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post #106 of 405
Thread Starter 

National Semi Conductor Op-Amp

Have you guys seen this in the MOT Apache thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels View Post
Hi friends, We are almost ready to ship the next batch of the Apache's, the last batch has the new op-amp made by National Semi Conductor, it is a great sounding op-amp if tweaked in a circuit properly. This 3rd shipment has been tweaked with this op-amp in it.

I am offerring this op-amp + the mod in the amp section, only, free of charge parts & labor, to the FIRST 20 Apache's shipped, you pay only for shipping, this mod is great because it also brings warmth to the phones that needs it like the 701, the DT880 & others + Qualia. Also it will be the time to replace the top plates for those ten clear Apache's that had some kind of micro spotting in the aluminum.

If you are happy with the sound that you have & don't want to send you Apache amp section, that is fine. As I said the mod will bring some warmth to your amp & you won't loose the dedtail at all.

Please call me to arrange the proper time to send you amp so it will be done on time & shipped back to you the same day recieved, I will not be breaking in the new parts, you will be needing 5-7 days for the parts to selltle & sound great.
i like the way my Apache sounds, but i don't know. the new op-amp is supposed to make the Apache sound better. what are people planning to do.
post #107 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctemkin View Post
Audio Addict,

So how are the National Semiconductor chips?
I prefer these to the LT1028. To me, there is a better soundstage with this chip. Also, I felt vocals, especially female vocalists like Diana Krall sounded even more natural like you were in the audience.

Now Ray comes out with a small mod for the chip, which should say something for the chip with the 3rd batch coming standard with this chip. I haven't had my Apache modified yet. When I was talking with Ray recently about the chip, I didn't know he was making it standard for the 3rd batch.
post #108 of 405
Yet another option to consider. Decisions, decisions

Guess I'll need to check with Ray which opamp is currently making the sweet sounds in my amp.

In the meantime, some pictures of my first balanced amp-







The sound has changed slightly over the last 5 days and the amp is now warmer sounding. We'll let it run in a little bit more before putting down my impressions of the sound again.

For those that have been wondering, comparisons between single ended and balanced have made me a believer of the benefits of going balanced.

So much that I have been seriously thinking which of my other headphones will benefit from going balanced.
post #109 of 405

Hi Friends...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbln View Post
Yet another option to consider. Decisions, decisions

Guess I'll need to check with Ray which opamp is currently making the sweet sounds in my amp.

In the meantime, some pictures of my first balanced amp-







The sound has changed slightly over the last 5 days and the amp is now warmer sounding. We'll let it run in a little bit more before putting down my impressions of the sound again.

For those that have been wondering, comparisons between single ended and balanced have made me a believer of the benefits of going balanced.

So much that I have been seriously thinking which of my other headphones will benefit from going balanced.
All the Apache's that were delivered through Uncle Wilson are up-dated to the last mod. So you are all set my friend.
ONLY the first 20 Apache's in first & second shipment.

Remember this is just an inhasment offered to who ever wants a little warmth in the sound specially if they use the headphones I mentioned before.

Now many people don't like more warmth added to their amps, if you are one of them & are happy with how your system sounds then this mod is not for you. As your AC cable, interconnectors & your source determins if you really want any more warmth added to your Apache. The mod will be open to who ever decides to have it done, at any time, as to how your present op-amps will sound with the added warmth, they will work fine, both the AD797, in the first batch & the LT1028 in the second batch.

Sorry I am not trying to confuse you at all, these op-amps you can purchase them from Digi-Key & experement with them, like you do with tube amps.

Ray Samuels
post #110 of 405
Thanks for the confirmation Ray.

Great sounding amp.
post #111 of 405
My balanced RAL and repaired balanced Cardas (v1) came in last Monday. I have been listening on and off since then. Minimum break-in should be needed with either cable since RAL cooked both cables on their cable cooker before sending them back. Also, the Cardas went through the RAL cyro process after it was repaired and both have the Walker SST Extreme finish on the ear piece connectors.

I could easily live with the Cardas as I have been using the non-balance version of it for several years. The balanced treated cyro version just increases the overall presentation for the Cardas. I went back and forth between balanced on my Apache and single ended on the Stealth using a RAL connector and the overall characterics were similar. The improvements of balance vs. single ended were there but I wouldn't say it was a night and day difference. The Stealth is no slouch but you do notice the difference between tube and the solid state Apache. On the Stealth, it just wasn't quite as detailed with a little warmer sound but at the expense of the separation of notes I have come to expect with the Apache. The best example of the difference is when the drummer uses wire brushes. On the Stealth, the brushes were warm but seemed to flow together more. When I switched over to the Apache in balanced mode, the soundstage around the brushes expanded but the warm sound stayed with the Cardas.

I switched over to the RAL balanced cable and through either the Stealth or the Apache the difference was a much more natural presentation. I hate to use this reference but it was almost like a veil had been removed. The vocals were clearer, the wire brushes on the drums more distinct. The separation of the instruments more noticable. Just an overall improvement over the Cardas v1 cable.

If you someone hasn't already bought a balanced cable, I would suggest giving the RAL a try.

post #112 of 405
Audio Addict,

Thanks for the info on the National Semiconductor chips. I haven't decided about having Ray do the modification to make the Apache sound warmer, but I am going to try the chips.

Another question. How long did it take between when you ordered the RAL cables and when they arrived? I ordered a set a couple of months ago and am still waiting.

Ctemkin
post #113 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Samuels View Post
Remember this is just an inhasment offered to who ever wants a little warmth in the sound specially if they use the headphones I mentioned before.

Now many people don't like more warmth added to their amps, if you are one of them & are happy with how your system sounds then this mod is not for you. As your AC cable, interconnectors & your source determins if you really want any more warmth added to your Apache. The mod will be open to who ever decides to have it done, at any time, as to how your present op-amps will sound with the added warmth, they will work fine, both the AD797, in the first batch & the LT1028 in the second batch.
i listened to my Apache for about 4-5 hours last night. it sounds so good. i don't want to change anything. so for now i'm just going to stick with my Apache the way it is. maybe at some point Ray, i will take you up on your generous offer. But for now, i am good.

thanks
post #114 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctemkin View Post
Audio Addict,

Another question. How long did it take between when you ordered the RAL cables and when they arrived? I ordered a set a couple of months ago and am still waiting.

Ctemkin
From start to finish in the two month range but having them repair my Cardas my have contributed to the delay.
post #115 of 405
I wanted to post some updates on
my Apache impressions now that its
had about a month of use.
It is actually now more
silky and smooth and continuous with dynamic phones as my old
Stax Omega 007t tubed system, but with big, round and palpable images
on a totally silent background. Bass is absolutely perfect, too:
deep and satisfying but not pounding at all.

I have sent it to Ray for the newer OP-Amps, as I think
it would complement my Grado GS1000s, which I think
need a little roll-off in the highs to sound their best.

The Apache is, IMHO, the amplifier of choice for the Sennheiser 650s.
I think it may have been voiced for these. With the Senns,
Everything sounds "in place," with no frequency anomalies,
no harsh artifacts, with the rare combination of peacefullness
and excitement at the same time.

I listen to Fleetwood Mac a lot, and Stevie Nicks' fuzzy vocals
are now as clear and natural as I've ever heard them,
from phones or speakers,
about on the level of my old Apogee Stage speakers.
The same goes for other CDs that I use for evaluating equipment,
like Jim Croce (some buzz in his voice), Nat King Cole,
Carole King (some distortion on the CDs like Tapestry), Carly Simon (some ringing
in the upper midrange), the Supremes (some shrieking)
and the earlier Beatles CDs (which seem to have a "white-sounding",
high-pitched overtone).
Amazingly the Apache deals with all these problems very gracefully,
makeing these CDs entirely listenable.

The Apache/Senn 650s strike a perfect balance between the natural
grit of vocals and the smoothness I need for a relaxing listening experience.
Guitars, percussion and brass and piano are just recessed enough to avoid being abusive
but still have real, palpable presence. Pecussion has great speed and drive,
without being too "smashy."

Again, I am reminded of ribbon speakers like Apogees and the
ribbon-tweeter speakers like the big Von Schweikert VR9s I heard.
The sheer beauty of speakers like these is to a large part duplicated
with the Apache.

I thought I would need to switch between my Stax system and the Apache
but now the Apache is the clear winner.

I'll report back when I get my Apache back with the new op-amps.
post #116 of 405
Thread Starter 
thanks for the additional impressions. i was trying to remember what your source was. i know that you posted it a few pages back. and i found it! didn't realize you had the two box EMM Labs setup (that's 20K right there!). since your budget seems to be rather decent, i am curious why you chose the Apache over the B52.

also, you need to post some pics of your rig. would love to see the whole thing.


Quote:
Associated equipment:
EMM DCC2 SE DAC and CDSD SE Transport,
McIntosh C46 Preamp,
Stealth Indra RCA IC from DAC to Preamp,
Kubala-Sosna Balanced IC from Preamp to Apache,
Shunyata Anaconda Power Cables on all components except Apache,
Kimber PK-10 Palladium Power Cable on Apache,
All equipment plugged into Shunyata Hydra 8.
Headphones: Grado RS1000s with Moon Audio Black Dragon cable (single ended).
Sennheiser 650s with Zu Mobius (single ended).
AKG K701 with Moon Audio Black Dragon balanced.
post #117 of 405
I was looking to solid state because I was a little wary of the heat the B52's 8 tubes could give off and the fact that the tubes were exposed. This is just a personal preference. I wish there were some sort of covering for the tubes.
post #118 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post
I wanted to post some updates on
my Apache impressions now that its
had about a month of use.
It is actually now more
silky and smooth and continuous with dynamic phones as my old
Stax Omega 007t tubed system, but with big, round and palpable images
on a totally silent background. Bass is absolutely perfect, too:
deep and satisfying but not pounding at all.

I have sent it to Ray for the newer OP-Amps, as I think
it would complement my Grado GS1000s, which I think
need a little roll-off in the highs to sound their best.

The Apache is, IMHO, the amplifier of choice for the Sennheiser 650s.
I think it may have been voiced for these. With the Senns,
Everything sounds "in place," with no frequency anomalies,
no harsh artifacts, with the rare combination of peacefullness
and excitement at the same time.

I listen to Fleetwood Mac a lot, and Stevie Nicks' fuzzy vocals
are now as clear and natural as I've ever heard them,
from phones or speakers,
about on the level of my old Apogee Stage speakers.
The same goes for other CDs that I use for evaluating equipment,
like Jim Croce (some buzz in his voice), Nat King Cole,
Carole King (some distortion on the CDs like Tapestry), Carly Simon (some ringing
in the upper midrange), the Supremes (some shrieking)
and the earlier Beatles CDs (which seem to have a "white-sounding",
high-pitched overtone).
Amazingly the Apache deals with all these problems very gracefully,
makeing these CDs entirely listenable.

The Apache/Senn 650s strike a perfect balance between the natural
grit of vocals and the smoothness I need for a relaxing listening experience.
Guitars, percussion and brass and piano are just recessed enough to avoid being abusive
but still have real, palpable presence. Pecussion has great speed and drive,
without being too "smashy."

Again, I am reminded of ribbon speakers like Apogees and the
ribbon-tweeter speakers like the big Von Schweikert VR9s I heard.
The sheer beauty of speakers like these is to a large part duplicated
with the Apache.

I thought I would need to switch between my Stax system and the Apache
but now the Apache is the clear winner.

I'll report back when I get my Apache back with the new op-amps.
Great impressions. I am glad you were able to get an amp that would work for your conditions and your impressions sound just great. I second the request for pics!
post #119 of 405
OK, here are some pictures (at flickr.com). There not the greatest pictures; I need to redo them later...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14884942@N07/
post #120 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post
OK, here are some pictures (at flickr.com). There not the greatest pictures; I need to redo them later...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14884942@N07/
these pics are decent. just need one or two nice shots of the Apache (maybe stacked) with your headphones. i don't even have a camera and the few times i have tried to take some pics with a friend's they turned out pretty mediocre. below are 3 i picked out.

on a side note, i noticed that you have the EMM Labs DAC hooked up to a preamp and then run the preamp to the Apache. hmm. why do you do that? have you compared the sound of the Apache using headphones when connecting it straight to the DAC as opposed to DAC-preamp-Apache. is there a difference. i wonder.

the EMM Labs is built like a tank. and that's only the transport.



front shot of Apache. where are the headphones? where are the feet. you don't use them.



some nice cables in the rear.

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