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Northern California - Oct. 30, 2010


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Thanks to Icarium for hosting a great meet on Saturday, with a small but select batch of audiophiles and gear.

And thanks to Craig for bringing some of his product line. I was able to spend some time comparing an HD800 with my K702 on his pre-release Eddie Current Balancing Act. I doubt that recorded Bach organ works can sound better than this.


Craig and his new baby.


Our host and the Eddie Current Zana Deux. Woo Audio amp and other gear I wish I could afford.

I also compared a K701 with my K702, and noticed that the notorious headband bumps are not the same. They are narrower and harder on the 702, wider, softer, and not so deep on the 701. Much more comfy on the latter. I have to wrap the K702 headband with a foam-padded sock to cushion it, or I can't wear the phones longer than about an hour.


Above left, top to bottom: Sony Qualia 010; Audio-Technica ATH-AD2000; AKG K702, K701, K601; Audez'e LCD-2. Right, the AKG K70x headbands.







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As I don't think the chassis is completely finalized neither is the price. Looks like it may be high bang for buck though. An everything amp. Nice integrated for efficient speakers (really sung with Dans Green Mountains) and performed very well with the HD800s, LCD-1s and 2s. OKay with K1Ks, but the others stood out more. Not sure what the specs are or how the final may change, but could see people really happy with it for multi-use. Definitely following progress.

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Okay couple other points I should have posted earlier. Solid state with tube gain. Was in a Zana Deux case as a stop gab, but likely eventually less wide, slightly longer and more stack friendly (possibly tubes recessed with portals). And most exciting, besides how well it performed for the few tests I threw at it, he's trying to bring it in near $1K.

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Deets on amp from Craig

"The EC Hybrid is a vacuum tube bi-polar headphone/ speaker amplifier. It is a true dual mono design with two separate power transformers. The 12AX7 tubes run on plus and minus 300 volts. There are four regulated high voltage supplies, two for B+, and two for the tube current sources. The bias circuit is boot strapped to the high voltage circuit, and the current gain comes from six output transistors plus two driver transistors per channel. Each output transistor has very fast Ft's of over 80mHz. The amplifier bandwidth is -.5dB 5Hz, and 70kHz. Each output transistor has it's own 10,000uF power supply capacitor at the collector for a total power supply reserve of 120,000uF. Power output is 15 watts 8 ohms, and 30 watts 4 ohms. The Hybrid will have a three input selector switch, headphone/speaker switch, and front panel 1/4" headphone jack."

He's still trying to figure out chassis and possibly some other features. As Ric says it was crushing things with my 89 (Or was it 90?) db GMA europas. Best thing I've heard in conjunction with it. His buddy Andy who inspired the solid state portion of the hybrid is designing an all out balanced version that is much more powerful will be in the 5k territory range that is fully balanced and will come in either a Joel designed chassis or a chassis milled from a single block of aluminum.

Craigs amp will be in the 1k range and frankly will do my speakers more than enough justice. Will look at Andy's offering when I have a room that can justify speakers that can justify ze amp ;p Andy is his friend who was hired at Harmon to design a flagship amp that sadly never saw the light of day and also is of Great American Sound fame.. outfit who did Ampzilla etc.

Edited by Icarium
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