AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1

Message started by bento on 01/27/13 at 18:03:39

Title: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by bento on 01/27/13 at 18:03:39

Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1 ss setup.

Is this the best choice, in at SS setup, then I use my OPPO 105 BD player as a pre?

The new 105 have a 32 bit volume control, and I expect, to use it as a master volume control, and use the gain/vol. control on the Zstage and the Zen Trio Pre, to fine tune the vol. level of the entire system.

I know the Zen Ultra probably is the optimal solution, but is also more expensive 1200 $

I could use 3 Zstage but need an extra input to the front speakers, for a Phono stage.

Thanks in advance for the answer.

Bent Ø.

Title: Re: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by Lon on 01/27/13 at 18:27:45

This would probably be a great sounding set up. I don't know much about surround sound, haven't coveted it nor been too impressed with it in the past. I would think that the Ultra would be worth the extra dollars in features and ease. . . . You might wish to see if this used Ultra could still be purchased from the former advertiser:

Title: Re: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by beowulf on 01/28/13 at 03:24:43

This is a great question and would like to know what the best solution would be as well.  But I do think the Ultra would be the best way to attack this.

I have the BDP-95 and that is the best Blu-Ray/SACD player I've ever heard and the BDP-105 just improves on every catagory so I am going to eventually get the 105 as well.

From what I've read ... aside of the 105 being a great a high quality universal disc transport, it can stream network music either wirelessly or via ethernet, has 2 audiophile quality DACs on board, asynchronous USB, and the list goes on and on.  Unless you're in need of room correction capabilities, I see no reason to even incorporate a processor.  It's got to be one of the best-bang-for-the-buck pieces of audio/video equipment out there at the current time!

Title: Re: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by bento on 01/29/13 at 11:49:38

Yes, Ultra would probably be the best solution, but I live across the pond, so 3000$ becomes 4000$ before it arrives in Denmark; which is a bit too much.
Returning it is problematic as well if there’re any problems with it, so I’ll probably start with a Zen Triode pre. or a Zstage and then buy the rest once I’ve tried it.
Yes, the Oppo105 is pretty much an all-in-one, though won’t be using wireless, since it does nothing good for audio quality, so will only be using toslink from my Pana screen and the asynchronous USB port fra the PC.

Title: Re: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by Pale Rider on 01/29/13 at 14:29:34

bento, there is no question the Ultra would be the best all-in-one approach to what you are contemplating, but I sympathize with the cost and logistics concerns. [With respect to the latter, perhaps there is some closer quality electronics concern that Steve could "authorize" to work on his products? That might just be too complicated, though, for everyone.] The cost is a one-time issue, but the risk of requisite repair is not an insignificant consideration. Steve stands behind his products, but he is in Illinois, after all.

Anyway, your "component compromise" should work, it seems, though it likely increases some opportunity for noise and hum to creep into your setup. You can solve those problems, but the diagnostics might be more laborious. Further, having both the ZSTAGE and the Ultra, I can attest that, while the ZSTAGE does some nice things for SS equipment, and as a gain control device, it is excellent, it is not the same as the Ultra. I have not used the Zen triode pre. Did I miss your proposed amplifier(s) or is that the ZSTAGE? Depending on your speakers and your room, that may not be enough. Do you already have other amps or a MCH amp?

@beowulf, am considering the same, and comparing it to Modwright mods for the 95.

Title: Re: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by bento on 01/29/13 at 16:28:29

Yes again, I really like the Ultra; but again, Illinois is far away from home.
If you look a bit practical on it, it´s easier to send a Zstage back for repair than an Ultra, not because I doubt the quality of construction, but the accident could happen.

As a power amplifier, I have a Audia 3,100 3 channels effect built as 3 mono amplifiers in one chassis, and for rear speakers, I'm using an old, Naim nat 90 (stands for replacement) speakers are front: Vienna Beethoven Concert Grand, center: Vienna Maestro Grand and behind: JMR trente, my old front speaker.
Also have an Arcam AV9 which I do not want to use, since the oppo has a quite good volume adjustment.

In the long run, I only need an additional input for a record player, therefore, a Zen Triode pre and 2 Zstage and not 3 zstage.

Title: Re: Zen Triode StereoPre-amplifier + 2 ZSTAGE in a 5.1
Post by JD on 01/29/13 at 17:35:57

Hey Bento,

Spent a few summers in Copenhagen, Denmark (2000-2003) and still have very fond memories and friends there. Have a Tuborg and skinke y oste pizza for me!


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