Nectar Hive Estat

I agree with you on the Hive. My old STAX were certainly nice enough in their day, and you are not the only one that I’ve heard compare the Hive to the 007, putting them in a different category than the L700 etc. They are my go-to headphone now, except when I’m in away or portable mode.

If they ever come up with a really good portable or battery based e-stat amp, that could change too.

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One thing I’m regretting right now is that I missed the opportunity to try out the Hive on a STAX 007t amp that’s at my house right now. The amp was sold along with my L300LE’s, but as of today, not yet shipped. And as I stated, the Hive is on loan to ASR (for how much longer I have no idea). Judging by how unimpressive the 007 was on the tube amp, I’m guessing the Hive would be a bit lacklustre as well. The 007 on the 007t amp was lacking clarity, and dynamics, and really dumbed down the things that make that headphone shine. It was nowhere near as good as the SRD-7/Rag2 combo which is my usual setup. If I remember correctly, the Hive’s power requirements are similar to 007, so probably the tube amp is not a perfect match. It would have been a fun little experiment, though.

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Thanks for the information! Sounds so tempting…

Any idea when Amir might get around to measuring your Hive?

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I don’t know when he will. I’ve actually been sending him messages (3) over the last few weeks (3) just trying to get confirmation that they arrived safely at his house… and have not heard anything back. I do know that they were received according to FedEx tracking, but it’s a bit frustrating that he hasn’t responded to me at all. I will definitely think twice about sending other items to ASR for review, especially if it’s something like the Hive that I really do enjoy using regularly. Regardless, I am excited to see how they measure (especially the distortion figures) and if they get a positive review.

I’m driving the HIVE with my SRM T1S that was restored and modified by Spitzer (Birger, Mjolnir) and that amp was near the beginning of the line that has grown to the 4 tube 007t hybrid amp. I think that it works quite well with my model. I don’t have a baseline on the STAX 007t for comparison. I know that Spitzer thinks quite highly of the modifications, saying that it “comes alive” in a way that STAX does not. I know that he significantly alters some of the voltages on the tubes, but stays within the tube design parameters. Not enough of an electronics guy to understand exactly what his mods are.


Nice! So you do like the T1 and the Hive combo together? I’ve heard that the CCS mod that can be done on those amps really make a huge difference. I had thought a bit about having that done, but another consideration for me is that my wife and I will be moving from Maine to New Mexico at the end of the summer. So I really need to downsize my audio gear right now. I’ll probably look into buying a 717 or 727 amp later this year or next, once we settle into our new digs. For now the SRD-7 and the Rag2 are way more than adequate (perhaps even optimal)

Yes, that’s it the CCS mod. If you watch Birger’s website, you will frequently see not only his regular builds but modified used equipment such as I purchased. I’m extremely happy with the combination. I have the T1 because my old STAX headphone is normal bias, and this unit has both standard and pro-bias output. The difference between using my old SRD-6 and the new SRM-T1S was night and day with my STAX SR-5n, and provided the impetus to look around for something more modern; to whit, the HIVE. I couldn’t be more pleased.

As you’ve probably read here or elsewhere on the forum, I’m running Quobuz or Apple Music (I gave up on TIDAL) and frequently ROON out of an M1 Pro based 14 inch MacBook into a Schiit Bifrost 2. The Bifrost is connected via balanced into the STAX SRM-T1S, and unbalanced into a Schiit Lyr3 with a Treasure Globe tube. While I’ve put a number of headphones and IEMs into the Lyr 3 side, none of them has given me the long term satisfaction as I get with the HIVEs on the electrostatic side. Some are close, but I love the speed, detail, soundstage, and complete lack of fatigue. The overall sound I get from the Hifiman HE-560 (with a touch of EQ from ROON) can be quite similar, but the weight of the planars and the even-ness of the bass from the HIVE make a difference.

I must point out that the HIVE got better and better over the first 40 hours or more of listening (or break-in). When I first got them they seemed to lack deep bass; now the entire range is effortless.

I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but am fond of Jazz, chamber, electronica, world, punk/alt and that good old fashioned Rock and Roll.


Does anyone know if the Hive would work with TOPPING EHA5?

It looks like it should work fine. Has proper bias voltage and selectable gain. The connector looks like standard Stax and Hive

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From the Nectar website (Commercial Amp - Nectar Sound):
“I recently did a review of the new Topping EHA5 which I posted below. After measuring, margin testing, and ABing, I have come full circle on this amp, and I personally think the HiveX and EHA5 is a stellar value combination.”