Mapletree Ear+ Kit
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Hi Everyone,
Although I have been lurking here at Head-Fi and Headwize
the past several months soaking up as much info as possible
I only now became a registered user.
I recently purchased a set of HD600's and have been searching
for an amp to drive them. I have both a Home Theater system
and a dedicated two channel system in my house but my GF has
decided I need a headphone system for late night listening, claiming
she needs sleep at night.
So anyway, in my search for an amp I decided to build the
Mapletree Ear+ kit. I have just received the kit and am planning
to build it soon. I was prepared to upgrade some of the components
right away but now I think I'll build it stock and then tinker with
it later. The only changes I'm making right off the bat is to use
Silver plated/teflon hook up wire and silver solder instead of the solder and wire
provided in the kit. Although there hasn't been a lot written about
this amp, I know several people on this forum have built the kit
and any suggestions by them is welcome.
So far I'm impressed with Lloyd Peppard of Mapletree, he has quickly answered all
my e-mails and the directions he wrote up for assembling the kit are very impressive.

OK, I'll shut up now.
 
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post-206842
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Budgie

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Let us know how it goes! Especially the mods after you build it.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Very interested to hear your impressions. Lloyd is an outstanding person to do business with... and his assembly manual raises the bar for everyone else.

I didn't get around to modding mine, unfortunately. All sorts of possibilities exist. Installing Doc's C4S load on the 5751 might produce good results. Videoshielded managed to do this on his MG Head with promising results.
 
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SteveA

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Hi!

Good to see another Ear+ underway. I had a lot of fun building mine and as Nick notes, Lloyd's support is truly awesome.

I'm running mine bone stock. I felt that Lloyd did a good job with the budget of this kit, spending where there were gains to be had within the context of the design. This is not to say that tweaking here and there won't provide some incremental improvements! Keep us posted.

I use both HD600s and Grado SR80s with mine. You are gonna love how well the Ear+ drives the Senns!

Very best regards,
Steve
 
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Hi Nick and Steve,

It was the reviews that you two wrote up on the Ear+
that convinced me to go with this amp. I was a little
concerned that maybe it is better suited for Grado's but
Lloyd assured me that it also drives the Senn's very well.

I may like it well enough in stock form that I won't do any mod's.
However, I think that maybe an Alps or Dact volume pot and
a few cap changes would improve it considerably. My problem
is that since this is my first headamp I don't have anything else
to compare it to. I also have a few other 12ax7's laying around
to swap, but unfortunately no Telefunken's or Mullard's.

So the plan is to build it stock, let it burn in for at least a 100
hours, and then go from there.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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If I have given the impression that the Ear+ is a *bad* match with Senns... then I have made a mistake. Senns work very well with the Ear+. My earlier comparisons were based upon testing the Ear+ with Grados, Senns, and A/B against the MG Head OTL. Here's what I found:

If you buy the MG Head OTL:

Senns - excellent
Grados - awful

If you buy the Mapletree Ear+:

Senns - very good
Grados - excellent

Thus my conclusion that the Mapletree Ear+ is the amp for people who prefer the Grado sound and/or need a preamp.
 
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Nick,

I never got the impression from your review that the
Ear+ was a bad match with Senn's, just that you liked
the Grado's with it more. I almost went with the MG Head
instead of the Ear+ but since there may be some Grado's
in my future I thought the Ear + may work out better in the
long run. Also, I like the fact that the tubes used in the Ear+
are relatively easy to find, and that I can build it myself
which may help in doing any mods. I had planned on having
the chassis chrome plated but now after getting it and looking
at it don't think I could get the labels and wood side panels
off without doing damage to them.
I'm not familiar with Bottlehead's CS4 mod you mentioned
but will look into it.
 
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