Sent you a PM on this.
Edited by cooperpwc - 8/20/10 at 3:17am
While I'm waiting to know about the amp (pro or standard) is it safer to use the ecc86 or the ecc88?
is it safer to use a lower current tube on a higher current design or the other way round?
After speaking with a Earmax UK retailer I'm now sure the version I've got is the standard (though I've paid for a PRO, but that's a different story).
So I've now placed an order for a couple of ECC86 Diamond Bottom Telefunken and a ECC81 Electro Harmonix Gold Pin. But really I can't imagine this little amp to sound better than it currently does!
With a pair of Mullard for output and a Mullard for driver the Earmax delivers a sweet, liquid, lovely sound.
My HD650 never sounded so good: people are often talk about the 'senn veil', but these headphones are now as transparent as my old K702, with great bass extension and full body, solid midrange.
But what strikes me most is the dynamics this amp is capable of!! I mean, my solid state balanced amp sounds flat and dull compared to this little matchbox :-)
Yes you have the standard even though that individual lied about it being the Pro. I am glad that you like it; it is indeed a fine amp for high impedance headphones. Your HD650s are right in the sweet spot.
Just got the gold pin electro harmonix (12AT7EHG) and I'm listening to it right now.
It's quieter than the Mullard, I can't notice any hum.
As for the sound, it's transparent, airy, with a wider soundstage. Instruments position is very precise, though I prefer a more organic presentation.
But at the moment it's also brighter: violins are thinner, edgy, and cello is too tight, dry.
The Mullard has better dynamics, almost blustering, and generally a more involving signature.
Tubes have to burn in. Although opinions differ as to how long, at least 100 hours is a good bet. EH are good modern tubes but I am not surprised that the Mullard's are more organic.
i just love the vintage rustic look of this fine piece of craftsmanship , truly a work of art the screams art decco maybe?, if not surely something nicholas tesla concocted during a lighting storm :)
And today I got a pair of NOS diamond bottom Telefunken (ecc86)!
The impact on the sound is not as big as changing the driver tube, but still not subtle.
The first thing I've noticed is the improved bass extension. The HD650 are now going very low.
It's not a 'modern' bass, tight and dry. It's seems everyone now is looking for this kind of bass, so clean and polite. The bass that is coming from the earmax with these tubes is soft, mellow, sweet, and very musical.
I've been listening to a Brahms's piano trio, and I found out a few details never heard before in some cello passages. And the left hand on the piano is incredible, really engaging.
The overall dynamics are probably softer than with the Mullard, attacks are less accurate, and notes have a very long decay...they seem to last forever!
I'll burn them for a hundred hours before going back to the Mullard...very pleasant burn-in!
Oh definitely. My attitude towards burn-in on both tubes and SS amps is that I like to experience it. Enjoy the music and lsiten to the sound change.
I'm impressed with the quality of tubes that you are finding. It may be that ECC86 are a little easier to source than ECC88. I assume that you are not spending an arm and a leg.
Well the 3 (actually 4, there are two different drivers) Mullards were included in the package.
The electro harmonix is only OK, I still have to burn in, but yesterday I switched back to the CV4024 (that is in a different league).
For the two Telefunken I paid about 60 euro (85usd), shipped from Germany.
This thread lies dormant but I am still loving my Earmax Pro. I have some new power tubes on the way, matched Brimar/Ediswan CV2492s, a birthday present to myself. Looking forward to hearing them. In the interim, I decided to roll in my Electro Harmonix tube set and give them a proper audition. (I have been lsitening to almost nothing but NOS to this point.) I am shocked: the EH 12AT7WG with matched 6922 Golds is rocking the house! It is hard to believe that a new tube set costing in total less than $70 can sound this good.
I recently purchased a regular ear max, and I am loving its silky smooth and sweet midrange/vocals with my HD650 (silver driver) and Siemen's in/out. I am curious how the regular earmax compares with the pro. I heard the pro once a while back with the older HD650's, and recall the midrange to be same but felt that it went lower on bass, where I could feel the bass versus just hearing it as in case with regular one. I wonder if this difference was due to the earmax (e.g., regular versus pro) or some other factor (e.g., tubes, cable, etc...).
Also, I notice that the sound from earmax gets distorted or "staticky," as if the soundstage/image is crumbling, during passages in the music that are more complex (e.g., lot of instruments playing at once). Any idea why this may be the case?
Lastly, anyone compare the earmax with so-called clone, the phenix/sense g3? They are only $150 shipped (via make offer) on ebay. Thinking of grabbing one if they compare to the pro.
Thanks in advance.
As regards cost, not every product is competing in the Schiitt space. Brocksieper is a well regarded designer in his native Europe and he charges what he thinks the EMP is worth. It is however very well made. i have seen pictures of the inside and there is more in there than you might think and the components are top quality.
As to whether a $150 knock off will be as good, I have my serious doubts but I don't know. The beauty of the EMP in my view is its transparency of the tube sets. It doesn't really add it's own sound. Still for $150, it would be fun to try this other amp.
Sorry I have not heard the original Earmax but the EMP is considered an overall improvement and so it replaced the original. That was apparently a bit underpowered but still a well regarded amp.
I would love to read this comparison. After few days weighting Woo Audio WA6 SE Vs Earmax, I am also thinking of a third option: buy the G3 and DIY good quality components.
It would be interesting to see the schematic of the G3 and compare with the Morgan Jones