Rabbit wrote: "but that power supply (the big one) is awesome. Hefty, powerful thing. I wonder whether it would be possible to have some kind of arrangement where it can power up more than one thing? ie have it wired up for two or even three amps. Not at the same time, but have one supply down on the bottom shelf or floor which sends power to more than one device."
I have bought 2 DC2s PSUs from Sean. One (24V) powers my HA10 SE and the other one (19,5 V, 2 DC outs!) my 2 class D Temple Audio Monoblocks. In combination (!!) with Sean´s DC2, which replaces the two cheap chinese switch PSUs, the Temple Audio Monoblocks show an astounding quality in performance. The DC2 is strong enough to power both monos with ease! In my hifi-chain (Denon SACD Player DCD 2010 AE - Fidelity-Audio Pre 120 - Temple Audio Monoblocks - Duetta DIY speakers ) the DC2/Monos combo is really musical!! It provides a clean natural, harmonic sound of acoustical instruments and voices without distortions. What part has Sean´s DC2 PSU in this top performance? First of all there is no noise floor and no hissing. The trebble is much more defined, the bass tones are tightened, there is higher resolution and transparency and the instruments and voices are "razor sharp" locatable. The creek destiny class A(AB) amp of my friend was forced to give up... Like the HA10 SE the DC2 is a cracker!
I saw your review on Sean's site. TBH I'm very impressed by both amps. I've got stuck into the HA10 now and in comparison to the HA10se it is slightly less focused and has just a bit less impact. I used the same supply on both. However, I could easily live with both.
I've stuck with the Senn HD650 so it's like for like and there is less 'slam' on the HA10. But I'd say if there are people who prefer the HD600 to the HD650, then the HA10 is perfect and for those who like a bit more 'weight' the HA10se is the one. One isn't worse for me, it's just a preference and this is all down to the quality of parts inside? I think the circuit is exactly the same. It's kind of making me think that components used are very important and yet there are guys who reckon a part is a part!
At the moment, I'm just listening casually and no real detailed listening but they both have the kind of sound that is really 'natural' and easy on the ears.
They are both excellent matches with the HD650 and they are kind of making me re evaluate the Sennheiser headphone in a new light. There's much more 'openness' to the sound than I felt previously.
Once I've attuned to the amps, I'll try the K601 and K701. I suspect the K701 may be a bit too toppy. The amps have a slight 'u' curve in frequency response, which isn't too bad a thing actually.
I really like the big power supply. It delivers big time. What I really like is the fact that you can just plug in a different cable and deliver a good supply to another amp if you want. As I said earlier, the DC2 is awesome. I really like it. Also, Sean's cables are serious kit.
The thing is, I feel that it's a good option to have a nice big fat 24v supply like this given that it won't be defunct if you change to another amp that needs 24v. Just a cable change. I think that's a really good idea.
What I have also found is that the amps both drive low impedance cans quite nicely which is always a bit difficult for tubes. The M50 is actually very good from the both. For some reason, the bass tidies up and isn't as flabby as it can be on them.
They're both lovely amps and I believe you have the se version, which is actually the one I think I prefer but there isn't a lot in it. These power supplies have really attracted my attention though. Very nice with built in protection as well.
Only one curiosity with the supplies is that you have to switch everything on in the right order or else the power supply switches into 'safe' mode. ie; you switch the AMP on first and then switch the power supply on followed by the headphones. If you switch the amp on after the power supply, it lights up, but no power is delivered because the supply is in safe mode due to the surge.
I do think that you have bought an excellent amp Willheim. I could easily live with this sound. There are just two amps that I feel at home with really for headphones - the Sunrise and the MF V2. Those two seem to suit me quite well.
However, I could live with the HA10se easily. It is extremely good. Also, the differences between the HA10 and the HA10se isn't that the HA10 isn't as good. Actually, I think it could be a 'matching' thing depending on which headphone you use. It's kind of like the differences between the HD600 and HD650. The HA10 is just a tad more lightweight, but not worse.
Last Edit: Mar 17, 2012 19:10:01 GMT by iancraig10
Wilhelm is absolutely correct - the DC2 is a significant upgrade to any standard PSU, and I can customise its outputs to most requirements, as with any of my PSUs. The normal DC2 can output a single fixed voltage, anywhere from 3V to 25V with different transformers to suit different voltages (specified at the building stage), but I can also make them with parallel dual outputs, so one regulator powers two devices requiring the same voltage at once - like the Temple Audio monoblocks. I can also offer multiple voltage outputs in my PSUs - the DC2 can be fitted with two regulator boards and share the same transformer, or I can adapt one of my Naim Audio PSUs for more complex requirements - my CHC-XPS can power up to 6 different devices if desired (or one Naim CD player, its intended purpose), so yes pretty much anything is possible - I don't make high-current PSUs at the minute (2A or more), but it's something i'm going to be working on very soon.
I must admit, Sean, they are really nice power supplies. As for the cable link ....... well, really nice. It's the supply that adds to the price of the HA10se but it delivers a solid sound via that combination too.
I just looked up the Solo and that retails at £500 (and something) with the PSU1 and that psu is nowhere near the quality of the ones you're making. The DC2 is just brilliant.
Power supplies are something that we all take for granted. As long as the amp goes on, then it's working. We don't really listen out for the effects of a good supply and all the credit goes to the amp.
Mike did me a nice supply for the Sunrise and that made a difference too, but if you added the price to the Sunrise kit, that would also elevate the price somewhat.
Last Edit: Mar 17, 2012 19:17:55 GMT by iancraig10
Good point Ian. I could even build my PSUs to suit the Sunrise if anyone was interested, which would certainly improve its performance. My design philosophy is that an excellent power supply is mandatory - anything less and you're wasting money on buying the equipment as you don't get anywhere near the full potential from it. I would bet that my HA10 SE with the DC1 or DC2 can beat a much more expensive headphone amp with a cheapo SMPS any day of the week!
Well, I've been listening to the HA10se with the DC2 for most of today. It's absolutely non-fatiguing and is a great match with the Senn HD650. Absolutely effortless and working at both ends of the volume levels really well. It stays well in focus at lower volumes and just fattens out as you get louder.
It has a really pleasant 'spread' in that the sound is really open and not blocked in the middle of your head. I'm not brilliant with imaging and headphones, but this makes the Senn seem as though you're listening in a bigger room. In fact, it's a very speaker like sound.
Fully Modded Pssst ! Got any spare capacitors ?
I've had a good chance to listen this weekend to both amps and tbh, both are really impressive sounding.
Build quality is absolutely fine, lovely smooth volpots on both good connections on the back and one curiousity, bearing in mind the switch on procedure - a large flip on/off switch on the back of the amp.
The switch on procedure is slightly unusual in that you have to power up the amp first and then power the supply up. If you power the supply followed by the amp (The way I normally switch on) the PSU goes into 'safe' mode and the amp won't come fully on, although lights light up. That is very important to remember or else, (Like me) you'll think there is a fault with the amp.
Bearing that in mind, it would be more natural to have a small switch on the amp so that you leave it alone and a big switch on the PSU, preferably on the front rather than the back. It would then feel more natural.
Both have their switches on the back so if you put them into a rack, you'll be feeling its behind to switch on.
I like the look of the HA10:
Similar in looks to the $lee Solo. A bit smaller with a nice large black volume control. No cage over the valve, but if you want one, I'm sure that Sean would customise it to what you want. He can also do black cases (Which is what I rather fancy myself!!)
The amp should remain switched on and the power supply should be used to turn on and off.
The back of the amp sports nice gold connections and that big flip switch:
The valve that Sean supplies with the HA10 is different to the one with the HA10se. The se valve has gold pins. I mentioned earlier that the HA10 sounds 'lighter touch' than the HA10se. The circuit is the same with cheaper costing parts but one thing I did overlook was the valve. They can be quite variable and some of the differences that I heard may be due to the valve as well. I tend to tune in very close to valves.
I first tried the HA10 with the cheaper supply:
It's a plastic box with a thicker wire than the Solo wire so more substantial.
I was surprised by how solid the sound was with this. The sound that I remember with the prototype was still there and after the tweaks, it doesn't seem to have massively changed the sound signature.
Round, solid bass. Quite fruity and a clear open treble. The perception of a solid bass from valves comes from the fact that there are additions (distortions that are actually pleasant to the ears) and there could be more down in the bass that lift it somewhat. Frans often refers to the additions that valves make to sound and he is correct, it is that that I am quite attracted to rather than the squeaky clean (K701 like) sounds you can get from something that is technically 'correct.' I'm quite happy to accept the 'valve additions' and this amp shows a wonderful, warm bass that really does hit hard.
If you'd like it to hit harder, then the great thing about valve amps is that you can upgrade the supply and the effects can be quite dramatic. I attached the second supply:
The lead to the amp is really quite nice:
It's much more substantial than the cheap supply. Silent as a mouse and basically does the job well. Any cable can be made to exit from it so it's also highly adaptable.
The back shows normal connection to the mains and a plug for the interchangeable leads. This is the first power supply that I saw from Sean and it delivers. The amp starts to kick ass. The slam in the bass region appears and YELLO, Ozric Tentacles type stuff really does hit hard in the bass region. I'm not sure if I'm imagining it (again ) but there also seems to be a tad more openness with the supply attached.
I would say that the differences between the cheap supply and this one are quite large, but less from this one to the even bigger one:
This picture shows the big supply attached to the HA10se. This is my favourite combo. It kicks hard. It's smooth sounding and is so mellow and smooth up top that it's very tempting to turn up and up. It doesn't turn harsh. It also plays extremely well at low volumes. I find with good amps, the volume levels aren't so touchy in order to get a satisfying sound and both HA10's work well at both high and low levels.
I think my ideal would be a black version of the big psu and amp. This combo hits you. It's big and powerful sounding. There is a slight 'u' shape to the sound, which is not a bad thing as long as it isn't turning into a V. Mid presence is good. Treble is clean and not piercing and bass is wonderfully 'valve' like.
I must admit, I am keen on this amp. I like it a lot and it's not until you go back to what you're used to that you realise just how good this amp is. It doesn't 'scream' listen to me at you, but it has a solidity of sound that a lot of amps struggle with.
I felt that the HD650 was a fantastic match with it and have been listening to it for hours now. No fatique whatsoever. The HD650 seems cleaner via the HA10se and less weighty from the HA10 although this could be a matter of the valve.
It's a really nice amp and worth a listen. Someone wrote to Sean after hearing this amp, he wasn't going to send it back because he wanted it. I fully understand that. It is a really good sounding amp. I missed the prototype when I was forced to send it back ( ).
I had it for a couple of months, I think, when I wrote everything that I could think of down for Sean to look at and perhaps modify. He took the lot on the chin and what has come back to me is drop dead gorgeous.
If you like valves, then this really does sound like a good valve amp should and not limited as Bravos are with noise issues and build quality. It's also a lot more extended than the Bravos. I liked the Bravos, warts and all. (and crosstalk!!!) I did notice the roll off in the treble but it didn't worry me that much.
I'm going to have to start saving for one I think. My wife won't let me spend the last tour stash so I will miss it when it goes. It has a great sound that is truly addictive and makes music come to life for me on headphones, making them sound (to me) much more speaker like.
I will try other headphones if people are interested. All I can say is 'impressive'.
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2012 12:48:38 GMT by iancraig10
They are seriously good power supplies. I REALLY have taken a liking to the big one. Absolutely superb and quiet as well.
It was Mike that got me into power supplies big time and what they do to amps with his Little Pinkies. Another superb supply. The SE version that he made was awesome.
For me, it very often puts the depth and clout into an amp and Sean's are really well made. The thing is that the better supply makes the HA10se sing. The sound becomes larger and I think the sense of space in the headphone increases as well.
For me, it seemed more obvious from the little black supply to yours, the DC1 but then I was never one to settle unless it was 'se' or best!!!! I'm terrible.
The only curious part is the 'foldback' protection issue which involves turning the amp on first before the power supply.
I think that Sean will continue to make changes and I did mention the fact that the prototype amps had no 'branding' on them. Sean went ahead and tooled up to do it!!
Actually, looking at them, I do like the silver HA10 with the black Volume knob as well. Probably much less prone to scratches.
I've been listening to the HA10se the whole weekend since I got back and it's one of those amps that's kind of understated and it's not long before you take that sound for granted. As soon as you go to something else, you realise just how good that amp was. That's how I felt when the prototype went home.
I don't think it's immediately apparent until you really listen carefully. Dave got a really good deal, I can tell you. He bought a prototype with some mods after I heard one.
They may start to appear in shops in Leeds soon as well so that will give them more street cred. I think it's always very difficult for a new amp to be accepted since there are limits as to what can be done with them and they tend to be variations of a previous design.
My feelings though are once they get into shops, the price will go up further so that the shop gets its cut so at the moment, this is a good deal.
I had the $lee Solo for quite a while and I tell you that this will give it a run for its money. I like valve sound anyway so maybe I'm biased but this is a good 'un. However, if it goes shop borne, then I fear that the price could then get close to $lee prices which may put it out of the range of some; especially in these times.
Although I suggested a cut down version to Sean, now I've heard the HA10se, I'm not sure I could settle for it. I'm really not!! I guess I'd be one of those getting the 10 and then getting Sean to 'se' it later and regret what I bought in the first place.
So I'd say the best is the HA10se with that mother of a supply!!! In fact, since Sean is so capable, it may be possible to configure that supply with some more leads for other amps which would be fantastic value.
Consider a 12v supply as well as a 24v supply with the centre pins being positive and negative. You could power up any DC amp virtually by just adding a lead. That's a very attractive option for someone like me who uses more than one amp and gawd knows how many headphones.
In one of my rooms, I have an amp for cd player, one for Ipod, one for mini ape. Imagine, one supply for the lot. Less plugs and a beautiful supply as well. All I'd need is 5 leads to power the lot - coming from the DC2. What a brilliant idea. Then if you change your gear, just order another lead with the correct plug!!
So if that were possible, then an HA10se might as well wing its way as well to get the best out of postage eh? ;D
I wonder if the wife would fall for that one?
PSU:+24VDC @ 500mA (1A or more PSU capacity recommended) Input impedance: 50K Output impedance: 10R Recommended headphone impedance range: 16-600R Frequency response (to -0.5dB): 2Hz - 100kHz
If anyone wants to hear it, I can send it round. Just a pm to me and I'll put you on the list. As long as you're in the UK. It's worth a listen for sure. However, I'm loathe to send it away if I'm honest.
Last Edit: Mar 18, 2012 18:45:54 GMT by iancraig10
Post by magneplanarsrule on Mar 3, 2016 6:31:30 GMT
I would like to state how pleased I am with Sean Jacobs', of Custom H-Fi Cables, products. Over the past four years I have bought eight of his PowerBlack IEC Power Cables, Blue XLR-XLR Cable, Digital Interconnect Cable, HA10 SE Headphone Amp, DC1 PSU, AC1 PSU, and at the moment I am awaiting delivery of a cable replacement for my Sennheiser HD650 Headphones, due any day now. No doubt this will be a revelation, as is all of his other gear. I can't speak highly enough of the headphone amp and PSU - absolutely fabulous; no fatigue, even after listening for hours. I use the AC1 PSU for my Pro-Ject Speed Box II. Sean is a joy to communicate with, nothing is too hard for him and he explains things in plain English - you can't wish for better service than this. Living in Oz, I find his delivery costs and speed of delivery also very reasonable. Thanx for everything, Sean - there is no point looking anywhere else for products better than yours!