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Warning About The Singlepower Extreme - Owners Please Read - Page 17

post #241 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by nurxhunter View Post
Also consistent with experience--every time anyone says anything positive about an Extreme here, someone pops in and reminds us there were build issues; funny, as if this was not already well established, especially in this thread. Never mind the positive comments are on certified units. It's like there is a posse watching. Yea, Supreme beings are watching ready to smite any happy camper, or remind the forgetful, least we somehow can forget. Once in a blue moon, a picture of a relatively minor issue appears, followed by maybe a half dozen of the faithful chiming OMG, OMG, OMG--what a monster HE was. Like clockwork--a broken alarm clock that won't shut off.
Yeah, weird that would happen, especially in this specific thread.
post #242 of 407

Extreme reaction....

....not. Thanks for having sense of humor.
post #243 of 407
Indeed.
post #244 of 407
I suggest we start a new thread titled "Singlepower owners unite!" I suspect it would be shut down by the moderators pretty quickly. It would be like starting a thread "Camel smokers unite!" on a health forum.
post #245 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post
I suggest we start a new thread titled "Singlepower owners unite!" I suspect it would be shut down by the moderators pretty quickly. It would be like starting a thread "Camel smokers unite!" on a health forum.
post #246 of 407
for those of you that still think that mikhail was merely a bad businessman and the
stuff was actually built ok, here are the latest pictures. The one big cap there
has 20 amps of peak current running thru those globs of cold solder. And resistors
attached to the top of the board only, and circuit lands torn off... No way stuff
like this can have a long lifetime. As evidenced by significant early failure modes and
filament voltages of 4.98 volts measured at the tubes.

Yes its a plitron transformer. But not the RIGHT plitron transformer.
You probably don't even want to know how much the person that bought this paid for it.

Pictures with a macro lens and CLS flash.


http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp1.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp2.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp3.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp4.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp5.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp6.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp7.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp8.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp9.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp10.jpg
http://gilmore.chem.northwestern.edu/ggsp11.jpg
post #247 of 407
It does take real skill to mess up this badly. I really like picture nr.7 where one end of the resistor isn't even soldered...
post #248 of 407
Pretty amazing. Who taught Mikhail how do solder? Most of his solder joints didn't flow and will definitely fail in time.
post #249 of 407

Top Ten Reasons I Doubt Reality of This thread

No one has posted more useful info. here than KG. In fact, most negative posts are simply BS; however, Dr. G's posts always provide useful information. Headfiers are lucky they can turn to him for guidance and even for repair. Kudos.

However;......

The bottom line remains:

1) It is not known how many SP amps are out there--it is safe to say hundreds worldwide over 7 years (a guess would be 500-1,000). Only a very small percentage (a handful) of the amps have been shown to have inferior build quality. Most of these so far were non-stock amps.

2) A variety of DIY-ers have worked on the SP amps since the release of the MPX3 'Toaster' and PPX3 , and until very recently, NO SIGNIFICANT ISSUES emerged from any of the experienced DIY-ers regarding build quality--for over seven years. There would have been ample opportunity to joke about the 'Toaster'; yet, EVERYONE admired Single Power amps for years and years, until recently. The five SP amps I have owned were all of outstanding build quality, components and excellent soldering.

3) Transformers on all Extremes should be upgraded. Once accomplished and with other components inspected, as would be done for any repair of any amp at any shop, the Extreme should be a keeper for a long time as a REFERENCE GRADE HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER. Even those who have seen the worst in a handful of amps remain 'proud extreme owners'. There is a reason for this.

4) It is simply not possible to buy a better amp. for the price of upgrading ($175-$300 according to those who have done so, I paid $175 complete). The transformer upgrade is an expense, but not out of line with repair costs for tube amps in general. I have paid more for a pair of tubes.

5) The posts on this thread--and on the bogus exploding cap thread--have reduced resale value by 30% or so. The ongoing negative posts ensure depressed resale value, which does no one any good, except for repair revenues.

6) As last pointed out, this thread is meant for negativity, so it's fine to have a negative bias here--or at the 'explode like a grenade thread'.

Moreover, Halloween is around the corner. Boo!

7) Soon, there will be a SinglePower Appreciation Thread, because the style here (one negative post--several nay sayers chiming in in support, positive comments ignored or countered) seems quite boring.

8) I do not care 'who taught Mikhail how to solder', which is getting very old, but I would love to know where he learned how to design. Clearly, he was a leader in this field for many years--unless--everyone will admit they are easy to fool in audiphilia, and most of this hobby is phychology, not physics.

9) Had MR charged retail what others do for amps, of lesser build quality, and not accommodated custom work so readily, he might still be in business. The retail price of the PPX3 and MPX3 originally were $499, as I recall, compared to a Raptor for $1200. On used markets, the stock PPX3, MPX3 got (in the past) $450-$550. I know of no amp sounding that good for $500 used, but even they were bested by the Extreme at $650 used--or $900 or so when it first came out.

10) Since Singlepower is dead, bashing the name is OK (no one will get sued), and bashing feels good to a handful, apparently. However, it does not explain how for so many years, EVERYONE loved EVERYTHING about SinglePower, including the soldering, component choices, build quality and most of all--sound.






post #250 of 407
Wow...

He might have made some good amps in his early days, but the fact remains, that he took thousands of dollars which were never returned to his consumers (in money or product)
and towards the end , the amps that he built were downright death defying.

End of story.
No excuses can be made for that type of activity, no matter how good your amp sounds.
post #251 of 407
Dr. Gilmore, the pics you posted do not cease to amaze me. I am not good at soldering but if I did it for a living I would have gotten better w/ practice.

I certainly appreciate the help you have given me and others and sure look forward to you graciously agreeing to check my amp. Besides fixing what you find incorrectly I have been thinking or putting better tube sockets and a larger transformer to accommodate dual 6BL7 for outputs.

Thanks.
post #252 of 407
Was the last set of pics from a Platinum Extreme KG?
post #253 of 407
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
Dr. Gilmore, the pics you posted do not cease to amaze me. I am not good at soldering but if I did it for a living I would have gotten better w/ practice.


Thanks.
Soldering was part of my job for over 30 years. From what I've seen posted here, the soldering is amateurish at best.
post #254 of 407
The last batch of pictures is guzziguys platinum extreme.

I'm going to disagree with a number of items above.

1) From what i understand there are about 500 to 600 total extremes out there.
Some were built as extremes, others were mpx3 or ppx3 circuit boards converted
to extremes (new) or the same things taken apart and turned into extremes.
(used). So far absolutely every one of these has either a transformer problem, or
a resistor problem. EVERY ONE. Plus all the rest of the problems. Of the bunch
of units i have worked on so far, all but one had filament voltages <5.25 volts.
(nope, not a mistype. FIVE point TWENTY FIVE)
Definitely not a good thing for the expensive power tubes.

1a) Every single ES1/ES2/Concerto... has a giantic design flaw that causes the
output tubes to die an early death, sometimes with 4th of July style effects.
3d21's are the only tubes spec'd for that kind of design voltage, and most people
don't like the sound of the 3d21's. Every one of the very well built versions of
these had the same design flaw. Wonderful chassis, and very decent assembly
job, but still massive design flaw. And this design flaw is not easy to fix without
a forklift power supply upgrade, plus lots of chassis work for new pots and connectors.
Besides the fact that 6sn7's just don't have enough voltage gain in that circuit
to work right, and you get channel to channel imbalanced.

The massive tweakability and all the tube adapters made everything MUCH
worse. At least you can't tweek the output tubes on the extreme which is
a good thing.

5) The resale has certainly fallen. About as much as the parts plus labor it takes
to fix them. The market in general is so soft that everyone is taking a hit.

8) Mikhail learned how to design from the same places that just about every other
manufacturer here did. Headwize and Tubecad. But few of those manufacturers
are willing to acknowledge where they learned their trade.

There is absolutely nothing new about any of mikhail's designs. His high voltage
designs are a mix of old tube designs applied to solid state and really make no
sense in the fact that many of the extra parts do nothing. The low voltage DC
filament supply is the biggest disaster and is across all of mikhail's tube stuff.

As has been pointed out elsewhere, tubes with AC filament supplies hum a little.
Fact of life. But the output tubes used in the extreme were designed as power
supply regulator tubes, and have huge current requirements. 6.3 VDC linear
regulated 10 amp supplies really necessary for this kind of thing are as big
as the amplifier itself. Just that one supply. Unfortunately 6.3 VDC switchers are
not stock items and no one wanted to commit to a batch of those things.
Besides which i personally hate switchers in any audio application. Other manufacturers
have used 12 volt switchers bumped to 12.6 volts, and these are standard and
very cheap items. So you might hear high frequency hash instead of hum.
(unless you go for those 1mhz pure sine wave things which are nasty expensive)

So mikhail clearly gets the award for managing to cram an extreme into a box that
size. And with a bit of work the things can be made reliable for a very long time.

So i would flip it around. Say 10% of the stuff out there actually works right, and
the rest of the stuff needs work.

And a lot of it is mikhail's fault for continuing to try and build purely custom stuff
where every single unit is different. If i was in this business, and i'm not, and never
will be, and wanted to do this kind of custom work, the resulting prices would be
so out of line that a different business model would be required. I'm not sure that
there are enough people out there to keep a person in business making headphone
amplifiers in the $30k to $50k range although the one company at RMAF showed
some of the most gorgeous speaker amplifiers in that price range and they have
been in business quite a long time.

mikhail giving out long warranty times, and the stuff failing at a rate that would
sink any manufacturer of any size made it worse. Can't build and sell new stuff
at a profit and stay in business when you are spending every possible hour fixing
(and loosing money) on repairs.

Even Krell recently took on a management partner. (and a bundle of investor bucks)
post #255 of 407

Great points as usual

All good points. What about:

"2) A variety of DIY-ers have worked on the SP amps since the release of the MPX3 'Toaster' and PPX3 , and until very recently, NO SIGNIFICANT ISSUES emerged from any of the experienced DIY-ers regarding build quality--for over seven years. There would have been ample opportunity to joke about the 'Toaster'; yet, EVERYONE admired Single Power amps for years and years, until recently. The five SP amps I have owned were all of outstanding build quality, components and excellent soldering."


Agreed, every Extreme needs a new transformer. Apparently, it sounded good enough even with an under-rated transformer. This is now fact, and thanks to info here, the upgrade was painless and not too expensive.

So the puzzle is--how was it that SP was so lauded for so long by so many? Frankly, I am puzzled.
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