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Project Ember Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by razrr1275, Aug 7, 2013.
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  1. Tuneslover
    LOL! Great idea about the Velcro. I don't intend to keep the Vali 2 there for much longer, once I finish my comparisons against the Ember I plan to sell it. Besides 2 amps is more than enough to keep me from getting adequate sleep.
  2. cskippy
  3. Tuneslover
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  4. Tuneslover
    Actually I have decided to keep my Vali2. Put it into my iMac>Bifrost 4490>Audioengine setup. I need to stop buying stuff, I now have 4 separate headphone listening setups!
  5. DavidA
    I think you can never have enough gear, LOL, but I only have 3 setups
  6. Tuneslover
    I also have a home theatre receiver plus two 2-channel speaker setups...naturally all with headphone outputs, but I only use headphones on the home theatre setup after my wife goes to bed while I'm watching TV.
  7. timjclark

    I just purchased a used Ember 2.1 with a handful of tubes (6n6p, 5814, 6n2p and 6dj8). I'm combing through this thread - I'm somewhere in the 60's at this point.

    In trying these tubes this week I'm not hearing much of a difference and I'd to get your input. My headphones are Koss ProDJ200's. These have served me fine for the past two years and I'm generally a fan of Koss stuff as I'm a native to Milwaukee. These phones are 38 ohm with 99db SPL. What settings should I be making to the Ember to best suit this headphones? From the reading, it seems like there is lots of love for the 6dj8 (mine is a GE with chrome top). The only big difference I can tell between them is that the 5814 is really sensitive to when I tap the Ember or when plugging in the headphones it sends a ping through the headphones.

    So why did I buy the Ember anyway? I jumped on the massdrop order for HD6xx's (est. delivery Dec 2017) and I've been wanting to explore headphone amps for a while and once I started reading this thread, G1217's website and swapping some emails with Jeremy, I knew this was the direction for me. And then last weekend there was this used one on ebay that I won.

    If there is a better thread or specific post which answers this, point me in the right direction.

    Thank you all for the amazing amount of information in this thread.
  8. DavidA
    Welcome to the Ember club. I haven't heard a Koss ProDJ200 so I don't know anything about their sound signature but the HD6XX will be well served by the Ember. I've yet to find a tube that is as prone to ringing like you describe, guess I've been lucky so far with my small collection:
    Tubes-1.jpg Tubes-2.jpg
    One thing I would recommend is to get some Deoxit Gold or Red to clean the pins of the tubes.
    peter123 likes this.
  9. Tunkejazz
    I would choose low output impedance. You can test with bypassing the input caps too. Those headphones have quite low impedance, I am not sure how well they perform with the Ember. The hd6xx is the benchmark used to design this amp and it should pair very well.

    I have never tried Koss headphones. With my hd650 and he400i I can tell appart tubes from different families. All those tubes are fine in my opinion. In my experience the sound really changed for good when I started to use 6SN7 and 6J5 tubes with Ember. Both need adaptors. The main difference with the tubes you mention are a bit better stagging (bigger) and more clarity in my opinion. Bass was also a bit more extended. Note that changing headphones has a lot larger influence than changing tubes.

    My tip: if you want to try something different you could try to source the 6sn7 adapter from Jeremy and give a try to a 6sn7 tube (e.g, ken Rad 6sn7gt or Raytheon 6sn7gt with flat plates and support rods). If you don't notice much difference with your HD6xx then perhaps you could settle for a while with those tubes and try to train a bit your ears.

    The designer of Ember does not recommend spending a fortune in tubes...they have a relatively moderate effect compared to other elements in the chain :)
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    DavidA likes this.
  10. timjclark
    That's a fantastic collection of tubes! And I just bought the same storage case this week for my Hot Wheels - another more modest hobby of mine. :grinning: :red_car:

    It is not so much ringing actually - its just really sensitive to any shock waves. It's no big deal.
  11. timjclark
    I do have it on low output impedance (those are the ones facing outward on the sides, right?). The middle setting takes away any background noise, but on the low setting it is such a minor amount, I'm fine with it.

    I have bypassed the input caps just for the "purity" of it all. I don't think I heard any difference. With my tubes, with it bypassed I hear a tad of scratchiness when changing the volume as expected. Again, it's so minor it does not matter to me.

    I do plan to try the 6SN7 adapter and tubes down the road a bit. SO. MUCH. FUN.

    A very interesting thing about my headphone listening, is that my vintage Pioneer SX-727 holds its own VS the Ember II thus far. Again, this is with my Koss hp which may only take me so far... It's a long wait for the HD6xx's until December.

  12. Tunkejazz
    According to the designer, if you don't hear a difference the tube has very low grid leakage (which I guess is a good thing!).
  13. timjclark
    Thank you for that link - good stuff! I've only tried 2 of my 4 tubes since making this change.

    Oh hey - here's a practical question that since I'm new to rolling that I have (and I don't recall seeing any comments on this in the 84 pages of this thread), are there any rules of thumb I should be following when wanting to swap tubes? Namely, how long after I power down should I wait before pulling the tube? If the tube is warm but not hot, go for it? Any other tips for a newbie?
  14. richard51
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
  15. Bren Arden
    Hello all,
    I ordered a project ember ii and am awaiting delivery. I plan tot use it as a preamp aswel as a headamp. Can anyone tell me how the outputresistors and tube gain affect the preamp outputs? It wil function as a preamp into a 36dB gain poweramp (job 225) so i need the preamp gain tot be as low as possible. I dont want to be operating between 6oclock and 8oclock volume setting for pre and alot higher for headphones, accidents will happen. DAC is a violectric V850. I want to use the ember to learn about tubes and rolling for flavours. Figure out what i like and dislike. Also does the pre out have some form of dc-protection, since job 225 is DC coupled?
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