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ECP Audio - DSHA-1, L-2, Black Diamond - Page 10

post #136 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

If you're looking for a "tube" amp, something like a ZDSE also makes more sense as it has closer to what you would expect a (good) tube amp to sound like.  The L-2 retains more of a "solid state" characteristic.  The ZDSE is lusher than something like an S7 which is in turn lusher than the L-2 (with the tube combos I've tried.)  For AT's (W3000ANV specifically) I like the ECP sound better, just a little too romantic sounding with EC.  Same thing with the R-10 (which pairs best with the PS'd DSHA of any amp combo I have ever tried.)

thanks for the thoughtful reply. tube noob here (my only experience of tube amp is a recently acquired ALO Pan Am), I really enjoy the expanded sense of space that tube amp provides over my solid state amps; the voicing I'm not sure what my preferences are. My main objective is having an amp that is compatible with now and future AT woodies and not just the W3000anv. Base on your advice, I'll keep my eye on this thread for impressions of the future iteration of L-2 (I'm not opposed to having a collection of amps). thanks again

post #137 of 257

Does anyone have an impression on Sennheiser HDVD800 or HDVA600?

I'm looking for the right amp to match with HD800 but from where I live, I will never had a chance to try any of these amps (L-2, DSHA-1, GS-X, ZDSE) 

:-(

post #138 of 257

I really really want to hear the L-2 too for my HD800....everyone says good things about this pairing......but they're all sold out at the moment. I'm so sad :( 

 

So i'm going to buy a Bryston BHA-1

post #139 of 257
Has anyone compared the Stratus to the L-2?
post #140 of 257
Thread Starter 

Small update on BD production - Doug is planning the run in mid-April, with similar aesthetics (wood/metal) to the DHSA-1/L-2.  It will be a one-box solution.  Pricing will be cheaper than DSHA-1 and L-2 were.  This is a seriously nice amp, not sure how many are on the run but I predict they will sell out much faster than previous runs.

 

Oh and on the L-2 vs Stratus, still never heard Donald's amp.  I do have two original Moth audio 2A3's but I wouldn't attempt to compare them to any other 2A3.  Suffice it to say 2A3 amps in general will sound quite different from something like the L-2 and I could see a user preferring one over the other depending on the rest of their chain, the headphones, even the music being used.  I would say DHT die-hards will stay that way, but folks who have an open mind on what tubes are "supposed" to sound like will be very impressed with the L-2's capabilities.

post #141 of 257

The L-2 doesn't really have the traditional "round" sound of a tube amp. I've owned a couple of Audion & Cary amps in the old days (SLA-70 & Rocket 88) and they definitely have their audible differences, like Radio_head mentioned. I'd like the L-2 to fairly balanced across the entire frequency range whereas the Cary's I owned definitely "bloomed" in the midrange, quite a bit!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxerOrBag View Post
 

I really enjoy the expanded sense of space that tube amp provides over my solid state amps

 

The "expanded sense of space" is definitely there with the L-2. I wanted to make sure that this point was made, especially when paired with HD800s. They didn't provide that with how the TH900 was designed but I recently got a pair of HD800s and boy do these (L-2 and the Senns) pair up well.


Edited by twizzleraddict - 3/23/14 at 2:37pm
post #142 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by twizzleraddict View Post

The "expanded sense of space" is definitely there with the L-2. I wanted to make sure that this point was made, especially when paired with HD800s. They didn't provide that with how the TH900 was designed but I recently got a pair of HD800s and boy do these (L-2 and the Senns) pair up well.
Could you please elaborate on the this? Are you saying that the L-2 allows the TH900 to have a wide soundstage to the extent that their design allows or is the soundstage constricted somewhat as compared to other amps? Would you also say that the TH900 pairs very well with the L-2? Thanks.
post #143 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
 

Small update on BD production - Doug is planning the run in mid-April, with similar aesthetics (wood/metal) to the DHSA-1/L-2.  It will be a one-box solution.  Pricing will be cheaper than DSHA-1 and L-2 were.  This is a seriously nice amp, not sure how many are on the run but I predict they will sell out much faster than previous runs.

 

Oh and on the L-2 vs Stratus, still never heard Donald's amp.  I do have two original Moth audio 2A3's but I wouldn't attempt to compare them to any other 2A3.  Suffice it to say 2A3 amps in general will sound quite different from something like the L-2 and I could see a user preferring one over the other depending on the rest of their chain, the headphones, even the music being used.  I would say DHT die-hards will stay that way, but folks who have an open mind on what tubes are "supposed" to sound like will be very impressed with the L-2's capabilities.

 

Because I sadly missed the L-2, I'm eyeing the Black Diamond. I have some questions, though.

 

1. Although it's cheaper than DSHA-1 and L-2, will it likely be a superior sounding amp?

 

2. Will it be a tube or solid-state amp?

 

3. Will it have a low output impedance for a wide array of headphones, or a rather high output impedance optimized for high-impedance headphones like HD800 (like L-2)?

post #144 of 257
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post
 

 

Because I sadly missed the L-2, I'm eyeing the Black Diamond. I have some questions, though.

 

1. Although it's cheaper than DSHA-1 and L-2, will it likely be a superior sounding amp?

 

2. Will it be a tube or solid-state amp?

 

3. Will it have a low output impedance for a wide array of headphones, or a rather high output impedance optimized for high-impedance headphones like HD800 (like L-2)?

1. Unlike pretty much any brand out there that I can think of, Doug's amps really aren't designed for better/worse as price goes up.  He comes up with a circuit that interests him (and is usually novel in the market in one way or another) then puts out a small batch.  While each amp certainly has its strengths and weaknesses (especially pairing with certain headphones,) there is no clear-cut superior in a universal or absolute sense, at least not to my ears.

 

2. The voltage gain will be supplied by transformers, so I'd call it a transformer amp (though apparently the definition of "amplifier" is a matter of semantics.)  The parts that are not transformers are solid state.  Based on release date, this will be unique among headphone amplifiers, although Steve Eddy (of Q Audio Cables) plans on releasing something similar with an indeterminate release date (last update was in December, so not sure where that's at.)  

 

3.  Both the DSHA and L-2 had a Lo Z of about 10 ohms and a Hi Z of around 40.  On paper that might not be perfect for something like CIEM's, but I really did enjoy it with my JH13's as well.  I don't have the output impedance figure on the BD, but I would not be surprised if its similar, its definitely not a 50 ohm deal like Meridian put out (which sounds like wooly mush) or DNA's Hi Z out of 120 ohms (DNA's low Z output is about 3 ohms). [Edit- and the meridian sounded wooly but I have no idea what the DNA gear sounds like.]  The L-2 and DSHA had a Lo/Hi switch, and I don't think the BD will offer this.  40 Ohms I'd call optimized, 10 would not be, that would be more 'general purpose'.  It does sound good from CIEMS and Grados up through Audeze, though it is definitely a 'pedal to the floor' situation there.  X and XC should theoretically be much better but I have never tried

 

__

 

As an aside, and because I want to be up front and not mislead anyone who really would be better off with something else: I don't think Doug's amps will appeal to everyone.  I look around and see thousands of posts dedicated to megawatt amps (either headphone amps or speaker amps with adapters of some kind) running headphones more inefficient than your average government.  This is definitely not one of those amps.  It runs really quiet, is generally closer to what I'd call "neutral," (inasmuch as I don't think it changes the sonic character of my headphones much other than amplifying), has good speed and detail, and unique design by one of the few innovators in this hobby.  It will not be bombastic, or blow one away at first blush (it is more understated and the benefits are more readily evident over time.)  It will not have much in common with the "tube" sound some are looking for or the more aggressive candidates in the solid state arena.  

 

Oh yeah, and I prefer it + my HP1K to some very highly regarded and expensive rigs.  I won't go into detail as I haven't hydrated well enough yet today to get into pissing matches.


Edited by Radio_head - 3/25/14 at 4:03pm
post #145 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio Jester View Post


Could you please elaborate on the this? Are you saying that the L-2 allows the TH900 to have a wide soundstage to the extent that their design allows or is the soundstage constricted somewhat as compared to other amps? Would you also say that the TH900 pairs very well with the L-2? Thanks.

The soundstaging abilities of the HD800 is able to be exposed and taken advantage of with the L-2. The TH900 has limitations in its presentation, even with the L-2. Sorry for the confusion and thanks for calling me out on the clarification here.

 

I'll have some more feedback on the TH900 out of a Vioelectric V200 I'm getting in soon to compare with the L-2. Base sonic signatures of the headphones shouldn't alter too much with comparable quality amps, but there will be some minor differences.  They do sound fine out of the L-2 though but this amp seems better suited to excel on the HD800s for a lot of the intimate music I listen to.

post #146 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by songmic View Post

Because I sadly missed the L-2, I'm eyeing the Black Diamond. I have some questions, though.

1. Although it's cheaper than DSHA-1 and L-2, will it likely be a superior sounding amp?

2. Will it be a tube or solid-state amp?

3. Will it have a low output impedance for a wide array of headphones, or a rather high output impedance optimized for high-impedance headphones like HD800 (like L-2)?

I won't make claims about what is better. I listen to the Black Diamond all the time. I also listen to my DSHA a lot. I like them both, and I would not sell an amp I would not listen to. The price is based on the cost of making it, and this one is a little easier to put together than the previous two.

I don't have an L-2 either frown.gif

The Black Diamond circuit (which uses solid state + transformers) is detailed in my diy blog (linked in my signature.)

Impedance of the BD is lower than either the DSHA-1 or the L-2. It is just a couple of Ohms as the output stage uses a Diamond Buffer with Sziklai pairs as the output devices.
post #147 of 257

Tari mentions that you're aiming for a case similar to the L2 and DSHA case -- aluminum and wood -- for the Black Diamond.  One prototype had an acrylic case, the other had a modified L2-style case with wood sides that wrapped around the front.  Is that style the aesthetic you are looking for now, or do you expect it to be much closer to the design of the L2?

post #148 of 257
Closer to the L-2/DSHA-1 aesthetic. Here's a pic of some final prototype metal work (w/o the wood).

BDproto1.JPG
post #149 of 257
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsavitsk View Post

Here's a pic of some final prototype metal work (w/o the wood).

That Jon's work or have you found someone to replace him?

se
post #150 of 257
Jon did the knobs, but he was too busy, and too future unavailable to do the rest. frown.gif
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