Custom Ear+HD progressing finally

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voodoochile

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« on: 12 Apr 2006, 11:35 am »
Greetings everyone. I wanted to share a few pics here of the Ear+HD I'm building. I built my first one about two years ago, and love it very much. I did wish to add some extra switched inputs, and also wished I had room for an attenuator, which the stock chassis will not accomodate. After a lot of fidgeting, I finally committed to build another one in a custom chassis.

So why not go nuts if you are going to go for a custom chassis anyway, right? I contacted Dr. Peppard about buying a kit without the chassis, as I do want to support him in his work, and also discussed possibly using a tube rectifier. Well, it turns out that one of the early Ear amps had a tube rectifier. So we settled on a hybrid hexfred/tube bridge rectifier arrangement. I also added a C-L-C filter in front of the existing C-R-C-R-C filter in the B+ PSU, utilizing a nice NOS thordarson choke I have. So it's now a C-L-C-R-C-R-C arrangement.

Here is the new PSU breadboarded (plywooded?) and tapped into the existing Ear+HD- also using it's filament supply for testing:


Potted the two power transformers in thermal epoxy:


Top plate is punched from stainless steel:


Finished version of top plate is polished stainless:


And finally the backside, showing the underside oil cap bracket and ceramic terminal strips:


The base is still in pieces on my tablesaw, but is coming along nicely. It will be machined from some Red Birch, with an oiled and polished finish.

I want to thank Lloyd publicly for his invaluable assitance to me in planning and implementing this amp. The Ear+HD is a wonderful amp IMO, and was easily worthy of building all over again, albeit in a more customized implementation. I listen mainly with Senn 650s with the Equinox cable and/or AKG K701s, with some time being devoted to Grado.

Further pics and dialog are also posted in the DIY section of Head-Fi if you are interested. I am not going to link there though, and am posting here because Dr. Peppard has a dedicated forum segment here. Go Mapletree!
(sorry for such a fanboy-ish first post, but what can I say?)

BradJudy

Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #1 on: 20 Apr 2006, 03:11 am »
Good to see you over here VC.  I can't wait to see this project completed.

voodoochile

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #2 on: 6 May 2006, 03:13 pm »
Finished it at last. While it is not broken in yet, it does sound very sweet!

The right-hand knob is an input selector.
Backside:


The selector is a grayhill rotary switch on a home-made extended shaft. The switch is mounted on a bracket about 1" from the six cardas rca jacks in the back.

A BIG THANKS once again to Dr. Peppard for designing the Ear+HD, and also for his flexibility and assistance in implementing the hybrid PSU in this amp. I love it!

rajacat

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  • Washington State
Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #3 on: 6 May 2006, 04:15 pm »
A beautiful work of art! It sure will look great in a candlelit room with the glow from the tubes reflecting off the mirror finished stainless steel.

Raja

mike_c

Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #4 on: 6 May 2006, 07:17 pm »
Wow.

Absolutely gorgeous.

voodoochile

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #5 on: 11 May 2006, 11:06 am »
Thanks for the nice remarks, guys.

I'm really pleased with the performance. The noise floor on the existing amp is practically inaudible anyway, but with the inclusion of the filter choke, it is quieter still. Remarkable. Otherwise, the general character of the Ear is true, which is great, as I did have some concerns that the overall feel might be changed somewhat. That would have been bad, as I was already very happy with the existing Ear+HD amp, and was principally interested in switchable inputs.

Presently the amp is being used in a system consisting of a Marantz DV7600 feeding SACD directly to the amp; the 7600 acting as a transport for an Electrocompaniet ECD-1 DAC for Redbook playback to the amp; and finally a Grado Gold cartridge on a Sota Moonbeam through Jim Hagerman's Cornet2 phonostage to the amp for vinyl playback. Click-click-click... very nice. Headphones consist of a Sennheiser HD650 with Equinox cable, and AKG's K701. I also occasionally listen throough Grado's HF-1.

In particular, when the 7600 is playing redbook, it will pass through the SPDIF as well as it's RCA outs, so I can select between the ECD-1 and the 7600's DAC during Redbook playback. It really emphasizes the difference. The discrete output stage of the 7600 is really quite nice, but it is fairly brittle or sterile as compared to the discrete output of the ECD-1. SACD is another beast alltogether, and on some nice discs, such as Alison Krauss' 'New Favorite' SACD, the resolution is stunning.

voodoochile

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #6 on: 11 Nov 2006, 03:31 pm »
A beautiful work of art! It sure will look great in a candlelit room with the glow from the tubes reflecting off the mirror finished stainless steel.

Raja
I never posted a pic of the amp running! I'm really happy with the sound, and the WAF is there, also. Every bit helps. ;)

denjo

Re: Custom Ear+HD progressing finally
« Reply #7 on: 11 Nov 2006, 04:17 pm »
Absolutely gorgeous! Art in motion!

Dennis