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ZCD impressions (Read 43820 times)
Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #30 - 07/09/08 at 00:09:05
 
Well, at four o'clock the ZCD was finally delivered. . . more than a week after it was sent.  (Have I mentioned I hate UPS?) Wink

I installed it and it's running straight into the CSP2, in other words I'm not using it with the ZBox at present.  

It sounds very dynamic and forceful, full sound, and wide sound stage.  That "dimensionality" that Steve's machines do so well is there.  I'm sure it will sound progressively better over the week.  I forgot to order this with the option for an IEC socket . . .just using the stock Tascam captive cord.  

I'm glad it's finally here and will update as I have more impressions.
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Eli Duttman
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #31 - 07/09/08 at 00:24:52
 
Quote:
I forgot to order this with the option for an IEC socket . . .just using the stock Tascam captive cord.



Lon,

You might have "lucked out".  I'm not a big believer in expensive power cords and IEC connectors.  After all, it's yet another set of mechanical connections.

FWIW, my hypothesis is that fancy power cords are beneficial, when they keep EMI/RFI out of the electronics.  If heavy duty wire on its own actually helps, it's an indication of insufficient energy storage in the PSU.  You can go to the bank on Mr. Deckert not cutting that corner.  ;)
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Eli D.
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Doorman
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #32 - 07/09/08 at 03:33:38
 
Glad it arrived safe and sound! Let that baby play! Oh, I think the "extra connection" reference Eli made re; your power cord makes a lot of sense. I doubt you'll regret it either way. You can always spend the 60 bucks on more music!
Don
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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #33 - 07/09/08 at 17:29:23
 
Eli, you're probably right, though I've had great experiences with both PS Audio and Decware power cords on Decware components, including the DEC685 (spliced it in to the captive cord).

Don, I'm playing it.  I'm also going to try to do the "unplugged" thing for break in too, I always do this after Steve first mentioned it years ago: on about five hours, off about five hours, etc. for a while.  I think it works. With this unit "off" means pull the plug!  

Nice machine indeed.  Sounding very nice right now.
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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #34 - 07/10/08 at 16:43:06
 
Today I'm running it through the ZBox first, then from the ZBox into the CSP2.

Interesting comparisons.  Today I think i actually may prefer the Blu-Ray straight into the CSP2 to the ZCD through the ZBox by a hair.  It's less forward. Though the bass is stronger on the ZCD the Blu-Ray seems warmer and the piano sounds a bit better on the Blu-Ray.

But the ZCD is still breaking in bit by bit.  Be weeks before it will "be all it can be."
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« Last Edit: 07/11/08 at 01:57:35 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #35 - 07/18/08 at 15:01:39
 
Well, here's some additional comments from Lon. . . .

So far this is a very nice player. . . . Hasn't quite blown me away.  I think I like the DEC685 better and I think the Blu-Ray player sounds better. . . though both are different.  The Sony ES Blu-Ray cost an additional 400 dollars or so so sure it SHOULD sound really good.  And maybe I'm just more used to the DEC685. . . .So far the ZCD is the most "forward" of the three and I'm not a big fan of "forward."  (On the flip side my friend Shawn who relocated to Austin and is staying with me thinks the ZCD sounds fantastic!)

So. . . I can definitely say this is a great cd player. . . but whether it becomes my MAIN cd player or if I keep it remains. . . undecided til further breakin occurs.
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Doorman
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #36 - 07/18/08 at 15:46:43
 
That's interesting, Lon. My ZCD was good right from the beginning, and sort of out of left field a few weeks ago, it got REALLY good - it just seemed to open up and the soundstage expanded in all directions. It was a pretty clear example to me of the much discussed "burn-in".
The BluRay player is intriguing.
Don
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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #37 - 07/18/08 at 15:53:47
 
Don, good to have that information.

Did you get the IEC option and are you using another power cord?
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #38 - 07/18/08 at 19:09:29
 
Quote:
That's interesting, Lon. My ZCD was good right from the beginning, and sort of out of left field a few weeks ago, it got REALLY good - it just seemed to open up and the soundstage expanded in all directions. It was a pretty clear example to me of the much discussed "burn-in".


Hi Don,

Do you have a ballpark figure as to hours played when the ZCD went to the next level ..... ?

Thanks,

Randy
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Doorman
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #39 - 07/18/08 at 23:08:05
 
Randy: Somewhere around a month/six weeks (?) played 3-4 hrs. per day.
Just one of those things, you know, where quite suddenly it just seemed to really 'open up', and you look up from whatever you were doing and go "Gee this is sounding REALLY great"!
FWIW, I've had no urge to fool with tubes, cables etc. Just buy more music Smiley
Lon: I do have the IEC connector, and have installed a modestly priced power cord from DIY cable. I think Eli's point re. attached power cord is a good one, though
Keep us up to date on your impressions, Don
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« Last Edit: 07/18/08 at 23:10:09 by Doorman »  

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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #40 - 07/24/08 at 11:38:55
 
Just a quick note to say that there has been a jump forward in fidelity and the ZCD is sounding very very good.  

There is a faithfulness to this player that can be ruthless:  if you have a bad recording. .. well there's nowhere to hide.  This machine does not impart a "signature" over the music as others can.
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #41 - 07/24/08 at 17:48:29
 
Hi Lon,

To this point, my observations match your own.

I have been playing the ZCD two to five hours every night since around the 4th of this month ..... so it has about 60 to 80 hours on it.  Following your lead, I unplugged it every night for the first couple of weeks to help with the break in process.

It is definitely more "forward" than my CEC / Digital Lens / Channel Islands DAC combo ..... but there is plenty of depth to the soundstage as well.  I have it sitting on a Mapleshade Isoblock / maple slab / brass footer sandwich with heavy hats on top.

Over the last couple of days, the focus and bloom have increased greatly, which up to that point were lagging behind my combo rig ..... and I expect it to get better still.

If someone is looking for a "tubey" sound from this player, they will be disappointed.  It is extremely neutral, and as you said, a bad CD will not sound like anything but a bad CD on this player.

Fortunately, I have collected a good number of fine sounding CDs which are served well by the ZCD.  

Bobaloo paid me a visit last night and when we played the disk "Magic and Loss", Lou Reed was in the room with us .....  8-)

I think we are both in for a situation where "the best is yet to come" .....  :)

Best wishes,

Randy
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CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
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Lon
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"Love without
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Posts: 7670
Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #42 - 07/25/08 at 14:52:50
 
I agree, I think this is going to be a period of improvement.  I also agree that there is nothing "tubey" about the sound of this player except the fleshed out images and soundstaging qualities that I think I only really find in tubed gear this way.

I have mine sitting in my Samson rack, in the center, it's arranged this way from the bottom up:

Mapleshade Isoblocks and maple platform, Herbie's Audio Lab "Iso-cup" feet under the Sony ES Blu-Ray Player (I've moved away from brass feet to these and I prefer them) and then the ZCD sits on top of the Blu-Ray player on the Herbie Isor-acups, and the CSP2 and the ZBox are on top of the ZCD on the Herbie Isor-cups.  I actually am using two different types of "balls" in the Iso-cups.

I may in time move the Blu-Ray player to the top shelf underneath my Sony TV. . .and see if that makes a difference to the system. If it does I'm guessing it will be a very subtle difference.

I too find there's plenty of depth to the sound from this player. . .despite its slightly forward nature.  I'm getting used to this. . .right now it's a bit too clinical for me to totally relax into it, but this may change.
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« Last Edit: 07/25/08 at 14:53:16 by Lon »  

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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #43 - 07/25/08 at 18:12:18
 
Lon,

Have you done any tube rolling in the ZCD ..... ?

I am running an Amperex Bugle Boy 12AU7 at this time ..... and Parker Audio Dave will be bringing over a nice selection of 12AU7s tonight to check out ..... Mullard, Telefunken, Siemens, etc.

Should be interesting,

Randy
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CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Mini Me" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Wild Burro Betsy drivers and Heil AMTs
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7670
Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #44 - 07/25/08 at 20:07:35
 
I'm running the same cryo'd RCA 12BH7A that I used in the DEC685 and that I use in the ZBox. . . after rolling a lot of tubes that has been my favorite.  Karl uses it too.  I have the JJ stock tube that came with the machine breaking in in the DEC685 in my bedroom system.

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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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