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New Millett Hybrid Maxed Amp - Page 439

post #6571 of 6597

Hello all, thought I would bump this thread with a quick update and a poll that might spark some discussion.

 

It has been so busy at work for the last 8 months that I have not had a whole lot of time to listen to my MHMA, keep it at work on my desk. I however last night I stayed late to do some soldering work on a b22 kit so i figured it was only fitting to fire it up and listen while i breathed massive amounts of solder fumes.

 

I was using my grub dac as the source. First thing I noticed was just terribly week bass and a very, very flat sound stage, perplexed I decided to take the headphones off and let it warm up for awhile as that tends to help.

I put the cans bac on after 10 min or so and tried again. No, good, just sounded very flat and no "body" at all. 

 

After some digging around I found that the wire connections at both the DAC output and amp input looked questionable. I also noticed a melted spot on the DAC output cap closest to the output wires where the iron had hit it and burned into the corner a bit.

 

After fixing all three of these issues the amp was back to its old self, sounding great! Not sure which "fix" fixed it, don't care, just glad it was simple.

 

Now for the big question.

 

Now that this amp has been around awhile, and many have been built, I am wondering if there is a preferred cap set for C7 and C2? I initially built mine with Silmic II's for c2&7, bypassed by wima and VQ respectively.

I swapped the silmics for MUSE some time ago, but I'm thinking of putting the silmics back in place.

 

I notice Tomb recommends the green bipolar MUSE ES, I have some of these as well.

 

So, what are you guys using? is there a favorite? is there any kind of consensus on what seems to be the "best"?

 

I used the black gates years ago on a mini max build, those things were awesome, wish i could get another set :-( .

post #6572 of 6597

I ran the ES and Muse in all mine

post #6573 of 6597

IMHO, the Elna Silmic RFS II's are every bit as good as Black Gate NX's.  If you have the case height - and it appears that you do - use an Elna Silmic RFS II 1000uf at the cathode bypass and then another Elna Silmic RFS II 1000uf at the output.  The only difference being that you only need a 16V rating on the cathode bypass (the ones by the tubes), but you need a 35V rating at the output.

 

The only disadvantage to Elna Silmic RFS II's are that they are GIANTs - probably bigger than any other cap you could use.  The Black Gate NX's were positively compact! - their primary redeeming virtue.  Their size puts the Elna's out of the realm of possibility with the MiniMAX and its custom enclosure, but if that's not a design constraint, then the Elna's are the way to go, period.

 

It's more icing on the cake that you can buy them from "regular 'ol" DigiKey.

 

 

P.S. Keep the Wima's back at the cathode bypass position.  "Boutique" caps there seem to kill the bass.  As a matter of fact, you can probably go without them with high-quality electrolytics (like the Elna's or BG's).

 

Up front at the output, the film caps matter for sparkle - use something besides the Wima's, if you can: VitQ's, Sonicaps, Auricaps, Teflon or similar ...

 

 

P.S.2. Vixr builds great stuff!  Not trying to contradict, but I built a lot of these and specifically tested all the caps.  Muse ES are best for bass and size, but they need bypasses to sound their best (the treble is not so hot by themselves).  I hate Muse KZ's, but maybe that's a personal opinion - very strident and "etchy" to my ears.  The Muse FG's are very, very close to an ideal "mellow" cap - does everything pretty good, but nothing very great.  The Elna's - like I said, as good as BG's, IMHO.

 

Wima's are great in the back and around the power caps, but horrible up front - they tend to produce a similar sound to the KZ's up front: strident and etchy.  VitQ's are ideal up front, while Sonicap Gen II's add tons of sparkle.  I've tried the Roedersteins that were highly reviewed in other capacitor articles, but they fell way short of the Wima's overall.  I used to use the Russian K42's - they are pretty good when paired with ES's, but fall short otherwise.


Edited by tomb - 10/11/13 at 5:44pm
post #6574 of 6597

for me the ES, Muse KZ and FK tubes had the best sound with the HD600, I also always use the corda cross 1 which has a very mellowing effect... With the AE tubes the sound was quite harsh. For film I used wima because my other fave orange drops just killed the bass


Edited by vixr - 10/11/13 at 6:44pm
post #6575 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by vixr View Post
 

for me the ES, Muse KZ and FK tubes had the best sound with the HD600, I also always use the corda cross 1 which has a very mellowing effect... With the AE tubes the sound was quite harsh. For film I used wima because my other fave orange drops just killed the bass

Makes sense ... I normally ran the 12AE6's. :)

post #6576 of 6597

wow, thanks for all the replies.

 

I posted that last query right before i started soldering on a y1+y2 project (took a break from the  B22 as I am still waiting on parts for the power supply). 

 

As I stated before, I initially had elnas in the amp in all positions. Right now I dont remember why i swapped them out, weather it was curiosity or if i was looking for a better sound (possibly due to the a fore mentioned wiring issues?)

 

The "muze" caps i put in were the KZ units. For testing purposes I went ahead and swapped the output caps to the muze ES units. I was surprised to find that, even though these were half the uf rating of the KZ's (470 vs 1000) tha bass actually sounded better, and had much more impact to it :basshead:, tomb's description of these is accurate for sure. I like them, the VQ's must be doing a good job because i was not wanting for high end either.  I will have to get my hand on a set of the Sonicap Gen II's tomb mentions, I would be interested in this pairing.

 

think I will leave it s is for now and try to get more listening time on these caps. I still have the elna's, I think i will go ahead and put those back in the rear as i think i am inclined to agree with tomb, the KZ's may not be for me.

 

while on this subject, I am fairly good at de-soldering, but its still a pain and tends to degrade the PCB pads over time, is there a good solution for putting sockets in place? I realize this would be a bad idea for a permanent install given the weight of the caps (especially the elnas...those suckers are heavy!) but for swapping to find a great combo it would be very useful.

 

Thanks again guys.

 

As a side note, once I Finnish the  B22 and Y2 (might be awhile if work picks up again...), my next project was going to be another tube/SS amp, I was thinking the EHHA rev A would be awesome, as people seem to love it. But i'm seriously thinking the torpedo will be my next amp. I already have a hybrid, and the B22 will be my second SS amp (PPA V2 being my beloved first, listening to it now), I have shied away from true tube amps due to the high voltage, but as great as the EHHA is reported to be, i already have a hybrid, and curiosity is killing me, I have never heard a true tube amp, and the torpedo is just too appealing to pass up.

post #6577 of 6597

Tomb, I just looked up the Sonicap Gen II's, they don't appear to offer them in a .22uf rating, rather .15 and .33, what would you recommend?

 

Joe

post #6578 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by H22 View Post
 

Tomb, I just looked up the Sonicap Gen II's, they don't appear to offer them in a .22uf rating, rather .15 and .33, what would you recommend?

 

Joe

0.33uf - what goes in the MiniMAX kits right now. ;)

post #6579 of 6597

I realize this is a necro-post, but hopefully I might be able to get an answer to a pretty subjective question that's been on my mind lately as I have been struck with upgrade-itis for no apparent reason.

 

Is there anything available commercially that compares to the quality or features of a well built Mosfet Max with nice caps (Elna Silmics, VitQs)? Not that I have any complaints with my Max, moreso just curious to know how much one would have to spend on a commercially available product to get something comparable to or better than the Max.

post #6580 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBomb06 View Post
 

I realize this is a necro-post, but hopefully I might be able to get an answer to a pretty subjective question that's been on my mind lately as I have been struck with upgrade-itis for no apparent reason.

 

Is there anything available commercially that compares to the quality or features of a well built Mosfet Max with nice caps (Elna Silmics, VitQs)? Not that I have any complaints with my Max, moreso just curious to know how much one would have to spend on a commercially available product to get something comparable to or better than the Max.


I can't help you much in comparing to commercial products.  The gap between DIY performance and commercial products is pretty wide (DIY+price is superior).  Yet, commercial products are going to be more refined (nicer casework) and have more features (more input/output connections, etc.).  However, Beezar products are proportional in performance with price.  If you look at the BOM for the MOSFET-MAX and its total cost and compare that to a Torpedo, you'll see that the Torpedo is more expensive.  There's a reason for that. ;)  Beyond that, there are tube amps that exceed the quality of the Torpedo as well.

 

That said, the MOSFET-MAX is in the same league as one of those super-powerful hybrid tube amps.  So if you're looking to power some typically inefficient orthos or speakers, then the MOSFET-MAX will win, hands-down.  However, if you're looking for the purest, most transparent sound with "normal" headphone loads, then there's the Torpedo and many other commercial alternatives as well.  You just have to be careful with tube amps in picking transformer-output vs. OTL's.  IMHO, transformer-output amps are miles ahead in transparency compared to the typical OTL tube amp with coupling capacitors (including most hybrids).

 

Maybe that can give you some insight without my shilling too much. ;) 

post #6581 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post
 


I can't help you much in comparing to commercial products.  The gap between DIY performance and commercial products is pretty wide (DIY+price is superior).  Yet, commercial products are going to be more refined (nicer casework) and have more features (more input/output connections, etc.).  However, Beezar products are proportional in performance with price.  If you look at the BOM for the MOSFET-MAX and its total cost and compare that to a Torpedo, you'll see that the Torpedo is more expensive.  There's a reason for that. ;)  Beyond that, there are tube amps that exceed the quality of the Torpedo as well.

 

That said, the MOSFET-MAX is in the same league as one of those super-powerful hybrid tube amps.  So if you're looking to power some typically inefficient orthos or speakers, then the MOSFET-MAX will win, hands-down.  However, if you're looking for the purest, most transparent sound with "normal" headphone loads, then there's the Torpedo and many other commercial alternatives as well.  You just have to be careful with tube amps in picking transformer-output vs. OTL's.  IMHO, transformer-output amps are miles ahead in transparency compared to the typical OTL tube amp with coupling capacitors (including most hybrids).

 

Maybe that can give you some insight without my shilling too much. ;) 

 

Haha ok, so, let me see if I'm picking up what you're putting down... If I wanted to "upgrade" from my MOSFET-MAX, considering I have some DIY capability, my money would be better spent going the Torpedo route. Or, I can rest soundly knowing that my Max is already pretty good and I really shouldn't worry myself with upgrading. Ehhhh? :)

post #6582 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBomb06 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post
 


I can't help you much in comparing to commercial products.  The gap between DIY performance and commercial products is pretty wide (DIY+price is superior).  Yet, commercial products are going to be more refined (nicer casework) and have more features (more input/output connections, etc.).  However, Beezar products are proportional in performance with price.  If you look at the BOM for the MOSFET-MAX and its total cost and compare that to a Torpedo, you'll see that the Torpedo is more expensive.  There's a reason for that. ;)  Beyond that, there are tube amps that exceed the quality of the Torpedo as well.

 

That said, the MOSFET-MAX is in the same league as one of those super-powerful hybrid tube amps.  So if you're looking to power some typically inefficient orthos or speakers, then the MOSFET-MAX will win, hands-down.  However, if you're looking for the purest, most transparent sound with "normal" headphone loads, then there's the Torpedo and many other commercial alternatives as well.  You just have to be careful with tube amps in picking transformer-output vs. OTL's.  IMHO, transformer-output amps are miles ahead in transparency compared to the typical OTL tube amp with coupling capacitors (including most hybrids).

 

Maybe that can give you some insight without my shilling too much. ;) 

 

Haha ok, so, let me see if I'm picking up what you're putting down... If I wanted to "upgrade" from my MOSFET-MAX, considering I have some DIY capability, my money would be better spent going the Torpedo route. Or, I can rest soundly knowing that my Max is already pretty good and I really shouldn't worry myself with upgrading. Ehhhh? :)


That's a pretty good statement, but I won't mislead you.  Can you get noticeably better sound if you spend more?  Yes, but the devil is in the details and it's not always a sure thing.  If you wanted to PM me, I could relate more of my opinion - just remember that it's just that: opinion.;) 

post #6583 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post
 


That's a pretty good statement, but I won't mislead you.  Can you get noticeably better sound if you spend more?  Yes, but the devil is in the details and it's not always a sure thing.  If you wanted to PM me, I could relate more of my opinion - just remember that it's just that: opinion.;) 

Thanks Tom. Sent you a PM :)

post #6584 of 6597
Does anyone have FPE files for the MOSFET max? I would love to get some fancy faceplates and lid for mine.
post #6585 of 6597
Quote:
Originally Posted by H22 View Post

Does anyone have FPE files for the MOSFET max? I would love to get some fancy faceplates and lid for mine.


I don't know, but the MOSFET-MAX website has plenty of drawings with graphic scales and dimensions: MOSFET-MAX Drawings & Templates.  I haven't personally messed with FPE (there's no business case at their prices*), but with the information on the MOSFET-MAX website, you should be able to come up with your own FPE design. :) 

 

 

* Yes, I know AMB did this for the Mini3, but seriously - he could've done the entire case with laser-etching all around for almost the same price.


Edited by tomb - 3/13/14 at 6:28pm
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