ECP Torpedo III [indexed in first post]

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by FlySweep, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    @SteelCannon is probably the better suited to comment than I, as he's been testing out a bunch of different tubes lately. I thought the stock EH tubes held up really well against most of the tubes we ran in Steel's Torpedo last night, so I don't think you could expect a vast improvement unless you find a really special pairing. The improvement I heard with the GE 6072's was subtle, but still noticeable enough to warrant purchasing a set of my own.
     
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  2. MisterRogers

    MisterRogers Friend

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    Others can chime in, but most preferred the Brimar NOS tubes to the RCA or stock.
     
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  3. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    I seem to prefer the tall tubes, too, but I may be biased from my experience with the E90CC's in the Torpedo I. The comparison of a pair of those with 6J6's was not small. It made a huge difference.

    So far, I've only tried the 6829 and 6414, not the 7062. I've purchased some 7062's, but haven't received them, yet. At least with the tall tubes I've tried, the 6829 seems to be better, but my ears are probably confused right now. I've been listening to so many different things on the T3 that it's difficult to put any sort of grade on them at this point. I still think a good pair of EH 12AY7's or even EH 12AT7's are nothing to sneeze at. If anything, the EH's have more detail and dynamics, whereas the 6829/6414's seem to bathe you in a detailed, yet super-rich lather. :confused: Keep in mind that I don't normally use words like that.
     
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  4. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

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    After listening to a few amps with the Yggdrasil, I am pretty confident the torpedo is more resolving than the black widow, rag and sonett 2. But, it is a bit bright with stock tubes, so while it pairs well with the hd650s, the hd800s don't work as well.

    Maxx134 and I tried a bunch of tubes but I only brought a few to the meet. I did like the ge 6892 with the thx00s and modded pm2s but it had a more tubey sound with less clarity. The valvo e180c had the biggest soundstage but also had less clarity than stock. The ge 12AY7/6072 was the most similar to stock, maybe a little less noise and more precise imaging. Listening now, I hear a little more warmth too. I think e180c/7062 tubes have the most promise because of how big they sound, but I haven't found a really good pair yet.

    Any brimar tube in particular?
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  5. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    UPDATE: I hope Doug isn't disappointed in me, but I'm not sure I'm feeling the cap bypass. In agreeing with HitmanFluffy, I mentioned that with the Sonicaps, the difference was also not subtle - but to my ears, it was bad. The bass seemed to be cut significantly.

    The AudioCap Thetas do not present a fault as readily apparent as the Sonicaps. However, I can't get rid of the feeling/sense that the midrange and highs are boosted at the expense of bass. Maybe it was my initial experience with the Sonicaps that has me biased now. With the Thetas, smoothness and midrange clarity is immediately apparent, but it just seems to lose the bass and especially prat - almost as if there's a high-bandpass in play. Again, take that with a grain of salt. Maybe I'll change my mind when my ears settle down. I'm still fighting a lot of confusion, but that's sort of what I think I'm hearing right now. :confused:
     
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  6. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Here's a copy/paste of my T3 thoughts, in case someone can't see the original thread:

    Torpedo III - I can't speak for all the tweaks on this amp and how they improved things, but it's very nice sounding. I preferred it with the Brimar tubes. The RCA tubes I tried with it sounded a bit more U-shaped, so I stuck with Brimars. Nice and lush sounding. I am not sure if it drove the HD650 or HD800 with quite the same level of authority as the Super 7 or Studio, but it was overall still in the same playing field as the modded Super 7 and similar amps. By that, I mean both are technically very competent amps with some slightly different characteristics. Hard to go wrong either way. I didn't do direct comparisons, but the T3 to me sounded a bit more full and lush in the upper-bass and midrange than my Super 7 but with a bit less grip and power on the very low end. Super 7 might be cleaner or smoother sounding...not 100% sure on that. My tube selection on the Super 7 seems to give me lots of slam, good tone, and nice attack, clarity, and resolution at the expense of having a smaller stage. The T3 seemed to be a bit more balanced with staging and other attributes (i.e. nice stage without sounding soft or diffuse). But, again, I didn't do direct comparisons, so don't read too much into this. Just know the T3 is a very enjoyable amp, works well with lots of headphones, and definitely sits up there with some of the better amps I've heard.
     
  7. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

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    Thank you for sharing that hands :). I do want to say, I don't think tube rolling makes a big difference. There are slight changes here and there, so I wouldn't go crazy buying a bunch of stuff. The reason I tried a lot of tubes is that maxx134 already had a collection.
     
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  8. fierce_freak

    fierce_freak Friend

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    Long shot, but does anyone have a CCS board they're not planning on using? I assembled a pair yesterday. One works, the other doesn't. Turns out I lifted one of the pads for the IC while soldering (yay for carelessness and watching hockey while soldering haha).

    If not, I'll just go cry in the corner. Thanks guys! ;D

    -edit- what Brimar tubes are people enjoying? 12au7?
     
  9. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    It may still be repairable - I've had to replace traces before on other things. Send it to me and I'll give it a shot, if you want.
     
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  10. FlySweep

    FlySweep Friend

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    More positive impressions of the TIII from the NY Meet.. from @sphinxvc :

    "Torpedo III with alternative tubes and Cinemags + DS Gungnir + modded HD650
    The Torpedo III is a great 650 driver, more below...

    Torpedo III with stock tubes and Cinemags + Yggdrasil + modded HD650
    Okay, the amp is scary good now. Easily bested the Rag sitting there (specifically for the 650s). Would need more time to determine its 'can I live with it' factor."
     
  11. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    I bypassed the original Epcos, not the Wima replacements, so that may be part of the issue. Additionally, I found the Cardas caps to be a lot better than the Thetas. And I care a lot more about midrange than bass and treble :)
     
  12. FlySweep

    FlySweep Friend

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    @TomB .. You mentioned that at the ATL meet, the TIII's resolving ability exposed you DAC to be.. as Arnold would say.. a 'girly-man' :D.. what DAC did you upgrade to?
     
  13. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    I talked Doug into letting me build his latest DAC design (Walnut 5). It was an extremely challenging, but satisfying build. I agree with him there's no way it would be marketable as a DIY kit. I want to build another one, though.

    Needless to say, I am very, very happy with it. Thank you, Doug! :D
     
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  14. alucart

    alucart Almost "Made"

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    Any update on when the Cinemag transformers may arrive? I'm keen to pull the trigger on a T3 kit =)
     
  15. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    I think Tom should have some by the end of next week.
     
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  16. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    :D:D

    OK - I've also tried the E801CC/7062 tubes, now. I received a pair made by Amperex and so far it seems that these may be magical tubes for the T3. They're quite a premium, though. I got some of the cheapest I've found and they were still $20/tube. Mine have creases in the glass at the top of the tube. The creases on the top are like many of the European E90CC's that we use on the Torpedo I, but they don't appear to have pinched waists. Often, the two traits seemed to go together. Anyway, the signature is very similar - very smooth with lots of subtle detail.
     
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  17. fierce_freak

    fierce_freak Friend

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    Ok, so turns out the pad I lifted on my one ccs board is actually for the no connection pin on the IC (lucky!). I was able to reassemble, and it works.

    I now have the belleson and the ccs installed. Already a super awesome amp, but I think this nudges it a few small notches up. Love it. Thank you Doug and TomB!

    I'm very curious to try a 12AT7 variant like you mention, TomB. I'm curious about everyone's experience with that particular tube type. I'm tempted to try either a Siemens, Mullard, or Amperex.
     
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  18. MisterRogers

    MisterRogers Friend

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    Glad you got it together dude.
     
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  19. fierce_freak

    fierce_freak Friend

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    Thanks, and thanks for your help, too.
     
  20. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Does anybody know if the pre built Torpedos by Tom come with a warranty?
     

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