Comments on EAR HP4
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zzz

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I'm looking for opinions/comments on EAR HP4 amp, especially with low impedance headphones. Anyone heard it with say Grados or W2002? I know reports with R10 were pretty favorable, but still...

(yes, I'm thinking about doing something stupid
. will probably have to sell MG Head and Arcam to pull this off though...)
 
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lextek

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Someone was selling one here on Head-Fi. I only heard with HD600's and wanted one!
 
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markl

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I haven't yet had the chance to hear the Ear (but I will when the Tour hits my area), but I do know of one R10 owner who has the ear but found it lacking. His main complaint was the lack of quality parts inside the Ear. He says that Ear's philosophy is all about design, not build quality. This listener found the Ear plus R10's too soft and tubey. Perhaps, based on this observation, the ear is over-priced given what's actually inside. I'm speaking totally out of turn here. This is also a sample size of one, though he does have the best dynamic headphone ever made...

His solution (which is not available to the general public) was to have an amp custom-built for his R10's by an audio engineer with premium parts throughout.

Did that help? Maybe not. I'll re-visit this thread once I've had the chance to hook my R10s up to the Ear in July.

markl
 
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kelly

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zzz

Just to try to discourage you a litttle...

Source matters. A lot.

The EAR HP4 was really nice when I auditioned it on the HeadRoom tour and I'm sure it does pair well with the R10, as a few people now have said. However, it'd be really hard to convince me that the improvement over the ZOTL (if any; for example) is worth downgrading your source for. (ZOTL $790 shipped, EAR HP4 ~$2300 shipped).

I've not heard the R10 at all much less in combination with these amps, I'm just trying to give you food for thought--having a crystal clear window to a really crappy source is not a utopia. Keep your source and talk to Hirsch about mating the R10 with a more affordable amp if you have to.
 
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zzz

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kelly

See your point. However,

1) Nik sells his HP4 for 1500 USD + shipping/duties. While more expensive than microZOTL or Sugden, it is still on the sane side of reasonable.

2) No source downgrading here. I was planning to put the Arcam I got from jaskin on sale very soon anyhow. Unfortunately, I did not anticipate getting NEC CD-903 just half a week after paying for Arcam and even less I expected NEC to be better than Alpha 9 all around*. The only downsides of NEC are its lack of HDCD decoding (duh) and more sensitive to vibrations transport. All in all, NEC is more enjoyable to listen to in the long run...

2.1) NEC has balanced outputs and EAR has balanced inputs.

3) I hope that getting HP4 would stop any upgrading urges for quite a some time.

And yeah, it's not for R10. I'm not planning to get R10 any time soon (and probably ever). W2002 is probably *it* for me as far as headphones go. Frankly, I don't even care for HD600 anymore, they're nice but not a match for W2002 when I have a choice. Which is kinda too bad, given I got the Equinox cable for them... Maybe I'll exercise that 30-day return policy and sell HD600 to you as damaged (which they kinda are), but I digress...


--------
* Don't get me wrong, Arcam is a good player, for example, it is clearly more detailed and has nicer bass and midrange than say my home SD9200 (which used to retail at around 2k USD as well). But SD9200 plays DVDs and is pretty good at that too, and also supports DVD Audio if I'm to ever find any discs that I would be interested in in that format, so I'm planning to keep it at least for that.
 
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lextek

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Waws that the European voltage model?
 
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lextek

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Was that the European voltage model?
 
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zzz

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Yup. Not a biggie, one can get it modified at EAR for less than 100 USD.
 
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lextek

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ZZZ going for it?
 
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zzz

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Quote:

Originally posted by lextek
ZZZ going for it?


zzz has no clue. he asked Nik tons of questions and made sure Nik knows that zzz is very interested... he also emailed EAR both here and there and is basically sitting here waiting for responses.

[back to fp] All in all, I have no idea. I'd be really interested to hear opinions of people who listened to say both HP4 and Headmaster. I'd be even more interested to listen to both HP4 and Headmaster myself. Preferably using low-impedance headphones. And yes, I don't care about the `value` rating, I know better than buying `value` products these days.

If I end up buying HP4, I'll go to the Analog Room and listen to it side by side with Sugden. If I end up liking Sugden more, I'll practice kicking myself on the head for a while.

That's pretty much all I can say now.
 
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kelly

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zzz

Hey, as long as you've got a source you like, I'm very pro-EAR HP4.


I don't actually know how the impedance differenciated jacks work on the EAR. I presume it's done by transformer. *shrug*
 
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zzz

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Quote:

Dear Sir,
The conversion to to 117volt as in the USA will be £50.oo plus shipping, You could run it off of a step up transformer as long as that transformer is of at least 250 watts. likewise you could do the same for Japan which is 100.Volt and depending on where you live there is either 50 Hz or 60 Hz. Our products are not frequecy sensitive.
Yours Faithfully,
Tim de Paravicini.


BTW, EAR USA performs the conversion for 50 USD. But it seems like I'm not going to need it now anyway.
 
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