EAR HP4 questions
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freethetree

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Ok so ive got a chance to buy an EAR HP4 for a decent price (progressively getting less decent every day with the damn USD loosing value) and im 99% sure I want it.

How do you guys like this beauty with your Grados? Id be using it with RS1s, SR225s, and maybe HP1000s later if I can find a pair for a decent price. In the future I might pick up some K1000s (liked em with the EAR V20), CD3000s (liked em), ER4s and/or DT880s (out of curiosity). But for a while id be using it exclusively with Grados. A long while? Who knows, but none the less how it sounds with them is very important. Grados make me smile
.

Also this is a 240v model. How easy would it be to do the conversion to 120v? Ive heard Tim de Paravicini charges a good amount of money for this fairly simple procedure so id rather figure something else out.

If I chose to use a plug in external voltage convertor instead doing it internally would it have a noticeable sonic impact? And where could I find a good one?

Thanks for taking the time to read this.
 
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zzz

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Quote:

Also this is a 240v model. How easy would it be to do the conversion to 120v?


http://nameless.ca/stash/hp4/mod-process.html

can't say much about it and grados. being not so happy about its performance with w2002, I ended up picking up some staxes and in a little while just had to get the omegas. so hp4 had to go.
 
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Hirsch

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I used the process zzz posted (thanks again, zzz!). It really is that simple. Disconnect two wires and make one solder connection. EAR charges about 35 GBP, which is not awful, but a completely unnecessary expense.

I've used the HP4 with the RS-1 and the HP-1. Pure heaven with the RS-1, but I'm not as impressed by its combination with the HP-1. I'm also sure that it's the particular tube set that I'm using. It's not that the HP-1 sounds bad...it's good. However, I've been tubing the EAR for the R10 (and got great RS-1 performance as a bonus), while I've been using the HP-1 as my reference for tubing the ZOTL. The difference shows.
 
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kelly

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The RS-1 was the headphone HeadRoom had on the EAR at the WOH tour--the only place I've gotten to hear the amp so far. The RS-1 was a little too bright for me still but then I thought the CD player they had was a little bright on all the amps in the high end rack. For me, I liked the HP4 more with the HD600/Cardas which I could just barely make reach. That, I dug quite a bit.
 
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freethetree

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zzz- Thanks for the site! Wow that looks really easy. Im sorry the HP4 thing didnt work out for you. Ive heard the Omega IIs before and they just didnt groove enough for me (granted it wasnt the best of listening environments). I guess if the source had been different my opinion might have been different.

Hirsch - Thats exactly what I wanted to hear
. The HP4 is a little big to be riding around with but for this amp I think I could make an exception. From searching the archives looking for info on the HP4 I saw that youve owned a bunch of amps. What would you say was the best match for the RS1s? The 300SEI and Melos are kinda too big so I was thinking along the lines of a rolled EMP (perfect size) or EAR+ kit with upgraded internals (decent size). I dont think they stand a chance though. From reading lots of reviews I get the impression that the Zotl and RKV dont like RS1s. Have you ever heard the Holmes-Powell? RS1+DCT-2 made the most beautiful music I have ever heard. If the HP4 sounds anywhere near that good ill be in heaven, and I wont have to think about buying any more audio equipment for a long, long time (until of course im done traveling and have a place to put some speakers, god help my bank account).

kelly - I used to have the HD580s and ive heard the HD600s with really nice equipment - Blockhead, HA2, DCT2, etc (HeadRoom room at the Sterophile expo thing in nyc) and I just cant get down to em. Stupid me didnt listen to the HP4 there, if I had I wouldnt need this thread and the HP4 would either be in the mail on its way to my house right now or I would be looking for another amp. I was too busy being seduced by the RS1/DCT2 combo.
 
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zzz

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From my memory of Holmes-Powell, HP4 sounds nothing like DCT-2. HP4 is considerably more neutral with a certain sweetness to the sound that goes away if you have it on for more than a day or two. DCT-2 is very lush and sweet with a whole lot of bass. I remember Wheatfield HA-2 sounding quite similar with RS-1. Cary 300SEI (which I haven't heard) could be the ticket too.

By the way, if you heard Headroom Omegas, you haven't heard them
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freethetree

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Yeah, I didnt think it would sound similar but Im hoping that it sounds (nearly) as good. Just a different flavor of good. I have a feeling Id try to roll it to get it sounding a little more loving but what the hell do I know, ive never even heard the thing. The HA-2 was decent, especially given the price, but to me it was no where near the Holmes Powell. For some reason I get the slight impression that the EMP with some thought out tube rolling could sound like a mini H-P? Not so likely but Ill find out this weekend.

Dont temp me with the 300SEI, that suckers too big! I would love to try out the Zeus too but it has the same problem as the 300SEI.

The Omega IIs were from HeadRoom, so I guess I didnt hear them to their fullest?
 
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zzz

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Quote:

Originally posted by freethetree
I have a feeling Id try to roll it to get it sounding a little more loving but what the hell do I know, ive never even heard the thing.


My experiments with rolling HP4 ended up with understanding that I can get the amp to sound 1) nasal, 2) slightly less nasal. Hirsch was more successful, but he used a better suited headphone during his research. Maybe you'd be able to get the results you want.

Quote:

Originally posted by freethetree
The Omega IIs were from HeadRoom, so I guess I didnt hear them to their fullest?


Not even close. I don't know much about 007t or what Headroom has done to it as I have never had a chance to audition this amp at home, but just as an example people who have heard 007 with 006t said that that combo was lightyears above Headroom's 007/007t demo setup. And I doubt that 007t was such a step-down from 006t.

Omegas with KG amp are again very far sonically from DCT-2, but their sound captivates me even without any of the toobyness. Although I can see that this is not what you seem to be looking for.
 
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freethetree

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The other Stax setups didnt really move me either, so I have a feeling the KG amp wouldnt change that. The Orpheus on the other hand sounded beautiful, but given my mucisal preferences it was more of a novelty sound than something I would want to live with as my only setup.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by freethetree
Hirsch - Thats exactly what I wanted to hear
. The HP4 is a little big to be riding around with but for this amp I think I could make an exception. From searching the archives looking for info on the HP4 I saw that youve owned a bunch of amps. What would you say was the best match for the RS1s? The 300SEI and Melos are kinda too big so I was thinking along the lines of a rolled EMP (perfect size) or EAR+ kit with upgraded internals (decent size). I dont think they stand a chance though. From reading lots of reviews I get the impression that the Zotl and RKV dont like RS1s. Have you ever heard the Holmes-Powell? RS1+DCT-2 made the most beautiful music I have ever heard. If the HP4 sounds anywhere near that good ill be in heaven, and I wont have to think about buying any more audio equipment for a long, long time (until of course im done traveling and have a place to put some speakers, god help my bank account).


I heard the Holmes-Powell at the Headroom World of Headphones Tour. I don't think I got a good enough listen to know what's going on. At that time, the EAR seemed to outperform the Holmes-Powell, but that was likely the environment, or the setup. The ZOTL should have no problem with RS-1's. I'll give it a try and let you know. I use my RS-1 with the Grado HPA-1. Joe Grado made a better amp for the RS-1 than John Grado does, IMO. Best I've heard for the RS-1 is the EAR HP4, so far.
 
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kelly

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I'd really rather believe the Homes Powell had a bad tube or something thank believe Vka really has such horrible taste or that anyone thinks an amp that sounds so bad is worth so much money. Had to be something wrong with it.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
I'd really rather believe the Homes Powell had a bad tube or something thank believe Vka really has such horrible taste or that anyone thinks an amp that sounds so bad is worth so much money. Had to be something wrong with it.


Possibly. However, I didn't say the H-P was bad or horrible. At the beginning of the show, both the H-P and the EAR sounded bad compared to the Wheatfield HA-2. The EAR was all treble with no meat and the H-P sounded murky. Both the H-P and the EAR needed warmup. By the end of the show, the HA-2 sounded veiled compared to either of them. However, even at that time, I preferred the EAR. The H-P had more of a classic tube sound, with an apparent roll-off at the top, while the EAR seemed to achieve a greater degree of transparency, once the midrange and bass filled in properly.

Is the EAR really better? I haven't got the faintest idea. It sounded better to me once under less than ideal conditions. But by no means did the H-P sound bad.
 
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kelly

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Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch
But by no means did the H-P sound bad.


It sounded bad to me when I heard it--at an earlier stop on the tour than you and after the amp had warmed up. Taste, I guess.
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
It sounded bad to me when I heard it--at an earlier stop on the tour than you and after the amp had warmed up. Taste, I guess.


It sounds to me as though Headroom had some real setup issues at various stages of the tour. Aside from the Cary, which was dead, I didn't hear anything really bad at the DC stop. All I heard was either good, or better. Maybe we just got lucky
 
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freethetree

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DCT-2 sounded bad?


Warm up, crap I forgot about that. How long do tube hp amps typically take till theyre soundin sweet?
 
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