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ECP Audio - DSHA-1, L-2, Black Diamond - Page 4

post #46 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsavitsk View Post

It's not over yet ... smily_headphones1.gif Another week and a half or so.

 

Good luck with the move to the East Coast.

 

BTW, are you going to issue new stickers so we can cover over the "ecp LLC Chicago, Illinois" etched on the rear panel of the amps? ;) j/k. tongue.gif

post #47 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

 

 

Saw this posted by friedduck on the Canlanta thread, part of tomb's rig.  Looks like an updated BD with Cinemag transformer pokies instead of the Lundahls in my proto.  Torpedo is next to it.

 

Edit- if I had to guess I'd say that's a matching DAC underneath it, maybe a Walnut DAC from Doug?

Silly me - I thought they were Lundahls.  That's the problem.  Dsavitsk is so far ahead of the mainstream, I only get a few things right.wink.gif  Seriously guys, I've been around for awhile here and from my perspective, Dsavitsk is unique in really blazing a trail on the cutting edge.  No one else is designing/building the kind of stuff that he does, and that's been an accurate statement for a number of years.

 

As for CanLanta, I was excited to have the opportunity to show Dsavitsk's Black Diamond at the show.  Dummy me, though, it turns out that my daughter's netbook must've been on the fritz.  I had it totally dedicated to the BD, but I couldn't get decent volume with some headphones until I racked the volume knob all the way.  So, most people heard it with my Grado HF-2's.  My Senn HD600's were just not loud enough to cut it.  (Funny how loud it is in a headphone meet. wink.gif) Anyway when I got it home, it was like everything else Dsavitsk has sent me - medium-loud listening volume was about halfway on the volume knob with almost every headphone - gain optimized, IOW.

 

What was really weird was that was true for Grado HF-2's, Sennheiser HD600's (Cardas cables), and surprisingly - AKG K701's. In fact, the K701's were more like 10-11 o'clock, instead of 12.  I'm not sure I've heard an amp that can drive Sennheisers, Grados, and especially - K701's - with equal authority, but the Black Diamond does.  Incredible!

 

I did some further listening tests to see whether all this goodness was from the DAC or from the BD.  So, I connected one of Beezar's pupDAC's to the BD.  I'd say about 75% of what I was hearing was from the amp.  So great amp, but also great DAC for that final 25%.  Seriously, incredible detail and sparkle without one ounce of harshness (tamed harshness could be Dsavitsk's trademark!), and deep, authoritative bass.  I think the 25% that I was hearing from the DAC was the bass - because the amp was faithfully reproducing everything from whatever source it had.  Keep in mind, I market and sell cobaltmute's pupDAC at $120 in a kit, $150 built.  So, no surprises that it wasn't quite in the same league.

 

Anyway, like I said before - I've never heard an amp this compact, this refined, all in a single stacked package with a DAC that was able to drive so many headphone impedances/efficiencies as well as this combo.  It was as if it didn't care one whit was connected to it - it was all good!

 

** SIGH ** Unfortunately, Dsavitsk asked me to send it back to him a couple of days ago. frown.gif


Edited by tomb - 5/17/13 at 7:34pm
post #48 of 173

Doug, what would you say is the differences between the L-2 and the Black Diamond from an audible perspective? Granted it's a different design but the ultimate results in the end are what I'm curious about with your next design.

post #49 of 173
Kind of tricky to answer as ultimately the amps should just get out of the way smily_headphones1.gif That said, I'd say the Black Diamond is a little more detailed and perhaps a little warmer, but it lacks that ineffableness that comes from the tubes. Though the transformer gain stage largely makes up for this not because it is additive, but because it is so linear, and like a tube, all of the distortion is pretty benign.

The biggest difference is technical -- the BD has a very low output impedance, is DC coupled, and when pushed very hard (depending on load) can fall over into class B. The L-2, due to the output transformers, conserves wattage* but has a higher output impedance, especial into high impedance loads.

By having 32 and 300 Ohm taps, the wattage output of the L-2 into 32 and 300 Ohm loads is the same, though the voltage swing is different. A DC coupled amp can swing the same voltage into different loads, but this means that the current draw is reduced for high impedance loads which reduces power output. To give an example, the L-2 outputs about 250mW. Into 32 Ohms that is a voltage swing of just under 3Vrms. Into 300 Ohms, that is a voltage swing of just under 9Vrms. The BD can swing around 7Vrms into all loads, which means around 160mW into 300 Ohms, but 1.5W into 32 (and about 1W into 50 Ohms for LCDs).
post #50 of 173
Thread Starter 

Well, the DSHA is growing on me even with headphones I didn't consider fully in its wheelhouse at first.  I've been using it in the work rig with the HD800 lately and its a very enjoyable listen, not bothersome at all for solid state.  I don't think its the last word in resolution for it, but its pretty close in the solid state world.

 

Spent some time with the LAu, GS-X V2, and DSHA all in my system for a little over a week.  The most surprising thing was how well the DSHA performed as I had already expected the much more expensive LAu to peform well.

post #51 of 173

I'm somewhat interested in the DSHA-1, is the demo program mentioned on the Web site still running? Would like to try one out if possible.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post
Spent some time with the LAu, GS-X V2, and DSHA all in my system for a little over a week.  The most surprising thing was how well the DSHA performed as I had already expected the much more expensive LAu to peform well.

 

Not sure how to read your post - are you saying you consider the DSHA to sonically match the LAu and/or GS-X MK2, or that it's better in some aspects? (And if so, which aspects?)


Edited by Asr - 5/31/13 at 12:57am
post #52 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by blubliss View Post

Received my DSHA-1 last Friday and I am very, very pleased.  It sounds really great with the R10s and the HD800, so much so, that there may be a used Balancing Act on the market soon.  That is not a knock on the BA, because it is still great, but less tubes for me would be nice.

 

Ahh...now I want one Andy!  Doug, you need to bring back the DSHA-1!

post #53 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asr View Post

I'm somewhat interested in the DSHA-1, is the demo program mentioned on the Web site still running? Would like to try one out if possible.

 

 

Not sure how to read your post - are you saying you consider the DSHA to sonically match the LAu and/or GS-X MK2, or that it's better in some aspects? (And if so, which aspects?)

I'm deliberately being a little vague, as I want to wait until my new source comes in and changes anything.  With the sources I had on hand (Invicta, Mytek) , the DSHA matched and sometimes exceeded one or both of the amps.  Its particular strengths still lie with headphones along the lines of Grados and the Denon/Fostex line where it was a tossup for most seductive sound (balance of detail with lack of harshness) with the LAu.  I'm having my HP1000's modded to reduce the "shout" and I'll revisit that, as that may be one of the reasons I didn't like them as much with the GS-X.  The HD800 had always been a strength of the first version of the GS-X when I had it so I had high hopes for that but found the LAu just gave me more micro-details and at the same time didn't feel like they were sodomizing my ear canal.  The GS-X unfortunately did, which is one reason I'm looking into a ladder DAC to see if the edge lay with a 9018 SD DAC or with later parts of the chain.  Orthos still aren't the DSHA's wheelhouse, at least as long as the gain is set where it is.  GS-X and Lau did take the cake there.

post #54 of 173

When you compare the R2R to the 9018, there should be one obvious change - your undies.

post #55 of 173

I'm a new user for TH900 and currently seeking for a matching combo. How does the L2 perform compare to Woo Audios ? 

 

Is that Black Diamond even for sale? They look so cool and pretty more than words to describe them. Can't seem to find the pricing for it. 

post #56 of 173
Thread Starter 

I never had a Woo amp and the TH900 at the same time, owned them separately.  However, I will say that some of the TH900's strengths lie in its clean bass which manages to be prominent but not overly muddy or wooly like many other "basshead" headphones (especially the closed ones.)  To that end, the L-2 keeps things very tight and impactful while still imparting a bit of 2nd order harmonic.  Woo amps let things get significantly more... euphonic.  This is nice if your headphone is otherwise clinical or sterile sounding and you really want to blur things in the "classic" tube sense, but personally that wouldn't be something I would look for in amping the TH900 which already has a certain "euphony" built into its sound.  

post #57 of 173

If Woo Audio is not a recommended choice from your opinion what would you suggest me go for ? 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

I never had a Woo amp and the TH900 at the same time, owned them separately.  However, I will say that some of the TH900's strengths lie in its clean bass which manages to be prominent but not overly muddy or wooly like many other "basshead" headphones (especially the closed ones.)  To that end, the L-2 keeps things very tight and impactful while still imparting a bit of 2nd order harmonic.  Woo amps let things get significantly more... euphonic.  This is nice if your headphone is otherwise clinical or sterile sounding and you really want to blur things in the "classic" tube sense, but personally that wouldn't be something I would look for in amping the TH900 which already has a certain "euphony" built into its sound.  

post #58 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabukix View Post

Is that Black Diamond even for sale? They look so cool and pretty more than words to describe them. Can't seem to find the pricing for it. 

Right now, the Black Diamond is just an experiment. It may turn into a something real this fall. However, the acrylic cases are just a form of rapid prototyping. They are probably too fragile to be used for production. frown.gif Expect metal and wood.
post #59 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kabukix View Post

If Woo Audio is not a recommended choice from your opinion what would you suggest me go for ? 

 

Depends on your budget and if you're set on tubes.  The Balancing Act and Liquid Glass are both tremendous with the TH900 and a variety of other headphones but are both more expensive.  The L-2 is great as well.  I think there was a member who recently bought an L-2 who has a TH900 as his main headphone and loves it.  I also thought the integrated amp on my Invicta did a good job with the TH900, but didn't like most other solid state amps I tried it with.  

 

That black diamond/walnut stack you see is so good with my HP1000s... if it was for sale I'd have it already.

post #60 of 173

Your amplifiers are so sublimely good I'll pre-order a Black Diamond on spec. L3000.gif

 

Cheers,

Andy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsavitsk View Post


Right now, the Black Diamond is just an experiment. It may turn into a something real this fall. However, the acrylic cases are just a form of rapid prototyping. They are probably too fragile to be used for production. frown.gif Expect metal and wood.
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