Oh Sh#7! Eddie Current Studio B

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Aug 15, 2020.

  1. MisterRogers

    MisterRogers Ethernet Nervosa

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    You're on point there @purr1n - the Belleson reg. only yielded the slightest of sonic improvements (subjectively) in that circuit, while adding more heat to an amp that was closer to the edge of it's thermal envelope. While vented on the side, air didn't flow through very well.

    Still - what an amp! That #7 S7 (or Uber 7 as it became known as) is on my bench, waiting for a bit of work. Some day soon.
     
  2. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Yep, it's one of those scenarios where if you wanna play the game, you gotta understand the price, and also a learning through experience and mistakes thing.

    I was definitely naive and inexperienced going into it, but I inherently understand that I can be in for a world of hurt once I start popping open boxes to goof around. Always been that way, whether it be PC building/tuning, headphones and gear, cars, etc. I learn best through the feeling of existential dread when you realized you just broke something.

    God, I love those huge motor run caps, though. Mostly because of how ridiculous they are, physically.
     
  3. laevi

    laevi Friend

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    I'm thinking of jumping on this amp. Several questions to those more experienced:

    --Is there anything specific I should write on the order form other than the voltage?
    --Any forum threads in addition to the EC Studio Junior thread that I should read to get up to speed regarding operation, expectations, and possible vendors for tubes?

    Thanks!!
     
  4. Empyah

    Empyah Facebook Friend

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    I believe you should seriously consider the 2A3 option before you buy.
    As far as my research suggests the 2A3 is an improoved 300B, better extension, clearer and more natural sounding (less tubey). Aaaand they are cheaper too!

    As Marv mentioned many times before - out of the box, and even with cheap tubes this amp simply sounds amazing.
    No need for any glowy bulb nervosa - on the other hand that doesn't stop me from eyballing those sexy Psvane ACME's either...

    Craig suggested Shuguang 2A3C's and by mistake I ordered Psvane 2A3C's for half the price,
    and they still sound amazing in this amp - even compared to the 3 times more expensive Genalex Gold Lions.

    I believe it really comes down to flavour where I use the Lions with my LCD 2.2 for their synergystic effect - with those glourious holographic mids - and the Psvanes on the other hand with my Verite to smooth the upper mids and trebble a bit. Heck I am listening with that combo to Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene right now and feels like I'm flying my spaceship through a distant nebula somewhere far away!

    When it comes to the amp itself I am still blown away - nothing I heard so far comes close - with the Violectric V281 and Woo Audio Wa22 being the best I owned before the Junior.

    P.s.: I suggest to read up on these threads to get a feel for the amp and what the experience will be like as well as what Craig was going for with the Junior:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ec-studio-junior-not-af.7527/
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ec-aficionado-was-the-studio-jr.511/
    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/ec-studio.992/
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  5. laevi

    laevi Friend

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    Thanks for the information you posted! Am I mistaken to think that the Studio B is only offered with 300B tubes? Do I have to request Craig build it to use 2A3 tubes instead? Sorry, I didn't see the 2A3 option mentioned on the EC website.
     
  6. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    Last time I emailed Craig about this, a 2A3 version is possible but only with the Aficionado chassis. You'd better contacting him directly via email or phone.
     
  7. Empyah

    Empyah Facebook Friend

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    I own the Studio Junior, did not know that its not possible with the BA chassis to get 2A3.
    Sorry if I caused any confusion. Was stupid to assume of me.
     
  8. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    With the Studio B and Gungnir A2/Gen5, is it worth upgrading from the HD600 and HD650? If so, which of the Focal Elex, Clear, or HD800s would be the better option? Or something else?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  9. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE MOT: NITSCH

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    ^Keep an eye out for Marv's take on HD8XX when he gets them. None of us have heard yet...
     
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    HD600 to HD650 is a sidegrade. If you find that Studio B and Gungnir A2 work really well with HD600, then there's no need for an HD650 unless you want something slightly different. Assuming you like the HD600 this way, the logical next step would be Clear as a compliment (for more laid-back to HD600, but with Focal flair). Likewise I have an HD650 complimented with Elex. HD800S of course is always an option. An upgrade in resolution and soundstage at some expense to FR - but an FR that works really work for most classical recordings the way they are mastered.
     
  11. laevi

    laevi Friend

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    Is there a good time/method for contacting Craig? I emailed him earlier this week, but never received a reply. I did speak with him briefly by phone also earlier in the week to confirm that he's still taking orders. But I haven't been able to reach him by phone today, with my calls going to voicemail.

    I want to respect his personal time, so I don't want to keep trying if it's going to end up annoying him. (I know he's mostly retired at this point.) I was hoping to ask if a 2A3 build was possible, but given how the product is called Studio 300B, I fear it would be a stupid question and just annoy him. I also wanted to flesh out the order process and give him a heads up to expect an email with the order form.
     
  12. Empyah

    Empyah Facebook Friend

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    As far as I know Craig can configure the Studio B for 2A3.
    But you will have to specify it in the order form and it will cost you extra like it did me.
    You even have instructions how to do it yourself in the Afficionado thread I linked you.
    It does not seem to complicated.
     
  13. laevi

    laevi Friend

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    Just managed to talk with Craig. Doesn't seem like 2A3 option will be offered by him, so I appreciate the link you provided to mod the amp myself to accept 2A3 tubes when I go broke because of 300B tubes. Thanks!
     
  14. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    Thanks Marv for the advice! I have both the HD650 and HD600. I listened to the HD650 for a while, then switched to the HD600. I found the HD600 a little too bright, which is most bothersome when listening to solo violin recordings. The HD650, on the other hand, is a tad too lush (less defined) especially for Jazz. This was accentuated when switching to an old pair of '05 WE300B tubes I have. I can keep going back and forth between the two headphones, but almost want something in between. If I had to live with one of the two with the Studio B, I'd pick the HD650.
     
  15. animus

    animus Almost "Made"

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    Why not look into a HD580? You could probably find a used one for a good price on ebay. Alternatively, there's an extensive history of modding for the HD650 done throughout the ages that tries to push it more towards neutral, I'm sure you could find something worthwhile there.
     
  16. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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    I ended up doing something (below if anyone is interested), but don't want to derail this thread further. The key takeaway for me and what's most useful for this thread, is that the Studio B is revealing of the characteristics of each of these headphones, and they all work well with it depending on genre, taste, etc.


    To close the loop: I went for the HD8XX and used the $200 to get a B-Stock Elix for $375 (the Elex complements the HD650 as @purr1n suggested, and the HD8XX has the resolution/soundstage for classical, or at least it should). @animus thanks for the suggestion! I worry about modding headphones even though I'm more comfortable with other DIY work.
     
  17. agent_goldenfox

    agent_goldenfox Rando

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    New to amps, and wondering if I should put an order for the Studio B - anyone has experience of listening to a Decware Zen Taboo or a Mogwai SE and can help in comparing these? Those are the other two amps I was considering to get.
     
  18. Hugomac

    Hugomac Rando

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    I just ordered one, emailed Judy. Are they still taking orders?
     
  19. totlsota

    totlsota Rando

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    I’m happy to say I received a shiny new Studio B from Craig and Judi 2 weeks back. I’ve been enjoying it and there aren’t enough hours in the day.

    Without re-engaging the well documented Balanced vs Single-ended output topic - is there an reason that with this amp the Balanced out should be substantially better? On other amps I’ve not found the difference as much as it seems to be with the Studio B...
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    There is absolutely no logical or sensical reason why the balanced outputs would sound better. However some things to know:
    • You could get different results with different headphones. I felt the difference was more discernible between the balanced and SE outs when using headphones with better headstage such as HD800, Verite C, than say HD650 or Grados.
    • The difference could be the connector - better connections than phono. Some have commented that the 4-pin XLR on the Black Widow sounded better than the phono jack, even though the BW was a single-ended amp.
    • When using solely the balanced 4-in XLR jack, the secondaries are left floating. Whenever the SE jack is used, the secondaries are grounded. Craig has said, since going back to his Moth days, he's always left the secondaries floating because it sounded better. He could be onto something with this.
     

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