EC Aficionado (was: The Studio Jr.)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by AppleheadMay, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    506
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Texas
    I haven't yet seen anyone compare the Acme globes to the EML mesh yet. Anyone have insight on how they compare?
     
  2. famish99

    famish99 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,440
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I've compared them both on a Stratus, the Acme 2A3 are far superior imo. Less air, but much more clarity and detail, with a slightly more natural timbre.
     
  3. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Home Page:
    New Linlai E-2A3s on 2nd Af now. Supplier recommends 100h burn in. They did sound rough right out of the box. What's the recommended burn in process? Just 1) leave the amp on, or 2) play music? My very basic understanding of tubes suggests that 1) is enough, the point is to get the filament and other tube materials gas out and otherwise reach a thermochemical balance. But I could be easily missing something.
     
    Don Miller likes this.
  4. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

    Staff Member Friend JK47
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    6,305
    Dislikes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    gone
    no idea of the perfect tube method- but I just burned in @Elnrik Linlai E-2A3 for him doing:
    1. turn on in morning, have music going through them for 5-6 hours of work day. turn off for 2-3 hours.
    2. turn on again in evening, listen for a few hours. leave them on overnight, no music playing. turn off upon wake up.
    3. wait a few hours, goto 1.

    125+ hours on them pretty quickly this way.

    not having heard any new production (Psvane) 2A3, I was impressed with the Linlai.
    they are a neutral tube in the Af, yet with the best defined bass I've heard compared to old NOS tubes like Fivre, Sylvania and Ken Rad dual mono plate 2A3s. Linlai with plenty of air and space, not diffuse or thin in any way.
    Linlai could easily be my everyday 2A3 tube with Blackwood Auteur.

    Linlai aren't as silky smooth in the mids, nor have the lushness as some older NOS.
    this can be mitigated in the Af by staying with a WE 396A, and not using a brighter Bendix 2C51 for example.
    perhaps a brighter headphone on the Af necessitates a preference for NOS tubes, keeping Linlai as backup pair.

    Linlai E-2A3 certainly worth the price to keep on hand, having 3 NOS pairs- have stopped fretting over any additional NOS 2A3 backups such as overpriced Arcturus or other unicorns on ebay.
     
    penguins, Don Miller and Elnrik like this.
  5. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    2,838
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    @earnmyturns looking forward to a comparison between the acme and linlai, I feel like trying something other than my solid plate EML.
     
  6. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    9,119
    Dislikes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Denver CO
    Home Page:
    I must say, this is the best way to burn in new tubes. Give to Jexby, wait, get tubes back. :p

    (Thanks man!)

    These do sound better than the stock Psvane I received. More stage, 3Dness, air. Plus other things and stuff I'm still figuring out. The last few hours have been quite enjoyable.
     
    CEE TEE likes this.
  7. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    506
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Texas
    Do we Af owners want to orchestrate tube swaps between Friends so we can all taste the rainbow?
    I suppose we could, in our own thread for those interested, post a sticky of what we each have and figure it out from there? Or is this best just worked out on an individual basis between Friends?
     
    penguins likes this.
  8. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

    Friend Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    361
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    SF Bay Area Peninsula
    I'd be in favor of this or similar and can offer up a pair of ACMEs or Shuguang 2A3C-Ts. In my case I'd be trying the tubes in a Stratus but that shouldn't matter.
     
  9. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    506
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Texas
    I have EML mesh, a couple of different pair of Sylvania black plates, JJ-2a3 40, EH Gold, probably some others to offer.
    I've been hemming and hawing on buying a pair of Acme Globes. If an extra couple hundred bucks would get me the Jesus 2a3 tube of pure clarity and maximum staging then I'd rather do that. I just don't know what that is, if it's out there.
     
  10. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Home Page:
    I'll have to remember to take one of the pairs to the other location, which may take a while. A quick impression now that the Linlais have been cooking for 18h is that they are sounding quite well defined already. Listening to Ahmad Jamal's Ballades, a good (mostly solo) piano recording. Attacks are maybe a bit still more rounded than I'd like them, but tone is excellent, different notes well layered, decays right. Double bass on one of tracks (So Rare) has very good tone and those fine-grained details from finger-string-wood interaction (there must be a technical term for this). Quite an improvement over yesterday's mush. For context: Mullard NOS 5AR4 (1962), WE 396A; Holo Spring 2 KTE DAC, 96/24 PCM; ZMF Verité closed (stabilized maple burl).
     
    Taverius, jexby and Don Miller like this.
  11. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Home Page:
    Current tube complement: Mullard 5AR4 short bottle, WE 396E, Linlai E-2A3 (50h burn-in). Maybe it's also the Holo Spring 2 KTE, maybe it's also the Verité closed stabilized maple burl, but I can't think of a better headphone jazz experience in staging, imaging, dynamics, instrumental detail. Attacks are less rounded than earlier, although not as punchy as, say, with Yggdrasil A2 and Psvane ACME 2A3 (could be just the DAC, though). Double bass and drum kit spatial placement and dynamic interplay are so right! (listening to a classic Van Gelder production, remastered: Black Fire with Andrew Hill, Joe Henderson, Richard Davis, and Roy Haines). Overall, superior immersion into the music, don't want to stop listening (but I must, early workday tomorrow). Gotta come back with more time, I never heard this recording with such presence.
     
    zonto and Erroneous like this.
  12. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Home Page:
    This goes to show how little I understand tubes and tube amps... I upgraded Af #2 to the same kind of Mullard rectifier as #1, and new Linlai E-2A3 (mentioned above). After some burn-in, I was enjoying the results a lot, but I started noticing a very faint intermittent bzzz on the left channel when music stopped, as if there was some interference from a digital device. It did not depend on the Af's volume control. Looked at all the cable runs and noticed a suspect proximity between the Af umbilical and an Ethernet cable for the Pi2AES streamer. Changed that, I thought it was it, but later discovered it was not. Next, since I have a spare WE 396A, replaced the one on the Af in case it was something funky on the tube. No change. Next, rearranged all my audio rack to really separate digital and analog sides as much as possible. No benefit, although it looks neater. Finally, decided to swap left and right channel 2A3s to determine whether one was at fault. They are pretty tough to get out and put back in, I did it very slowly and carefully, making sure they were seated really well -- which I thought I had also done originally. Af stayed exactly the the same place, cables routed exactly the same way.

    I was expecting the mystery bzzzz to show up the right channel. I got no bzzzz on either. No idea what magic happened.
     
  13. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
    Likes Received:
    506
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Texas
    For anyone this may help (and I realize this may belong in the tube rolling thread), I was able to get a good deal on some Shuguang Treasure 2a3s and they are NOT warmpoo. They're nice, sound smooth but not enough stage. This is specifically with the Aficionado. With the 800S they work because the 800/S is basically a cheat code to good staging, but with VC the sound is good but the stage is nothing special. I guess it's hard to top the stage of the EML mesh though.
     
    famish99 likes this.

Share This Page