ECP Torpedo III [indexed in first post]

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

  1. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Will they still be available in kit form? Or have you moved away from it altogether seeing as how the T3 became to complicated in the end?
    Really enjoyed the experience building and tweaking the T3, i still hate myself for selling it...

    Also what are the chances of having a pre out this time?
     
  2. SineDave

    SineDave Friend

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    Will there be an "uber" version available from Day 1 with all the various tweaks like the maxxed out T3, or is there only going to be one version of the T5?
     
  3. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    There are no plans for a kit. It turns out that making a kit is as, or perhaps more, complicated and time consuming than just making an assembled product. There is always the possibility of a kit of some sort in the future, but probably not for the T line. (Don't take that as a cryptic hint - there are no plans, I just don't want to say never.)

    I had not planned on preamp outputs. It adds a lot to the cost, and most people won't use them.


    The T4 is basically a super maxed out T3 beyond what would fit in the old case (in terms of caps, the PS, and heatsinking). The T5 upgrades parts where applicable, but really it upgrades the circuit. There is no plan for "upgrade options" for either.
     
  4. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    That's fair, you guys made an awesome kit but I understand. Too bad about the pre outs though but again understandable. Just not sure one of these is for me now that i'm firmly into speakerland.

    Nevertheless if you improve on a maxxed out T3 these should be very popular.

    Good luck guys!
     
  5. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I like the XLR connector way better for headphones, but it's not a sound quality thing. I just think it's a better connector.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I've read this somewhere before (probably from you come to think of it), but can you please expand upon why? I've seen DI's and other transformers non-grounded at the secondaries before. Heck, isolation transformers can be floating as well and I'm pretty sure they deal in much higher voltage than a headphone amplifier.
     
  7. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    It is purely a safety issue. Transformers generally block DC (the ones we use in the T5 are rated to block 2kV). While it is extremely unlikely for modern well made transformers to do so, they can short internally which can result in high voltage on the secondaries. Earthing the secondaries trips the fuse. This particularly matters in a headphone amp where it is physically connected to the user. There is no sonic penalty to grounding the secondaries, and even if there were, I am not willing to risk lives.

    http://tubelab.com/safety/amplifier-grounding/
     
  8. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    It seems that the t3 does pretty well with efficient planars. Although I bought it for hd6x0, I wonder if anyone has tried with ETHER/Aeon.
     
  9. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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  10. k1arg

    k1arg Facebook Friend

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    I picked up a quad, but have been out of town and have only been able to listen to them briefly. I don't have a lot of context for comparison though, as apart from the stock tubes I only have a pair of 'International Servicemaster' (really GE?) 12AZ7's. So far, I completely concur with the comments about imaging and soundstage being really excellent. The bass texture and definition is also noticeably better. Clarity is good. I think that the overall tone is definitely a step up, very nicely smooth. I have to compare more to be positive, but some extremely aggressive guitar sections could get a bit too sharp or glaring with the other tubes I've tried, while these Mullards stay more composed.

    Note that the tubes I have are the KQDD/K marked ones as @TomB pointed to, which are marked differently to the ones in @HitmanFluffy's photo. It appears that Langrex has those M8162 marked tubes for a bit more money. The internal construction looks the same to my uneducated eye though.

    A related question: I perhaps naively expected there to be some marking on the boxes from the tube matching, but there isn't anything. Is there a cheapish way to select the tightest pair from the quad in a more objective way than just trying to go by ear as I'm doing now?
     
  11. Melvillian

    Melvillian Friend

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    The internal construction is not the same and they sound different. I bought a matched pair of KQDD/K's Brent Jesse and noticed what sounded like channel imbalance. Upon a closer look, I noticed the plate construction between the tubes was different and then I noticed he had sent one KQDD/K tube and one M8162 tube. They're definitely not the same tube
     
  12. thoth

    thoth Acquaintance

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    Can you give some impressions versus the amps you owned before, like Trafomatic Head 2?
     
  13. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    Glad you're liking them. :)

    On the matching - unfortunately, there are many definitions of "matching" on ebay. On one end of the spectrum, you can find true, tested and matched tubes labeled for output values obtained from a good mutual conductance tube tester. On the other end, you will find some who "match" tubes according to construction or production lot (matched serial numbers or box labels). The former is what we're interested in; the latter is not of much use except to enhance your odds of finding an output match with a blind purchase.

    Unfortunately, the Mullards I linked to use the construction/production batch "matching." You are on your own with output matching.

    If you lack a tube tester, though, your ears can still act as a pretty good instrument for matching. In fact, sometimes it may be the better method for matching, because some NOS tubes can vary significantly as they're burned-in. It's possible to measure one set of values for the tube outputs on a tester when popping them out of the box and then they settle into a different set of values later on. Listening for stereo-center is a start, but it really only checks for gross output mismatches. The key is to listen for the outside strength of the sound stage, if that makes sense. Does one tube put sounds more outside the ear than the other on a consistent basis? If so, they are probably not matched in output. You need to be familiar with the recording, however, because the differences could easily be in that, not the tubes.

    It's easier to tell on these tubes, because the sound stage is so wide.

    P.S. I'm not actually minimizing tube tester testing and matching - just in the case if you happen to purchase these and you don't have a tester. Tube testing is a valuable process that in most cases, provides you with reasonable assurance that the tubes are matched. The instance I describe above with NOS tubes changing from burn-in doesn't happen that often with extremely high-quality tubes such as these.

    In addition to tube tester matching, you at least have the assurance that tube testing has checked for direct shorts. With any high-voltage tube amplifier like the T3, plugging in a tube that may have a direct short can be disastrous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  14. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    What is the goop people use on the Mundorf caps?
     
  15. JeffYoung

    JeffYoung Friend

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    A non-corrosive silicone RTV. Dow Corning 748 is a good option.
     
  16. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    Would a 25ohm dynamic be a bad match for this amp? I can find a spec for the output impedance. Whats the noise floor like?
     
  17. Daveheart

    Daveheart Friend

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    The switch on the front is an impedance switch. Hi is ~14Ω and low is <1Ω. It works fine on the low z setting with a THX00 for instance.

    As far as noise floor is concerned, I just tested with the HD650 and couldn't detect any hiss until the volume knob was about maxed out (waaaaaaay past levels that would split an eardrum). I'm sure the noise floor would vary with tube choice though.
     
  18. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Any chance of hearing the T4 and/or T5 at the March SBAF meet?
     
  19. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    Possibly. It will depend upon whether we have one available to send. I don't think I'll be able to make it this time.
     
  20. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Coming out of mid-fi purgatory with a used T3, which arrived yesterday. All official upgrades. Using stock EH tubes until I get the M8162 Mullards shipped next week.

    Source is CDP > Coax > Gungnir Multibit

    I've owned quite a few amps over the years, and except for two, they've all been Schiit, so I am quite used to that house sound. Vali1, Asgard 2, Val2, Lyr 1+2. Most recently coming from Lyr 2.

    The T3 sounds remarkably different than Schiit amps. Less aggressive, more laid back, but it is still dynamic and hard hitting... just less, I dunno, "shouty" about it? So far there is far more micro-detail than I'm used to, which is a plus... I feel like I am hearing more of what's on the recordings. Soundstage is surprisingly small and claustrophobic though, especially considering Gungnir Multibit as source. There is also a slight lack of air and "presence". Imaging is very good though. A major improvement over Schiit amps I've heard is timbre... it sounds far more "correct". Tone is very smooth, organic, again there is a lack of aggressiveness that gives the sound alot more sweetness and a more pleasing tonality.

    I have to say though, there is a serious diminishing returns aspect to this hobby I'm finally understanding. I would call the T3 an excellent amp so far, but I wouldn't say it stomps all over Schiit's mid-fi offerings, which says alot about Schiit.

    I am looking forward to getting the Mullards because it sounds like the amp has alot of potential that is being held back by the stock tubes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018

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