ECP DSHA3F Ravenswood 3F

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    The higher impedance Audezes are good on the 3F (note that Audezes' impedance will be different depending upon revision). Especially the latest high-impedance Audeze formulations which have higher Z than prior generations (LCD-2,3).

    The 3F has Z out of 5-ohms Into a 20-ohm LCD-X, that means 5 / 25 (20+5) the voltage is wasted as heat. Not only that, the 3F isn't that powerful. So double whammy. Not much power, and good portion of that power being wasted as heat. The idea behind 3F was a minimal design for the most transparent delivery of the signal to Focal headphones. The LCD-X will sound soft, lazy, and laid-back from 3F compared to even a Magni 3+.

    The Liquid Gold X is a monster into lower-impedance loads. At 33-ohms, about 6W of power which is a fuckton (into 33-ohms). I bet even if the gains are not linear into half that impedance, it's still a ton of power. I suspect the Liquid Gold works great with Audezes because of the combination of power/current and it's voicing.

    No necessarily. However, the newer low Z stuff (LCD-X, LCD-5) may be more challenging in this regards, and will require high current amps capable of powering almost speaker-like loads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2022
  2. JeremiahS

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    If you like the Liquid Gold X then I think you should give AMB Beta22 a try. Very similar tuning overall, after all the designer Mr. Ti Kan seems to collaborate often with Mr. Cavalli. I recently heard an original Liquid Gold and comparing it with dual mono Beta22 directly, they are in the same league performance wise. Both amps also seem to shine better with planars than dynamics.
     
  3. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I also had the opportunity to listen to @earnmyturns 's DSHA-3F and somehow managed to delete ALL of my notes. Well crap, this is going to be much less detailed than I intended. First thank you earnmyturns, your generosity is appreciated! This one has the nickel transformers and is much more to my taste compared with the cooler option which I heard a few months ago.

    I compared with my Stratus (both fed by the Pavane) and various headphones spending most time with the OG Focal Clears. The DSHA-3F is excellent and I see why it is so popular for Focal. It also paired well with the Atticus, HD 6XX. and HE 6se (RD modded). I like how the MJ1 adds punch to the HE 6se but the DSHA-3F is way more refined and resolving. So it was hard to pick a favorite amp for the HD 6se. Like rhythmdevils, I didn't like the DSHA-3F with Audeze at all (LCD-4, also RD modded), it sounded dead.

    I found the DSHA-3F very refined and enjoyable and it held up well against the Stratus,. In terms of which amp I enjoyed most, this would vary depending on the specific music. That said, I preferred the Stratus's tone overall and I think the Stratus is more flexible in terms of supported headphones and sound tweaks (via switching tubes).

    This is definitely the most refined and resolving solid state amp I've heard and was surprisingly good with a variety of dynamic drivers. Now I'm trying to "force" earnmyturns to borrow my Clears so he can experience the synergy for himself. :D Though it's definitely a flavor change if you prefer ZMF, I find it fun to switch between the two flavors depending on my mood.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2022
  4. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I'm glad you found some good headphone matches for my nickel DSHA-3F, I'll definitely borrow your Clears to hear what they are about when I have time. I also own an amorphous transformer DSHA-3F in my other place, but it doesn't convince as much with ZMF Verité (open or closed), although I do enjoy them with Auteur blackwood.
     
  5. loadexfa

    loadexfa Friend

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    I’m glad you’re gonna take me up on the offer. :)

    I tried the amorphous with my old teak Auteur and didn’t like the pairing so I think we have a taste difference there.
     
  6. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Anyone happen to know how much voltage the input trafos on the DSHA3F can take before clipping? I have a DAC with a super hot output that did clip the DSHA1 to a pretty extreme degree, but I hope I can use it with the 3F which will soon be in my possession. I'd rather not add an attenuation stage, so if it doesn't work out, might need to consider another DAC altogether.
     
  7. AdvanTech

    AdvanTech Friend

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    Wouldn't putting something like a Goldpoint in front of it and leaving the potentiometer pot max'd out on the DSHA-3F be more transparent anyway?
     
  8. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Probably, but I don't really want to add more boxes. If I'm going to have a 3+ box headphone chain, I'd use a fleawatt speaker amp instead.
     
  9. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    Maybe get inline attenuators then?
    I’ve been using -12dB RCA attenuators in front of all my SE amps with good results. They’re not technically a box :p
     
  10. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Lundahl transformers are typically rated 1% distortion at +29 dBu.
    Here are a few custom measurements on my DSHA-3F that might provide some insight.

    Volume knob set for -30 dB gain - 300R load
    202200509-2 DSHA-3F THD+N  4+HD+N vs amp 300R - distortion annotated.png
    The distortion sweet spot appears to be from approximately +5 to +15 dBu input.

    Volume knob set for 0 dB gain - 300R load
    202200509-22 DSHA-3F THD+N  4+HD+N vs amp 300R - distortion annotated.png
    Again the distortion sweet spot appears to be from approximately +5 to +15 dBu.
     
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  11. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    Additionally, the level handling drops precipitously, particularly for the amorphous transformers, if there is any DC offset from the source. This is very common for DC coupled stages that use some sort of opamp based servo.
     
  12. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Since I don't know how the wood on these were finished... anyone know of a preferred wood polish/conditioner/cleaner? The walnut on mine is looking a little dry. I'm thinking something like Howard feed-n-wax... but didn't want to screw up the finish that's already on the amp
     
  13. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    I'd use tung oil. Put some on a clean soft cloth, wipe on, wait a couple minutes for it to penetrate, wipe dry.
     
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  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I'd be careful with that. Need to be very specific on what type to use. When people see tung oil, it's usually some kind of varnish-oil blend that has a lot of added chemicals like driers. I'm not sure the goal is to put a new varnish coat over the existing finish. Just spruce it up, ya? Using pure tongue oil with no dryers or varnishes might be okay, but I've used pure tung oil and it takes up to a week to dry. Stinks like hell too.

    The Mohawk furniture polish/cleaner Zach recommends for his headphones has done fantastic things on everything I've used it on. Maybe give that a shot?

    If not, I would probably stick with the furniture wax and a non abrasive pad / t-shirt for application.

    @dsavitsk thoughts?
     
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  15. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    These amps are finished with a combination of linseed oil and beeswax. https://www.triedandtruewoodfinish.com/products/original-wood-finish/

    You should not use anything else over it as a) yuck* and b) the wax will likely interfere with the application. The original wood finish (linked above, and available at Amazon or Woodcraft) is what you want**. To use it, cut a piece of an old t-shirt, dip it in the goo, and spread as little as you possibly can over the wood. Wait an hour and buff off as much as possible. Then do it again the next day. In a warm and dry environment, it will be cured in a day or two.

    * I'll never understand the desire of woodworkers to put layers of toxic petrochemical goo over their woodwork (tung oil is fine, it's just not the best option here). Isn't the point of wood that it's wood and not plastic? Yes, linseed oil and beeswax does not offer the same level of protection as plastic. Wabi-sabi.

    ** I generally use several layers of the varnish oil first, but once the original finish is on, the wax can block the varnish application.
     
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  16. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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  17. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    Thanks!

    Exactly what I was worried about... I know mixing oil and wax can have disastrous (sticky) results.
     
  18. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE MOT: NITSCH

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    ^I can attest that the smell of this indoors and actually working with it is nice. I am using to repair and touch up some wood with this on the recommendation of Doug.

    Edit: Got this small bottle for $15 on Amazon
    IMG_1558.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2022
  19. Souldriver

    Souldriver Facebook Friend

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    I agree for the most part. In my guitar building days i prefered the thinnest to no finish. Certain woods on fretboards worked well and you just keep it clean and 1-2x per year hit it with some oil, i prefered fret doctor. Let it soak in, wipe the excess.

    But a lot of things do need a finish to protect that beautiful wood. Lind and Tung are not bad, and anything high gloss a sprayed oil lacquer is hard to beat but also now extremely restricted. I personally did a lot of Tru Oil. You can keep it real thin, it enhances the look and holographic figuring/chatoyance of the wood, is easy to repair and blend, and has a great feel and sheen. I told customers they could put a little clear or amber wax on it if they want but be very sparse and repairs may cost extra.

    I have the guitar pics stowed away but take some cherry:

    Unfinished:
    [​IMG]
    Fresh finish:
    [​IMG]
    10 years of age:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Souldriver

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    And some Honduras mahogany...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Wood is kinda gorgeous.
     

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