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ZCD impressions (Read 44709 times)
Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #60 - 08/08/08 at 11:34:44
 
I've been using it with all the players and without all the players, using it both with and without all the players, to see what each sound with and without it.

They each sound best WITH the ZBox to my ears.  The ZBox is one helluva product Steve!

I have the ZCD spinning a mono cd for almost exactly a week, under my bed.  I'll put it back in the system soon and see how it sounds.  This week I've been enjoying playing SACDs and HDCDs on the NAD. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 08/08/08 at 11:37:19 by Lon »  

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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #61 - 08/10/08 at 02:42:13
 
Lon,

Based on what I know (or at least think I know .....) about the Decware components in your system, I would be curious what your thoughts are if you run the ZCD into the ZBox and then directly into the amps ..... bypassing the CSP2.  Since there is a volume control on the ZBox, you could control the level from there.

In my system, the CSP2 adds a LOT of dynamics to the sound and pushes everything a bit forward.  The sound might be a little more laid back and to your liking using the ZCD without it.

Just a thought .....

Randy
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« Last Edit: 08/10/08 at 02:45:25 by Randy in Caintuck »  

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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #62 - 08/10/08 at 03:35:04
 
Randy,

Yes it probably could be done but. . . using the ZBox as a preamp in this system in this room in the past has been . . . well. . . not really as effective, I can't get the volume range right and in the very best range for the amps etc. and there's a brittle thinness I can't abide now.  (This wasn't made clear to me until I added the CSP2 and it diedn't add forwardness necessarily).(Also, I don't live alone now, and this system serves as the dvd/Blu-Ray source for the house, and I need to have the CSP2 for switching and control and will not use another amp and speakers.)  I may try it again in the future but I don't believe it will be any different.  Also. . .the Sony ES player and the NAD don't have that forward nature through the CSP2 or through the ZBox and the CSP2.  So I'm not sure the CSP2 can be fingered in that manner.

I'm going to let the ZCD spin and season for a while longer then try it again.  But I think that the problem is the very accurate and revealing nature of the machine, coupled with the same in the amps and speakers . . .more and more I need something that is just a bit less so, and can make recordings sound "good" rather than just what they really are.  I have thousands of cds that aren't going to be relaxing and endearing sounding through the ZCD as it was a week ago when I put it aside, but do sound nonfatiguing through the NAD (and did for the most part through the DEC685, at least the last three or four years).

I know we have different tastes regarding playback texture and detail, and I'm very happy the ZCD has been so successful in your system.
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« Last Edit: 08/10/08 at 12:37:21 by Lon »  

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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #63 - 08/19/08 at 23:21:05
 
Just a note to say that the ZCD is still not in the system again yet, and the NAD T-855 universal player is sounding wonderful, giving a euphonic sound to most all recordings. If one is looking for a universal (well not HD or Blu-Ray, but HDCD cds, regular cds and cdrs, DVD, and DVDRs and SACD then for 450 from audioadvisor.com (60% off) this is well worth consdering.
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Gary_H.
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #64 - 08/25/08 at 19:08:12
 
Hi to all (especially Randy and Lon),

It's been a long time since a post from me. But, I'm very interseted in your ZCD impressions thus far.

I have not seen any comment on the factory adjustable output levels available on the ZCD. Does it come standard with 2 mcv and with up to 5mcv available? That was my impression from the product info. Does anyone have a higher mcv level and are you happy with that option?

Thanks, Gary
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« Last Edit: 08/25/08 at 19:08:57 by Gary_H. »  
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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #65 - 08/25/08 at 19:50:51
 
Gary, glad you're posting.

I THINK mine is the standard 2v output,
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Gary_H.
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #66 - 08/25/08 at 21:32:44
 
Lon,

Thanks for the reply.

I extend my sympathies to you for the loss of your wife. When I last was envolved with the forum I know you were struggling with issues of her illness and care. My thoughts are with you.

I still have the radial 1.5s, but continue to find the right amp to drive them. I have a Vaughn Audio Carina (1.8 watts in triode, 3.5 in ultralinear) which Eddie eventually sent me after struggling to build a more powerful EL34 based amp. Gee, that was almost 4 years ago now. The radials seem pretty under-powered to me in my room. Anyway, I was thinking I could get more out of my current cd player/amp combo if I had a cd player with a higher output.

Do you think that would help improve the amp power to speaker sensitivity (92db/w) equation? Just how much of a difference would that make? I am ignorant on this issue. But, thanks in advance for any thoughts - from anyone.

Gary
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #67 - 08/25/08 at 21:55:02
 
Hi Gary,

Good to hear from you .....

I'm not sure what the output voltage is supposed to be on my ZCD, but I can tell you this ..... for a few weeks, I had the ZCD feeding one of the inputs on my CSP2 and a transport and Channel Islands Audio DAC feeding the other input.

The Channel Islands piece is listed at "Output Level: 2.25vRMS (Single-ended)" ..... but the ZCD was MUCH louder at the same volume setting on the preamp.

You can draw your own conclusions .....  ; )

Best wishes,

Randy
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Gary_H.
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #68 - 08/25/08 at 22:13:25
 
Hi Randy,

I'm glad to see your still around. You may not remember, but we meet at Decfest '04 - where I meet you, Steve, Zigi and Eddie. Not to make too much of it, but I thought you had a Vaughn amp yourself.

Anyway, the Carina seems just too underpowered for my setup and I am just loking for an economical way to boost the output.

Steve, can you give some insights on the ZCD output and its effect on the overall spl output? What could that do for me?

Thanks for your help.

Gary
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #69 - 08/26/08 at 13:02:28
 
Gary,

The ZCD's output is generally set up somewhere between 2 and 3 volts giving it some nice kick and body.  (I have made several units with an adjustable output so the user can set it perfect for any system)

If your amp has a gain control, you would be able to run the control below full volume against the higher output of the ZCD and likely get a bit more talk power from the amp before clipping but I fear it would only be a slight improvement, not a solution to your problem.

If you were running a Zen amp, I would have recommended rather than buying a ZCD, just get another zen and bridge them into mono blocks.  That would have solved the problem nicely.  

Of course, your amp is a highly desirable piece.  If you could sell it and take the money you would have spent on a ZCD, you could buy a TORII MK II and be smiling from ear to ear at the end result.

-Steve  :)
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« Last Edit: 08/26/08 at 13:03:29 by Steve Deckert »  
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Gary_H.
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #70 - 08/26/08 at 15:54:04
 
Thanks Steve,

I do have an intetgrated amp, but it looks like the ZCD may not help me that much. Regretably, I know you are right  ::). I have tried valiently to get the amp I need, but it just hasn't worked out.

Well, not all of us get it right every time  :-[

Thanks for your advise. (I am still very happy with the 1.5s  ;D

Gary
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« Last Edit: 08/26/08 at 15:55:57 by Gary_H. »  
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Randy in Caintuck
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #71 - 08/26/08 at 17:23:54
 
Quote:
Not to make too much of it, but I thought you had a Vaughn amp yourself.


Hi Gary,

Yes ..... I did own a Carina and it's a fine amplifier by any standards.  However, I sometimes run my Parker Audio Behemoths and the Decware SO Imperials in parallel ..... and the impedance is just a wee bit lower than the Carina is happy with.  The Decware Select loves the load.  So, I sold the Carina to a friend in Columbus, Ohio where it is happily driving an 8 ohm set of loudspeakers.

The proper tool for the job at hand .....  ; )

Is there any chance that you will make the DecFest this year ..... ?

Randy
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"Mini Me" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Wild Burro Betsy drivers and Heil AMTs
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Gary_H.
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #72 - 08/26/08 at 21:26:23
 
Hi Randy,

Thanks for the update.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend this year. I live in southern Oregon and it's just too much for me to travel out there right now.

But, I know you'll most likely be there and I will be thinking of all you chaps.

Gary
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #73 - 09/03/08 at 03:11:33
 
I've past the 3 1/2 month mark with the the ZCD, and look forward to another 9 years (to match my Jolida 601's longevity!)  I actually had the 601 out the other day and played it.  For a  $349.00 out the door demo from May 1999, it is a good sounding unit.  Cheaply made, but good. The ZCD takes it up numerous notches, but I've enjoyed the 601 and will always keep it till it stops completely.

I've followed Lon's ZCD experience with interest.  He's had enough Decware products and exhibited enough loyalty that I value his views.  Plus, anyone who recognizes jazz as America's classical music is a Man to be respected!!  I originally had a SE84C I purchased used in early 2001, and later traded it it in for a CS later that year (back when Steve was doing that!)  I say that to say I've been lurking in the forums for a while, and have noticed a lot of Lon's impressions.  I'm glad that he isnt immediately smitten with the the ZCD!  Based on my tastes and what I'm hearing, the ZCD seems a little different from what Lon has always stated he likes.  Granted, I dont know the degree of difference, but I'll add that have I've noticed my ZCD has mellowed a bit in my system to the point that I've taken out the Mullard CV4003/12AU7 and found synergy with a EH 12AU7.   I began to detect a bit of softness/cloudiness with the Mullard, which had initially taken the "bite" out of the ZCD as it broke in.  The ZCD's presentation/perspective is forward, no doubt about it.  But I dont find it harsh.  I'll reiterate that I found the DSRII's to actually help mellow the sound while keeping the forward presentation. I hear all the lushness and "vibrato" in the music.  The Transcendent Sound gear hides nothing, but now I realize the gear served only as an offset to the cloudy 601.  Yes, a vicious cycle!  I'm about to receive a new integrated amp that I  hopefully believe will marry well with the ZCD and Horns for years to come.  But I'm confident with the ZCD in making the amplification move.  I suspect the ZCD has a lot more breaking in to do.
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Lon
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Re: ZCD impressions
Reply #74 - 09/03/08 at 11:36:42
 
Thanks for posting those impressions.  (And the kind words).

I'm still letting the ZCD spin away and season in another room.  I think of adding it back in, but remember the bite and the fatigue, and I'm happy with the NAD player I'm using (very) (and enjoying SACDs and HDCD discs quite a lot) and so I'm not in a hurry.  And if as you say the machine is still breaking in after three months, then I'm doing the right thing.

If I still can't relax into it when I finally do put it into the system, I'll probably consider parting with it.
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