Trash your SR-71, buy $199 amp at PX
Jul 29, 2008 at 9:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Seamaster

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I had my SR-71 for more than two years untill I got this HCT/fatman/Dared combo. It was priced for $249, then drop down to $199 tax free in a military PX. They are exactly the same thing as fatman, Deard, all made in Korea, just branded differently to rip people off. I did not give any hope about the sound quality at the time, since the price. What the hell, tube amp for $199, and it looks good, so I bought one. Later I regret it so much, I should snach all six boxes!! Shame on me. In box, it comes with headphone amp, Ipod dock, a pair of speakers, speaker cables..... and even a pair of white gloves to handle the EM87x1, ECC85x2 tubes. Hooked up everything, and burn in for about 100 hours, I was not very impressed. It drives K271s and DT880 just fine(no where sounding their best), but the HD650 is in trouble, still veiled, muddy sounding even with Carads cable. Then I decied to roll the tubes. Within a week, stock tubes found themself in the trash, replaced by all three Mullard tubes. first a couple days, all Mullard's hump, but later the amp become quite, humps are gone. This happens every time I swap tubes. By now, Mullards save the amp and HD650, veil is disappeard. Detail, sound stage(not super wide like say SP's), dynamic, attack...... just all good things you can say about HD650. I also tried siemens, they offer cystal clear on top end, not as full body sounding as mullard ECC85 in mid. Mullard is more engagging and musical. I listen to 60% morden rock, 20% classical, 20% any other music that sounds good. yellow lable Mullards are more layback than white lable, white lable offer body and detail at same time. Siemens are very nice if you do not have super detailed source like G08. They are not very good match for bad CD, because all goods and bads in that CD will be in your ear at same time, too detailed is not good I guess. On the other hand, Siemens will clear up any dark sounding system.

setup:
power conditioner
Cardas GR power cable
Meridian G08 (SE output)
Cardas GR RCA
HCT amp with all mullard
HD-650/Cardas

with Mullards in place, this amp will challenge any sub $1000 amp on the market, turly a diamond in the rough.

Now, back to SR-71, which I bought about 3 years ago. 1st thing I notice those two 9v batteris last a long time, 80 or more hours, because I offen fell in sleep with it on all night, took more than two weeks to kill them. The Amp sounds very neutral, it adds no color to your system, it has been mated with many different sources like ipod, vintage sony disman(they sound super even without amp, ipod killer sound wise), computer, car audio, and Meridian G08. Here is a problem: good source like Vintage Disman, I hear almost no difference with/without SR-71 using K271s, little improvement for HD650, source like ipod, computer, car audio, little improvement for K271s, same as using HD650. But improvement the amp made is not worth its asking price, a simple recable for both headphone make sound quality two times better compare with amp. SR-71 almost does nothing for Shure E4c with any source, maybe louder, but Shure E4c can be ear bleeding loud already still sound good without amp. Then the G08 + SR-71 Vs. G08 + HCT/Fatman/Dared Amp, same cables, same headphone,same CDs, same everything else. Threre are just no comparison, it is more like bring knife to a gun fight. HCT+Mullard wins by large margin. I have been helping SR-71 by using best cable like Zu, Cardas, but the veil issue with HD650 is always there with SR-71.

Gone through all this time, my conclusion is:
In most case, any table top amp with good power will eat battery power portable amp for lunch any time, no matter how well the battery power portable amp is designed.


I hope my real life experience and hard typing work will help you on the journey of head-fi !

Enjoy, life is too short to waste
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 9:53 PM Post #2 of 9

Rico67

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i own the same tube amp, and the only thing too say is :
Great Sound.
Really, my best purchase.
I have changed origin speakers for tannoy mini autographand result is Magic.
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 10:15 PM Post #3 of 9

Seamaster

Headphoneus Supremus
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rico67 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i own the same tube amp, and the only thing too say is :
Great Sound.
Really, my best purchase.
I have changed origin speakers for tannoy mini autographand result is Magic.



I will get Single Power balandced Extreme Platinum soon, but this HCT will stay in my bed room. now I am looking for a pair of single drive or horn speakers.
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 10:26 PM Post #4 of 9

penger

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Kinda off topic, but balanced Extreme Platinum? What chassis will even fit such a beast?
tongue.gif
 
Jul 29, 2008 at 10:34 PM Post #6 of 9

Seamaster

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Quote:

Originally Posted by penger /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Kinda off topic, but balanced Extreme Platinum? What chassis will even fit such a beast?
tongue.gif



It will be in a single supra chassis, but with extra insolation for transformers, there is no external power block. V-Cap upgrade, balanced input x2, balanced output x2, no RCAs. also will be my preamp to drive 2 power amp at same time, with 4 speakers. This is my plan so far.
 
Jul 30, 2008 at 6:37 AM Post #8 of 9

ghiberti

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Seamaster /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They are exactly the same thing as fatman, Deard, all made in Korea, just branded differently to rip people off.


isn't it china?
 

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