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Did I ruin my ef-3?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone!

 
I’ve been lurking here for a while.  This board and members are top-notch and I’m looking forward to communicating with everyone.
 
I’m coming out of lurker status, because I don’t know if I fixed something or made it worse.
 
I purchased the HifiMan ef-3/he-300 combo (it’s been great at the price!)  But I just have to tinker.  I replaced the 2 100uf electrolytics with Silmic II and there was an instance big boost in low frequency clarity. 
 
Then, I replaced the 4 22uF caps and now I’m not so happy.  When vocals get loud with complex instrumentation I make out a breaking up sort of distortion.  Think AM radio. Err… maybe a better description is that the midrange clarity is suffering. I didn’t notice it in the et-3 before the swap.  Oh and one other clue: the vocals seem to be pushed to a little further to the background.
 
So, did I ruin a cap while soldering?  Is it just performing poorly?  Is there a way to check it out with an oscillator or something?  Am I just hearing mixing flaws more?
 
Where do I start?   (I'm a total newbee at making mods.)
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Answered my own question (kinda embarrassing for one's first post) and it wasn't the capacitor installation.

 

I found two minor sources of distortion.  With the OEM caps, it wasn't that apparent.  However, with the new ones distortion, digital dropouts, etc. stand out like a sore thumb.

 

I fixed the source problems.  I'm now quite happy that the amp is fine.  However, I'm not sure I like it being so critical.

 

Steve

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSound View Post
 

Answered my own question (kinda embarrassing for one's first post) and it wasn't the capacitor installation.

 

I found two minor sources of distortion.  With the OEM caps, it wasn't that apparent.  However, with the new ones distortion, digital dropouts, etc. stand out like a sore thumb.

 

I fixed the source problems.  I'm now quite happy that the amp is fine.  However, I'm not sure I like it being so critical.

 

Steve

Good to hear you didn't f up such a nice amp, best not to mess with internals when you don't know what you are doing. Buy a cmoybb kit if you want something to play with.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi bootdsc,

 

"until you know what you're doing"

 

Thanks, but I've done electronics a long time back.  Gathered enough experience to know not to change things blindly.  FWIW, I wasn't changing any capacitance or anything clever, just swapping part brands.

 

However, this is my first foray into audio electronics.  I must say tweaking parts has much more charm than playing with audio plugins.  Also, tube sets are just plain cool.  

 

I haven't had this much fun in a long time.

 

Steve

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSound View Post
 

Hi bootdsc,

 

"until you know what you're doing"

 

Thanks, but I've done electronics a long time back.  Gathered enough experience to know not to change things blindly.  FWIW, I wasn't changing any capacitance or anything clever, just swapping part brands.

 

However, this is my first foray into audio electronics.  I must say tweaking parts has much more charm than playing with audio plugins.  Also, tube sets are just plain cool.  

 

I haven't had this much fun in a long time.

 

Steve

 

Well if your going to quote me at least don't paraphrase. Who managed to convince you changing capacitor brand would affect the sound? That's taking things a bit to far.

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