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EPA-007x headphone amplifier – Phasemation (Japan)

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Update: November 4th 2014, “EPA-007x” added to their website. Available in late November.
 

 

New dual-XLR / dual-TRS headphone jack, working in either balanced -or- dual unbalanced configuration via front switch (like on the dual-TRS original EPA-007). The rest of the amplifier appears unchanged, specifications-wise.

 

 

Phasemation makes almost everything, cartridges, CD transport, hybrid passive volume attenuators, receivers, phono/power/headphone amplifiers, two a DACs, a D2D converterand a rubidium external clock (discontinued, alas). Their flagship monoblock tube amplifier is costs USD ~25,000 per channel.

 

About them (http://www.phasemation.com/):

“Phasemation is the original audio brand of Kyodo Denshi Engineering Co., Ltd.

KDE has been providing, since its startup, various types of reliable measurement equipment in the IT industry, adopting three core technologies in circuit, fine mechanism and algorithm.

We hope to make use of this high technology in a field of art and culture, and aim to develop and produce the audio equipment steps into the technological practice and reproduction of music that the existing ones have not achieved. We have started up Phasemation as an audio brand.

As far back as the era, place and moment when the past musical art of Artist (Musician) was produced, they let us feel vivid and realistic. Thus, we aim the products can represent "The reproduction art" ”

The EPA-007 headphone amplifier (MSRP: 132 300 Japanese yen = 1 679.42 U.S. dollars; though it can be had in Japan and websites for around ¥95,220 ~ 1000 USD brand new) (EPA-007x MSRP: 140 000 JPY):

 

 

 

 

EPA-007x update (other than the model's name, nothing has changed visually):

 

 

(http://www.phasemation.com/product/epa-007x.html)

 

Specifications:

"

Format Dual mono drive headphone amplifier
Entry 1 line analog (RCA / XLR)
Output XLR / 6.3mm stereo standard jack (×2)
Input impedance 10kΩ
Frequency characteristic 20 ~ 100kHz -0.5dB
Corresponding headphone impedance 16 ~ 600Ω
Residual noise 50μV or less
Crosstalk 90dB or more
Power consumption 2W (115 or 220VAC, 50/60 Hz)
Maximum Dimensions (mm) 220 (width) × 57 (height) × 234 (depth)
Mass 2kg
Accessories AC power cable
"

High Quality Headphone Amplifier Expressing Freshness of Music
Received Prize
  • Ongen PublisingAudio Excellence Award 2015 Headphone Amplifier Product Award

We, Phasemation, released the Pure Audio Grade Headphone Amplifier, EPA-007x. Phasemation has been releasing the audio equipment for reproducing live music consistently. Also for EPA-007x, we aspire to have pure audio grade sound quality by adopting the high-quality sound technology specialized to music playback utilized to other Phasemation products.

This amplifier is compatible for balanced headphones due to the dual monaural construction. Unprecedented natural lateralization is provided by the recently-developed dump controller.

 

Product Concept

Music outputted from the grade of high-end speakers should be also outputted from headphones; so we designed EPA-007x. Because headphones are overwhelmingly more sensitive than loud speakers (1000 times in power ratio), sufficient sound volume can be outputted at approximately 1mW.

Because the headphones are sensitive, the quality of the device is sensitively reflected in the sound. Also for EPA-007x, freshness of music is ensured due to discrete circuit construction and minimum device construction to be utilized to other Phasemation products. The range of headphone impedances has a width of different order of magnitude, so it is hard to gain a damping force matching every headphone. 
The damp controller adopted in this unit can vary depending on the damping force of the headphones; therefore softer sound and more natural lateralization suiting your taste can be gained.
 
 
Main features
1. Dual Mono Amplifiers consisting of Discrete Components in All Stages

High-sensitive headphones reflect sensitively in the freshness reduced by passing through devices. In EPA-007x, an operating amplifier is not used in order to prevent reducing freshness; so carefully-screened devices are adopted in all stages. The dual amplifiers have independent power supplies; therefore balanced cable type headphones
Completely separating L and R lines can be driven.

2. Adopting Damp Controller for Providing the Damping Force to Headphones

The damping force matching the headphones having on impedance variation of 16 to 500 ohms can be set by the damp controller adopted in EPA007x. In addition to contact degree of the head pad, by driving the headphones with an appropriate damping force, a pesante bass tone can be created; and the audio image existing at the head point is moderately alleviated; therefore your stress can be alleviated when listening for a long time.

3. Adopting the Protection circuit for Protecting Headphones

The cut-off protector which prevents propagating pop noises generated when the power switch is set ON/OFF and protects the headphones in an abnormal action is adopted.

4. Resonance-free, vibration-free and interference-free chassis made of aluminum in all

The unit consists of the front panel made of aluminum steel shavings to be a nonmagnetic material, (the 2mm thick chassis and top cover.) By exhausting heat from the chassis faces, the enclosed structure without slits is achieved.

You can also purchase two Acoustic-Revive TRS male to 3-pin XLR female adapter and a HD800 balanced cable terminated with dual TRS male of the same brand, on the amplifier's product page. (Or buy the updated EPA-007x which features balanced XLR, dual-3pin output)

 

 (*of the EPA-007)

 

 

Here's a video review in Japanese language

 

 

Tracking: EPA-007 was first announced in February 2011


Edited by devouringone3 - 7/25/15 at 4:52am
post #2 of 17

I have Phasemation EPA-007 since yesterday to write review, and this machine is great. 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey, thank you for coming here. This is still my number one desired amplifier, I'm really glad you're telling me you're going to review it as information about it on the internet is still pretty scarce even in Japanese language.


Edited by devouringone3 - 8/14/13 at 1:01pm
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by devouringone3 View Post

Hey, thank you for coming here. This is still my number one desired amplifier, I'm really glad you're telling me you're going to review it as information about it on the internet is still pretty scarce even in Japanese language.

I don't know if it is any facilitation, but review will be in Polish. After some days here:

http://hifiphilosophy.com/

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

I can't read Polish so nope, but I take every information I can and Google's translation of your review in English should be good enough to read, hehe. Thanks again for telling me about this review you're doing.

post #6 of 17
post #7 of 17

If Ear Stream is cold sounding headphone amp, I am tyranosaurus rex. And generally there are two kinds of headphone amps - good and bad ones. 

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

And Piotr Ryka uploaded his review of the Phasemation EPA-007: (translated in English by Google) http://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fhifiphilosophy.com%2F%3Fp%3D7437

 

Original in Polish language: http://hifiphilosophy.com/?p=7437


Edited by devouringone3 - 8/26/13 at 11:16am
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

 

^ This review ^ was translated by 6moons in a agreement they made with the reviewer: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/phasemation/1.html

 

Also, the amplifier is now available to be purchased on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/PHASETECH-Phasetech-Headphone-Amplifier-Epa-007/dp/B00CD0NUSY

 

Though it's priced the double of what you can get it for in Japan.

 

 

It's only a matter of time before I get one and start talking about it.


Edited by devouringone3 - 11/1/13 at 4:35pm
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

EPA-007x for late November.

 

First post updated


Edited by devouringone3 - 11/14/14 at 8:05pm
post #11 of 17

I have my EPA-007 (original version of the amp without the XLR headphone sockets) hooked up to the balanced output of my audio-gd NFB-1, driving my SA3000 in single ended mode.

 

This amp is simply amazing.

 

If someone had told me my SA3000 can be driven to as full sounding as my HE-500, I would have never believed it. The EPA-007 does just that. It really does wonders to dynamic headphones.

 

There has been saying that Japanese headphones are best driven by Japanese amplifier. Now I truly believe this statement.

post #12 of 17

I'm passing along my EPA-007. Why you ask? Well I have a EPA-007x due to arrive of course :)

 

I would have to concur with you all in saying that what this amp is able to do with dynamic headphones is nothing short of magical. For orthos, I would perhaps prefer something with more grunt, but if you have a few dynamics in your stable (guilty), this is the one amp you would ever need for them. Amp/headphone synergy is an oft elusive characteristic and many of us have cycled through gear looking for that perfect combination. With the EPA-007, it really becomes a non-issue. Adjusting the damping knob from soft to hard produces a noticeable difference in tone and presentation, going from lush to dry, enveloping to flat. It seems to me that while the entire sound changes, bass response is affected the most. A softer setting gives a fuller midrange and more rounded bass while a harder setting imparts better bass articulation and tightness.

 

Reading through what other EPA-007 users have written, it looks like most prefer the damping knob closer to the soft setting, as do I. However, I would like to point out the importance of volume matching after adjusting the damping knob when doing comparisons of different damping settings, as a hard setting does slightly reduce overall volume.

post #13 of 17
My experience with the EPA-007's dampening control is: The better control a headphone has for its diaphragm, the lesser amount of dampening you can use. That is, to use lesser overall negative feedback in EPA-007's case.

Below is my dampening control setting for my headphones:

T1: at 8 o'clock position (big difference between 9 o'clock and 8 o'clock position for the T1. T1 in 8 o'clock position just sounds sublime)
HE-500: at 9 o'clock position (now I drive the HE-500 with the SA-31SE, the EPA-007 does not give enough current)
MS2e: between 10 to 11 o'clock position
HPH-MT220: between 11 to 12 o' clock position
SA-3000: between 11 to 1 o'clock position (now sold after owning the T1)
Edited by borrego - 7/24/15 at 5:59am
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by borrego View Post

My experience with the EPA-007's dampening control is: The better control a headphone has for its diaphragm, the lesser amount of dampening you can use. That is, to use lesser overall negative feedback in EPA-007's case.

 

I think that's a reasonable assertion to make. Though I'm sure we all hope that headphones are designed and built with optimal damping, especially TOTL or flagship models, that is often not the case, to wit, the various mods HFers have conceived for the HD 800, Hifimans, etc. Admittedly those mods address problem areas present in acoustic damping, but it would probably be reasonable to assume that by extension there can be compromises made in the electromechanical design of the drivers as well. Audio-Technica woodies are a good case in point. I'm sure nobody would disagree when I say that they weren't designed with fidelity as the goal. Incidentally, I've found that they respond to the EPA-007 damping control quite favourably. Similar to you, I usually have the damping knob between 8 and 11 o'clock, but with ATs, I've found they sound the best with the knob at around 2 o'clock.

 

Another interesting tidbit: if you fiddle around with the volume knob around the lowest setting, you'll notice that channel balance in that range oscillates toward left and right slightly, and that sound doesn't fully cut out at the lowest setting. The manual states that in implementing a special volume control circuit optimized for sound quality, these are some of the side effects. It was nice to find out that the volume control is something improved over what seemed to be a simple Alps pot directly attenuating the signal from a casual glance at photos of its innards.


Edited by yaluen - 7/24/15 at 8:23pm
post #15 of 17

And on the subject of electrical damping of headphones, here's an article from Innerfidelity that is relevant to the operating principles of the EPA-007: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/musings-headphone-amplifier-output-impedance

 

Be sure to give it a read :beerchug:

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