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Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane (Read 8782 times)
Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #50 - 03/08/10 at 02:27:38
 
I think in these amps with such direct and "simple" circuitry the rectifiers play a big role and so changes are significant.  This has been the case for me in all the amps I've had and have from Steve.

With the Mark III there are THREE rectifiers to roll!  OMG, I think I'll just leave it as it is for now! Smiley

I think that's a good idea, talking to Steve  He may steer you to a good and simple room treatment, or he may even be able to adjust the signature of the Mark III to get a more appropriate bass response for you.  But wait for the Styx to get in the system. . . they're gong to show you really where you're at!

It's been fun sharing experiences and thoughts.  I have the DVR running through the Mark III right now.  I've had so much fun with this system, makes even blah TV sound GREAT.
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will
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #51 - 03/09/10 at 18:37:57
 
THREE rectifiers huh!!! Do tell. I think your are right about the simple and clean signal path thing, but man, for me anyway, the MkIII brings out the tube differences more than the Integrated did. This amp is amazing.

And yes, I look forward to the Styx and the assurance that I am getting accurate connection with the speakers.

On the room... I found a really good CD for identifying low resonance stuff. Rosa Passos and Ron Carter "Entre Amigos." Demanding Bass tracks, within a very simple matrix of beautiful midrange stuff. I have been messing around with this the whole time, but as I learn more, I am becoming less tolerant of ANY resonance I hear, and this has been having enough positive effect on my low-mid/bass problem to realize that with this amp, in this room, pretty much all the bass resonance has to go....Being all over the room many times, and by solving the broader low end crud, the remaining (and worst) resonance has become really obvious. So, I am much closer and your saying that your room was a bass sucker, and mine having exaggerated bass with the same amp, this was the big pointer.

I was suspicious of the MG944's being sensitive to the deep bass the MkIII produces since my problems were exaggerated by them before I realized the drivers were slightly loose, and also because damping of the driver rings and box did help. After sorting this out, it didn't seem possible that the difference between the MG's and the IT Radials could cause a huge difference in bass response. Also, since the MG's and the MkIII do go low, it is not a surprise that together they bring out room issues that the Integrated and MG's didn't.

Finally, from your pointer, today I have been doing this pretty intense detective work with the stock tubes. So thanks for the dialog Lon.

I'll try Steve today.
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #52 - 03/09/10 at 19:33:02
 
Seems as if your thinking is sound! Smiley
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #53 - 03/09/10 at 22:16:28
 
This really is a fabulous amplifier.  It's more different than I thought it would be than my Mark II right now.  Sound is very very nice.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #54 - 03/09/10 at 22:47:42
 
Although Mr. Deckert may advise me to remain home for the next Decfest, I have not been putting a lot on time on the new amp.  My second system located in the bedroom/office includes a set of RL3's and a  small Jolida PP amp. with a Cayin tubed DAC.  I find it hard to escape the Radial sound.  Have not had a CD in my hands for months.

I did avail myself of the Decware power cord and audiophile grade duplex.  The main system includes nearly everything Decware.

I find the new Torii Mk III to be all the amplifier that will ever be needed in the living room.  It works so well with so many different speakers. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to swing it.

Dennis
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #55 - 03/10/10 at 17:21:24
 
I know about being addicted to the Radial sound.  I have two Radial based systems now. . . one in the living-room/dining-room and one in the bedroom.  It's a total gas to have Radials everywhere I listen.

Although you sound as if you're happy with the Jolida, I would be really remiss if I didn't recommend something like the Integrated for that system.  I'm a little biased, I haven't really heard Jolida amps that I like, and I love the Integrated/RL2 combo, really great, especially for a bedroom or office. . . .
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Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #56 - 03/11/10 at 16:34:43
 
Playing Symphony #9 on this set, which is the most dynamic set of recordings I have.  Playing the SACD too loudly too, in a way. But it's clear as a bell and whispers and roars.  The Mark III / IT Radial combo is really performing flawlessly.

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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #57 - 03/16/10 at 23:50:03
 
Wow. This amplifier is really PLEASING.
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Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #58 - 03/25/10 at 19:23:21
 
The system astounded me this afternoon.  I removed the protective grilles from the top of the IT Radials, and I put on the DVD audio version of Opeth's "Ghost Reveries."

Holy #$%!  Room full of sound as I've never heard before.

The Torii made it all pump and whirl and sing.
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ZYGI
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #59 - 03/26/10 at 02:57:35
 
Great news Lon.....how much better is the bass control of the MK-III than the MK-II....Steve was pretty stoked about the voice coil cathode bias, and I won't be able to hear it before Decfest  >:(

ZYGI
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #60 - 03/26/10 at 12:09:39
 
Hey Bob,

I'm enjoying the sound with that top grille off, at least for now.  More "Radial" like.

As for the bass. . . well everything is a little different with the Mark III tonal wise. There are now four distinct signatures, because the ITs seem to fall more comfortably in the middle between the two positions on the speaker ohm switch, and there's the bias switch for the tubes as well.  

I still sometimes want a richer or a more delineated bass, but it's neither the fault of the amp nor the speakers, but the room.  I'm just not ready to address room treatment.  Maybe in the next house if there is one; this one is just too small, I need all the wall space for books and cds etc.

There is a fundamental difference between the two amps. The III seems to control the ITs with just a bit more of an iron glove. As a result the sound is slightly more "solid." As a friend of mine noted, with the grilles on there is a more defined two-channel presentation (that changes when the grille is off).  And a very balanced tonal palette top to bottom. There's real punch in several of the "signatures" too:  rock drums if recorded well can really drive, I notice on a lot of jazz recordings more body to the drum sound as well as more precise locations of the different elements of the kit. There's a bit more life in the sound. The differences between the two amps are not great, and may even be subtle. I'd say that unless one listens to a lot of jazz, classical or folk music the II is the cat's meow.  For electric and electronic music (blues, rock, hip-hop, pop, etc.) the II delivers AND HOW.  The III has just a bit more refinement for those recordings that are minimally produced or done with instrumental tone purity and accuracy. And the III may reveal just a tiny bit more dynamic shadings.
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ZYGI
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #61 - 03/30/10 at 12:17:16
 
Lon,

  I notice some differences with the grill off,  not as much as you are hearing, but that could be my room is a bit on the dark side.  Your pair has the metal grills, and that might make a difference. I didn't switch to cloth on the newer pairs for any other reason, other than cloth was easier to work with, and I thought it might keep someones wife from trying to use the top of the speaker as a plant stand....

 After talking to Steve about the MK-III and now what you are saying from your experiences with yours, it makes me really want to hear one in my own room. Other than the extra power, I don't think  my blue Torri can be beat. Only time will tell....

ZYGI  
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« Last Edit: 03/30/10 at 12:19:06 by ZYGI »  

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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #62 - 03/30/10 at 22:46:49
 
Well, come on over and listen to the amp in my room! Smiley  I would be willing to bet that every amp that says Torii on it stands proud and beams, because the soul and spirit of these amps are strong and confident.

This morning my Mark II blew me away playing some Ravel and Debussey.  And ten minutes ago the Mark III just rolled me over listening to some Porcupine Tree (Signify, in fact).

And your big blue Torii, man he's like Hercules from the mists of the historical age, performing his many labors, losing and gaining friends along the way.  That amp is an institution! It's shaken the hand and kicked the ass of more fantastic speakers than nearly any other amp in the world. Wink

I'm enjoying the grille off Bob, I think my room just loves to be excited by the radial driver, there's a good bit of space to fill there.  I get a sort of wall of sound with a big back yard, tall and deep. There's more info when the grilles are off, and the ITs are really filling the room, performing both the traditional two channel directionality and the holographic swirl and depth. My friend Shawn has heard almost all my Decware systems in sequence and he just loves the IT Radials, he says it's the best that I've had and among the best he's heard.  That's no small noise either as he's a digital engineer and a computer audio person.

Even watching tv just barely worth watching, I can always find something in the audio to appreciate and even marvel at on occasion.

So I would bet big money that you'll love the Mark III with these speakers (and likely many others).
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« Last Edit: 03/30/10 at 23:02:05 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #63 - 04/05/10 at 21:06:28
 
Today I'm realizing how this amp brings out the best of the system.  The Sony sounds fantastic, the IT Radials are right now swinging their asses off pumping out some of the Jazz Crusaders from the Mosaic set. The PRAT is right on and the sound is so strong and sure and quick.
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« Last Edit: 04/05/10 at 21:07:04 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #64 - 04/05/10 at 22:00:32
 
Lon,

Any news on the ERR's? I don't see your name on the list yet...

Neil
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #65 - 04/05/10 at 23:38:01
 
Hi Neil,

No, no news on ERRs for me.  I don't think I will show up on the list as my purchase was not on a strict timetable, or meant to be put in front of other sales.
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« Last Edit: 04/05/10 at 23:41:22 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #66 - 04/11/10 at 14:34:38
 
The Torii Mark III continues to amaze me. It amazes me how much this sounds like the Decware SET amps and yet has so much power reserve and so much body and depth.  And it just sounds so good, powering the Radials into performances none of the smaller amps had.

This is in my opinion so far the best amp I've ever gotten to know. I am so happy to have this driving my system.  Bring on the Zen DAC-1. Wink
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #67 - 04/11/10 at 21:54:11
 
Lon, I am amazed that you are going to be getting music from a digital source on line. Its the future and coming so fast as to be already the present. As bandwidth availability increase the sources should begin to head toward 192kbps and beyond territory where quality improves dramatically. There are some college stations broadcasting in 320kbps realm. Not always with music you may want to hear but with a high quality feed. Also you can subscibe to a few that are high enough to be very listenable. I am wanting the dac too.      mike
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Lon
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #68 - 04/11/10 at 23:38:33
 
Mike I am not at all interested in getting music online. I have more cds than I ever need to have, but I know I'll buy more.  I have so much to listen to. 320 kps sounds okay but it does not sound like Redbook to me. I gave up listening to radio a few decades ago, litereally, don't do radio.   I'm sticking with cd, SACD, etc: discs.

I have an eMiusic account and download a few things a month to experiment.  If I burn a cdr from the MP3 and like it and play it more than a few times I buy the cd. I never feel I have "all that it could be" unless I do so.  My Sony SCD-XA5400ES and my ZCD and my NAD universal player and my Sony BCD-S2000ES Blu-Ray all read discs without error, and several will soon feed the Zen DAC-1.  I don't feel I need "exact audio copy" software for my software.

I have too many sources already to add online streaming etc.!  Plus . .  . I just don't like to have the computer and music too intertwined. They've been two separate entities to me for a few decades and I want it to stay that way.  I used to perform and record and that is behind me. When I do mix music and computers I somehow have feelings that are similar and it's not a great feeling to be honest. I don't want to reawaken that time or those practices. I was not happy then in my life.  It's going to be redbook and higher resolution for me via discs.
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« Last Edit: 04/12/10 at 21:13:01 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #69 - 04/13/10 at 08:27:06
 
Well, Lon, it appears I have missed why you would want a dac then as I would want one for listening to digital sources on line. On Maui we have lost all broadcast sources except ClearChannel (which I find boring and tedious) by the removal of our transmitter from the top of Haleakala Crater so as not to interfere with a radio telescope being built near by. I only own a few hundred vinyl albums from the 70s which is not enough variety. I have also noticed that CDs are disappearing as a source. Borders Music and Books is about to bankrupt and most other music sources have disappeared from island retail centers. I recently visited Amoeba Records in San Fran and it appeared alive and well. Outside of major metro areas there is not much but mp3 (which I also cannot listen to) is thriving. I guess I assumed you were changing your opinion about these sources. So elucidate on dac usage if you would as I would like to understand this item from your perspective. Thank you for your thoughts.......     mike
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #70 - 04/13/10 at 14:54:31
 
Mike, I've long not been buying many cds in brick and mortar stores, as I tend to want to get items that even when they are stocking lots of cds they don't stock.  Liking the older jazz and Brazilian material, I've been buying these online and mail order for about a decade plus with some supplementing from stores and record conventions.  Since Tower closed here six or seven years ago it's been pretty grim in the stores.  There are still quite a few cds to buy in town (this town is a university town known for tis music and as a result there are more music stores than some other towns, and certainly different than HI seems to be) but not that many that are on my "list."  I still buy lots of cds, mainly from amazon, cduniverse, half. com etc.

I want the DAC because I am hoping that it will improve my digital playback on all sources, but especially the TV.  I have pretty good digital playback for discs, but I want to see what Steve's design will produce.  My cable DVR' s analog out is not that great to be honest, it's clearly the weakest source I have, and I think that if I run the digital out into Steve's DAC it will be an improvement.  (I just use two channel, never felt the urge to go surround).  If so then a good percentage of the system's usage will be improved as my girlfriend and I watch quite a bit of TV.  And I suspect as a bonus that my cd and blu-ray playback may be improved a bit, if so that will be great.  This is the final leg of my system upgrading, and I wanted to support Steve's design and product in this arena. I have high hopes, and suspect that they come through.  The only Decware product I ultimately wasn't insanely happy about was the ZCD that I bought and still have. If the ZDAC-1 is as good as I suspect it is, I'm done buying system stuff quite some time, and can sit back and enjoy my system.

So I guess I'm getting this DAC to be the cherry on top of a great Decware banana split. While I still have the resources (a narrowing window) I wanted to make my Decware system be all it can be. We'll see, I have high hopes!
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« Last Edit: 04/13/10 at 14:59:32 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt,all Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #71 - 04/16/10 at 05:50:43
 
Lon, thanks for the very lucid explanation. I did not understand or even stop to think that there were indeed other parts to improve in your audio life, I should have. I only listen to music and my sources are computer based-hard drive stored cds, vinyl recorded and stored the same way(still archiving my records), and direct from the internet. I like new music-old stuff is fine- but as I work with machinery and power tools I do not want my mind drafting too much down memory lane. Brazil and West Africa provide a real excitement to me in music and my only access is on line. I recently spent a few hours at Amoeba Records in San Fran with a list which I nearly filled with music I had first heard online through KCRW in Santa Monica.
I will be putting my wifes TV (satellite based) through the Torii soon to see if that works at least for movie watching. She likes TV, me not so much. Thank you for explaining and giving me some new thoughts about how to use my new amp/toy. I am sure the dac is in my future also.   Aloha,  mike
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #72 - 04/18/10 at 00:17:54
 
Mike, yeah as I'm now retired from state government and not yet at work at another job, I guess I can afford to stroll down memory lane. Smiley  Though I confess most of the older music I listen to I don't have a nostalgic connection to, as I listen to thousands of recordings recorded before I was born or before I became a music listener and collector; I really love thousands of recordings of jazz and blues from 1917 to the early sixties or so, and then enjoy a whole lot of other recordings, but it is this first fifty years or so of jazz that REALLY gets me going.

I actually do listen to more new music than in many years, having become intrigued by the work of Steven Wilson in his solo work and with Porcupine Tree, etc. and exploring the work of Opeth and a few other current bands. Very different and interesting.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #73 - 04/24/10 at 15:01:31
 
The system is sounding exceptional today.

After much experimentation I've found that the best sound from the Torii for 90% of material is with both the bias switch and the speaker impedance switch to the rear.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #74 - 04/24/10 at 18:26:38
 
Lon, I tend to agree on my system, though it is a hard call since the back impedance setting has more push and I like the more relaxed feeling from the switch forward. However, for my setup that "push" is really good at bringing clarification throughout the spectrum, and I like that. My tendency at this point with this setting is to use OB3's for the voltage regulator, chilling out the push a touch and opening the sound slightly (though that could change this afternoon!) But I am using cryo'd 6n23P's for the input and they are tighter and more powered up than the 6N1P, accenting this "push". I like the pronounced clarity from them but they can sound a little hard. To compensate for the less warmth, particularly in the bottom, I am currently using cryo'd Sovtek GZ34's for the rectifiers. To me they are too warm with the 6N1P's, but nicely balanced with the 6N23P's, and the combination contributes to a detailed, but friendly sound.

It amazes me how powerfully different tubes affect the sound of this amp, and how the interaction from them is a whole story in its self. If it wasn't fun, it could be a nightmare all the choices and their cumulative impact.

Will
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« Last Edit: 04/25/10 at 01:56:25 by will »  

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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #75 - 04/24/10 at 20:12:05
 
Hey Will,

Yes, it really is a close call between the two impedance positions, and each has their plus!  For the video portion of my system the rear is predominantly the best, the choice is not that clear for the cd player.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #76 - 04/24/10 at 20:28:29
 
And rolling tubes did sort of drive me crazy for a few years especially with the ZCD and the ZBox when both were in the system. So I'm steering clear of that for a while.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #77 - 04/25/10 at 02:48:04
 
I hear you. Though I love most of the 6N1P, I have just never been fully convinced by it, and I can't get around the seductive clarity of the 6N23P's. But then there is the the whole balancing act, which for me also opens what are probably too many options at times. Especially since Steve has great ears and designed the amp with its particular tube set, I see your point completely. I guess I am stuck in tweaker land for now though as I refine my room and system, and one change leads to others, causing me to retry different tubes and tube sets as all gets better. But this is good for now as I am recovering from a fairly intense knee surgery and music and my system are my greatest relief from that. I am having fun!
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #78 - 04/26/10 at 02:39:34
 
That said,  I really like all the tubes I have tried in this amp, including the stock set...each having their own merit. So hanging with the base line can't go wrong!
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #79 - 04/26/10 at 03:20:32
 
Well, the 6N1Ps are cryo'd and I'm using RCA 5U4Gs that came in the Mark II that I bought from Bob, they're awesome tubes.  So not entirely stock.

I'm getting sound right now I don't want to mess with beyond getting the Decware "source" DAC and seeing what that does. Smiley

I'm more happy with the Mark III than I expected to be. Every day is a listening experience.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #80 - 04/28/10 at 19:56:55
 
I am really glad the Mk III is doing what you love. Ah the beauty of being absorbed by the MUSIC. And yes, those tubes could potentially shift things pretty far from stock. Thanks for the heads up, I misunderstood or misinterpreted.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #81 - 04/28/10 at 20:28:22
 
I'm really enjoying the amp, that's for sure.

I have been realizing lately that my system now is what I really envisioned having as a sort of dream system twelve years ago.  I've learned a lot, Decware products have grown a lot, and I have a great system to enjoy the far too many recordings I have.

And by the weekend, the ZDAC-1 should be on hand.  That'll be a shot in the arm or something!
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #82 - 05/01/10 at 01:27:34
 
Lon,

You are at it again with the DAC huh, LOL. I finally heard my Mark II with the CCE mod (or more accurately CCL mod for me) and the Winged "C" EL34's last night. All I can say is WOW! So warm and rich sounding compared to the already excellent KT88's I was using previously. How much of what I am experiencing is mod vs tube?

There is a question on the Torii Mk II Forum that you might be able to answer for DaveK.

Enjoy the Mk III!  :)

Neil
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #83 - 05/01/10 at 14:56:42
 
Neil, I haven't used KT88s in any of my Toriis so it's just a guess, but I'd say maybe 70% of the perceived improvement is due to the mod(?)

The important thing is that the sound is knocking you out.  I had a great killer sound going and now the ZDAC-1 is here and it's back to the drawing board!  The ZDAC-1 has a fantastic sound that is now proving to be very different than what I was listening to and I have lots of speaker positioning, treble cut control positioning, etc. to go through!
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« Last Edit: 05/01/10 at 14:58:27 by Lon »  

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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #84 - 05/01/10 at 16:42:23
 
Lon,

The sound is knocking me out. What source are you using with the DAC? How would you describe what the DAC does to the sound???

Neil
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #85 - 05/01/10 at 16:55:47
 
Neil, it's early and I don't want to say too much.

I'm using the coaxial outs of my Sony SCD-XA5400ES and my Sony BDP-S2000ES and the optical out of my cable company's Scientific Atlanta DVR as sources. The sound that is most improved is the DVR.  However, oddly the ZCAC-1 has a slightly less voltage output than the analog out of the DVR and I was hoping for a volume boost at the "widest" setting in audio range, and not a slight reduction.

The character of the ZDAC-1 is a lot like the ZCD's in many ways, which is not necessarily a great thing for ME who has never warmed up that unit as a source.  But there is definitely more dynamics and a bit more warmth so far with the ZDAC-1. I have to say that it's different than the sound of my Sonys in a more dynamic, leaner fashion. If the ZDAC-1 doesn't change much in the next weeks, I may not say that there's a lot of improvement overall in my system.  We'll see.  I am entering into the ZDAC-1 evaluation period very happy with my sources the months beforehand.

I've had to totally relocate my speakers back into the rear of the room in order to come close to the low end sond and feel of the analog outs of the source components. Which is a bit unsettling for a guy who has lived with his speakers well out into the room for some years.
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« Last Edit: 05/01/10 at 21:30:22 by Lon »  

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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #86 - 05/01/10 at 17:05:00
 
Lon,

Thanks, very interesting. My next planned purchase is still the ZCDi unless something changes. Keep us posted!

Neil
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #87 - 05/02/10 at 06:06:28
 
Lon,

In looking at the internal pic of the ZDAC-1 Steve posted
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1269827547/all
it looks like there are a number of caps needing seating. It will be interesting to hear your thoughts after a week or so.

I have finally found some seriously blissful moments with my MKIII. In order to balance the bass, it took a bunch of tweaks to both the room and to my MG944's. At this point in the solution, probably equal weight to each, and the fine tuning goes on....but there are those extremely satisfying states of absorption in the music as I find synergy with this beautiful amp. Lot's of interesting learning too!

My Rega Apollo and Decware IC front end, and how they play with the MKIII and MG's could possibly be a player in the low end weirdness I had to deal with...who knows, but my ZDAC-1 is coming soon, and as with you, I suspect that will set up a whole new balance. I look forward to hearing the front end comparison!
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #88 - 05/02/10 at 13:07:24
 
It's incredibly interesting how with the level of transparency available with the Mark III you can sense the effects of even small changes.  A bit unsettling if you obsess over it, but you can really fine tune a system.

I agree Will:  that power supply looks as if it will definitely respond with changed sonics due to a burn in period.

Yesterday I'd have to say the SCD-XA5400ES won out over the ZDAC.  When I'd compare, toggling back and forth with the ZBox, the Sony just had more warmth and more refined sound, a very integrated and clear sound.  In comparison the ZDAC had a huge sound that lacked the warmth and coherence of the Sony, to a degree.  A fascinating whirlpool of sound though, that was cohering gradually through the day.  I'm very impressed that the ZDAC has the same degree of clear and extended tonal balance that I found so distinctive in this Sony player. In this sense, in my opinion, the ZDAC has already surprassed my seasoned ZCD.  The ZDAC was shut off over night and is doing very well as it warms up with one of my favorite 'test' discs, the most recent US cd release of John Coltrane's 'Crescent.'

You have a lot to look forward to, the ZDAC will have you tweaking away. I'm convinced that it's a great machine that will be getting better day by day for a spell. In my opinion the Sony is a powerhouse player that is hard to beat.  I found an interesting review of a modded version here:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue47/sonyscdxa5400es.htm

Within the review it mentions:

"The 5400 model is a direct coupled voltage design and with no capacitors in the signal path. We all have been told that the sound of a capacitor should be to have no sound. That has been accomplished here by the process of elimination—there are none in the pathway."

That signal path seems to give it a distinctive sound that really works well with my tastes and system. The SACD output from this player was the first that really excited me, and the redbook output is still my personal referrence sound, the best I've ever had. (It's build quality and frame design have led to this being an excellent transport as well).

Already the ZDAC driven by three sources has shown itself to have a wonderful, detailed, dynamic sound. And it's design is very different than the Sony's analog output stage, with all those capacitors (if I understand correctly; I may be wrong).  This illustrates Steve's discoveries that different pathways lead to sonic success.  Adding the ZDAC to my system has been a win-win.

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« Last Edit: 05/02/10 at 14:14:14 by Lon »  

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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #89 - 05/02/10 at 17:14:36
 
Sounds like this is turning into an interesting journey...The integration of the MKIII and the DAC-1! Thanks for the update. I do like tweaking, but only for the sake of getting a sound that makes me love the music, fully optimizing my system within the constraints I have. Well, not ONLY for that. I do love to learn through exploration of information and applied experimentation. And admittedly, in this I am easily seduced...each sonic revelation inspires me to look for more refinement. I also wish my current setup required less messing around, but I have an OK toolbox now, and any future needs will be easier to solve.

I really look forward to the burned in sound of the ZDAC-1 and how it interacts with the MKIII, not only for the sonic possibilities, but because it will give me a point of reference that Steve has chosen, and through his writing and talks, he has been a big help in my finding the sound I love. Speaking of the DAC,  I am not an electronics guy, but knowing Steve's desire for simple signal paths, I would guess the caps are mostly in the Digital Analog Conversion section as opposed to the output. You think? Hmmm. Part of the sound any way you look at it though and no doubt needing some breakin time.
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« Last Edit: 05/02/10 at 21:17:18 by will »  

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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #90 - 05/03/10 at 18:35:32
 
There's a bunch of them. . . looks like the output stage to me. Either way, it's sounding nice today.

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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #91 - 05/04/10 at 00:30:16
 
Sounds promising. I look forward to future reports. Do you do the thing Steve recommends for burning in amps....5 hours on and 5 hours off. Seems to be a lot about fully heating and fully cooling the caps to help them seat.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #92 - 05/04/10 at 01:42:39
 
I do a few of those five on five off periods when it's convenient. This unit so far though I've run all day and had switched off all night.  It's only the third day since it arrived, but it's sounding really good.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #93 - 05/27/10 at 17:34:15
 
Well, man, the system is sounding really good. Now that the ZDAC is pretty settled in, I find that my Torii toggle positions are back for the input bias switch, and forward for the speaker ohm switch.  One of my best friends prefers the amp exactly the opposite configuration, and loves the sound of the amp as much as I do.
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #94 - 05/27/10 at 18:07:42
 
Lon, that is interesting. I have been wondering where you were on this after the ZDAC came. With the more laid back Rega, I tended toward the back setting on the speaker impedance switch before too, though it pushed some stuff a little hard for my tastes. I did for the most part tend to leave it in the back position though.

The warm and forward aspects of the ZDAC took me off the fence about the ohm switch setting though. I am running it forward about all the time now too, and I mostly keep the bias switch back as you do. But since I toned down my speakers and room, I do like the warm (forward) bias setting for some stuff. It is a trip!
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Re: Ordered a Mark III, yes I'm insane
Reply #95 - 06/03/10 at 13:31:00
 
Yes, that forward setting is a trip. I use it occasionally, but now it seems less "accurate" than the other position, and sometimes a bit "hard."

I'm amazed by this amp almost every day. It reproduces whatever I toss at it with authority and respect. Just an incredible amplifier.
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« Last Edit: 06/03/10 at 13:31:45 by Lon »  

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