ECP DSHA3F Ravenswood 3F

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

  1. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    Except for some of the harder to drive orthos (namely classic HFMs), I would choose the ECBW over Rag most of the time. Just my $0.02.
     
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Honorable mentions for SS:
    1. Rag: jack of all trades, but honking big. Good with orthos and does very well with everything else. Extremely underrated/unnoticed as a high/mid-efficiency speaker amp.
    2. BHA-1: deep stage and zippy, but not sharp like V281. Good with everything even works well with HD800.
    3. Jot (original aggressive version, but totally baked and run in): tight bass and transients and good slam for HD650, HD58X, LCD2C, Verite.
    4. CMOY with JRC4556 opamp (shitty caps in the signal path optional): with Grado RS*, Audio Technica mid-range weirdness headphones, AD2000, W3000, W5000, etc.
    I guess that rounds out the top 7.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  3. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    Yeah p much. The 3F was cleaner and more neutral compared to the warmer and smoother/relaxed T4. The Stratus had more open/layered stage with more separation and slam than the T4. But the T4 is also 2/3 the price of those other amps. Also the 3F had a harder time with planars vs the Stratus, prob because it was optimized for Focals. Perhaps the reg DSHA-3 would be the better SS choice for planars vs the 3F.
     
  4. Vent

    Vent Friend

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    I'm surprised the Phonitor X doesn't fall somewhere in here? (I haven't heard it; but @Torq and @gbeast both seemed to speak highly of it.)
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I've heard various Auditor / Phonitor amps, they are all pretty good, with small variations of a house sound. The main problem is that they are not very involving. Accurate, controlled, yes. Involving no. I'll take a decent $100-$350 amp with the JRMC crossfeed for $1900-$1650 less. When it comes down to it, yeah, sure I'll recommend them. But I won't listen to it myself. The 3F, you bet I will listen to it. I don't even want to return it back to CO so @jexby can have his shot at it.

    Yeah. I've been in "hate mode" lately because its easier to DIY (or fake-DIY) a better speaker system and buy great used gear for less if you got the space and don't mind a bit of elbow grease. Most headphone gear doesn't interest me much anymore and the DSHA-3F just made me realize how much shitty headphone gear is out there. There are a ton of solid state amps near or over the price of the 3F that I'd rather just not listen to - and this is taking into account that the 3F is essentially a low volume bespoke design made in the USA that's going to cost more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  6. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    A few people have expressed interest in the DSHA3F. It usually takes me 6 to 8 weeks to make amps, and in the interest of not having the process overlap, I would like to do a small batch run of these. To that end, I would like to take orders of them for the next two weeks or so, after which I won't take any orders until the first batch is done. That would mean that this initial batch should be ready by late March, with any potential later orders not being done until late May or June.

    The price is $2800 + shipping (and tax in CT), and the process is a non-refundable 50% down payment at the time of ordering with the remainder due before shipment.

    Please contact me for details at my username [at] ecpaudio.com

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Going to rob a bank, brb.
     
  8. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Do us all a favor and wear an Amir mask when you do it.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Again, fantastic amp that plays to the strengths of the Utopia and Elex (IMO). However, it's not going to turn the Utopia or Elex into an HD650 in tonal sense. Get the T4 for that or use the Clear with the 3F.

    @dsavitsk: Not trying to rain of the parade, but people are dumb. I wanted to be absolutely clear so people don't come back to me say they didn't hear the Focal synergy, and that this isn't a warmpoo amp.
     
  10. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    The version Marv heard uses Lundahl amorphous input transformers. They are extremely detailed if a little cold. The tone of the amp can be warmed slightly with Lundahl nickel core transformers (my preference.) The transformers are also rollable, and additional sets (attached to PCBs with little pins,etc) cost $300.

    But yes, the T4 is definitely warmer with the Focals due to how the impedances interact - you can order that one through Tom :)
     
  11. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    note to all, having heard the 3F with ZMF Auteur for weeks-
    it's a stellar pairing which really surprised me day after day.
    3F delivers the technicalities, detail, and even sound stage width on par with the EC Af + certain tube pairs.
    if my ears and brain aren't forgetting, the 3F had a bit of tighter bass definition, yet maybe not the depth / spaciousness of the Af tubes for certain audio tracks.

    @purr1n plug in some ZMF to the 3F before you ship it out and slap me if I'm wrong.

    that being said- my order is in for the Nickels 3F.
     
  12. Vtory

    Vtory Audiophile™

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    @dsavitsk If the purpose is to amp low-impedance (resistive load) but current-hungry (not as severe as classic hfm though) planars, still 3F is a good way to go? Or do you prefer '3 or '4 for such situations?

    @purr1n reported a good match to verum, so guessing probably quite good though.
     
  13. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    3F is a good way to go - you basically have three thing going on. There is the low impedance, which is good, but more important is the lack of feedback, and more important than that is the very tight control of the signal current loops.

    The '3 (and '4, but the '4 is unnecessary in most cases) in essence trades some of the impedance advantage for the output protection, impedance matching, and possible additional gain of transformers. They are exceptionally good transformers, but they will impact the sound.

    I have always thought of Sennheiser as "standard" with everything else being a variation, and so I think of the Sennheiser amp as the default option. But maybe Sennheiser, with their weird impedance bump and need for some output impedance are the odd one out, not withstanding their ubiquity?

    Another option is the L3 which will have more gain and power than the Ravenswood '3.
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    I have the EC Af and 3F next to each other. Using the Verite, yeah, what you said. The tonal balance is extremely similar between the two (Af with WE 396A driver and Hytron/"RCA" black plates, NFB, Jupiter caps) with the 3F being just a nick colder and less rich. It sounds like the nickel should just edge it up in warmth to the EC Af. The harmonic richness is from the distortion specific to these tubes, 2nd order and decrease with each successive harmonic, on the cusp of human audibility. This was actually measured.

    I actually went with the warmer Universal pads on the Verite with these two amps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
  15. g_mr_p

    g_mr_p New

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    Wow, nice to see this amp getting some shine and that Doug's potentially putting together a whole batch! I commissioned mine in late 2017 for the Utopia, ended up using it for pretty much everything that passed through my collection since. Took some potato pictures a while back; the woodwork (wenge) is certainly something.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Back when I was really into the hobby, I eventually settled on the '3F and the EC Af (EML 2A3 Mesh, WE JW 2C51, Jupiter caps) as my amps of choice. Not much of a critical listener because I'm bad, but I also felt the two were quite close, particularly with the Auteur. Perhaps a stronger "holographic" feel from the tube amp's staging, but the ECP's certainly no slouch (and with no real hassle, fussing over tube and cap selection, etc.).
     
  16. BaseRobber

    BaseRobber New

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    I fortunately had the opportunity to purchase the amp from g_mr_p around 3 months ago. I was hesitant to post impressions because I don't have another solid state on hand to compare it with, and I don't have much of a post history. I don't think I'm very good at describing differences between amps, but here we go

    I've been using it mainly with my ZMF Atticus and Auteur. It's been feed by an Yggdrasil A1, and my other amp for comparison is a DNA Stratus. First thing that amazed me about the 3F was it's smooth yet detailed treble. From memory, the Auteur was slightly harsh off the Jotunheim and Ragnarok. Then the build quality - the Wenge wood is a beauty and pictures do not do it justice

    Ravenswood
    • More neutral - when compared to the Stratus, nothing seems to be emphasized or recessed
    • Maybe a slight advantage in micro-details, but it's close
    • More controlled bass
    • Larger stage with better imaging

    Stratus
    • More forward mids, which imo makes it a perfect pairing with the Auteur
    • Smoother treble without losing much in detail
    • Greater bass impact, but not as controlled as 3F
    • More intimate and smaller stage
    [​IMG]
     
  17. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Please include the Stratus tubes, otherwise it's kind of pointless. It's a long way from stock to 422A/Single plate/6N1P-E
     
  18. BaseRobber

    BaseRobber New

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    They are stock tubes and it’s the latest revision of the Stratus. I don’t want to derail this thread with conversations about another amp, but if you don’t mind I may send a PM about tube recommendations
     
  19. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    ECP DSHA3F - Amorphous $2,800 (slightly cooler)
    ECP DSHA3F - Nickel $3,100 (slightly warmer)
    ECP T4 - $2,200
    ECP L3 - $TBD? "more gain and power than Ravenswood 3F"

    Correct?
     
  20. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    not quite. the 3F Nickel isn't higher priced, it's the same $2800.
    if a 3F owner wanted to own the other set of transformers for rolling, then +$300 comes into play.
     

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