Open Plan X-Cans - Has It Ever Been Done ?
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Hi,

I currently have the X-Can's V2 and am considering doing something a little more interesting with the design of it.

IMHO the design is really pretty dull, for a valve amp. I have always thought part of the appeal of valves was the ability to see them. So I am considering totally rehousing the valves and fabricating some sort of new case for them. Has this ever been done ? If it has, could you please tell me where so that I can get a few ideas etc. Or if you have any of your own, that would be cool to know to....

Should prove an interesting summer project !!

Thanks, Rick
 
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Actually, in a thread somewhere else on this forum, Nick Dangerous suggested perhaps switching op-amps on the XCansv2 -- which is indeed a novel concept. Though, I worry about one thing if one were to do this. Are the other components in the XCansv2 (a.k.a resitors, caps, buffers, etc.) good enough, as in not too cheap, to make the op-amp swap worthwhile? In other words, I hope the parts inside the XCansv2 aren't similar in quality to those of the RA-1, because if this was the case, an op-amp swap would be a minimal impreovement in sound, no doubt. Or can the caps, resistors, buffers, op-amp be swapped on the XCansv2?

Also, the idea of another housing for the XCansv2 sounds interesting as well. What about a glass-covered wooden or metal box, similar to the Berning MicroZotl?

I wonder if a tweaked-out XCansv2 (with a totally revamped board with Cerafines, Wimas, AD8610's, good tubes) could compete with a META42??
 
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Hirsch

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The improvement in the X-Can with an op-amp swap is not minimal (I just did it this weekend and early results are very good indeed). Putting a socket in is elementary soldering. I'm trying OPA2228's, and the initial result is very promising. The amp is smoother, and, using the Sony CD3000, now produces the deepest bass I've ever heard out of any headphone/amp combo, with both definition and impact that matches many good speakers. Next step is to decide just how far I want to go with this.
 
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Hirsch,

That's very cool that you actually did, and it's reassuring to know that the sound is tweakable for that amp. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences with the swapping/tweaking of the XCAns.

Also, I had another question about the XCansv2 for you in regards to the W100, if you don't mind. I personally think the W100's midrange is a tad recessed at times, and I was wondering if, with the XCans and some magical tube combination, you were able to bring out the midrange into a less recessed state?

Thanks.

Regards, Luke
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Actually, the majority of tweaks that have been disclosed publicly are for the X-Cans V1. Check the DIY section at www.headwize.com for the master thread o' tweaks...
 
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Thanks guys, some good ideas there but I think the OP Amp swap is probably a better idea.

Stripped down the X-Cans last night and fired up the tubes, very disapointing glow actually, like a torch just as the battery is about to fail. I thought they might have quite a bright glow, like a low wattage bulb, but they are rather feeble and IMHO not worth showing off.

About the slight buzzing I'm getting, well I tried swapping the tubes around while I was there, and clearly reseating them. The same buzzing (volume related) is there, and still mainly on the right hand side. So if it's not the tubes, what is it
 
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Hirsch

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For buzzing, first step is to make sure the wire going from the top board to the LED is not too close to active circuitry. I tape it to the side of the X-Can.
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by Hirsch
The amp is smoother, and, using the Sony CD3000, now produces the deepest bass I've ever heard out of any headphone/amp combo, with both definition and impact that matches many good speakers.


Surely this induced you to try the R-10s and.....?????????
 
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Hirsch

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Quote:

Originally posted by daycart1


Surely this induced you to try the R-10s and.....?????????


The X-Can is actually a respectable amp for the R10...but it isn't a ZOTL. The imaging and detail isn't up to that standard, even with the new op-amps. OTOH, there are other op-amp replacements possible, and I suspect upgrading the capacitors might have a beneficial effect if I decide to do any more work in there.
 
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