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Apex Peak/Volcano Review - Page 9

post #121 of 396

Yea, it's pretty unlikely any audio amp is going to use an AC PS - one of the big reasons these PSs are so expensive and complicated is because they are trying to remove any hint that the singnal was ever AC (which takes a lot of work).  This PS is probably especially expensive because of the crazy amount of extra capacitance that can likely handle about any current surge that comes at it.


Edited by tme110 - 5/30/11 at 9:20am
post #122 of 396

Start with the standard power supply and see if you like it.  

post #123 of 396


Thanks tme110,

 

My hunch, as it turns out, an incorrect hunch, was born of my not understanding the wiring scheme - 5 pins on the DIN connector, with one unused, two commons and two hots.  Why would a DC power cable need four conductors?  But I did some research on the Volcano's big blue toroidal transformer, made by AlfaMag.  

 

I found its data sheet, and have discovered that it is a dual output AC to DC transformer - both sides put out 12-Volts (14.3-Volts with no load).  The fact that it's a dual-output AC-to-DC transformer can kind of be assumed from reading the text printed on the blue toroidal transformer itself, but it wasn't until I read the data sheet where that model # is described as " 2 x 12V 1041 mA " that I finally understood why there are four conductors in the power cable that plugs into the back of the amp.

 

Check the specs in the 25VA section of the chart seen at the following link for AlfaMag Part Number L01-6382:

 

http://www.alfamag.com/assets/files/5060-Transformers/PC%20Mount-Transformers/L01%20Series%2050%2060%20Hz%20PC%20Mount%20Toroidal%20Transformers.pdf

 

So, I'm pretty sure (but still guessing) that both the inexpensive power supply and the Volcano can supply the Peak with two separate DC sources of at least 12-Volts. 

 

It's all moot for me now, as I've given up the idea of trying to use a substitute power supply.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tme110 View Post

Yea, it's pretty unlikely any audio amp is going to use an AC PS - one of the big reasons these PSs are so expensive and complicated is because they are trying to remove any hint that the singnal was ever AC (which takes a lot of work).  This PS is probably especially expensive because of the crazy amount of extra capacitance that can likely handle about any current surge that comes at it.


 

 

post #124 of 396

purrin, why did you sell your Peak ?

post #125 of 396

^ Because I have an Eddie Current Balancing Act on order.

 

But more precisely, my DAC may have been a bit too honest for the Peak. If I had one of the more ooey-gooey sounding high-end DACs, I may have kept the Peak.

 

I would consider the Peak a better pre-amp than head-amp. It's extremely transparent, extended, and neutral (subject to the driver tube.) Personally I wanted a higher resolution, more transparent version of the Melos. The Peak provided that higher resolution and transparency (and it's amazing in this regard), but lost that midrange tube magic and liquidity considering whatever little the Melos even had to begin with. The Peak was also a little bit edgy and grainy in the treble in comparison to the Melos - and very edgy compared to amps like the some of the Woo's or EC's. Although I must say certain tubes alleviated this issue, but at the expense of other properties. Finally, while the Peak had plenty of power and never felt strained, the dynamics, particularly with the bass, were a teeny bit on the short side. I'm being really nit-picky here because the Melos, which is hardly a neutral amp, just slams.

 

Don't get me wrong, it's a great amp. That AVGuide review where it numerically rates tone, clarity, and dynamics is spot on and one that I mostly agree with, though different tubes (the Shuguang BT is merely good, but there are so many much better vintage tubes going for half its price) move those numbers around a bit. But "8.5" or "9.0" out of 10 just doesn't do it for me considering that anything in AVGuide that gets rated below a 7 would be considered a fail.

 

So ultimately, what I am trying to say is that Peak lacked the tonality to go with that perfect transparency. I guess to do that you have to move at least 1000-2000USD up, and that's not including tubes either. In the meantime, I'm running the Melos, and I have to admit I miss the Peak's transparency, particularly the absolutely lack of any muddiness and fine bass textures the Peak is able to render. But I am enjoying "music" better and that's what counts.


Edited by purrin - 6/19/11 at 10:35pm
post #126 of 396

double post

 

 

 

 


Edited by purrin - 6/19/11 at 7:17pm
post #127 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post


Yeah, your PWD is amazing.  A lot of us seem to be of the same mind it seems.  If we choose to inject a bit of coloration or tonality it would have to come from the amp section.  Hands off the phone and DAC.  I look forward to your BA impressions.

 

post #128 of 396

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaxilus View Post


Yeah, your PWD is amazing.  A lot of us seem to be of the same mind it seems.  If we choose to inject a bit of coloration or tonality it would have to come from the amp section.  Hands off the phone and DAC.  I look forward to your BA impressions.

 

 

You should hear the PWD with the Bridge. The Bridge makes it sound x2 better in almost every aspect (detail, bass extension, dynamics, and naturalness.)

 

But yeah, it's kind of hard to go backwards from or undo the effects of a colored source. As far as headphones, all are so colored relative to the other components that you can't really do anything about it other than chose the ones that you can live with. So I guess that just leaves the amp.

 

 

post #129 of 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

You should hear the PWD with the Bridge. The Bridge makes it sound x2 better in almost every aspect (detail, bass extension, dynamics, and naturalness.)

 

But yeah, it's kind of hard to go backwards from or undo the effects of a colored source. As far as headphones, all are so colored relative to the other components that you can't really do anything about it other than chose the ones that you can live with. So I guess that just leaves the amp.


Exactly.  

 

So Bridge huh, sigh......

 

So I take it you didn't have that at the Venice meet?

 


Edited by Anaxilus - 6/19/11 at 10:21pm
post #130 of 396

No - it was crappy USB at the Venice meet. The Bridge is a plug-in board that takes data from an Ethernet connection (DNLA) and shoves it into a Digital Lens gizmo which in turn directly feeds the DAC chips via a short trip an I2S bus.


Edited by purrin - 6/19/11 at 10:36pm
post #131 of 396

What other tubes are better than Shuguang BT ?

post #132 of 396

For cheap, <$80, try various Sylvanias, RCAs, GEs. Some of the Sylvanias (WGT, VT-231s) can be a bit lean, but I liked the GT, GTA, GTB chrome tops because they are a little bit fatter sounding, which the Peak needs. RCA 5692 red-base, GT, GTB are warm and smooth, maybe a little bit syrupy. I've since obtained a few more RCAs and GEs, but alas I've already sold the Peak.

 

Basically anything made in the 40's or 50's is worth a try over the Shuguang BTs, which sound more "solid state" like to me.

 

BTW the russian 68HC without the holes in the plates suck. I overpaid for one at 35 USD, when in fact these inferior versions really go for 10 USD or less (you see a lot of these on eBay for 70 USD). The good ones have the holes in the plate and are hard to find, usually at 99+ USD. I haven't heard these good versions of the 68HC's though.


Edited by purrin - 6/20/11 at 2:29pm
post #133 of 396

Do those tubes have more bass than Shuguang BT ?

post #134 of 396

The 68HC I just got has the most bass punch I've experienced on the Peak so far. For comparison, my other tubes include the mullard ecc32(cv181), the rca red base grey plates, the BT, the Tungsol wgt. I wouldn't label it best all around tube, but for bass so far I'm happy.

 

Purrin - Are these the holes you referred to? This tube was only 25 from Upscale Audio in Canada. Had to pay 15 shipping though to eastern US. 

 

Audio-Omega - The 68hc definitely have more bass punch and thickness that the BT. HOWEVER, I'm loving the BT. I want lush, I want musical, I even want warm. But sometimes I want solid state too. And no other tube I currently have shows off the Peak's resolution like this one. The bass is so tight it fascinates me. You may get fatigued quickly with it, but it's worth it when you really want to analyze the music. Then when I get tired of it, I roll in the RCA 5692 or the Mullard.

 

UPDATE: Just got mouse ears and bad boy. Mouse Ears warming up now. 

 

 

sorry for incorrect orientation

photo.JPGphoto1.JPG


Edited by KevinWolff - 6/27/11 at 10:50am
post #135 of 396

I've seen a few russian tubes and thier boxes but never with the CCCP on the side- that makes for an interesting box.

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