Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Jan 22, 2019.
OMFG @Elnrik that is gorgeous.
@Vtory Which phones didn't you care for with it?
One audeze (not mine but a kind loan from a friend) and one small-senn (6x0). Neither sounded suck, but I'd easily list better amps to pair with them -- honestly bw worked better for both.
PS. For this price level, I really require high bar. "Good" is not enough. Should be so special that one can voluntarily sacrifice the real life to some extent.
k, night all.
@Elnrik Is your 3f the combination of padauk and nickel core?
Wenge and nickel. =)
I should have done this before the 3F arrived, but I'm going to have to drag my Eikon and Aeolus home from work to pair on the 3F. FedEx said it was going to arrive next Monday, not today, those LIARS! hehehe Not that I'm complaining.
Auteur getting all the head time tonight. Auteur + 3F is amazeballs.
F... so sleepy.
(iPhone photo over emphasizes the pock markings in wood, but in reality not as noticeable.)
Padauk looks crazy good
Seriously, keep those beautiful pictures coming, and please tease me more with impressions.
This is a masochist's paradise. Too bad I'm not one of those. Not really.
for you @Syzygy :
yeah, this system rocks!
This is a system for experienced listeners. Think about the ability and maturity to appreciate fine oil paintings compared to the instant gratification of photography. Emotional connection through depth of perception.
Noticed your Arya for sale ... ever have a chance to demo it w/ the Ravenswood?
Haha. Getting a cable to connect to 3f may cost small amount of money.. And from my experience, I expect arya's performance (with 3f) equivalent to hd800 more or less. But will not work for me -- (1) I have strong preference toward warm and dark tonality; and (2) my 3f is tuned to be a bit colder (amorphous core). At least can't think of its competence over ether 2 and verite.
Two noticeable findings
1. I tend to listen to musics VERY LOUDLY with this amp. My voluming process is generally to start from complete silence, moving into a bit lower level than usual, then after a couple of tracks gradually increasing volume until subtle harshness cuts in. This "threshold" point is ridiculously high with dsha-3f. I'm guessing it comes from absence of active devices (tr, opamp, tubes, ..) in the gain stage. Pretty unique experience.
2. Compressed tracks RECOVER musical pleasure to some extent. I hear slightly finer steps in the top quartile of loudness range (high level signals). Of course there's no free lunch -- the bottom quartile was sacrificed a bit. In other words, this amp could resolve small gradations in mid-high signals very well. I examined this by comparing differently compressed same songs and applying additional dynamic compression dsp for high DR tracks. Of course both gain and loss were rather subtle. But this small difference really turned some bad recordings (typically found in many dance pop) into really enjoyable experience.
Note that my choice of gain transformer was LL1690, which might affect above.
Truth. There is nothing nasty that creeps into the sound with the 3F as the volume goes up which has kept me from going beyond normal listening levels. In fact, I find that I am rewarded for doing so. I don't think it approaches dangerous levels, but it is beyond the volume comfort levels of other amps.
@atomicbob Which wood is that? I
love all the tonal contrast it presents.
I've been told it is spalted maple. I acquired the unit used and consider myself extremely fortunate.
Have spent two weeks with this amp. Very dense two weeks -- one week with Ether 2 and the other week (ongoing) with Auteur. Well, with some other headphones too but these two were noticeably pleasing enough for me to sell the others lol.
Very interestingly, dsha-3f (also referred to as 3F) seems to serve like distinct two amps for each of these two.
With Ether 2
It adds coloration -- I had hard time when reading others' description of this amp as "neutral". It's not a bad coloration but a tasteful and attractive one forcing me to continuously listen to music. The coloration seems to affect both frequency perception and dynamic perception, as I posted before.
I couldn't think this amp outperformed black widow in staging depth and width. They are in the same ballpark.
A hint of coldness. Probably because of my choice of amorphous core. Great tonal synergy.
Plenty of juice, power, authority, and macrodynamics -- in which all I have not been fully satisfied with any amps paired.
With Auteur (African Blackwood)
Not colored at all. 3F behaves very neutrally.
Texture and cripspness added to (mostly) high midrange, which harmonized with auteur's unique Biocellulose sounding (possibly affected by wood choice too).
Coldness not heard. Neither warm nor cold. Pretty neutral tonality/timbre by any means.
Magical 3D-ish-ness. Maybe partly attributed to wood?.
All the inherent limitations of technicalities lifted. At least it feels that way. I haven't thought auteur could rival hd800, utopia, or verite purely in technicalities. Now I can't confidently tell any slouch compared to those three. Still utopia and verite also can benefit by pairing with 3F though.
Almost harsh-free. This is too unique to explain unless you've heard "passive" gain stage amplifiers before. I am not saying the level of harshlessness found in good totl amps (e.g., Leptoni DT-Alpha or Woo WA-5 which both I like very much). Any such amps add a bit of harsh feel to me at high volume. As an aged hobbyist, my ears expect a certain level of it (to the totl extent), but none heard. Maybe the analogy of electric/hybrid car experience can apply -- only in terms of noise/vibration, not regarding overall performance (I'm kinda hater lol).
Very tight grasp of the driver. Really fast, tight, and hard-hitting sound. Note that both drivers are not particularly excellent in physical responsiveness. But 3F nearly faked me as if diaphragms are made of spider web or vibranium lol.
It doesn't sound laid-back. But somewhat feels so. Pretty uniquely relaxed and effortless -- again, passive-gain magic.
Best technicalities deserving to its price (perhaps out-deserve in speed, microdynamics and plankton).
A bit wet sounding. Lots of excitement. Very involving.
If anybody owns either or both of these headphones, he or she should hear (or more candidly own) DSHA-3F.
Several people have expressed interest in a third batch of these amplifiers. So I am setting an order cutoff of June 8th. This is a hard cutoff due to various upcoming component manufacturing schedules. Price is still $2800. If you are interested, please send an email to my username at ecpaudio.com.
[Oh, and the second batch will be shipping very soon.]
I don't remember where I posted here for the last time but I thought I should appreciate my gratitude to those who contributed to make this wonder of an amp come to my attention.
I've sold off my stat rig since it was just collecting dust. I was looking for something more convenient and, out of the blue, fell for ZMF Verite when I listened to them at recent headphone festival in Japan. Initial plan was to drive them off my cheap sony dac/amp but when checking out some discussions about the Verite afterwards, I came across this new batch of DSHA3F. I've been curious about ECP amps for years but that was never an option living in stat land.
I made the foolish jump to buy blindly and honestly did not expect that much. For one, I was coming of a high pedestal thinking it was only south from here on after selling my 009/BHSE rig. I am still waiting on the Verite but, the amp has arrived and, it has turned my lowly HD600 into the most enjoyable headphone experience in years ?!!?
I am not able to wax poetic for pages but suffice to say, I really cannot turn the amp off, probably spent 7 hours today going through bunch of music. The HD600 is really not what I call the latest word in bass control, resolution, imaging or even my ideal voicing but this amp does something I've never experienced. I can't even write down what it is exactly. It's effortless, has lots of macro- and micro-dynamics, layers instruments precisely and just does not sound strained or artificial ever.
It also just looks fantastic, really really great job from Doug and all the praise is deserved...
Not lucky enough to own the 3F, but this mirrors my experience with the T3/600 combo. ECP does something special to the Senns.
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