EAR 834P Users & Mods, How are things going?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LeeS, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I don't know if I can afford this but I am again thinking about an EAR phono stage...we had a nice discussion last year on this one but it has been archived so I could not reply to it.

    How are things going for you new EAR owners out there?

    Does it still sound great?

    Did you mod it? How?

    Are your mods working out well?
  2. Vinyl-Addict

    Vinyl-Addict Groovetracer Manufacturer

    Location:
    USA
    Lee, with all of your connections, can't you find one to audition? You really should hear it in your system in stock form. I and several people I know have had their 834P's modded, personally I would not do it again. If you were planning on keeping it for a long, long time, perhaps, but why not just buy another phono stage if you plan on modifying it? Just my opinion.:)
  3. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    No local EAR dealer that I am aware of. I won't mod it (well maybe tube roll at some point)..I was trying to get the EAR owners here to talk about things and I thought some might want to share their mods. A way to draw some members in I guess.
  4. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    GTA, Canada
    And creates a thread for me to watch and participate in as I have a stock 834P and was wondering if I should do any mods. :)

    They only thing I would probably do is roll tubes. I have done so already, inserting three Telefunken 12AX7's and I find it's a bit quieter and has improved "breath of life" (which is to be expected, I guess).

    I understand that some people actually change to different types of tubes but keep the "RIAA" curve tube the same.

    Don't ask me for any more informaiton - that's all I know at this point.
  5. Vinyl-Addict

    Vinyl-Addict Groovetracer Manufacturer

    Location:
    USA
    A word of caution when rolling tubes with the 834P.
    Support the PC board in order to minimize flexing.
    This is because there are no standoffs supporting the board and you may end up losing contact with the RCA jacks or MM/MC switch. It happened to me and took me months to figure out what the problem was.
    Adding standoffs is a great "structural" mod. Swapping out the coupling caps is personal taste. I have Dynamicaps and Rodersteins in mine but these are much larger in size than stock so it takes someone who really knows the 834P well to do such a mod. correctly, and it's not cheap.
    Look at the size of the Roderstein caps at the bottom of the image. They look like "depth chargers".:laugh:
    The large orange caps are Dynamicaps. There are more underneath the board that are not visible. I also had the transformers changed & had a socket installed so I could adjust cart. loading with different value resistors, again, not an easy or cheap mod.
    his image shows my EAR 864 preamp which has more room at the bottom of the chassis for the large caps. The 834P doesn't have as much room.

    [​IMG]
  6. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    Vinyl Addict,

    Do you have pics of the whole inside, like a wide angle shot?
  7. Vinyl-Addict

    Vinyl-Addict Groovetracer Manufacturer

    Location:
    USA
    The image shows the complete phono board, tubes and transformers. A wider angle shot would only show the rest of the linestage section which has nothing to do with the phono section.:)
  8. 51nocaster

    51nocaster Active Member

    I am a happy owner of a modded 834p. Mine has the following mods from what I recall:
    1) Board supporting standoffs
    2) upgraded caps
    3) NOS tubes (two 5751, one 12AX7)
    4) mono switch
    5) Upgraded heavy duty jacks

    I am very happy with mine, however, like Vinyl-Addict, I would think twice about modding again. Since I don't have a mono switch on my preamp (I use an integrated), I really wanted the mono switch mod. The standoffs and jacks are really important structurally, or you're likely to have reliability problems--I had problems before the jacks and standoffs were done. My advice would be to buy the deluxe version of the 834p--it is a stronger unit and already has upgraded jacks. I'm not sure if it has the standoffs. Vinyl-addict may know that. I also had the deluxe version in my system while I was waiting for mods to be done to mine, and while it didn't sound as good as my modded unit, I thought it sounded better than my unit right out of the box.
  9. Vinyl-Addict

    Vinyl-Addict Groovetracer Manufacturer

    Location:
    USA
    There are no standoffs in the deluxe version. I owned one prior to the EAR864 preamp. As I said, if you roll tubes, be very careful and support the board. You could install standoffs on your own if you're confident in your drilling skills. They sell nylon standoffs so you can cut them any length you need, very simple to do really.:)
  10. Hi Lee, my 834P may be up for sale soon. I have yet to do any mods and most likely not be doing any. I think I'm going to go with a Wavestream phono stage.The EAR is nice and warm sounding and has enough gain for almost any MC.
  11. LeeS

    LeeS Tubes Rule

    Location:
    Atlanta
    My mistake, I forgot this was a full preamp with phono.
  12. Anyone bypassed the MM/MC switch? I understand this is a very flimsy connection.
  13. Vinyl-Addict

    Vinyl-Addict Groovetracer Manufacturer

    Location:
    USA
    Yes, Scott bypassed mine because my MM/MC switch had a bad spring. You would not believe how cheap and fragile that switch is. He had to solder jumpers to do this and it is not as easy as you may think. I had him install a new switch months later because I wanted to have it in place should I decide to sell it in the future.

    FWIW, I did not hear any difference in performance with the switch bypassed. Troubleshooting the intermittent problem I had took months of screwing around with everything in my system, a major PITA to say the least, only to find out it was the switch. That is why I emphasize the use of standoffs and extreme care when tube rolling. :sigh:
  14. Yeah, Scott told me it was a preventive measure along with the standoffs.
  15. FLEMKE

    FLEMKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    CROOK COUNTY IL
    The modded 834p is much better than the standard new unit. I have never read or heard of anyone who was unhappy with a modded 834p. After changing out caps, resistors, diodes, tubes and RCA connectors I have been left completely satisfied with my work. It's all about sound, and the modded unit sounds light years better than the unmodded unit.

    Tim

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