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Cranborne EC-2 headphone amplifiers?

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Cranborne EC-2 headphone amplifiers?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:22 am

Hi,

I’m really interested in the Cranborne Audio EC-2 preamp after hearing the audio demos on their website. I currently have a DAC’s HeadLite 2 headphone amp. I use it to run 240ohm Beyer DT880 pros and DT770’s and it is the best studio headphone amp I’ve heard. If I were to eventually go for the Camden EC-2 I would need to sell my DAC’s to partly fund it and I’m wondering how the built in headphone amps compare to the DAC’s?

How do the EC2 headphone amps compare in overall audio quality and output to the DAC’s HeadLite 2?
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Re: Cranborne EC-2 headphone amplifiers?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:29 am

Hmmm... The DACS is certainly a very good headphone amp but, although I haven't compared the EC2 directly with the DACS, I was genuinely impressed with how clean, transparent and very powerful the EC2 headphone amps are -- these are certainly way more than just the utility headphone outputs you might have expected. They really are reference quality headphone amps -- as the comprehensive technical specs published for them attest.

I really can't speak highly enough for the EC2. It's without doubt the best and most versatile preamp I've come across in many years regardless of price, but it's actually extremely good value for money too. If you want purist classical transparency and low noise, it does that -- and better than most. If you want creamy smooth, it does that, and if you want thumpy warm weighty it does that, too -- and all in a very controllable way.
And it has a proper switched gain control, and very nice Hi-Z inputs, and two very flexible and powerful headphone amps. It is just astounding!

I bought one myself, and I'm very seriously considering selling my GML preamps as the EC2 is as good but more practical...

H
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Re: Cranborne EC-2 headphone amplifiers?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:37 am

Man, that Camden certainly does look extremely tempting at the moment. I'm currently using a pair of Warm Audio TB12's with upgraded Hardy 990c+ opamps + the Audient Mico and DAC's Headlite 2 headphone amp. I will say this setup is working extremely well for me and sounds great but the Mojo of the Camden sounds great and the lower overall self noise is always welcome (though I don't have any issue with noise at all so far).
I only need three channels of preamp and already have two in my Motu 828es. Also, I only need 3-4 headphone amp channels and the Motu again has two independent amps so the Camden EC-2 would fulfil all my requirements but would effectively replace 4 pieces of equipment with just the one.

The only thing that makes me slightly nervous is I would be putting all my eggs in one basket with the Camden EC-2. If it ever developed a fault and had to be sent off for repair I would be down on a preamp that I need and headphone amp.
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Re: Cranborne EC-2 headphone amplifiers?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:50 am

Decisions, decisions.... :lol:
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Re: Cranborne EC-2 headphone amplifiers?

Postby dickiefunk » Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:00 am

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Decisions, decisions.... :lol:

:lol:
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