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EC Black Widow


Wade
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27 minutes ago, kevin gilmore said:

get me one for a couple of days, then everyone will know.

lately things getting high praise by many over there turn into massive pieces of poorly build crap.

Unfortunately I don't have one. I do apreciate HC letting people know about Cavalli Audio, but what's wrong with Eddie Current? I've searched around but can't really find anything. 

What amplifiers would you recommend for dynamic headphones such as HD650 then? The more the better!

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1 hour ago, kevin gilmore said:

get me one for a couple of days, then everyone will know.

lately things getting high praise by many over there turn into massive pieces of poorly build crap.

Thanks kevin, google told me the eddy flapship thingy is 7 grands...

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singlepower made a sds xlr gold plated that was over $30k.

inside it looked like all the other ones.

craig published one picture of a obviously hand built electra that looked decent except for the el-crapo connectors. I have been told production models are the same garbage as always. companies that refuse to show whats inside are obviously not proud of their work.

buy a Chinese made ksa5 klone.

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6 hours ago, kevin gilmore said:

singlepower made a sds xlr gold plated that was over $30k.

inside it looked like all the other ones.

craig published one picture of a obviously hand built electra that looked decent except for the el-crapo connectors. I have been told production models are the same garbage as always. companies that refuse to show whats inside are obviously not proud of their work.

buy a Chinese made ksa5 klone.

Are there any specific Chinese ksa5's that you'd recommend? I remember reading some had issues or component omissions. Thanks.

Edited by dcpoor
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here you go

ecbw.jpg

its better than a lot of other eddie current stuff I have seen

people that think that shunt regulated power supplies are better than really good linear supplies are wrong

the input stage is very familiar

really weak output stage with virtually no heatsinking

painted really cheap steel chassis

 

there are a number of ksa5 clone boards on ebay, some are mine and are obvious, but no one putting my board inside a chassis at the moment.

if you have to buy one now on ebay, this one is complete, the power supply is not as strong as the original, but its cheap

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Headphone-amplifier-Imitation-KRELL-ksa5-line-CPI-full-DC-amp-machine-ClassA-amp-/112050882595?hash=item1a16c0c823:g:61kAAOSwu4BVkJvH

this one has my board but a different power supply

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Finished-Kevin-Gilmore-KG-version-KSA5-headphone-amp-preamp-amplifier-HL-230-/142031703076?hash=item2111bfcc24:g:6GMAAOSwM4xXaLnE

this one is my power supply with a different heatsink

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Assembeled-Power-supply-board-for-KG-version-KSA5-headphone-amp-PSU-/322047929078?hash=item4afb8d6af6:g:-~UAAOSwoudW8MxP

so you could buy the right board, and the right power supply, put it in your own chassis with a transformer for about $300 total...

Edited by kevin gilmore
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The ksa5 is voltage limited, so for things like the he6, not enough oomph. And its single ended, although nothing prevents you from stacking 2 of them for balanced in which case its going to have serious amounts of power.

ss dynahi is for all practical purposes way overkill for all modern in production headphones. Very nice on vintage electrovoice and jbl horn speakers. I did just pick up a pair of original "voice of the theater" set, if I bring them home i'm dead for sure.

ss dynalo is what I listen to when I listen to dynamic headphones. as I only use the he6 now for testing.

any of the audio-gd headphone amplifiers are better than that eddie current piece of crap in every single way, sound quality, build quality etc. And less than half the price.

I hope the black widow is reliable because its stuffed with obsolete parts (although the layout for the thatcorp/Motorola front end is obviously there), repairing the thing is almost as bad as trying to repair a cavalli piece of trash.

compare the picture above with this for $520

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1AMP/NFB1AMP9.JPG

 

Edited by kevin gilmore
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2 hours ago, kevin gilmore said:

...

so you could buy the right board, and the right power supply, put it in your own chassis with a transformer for about $300 total...

So this board with this power supply, plus chassis/jacks/pot, and a transformer. Sounds great for the $300 price.

Is there a specific transformer that you would recommend or prefer for this particular build? Thanks again.

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Btw, that $7k amp is single-end essentially, although using some input transformers to convert the signal to balanced, long live single end tube stuff (some tell me with tubes you can't go balance without breaking the bank). I remember one of kevin's designing ideals is avoiding any transformers in the signal paths.

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I've been using a headamp GS-1 with the Dynalo+ upgraded boards with my HD650's for a few months now and it transformed those headphones.  I'd put them up for a good while as I found them underwhelming with a Woo WA7 I was using.  The GS-1 really perked them up for me.  I do find the GS-1 a bit too bright with my TH900's, though....getting old and the uppers are a bit to peaky for my tastes.

HS

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1 hour ago, mtoc said:

Btw, that $7k amp is single-end essentially, although using some input transformers to convert the signal to balanced, long live single end tube stuff (some tell me with tubes you can't go balance without breaking the bank). I remember one of kevin's designing ideals is avoiding any transformers in the signal paths.

I read some of what you have written elsewhere, and its becoming clear you don't have any idea what you are talking about.

The apex amplifier linked to above is a single ended amplifier, that is there is a single output tube driving an gapped output transformer that carries the full dc of the power supply. The rise time and fall time of the output signal is not the same.

The eddie current tube amp pictured above is a push pull amplifier with 2 output tubes per channel. The output transformer is not gapped, and there is no dc in the transformer. The rise and fall time of the output signal is the same. In fact with both input and output transformers, that amplifier can be considered as fully balanced, and fully differential.

Big difference in the kind of sounds that these amplifiers make.

Now, since a couple have sent me emails about the black widow, here is my explanation of whats wrong with the picture above. Now maybe in the 2 box version the board had to be that size, and was obviously stuffed into a box of a specific size. But designing that way is stupid. In the single box there is all sorts of room to make the board bigger and do a much higher quality layout with better and bigger heatsinks, and having the left and right channels be absolutely identical.

The worst offender of differences in left and right channel layout was the melos, but the liquid fire, liquid lightning and especially the liquid glass are in the running.

The power supply board is obviously new, full ground plane on top, suitably sized heatsinks secured to the board etc, why use an amplifier from 2007.

The stax mafia can (and probably should) do a much better layout with larger heatsinks, identical channels etc. There is absolutely nothing unique about the circuit design.

If its going to be eye candy on the outside, it really needs to be eye candy on the inside if its going to command a premium price.

Edited by kevin gilmore
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24 minutes ago, kevin gilmore said:

The eddie current tube amp pictured above is a push pull amplifier with 2 output tubes per channel.

Parallel SE, they say. Balanced in with an input transformer, single ended gain stage, interstage transformer, parallel single ended output stage, floating secondary for "balanced" output.

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