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New ZCD player! (Read 13936 times)
Steve Deckert

If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2877
Re: New ZCD player!
Reply #15 - 11/24/09 at 17:28:53

The only way I would consider it is if Apple releases the code to enable the digital output on the 20 pin cable like they did for Wadia.

Otherwise we're really talking about making the IPod sound better, and so far trying various DOCS feeding both tube stages and or the Zenhead,  I have been unable to beat the headphone output jack feeding a Zenhead feeding an amplifier.  Side by side with the ZCD200i's IPod dock using the 20 pin connector feeding a tube stage, the Zenhead is equal or better.

I've been trying to  let  people know that as a line level preamp the Zenhead is a musical force to reckon with, but MOST simply don't hear me, because the ZenHead doesn't have tubes.

Last night I gave a demo of some of our amps and during the corse of the evening SOURCES came up.  In light of the transparency of the amps, a good source is a requirement.  We figured out that on the retail side of things, a stand alone player is going to run around two grand.  The ZCD player at half that amount became something to consider.  So we demo'd the ZCD against my good DAC for awhile, and when the realization finally set in that real money would have to be spent on a source, I grabbed my IPod and Zenhead.  Using that combo as the source gave MORE than satisfactory results putting a real bright light at the end of that tunnel.

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Chris K
Seasoned Member

Posts: 285
Re: New ZCD player!
Reply #16 - 11/24/09 at 20:46:47
I hear you now and I've considered a ZenHead but have not said much about it. Not knowing what coming down the line with digital both at Decware and otherwise gets a little dicey. The output of the 30 Gb iPod (non-touch) that you've seen me with is thin and a little weak but has had a good result with the CSP2. The iPhone is more robust on its own than the 30 Gb iPod and has better tone and weight but still can be thin at times depending on material. ZenHead design notes claim to help iPod in this regard so I understand your "MOST don't hear me" comments. I just think many are looking for a small, convenient, and less expensive DOCK/DAC. Your full out DAC effort is another thing altogether. The new ZCD200i is pretty enticing, but so is the ZenHead as a tidy and useable solution for portable clean, strong iPod output/interface. I heard or read that the iPod touch and iPhone3G DAC's are better than the classic iPod and I can hear it at home so must be something to that. ZenHead/ZCD??? Roll Eyes
BTW you wouldn't believe the non-spec tubes I've been rolling in the center spot on the CSP2 and on the Integrated. 6CG7 and 6BS8 as well as 12AV7. The results have been eye opening and very good. Lower than spec heater voltages allow a lot of experimenting with twin triodes though it can get noisy with the wrong tube. Ever consider adjustable heater voltages and tube regulation for the input stage of the CSP2? Would give a lot of flexibility? Sorry OT Tongue

OH forgot to ask is there a lot of gain above the iPod max output with the ZenHead?
Nevermind answered my own question. Saw the gain switch on the board and the impedance adjust. Wink
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« Last Edit: 11/24/09 at 21:41:07 by Chris K »  

Hi-Fi Gear: More than I need! Not as much as I want!
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