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I am pleased to announce two new headphone amplifiers from ecp audio: the DSHA-1 and the L-2.


The DSHA-1 is a fully differential (balanced) solid-state headphone amplifier. Designed for exceptional synergy with Grado headphones, it is an excellent choice with other dynamics as well. It is extremely clean, clear, and detailed yet tube-like in its warmth. The unique differential topology uses Lundahl amorphous core input transformers to provide noise free voltage gain (selectable to 6dB or 12dB) and high CMRR (better than 120dB at 60Hz), and MOSFET source followers for output power. The output is transformer coupled: eliminating capacitors from the signal path and allowing the DSHA-1 to work equally well with balanced and single ended headphones. Further, the differential nature of the DSHA-1’s circuitry isolates the signal from the power supply. In addition to an exceedingly quiet amplifier, this means that bass transients are not powered from large capacitor banks, and mids and highs do not pass through noisy electrolytic capacitors.


The L-2 is a single ended “spud” parafeed tube headphone amplifier for dynamic headphones developed out of the L’espressivo line of DIY projects. As a single ended tube amplifier utilizing a single 6S45pi tube for both voltage and current gain, the L-2 has the musicality and liquid clear midrange tubes are known for. However, because of the novel shunt-regulated biasing arrangement, the high performance plate load, the short signal path, and the extremely high quality parts used throughout, the L-2 surpasses the usual limitations of the SET topology. It excels in dealing with complex musical passages and heavy bass notes. Further, the L-2 is so quiet that even with sensitive headphones, you cannot tell whether it is on. There is no hiss, no hum, just quiet. The L-2 uses Lundahl input transformers, V-Cap parafeed capacitors, and custom designed, nickel-core, Electra-Print output transformers with both low (32 Ohm) and high (300 Ohm) impedance taps.

All of our amplifiers are craft made in small batches and hand assembled in Chicago. The woodwork is hand made from sustainable stock at Pickett Furniture in Brooklyn, NY, and the metalwork is machined and finished in California.

The DSHA-1 is available from $1995 shipped in the USA, while the L-2 starts at $2495. For questions, please email [contact at ecpaudio.com], or use the contact form at www.ecpaudio.com.

More information is available from www.ecpaudio.com

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Many thanks to Doug for hauling a ton of hardware over to his office, and setting-up a proper audition of his exceptional DSHA-1 and L-2 amps.

And thanks to jvlgato for the loan of his LCD-2r1 to supplement the Grados and Ultrasones for comparo purposes.

Also thanks to Doug for recommending one of the best and most authentic pizza experiences this side of Napoli.

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John - the short answer to your question "What did I think" is: I think I needs to get me some ECP Audio goodness.

The LCD-2r1 sounded exceptional being driven by either the L-2 or the DSHA-1.

The Grados sounded great.

Even the Ultrasone Pro900s sounded good.

Both the L-2 and DSHA-1 displayed taut bass, unbelieveably creamy midrange, and crisp treble without any hint of harshness.

Tubes are nice, but my personal preference is the sound of solid state.

Especially considering that most of my head-time will be with LCD-3s.

So, I'll likely end up asking Doug for a DSHA-1.

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Rock on! I felt the same way about the DSHA-1 ... haven't heard the L-2.

I ended up buying one, too. Time has only increased my appreciation for it. I was enjoying it last night with Beck's Sea Change. Just great!

Hope you had a good visit, by the way! Glad you got some 'za!

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