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PS Audio GCHA = Aural Bliss - Page 4

post #46 of 88
i tried several power cords. from $150 to $2,000. they all made slight differences. slight. i am not a huge fan of power cords. i think a cord that has hospital connectors is in order for any equipment. beyond that i don't get impressed. thats just me, ymmv.

i tried the dac for you. it is ok. it is not a benchmark,apogee,lavry,stello by any means. it is not bad though.

in all honesty i think the xcan v3 with xpsu v3 has a more "intresting" sound than the gcha. that becomes a problem for me though. it is intresting and novel. it can wear on me quickly. the gcha is nearly as true to the source as the dac1 but it adds some warmth. it does not try to play what is not there. the xcan adds way too much air around brass for me. i still think it is cool sometimes but far from as appealing to me as the gcha. i am not a big tube fan though. again, ymmv.

music_man
post #47 of 88
thanks for trying it out, I guess I was just a little put off by the fact that no one seems to use it for its dac, whereas for right now I don't have much of a choice. But I'm moving up from one of those tiny dac-in-a-box dacs, so hopefully I won't be let down haha

Are there any mods people have looked into for this amp? Or is the price tag too much of a turnoff?
post #48 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoPants View Post
Are there any mods people have looked into for this amp? Or is the price tag too much of a turnoff?
Reference audio mods has a modification package available, although I haven't tried it. My understanding is that Cullen Circuits also has a modification available where they replace the Gain Cells with souped up versions. They manufacture most of the PS Audio products, so they are privy to the proprietary details of some of the circuits.

I've cracked the case open to take a look inside and have come to a couple of conclusions. There could be a potential upgrade of the wiring that connects the headphone jack to the circuit board. There could be a potential benefit of some form of shielding between the toroidal power supply and circuit board.

On another note, the documentation on Gain Cells states that the circuit is fully balanced from input to output. I wonder what it would take to change the input portion of the circuit to XLRs and then double the output stage to build a true balanced output for balanced drive.
post #49 of 88
Quote:
I wonder what it would take to change the input portion of the circuit to XLRs and then double the output stage to build a true balanced output for balanced drive.
Tough to do as a mod, because parts for the balancing stages need to be matched. PCBs would have to have virtually identical parasitics. I'd leave adding balanced circuits to the manufacturer.
post #50 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
Tough to do as a mod, because parts for the balancing stages need to be matched. PCBs would have to have virtually identical parasitics. I'd leave adding balanced circuits to the manufacturer.
That's pretty much what I thought. Here's hoping we see that happen some day.
post #51 of 88
i was thinking i see only one possible improvement i would be intrested in. i will put the torroid in a can or put a shield between it and the pcb. it may be in fact that the pcb is designed to be immune to interference from the torroid. i cannot see how it would be so close otherwise. i will find out if it makes a difference tonight.

i am using my own $80 power cord. like i said i don't subscribe to $2,000 power cords. i do think one that is simply quality made makes a difference anywhere. the one it comes with is better than most bundled power cords. mine makes a slight difference. beyond that i am not intrested.

i love to mod cheap components with cheap mods making them into giant killers. i am not a fan of modding expensive components with even more expensive mods. i'd just rather buy a more expensive component to begin with in that case. that is just a personal feeling though.

i was wondering who actually makes this unit? i read somewhere it is made in china. i don't know if ps audio is jobbing it or if they have their own factory.
what does cullen circuits have to do with ps audio?

edit: just as i thought. cullen circuits is an independant contract manufacturer. ps audio is jobbing their stuff. does cullen have plants in china or is the stuff assembled in usa. i don't care either way just wondering.

music_man
post #52 of 88
Thread Starter 
I'm curious as to whether or not placing the power supply in a separate chassis would be beneficial. I'd agree with you that $2000 power cords aren't necessarily worth the money; although I have witnessed some pretty amazing things with the usage of power cords by Siltech. Really, power delivery is about a couple of thing: gauge, shielding, RFI/EMI immunity, and conductor quality.

I believe Rick Cullen used to work at PS Audio, although I'm not sure of that. In any case, Cullen Circuits manufactures a lot of equipment for higher end audio companies. I believe Cullen Circuits has built/assembled most of PS Audio's electronics except for the new Power Plant Premier. I know that Paul McGowan speaks very highly of them on the PS Audio forums. I don't think the GCHA is manufactured in China, although I wouldn't be surprised if the boards or chassis are built there. The reason I say this is I know they are very protective of their Gain Cell circuit.
post #53 of 88
i was wondering what others think of the gcha compared to the xcan v3.
i know the xcan has tubes so it is a strange comparison. it is hybrid though.
the xcan has a nice sound on some stuff but i think the gcha is more versatile. maybe the rest of you don't even think they are in the same class?

music_man
post #54 of 88
who can compare between Heed Canamp and GCHA ???

Both use 5532 ????
post #55 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
i was wondering what others think of the gcha compared to the xcan v3.
i know the xcan has tubes so it is a strange comparison. it is hybrid though.
the xcan has a nice sound on some stuff but i think the gcha is more versatile. maybe the rest of you don't even think they are in the same class?

music_man
I'll have the xcan from islewind in about a month and it will be powered by Pink Floyd's "little pinkie" PSU.

After a month or so, I'm gonna send the x-can to Scotland for Pink Floyd to mod.

I'll compare and contrast both versions to the GCHA.
post #56 of 88
i take back what i said about 100 hours burn in. after 300 hours it is much better. it seems that at 300-400 hours it is fully burned in. out of the box it is ok. nothing special. after 300 hours it is outstanding.

i have a fully modded xcan v3 with xpsu. i like it better than the gcha on some music. the gcha is more universal in it's abilities. the modded xcan adds it's own very distinct sound to everything. the gcha is very neutral. the gcha does warm things up. it still plays back what is there and not much else. the xcan imparts it's own strong color to everything. this works good on only some music. ymmv.

music_man
post #57 of 88
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was wrong about burn in too. This amp can definitely use it. I had a bit of sibilance initially out of the box. Now I can't find it at all. It's also lost a bit of the harder edginess it had initially. I have to say the control it has over every pair of cans I throw at it is pretty amazing. I highly recommend my current combo of an Apogee Mini-DAC -> GCHA.
post #58 of 88
those of you that own this can you please answer a question?

does yours have large silver "feet" on the bottom like the picture on ps audio's site? or does yours have little rubber feet?

thanks,
music_man
post #59 of 88
Thread Starter 
Rubber feet. The silver feet do look pretty cool, but I have a feeling the rubber ones provide better isolation. I might get some Sorbothane feet for mine, but I don't expect much of a difference.
post #60 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
those of you that own this can you please answer a question?

does yours have large silver "feet" on the bottom like the picture on ps audio's site? or does yours have little rubber feet?

thanks,
music_man
Mine has the large silver feet. I bought it in late 2005.
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