I have them. Even the Stax basic setup is very good.
 

platimn

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To be fair this headphone looks pretty good for an electrostatic. I think you can easily reconcile the fact that subjective impressions from the majority of customers were positive if not "ecstatic" for these cans despite resonances and brickwalls in EQ-ability at high SPL and whatnot with the simple facts that: most customers are not ultra-trained and critical listeners, they seek to enjoy music and gear that they have purchased, they are not trying to test the limits of their gear at any given moment so as not to hinder their enjoyment. To that purpose I don't see anything that this headphone does wrong: in fact it provides the flat bass response that most electrostatics cannot measurably produce in independent testing, resonances like those are probably not noticeable to most customers while enjoying their music, and most people do not develop or use EQs to match the Harman curve in the electrostatic market. As such I think this headphone does occupy an important niche in between the low-end, mass-produced (but still relatively expensive) Koss ESP and exorbitantly priced boutique Japanese Stax "reference" electrostats - the adherence to target (Harman) and EQ-ability notwithstanding, as a priority of the forum objectives, though subjectively in my calculation the curve this headphone produces doesn't even look that bad on paper (from 200 hz to 3000 it seems to be the same as most of the higher-end planars prior to DCA Stealth/Expanse in tuning with a dip for 3D pushing out vocals from your forehead cf. HD600 where strict adherence produces a top of head effect, resonance peaks and dips you can put in the wash and say it generally bounces around the idea of the Harman target).

I think it is fair to say that whatever unfortunate effects the manufacturer may have experienced from the poor reception here will not be long-term impactful to anyone who has genuine interest in the electrostat market. The cost/benefit analysis for entry into that market is already accounted for by that interest in the first place and this headphone would've been the most excellent in that price category at the time. Theoretically for $1000 one could have reproduced the setup Amir used and had a flat bass estat headphone that would have its only real weakness being you could not use it under correction for extremely loud pop music!

Addendum corrected response from oratory1990: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ea2nhi6u9eaqncm/Nectar Hive.pdf?dl=0

Very good!
 

Miiksuli

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To be fair this headphone looks pretty good for an electrostatic. I think you can easily reconcile the fact that subjective impressions from the majority of customers were positive if not "ecstatic" for these cans despite resonances and brickwalls in EQ-ability at high SPL and whatnot with the simple facts that: most customers are not ultra-trained and critical listeners, they seek to enjoy music and gear that they have purchased, they are not trying to test the limits of their gear at any given moment so as not to hinder their enjoyment. To that purpose I don't see anything that this headphone does wrong: in fact it provides the flat bass response that most electrostatics cannot measurably produce in independent testing, resonances like those are probably not noticeable to most customers while enjoying their music, and most people do not develop or use EQs to match the Harman curve in the electrostatic market. As such I think this headphone does occupy an important niche in between the low-end, mass-produced (but still relatively expensive) Koss ESP and exorbitantly priced boutique Japanese Stax "reference" electrostats - the adherence to target (Harman) and EQ-ability notwithstanding, as a priority of the forum objectives, though subjectively in my calculation the curve this headphone produces doesn't even look that bad on paper (from 200 hz to 3000 it seems to be the same as most of the higher-end planars prior to DCA Stealth/Expanse in tuning with a dip for 3D pushing out vocals from your forehead cf. HD600 where strict adherence produces a top of head effect, resonance peaks and dips you can put in the wash and say it generally bounces around the idea of the Harman target).

I think it is fair to say that whatever unfortunate effects the manufacturer may have experienced from the poor reception here will not be long-term impactful to anyone who has genuine interest in the electrostat market. The cost/benefit analysis for entry into that market is already accounted for by that interest in the first place and this headphone would've been the most excellent in that price category at the time. Theoretically for $1000 one could have reproduced the setup Amir used and had a flat bass estat headphone that would have its only real weakness being you could not use it under correction for extremely loud pop music!

Addendum corrected response from oratory1990: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ea2nhi6u9eaqncm/Nectar Hive.pdf?dl=0

Very good!
That is a bit aggressive EQ for the upper bass. I use a 50 Hz +7 dB low pass. It looks like this:
low pass filter hivex.jpg


And that is all that I need when modded HiveX.
 
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