EC Aficionado (was: The Studio Jr.)

Discussion in 'Eddie Current' started by AppleheadMay, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Jun

    Jun Friend

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    What would be better speakers for aficionado?
    Madisound kit BK-16 with FE 168EZ drivers or Omega Super Alnico Monitors?
     

  2. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    A few of you have asked me about Judi taking deposits. This won't happen until a complete unit is laid out and built with chassis painted and silk-screened. Judi wants everyone to know exactly how it will look and where knobs, switches, and jacks are laid out before taking any money. It will be soon though. The metal is already made.

    IMG_20170607_120326.jpg
     
  3. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    @brencho stopped by to my place today and I brought him over to EC labs.
    IMG_20170607_120834.jpg
    Here he is above with the SUSVARA. He also tried HD600, HD800 (bone stock), Grado RS-1, LCD2r2, and his Code-X.
     
  4. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Did you get Code-X measurements by chance?
     
  5. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    YES!
     
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  6. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

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    Great hanging out again @Marvey ! It was a real fucking treat to visit EC Labs and meet Craig and Judi --who's cool blue eyes will definitely penetrate your soul-- thanks for taking me over there. Loved seeing partial chassis and parts everywhere for lots of beloved amps, including an old Moth amp, EC Super 7, BA, Studio, Zeeds, BW1 and 2, 4-45, you name it.

    Especially cool was getting to listen to the Aficionado. We listened with my Code-X, Hifiman Ed $6k, hd800 (UNmodded), hd600, and even some usually unlistenable Grados. My general impression goes something like this "Jesus FC this amp is magical, spooky, fast, clean as cool mountain water, plenty powerful, and I love it." It's basically my favorite headphone amp of any I've heard. In fact, I was disappointed only in my inability to try to not love it. I wanted not to love it. Now I have to ask myself where I'm going to come up with the funds. It has that euphonic, spooky holographic 3d feeling of the ZDS, but makes the ZDS feel a bit slow and veiled. This amp has the best of the ZDS, with the fast clean power of the Studio but without the Studio's tonality. This balance is perfect for me, and I suspect, a lot of you. It drove the Code-X beautifully, and even drove the Hifiman $6k easily (and it's less efficient than the Code-X). To be clear, the Ed $6k was bright and lean out of a solid state amp at Marv's place out of speaker taps, but here it felt right on the money in terms of speed, clarity and fullness/musicality (but that headphone is still crazy overpriced, more on that later in its dedicated thread). On the Aficionado, the hd600 had a wonderfully enveloping soundstage, and felt more resolving and faster than I've ever heard it. Even the hd800, despite it's usual flaws (to me), was actually pleasant out of this amp, and that's unmodded. We didn't have a Utopia on hand but that's probably for the best, cause I would have tried to pick up the Aficionado and loose cables and transformers and power supply bits and run out the door with it.

    So for my hard earned shekels, there's no amp I'd rather have over the Aficionado, especially when it's competition (in terms of prowess) cost many times more (other 2a3 guys, WA33, Tungsten my puckered ass) and don't do as much as well as this amp. Wish I had more time with it, and a chance to compare it directly with others, but at this point I don't feel like i need to.

    p.s., that look on my face in Marv's pic above is what I think the weight of 6k dollars should look like.

    p.s., not the final physical form but here's what I listened to:
    IMG_4994.JPG
    IMG_4995.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
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  7. foo_me

    foo_me Friend

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    Oh man, @brencho I realize that you could've kept the utopias for another day to bring with you! Then again, kinda glad...seems like you might've changed your mind ;)

    Your description of the aficionado is how I think of my 2a3 mkiv. EC amps are very special...you should get on the list for one!
     
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  8. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    ROFL imagining brencho absconding with an armful of amp and power supply, getting about 50 feet away, then self-tasering himself when he touches a still-charged PS cap. Craig walks over, shaking head and muttering "second time this week somebody's tried that..."
     
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  9. Galm

    Galm Friend

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    Doing a total inverse on my set up here. Planning on go from the gorgeous WA7 Fireflies that are admittedly overpriced (though I'll still say pretty good with the right tube roll) to hopefully one of these sweet machines.

    Unless Marvey recommends otherwise I'll probably place a preorder in the next several weeks. Seems like the second batch will be well timed with when I'm looking to buy.

    From a Cayin iDac-6, Wa7s, and HD800SDR to Yggy, Aficionado, and Utopias is this summers plan lol. Stupid Utopias... Sounding all awesome and shit. I was initally planning on just one thing (probably Yggy).
     
  10. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    I visit this thread daily just to re-view the @Marvey posting of photo of unfinished Aficionado case.
    a few glass questions to verify/ask:

    0. are any tubes provided when Aficionado ships?

    1. driver tube is just a single 2c51/396A/6N3P correct?
    if so, awesome! no need to hunt for expensive matched pairs.

    2. the two 2A3 tubes are power output tubes?
    will assume matching these help, but tube rolling amongst brands may not significantly affect sonics?

    3. the tube family on the external, sidecar power case is a ?

    waiting for EC amps is such bliss.....
     
  11. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    I think a cheapass driver tube might ship with it. I am not sure. 2A3s will definitely have to be user provided.

    2c51/396A/6N3P is correct. Good gain matching between L and R not a bad idea.

    2A3s are the output tubes. Matching gain would not be a bad idea.

    The sidecar is the power supply with rectifier tube.
     
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  12. Galm

    Galm Friend

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    Oh huh... Will you/someone make a guide for tubes you've tried and what you think works well?

    I've tube rolled, but not with those sockets so it'd be cool if we could get your impressions of what you enjoy. I'd kinda just like a decent (and decently priced lol) group of tubes to just start with and then eventually roll up from there. Because I don't know about others but this'll be my only amp when I pick one up, so I'll want to buy tubes blind without needing to change too much. Being in the midwest sucks for trying stuff out lol.
     
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  13. JoshMorr

    JoshMorr Friend

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    Im a total tube novice. I know 2a3's are at the top of the food chain in terms of sound, output and cost, but what are some recommendations from the more veteran rollers? I assume reading up on the studio will give some insight into the 2a3's, but is there some common good bang for the buck tubes that could be recommended here that keep the euphoric but detailed sound? Looking for something thats high in G Factor but wont break the bank.

    Any sense in rolling driver tubes, are these typically left alone? Will they provide significant differences or generally sound similar?
     
  14. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    Here is a excerpt from the EC site on tubes:

    What do you think of the bulbous wolf-penis shaped Le Fevre XTC1983 tube from 1919?

    We recommend going to www.changstar.com or www.head-fi.org for tube advice. Tubes are a very personal choice.

    With the understanding that tubes are very much a personal thing. This is what I use. I make life very simple for myself:
    • WE396A: Western Electric 'nuff said
    • America vintage 2A3s. They all sound very close to each other. KenRad, RCA, etc: warm up them, or strident when cold. Rich and detailed.
    Other selections:
    • Psvane 2A3-T-Mark II. Smooth, but not as harmonically rich or detailed as the American vintage tubes. Baby butt smooth has its appeal.
    • Psvane WE275: most similar to American vintage sound, not quite as good, a bit drier, but can get them brand new, which may be reassuring to some people.
    • Psvane WR2A3: bloomy, a touch of 300B sound.
    • Shuguang 2A3B: not bad for cheap, but prices been creeping up.
    • Shuguang-2A3C: romantic and lush, I hate them. Lots of people love them though.
    • EML 2A3 mesh: more "solid-state" sounding compared to Chinese stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  15. bigfatpaulie

    bigfatpaulie Friend

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    Any chance we can get a list of where everyone is a la Studio? And/or an updated timeline?
     
  16. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

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    I'd ask Judi. I don't have the list.
     
  17. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    Is there anything EC makes that isn't gorgeous?
     
  18. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Black Widow v2 font choice.

    My Super 7 looks like sheets of metal slapped together. The inside looks like a rat's nest.

    For the sound, I would listen to EC stuff even if it was a pile of shit in a leaky bag.

    (I actually really appreciate the straightforward, functional, no-frills design from EC.)
     
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  19. jexby

    jexby Raised by Carthusian Monks - Friend

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    dammit, was just typing the same thing + faceplate overlay.
     
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  20. The Alchemist

    The Alchemist MOT: Schiit - Here to help!

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    I'd love to just hear one much less own one (I don't think I could ever afford an EC unless I win the lottery)
     

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