ECP Torpedo III [indexed in first post]

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

  1. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,232
    Dislikes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks, @MortenB .

    I'll quickly chime in as well on the resistors. I've been very hesitant to post feedback and sound like an audiophile quack. But the AMRG resistors are simply too significant a change (and IMO an "upgrade") not to comment on them. $6 per resistor. Sounds absurd. Maybe it is. You need 4 of them, and I'd not hesitate to do it again. "Balance" is the best way to describe it. The sound can no longer be considered "lean". I want @brencho and @philipmorgan to have the opportunity to confirm the difference when we get together. But my first reaction was.... "Really?!? Resistors!?!!"

    BTW, I also feel like there is really no reason to touch the Mundorfs now. However since there was a dealer out there who still had 4 of the 5uF Rike Audio caps, I decided to order a set about a week ago. I think I picked up the last 4 he had. They came in at about $26 USD each, I believe. Maybe a bit more. They came from Latvia. Maybe I'd not have ordered them if I had put the AMRGs *before* placing that order. But there's really no method to my madness, and at this point like I said, I'm in no rush to get them in. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
    thoth, Jh4db536, philipmorgan and 4 others like this.
  2. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    805
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Home Page:
    The new output CCS's may help that tonality, too. I've done three T3's this morning with them (all with Mundorfs) and using the 12AZ7's, I'm not hearing anything "off" - just lots of micro-detail and unbelievable bass response. For the micro-detail, I'm using Grace Jones' Nightclubbing - there was a high-res, Deluxe Release back in 2014. I actually purchased the original LP when it first came out - still use it for a source with my Technics linear-trackers. For bass, it's hard to beat Gretchen Peters' Blackbirds with "The House on Auburn Street."

    Well, I don't usually post music reviews ... but every once in awhile I relent and say something ...
     
  3. MortenB

    MortenB Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    111
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denmark
    Great news Tom..! So can we buy the output CCS boards now..!? Please send two across the big water ;)
     
  4. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    805
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Home Page:
    No, not quite. Only as fast as Doug sends me the PCB files and I get them back from the PCB house and then build/test some more - probably a couple of weeks, ideally.

    Of course, if someone wanted to buy one of the assembled T3's - they can get them now. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
  5. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,780
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Interesting, definitely want me some of that CSS goodness, along with a super bright orange led :)
     
  6. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    857
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    The datasheet shows these as a resistor inside an epoxy filled aluminum tube. Call me a skeptic, but I'd like to see one disassembled. The audio world has a long history of mysterious things sealed in boxes ...
     
    zonto, bazelio, Dr. Higgs and 3 others like this.
  7. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    805
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Home Page:
    Uhh ... no comment.

    Boards and parts have been ordered for the T3 Output CCS's. The parts will probably be here in a couple of days. The PCBs will take longer but it's variable and hard to predict. I'll keep you updated on the progress. I have to build and test them after that, of course.

    The amp definitely runs hotter with these CCS's installed. Might be something to watch for, but I've had my personal one (it has the production CCS versions) running for over 6 hours, now. It's pretty damn toasty behind the tubes. So, I would never leave it running unattended with these CCS's.
     
    MortenB and FlySweep like this.
  8. MortenB

    MortenB Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    111
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denmark
    Yes, that seems to be how they are made; a resistor inside an epoxy filled aluminum tube. I don't think you will find anything out of the ordinary, if you take them apart. They are just top quality carbon resistors, that happen to be a very good sonic match with the T3.

    Too bad if people will be skeptic about trying out different plate load resistors. They really make a difference in the T3 - and for little money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  9. MortenB

    MortenB Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    111
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denmark
    BTW... Here is the seller where both bazelio and I have bought the Rike Audio S-Caps. His stock is low, but give it a shot if you're interested in these caps https://www.audiohobby.eu/en/
     
  10. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,232
    Dislikes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    113
    What do you guys think about potentiometer noise? Last week mine started creating "static" in the headphones when I adjust the volume. It's been fine since first completing the build, and just started acting up. The noise level is fine during normal listening, but adjusting the volume either direction is scratchy.
     
  11. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    857
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    Pot noise is usually caused by DC offset. This can be from the source, or from the following stage. The following stage here is a tube, so try a different tube and see if that fixes it. If not, try a different source.
     
    bazelio and MortenB like this.
  12. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,232
    Dislikes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ok, thanks. It is probably the tube, then... It does seem like it started around the time I first inserted the Yellow-T tubes, which are still my preferred tubes... So I guess I'll live with it. It's also just one of them (noise only in one channel). Took a flyer on a random Ebay seller, because price was right... But I know better.
     
  13. Jun

    Jun Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    170
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Is the Torpedo I, softer and warmer sounding than the Torpedo III? more even order harmonics?
     
  14. MortenB

    MortenB Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    111
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denmark
    Are you not interested in the suggestion we made to make the sound warmer and softer? Seems like you're more into replacing the amp?
     
  15. Jun

    Jun Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2016
    Likes Received:
    170
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I'll try those resistors for the plate loading and I still haven't put in the mec100, I got those 100uf caps for them too.

    I hope I didn't messed up my build somewhere because it's sounds hard to me. It has this impactful and dynamic sound that is very impressive at first but it doesn't pull me in as much musically. Maybe the details are just too clear, sharp and revealing. I am wondering how the even order and odd order harmonics look for the Torpedo III in measurements.

    Still wondering about the torpedo I, my hunch is I think it's warmer sounding.
     
  16. MortenB

    MortenB Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    111
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denmark
    I can't answer if you messed up, but I don't think you did. Most often if something is messed up there is no sound, or there is a blown fuse or something like that. But if you run the T3 with stock tubes (bright) and with Mundorfs (forward and a bit lean) you will get a very clear and detail sound that can be too bright for some. But you have several ways to make tweaks to the sound:

    Brimar or Mullard tubes warmes up the sound.

    Amtrans AMRG plate load resistors gives you more bass impact, musicality, and a more natural sound, without loss of details.

    Allen Bradley carbon plate load resistors should give you a warmer, softer and less detailed sound (more old school tube sound). I have not tried them in the T3, but that's what these do.

    Solen caps will give you a warmer sound than Mundorfs

    And if you raise the output impedance with resistors in series with the output this will mean lower damping factor and softer sound.
     
    bazelio likes this.
  17. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,232
    Dislikes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yep. Some people like a little series resistance, and I'd think it is a very worthwhile experiment in @Jun 's situation (as well as a much cheaper one than a T1). ;-)
     
  18. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,209
    Dislikes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Caps can possible make as much of a difference as tubes. The T3 I heard had the upgraded voltage regulator, Belleson I think, and CCS boards installed with Mundorf caps and Brimars. Not hard sounding at all. I can't speak for how Solens sound in this circuit, but they were a bit grainy and biting in a couple amps I've heard. Mildly so, but there. The upside is they're super cheap.
     
  19. MortenB

    MortenB Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    May 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    111
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denmark
  20. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    857
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    Have you said what your source is? The T3 is a lot of things, but "hard" is really not one of them.

    That says to me that you may have some high harmonic distort somewhere. I usually associate that sound with the distortion generated by dropping too little voltage over a transistor. Mixed up resistors could lead to that sort of situation. Have you taken voltage readings* a various spots? That's really the first step to determining what's going on. Actually, the first step might be RMAA to see if your amp performs like ours.

    * are you competent to do so? Read this thread, ask for help, and be sure you know what you are doing before you start probing around a live circuit. Better yet, use clip leads, connect what you want to measure with the amp off, then turn it on to see what the voltage is. Then turn it off and let the voltages bleed out before taking the next measurements. Click here and scroll down to the section on multiple meters.
     
    TMoney, Riotvan and MortenB like this.

Share This Page