Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Jan 22, 2019.
Bass was more hard hitting and felt more "rock solid" on the 3F.
I find tubes to be more "natural /euphonic/pleasing" sounding than SS. SS always sounded kind of sterile and lifeless to me once I got my hands on stuff like Lyr 2, Aficionado, T3, etc. Good to great tube amps. So that's what I meant. 3F just doesn't sound like typical SS to me, even though it retains that SS sound. This is hard to put into words because it seems like a contradiction but it's not.
It’s sounds like the situation with the Black Widow. SS amp but without the annoying (to me) treble of a lot of SS amps.
@ColtMrFire maybe I missed it, but do you use low or high Z on the T3 with HD600?
I was thinking the same thing. @ColtMrFire, have you heard the BW2 and if so, is the 3F bringing the same "SS/tube hybrid" (just to choose a phrase) characteristics?
Also, what is the OI of the 3F - I assume a usual SS spec of say, < a few Ohm but just an assumption...
My memory of BW is hazy (it was BW1). I heard it with a bunch of other stuff (Ragnarok, Yggdrasil, HD800, HD800S, HE 560). Too hazy to offer anything substantial other than it was incredibly striking how lively and colorful it was. 3F doesn't have that same sort of warmth or lushness(?). It sounds more "solid state". But grain of salt and all that.
Also, I should add that since the 3F is optimized for low z Focals, and the T3 pairs best with high z Senns, that could play into why I preferred the T3. I suspect that if I heard it with a Focal I'd change my mind. I mean I suppose amp preferences are headphone dependent anyway.
@ColtMrFire Good impressions all around. SS amps vs tubes? This has been going on since before I had grey hair. I’m talking speaker amps. Headphone amps?? They only existed in DIY houses.
Glad you are still willing to offer your impressions.
Could everyone just chill. It’s just audio. People hear things differently . SuperBESTAudioFRIENDS.
I finally got to hear the Ravenswood at a friends place - fortunately he allowed me to swap in both the Nickel transformers and the amorphous (spelling!?) transformers. It was really nice to be able to hear them both! I believe the DAC used was a holo spring - I listened on a Verite Closed proto and regular Verite.
Nickel: Has more of the tube qualities which seem to be mentioned. More mid range and bass focus - treble extended, weighty and controlled, less air. Driver control is exceptional. Comes across as more damped slightly than amorphous. Less cool sound.
Amorphous: Treble extension and air increased, cooler tonality without being dry. Nice weight but more "deft," and nimble. Midrange isn't as forward and stage has more of a 3d quality to it, didn't realize the slight "direct" nature of the Nickel until I put the Amorphous in.
The amp in general has amazing driver control - I never felt liked the driver was ever damped too much or little with either transformer. I can see why some people may decide to give up tube nervosa for this amp depending on their headphones, as the holography and slight euphony to the mids without loss of control that the Ravenswood captures is really nice, and not something in comparison most of my other solid states can do, regardless of price. I felt as if it would be worth having both transformers after listening.
Keep in mind I listened for maybe 30 mins each transformer on just one of my headphones. So it's a small picture - but I thought it might be helpful to some on here.
You are being way too literal. Use the Force.
Maybe we need to take the weekend off, like we have done before.
Or maybe we should start a separate thread:
101 things that I can point wrong about @ColtMrFire's post on the 3F
Let's play smear the queer, and @ColtMrFire is the queer.
I'd turn the site off, but a few sponsors just renewed. Not the right message to send to the companies who support me taking an extra hour or two every day out of my life: RL work (which is crazy but also extremely rewarding), my time with playing instruments with my kids, or biking in the hills.
Yeah. 3F is clean. Good clean. BW and T3/T4 are actually very similar in presentation. I think you just like the warmer wetter presentation of the T3. You might prefer the nickel core 3F to the amorphous core 3F.
Personally, I'd probably stick to the amorphous core and steal @Donald North's SFT-1 CD player.
Yup. That's also why I liked the Gungnir Multibit A1.
So @DEATHxMACHINE was kind enough to reach out and is loaning me his Dangerous Music Convert 2 DAC so I have a better source to evaluate the 3F. As well as his ZMF Auteur, which I'm particularly excited to finally demo.
I am continually humbled and grateful to this community for it's generosity. I will post a follow up after the weekend.
Zach- glad you could apply Verite ears to the 3F and experience it's amazeball qualities.
but were those amorphous core transformers burned in? did they warm up exactly 3.1415926 hours before plugging in headphones? (numerology matters)
so you're saying to get off my duff and install the amorphous, which have been sitting on my shelf for the last couple weeks? ok ok. will get to it mid-week, luckily (?) the Aficionado is side by side and can perhaps draw some direct comparisons as well.
for @dsavitsk (and others), at the risk of demystifying the sum of the whole, as well as asking out of ignorance:
wondering if the linear power inside is more/less important to any specific stage of the 3F?
IIRC some early prototypes during R&D of the 3F might have started with a different power design.
Ha - well - I don't think the transformers were burnt in yet so - uhhhhh. But the amp was brand new so I don't think the nickel ones were either.
For my taste I likely would prefer the girthy-ness of the Nickel on the auteur and the deftness of the Amorphous on the Verite. YMMV and all that business.
Not sure I understand exactly what you're asking. But the 3F PS has been the same since the inception. In theory, the PS shouldn't matter at all in the circuit. But it of course does. The original '1 had a much simpler PS. The upgrade from the '1 to the '3 involved, among many other things, upgrading the PS. The '3F uses the same PS circuit as the '3 (and the '4 for that matter).
The first '3F's were made with through hole parts. The second revision changed to SMD. The 3rd revision added swapable input transformers.
Heya @tommytakis in another thread you wrote:
I am interested in any specifics related to this "don't pre-amp 3F" topic.
a couple weeks back did use an EC Af as a pre to the 3F, as a sonic experiment than any attempt at dual TOTL end game madness.
this was attempted for short (less than 30min) listening sessions, with both Amorphous and Nickel core transformers.
in general the Af provide the tube spaciousness, width / depth, to the presentation. at times the softer Af bass was a bit boosted depending on the track.
no amps nor Autueur cans were harmed during these experiments.
Hi @jexby I've extracted all the relevant quotes regarding to your question from my email exchange with Doug. I hope this helps!
Tommy- "Is there anything that I should be wary of when using this amp that could potentially damage the amp or the headphones plugged in?"
Doug - "This amp can only be used with balanced headphones. You cannot use a balanced to single ended adapter, and you cannot use it as a preamp connected to other equipment."
Tommy- "Also I know you said no pre amps connected to this amplifier, so even balanced preamps like Schiit Freya is a no go? is there a reason why this cannot be done?"
Doug - "As for the balanced preamp - you could connect the '3F's output to a preamp or power amp that used an input transformer and that did not ground the center tap. I can't think of many that are designed this way - some of the Jeff Rowland stuff, maybe. The reason is that the output of the 3F is not referenced to earth."
Yes, I saw that as well. I've got a balanced passive Hattor preamp I plan to use with my (incoming) 3F. Glad to hear that you didn't blow anything up during your experiment.
I wonder if the issue is impedance mis-match? Or is he only talking about connecting the 3F output to a preamp?
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