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Thread: The Croft Epoch - A Tale of developing a MoFo of a pre amp..........

  1. #1
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 6,726
    I'm AnDreW.

    Default The Croft Epoch - A Tale of developing a MoFo of a pre amp..........

    So why the Croft preamp? Well I've lusted after one for some time after sampling the delights of the micro basic which to my ears easily ousted my old Radford preamp. The Croft mated extremely well with my Radford power amp and I now listen most nights to old jazz records, relaxing and passing the night away. The MM stage is probably one of the best I've heard, I would say that it easily beats the £600+ optional extra MM stage on my ATC SCA2 preamp. Your actually getting a bloody good MM PHONOSTAGE and a free preamp when you buy the micro basic! I did consider the £4k Cary 2 box preamp that came onto the market on this forum. I considered the new Radford preamp, I also considered one of Audio Research reference preamps, I decided against icon audio and couldn't be bothered with some of the older preamps available from Quad, Leak, Armstrong etc mainly because everyone is a GURU and has an individual idea on how these classics should be modified. I like the idea of croft because the designer is still alive and well and very open to modifying his designs, additionally he knows how to get the begs out of the amp. I look forward to going on a modification journey with this pre-amp. Initially it will sit in the system for me to assess the "sound" of the Croft and then modifications will start probably after new year.
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analouge Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MCOrtofon Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH PlinthMoldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSUPheonix PSU+Tachomter MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLESArm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage4Box Paradise


  2. #2
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 6,726
    I'm AnDreW.

    Default

    Not to let the grass grow under my feet I've just got into contact with Glenn with regards getting some serious mods done to the Epoch, mainly

    1. Upgraded PSU & Coupling caps.
    2. Maybe dual PSU's like Joe's
    3. New pots + relevant nice resistors (Charcroft maybe)
    4. Valve to Mosfet regulation.

    Looks like I might need a new set of KT77's/EL34's for this amp as one of the valves seems a little dodgy given intermittent left channel drop out . Why didn't the shit on eBay inform me of this. Anyway a good chance to do a little tube rolling. So, looks like I might be putting in an order with Watford valves for some cheapo EL34's to put me on. The MicroBasic is sitting in the system for the time being. I like what I'm hearing from the stock Epoch, but I got the upgrade itch!
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analouge Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MCOrtofon Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH PlinthMoldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSUPheonix PSU+Tachomter MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLESArm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage4Box Paradise


  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: Napier, New Zealand

    Posts: 1,534
    I'm Andrei.

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    Scratch it Andy, scratch it!
    [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]Sources:[/B] [B]1[/B][/COLOR] PC & Wyred4Sound DAC-2 DSDse   [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]2[/B][/COLOR] Oppo BDP105   [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]3[/B][/COLOR] Technics SL∑1210 MK5 (Jelco 750D ∑ Benz Wood).    [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]Speaker Cable[/B][/COLOR] [COLOR=black]Nordost Frey.[/COLOR]    [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]Interconnects [/B][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]Oyaide[/COLOR][COLOR=black] & [/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]Geisha [/COLOR][COLOR=black]Silver.
    [/COLOR][B][COLOR=#a52a2a]Phono Stage [/COLOR][/B][COLOR=black]Fosgate Signature V2. [/COLOR]   [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]Preamp [/B][/COLOR][COLOR=#000000]Ayon Eris[/COLOR][COLOR=black]. [/COLOR]   [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]Power Amp[/B][/COLOR] [COLOR=Black]ATC P1. [/COLOR]  ​ [COLOR=#a52a2a][B]Speakers[/B][/COLOR] Triangle Magellan Cello.     [COLOR=#A9A9A9]Oh Sting, where is thy death?[/COLOR]

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 72,323
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

    Default

    Nice one, Andy... EL34s though, where are they (or it) - in the PSU section or used as a rectifier? Because the output valves should be 6SL7s.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 6,726
    I'm AnDreW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Nice one, Andy... EL34s though, where are they (or it) - in the PSU section or used as a rectifier? Because the output valves should be 6SL7s.

    Marco.
    I will explore I have some pics of the innards I took last night, I'll post them up later. Can you tell me the proper valve complement for the amp?

    Thanks
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analouge Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MCOrtofon Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH PlinthMoldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSUPheonix PSU+Tachomter MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLESArm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage4Box Paradise


  6. #6
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Belfast, NI

    Posts: 136
    I'm David.

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    I have an Epoch V line level that started off with a similar configuration to the one you have bought (minus the phono stage) before Glenn breathed on it for me (a significant upgrade). My understanding is that two of the 6SL7s are for the line level outputs and three are for the phono stage. Could you change the tubes around in your new Epoch?
    Last edited by Tweedle-Dee; 20-11-2015 at 22:12.
    Source 1: Lenco GL75, Kuzma Reference; Source 2: Geoff Bull-modified TDA1541A S2 Marantz CD94/CD85; Source 3: Leak Troughline 3; Source 4: Nakamichi DR1. Preamplifier: Croft Epoch; Phono stage: Rotel Michi, AI SUT; Power amps: Leak TL12 plus/ Leak ST60 both Classique Sounds rebuildss; Integrated solid state amplification: Primare I30; Speakers: Sonab OA4/ B&W DM3/ ESL57.

  7. #7
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 6,726
    I'm AnDreW.

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    Well this is frustrating I emailed Glenn Croft over a week ago and still no reply! Whilst I await the great mans response I can start to plan what to do next with the amp. I've spent a couple of days listening two its sonic signature and have come to the conclusion that Mosfet regulation is the way ahead. I've been researching valves and this remains an ongoing area of amusement. I have a Brimar and Mullard ECC83, the 6SL7's is still a matter of debate and I think I'm plumping for the Tesla 85A2 which has to be better than the sorry looking thing thats sitting in their at the moment! Ive decided to have the whole thing rewired with silver and the female RCA's sockets are another area of research. I quite like the looks of these http://www.hificollective.co.uk/phon...e-nextgen.html, these will probably be installed into the line 1, phono and line input sockets. I also think one of the IeGo pure silver IEC inlets could be of benefit. I'm doing a little tube rolling with my MicroBasic in that I've just plonked a couple of Mullard Ecc83 in and they sound bloody brilliant! Mmmmmmmm could mullard valves end up in my Epoch, only time will tell.
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analouge Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MCOrtofon Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH PlinthMoldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSUPheonix PSU+Tachomter MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLESArm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage4Box Paradise


  8. #8
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Yorkshire

    Posts: 6,726
    I'm AnDreW.

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    The great man has been in contact. Looks like the Epoch is getting booked in for what he calls the "full monty", . I have no idea what's involved but it looks like it will take several weeks. Glenn should be getting back to me with a list of mods, keep tuned.
    SS CD Teac VRDS25X(Mega Modded) DAC Caiman SEG+Anker PSU DECK 1210 Mat Analouge Studio Crystal Mods MN Base/Bearing/Platter+Ebony arm Board Feet Isonoe PSU Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27XL/DCSXL Ag DC lead/Jaeger(low-impedance) connector/3 StageRegs/Recapped PCB+No Pitch/Strobe/Light ARM SME V(Kondo Ag Rewire&Tags) MCOrtofon Cadenza Black CABLES Arm Yannis SPD-4 IC Yannis 222 Litz+Ag bullets Power WAR PRE ATC SCA2 SPEAKERS ATC 50ASL STANDS Atacama PHONO Sugden Masterclass PA4 SUT Ortofon ST80SE POWER PSAudio P10

    Valve PRECroft Epoch(Mega Modded) AMP Sondex S100 SPEAKERS Tannoy 15"MG+RFC Warwick cabs+ Reference XO DECK Garrard301 MatTeunto GunMetal Bearing SPH PlinthMoldovan Arm SME 3012(Ikeda Ag wired) PSUPheonix PSU+Tachomter MCAg Meister SPU/DECCA Maroon CABLESArm Yannis 420.5 Litz+ Speaker3mm2Ag IC Oyaide FTVS-510 AgWBT 0110Ag Phonostage4Box Paradise


  9. #9
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,102
    I'm James.

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    Nice one Andrew. I think your going to end up with a fantastic preamp once Glenn has fettled it!
    VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T Tonearm / 2M Black /Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Spendor SP2

  10. #10
    Join Date: Sep 2009

    Location: Derbyshire

    Posts: 7,346
    I'm Josie.

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    There is simply no doubt
    Preamplifier: Croft Epoch Elite - Dual external PSU & Upgrades
    Amplifier: Tube Distinctions Copper Amp No. 5 using KT150's
    Digital: Raspberry Pi & ALLO Piano DAC & KALI - IQAudio DAC with SBooster Linear BOBW PSU & Trio DP700 CDP
    Turntable: Thorens TD124 MkII - Schopper refurbished
    Tonearm: SME 3009 S2 None Improved - Audio Origami modified
    Cartridge: Ortofon SPU GT
    Speakers: 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds in Lockwood Majors with Tannoyista Spec 3 crossovers
    Cables/Mains: Mark Grant Black Series mains cables & 6-Way power bar
    Cables/IC's: Mark Grant HDX1 Pure Copper + Custom made Silver/Gold interconnects
    Mains Other: Tube Distinctions/Mark Grant 'The Power Works' Digital noise mains power filter TD2414-MG - Nick Gorham DC Blocker unit constructed by Mark Grant

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