EC Studio Junior (not AF)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    Yeah, could have it mixed up with ECAF. It's just that what you described sounds a lot of the ECAF with the Cinemags.
     
  2. thoth

    thoth Acquaintance

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    Regarding DNA Stratus proposal, you guys also described it as not particularly dynamic. So not sure it would give me what I expect. The main "advantage" is that DNA sounds wet. Not entirely sure what that means but doesn't seem like a complement. is it something along "warm but slow"?
     
  3. RestoredSparda

    RestoredSparda Friend

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    Anything later than DNA Stratus V3 and up to Stellaris is anything but warm and slow.

    Closer to neutral with a bit of wetness. The treble is very extended and airy but polite with slightly rounded transients. Use the XLR out for a bit more resolution and sharper attack. (I prefer single ended out on all DNA amps I've tried).

    Very impressive macro and micro dynamics. This is with dynamic headphones (especially high ohm Senns and ZMFs). From what I've tried they don't impress much with planers. Once the Caldera loaner gets here I can chime in more on DNA / Caldera synergy thoughts, but I'm not expecting anything great.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2023
  4. loadexfa

    loadexfa MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    In addition to agreeing with these impressions, I'd like to add that once in a while the Stratus surprises me (V3 in my case) and sounds fantastic with orthos such as the modded LCD-4.

    FWIW I also found the Stellaris dry which I wasn't expecting and felt the same about the EC AF and Studio B.
     
  5. Polygonhell

    Polygonhell Acquaintance

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    It just means it has the expected 2nd Harmonic rich midrange that most people with limited tube amp experience tend to associate with tube amps. Dry amps have little to none of that.
    The vast majority of entry level tube amps (BHC/ZDT Jr/Dark Voice) are "wet" sounding, some of them excessively so.
    Many higher end tube amps either tone that down or try and eliminate it entirely, it's just a voicing choice, it's just harder to make that choice at lower price points, because component selection is severely limited.

    The DNA Stratus is still on the dryer side, but not EC dry, with a hint of warmth.
    With the default rectifier it can be very laid back, with something like an RCA 5U4G, it can be a bit more energetic, but it's always a relatively relaxed presentation.
    I very much prefer the dryer side of Tube amps, but when I replaced my Stratus, I seriously considered a Stellaris, because I really like the DNA sound.
    I ended up with a Studio T which is very Dry, and I don't regret that at all. But it's not everyone's preference.
     
  6. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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  7. thoth

    thoth Acquaintance

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    I did play with overvoltage today. Increasing mains voltage to 282v gives B+ 22% higher. All tubes operate within the specs. Both driver and power tube heaters appear to be regulated, so there's no need for manual voltage adjustments.

    The main problem was PSU transformer - it hums significantly when increasing voltage. The higher the voltage the higher the hum. It is also a bit hot to the touch - 40 deg celsius.

    Now about sound. Overvolted amp is more loud. But when adjusting for loudness it gives maybe a bit of extra dynamics, but not enough to change the overall character. Just like you guys predicted.

    With the better set of tubes (Sylvania rectifier, WE driver, Gold Lion 300B) and extra voltage, it is still a bit brighter and flatter sounding than Lyr+ with stock tube, on Eikon headphones. But diff is quite small, enough to put them in the same league. Yet I prefer Lyr+ in virtually any song I tried. Difference is mainly due to tubes, not overvoltage.

    With TH-X00 headphones diff is bigger, enough to put the amps in different leagues. Lyr+ is clearly better, more dynamic, longer decays, fuller sound.

    I also tried Elex with balanced cable as someone suggested: minimal diff, within placebo.

    Using R-2R Audio-DG DAC-19 instead of Gungnir MB: a bit warmer sound but nothing added to dynamics. Overall sound character still given by amp.

    Next I'll try the non-feedback mod with switch and coupling cap mod.
     

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