ECP Audio T4 Headphone Amplifier

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by TomB, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Allright, I'll keep it at its current height.

    Shipping via FedEx/DHL/UPS is fast.

    Shipping via USPS things can sit months in customs. Then to have them move on you have to deal with Italian customs. So its not all great :confused:
     
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  2. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Clearly, someone in the Italian Customs office dicked the dog here. It's supposed to get a hold for 3 weeks, lost, found, lost again, found, opened to "ensure package durability", and returned to sender for insufficient of postage.

    Truly disappointing.
     
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  3. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    I once sent something to Italy uninsured.

    Only once ;)
     
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  4. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    @Elnrik hits close enough to home my finger hovered on the dislike button longer than I'd like to admit :p

    BTW I don't think FedEx goes through Italian custom proper at all.

    I got the mail with the import duty when it was still at Paris-CDG airport - so I can blame the french for the 498€ import fee - so they somehow get to do all EU imports in one place i guess.

    Anything DHL will sit at Milan - Linate customs for a day, but they let me pay import via PayPal, which is nice.
     
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  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    I need to start intentionally looking at the top of the case more.

    I'm so used to the red light on the front panel of the Af, or the obvious glowing exposed tubes of the Makoyi, that I find myself leaving the T4 on when I sleep more often than I'd like ...
     
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  6. BillD

    BillD Rando

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    Impressions anyone?
     
  7. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    If the T4 is even better than the L-2... Holy crap.

    IMG_20190419_184752.jpg
     
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  8. BillOhio

    BillOhio Friend

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    You're not grooming your kid to be a Hanzo main, are you?
     
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  9. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    ECP Audio T4 with Mullard CV4024 is another exceptional auditory delight. Think emotional immersion of oil paintings vs instant gratification of photography. Experienced listeners will understand.

    DSC_0162_small.jpg
     
  10. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Finally have my rig back together and was about to start posting some impressions: Is the single-malt a requirement?
     
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  11. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

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    Yes, yes it is.
     
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  12. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    What about the Phonitor?
     
  13. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    The Phonitor is a good, clean solid state amp - and the crossfeed is really excellent - but I doubt it's going to convert any tube-lovers to the dark side.
     
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  14. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    Exactly. It's the best solid state and I've spent time with, but I've barely used it since the L-2 arrived.

    It's probably better than the L-2 for certain headphones, but it's less involving with the HD650s.
     
  15. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    I just like the stack. It's so clean!
     
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  16. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Ok, I think I'm ready...

    [​IMG]

    I'm going in with Brimar 12AT7s for the tubey goodness. After the alcohol kicks in I'll switch to some older Mullards.

    I'm listening with the wife tonight, which explains the extra bottle. Yeah.
     
  17. BillD

    BillD Rando

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    And???
     
  18. Broberto

    Broberto Acquaintance

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    I know it is still new-ish, but is the plan for the Walnut X to ultimately be available on Beezar at some point? Or should interested parties contact you / Doug one-off to get in on production?
     
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  19. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    They should be at Beezar as a stocked item at some point.
     
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  20. ogodei

    ogodei Friend

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    Form factor on the T4 makes it work very well as a desktop amp: 8" Deep + cable jacket room, 12" wide, about 3" high to top of amp + top of the tubes. Power supply is built into the single chassis and the build quality is "typical" for an ECP design, which is to say excellent. I think this is the best build and materials quality I have seen at this price point. This is my favorite amp design from ECP yet, is clear step up from the T3 and discarding the somewhat awkward external power brick of the L2.

    Tubes are 85% covered inside the case so there's little chance of accidentally burning yourself, pets or children but the downside is you need to take the top off to tube swap.

    My testing chain was Jriver 23 with WASAPI driver over USB to Singxer 1, I2S into a Kitsune Spring DAC, balanced to a Hattor passive pre-amp then into the amp. The amp is designed for 12AY7 or 12AT7 tubes with a note that the 12AT7 should produce slightly higher distortion. My amp arrived with JJ Electronics 12AT7s\ECC81s and listened with those or old Mullard & Brimar ECC81 Black Plates. I just got some 12AY7s in and will be listening with those as well.

    With the T7 tubes the amp has good speed but is not extremely fast \ analytical. There's plenty of power for most of the headphones I tried with it. Bass is controlled and deep but not ultra-tight. The amp very slightly highlighted mids (just a tiny touch) with good top end extension. On the Senn HD580s, HD600s & HD650s the amp paired well and drove them all well for what I expect from these cans. Bass was tight but not extremely impactful. On the Senn HD800s there was plenty of power and a wide, shallow sound stage per usual. Good speed and dynamic range but I wouldn’t put this into the 'best amps' list for the 800s. The ZMF Aeolus was a good pairing as was the Eikon to a lesser extent for me. I probably listened most to this amp with the K1000s, not my go-to headphone but it just was doing it for me.

    The Focal Stellia sucked with this amp, even on the Low-z setting. That could be expected as the amp is optimized for higher ohm headphones like the Sennheisers. Not enough power to drive the HE6 well but again, fully expected.

    Overall I would categorize the amp as balanced, polite with touch of warmth in the mids, silky smooth with good extension up top and plenty of power for most phones. Relaxed timbre and speed compared to ultra-analytical SS amps. There was practically no noise floor with any 300 Ohm headphone I tried on it. This is a great value at its price, well balanced, and should pair well with a wide variety of headphones. A step up from the L2 which I've listened to quite a bit, but I haven't heard the T3 for a comparison.
     
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