EC Aficionado (was: The Studio Jr.)

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

  1. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Or I’m just a big asshole
     
  2. Maven86

    Maven86 Almost "Made"

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    I definitely found the AF to be a bit dry and a little too sterile sounding in my system no matter what tubes I rolled. I hear the Jupiter caps mitigate this somewhat (mine were Audyn) but personally, I've never really cared much for the sound of the cinemag opts in the few other amps that I've heard.

    Supposedly, the Studio B with different OPTs is voiced a little less dry but perhaps you might want to try out some of the DNA stuff to see if you might prefer a wetter sound.
     
  3. Erroneous

    Erroneous Friend

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    Gonna sound a bit dry regardless but I preferred the Acme Globes in the Aficionado. Liked them more than the EML mesh, even some 1944 smoked glass Ken-Rad, the Linlai globes, super old black plates and plenty others. As others have said, if you're looking for a romantic sound then you're looking for another amp. Aficionado is relatively dry with a massive stage and that's just what it does. If that's what you're looking for then it does a great job!
     
  4. ChenWang

    ChenWang Rando

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    I'm know using KR and EML meshes.
    I'd say their difference is big but not on the wet dry side.
    I perisonaly think changing the pre tube works more here, I have bendix and we, I think we is much wetter.
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Vintage RCA 2A3 of any variety tend to be dry sounding. A pair of Hytrons I sold @CEE TEE were a bit warmer. Something tells me the Linlai may be bloomier and wetter based on my experience with the "WE replica" 2A3 from Psave and looking at the plates and internals. (Assuming the story is true that Linlai guys bolted from Psave). I bet those globe 2A3 are nice too. Stuff in globe glass sounds better to me, probably because of the electron field. Could be placebo, but placebo effect is very real as well.

    I did not like the Bendix on the AF. WE396A all the way. I may have a few that I saved for SBAFers if you want one, not going to be cheap, but also won't be crazy like current prices. (I bought a stash a while back, but 30% of them I won't sell because they measure too shitty on the Amplitrex - or at least will let go for Vali 2++ use).
     
  6. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    would love to buy one of your tested and true WE396A for the studio b. PM me with details please
    best,
    Josh
     
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  7. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    I would also love a good, reasonably priced WE396A if they are available
     
  8. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Thanks @purr1n I have a couple 1950 WE396A tubes.

    Would changing the rectifier tube help add wetness to the sound? I currently am using a Mullard, which I can't imagine is a dry sounding rectifier but who knows.

    Something I intended to mention was that I bought a Mullard 5AR4 "fat base" which is supposed to be the best 5AR4 tube, and it doesn't fit in the power supply for the AF because Craig didn't make the hole in the chassis big enough. Quite a doi hickey moment there for Craig. I'm having a socket saver made so I can fit it in the small hole. Just thought that was funny.
     
  9. lagadu

    lagadu Facebook Friend

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    Back in the day when I had an amp that took 2C51 tubes (it was a Mjolnir 2 with the 5670/2C51 adapter), I remember being very impressed with the LM Ericsson 2C51 tubes. No idea how cheap/common they are nowadays.
     
  10. ChenWang

    ChenWang Rando

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    Totally not cheap and totally not obtainable:Violin:
    I was planning to get one after I got we and bendix, never found a good one, let alone reasonable pricing, damn
     
  11. Jh4db536

    Jh4db536 Friend

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    if you wanted a wetter amp you should've got a vintage EC ZDS/MKIV but probably just a DNA amp. Using Western electric drivers is as wet as it gets with severe compromises. Acme and particularly Elite tubes (you probably hate Elite most) are quite transparent and reveal fully what the amp behind them sounds like. To get rid of the sahara you have to ditch the cinemags...jupiters basically the whole amp.

    To me, LinLai Elite 2a3 sound just like a vintage globe 45 (maybe cuz it is a real globe :D) with more transient zing. I've compared that with a modified 445 (iron changes, 417 conversion, full retune) that is identical to my modded MKIV except the output tubes and a few differences in cap values.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  12. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I tried everything with this amp even converting to 300B but ultimately @Jh4db536 is absolutely correct, just look elsewhere if you aren’t happy with the dryness.
     
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  13. ecline56

    ecline56 Acquaintance

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    Try some NOS 5670's. I use several that I find quite musical. The GE and Sylvania black plates are my favorites. I use them in a Sunrise 3.
    They cost a whopping $5 each at VacuumTubes.net
    Not much of a gamble.

    They also sell these ....

    2C51.0022C51 Tung-Sol$25.00
    2C51.0032C51 Bendix$25.00
    396A.001396A Western Electric$50.00
    396A.002396A Northern Electric$38.00

    You generally cannot beat the Mullard rectifier. I personally do not think rectifiers change the sound much. You pay for reliability and longevity. But I have never tried one in an EC amp. I would do a hard pass on the $600 rectifier. Input tubes make the biggest difference followed by the power tubes.

    AR4.001 5AR4/GZ34 NOS USA manufacture tubes from RCA, GE, and Sylvania $95.00
    5AR4.002 5AR4/GZ34 New Metal base European $600.00
    5AR4.004 5AR4 Sylvania large bottle $95.00
    5AR4.005 5AR4/GZ34 Bakelite base European construction. $95.00
    5AR4.005 5AR4 Modern production $25.00
     
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  14. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    Lol, nope. I have tried pretty much every input tube out there in the Af and the WE is the wettest though as @Jh4db536 says compromised in other aspects.

    Not suggesting this as a serious solution to your problem but really the best way to mitigate the dryness I think is to use it as a speaker amp. Add in a room and the amazing staging and the sound just works. I don't really like it as a headphone amp, still prefer the Valhalla for the HD650s.
     
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    I have a whole bag of 251 tubes including most of these and some very special black plate RCA's and some Tung Sol's that were special picked and sold to me by Brent Jesse. The only ones quiet enough for my RD-S12 iems are the GE 5 star 2C51 from the early 50's. My RD-4z is out on loan, I'll try the others when I get them back. Long term I'm thinking this am isn't the answer.
     
  16. internethandle

    internethandle Almost "Made"

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    @rhythmdevils Have you had a chance to listen to a Studio B yet? IIRC that was what was blowing everyone's socks off at the Texas meet with your modded LCD-4's, right? Also supposed to be wetter than the Af.
     

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