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Ampsandsound Kenzie/Mogwai Impressions

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  1. ZenErik
    I've seen that link before. Hum-X did not help. Unplugging the TV did not help either. Directional RCAs did not help.

    I've been working on finding a permanent solution with Justin, and he's been very helpful. The best solution we have currently is just using a 2 prong power cable with the Kenzie Encore. It's not dead silent, but it's not far off. I'd like to find a better solution. Just takes time. Touching the RCA connectors on my interconnects + metal on the amp or DAC seems to make the noise floor the quietest. Unfortunately, that's not a great solution.

    Will have a diagnostic kit soon as well as the XLR to RCA transformers. If neither of those things seem to solve the issue I will be interested in spending quite a bit of money on a nice power conditioner. Maybe that'll do it. Maybe not. If not I'll just return the power conditioner.

    I can confirm that there is no hum if I plug my battery powered phone into the amp and no hum when the amp has nothing connected to the RCA ins. The hum only occurs when the amp is connected to either my Onyx or my phone while it's charging via my dock.

    I do not believe the hum is an issue with the amp itself. I've always had issues with ground loops here. It just bothers me more either because it's a little louder now or maybe just because I have a much more expensive amp now. Considering my current amp cost over $2000 more than my previous one I'm probably just being more picky.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  2. exdmd
    You have a damn good TOTL amp in the Encore and you certainly deserve to get rid of the hum. Have you brought in an electrician who knows audio gear?
  3. llamaluv
    I just got a Kenzie Encore Deluxe Model on the used market. Is there a way I can visually confirm it is in fact is the deluxe version? Or would I need to crack it open and look at its innards?
  4. exdmd
    Well no need to open the amp up. There should be a sticker on the bottom with info and serial number, also on the box if the seller sent it to you in original packaging. Email or call Justin at Amps & Sound with the build or serial number and he can look up the details. Enjoy your Encore!
  5. llamaluv
    Yep, Justin was able to verify its provenance, all good, thanks.
  6. exdmd
    No problem! Hope you have the input transformers they do make a significant difference. If not Justin can build you a small outboard box with transformers.
  7. llamaluv
    I do thanks, and I'm having a fun listen this weekend :)
  8. ZenErik
    Anyone else surprised about how much they like the 300ohm tap? I thought I'd easily prefer the 32ohm tap on my 300ohm headphones given everything I'm usually told. Some pretty well respected people also have loose rules like maintaining an 8 to 1 ratio of headphone impedance vs output impedance on their amps. So using 300ohm headphones with a 300ohm tap seems a bit odd, but it's surprisingly good at times. Sometimes the extra wetness adds just the right flavor. I enjoy it a lot while playing The Witcher 3 and also really enjoy how it sounds with Peter Gabriel's 'So' and Nordic folk like Wardruna.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
    humzebra likes this.
  9. exdmd
    I think that old 1:8 impedance rule does not always hold. I have 32 ohm and 300 ohm taps on my Kenzie and my 300 Ohm HD800S definitely sound better when plugged in to the 300 Ohm jack. If i switch to the 32 ohm jack I lose bass weight. I had Justin build my Kenzie with 32/300 Ohm taps because 300 Ohm Senns are my main phones.
  10. ZenErik
    I also went with 32/300 because Justin recommended it knowing I mostly use 300ohm headphones. I was a little skeptical that I'd like the 300ohm option, but I also trusted that he knew what he was talking about given they're his amps. Turns out he was right, of course. I had a HD800S that I sold a few months back. Too bad. I think it could be a great match for the 300ohm tap. With my previous amps I don't think I was getting nearly as much out of the HD800S as I would now. I may end up picking one up again if I don't like the Auteur. Might be another month or so before I get mine.
  11. dunkyboy
    Don’t know about be Kenzie, but my Eikons sound way better on my Mogwai SE’s 300-ohm tap than the 32-ohm. More natural balance, huuuuge out-of-head soundstage - it’s all better.

  12. exdmd
    I can't speak for other phones because I rolled the tubes in my Kenzie to get the absolute best sound quality from my HD800S I could wring out. If you get Senns again you should consider replacing the stock 12SL7GT with a 60's vintage Telefunken ECC801S (adaptor needed) you will increase clarity, detail and imaging. Really takes the Kenzie to the next level. Not cheap but well worth it for the Senns which can scale with a better input tube. The $220 the Telefunken usually costs would be wasted if you are using Elears for example.
  13. Thenewguy007
    Did you try different RCA cables? I know it may sound crazy, but they could be the cause.
  14. ZenErik
    Yes. I tried 4 of RCAs including a set of directional RCAs. And I also tried line out from my phone. It was noisy when my phone was plugged in and charging and silent when running on battery power.
  15. ZenErik
    Thanks. I'll certainly consider it. I haven't really thought much about tube rolling on the Kenzie Encore yet. I used to own the Elear, but it was too uncomfortable for me. I imagine that input tube could be pretty good for the HD650, HD800/800S, and probably ZMF headphones as well. Will certainly consider it, but I'd like to at least wait until I've spent some time with the Auteur first.
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