or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › ECP Audio - DSHA-1, L-2, Black Diamond
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ECP Audio - DSHA-1, L-2, Black Diamond - Page 8

post #106 of 257

It's very easy to change these amps from 117V to 230V.  Requires a bit of soldering  but that is a given. 

 

220V compared to 230V is so close that any good PSU design should have no problem with that.  The tube heaters in the L-2 are regulated DC too so unaffected by any change in AC input voltage. 

post #107 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

By the way, is your L-2 an 220V unit? I know that China uses 220V as mains electricity, but when I asked Doug, he said he doesn't recall building a 220-240V version of the L-2.

 

I have a 110v unit on a transformer, like all the rest of my gear.  I'm only in China temporarily, so I buy all my gear for U.S. power requirements and adapt as necessary.  My PS Audio P300 puts out 110/60Hz where necessary.

 

Doug offered to convert my unit to 220v, said it would be easy, but it would not have fit the rest of my setup well.

 

This is an excellent amp, here's hoping you get lucky and one comes up for sale.

post #108 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherwood View Post
 

 

I have a 110v unit on a transformer, like all the rest of my gear.  I'm only in China temporarily, so I buy all my gear for U.S. power requirements and adapt as necessary.  My PS Audio P300 puts out 110/60Hz where necessary.

 

Doug offered to convert my unit to 220v, said it would be easy, but it would not have fit the rest of my setup well.

 

This is an excellent amp, here's hoping you get lucky and one comes up for sale.

 

Thanks for letting me know, perhaps I could ask Doug to convert a 110V unit to 220V if I ever get my hands on one.

 

Actually I'm kinda torn between the L-2 and GS-X mk2 right now, has anyone here compared both (particularly in terms of performance with HD800)?

post #109 of 257
Thread Starter 

I have compared both.  Unless you have a source that rolls off at 5K, the L-2 is the more tolerable option.

post #110 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

I have compared both.  Unless you have a source that rolls off at 5K, the L-2 is the more tolerable option.

I don't quite understand... I'm sorry but could you elaborate that a little?
post #111 of 257
Thread Starter 

The L-2 is less shrill, harsh, and biting in the "problem" areas of the HD800 (especially with stock, but even with the Anax mod.)  I did not find the GS-X MK2 as pleasant a listen with the HD800 and normal sources (Invicta, Analog DAC).  I'm sure the counterpoint (which has become mantra at this point) would say that means the GS-X MK2 is just more transparent and I'm not used to wire-with-gain sound.  The GS-X2 has more grunt for Hifiman and Audeze so that's something to consider if wanting something for orthos. 

post #112 of 257
The Dynahi is absolutely amazing with the 800s and so is the GS-X mk2. I have never found the 800 to be harsh at all, love it on my DSHA as well. My friend has the L-2 and it is great on that amp as well but if I had to choose, the Dynahi wins by a pretty good margin.
post #113 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

The L-2 is less shrill, harsh, and biting in the "problem" areas of the HD800 (especially with stock, but even with the Anax mod.)  I did not find the GS-X MK2 as pleasant a listen with the HD800 and normal sources (Invicta, Analog DAC).  I'm sure the counterpoint (which has become mantra at this point) would say that means the GS-X MK2 is just more transparent and I'm not used to wire-with-gain sound.  The GS-X2 has more grunt for Hifiman and Audeze so that's something to consider if wanting something for orthos. 

 

So, to summarize (in my own terms),

 

1. GS-X mk2 is a more trnsparent, wire-with-gain amp.

2. The L-2 is less harsh, and thus provides a more pleasant sound with HD800.

3. The L-2 is a better choice if the HD800 were my only headphone, but if I were to own both LCD-3 and HD800, the GS-X mk2 is a better choice.

 

To be honest, finding an amp that mitigates the HD800's inherent harshness has been the hardest thing in my journey as a Head-Fi'er. It is because of this that I purchased an LCD-3 as a complementary headphone to enjoy music that sounds too unenjoyable with HD800. However, if the L-2 transforms the HD800 into a very enjoyable headphone that works well with not only audiophile-grade classic and jazz but also pop and rock, I may as well sell my LCD-3 and be done with it.

 

So here's another question: do you find the L-2/HD800 enjoyable, pleasant and non-fatiguing with some of the more contemporary genres such as pop, rock, electronica whose recording qualities aren't up to the level of audiophile stuff? Or is the LCD-3 still much better in this regard?

 

I'm asking this because I couldn't stand listening to such music with HD800 for extended hours, due to the HD800's brutally revealing nature and its sheer brightness that makes me wince at those nasty treble spikes. I really hope the L-2 would remedy this. If it does, I will keep looking for an L-2; but if not, I may grab a GS-X mk2 and keep both cans as complementary headphones to each other.

post #114 of 257
Thread Starter 

I'm definitely saying point two and the first half of point three.  Point one is something I have heard/seen many others say, second half of point three is a judgement call.

 

With contemporary pop/rock, the HD800 can get fatiguing for me over long listening sessions no matter what I'm listening through, so I suppose that needs to be calibrated (Blubliss for example states that he has "never found the 800 harsh at all."  If you are like him in your HD800 listening, then I'd probably just discount whatever I am saying as we clearly have different ears/preferences.)

 

I'd rather keep both the HD800 and LCD-3 than try to go it alone with one.  The LCD-3 has tone, from piano to strings, to male vocals, that the HD800 does not.  The HD800 has detail, soundstage, and air the LCD-3 does not.  They excel with different genres and quite honestly different moods.   If I'm rocking out while getting some work done, I pick up the LCD-3 most of the time.  Chilling to Chopin while winding down after a long day would be HD800 time.  

 

There are great amps available in current production that do well with both headphones. I have a Super 7 at work here with me and it does quite a number on both.  So far I think the L-2 excels more with the low-level detail of the HD800 but I haven't done much rolling.  

post #115 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

I'm definitely saying point two and the first half of point three.  Point one is something I have heard/seen many others say, second half of point three is a judgement call.

 

With contemporary pop/rock, the HD800 can get fatiguing for me over long listening sessions no matter what I'm listening through, so I suppose that needs to be calibrated (Blubliss for example states that he has "never found the 800 harsh at all."  If you are like him in your HD800 listening, then I'd probably just discount whatever I am saying as we clearly have different ears/preferences.)

 

I'd rather keep both the HD800 and LCD-3 than try to go it alone with one.  The LCD-3 has tone, from piano to strings, to male vocals, that the HD800 does not.  The HD800 has detail, soundstage, and air the LCD-3 does not.  They excel with different genres and quite honestly different moods.   If I'm rocking out while getting some work done, I pick up the LCD-3 most of the time.  Chilling to Chopin while winding down after a long day would be HD800 time.  

 

There are great amps available in current production that do well with both headphones. I have a Super 7 at work here with me and it does quite a number on both.  So far I think the L-2 excels more with the low-level detail of the HD800 but I haven't done much rolling.  

 

Okay. So you're saying that even with the L-2, contemporary pop/rock gets fatiguing with HD800. It does make the HD800 sound pleasant, but not to the point of making it enjoyable with every genre.

 

Come to think about it, I think there are two factors that make the HD800 incompatible with such brightly mastered pop and rock recordings.

 

#1.HD800 is a bright headphone with harsh treble and sibilance issues in its stock form, and listening to such music will only attenuate those nasty treble glares.

 

#2. HD800 is a brutally honest and ultra-revealing headphone, and will ruthlessly show the faults of any recordings.

 

I guess the L-2 helps with #1, but not #2. The L-2/HD800 will still reveal every fault with mediocre stuff, while the LCD-3 sort of masks these faults at the expense of microscopic detail, which makes the LCD-3 a more enjoyable headphone for such music despite the L-2's magic on HD800. Do you agree with this statement?

 

I do listen to pop and rock, but they make up only about 25% of my collection. While the rest are not all classic and jazz, I think most of them are high quality recordings. This is becoming a tough choice, especially with the new LCD-X that is getting rave reviews right now...


Edited by songmic - 12/4/13 at 9:03am
post #116 of 257
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post

 

#1.HD800 is a bright headphone with harsh treble and sibilance issues in its stock form, and listening to such music will only attenuate those nasty treble glares.

 

#2. HD800 is a brutally honest and ultra-revealing headphone, and will ruthlessly show the faults of any recordings.

 

I guess the L-2 helps with #1, but not #2. The L-2/HD800 will still reveal every fault with mediocre stuff, while the LCD-3 sort of masks these faults at the expense of microscopic detail, which makes the LCD-3 a more enjoyable headphone for such music despite the L-2's magic on HD800. Do you agree with this statement?

I completely agree with this breakdown.  

 


However, one of the hardest things to do is figure out when what you are hearing is #1 or #2.  For instance, a lot of pop/rock from the 60's was specifically engineered with a "crunch" for want of a better word.  Take Billy Nichol's album Would you Believe.  When listening to it with the HD800, it was near-unlistenable.  I thought this was the HD800 adding harshness.  While that was certainly a compononent, I had Head-Fi user and mastering engineer LFF look at the recording and he said it was built in - in other words, I was merely hearing the harshness that was there. (He actually made me a version without the crunch that I much prefer.  He is a wizard with these things.)  What I thought was added harshness was in fact it's revealing nature, (while its bump in the highs certainly didn't help.)  So point #1 and #2 can kind of blend in to each other, and whatever the culprit, the one thing that tends to happen with many recordings is I just don't find myself enjoying them very much or for very long with the HD800.  The LCD-3 has a more relaxed top end and is not as revealing (matter of degrees we're talking about) so, for one reason or the other, will often be easier to listen to (unless you find them physically uncomfortable.)

post #117 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by blubliss View Post

The Dynahi is absolutely amazing with the 800s and so is the GS-X mk2. I have never found the 800 to be harsh at all, love it on my DSHA as well. My friend has the L-2 and it is great on that amp as well but if I had to choose, the Dynahi wins by a pretty good margin.

I could see this being the case.  The HD800 driven in balanced mode by your balanced Dynahi should be stunning.  I had a great deal of success driving the HD800 balanced by my Gilmore Reference Balanced prior to selling it.  I remember liking the Gilmore Reference Balanced a tad more than the DSHA & L-2 in a direct comparison.  


Edited by purk - 12/5/13 at 12:07am
post #118 of 257

Songmic - I may be able to give some input in your dilemma.  I have a HD800 coming tomorrow and I own an L-2.  I also listen to a good deal of modern pop and rock.  I'll try out some of my music via two high-end but polar opposite DACs, the Anedio D2 and Metrum Hex.  I suspect that some of the answer to your question lies in the source used.  I think the Hex into the L-2 to the HD800 will be about as forgiving as the HD800 can be with modern poorly mastered recordings.  The D2 probably will not.  I'll report back in a few days.

 

EDIT: And I forgot that Justin has a GS-1 I acquired a couple months back and he's installing the upgraded Dynalo+ modules.  So I will also at some point have a baby GS-X to compare as well.  But I have no idea as to when I'm going to get that as Justin is a very busy guy.  But I think while some have said the GS-1 isn't that much worse driving the HD800, other have said it's a massive difference.


Edited by Failed Engineer - 12/4/13 at 6:31pm
post #119 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Failed Engineer View Post
 

Songmic - I may be able to give some input in your dilemma.  I have a HD800 coming tomorrow and I own an L-2.  I also listen to a good deal of modern pop and rock.  I'll try out some of my music via two high-end but polar opposite DACs, the Anedio D2 and Metrum Hex.  I suspect that some of the answer to your question lies in the source used.  I think the Hex into the L-2 to the HD800 will be about as forgiving as the HD800 can be with modern poorly mastered recordings.  The D2 probably will not.  I'll report back in a few days.

 

EDIT: And I forgot that Justin has a GS-1 I acquired a couple months back and he's installing the upgraded Dynalo+ modules.  So I will also at some point have a baby GS-X to compare as well.  But I have no idea as to when I'm going to get that as Justin is a very busy guy.  But I think while some have said the GS-1 isn't that much worse driving the HD800, other have said it's a massive difference.

 

That would be very interesting, as I am also interested in the Metrum Hex. I suppose the Hex has a somewhat warm sound signature? My NAD M51 is a bit on the warmer side too, but the Hex should be a superior DAC overall. My dream setup right now is Hex > L-2 > HD800 or Hex > BHSE >O2mk1, so your impression will be much appreciated. Especially in regard to how it performs with modern pop and rock.

post #120 of 257

I posted this as a product review, but figure I would also post it in this thread:

 

I have owned the ECP Audio L-2 for about two months now.  I also own an Eddie Current Super 7 with NOS tubes, including Tung Sol BGRP driver tube.  I have previously owned the Woo WA22, the Luxman P-1u, the DNA Sonett, and the Singlepower Extreme Platinum.

Of all the amps I have owned, I only really liked three right out of the box: the Super 7, the Singlepower Extreme, and the ECP L-2.  That already puts the L-2 in rarified company, since my first impressions ended up being lasting ones and led me to eventually sell the WA22, the Luxman P-1u, and the DNA Sonett after trying but failing to like them.  The L-2 is significantly better sounding than those three “gone but not forgotten” amps.

The Singlepower Extreme will always be close to my heart for its warm sound signature.  But it had horrible build quality and ultimately failed.  The ECP L-2 has stellar build quality in comparison.

So, what do I like about the L-2?  Very simple:

(1) It has all the positive musical attributes of a good tube amp -- it is slightly warm and full-sounding, not at all dry or boring.  Although Doug Savitsky of ECP Audio is a no-nonsense builder, this amp is not a "straight wire with gain".  It is really immersive and musical. I also don't find it to be at all bright, as Skylab found in his review. I am sensitive to bright, fatiguing sound.  I only could only listen to Grados for about 15 minutes before I needed to take some Advil and return them.  The L-2 is good for hours of fatigue-free listening.  The amount of mid-range and treble detail this amp offers is also really impressive.

(2) It has none of the negative attributes of tubes -- it is extremely quiet and barely gets warm.  I really like using my JH16s with full-size headphone amps.  The JH16s offer sound quality that rivals the best dynamic open headphones I have owned or demo'd, but they also isolate really well.  The one drawback of IEM's is that they are highly sensitive with very low impedance.  If there is any noise in the circuit or from the tubes, you will hear it with the JH16s.  When I use the JH16s with the L-2, I hear absolutely zero noise.  This amp is as quiet as the solid state Luxman P-1u was.  Also, unlike some tube amps, the L-2 is not a space heater.  You won't risk burning your children or pet with this amp.

Comparing the L-2 to the Super 7: the Super 7 is a great amp, but in my book it gets edged out by the L-2 in every respect except one.  The L-2 is quieter and offers slightly better resolution and detail than the Super 7.  Higher frequencies seem slightly rolled off with the Super 7, something that has only become apparent after owning the L-2 for the last two months.  The L-2 also seems to drive my LCD-2s better than the Super 7 does -- offering better dynamics than the Super 7.  The L-2 also has significantly lower gain than the Super 7, allowing me to use much more of the volume pot than the Super 7 does (a particularly nice feature with the JH16s).  The only aspect of the Super 7 that beats out the L-2 is in the area of bass quantity and depth.  Simply put, the Super 7 has really authoritative bass, easily the best of any amp I have owned.  Bass-shy CDs tend to sound better through the Super 7 than the L-2.  Overall, I am finding that I am listening to the L-2 about 80% of the time, switching back to the Super 7 20% of the time.

Yes, the L-2 is an expensive amp.  But so are the WA22 and the Luxman P-1u, neither of which compete with the L-2.  The Super 7 is a less expensive amp, although when you figure in the cost of finding 7 NOS 6SN7 tubes for it, the spread between the cost of the two amps falls quite a bit.  Although I have no intention of parting with either amp and I still have tremendous respect for what the Super 7 accomplishes at its price point, if forced to I would sell the Super 7 before the L-2.

It’s a shame that ECP Audio is somewhat overlooked as an amp manufacturer on Head-Fi. I have owned a lot of high profile amps in the last 7 years and the L-2, in my opinion, easily competes with or beats all of them in terms of sound quality and build quality.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › ECP Audio - DSHA-1, L-2, Black Diamond