VHex+ Build & Review

GumGum9000

Member
2015-12-13 8:43 pm
Hi,


this is a small thread about the build of my VHex+ which I've hade in my mind for some time.

It consists of three parts, the electronics assembly, the chassis assembly and the final product + thoughts.

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The PSU Boards and some parts

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The amp Boards

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Amp Boards with Transistors mounted on the Heatsink

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populated Amp Boards

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wired up

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the protection boards

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testing

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The SMD componets weren't problematic at all for soldering and the boards are very high quality as one protection board still works flawlesly after soldering and resoldering (heating the whole thing with a normal heatgun and ripping off the ATmega by just pulling it. Turned out it wasn't the chips who were broken but the oscillator... at least I'm keen on soldering chips now.) The process to getting it sing was quick and painless but getting it sing right was a bit more difficult (more on that later)

GumGum9000
 

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GumGum9000

Member
2015-12-13 8:43 pm
Now for that case.

The idea for three separate block just came and I liked is, so I went for it. I decided to build this out of stone as I already got nice results from using it for my preamp build and for me stone is cheaper as I don't have to buy it in comparison to aluminium, my granddad has plenty of it and is very experienced. Also everyone has a metal case, this is something special :D and I quite like the raw look of this black stone. Yeah, and stone is different to work on and has its own special traits.


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This isn't the exact rock I used for this build (this is the preamp one) but you'll get the Idea.

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my granddad working on it

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split it
man 1 - stone 0

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sawing it
the wall consists of more dirt than wall

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finished L-pices sunbathing (for the amp modules)

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somewhat assembled case

This thing is empty already heavy ~40kg. I originally planed to do the PSU (lower block) case monolithic by just carwing out a stone... but that would have weight ... a lot. Maybe it's even nicer that way.

GumGum9000
 

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GumGum9000

Member
2015-12-13 8:43 pm
And now for the final part.

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TaDa!

I finished it approx. quater a year ago and it's been running sans probleme since then. I really like it. It's great for rock music.
So how does it sound like? (Hmm, natural)
Other Setup:
O2DAC+DCB1+VSPS+Cabasse Antigua M170
Well the first words to come to my mind are precise, fast and clean. No, really it delivers the music as it is, no coloring or emphasis on anything. But it gladly doesn't get clinical (as maybe the HD800) so I can still enjoy music with average mastering (The Doors).
It sounds powerfull and direct, sometimes on the edge of slapping you in the face with the music. Even at lower volumes it doesn't drop any frequencies under the table (*ahem*lower bass *ahem*) like my old ROTEL did. It just plays the music, even where it shouldn't play it. Yeah, it leaks into other rooms even at moderate listening levels while the other amps in the house have to play at a higher volume for that (and also have much bigger speakers). You get the whole music at any volume also outside the sweet spot. Kinda it articulates everything so nothing is articulated. I've never heard it at a volume where you get the feeling that it's running out of power. And when you feed it with heavy bass tracks (ex. Trentemoller - The Last Resort) and turn the volume up a bit, lots of parts in my room start to sing along happily.
However my current setup sounds lifeless or cold now, as the amp just delivers with what's it's fed. Just sayin' if you're planing (you should) to build this amp maybe don't pair it with two other super neutral devices. (A new preamp is in the build (probably BA-3)). Really, it's awesome, it does everything what I expect from it exceptionally, I don't know what I could wish more from a Class-AB amp.

On this point I'd like to say a huge thank you to the guys from VZAudio for assisting me during this build. You rock!
They send me a modified/custom version of their amp control setup for my three cases. (Two amp protection boards and the central power supply control board which communicate with each other and shut down the whole thing at any error. Which I didn't end using in its configuration :eek: as I had no place for the PSU module left.) And also told me which parts I have to alter since my LEDs had a higher forward voltage and came up with a ground filter for the hum I was getting due to a ground loop somewhere. They only left when I assured that my amp was working as it should.

I hope you like my little project and it's thread :)

GumGum9000

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my sweet little pyramid

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ignore the ugly part of the cable

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the innards

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part of my listening setup
 

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How do you like the sound, by the way?


I really really like it. I've been to the HighEnd exhibition a few times and a only few amp there amazed me like it. (which also were $$$) Only complaint I have is that when put it an already neutral/low THD setup it gets a bit "cold", so it basicially demands to be paired with a tube preamp. You aren't working on a tube preamp by chance? :D
 
I really really like it. I've been to the HighEnd exhibition a few times and a only few amp there amazed me like it. (which also were $$$) Only complaint I have is that when put it an already neutral/low THD setup it gets a bit "cold", so it basicially demands to be paired with a tube preamp. You aren't working on a tube preamp by chance? :D
Nice and very futuristic design!
Using an external power supply i think that a 4x cable is a better option.
Then it doesn't need to mix the ov power and speaker return cables.;)
BTW better is what happen in the real world.
Keep this if it's working for you.
 
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I really really like it. I've been to the HighEnd exhibition a few times and a only few amp there amazed me like it. (which also were $$$) Only complaint I have is that when put it an already neutral/low THD setup it gets a bit "cold", so it basicially demands to be paired with a tube preamp. You aren't working on a tube preamp by chance? :D

I've got a few tube-based designs - preamp line stage, phone-amp and probably a phono stage - in the pipe. I will let you know as soon as they are ready.
 
I really really like it. I've been to the HighEnd exhibition a few times and a only few amp there amazed me like it. (which also were $$$) Only complaint I have is that when put it an already neutral/low THD setup it gets a bit "cold", so it basicially demands to be paired with a tube preamp. You aren't working on a tube preamp by chance? :D

I don’t fine the VHEX+ cold/sterile at all with my simple tube dac: discrete I/V followed by a 12au7 buffer. I spent years finding the right 12au7 for my ears and when I built my VHEX I found that this amp simply got out of the way and let the music through.

Stay away from new issue 12au7s, IMHO, non of them sound right. They are either too bright or there is just too much leading edge attack, unnaturally so. Again, that has been my experience.

The only new one that sounds right is the tube doctor out of Germany. It’s inexpensive and currently in production.

Valery may have other suggestions, but that’s my two cents.

Nice work on the amp.

Cheers,

Greg
 
Small update, I just finished my BA-3 pre (or 90% of it) and connected it to my VHex+.

All I can say is WOW!

If I liked it before, I love it now! All of my criticism is gone. Now I just have to play around with P3 of the BA-3 till I get the sound I'm looking for. I think it really show's how good this amp is at what it's supposed to do: amplify