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VTV Purifi Eval-1 build

SCG

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Short answer is yes...long answer led me here to your thread...

I really liked the PA5 and with the E50 they gave me my 1st class D and balanced combo (had some nasty ground loop issues on my home theater equipment that was very time consuming to resolve so liked the idea of balanced, especially interfacing to a computer).

The PA5 & E50 are small, cool running, dead silent, and sound great. The only challenge was a few users were starting to have issues with the PA5 & noise after it goes out of its 30-day return window and then had to deal with overseas warranty issues (time and shipping).

I then looked at the Topping LA90 but it was $800 (2X more) was class AB, low power (50w) and a few people were starting to have issues with it also, so it appeared Topping needed some time to perfect their amp making capabilities.

To be proactive, I started my quest to find a substitute class D balance amp. Looked at building my own, but getting the parts for Hypex Ncore was more money & time to get the parts than buying an pre-assembled unit.

Then decided to look for a pre-built unit and came across TBE's Great Thread which led me to US suppliers Buckeye and VTV. But the more I studied Bruno Putzeys' work (the designer of UcD, Ncore & Purifi amps along with Kii 3 speakers) the more I liked his product evolution, and was also concerned about the stock Hyperx input buffer board.

That led me to the Eigentakt 1ET400A module, I then learned of Bruno Putzeys' latest & greatest creation the 1ET7040SA module, but after a little research and posts like BoXem's Great Post I decided for my usecase there was no advantage and only much higher costs.

Further research also showed that Bruno was stating for the next couple of years there was going to be minor tweaks but the only major change to Purifi modules would be more or less powerful units, and them making their own PSUs to power the modules sometime down the road.

So I put together my own spreadsheet for suppliers of Purifi Eigentakt 1ET400A pre-built amps and again US suppliers Buckeye & VTV had the best price and delivery times. The Eigentakt was going to be 3X more than the PA5 but had more power and seemed like it had years of great reliability.

The issue was Buckeye quoted a August '22 delivery date and VTV had some documented build issues. Though the research showed that the major build issues seemed resolved and the other ones seemed very minor & easy for me to implement with measured improvements per Rick's Great Thread and that overall, VTV had great measurement out of the box compared to anything near the price.

The only issue was there were no recent posts of the VTV Eigentakt 1ET400A amp with internal pics so I could see if the build issues were improved, worse, or stayed the same, until I came across this great thread!

I saw all the major issues were cleared up and the minor issues were easily and cheaply remedied so I ordered from VTV. My amped shipped in 24 hrs, arrived in 72 hrs and I've been enjoying it ever since. The only issue was I missed the physical volume control so after researching I upgraded my E50 DAC to the D30 Pro which gave me a better pre-amp, built-in psu, lower jitter on the S/PDIF inputs, along with remote & physical volume control.

Next, this weekend is to open up the VTV and see the build quality of my amp, post some pics, make sure it's a keeper, and then do the updates/upgrades.

So I went from the PA5/E50 class D balanced combo to the VTV/D30p class D balance combo at 2x the cost but got a more powerful and highly reliable/respected design, coupled with overall higher specs/features on the DAC.

Will never know if the 50% increase from the Hyperx with their standard input buffer board was worth it over the newer designed Eigentakt 1ET400A with their standard input board, but quite happy with the choice so far (see attached pic of VTV & D30 Pro together but not in their normal operating locations).

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SCG

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Some internal pics. Overall the internal looks really clean, I like the Ghent case. Two bottom screws are missing on the back panel (see pics) so will contact VTV for more. Also the Standby switch is unnecessarily too close to the negative right speaker banana post especially being on the back side of the case but this isn't a VTV issue, it's due to the Ghent case layout which appears to be due to the Purifi board layout, and it could of easily been moved over 1/8".

Speaking of Standby, if the D30P is on with no music, and I lift the VTV switch from Standby to On, get a wicked/nasty distortion sound coming out of the speakers. The solution is to take amp out of standby 1st then turn on D30P but when I had PA5/E50 combo I never had any noise issues with the order of on/off sequence so not sure if its a VTV issue or D30P issue, as I haven't had the time to mix/match DACs & amps to see who's the culprit.

As Rick showed in his thread and as you can see here (see pics) rotating the PS unit really allows you to shorten the AC wiring inside. Not able to see in the pics but with the PSU rotated the LED wiring easily clears the heatsink by several inches even with the top on, but will lengthen and reroute the wiring later.

Not going to make any irreversible mods until I know it's a keeper but looks like a solid unit and rotating the PSU, shorting the AC wiring, lenghtening the LED wiring, adding some sleeving and AC fuse will be very straight forward and easy.
 
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Zorlac

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I have two VTV Purifi EVAL2 mono block amps. I had to send one back recently because when I would power it on, it would cause a horrible surge of distortion thru the speaker it was connected to. This started randomly and then was pretty consistent. Before I sent it back, it was throwing two surges in a row. I could see a light inside the amp flashing for each surge. Extremely loud to the point that it would freak me out every time and I thought the speaker may have been blown (luckily not the case).

This was with no XLR connected and I could switch it over to the other speaker and the problem would still happen. I should be getting the amp back soon. I point this out because the distortion you get when toggling standby (I dont have a standby switch on mine) may be something worth sending the amp back for repairs.
 
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SCG

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Thanks for the info, when I switch the amps and DACs around and if the noise follows the VTV then I will ask for a replacement Purifi module and change it out as this is such a simple modular system - input board, power module, PSU as it would either be a Purifi ox Hyperx root cause issue.
 
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Thanks for the info, when I switch the amps and DACs around and if the noise follows the VTV then I will ask for a replacement Purifi module and change it out as this is such a simple modular system - input board, power module, PSU as it would either be a Purifi ox Hyperx root cause issue.
FYI, I just tried the following tests with my system (MiniDSP Flex DAC via TRS>XLR connection):
  1. no signal, switched amp from on to standby - no sound/pop from speakers
  2. no signal, switched amp from standby to on - no sound/pop from speakers
  3. active signal, switched amp from on to standby - no distortion/pop from speakers
  4. active signal, switched amp from standby to on - no distortion/pop from speakers
 
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SCG

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Z and SL thanks so much much for your info and testing, I admit I'm reluctant to test too much as the sound is fairly loud and filled with distortion but I ordered some TRS>>XLR cables that will be here this weekend and then I can test E50/VTV and D30/PA5 combos and see which one has the issue like the D30P/VTV combo as the E50/PA5 pairing doesn't do this.
 
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Z and SL thanks so much much for your info and testing, I admit I'm reluctant to test too much as the sound is fairly loud and filled with distortion
Understandable - the pucker factor was pretty high when I was getting ready to try the first test iteration, but then I realized that it's actually pretty difficult to blow an electrostatic panel.
but I ordered some TRS>>XLR cables that will be here this weekend and then I can test E50/VTV and D30/PA5 combos and see which one has the issue like the D30P/VTV combo as the E50/PA5 pairing doesn't do this.
When you first noticed it, did you also happen to try it without anything anything connected to the amp's inputs to see if it's source-related? That would help determine whether or not it's Purifi I/O module that's the issue, or if it's interaction with the source device. I don't think it's the actual 1ET400A modules, unless you somehow got two with the exact same issue.
 

Rottmannash

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View attachment 206275View attachment 206276View attachment 206281View attachment 206277View attachment 206278View attachment 206282View attachment 206286

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Some internal pics. Overall the internal looks really clean, I like the Ghent case. Two bottom screws are missing on the back panel (see pics) so will contact VTV for more. Also the Standby switch is unnecessarily too close to the negative right speaker banana post especially being on the back side of the case but this isn't a VTV issue, it's due to the Ghent case layout which appears to be due to the Purifi board layout, and it could of easily been moved over 1/8".

Speaking of Standby, if the D30P is on with no music, and I lift the VTV switch from Standby to On, get a wicked/nasty distortion sound coming out of the speakers. The solution is to take amp out of standby 1st then turn on D30P but when I had PA5/E50 combo I never had any noise issues with the order of on/off sequence so not sure if its a VTV issue or D30P issue, as I haven't had the time to mix/match DACs & amps to see who's the culprit.

As Rick showed in his thread and as you can see here (see pics) rotating the PS unit really allows you to shorten the AC wiring inside. Not able to see in the pics but with the PSU rotated the LED wiring easily clears the heatsink by several inches even with the top on, but will lengthen and reroute the wiring later.

Not going to make any irreversible mods until I know it's a keeper but looks like a solid unit and rotating the PSU, shorting the AC wiring, lenghtening the LED wiring, adding some sleeving and AC fuse will be very straight forward and easy.
My VTV amp has different speaker connectors-they are literally holes in the case.
 

SCG

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When you first noticed it, did you also happen to try it without anything anything connected to the amp's inputs to see if it's source-related? That would help determine whether or not it's Purifi I/O module that's the issue, or if it's interaction with the source device. I don't think it's the actual 1ET400A modules, unless you somehow got two with the exact same issue.
It could clearly be an interaction with the source device (D30p) as it only happens when the DAC is on and not playing music as I inadvertently discovered it by taking the amp out of standby while I had mistakely left the DAC on from a previous listening session.

The distortion is pretty loud (and something wrong is bleeding thru to the speakers) so want to limit my testing but will try with no input connected and then with the TRS>XLR cables in hand this weekend, will also try testing with the E50 DAC connected, and in addition also try the D30p with the TA5 amp together, and will hook up some old speakers to save my Kefs from any wear and tear.

The only issue is if Z is had a similar issue there might be something wrong with the one of the components but there's only 3 total inside that could be an issue, so you're right if it's the amp then it could be the Hyperx PSU and not the 1ET400A board as the sound comes from both speakers.

But if it happens without any input connections or happens with both DACs then it's mostly likely an amp issue as the PA5 and Outlaw amps do not exhibit this noise with the exact same signal chain.

Will know more after testing and report back later this weekend but right now listening to music as I type this and all sound sweet.
 
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Rottmannash

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If you're referring to this image from SCG's post, those are the terminations of the speaker cable
index.php
Duh-didn't realize what I was looking at. I solved that problem with these nifty speaker wires.
 

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SCG

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I ordered and will try the Neutrik connectors, per Lars Risbo of Purifi, "'Nearly all binding posts and/or banana plugs available we found to be magnetic and added measurable hysteric distortion. The cheapest plastic speakON passed the test. It seems that Benchmark Media Systems came to the same conclusion with their very low distortion AHB2 amplifier."'

I was originally agaisnt using SpeakON becasue the were plastic but they'll get the speaker connections away from the Standby switch, they're inexpensive, come with free returns, and per Lars might add some small vaule - so why not try them. It would be great if someone here could also measure someday and confirm the statement above from Lars to see if they make any realworld difference but they can't hurt and have a low cost of entry.
 
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I ordered and will try the Neutrik connectors, per Lars Risbo of Purifi, "'Nearly all binding posts and/or banana plugs available we found to be magnetic and added measurable hysteric distortion. The cheapest plastic speakON passed the test. It seems that Benchmark Media Systems came to the same conclusion with their very low distortion AHB2 amplifier."'
They could've just recommended using solid copper or brass banana plugs (or spade connectors) to address this.

I was originally agaisnt using SpeakON becasue the were plastic but they'll get the speaker connections away from the Standby switch, they're inexpensive, come with free returns, and per Lars might add some small vaule - so why not try them. It would be great if someone here could also measure someday and confirm the statement above from Lars to see if they make any realworld difference but they can't hurt and have a low cost of entry.
Having used them now, I will say that I like the SpeakON connectors very much.

The twist-lock nature of the connector ensures that it won't come loose unintentionally (or without a lot of accidental force.) It'd be nice if my speakers had SpeakON connectors, but I think the fact that they're associated with pro sound equipment is viewed as risking the disdain of the purist crowd. (Using BNC connectors instead of RCA for unbalanced connections would also be good shift, IMO.)

I paid $12 for a 10' long, 12-gauge NL4 cable, and another $8 for two pairs of gold-plated, solid brass banana plugs from Monoprice. So for $20 + shipping, I've got a pair of 5' speaker cables with SpeakON connectors to the amp, and (non-magnetic) banana plugs on the the speaker end.
 

SCG

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They could've just recommended using solid copper or brass banana plugs (or spade connectors) to address this.
You're right though for the amp's binding posts from a manufacturing pov it's much cheaper & easier to go with cheap plastic SpeakON posts which automatically require the SpeakOn cabling, verses having the higher cost of adding solid brass posts and informing your customers to get the best of their system they also need to use solid brass banana plugs or spades to connect to the amp.

I paid $12 for a 10' long, 12-gauge NL4 cable, and another $8 for two pairs of gold-plated, solid brass banana plugs from Monoprice. So for $20 + shipping, I've got a pair of 5' speaker cables with SpeakON connectors to the amp, and (non-magnetic) banana plugs on the the speaker end.
LOL, that's exactly what I did as the Kef don't have SpeakOn connectors and paid the same price ;). The only issue from a purist pov is that we both most likely still have non-solid brass (magnetic) binding posts on the speakers but perfection is the enemy of better, unless one bad apple spoils the whole bunch - as in XLR component systems that aren't all truly balanced end-to-end.
 
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Rottmannash

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Do you guys have a particular source for the SpeakOn connectors? I would like to buy a pair but know nothing about them.
 
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You're correct but for the amp's binding posts from a manufacturing pov it's much cheaper & easier to go with cheap plastic SpeakON posts which automatically require the SpeakOn cabling, then having the higher cost of adding solid brass posts and informing your customers to get the most of their system they also need to use solid brass banana plugs or spades to connect to the amp.
They can't be too serious about it, otherwise they should've left off the banana jacks on the I/O board.
LOL, that's exactly what I did as the Kef don't have SpeakOn connectors and paid the same price ;). The only issue from a purist pov is that we both most likely still have non-solid brass (magnetic) binding posts on the speakers but perfection is the enemy of good, unless one bad apple spoils the whole bunch - as in XLR component systems that aren't all truly balanced end-to-end.
I doubt the purists would be able to get past the idea of using a class D amplifier, much less using any amplifier from a non-marquee brand. Perhaps someday, we'll see pictures of shoebox-sized Purifi amps, looking comically out of place, in one of the Audiogon stereo shrines systems, along with the requisite downlights aimed at each component.
1music.jpg

 
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Do you guys have a particular source for the SpeakOn connectors? I would like to buy a pair but know nothing about them.
I'm certainly no expert, but you may want to consider Monoprice. They sell the connectors as well as finished cables at very reasonable prices (cables come with a lifetime warranty.) Some of their stuff is available via Amazon (you may need to prefix the Monoprice part number with a "1" when searching Amazon for it to show up - using the UPC code may also work.)

As I mentioned earlier, I bought a 10' cable, cut it midway, and terminated the cut ends with banana plugs for the speaker connections. Used red & black heat-shrink tubing to dress the insulation and color-code the cables for right & left channels.

 

C. Cook

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I will post pictures after it arrives this coming week. Hopefully this'll help others that were in the same position as I was of wondering if VTV's revised their attention to detail since their initial ASR comment thrashing in ~2019/2020.

I'll post thoughts about performance after a week or two of use but, TBH, I don't know how much I can contribute there. I suspect it'll perform/sound fine since my speaker set up isn't anything particularly challenging - Martin Logan Ethos mains (which are semi-active) and, whenever its plate amplifier/servo comes back from being rebuilt, a Velodyne HGS-15x sub. It will be interesting to see if the VTV plays as effortlessly as the amp* that was in my system previously.

* - current (and possibly former) amp is an Emotiva XPA-2 gen 1 which I just sent back to their depot in Tennessee last week for its second rebuild/update in only 12 years :mad:!!!!!!!! This time it's because the left channel stopped working, the last time (early 2018) because the right channel dropped out due to a cold-solder joint. Love its power, but not overly happy with its reliability (and really don't like having to lift/ship it.) My previous amp was a HK Citation 22 that I had from ~1988-2010, with zero problems during that time.
Here's hoping - for your sake - that you have more self-control than I do with regard to potentially loooooooong back-and-forths over whatever the build quality reveals itself to be. I will say that even though I disagree with one person on many points made in my own back-and-forth, he's right that VTV is definitely not doing their own heat sinking design and is relying on Ghent Audio for them. I have a VTV amp myself with nc1200s and a SMPS 3K 700 power supply and it's definitely in too small of a chassis w/o adequate heat sinking.*

* that said, I haven't run into any problems yet and my initial impressions/measurements of the operating temperatures have not caried through to daily use. Please let us know if you happen to think about monitoring that w/ your own VTV product.
 

Rottmannash

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So I need "2 pole" or "4 pole" female connectors?
 
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So I need "2 pole" or "4 pole" female connectors?
If you plan on using the VTV Eval-1 as it is shipped, then a 2-conductor cable with NL4* connectors on it would be fine (of the four terminals in the connector, 1+ & 1- are connected, but 2+ & 2- are not.)

If you plan on running a bi-wire set-up in the future (which will involve some soldering to connect jumpers from the circuit board to the 2+ & 2- terminals of the SpeakON jacks), then buy a 4-conductor cable with NL4 connectors.

* - NL4 is a 4-pole connector, but you don't have to use/connect all four.
2-core-speaker-cable-with-speakon-connector.jpg
 
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