ECP Audio T4 Headphone Amplifier

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by TomB, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    658
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Home Page:
    Yes. There is no issue with using modern production 12AY7s and 12AT7s. The amp performs very well with either.
     
  2. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    @TomB can't find the dimensions on the product page and I need to order some parts for my hifi rack to fit it, is that because you're still finalising the enclosure?
     
  3. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    771
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    It is approximately 300mm x 200mm x 60mm (roughly 12" x 8" x 2.25")
     
    Taverius likes this.
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    @TomB: send the limited loaner over to @brencho. He has Focal Elex which I bet would be a superb pairing.
     
    ColtMrFire likes this.
  5. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    658
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Home Page:
    brencho has been pm'd … ;)
     
    ColtMrFire likes this.
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    I dropped by @brencho's the other day. I can confirm @Ice-man and @BillD's observations. We found that tubes can make a big difference from polite (provided stock) to less polite with the special Brimars with what looked like the Batman logo on them (stronger, sharper transients, and less bloom).

    The high end is natural and smooth, an improvement over any of the T3 builds I have heard. Don't know what @dsavitsk did here. It's on par with any other well-implemented full tube amp. Resolution is very very good and stage expansive and wide (particularly with @brencho's uber tubes). Overall, the tonality is on the warm side with either the stock or Brimar 12??7. There is a bit of mid-bass boost with the headphones that we tried (see below). Anyone who likes bright and sterile "wire-with-gain" (of which there is no such thing) amp should avoid this amp.

    This is the kind of amp that you plug in very technical capable headphones, sip a cask strength RE:FIND rye bourbon, listen for hours, and fall asleep with your mouth open drooling after the tonearm hits the Q-up.

    The modded HD800s and Elex worked pretty good from the T4. I think the HD600 would have been ideal, but I forgot to try it. There certainly are enough 12??7 variants to make almost anything work. This amp isnt cheap, but I would be hard pressed to name any other around the price range that can do better. Maybe the ZDS, but it's crept up in price and is now discontinued. To get better than this, we need to move up to the next price bracket. The T4 fills in a gap that I have long considered no-mans land. This is a good thing.

    More from @brencho and some photos later, because people like pictures.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
    Syzygy, allegro, Dr. Higgs and 29 others like this.
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    IMG_20190114_111838.jpg
    IMG_20190114_104612.jpg
     
    Lyer25, Wilson, BillD and 15 others like this.
  8. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    Nice booze selection.

    Going by your impressions, I should be going for the lively & skinny side of tube town for Veritè & Nips?

    I have some brimar Ts, they're not batman specials but I'll start there.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    The Willet rye was disappointing, it's garbage better off mixed with ginger ale or perhaps an Old Fashioned (plop a sugar cube on top of a slice of orange and toast it the flame thrower).

    That would be my preference with the ZMF Verite, but I am not sure if Verite would be a good match. Warm and mellow + bass and mellow could be too much of a good thing. However, I am not well versed in 12A**7 tubes. If there were an equivalent to the leaner, meaner, and brighter Genelax Gold Lions for the 6922s, it could work. The ZMF Aelous/Nips would be a better match for the T4 with the tubes we tried.
     
    Jinxy245 likes this.
  10. jowls

    jowls Never shitposts (please) - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,586
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    43°S
    Damn, that is a great looking amp. I still think Dougs designs are what the future should have looked like, at least after reading Orwell, Huxley and Bradbury as a kid.

    Your impressions make T4 sound like a tubed uber-BW2.
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Never thought of that, but that's a good way to put it. Much better-looking casework and no dumb-ass looking Arial font.
     
  12. Taverius

    Taverius Smells like sausages

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,356
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Rapallo, Italy
    Roger that. I picked up a smattering of non-insano-priced stuff of all kinds, new and old, including Genalex Ts*, so we'll see how that works out.

    If it fails I'll have to 'settle' for tuning the Af for the Veritè and the T4 for the Auteur which sounds like such a hardship...

    * If anyone cares, New Sensor is making at least 3 different constructions of 12A*7s, as the tung-sol and Genalex Ts and Eh Ys have very different internals.

    Interesting change from their KT88s which are all identical as far as I can tell.
     
    purr1n likes this.
  13. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Likes Received:
    347
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    India
    Did someone say Uber-BW2?
     
    Baten and Gaspasser like this.
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    BW2 might slam a bit harder, but the difference here is tiny. The T4 is more resolving and has a wider stage for sure. Definitely get good tubes for the T4.
     
    EagleWings and Vtory like this.
  15. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    771
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    Myriad Pro. Friendly, bold, geometric but not clinical.
     
    9suns, obsiCO, pavi and 4 others like this.
  16. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,776
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    LA
    Just like the amp itself
     
  17. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

    Friend BWC MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,101
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    On planet
    What is your short list of good tubes for the T4?
     
  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    41,488
    Dislikes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    I suck at this. Brimar 12AX7 "T" I liked quite a bit. Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7 tube for new stock based on my experience with their other small tube the 6922.
     
    atomicbob likes this.
  19. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Likes Received:
    771
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    AX7's may roll off HF.
     
    atomicbob likes this.
  20. brencho

    brencho Loves pumping iron (Moderator)

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,776
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    LA
    The brimar Marv is referring to is the 6060 Yellow T.
     
    purr1n and atomicbob like this.

Share This Page