ECP DSHA3F Ravenswood 3F

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Carlos CPA

    Carlos CPA Almost "Made"

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    @dsavitsk, would you expect any difference in performance for the amp between having the volume turned all the way up (corresponding to about 5:00 on a clock’s face) and having the volume turned to unity gain (corresponding to about 2:30 on a clock’s face)?

    I am basing my statement regarding unity gain on prior posts in a different thread by @atomicbob. Like Bob, I have a GoldPoint balanced attenuator that I can place in the signal path between my dac and the DSHA-3F. Just trying to determine which volume level to set the amp to for optimal results.

    (Edited for grammar/syntax.)
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  2. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    The attenuator is after the transformer, and consequently it sees the entire input signal. That's why reducing the volume prior to sending it to the amp can be beneficial.

    I don't want to overstate the benefit - these transformers are very good, and they do not really start to show much distortion until the signal is quite high. So it makes more of a difference with a really hot source.
     
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  3. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    The difference is minimal. You would only be able to detect, or even measure a difference in an extreme case with a hot source that was just on the edge of causing issues.
     
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  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    For some reason I read your original statement as "inversely proportional" instead of "proportional". Doh
     
  5. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    I have received several emails asking about the status of the 3F. Specifically, whether it is discontinued forever. I thought I should post an update somewhere, and here seems like a reasonable place.

    The Ravenswood 3F is not discontinued. However, because the amplifier is unnecessarily complicated to assemble, and because my metal finisher closed up shop, I am working on changes to make it easier (and less expensive) to produce. The current plan is for the circuit to stay (more or less) the same, but for the casework to change. This should result in a lower price and a potentially faster delivery time.

    I am unsure of the timeline for being ready to accept orders, but I hope to have things ready as quickly as possible.
     
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  6. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Doug,

    I sent one of those messages

    Do you have an idea of how much cheaper the amp will be ( approximately of course)

    In any case I'm ready with my deposit. Not going to miss out on this again!
     
  7. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    I don't know, and until I work out more details about new case costs, I am hesitant to speculate too much. Suffice it to say that I am shooting for it to round down to $2K rather than up to $3K.
     
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  8. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Thanks for the response and that sounds great, will be accessible to a lot more people at that kind of price point.
     
  9. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Doug,

    Any update on this?
     
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  10. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    Not really. Everything is pretty slow right now as everyone is short staffed, so it's taking longer than hoped.
     
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  11. etherealsound

    etherealsound Rando

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    Does this possible reduction in price apply to the dsha4 as well?
     
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  12. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    Not likely. The reduction in cost has to do with a simplification of manufacturing that is dependent upon doing a larger run. The 4, being done one at a time, does not have that benefit.

    More importantly, my metal finisher went out of business. They were unique in that they were willing, and able, to do very small amounts of finishing and anodizing. Additionally, until the pandemic slows considerably, I have lost access to the laser I used for labeling. So until I find a replacement for all of that, one-offs are on hold.
     
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  13. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    question... I know the 3F wants balanced... can the 3F be driving by the Sonic Frontiers SFD-1 Mkii SE+? I know the SFD has xlr outs, but I've seen it described as a single ended DAC. I just want to be sure.

    Thanks
    -----------------Edit----------------

    NVM, I should have read back in the thread first. I had completely forgotten about the prior SE vs Bal discussion that happened last year. Happy to be reminded that SE isn't a problem
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  14. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    Some preliminary comparisons of the ECP 3F when compared to the Pendant. Note that I've only been using these with a pretty cheap dac ( Geshelli Enog Pro 2), though I'm pretty confident even so, that the DSHA-3F is the superior amplifier. I will post a complete review of this amp with spider charts and pictures once I've received my Soekris 2541. Probably worth noting that I've only been listening to this for two days, though I am pretty confident that this amp is something special with the Auteur. On the whole, I'm extremely impressed.

    In favor of the ECP DSHA-3F:

    -If there is one word to describe this amp, it is "effortless". It never sounds as if anything is out of place, and despite the sense of quickness and pop that many have noted with this amp, it never seems as if it is trying to make things edgier or more quick than they actually are. And indeed, despite the wealth of detail presented with this amp, it never feels as if this detail is being shoved in your face. Compared to the Pendant, then, this has a notably smoother and more fluid sound, without being any slower. In comparison, the Pendant sounds like its trying too hard to hit you with both slam in the bass and information in the upper treble.

    -As a result of the above, the 3F is a less fatiguing listen, despite hardly sounding "relaxed".

    -Superior sense of stage, and much improved layering ability compared to the Pendant. More "holographic" and tube-like than the tube amp!

    -Better overall sonic cohesiveness. Despite excellent separation, everything sounds as if it is part of the same whole. Pendant sounds a tad disjointed in comparison.

    -A step up in clarity, micro-detail, and overall resolve.

    -Far better microdynamics, and a much more nuanced overall presentation. This surprised me, as I often heard that the DSHA-3F has something "relentless" in its presentation, but in comparison to the Pendant, it is the more subtle, less incisive sounding amplifier.

    -Macrodynamics handled with more -ease-, although not necessarily "Better". Although macro-dynamic shifts are somewhat more easily discerned with this amp in the mid-range and upper frequencies, as are rapid starts and stops in volume in general, bass macrodynamics seem to lag somewhat behind. This makes the amp sound very light on its feet, in comparison to the Pendant, which sounds weightier and more grounded.

    In Favor of the Pendant:

    -Better sense of weight and solidity to the mid-range. At times, the DSHA-3F's midrange sounds just a tad recessed in comparison to the frequency extremes, which results in a sound in which certain mid-range elements are not quite as present as one wants them to be. The Pendant does not have this issue, and instead the mid-range has a great sense of saturation. As far as FR goes, this manifests itself most in a sense of slight "hollowness" to vocals on the ECP DSHA-3F, as if the fundamentals of the vocals are a bit cut out. But this problem can be fixed, on the Auteur, by swapping to Auteur Lambskin rather than Eikon Suede pads - the issue is that I find that Eikon Suede pads to provide a more engaging overall presentation, even with some of its vocal issues.

    -The bass on the Pendant is better textured, slightly better extended, and also slams notably harder, not just because of its increased quantity but also because there is just a more visceral sense of bass macrodynamics. "Slamheads" might very well prefer the Pendant for this reason, even though it is technically inferior to the ECP DSHA-3F in a lot of key respects. I'm not sure if the macrodynamics are actually "better" here, but they definitely seem more "present".

    -As a result of the two points noted above, the Pendant is a more powerful, grippy sounding amplifier than the ECP DSHA-3F. There is a sense of dynamism, punch, and power that the ECP DSHA-3F lacks, perhaps because it is nimbler and lighter on its feet. This is probably also related to the Pendant's more intimate, in-your-face staging.

    -There's no denying it: the Pendant has just a bit more tube magic within the mid-range in particular. Vocals and guitars sound fuller and have somewhat more rounded, rich textures, even though they are microdynamically flatter than the ECP DSHA-3F.

    -Instrument images are a bit larger and more full on the Pendant, contributing to the intensity of its presentation. However, it is not as coherent and natural sounding over the entire frequency range: compared to the DSHA-3F, it actually can sound just a tad disjointed.

    Conclusion

    Overall, I prefer the Auteur with the 3F than with the Pendant by a pretty big margin. More synergistic pairing. However, I think the final verdict is still out for me until I hear the Pendant with something like the ETA Genesis or a Focal (And I get my Soekris 2541 in).
     
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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  15. DJ XtAzY

    DJ XtAzY Acquaintance

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    I can totally agree with those two points! Never did I expect an amp can improve that much on layering and separation. I can listen to this amp for hours without feeling fatigue, and with any of the ZMF pads.

    By the way, which transformer core do you have installed in your 3F? I haven't listened to the Auteur yet, but at least for my VC, I find that the nickel transformer has a pretty nice slam (I can also hear a nice nice sub-bass rumble at the tail end of a kick drum) and more warmth, compared with the amorphous transformers, which gave me a really nice airy presentation near the top end and made the VC even less congested. Although I never heard any tube amps yet, I am hoping be able to try out some amps with even harder slams.
     
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  16. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    I'm using the Nickel Transformers. The tonality is pretty perfect for me, though I was lucky enough to get one of the amps with both transformers so I am going to try swapping to the amorphous sometime + lambskin pads sometime. Perhaps that will be the "Goldilocks" setup, though again, I haven't tried this with a higher-end dac yet!
     
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  17. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    Day 2 of listening, and the 3F's advantages are becoming somewhat less clear (perhaps as "new toy syndrome" fades off). Though it undoubtedly has superior clarity and layering, the Pendant has a magic to the way it resolves mid-range textures in particular: Voices, guitars, and pianos have more saturated and convincing textures, making me think that the Pendant has a better handle on "micro-detail" than the 3F. In Otis Redding's rendition of “a change is gonna come”, the vocals sound notably more tactile and fleshy than those of the 3F, which in comparison makes the vocals sound extra-ordinarily clear but also somewhat ethereal and weightless. Although it is easier to discern each individual word spoken on the 3F, the Pendant gives a better sense of the deep fundamentals of the vocals, making them sound more realistic, soulful, and emotional. My connection with this kind of music is just a tad more immediate with the Pendant.

    The Pendant's bass undoubtedly digs deeper and hits harder. The kick of a kick drum is more immediately visceral and slamming here, while the 3F is much more reserved with this. Despite the Pendant's sense of slam, though, bass is excellently controlled and never sounds as if it is bloated, even though it is very -active-.

    Though the 3F reproduces finer gradations of volume, the Pendant is more up-front about the way it presents dynamic contrast and has more flair and vibrancy to its overall presentation (think Auteur (3F) vs. Aeolus (Pendant)). Think of @Hands metaphor of the Aeolus as an OLED with the "naughty" settings on: if the 3F is more resolving of fine differences in volume and resolution, the Pendant nonetheless has a higher contrast ratio at first listen. I find that this element of the Pendant actually matches up quite well with the Auteur, which can occasionally sound somewhat sedate and dull if not properly driven.

    The 3F is more "Refined" sounding, and overall, it actually has a smoother timbre than the Pendant. But as a result, the Pendant is occasionally better at displaying the "grittiness" of various recordings. On "Wonderful World", performed by Otis Redding, the sense of raspiness in Otis Redding's voice is better portrayed by the Pendant, and the vocals sound much larger and are projected further forwards toward you, while on the 3F it is easier to follow the nuances of the vocals over time but at any given time-splice they have less filled-out textures.

    The 3F is better at presenting a unified sonic portrait of the music, with each of the musical elements layered in a pleasing way. But on the Pendant, individual instruments pop out more with greater flair, contributing to a more "fun" presentation. On Otis Redding's performance of "Rock me Baby", the horns sound as if they pop out of the soundstage on the Pendant, whereas they stay integrated within the rest of the music on the 3F.

    I'm increasingly impressed by the Pendant. I think this amp is definitely a sleeper, and after comparing with the 3F, I'm actually more confident that I made a good purchase here, despite doing so primarily from the advice I received from @Phantaminum and @johnnypaddock. I think that technically speaking, 3F still has it beat, but I increasingly feel which you prefer is going to be a matter of what sonic presentation you prefer more than anything else. The real test will be once the Soekris 2541 rolls in and these amps can show off how they really scale...
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  18. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Well said... different but roughly equal. I feel the same way about my 3f and Mogwai SE.
     
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  19. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    Thank you for very detailed, insightful impressions. These are the same reasons I keep DSHA-3F and EC Af (with well-chosen tubes) side by side. I prefer DSHA-3F for long listening of spacier ECM jazz and minimalism, but I prefer Af for grittier acoustic fare, whether jazz, blues, West Africa, or orchestral.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  20. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

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    ECP DSHA 3F: An Old SBAF Favorite takes on a Newcomer

    D7585975-7D9C-464B-8228-703BCBEFAB32.jpeg


    Introduction and Context (Feel free to skip)
    Ever since I decided that the Auteur was, for all intents and purposes, my favorite dynamic driver headphone (Yes, I’ve tried the Verite and the Focals), I’ve been looking to get the “goldilocks” setup which will bring out its best qualities while tamping down some of its most notable weaknesses. To me, this means finding an amp that will give the Auteur better macrodynamics, bass punch, transient speed, and note contrast, while keeping its superlative timbre and sense of naturalness. The two amps I found myself gravitating toward were the ZMF Pendant and the ECP DSHA-3F: I first bought the Pendant, largely because I could not find a DSHA-3F and was somewhat wary of solid states. I was exceedingly happy with the Pendant, but when I saw a 3F for sale at a fantastic price, I couldn’t resist and grabbed hold of it.

    I’ve already made some posts comparing these two pieces of gear, but this is the first time I am going to do so in a more systematic, focused way. I intend this to be both a review of the 3F and a comparison between it and the Pendant. For full transparency, I listened with the following gear:
    • Pi2aes into Enog Pro 2
    • I used a BAL to SE convertor into Pendant
    • ECP DSHA-3F with both Nickel and Amorphous transformers (I preferred Nickel in most cases)
    • ZMF Pendant with Genalex 12au7, Tungsram EL84, and either Mullard or Siemens Rectifier tube (generally preferred Mullard).
    • Cocobolo Auteur with perforated Auteur Lambskin and Eikon Suede pads (Generally preferred Eikon Suede).
    Because I had to change the cable on my Auteur to switch between these two amps (I used ZMF OFC cables on each), I generally would spend hours listening to one amp and then listen to many of the same songs on the other to compare. In this review, I’ll consider each of the different bands of the frequency response, post a spider chart largely dealing with technicalities and comment on some of them that I thought better illuminate the differences between the amplifiers, and then write about the general presentation of each amp before concluding by giving my personal verdict. If you want a TLDR, scroll down to "General Presentation" and "Personal Verdict".

    Finally, please note that I am reviewing these amps with an entry-level dac. Once I receive my Soekris 2541, I am likely going to change this review to reflect whatever differences I hear. However, I wanted to get out my thoughts first, and I'll be sure to make a changelog in the review when I inevitably do make some edits.

    Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

    Bass

    The Pendant is the winner here. Though the ECP DSHA-3F has marginally better bass control, the ZMF Pendant’s bass has a better sense of texture and pitch differentiation, offering a greater degree of realism to the bass presentation (and the bass by no means sounds bloated when paired with the correct dac – however, I would not use the Pendant with something like the Modius or a Bifrost 2 if you can avoid it). Additionally, though the 3F generally deals better with large shifts in volume, rendering them with a greater sense of ease, the Pendant has a more visceral sense of bass macrodynamics and slam.

    Often times, the bass on the 3F feels somewhat restrained and “polite”, perhaps somewhat “recessed” even, while that on the Pendant tends to be more active, energetic, and entertaining. The one advantage the 3F has here is in rendering the transients of bass notes – often times, bass will feel quicker and lighter on its feet, even though it is not as richly textured as that of the Pendant. However, I think that for most of those who are fans of bass, the Pendant will be the superior amp. It has a sense of power and authority to the bass which the 3F does not really approach.

    Mid-range
    This is where things get tricky. The mid-range is the area where it is most clear that the Pendant is a tube amp while the 3F is a solid-state amp. In fact, if I considered only the treble and bass in isolation, I would be hard-pressed to say that the Pendant was any more characteristically “Tubey” sounding than the 3F. But it’s clear that the mid-range of the Pendant is more wetter, more saturated, and, in general, more “alive-sounding”. It also tends to “Stick out” more from the other frequency bands. In “Song for the Asking”, by Simon and Garfunkel, the sense of note contrast between instrumentation and vocals is much more evident on the Pendant, while on the 3F, the presentation in the mid-range is more laid-back and evenly integrated with the rest of the frequency range.

    This leads to an immediately more wowing and pleasing effect on the Pendant, which has a vibrancy and degree of mid-range timbral realism and immediacy that the 3F simply does not possess. But this is not a rout: the 3F hits back with a much greater sense of mid-range transparency. While the Pendant tends to throw mid-range instruments and vocals directly at you, the 3F instead delicately renders them in a space projected further away from you, allowing you to hear further into the fine details of the music. If the Pendant has a more “vibrant” presentation of mid-range instruments with more immediately gripping timbre and transients, the 3F has one that is more fluid and better able to present small nuances in volume. When I speak of the sense of "fluidity" of the 3F in comparison with the less fluid Pendant, I'm trying to get at something similar to the difference between r2r and d/s dacs: the former just have a sound, particularly in the mid-range, that is less choppy and more flowing.

    As a result of all this, The 3F’s mid-range presentation is both more “technical” and more “refined”, but it is also in many respects more “recessed”: on certain albums, like “Otis Blue”, I can find myself cranking up the volume with the desire to hear mid-range instruments occupy a greater place. As I noted in an earlier review, at times the 3F sounds just a -bit- thin in the lower-midrange, which makes some instruments seem to lack the tactility and body that they have on the Pendant. Because of this, the 3F's mid-range might just be less pleasing to some ears than the Pendant's. Please note, however, that I am a mid-head, and so your mileage may very well vary!

    Finally, it is worth noting that though the 3F has more tube “magic” in its mid-range, I can find little to fault with the timbre of the 3F's mid-range. In many respects, it has a more natural, less “up-front” presentation: even though the mid-range timbre is thinner than on the Pendant, it sounds at the same time less edgy and hashy. For sheer fluidity of mid-range presentation, the 3F takes it; but if one wants a mid-range presentation that is more fun, more colored, with a greater sense of body and vibrancy, one should buy the Pendant. I believe that this is a draw.

    Treble

    The 3F wins here – by a good margin. I have never heard any amp present the sheer amount of treble information as the 3F in so natural a manner. The 3F has notably better air in the treble than the Pendant while at the same time sounding less digital and hashy. Though the treble in the Pendant tends to be more bouncy and peaky, it is still considerably less detailed than that of the 3F. As a result, listening to strings on the 3F is simply a delight: the opening treble notes of “To Zion”, by Lauryn Hill, sound notably freer of grain and less digital, while on the Pendant they come across as a little tizzy and ringy.

    The 3F’s ability to render treble notes with a great sense of air, extension, and naturalness has payoffs for the rest of the frequency signature. Instruments in general sound better separated on the 3F and have a much greater sense of residing in an actual space, whereas those on the Pendant sound much more as if they are simply “in your head”. I think this has at least something to do with the sense of air of the treble presentation.

    Spider Graph
    upload_2021-3-2_19-37-32.png

    Macrodynamics: These amps both have excellent macrodynamics. If I was to be more specific, I would say the Pendant has a better sense of macrodynamics and slam in the bass, but that the 3F is just as good at rendering macrodynamic shifts elsewhere in the frequency spectrum.

    Microdynamics: Though these amps are both excellent at rendering subtle nuances in volume, the 3F feels like it digs just a bit deeper here. This is especially apparent with vocals: In Amos Lee’s “Arms of a Woman”, though the voice itself is not as full-bodied, there is a better sense of the subtle changes in his voice on the 3F, while the Pendant tends to be more flat in its presentation.

    Mid-range Realism: Because of the increased tonal density of the Pendant’s mid-range, as well as its greater immediacy, it provides me with a better sense of realism. However, some may prefer the 3F’s presentation here and feel it is more realistic. This is actually the piece of the spider chart I am least sure about!

    Layering/Imaging: The Pendant tends to compress most of the music into a much smaller soundstage, and though it often presents the differences in the timbre between various instruments in a more striking, immediate manner, it fails to layer and image them with as much subtlety as the 3F. In listening to “Pink Slips”, by Okkervil River, there is a better sense of where each instrument resides in space than on the 3F than on the Pendant.

    Soundstage: The Pendant’s stage is bested in both width and depth by the DSHA-3F, -especially- when using the amorphous transformers on the 3F. However, even with the Nickel transformers, there’s not really a contest here. There’s much more of an “out-of-your-head” feeling with the 3F. Its distance, however, also contributes to its more relaxed and less energetic nature.

    Vibrancy/Tonal Contrast and Cohesiveness: I tend to think of vibrancy/tonal contrast in the same way that we think of vibrancy in pictures: a vibrant sonic presentation will tend to make instruments pop out of the soundscape and more clearly highlight their differences. This is one of the biggest differences between these two amps. The Pendant is extremely vibrant, and tends to have exaggerated “macrodetail”, while the 3F has a more traditional, balanced presentation. This can be a fun aspect of the Pendant, but can also be fatiguing and sound somewhat unnatural at times. On the Pendant, it is as if the contrast ratio is constantly amped up 11, which can at times lead to a somewhat disjointed presentation lacking sonic coherency. The 3F does not have this issue, and has more coherency and sense of unity throughout the frequency bands (By this, I mean it does not sound as if the bass is as sharply delineated from the mid-range, and the mid-range from the treble), but as a result is sometimes less engaging.

    Perception of Warmth: The Pendant slightly emphasizes the mid-bass through lower-mids compared to the 3F, leading to a warmer overall sound. This generally makes it more forgiving of older recordings, even though it is overall a more fatiguing amplifier.

    Immediacy of Attack: The extent to which leading edge notes are emphasized. Although the 3F has superb transients and is likely a bit -faster- than the Pendant, the Pendant tends to sound as if the leading-edge of the notes is slightly more present, contributing to a more immediate, direct presentation. Likely related to “Vibrancy”.

    Clarity: The 3F has a clearer, more resolving sound, in the sense that both micro-details are better resolved and it is easier to pick out different bits of musical information when in an analytical mood. The Pendant isn’t exactly a slouch here, but it lags more than a bit behinds the 3F here.

    General Presentation
    The Pendant is the more exciting, grippy, vibrant, colorful amplifier. It makes even fairly poorly recorded music sound entertaining. By contrast, the 3F is the more neutral, fluid, detailed amplifier, and presents music with a much greater sense of nuance and refinement. When I am in a mood to have fun and rock out, I’ll listen to the Pendant; but when I want to really get a sense of what a piece of music sounds like and critically listen, I’ll plug my Auteur into the 3F. Generally speaking, the forwardness, slam, warmth, and mid-range vibrancy of the Pendant come together to make many older recordings sound better, while the 3F’s separation and nuance makes it better for well-recorded materials that it can take full advantage of.

    Personal Verdict
    If I was pressed to say which was the technically "superior" amp, I would say it is the 3F without too much hesitation. If I was pressed, however, to only keep one, I would likely, with a bit more deliberation, choose the Pendant. I just have more of a fun time listening to the Pendant – and that’s what matters in the end, I think. Additionally, one can always swap up tubes on the Pendant if it’s doing something a bit wrong for you, while the 3F does not have this option. As a result of this, along with its choice of high and low z outputs and greater amount of power, I feel that the Pendant is more versatile, while the 3F is a bit more of a specialist amp.

    Please note, however, that this was an extremely close verdict. For reference, here’s how I ordered pairings with pads, transformers, and different tubes:
    1. Pendant with Mullard Rectifier --> Eikon Suede (Just right)
    2. ECP DSHA 3F (Nickel) --> Auteur Lambskin (A little dark, but very nice)
    3. Pendant with Siemens Rectifier --> Auteur Lambskin (Not enough Upper-Mids and tad ringy)
    4. ECP DSHA 3F (Amorphous) --> Auteur Lambskin (A bit too much upper-treble)
    5. ECP DSHA 3F (Nickel) --> Eikon Suede (Too Bass-Light, otherwise well-balanced)
    6. Pendant with Mullard Rectifier --> Auteur Lambskin (Too Dark)
    7. Pendant with Siemens Rectifier --> Eikon Suede (Too Bright)
    8. ECP DSHA 3F (Amorphous) --> Eikon Suede (Too Bright)
    As you can see, if I only had the Auteur Lambskin pads, I would have picked the 3F. So if you're deciding between these two amps, which one you ultimately choose should really be a matter of individual sonic preferences and system synergy more than anything else.

    Addendum: The Girlfriend Test
    I had my girlfriend listen to these two amplifiers to make sure I wasn't going crazy trying to hear differences. Her main comments were the following:
    • The 3F has a "cleaner" presentation in which you can hear more of the music.
    • With the Auteur Lambskin pads, the Pendant sounds a little "muted" compared to the 3F in the upper registers. Interestingly, she did not make this comment with the Eikon Suede pads (yes, I made her compare the two amps with different pads...)
    • You can hear more of the "emotions" of the music on the Pendant, and voices in general are more "Soulful" and "lifelike".
    • She really didn't like Otis Redding on the 3F. She thought it "took away what made it special".
    • The Pendant sounded more like "actual music", and the 3F more like "A very good reproduction of music".
    • She has proclaimed herself a "Tube girl" after listening to both amplifiers! I'm less sure the tubes are unequivocally better here, but she preferred them (and one must, in the end, defer to the girlfriend).
    In short, she tended to like older, more vocal-oriented music on the Pendant, but when it came to very complex music, she preferred the 3F.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 2, 2021 at 6:26 PM

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