ECP Torpedo III [indexed in first post]

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by FlySweep, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    For those of you waiting for news, Tom will have the final T4 prototype at the meet in Atlanta this weekend. We are still working out the final manufacturing details, but we should have actual amplifiers available sooner than later.

    (I know I said earlier that we were skipping over the T4 for the T5. A last minute change allowed us to design the T4 in a way that we did not think was going to be possible. There is also a T5 available for those who need more power.)
     
  2. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Got a pair of GE 12AZ7 to replace the Westinghouse ones. Definitely took everything up a notch. Gift that keeps on giving.
     
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  3. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Any more news on the new Torpedo amps? Serious lack of impressions from the meet.

    How would these do with Focal Clears? I take it they still use OPT's?
     
  4. Alaarx

    Alaarx Facebook Friend

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    Can the T5 be built with preamp outs?
     
  5. e.schell

    e.schell Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    Yeah i have really been looking forward to hearing some more information plus first even though limited impressions!
     
  6. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    We are waiting to get the metal back from the finisher at which point we should have a real one to show. A few more weeks

    They do use output transformers, but we worked hard to get the DCR lower to make them work better with Focals. Indeed, historically high impedance has meant 300 Ohms, and low has meant 32, but here we optimized for senns and focals.

    Yes. But it would add to the cost - send me an email.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  7. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Cool i can't wait for them to be available, if they are a step up from the T3 they should be very good.

    Btw the difference between the T4 and T5 will only be output power? They both have the same windings for Focal and Sennheiser? Planar's present a flat impedance curve so i reckon that's even easier for the opt's right?
     
  8. dsavitsk

    dsavitsk Friend

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    Just in terms of the OPTs,w e think they are better. But there are also circuit improvements.

    The T5 is quite a bit different - different OPTs, circuit changes, different tubes, and the addition of input transformers. But it will also be quite a bit more expensive.
     
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  9. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Have you guys settled on prices yet and can you share them?

    When you mean input transformers does that mean the T5 can take balanced input?
     
  10. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    The Atlanta meet was a bit disappointing because there was much less traffic than usual. It might also be because I don't think the T4 plays as well with the 12AZ7 as the T3 did and those were the tubes I had in there. Since then, I've tried many things and done extensive testing. Changing the transistors was a big one. The T4 with Mullard 12AT7s is now much better than the T3 with the same tubes, which is as it should be.

    I do not have Focals … yet, but can confirm that my original low-serial-number K701s sound better from the T4 (LoZ) than any amp I've heard. They are 62 ohms, essentially the same as Focal's impedance. Testing the T4 shows more than a 10dB improvement in noise from 20K to 1K than the T3. With the HD800, the biggest difference is an increase in articulation over the T3. Detail is exquisite, but never peaky or harsh. Bass is much better defined and deep. Hearing the bass on the K701 is simply amazing, but "articulate" is the best word that describes the T4, I think.
     
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  11. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Thanks Tom! Maybe you can borrow some Clears, they really are very nice, would love to hear your take on them with the T4/T5 :)
     
  12. P-Car

    P-Car Rando

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    Let me know if you would like to borrow my Focal Clear cans Tom. They have about 300 to 350 hours on them at this point so they are well broken-in. ECP Audio has lent our crew amps for testing and audition / feedback so I am more than happy to reciprocate.

    My T3 sounds great with them so I assume the T4 and T5 will be even better...

    [You'll have to grab the Clears from jexby though as he currently has them now...;)]
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  13. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Man, really excited about the T4.
     
  14. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    Ouch. Looks like I had a typo in that post up there and now it appears that I can't edit it.

    The noise reduction I cited is from 20 Hz to 1K. So, from the bass to midrange.

    This is where power supply noise normally shows up. The T4 is much better than the T3 in that regard. Response from 1K to 20K (midrange to high-end) is about the same, but as noted, the improved power supply/PCB layout - and Lundahl output transformers - still lend a better articulation on the high end.
     
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  15. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Realized I've had the GE 12AZ7 tubes for a while now but neglected to commment on them here. For reference I've tried the stock EH, Westinghouse 12AZ7 and Siemens E88CC 12AT7.

    The GE tubes bested them all. Quite liquid and extremely articulate without sounding analytical (remaining very musical). Slight hint of warmth without losing clarity. Great wide open and layered staging, plenty of air to satisfy my classical collection. Even the grit and grunge of electric guitars is fantastic. I've been totally content with them and about the only tubes I'm curious about at this point are the Brimar CV4033 I've heard good things about.

    The Siemens were excellent as well, just a little too dry and analytical sounding with my HD800, and they didn't have that euphonic liquidity. I'm set to demo a modded HD650 with the T3 in a few days, so I'm kind of hoping I like them enough to take on a pair as a second option to my 800.
     
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  16. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    Yep. The GE 12AZ7 remains one of my favorite tubes in the T3. The only thing besting it, IMHO, is the Mullard CV4024 (12AT7). The Mullard runs a lot cooler, which is one of the reasons I think that one is better.

    I can't remember which user let me borrow the Brimars, but I was not impressed. Initially, they sounded just like the Mullards, but then I started noticing a mid-to-high end crunch and harshness.

    If the ones you mention are the flying-lead converted types, I suspect they won't impress. I've run tests before using tube socket savers, etc. and when the tube pin distance is increased from the rest of the amplifier circuit, it seems like more noise is the result. I think the flying-lead conversions inherently introduce more lead (pin) length and that may be why they sound bad in the T3.
     
  17. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    Hmm. What about the Valve 6201? Have you tried those?

    I honestly didn't like the Mullards (forgot to mention those). But it's possible I didn't let them break in long enough. May give them another shot. The GE's are so good I'd be content with just listening to those, but I wonder if I missed something with the Mullards.
     
  18. TomB

    TomB MOT: Beezar

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    Well, the 12AZ7 probably has more authoritative bass, but the Mullards seem to have an otherworldly soundstage with very little bass loss by comparison. I own several pairs of the Mullards and have also traded and tested many other pairs with a friend. They all seem very consistent - enough so that I made them standard in the T4.

    You are correct to mention the 6201. That's one that I haven't tried, but it looks like it may be a good choice.

    EDIT: A quick check on ebay may indicate why I haven't pursued the 6201: they seem to be infected with the 12AT7 audiophile price inflation. The Mullards have inherently much higher construction quality. Plus, they have a fairly deserved reputation that my own personal experience (in years prior to the T3) has confirmed. So, it's easier to shell out $40-$50 for a Mullard and more of a dice-roll to do that for 6201. There are a few that are available for $30-$40 a pair or less. Those might be worth trying. JMHO.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  19. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Friend

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    I feel like the Mullards we're a little too warm for me, but I may try them again.
     
  20. pigfoot

    pigfoot Rando

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    Any news about new DIY projects after T3?
     

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