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The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE! (Read 32379 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #105 - 05/28/10 at 15:08:52
 

                   

   
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #106 - 05/28/10 at 15:25:35
 
Good, I'm glad you can see I'm not really as deeply in denial as one might think! Smiley

Regarding the serious listening with as little distraction as possible:  I'm a proponent. I'm lucky in that I've been able to do so more tha last two years than ever before. It's quite a meditative and rejuvenating experience. I could even be convinced that it influences my brain.  In a good, enlightening way. I've been doing less of it than I potentially could though in some ways as I've moved more towards instruments again, which also has it's meditational and restorative aspects. Life without music. . . I know for many of us here, it's just. . . hard to conceive.
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #107 - 05/28/10 at 15:28:03
 
Fellow ZDACers:

I recommend after you've "broken in" the ZDAC in the traditional Decware method, leaving it on for about 48 hours straight, seems to just open up in a new way.  I did that, and then turned it off overnight. Today it's really sounding wonderful.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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will
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #108 - 05/28/10 at 17:03:11
 
I'll try it! Thanks for the tip.

My ZDAC is sounding very open and detailed now most of the way through day 12, but it has been on a lot of hours per day. On without music...I guess 10-11 hours a day, and with music or movie, I guess 6-8. It still is changing though. I look forward to its sound once all is settled.
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« Last Edit: 05/28/10 at 19:13:04 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #109 - 05/31/10 at 13:47:11
 
Sounding very nice. A bit of 'ease", quite welcome, seems to have slipped in to the sound.

Hard to describe it. I still really like the analog out from the Sony player in comparison, a different, slightly more relaxed, less foucsed sound. The ZDAC however just really transforms my TV watching/listening.  No comparison, it's clearly greatly improved from the audio out of the DVR, for which I'm very grateful.
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #110 - 06/01/10 at 15:40:47
 
Wow. This ZDAC-1 is still getting better.

If you think you would like this, get an order in. Wink
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #111 - 06/06/10 at 01:06:20
 
Today I ran the ZDAC-1 straight into the Torii Mk III, it's no longer connected tot he ZBox.  I had it connected to the ZBox because with the two inputs and toggle switch I had added to it, I could switch back and forth between the Sony and the ZDAC-1 and compare.  That was very instructional and brought on some very good listening through both inputs. I think I have a very good handle now on the differences and similarities.

I want to state categorically that the ZDAC-1 sounds very good with the ZBox . . .and very good not connected to the ZBox. The ZBox adds a smidgeon of relaxed depth to the sound, which may or may not be YOUR thing (a lot of the time its MY thing) but the ZDAC-1 is perhaps a smidgeon more dynamic and crystal clear on its own into the Torii.

I just can't make this DAC sound bad. Smiley
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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will
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #112 - 06/07/10 at 02:28:20
 
Lon,

Thanks for this post. I find it really interesting that your description of your ZDAC experience still indicates pretty minimal differences with or without the Zbox. Am I reading this correctly? And if so, do you have any thoughts on why? Do you think it the subtlety of the Zbox sound? Or could it be the tube choice? Might there be a better tube match for the Zbox with the ZDAC in front? Just wondering what you think.

I am loving my Smiley ZDAC now! It sounds to me like a tube source without tubes. Three weeks kicked it over into a new level altogether.
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Lon
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worthless!"
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #113 - 06/07/10 at 02:55:55
 
Will, there is a difference.  But it's not as profound a difference as it is with several other players I've used.

It's a bit more forward and "pushing" as you wrote elsewhere without the ZBox.  The Zbox seems to offer a deeper soundstage and a slight softening of the dynamics. That's my take. You can change the tonal balance of the output a bit with different tubes, but I haven't found a tube that really alters the soundstage and dynamics aspects, they all seem to offer this presentation, with the exception of a few types that are just "too much," they distort.

The ZBox really makes an impact on thinner sounding or edgier sounding output from players that don't sound as great without it. The ZDAC sounds great with and without it. A bit less laidback without the ZBox.  I may go back to that chain of components in the near future, because in general I like the deeper laid-back presentation, though much of this is material related. I have lots of recordings, and so more options is always a good thing.
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« Last Edit: 06/07/10 at 02:56:43 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #114 - 06/07/10 at 06:27:05
 
Hey Lon, I think I get it. Maybe a lot of what the ZBox does that causes more profound changes in lesser DACs/players is already there in the ZDAC causing the ZBox effect on the ZDAC to be real, but more subtle?
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #115 - 06/07/10 at 11:59:22
 
That's likely.
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 6795
Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #116 - 06/17/10 at 14:25:29
 
I went on the road for a week and a day, driving my Harley Davidson FXDF up to Bay Village, Ohio to visit my folks and my brothers and their families, and then to Arlington, Virginia to visit briefly with Helen's parents, and then briefly to Richmond to visit my sister and her family.  I had music in my head as i sped along the highways, through rain and heat and a few absolutely wonderful weather hours.

I got home about 8 last night and my ears were freaked out after 830 miles yesterday (an hour west of Nashville to Austin) but when they settled down and I settled down I put on the system and was just wowed once more by the quality, depth and scope of the sound. I had left the ZDAC on all that time. The ZDAC is sounding great, the Torii is sounding great, the IT Radials are sounding great.  Each is providing a valuable part to the magnificent whole.

I woke up early, had breakfast wih the lovely Nadine who I had missed so much, and now again those great sounds are washing over me.

Life is good.
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« Last Edit: 06/17/10 at 16:50:41 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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will
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #117 - 06/18/10 at 17:55:19
 
Hey Lon. Welcome home.

I am wondering....I guess this may be sort of a difficult question since you were a week away from your system and it was bound to be amazing with fresh ears...but also you have been comparing your Sony DAC section to the ZDAC for a long time now. It makes me wonder, do you think your ZDAC changed while you were gone? Did the week on cycle have an effect? How does it now compare with your Sony?

I get a sense that mine is still subtly changing and I have had it in serious play for 4.5 weeks. I think yours came at least a couple weeks before mine. Any thoughts?
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #118 - 06/18/10 at 19:33:13
 
Wil, it's hard to tell. . .. I don't think it changed TOO much in the week I was gone. Perhaps a bit more bass.  Perhaps, not clearly it's subtle. My ears were so changed by days of 70 plus mph wind noise. . . . Took a day or so to reset and by then impressions were morphing.

It still has the basic difference that it has had to the Sony SACD player:  a bt more forward and dynamic. The Sony still has what seem to me more vinyl like qualities:  a bit darker and more laid back.  I like both "signatures" for different material.  And SACD is awesome.  It's intrinsically better to my ears than Redbook when done right.

I sort of expect the ZDAC to change tiny bits over the next months, but to be honest I've pretty much stopped listening for changes and for "audiophile factors," and just listening to music and watching discs and TV and enjoying the doing so. The music and sound is coming through and I'm so happy to be stepping outside the "critical" zone.
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« Last Edit: 06/18/10 at 19:35:45 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: The DECWARE ZEN DAC-1 is HERE!
Reply #119 - 06/19/10 at 02:04:26
 
Yes, I understand the pleasure of stepping outside the "critical" zone. I did it for a while and then went and had a bright idea... Oh crap!

Since the Mac/ZDAC brought further clarification to my sound, I thought I might experiment with removing some of the bass damping I had done to my MG944's as one of the things I did to chill the bass intensity the Torii brought to my room. Back in the madness.

So I pulled off some of the little (2mm) Marigo resonance dots from the MG driver edges, and then re-placed them preferring the minimal damping. I had also reduced the gap between the plinth and the passive radiator from the original 3/8" to 1/4. So in this experiment,  I re-opened the space back to the original, but not liking that, I incrementally closed that space back, finally to 1/4. So after several days of exploration, the MG's have ended up back where they were pre ZDAC.

But I am not complaining...before the ZDAC my sound was really, really good, and the Mac/ZDAC has improved upon that in a big way! The only drag is that all this tweeky stuff is a pain to do.

Undecided

Thankfully I worked all that out of my pathetic mind and I feel quite content with where I am.... enjoying life without that critical edge again! Man it sounds incredibly real and sweet! Truly great!

Cool
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« Last Edit: 06/19/10 at 02:05:48 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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