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It's unique, exotic, power hungry* and of ultra-high Ω. As StereoDesk importer/retailer Fred Crane put it, "the TakeT H2+ is a wonder. There isn't another headphone on the market with its unique driver tech. It's not necessarily new but has been put together in this form for the first time we know of. With the T2+ amp specifically designed to power it, we've gotten the best ride in head land. As such we no longer offer the intermediary transformers. Direct is so much better. The result is one of the most present and intoxicating headphones we've yet to encounter. With the $10'500 Crayon CHA-1 amp it's in fact our new reference. Not unlike a Stax the TakeT H2+ requires a transformer or dedicated high-impedance amp like the Trafomatic. We'd been using much more expensive amps to drive the TakeT but right now this purpose-matched Trafomatic takes the cake by a wide margin."

* To envision how standard transistor amps track power into higher impedances, consider Wow Audio Lab's very potent L1. It makes 5.2 watts into 32Ω which drop to 4.5w into 64Ω, 3.5w into 120Ω, 2.1w into 250Ω and 1 watt into 500Ω. At that rate we'd expect less than 1/10th of a watt into the TakeT. Yet we're told they want to see 4 watts.

I first crossed paths with TakeT when reader Strudwick Shepperd reported on "having recently installed the TakeT Batpure super tweeter to my rather pedestrian Dutch transmission-line speakers. It's wired directly to the tweeter terminals and fixed between tweeter and mid/woofer. The effect on increased coherence and musicality is quite astonishing. The nice thing is how physically discrete and inexpensive these are. Even with French customs getting an outrageous chunk, my pair came to €65 direct from Japan.

"There's of course heated dispute on various web fora ranging from those who say it's impossible and against nature to those who have actually tried it and fallen in love. I am in the latter camp. You were quite right saying that the most beneficial effect from these super tweeters is on widebanders. There's a growing community of widebander aficionados here in France who are getting all orgasmic over these."

Again, the H2+ has two Batpure units. And if you don't want the inelegance of dealing with outboard step-up transformers, you need an amplifier that's sufficiently powerful into about 6'000Ω and perfectly stable into such a load. Trafomatic's T2+ is that by design. Without braggadocio we could say that Cokic-San completed the job Takei-San left unfinished. That's because one can't ultimately—or shouldn't—spring this different a headphone on the public without also an amp that's ideally matched for complete guaranteed performance. Only that takes an interesting invention from working proof of concept to fully realized implementation. So East met West and Rudyard Kipling was proven wrong. Mowgli got married.

TakeT BatPro 2 super tweeters.

Takei-San agreed. In an email to Norwegian Trafomatic Audio importer Moiz Audio he put it this way: "The T2+ amplifier is beautiful. It will be a big help in my H2+ business because the weakest point of the H2+ is that it must use our TR2 transformer. We are currently reviewing our manufacturing process to increase our finish quality and should announce an upgrade in about a month. We will also contact some audio journals and hifi critics in Japan about reviewing the T2+." Meanwhile StereoDesk's Fred Crane reported that Takei-San had made him the exclusive US importer.

"On that note we've arranged for Audience AV to enter the headphone cable market. I've already sent them two H2+ to begin working and reworking. Their experience with inductance and phono cables with varying impedances will likely prove useful in the design of headphone cords. I was thrilled by their agreement to make TakeT their first foray into the field. I'd been intermittently tagging emails over the past year with hopeful diatribes about their making headphone cables. The TakeT provided the right opportunity at the right moment. It's fantastic that Sasa has made the T2+. I get the feeling it was not very easy but as he said, he likes doing things only a handful of guys in the industry could execute. I find his ability to custom craft gorgeous looking and sounding components at his price points inspiring. It's certainly a huge advantage that he winds his own iron. I know of at least one other well-known engineer who's also designing an amplifier with the TakeT in mind. His unit will also drive Stax earspeakers. That should see an early Summer release*." Thus our aberration just normalized twice over.

* As I learnt during my review of Crayon Audio's CHA-1, a special high-voltage version of it will sport a dedicated output for the TakeT whilst another version will support Stax electrostats.

Early Trafomatic T2+ prototype.

About 'normal' Takei-San throws us another nice little curve ball. "I think that the harmonic content inside leading edges is transmitted to us also via the skin. I discovered that with our super tweeters. The sound colors become more vivid. Hence we also added the super tweeters to the H2+ headphones as signified by the 'plus'. As a result the staging peculiar to headphones which has sounds stick to the inside of the head moves to the front. This more closely approximates a speaker audition. The otherwise unnaturally centralized headphone experience can cause a type of listening stress which the external super tweeter relaxes." The operational range of these units is 20kHz-150kHz with low 70dB efficiency and 1 gram of moving mass. Impedance is a high 4kΩ. Opening the BatPure's reflector at 90° is said to move the subjective soundstage in front of the nose whilst angling it in for a merely 30° opening moves it even further forward whilst also narrowing it a bit.