Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
12/22/14 at 02:10:41


Pages: 1 2 3 
Send Topic Print
SNEAK PEEK - ZPOD (Read 6141 times)
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2445
SNEAK PEEK - ZPOD
09/05/07 at 19:30:32
 
I am presently working on another new item that will be debuted at this years DECFEST.    [smiley=icqlite20.png]






It's a portable battery operated headphone amp that I've been working on all summer.  Don't know what the price will be yet, and more info will be forthcoming as it becomes available.  I am frankly thrilled with the sound and ergonomics  of it at this point - so my reason for posting this teaser is just as a heads up.  If you're planning on buying one of these things in the near future, you may want to wait and hear this one.  I have purchased a hand full of these to hear how they sound and while some were pretty good, I didn't really like any of them.  I have plugged my sons IPOD into this one and listened to the MP3's he downloaded off the internet and was shocked to find for the first time ever that I could now stand to listen to MP3's and even more shocked at how enjoyable they actually were  on this rig.  Of course listening to a good CD is even better.

No the watch will not be included... I put it there to give you a size reference.

Steve  [smiley=smile.gif]
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 09/07/07 at 17:22:18 by Steve Deckert »  
WWW   IP Logged
morpheous85
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 127
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #1 - 09/05/07 at 21:17:01
 
MINE!!! This is sweet! Is it tube powered? I suppose I could assume it is but I thought I'd ask to be sure. What's the estimated battery life? What kind of batteries does it use? Does it have a DC input as well for home use? This excites me!

Jason
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Terry
Seasoned Member
****


Listen with your
Heart, not with your
ears!!

Posts: 792
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #2 - 09/05/07 at 21:22:25
 
Looks like it uses a couple of opamps, which I like opamps they can sound very good, but low grade ones can sound terrible as well.  If your using opamps which ones are you using Steve?


TG
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 09/05/07 at 21:23:43 by Terry »  
WWW   IP Logged
morpheous85
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 127
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #3 - 09/05/07 at 21:54:39
 
If only 45v batteries were still in use. I know a collector that has a 3 tube pocket fm radio. 1.5v heaters and a 45v battery for the plates. 5 9v batteries might be a hard sell.

So Steve, is this only for 300+ ohm headphones, or can this be used with low impedence headphones as well??

Jason
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 09/05/07 at 21:56:48 by morpheous85 »  
  IP Logged
60_and_up
Seasoned Member
****


kids should live.

Posts: 933
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #4 - 09/05/07 at 22:30:05
 
that giant volume dial might be accidentally adjusted all the time while walking or working, how about some kinda dial that wont be accidentally adjusted?

no-one wants a sudden increase/decrease in volume as they reach for their coffe  :-X
Back to top
 
 

Peace hath higher tests of manhood than battle ever knew. ...
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2445
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #5 - 09/05/07 at 23:04:55
 
Jason - It is not tube powered but I have taken great pains to voice it to sound more like tubes than solid state.

Terry - It is using Burr Brown Op amps, specifically the OPA2132 and it uses a pair of them.  They are socketed so it is possible to try a few others.  I prefer the FET input of these and the warm relaxed signature.  Unlike common FET op amps these are free from phase inversion and overload problems during high output. The particular ones I chose are $18.00 each putting them near the top of the list for expensive Op amps... but then when you want things to sound good...  ;)

Jason - It will drive headphones between 12 ohms and 600 ohms without issues. It will also maintain the same frequency balance meaning that certain impedances won't sound overly heavy while others sound overly thin.  In addition long cables can be used without problems. As you probably know the longer cables introduce higher capacitance and that typically has side effects but not with the ZenPod.



Jason - It uses a single 9 volt battery that can be accessed without having to unscrew stuff giving it an ergonomic advantage over all it's competition. Battery life is around 40 to 50 hours.  I have provisions for a DC adapter but not sure if I will implement it or not. Without getting long winded here, the sound quality pales in comparison to the battery.  Also, good old cheap alkaline batteries sound better then rechargeable ones.  The natural progression would be to have the unit charge itself while the DC adapter is used so many people would do that at the expense of sound quality.  This is another way the ZenPod outclasses its competition in my view.  It is an audiophile product,  not a bells and whistles item.

60 - I'm not going to say that can't happen, but I've been walking around with it in my shirt pocket for a week now and it's not happened yet.  Also the volume is a smooth increase, not super touchy so that helps.  You can put any 6 mm knob on it though, so if it were a problem for someone its a problem that could probably be overcome.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 09/05/07 at 23:10:19 by Steve Deckert »  
WWW   IP Logged
morpheous85
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 127
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #6 - 09/06/07 at 00:22:36
 
60_and_up wrote on 09/05/07 at 22:30:05:
that giant volume dial might be accidentally adjusted all the time while walking or working, how about some kinda dial that wont be accidentally adjusted?

no-one wants a sudden increase/decrease in volume as they reach for their coffe  :-X


I wondered that myself.

Oh man, I'm so excited!!! Are you taking pre-orders yet???  :)

Jason
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7913
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #7 - 09/06/07 at 00:45:55
 
Looks like a cool little product!

I'm not sure I'm in the market for one.

But I just might buy some stock in a 9-volt battery company because Morph is going to go through them like water!  ;)
Back to top
 
 

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
  IP Logged
giorgino
Ex Member



Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #8 - 09/06/07 at 01:13:46
 
Very nice indeed Steve. I bought myself one of these amps a couple of months back. It was OK but I wasn't massively impressed so I'm looking forward to find out how your's sound.

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2445
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #9 - 09/06/07 at 02:16:46
 
Giorgino,

Had the same experience.  The reasons are probably many, but in my experience the MAIN key is cross-feed. There seems to be at least a million wrong ways to implement cross-feed including not having it. A lot of these portable headphone amps are grossly over complicated... you know, press the button and hold for 3 seconds to turn it on for 3 hours,  press twice to turn it into a flashlight...  surface mount circuits with processors and DSP attempts at adjustable cross feeds, selectable gain levels, selectable impedance settings. Christ I just want it to work... woops got off on a bit of a tangent there.   Smiley

The cross feed is the key, and it must be done correctly.  The lack of cross feed in most headphone devices is why most people learn to hate headphones. Can't blame them either. Nothing worse then a total lack of imaging combined with super wide stereo effect that makes it sound like the music is playing inside your head. The cross feed circuit I use is the only one that to my ears works correctly and sounds natural.  And no I didn't invent it, just smart enough to try everything published and recognize what worked once I heard it. I still have to write the paper on it and probably should before I start selling these things.

You know when you've been listening to a good set of headphones on your head for 3 or 4 hours and literally have to force yourself to pry them off ...   that's good sound.   This is happening even with MP3's on an IPod!  The cross feed was the deciding factor in making this true.

Don't worry I'm going to make everyone listen to it at the DECFEST whether they want to or not.  Most won't want to because they've learned to hate headphones for the reasons I mentioned above.  They will likely be pleasantly surprised.  First of all, headphones are never better then what drives them.  When done correctly they smoke even my best stereo gear in the listening room in so many ways.  It is a real rush with this portable to hear sound that good and then walk outside and work in the yard while listening because something inside you says this should be impossible.



Steve
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 09/06/07 at 02:31:57 by Steve Deckert »  
WWW   IP Logged
60_and_up
Seasoned Member
****


kids should live.

Posts: 933
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #10 - 09/06/07 at 04:07:28
 
Steve Deckert wrote on 09/06/07 at 02:16:46:
1.. I still have to write the paper on it and probably should before I start selling these things.

2.You know when you've been listening to a good set of headphones on your head for 3 or 4 hours and literally have to force yourself to pry them off ...  




Steve


1. please dont, if its anywhere near $140 im ready now.
2.yes.

this is one steve decert voiced product i can use regularly. Smiley

Back to top
 
 

Peace hath higher tests of manhood than battle ever knew. ...
  IP Logged
buzz
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 393
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #11 - 09/06/07 at 05:13:21
 
Steve Deckert wrote on 09/06/07 at 02:16:46:
...

The cross feed is the key, and it must be done correctly.  The lack of cross feed in most headphone devices is why most people learn to hate headphones. Can't blame them either. Nothing worse then a total lack of imaging combined with super wide stereo effect that makes it sound like the music is playing inside your head....
Steve


How does the CSP2 handle this with its headphone output? I always wondered. Can these opamps possibly be in the same league?

buzz
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
selmerdave
Seasoned Member
****


When words fail,
music speaks - HC
Anderson

Posts: 461
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #12 - 09/06/07 at 06:46:41
 
morpheous85 wrote on 09/05/07 at 21:54:39:
If only 45v batteries were still in use. I know a collector that has a 3 tube pocket fm radio. 1.5v heaters and a 45v battery for the plates. 5 9v batteries might be a hard sell.

So Steve, is this only for 300+ ohm headphones, or can this be used with low impedence headphones as well??

Jason


My Stax "energizer" or whatever it's called is portable running on 4 "D" cells (or plugged in with a wall wart).  Somehow it's able to turn the voltage from the batteries into 580 V bias for the electrostatic field, must be an extremely small curent.

Dave
Back to top
 
 

Altec 604E's in MLTL cabs biamped w/Rane AC-22
Zen Select on HF
Radio Craftsmen RC-2's on LF
Eico HF-85
VPI HW-19 Mk II, Sonus arm, Grado Gold
CAL Tercet mK IV
WWW   IP Logged
Young_SC
Seasoned Member
****


I love Decware 1G -
SP1!

Posts: 111
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #13 - 09/06/07 at 07:09:07
 
Hi Steve,

How have you found using the mp3 player with the ZenPod.  Do they jumble around in your pocket?

Would it be worth supplying a small velcro strip to keep the units joined together?

I listen to my I-Pod while I'm on the train or in the car and often have the unit on my lap or resting next to me.  Having a method of joining the two may stop one of them being dropped or wires becoming tangled.

Simon
Back to top
 
 

Marantz CD 63KI (modded)
Monica 2 DAC with I/V output stage
ZBox
Decware SE84CEX
Homebuilt HDT's with doughnuts
Enamelled copper wire IC's with Eichmann plugs
Enamelled copper wire speaker cables
Young_SC   IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2445
Re: SNEAK PEAK  ZPOD
Reply #14 - 09/06/07 at 15:30:47
 
buzz wrote on 09/06/07 at 05:13:21:
How does the CSP2 handle this with its headphone output? I always wondered. Can these opamps possibly be in the same league?

buzz


Not in the same league - no.   The CSP2 has no cross feed because frankly it doesn't seem to suffer from any of the things cross feed fixes.  I can't honestly explain why.  

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 
Send Topic Print