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Direct/Variable Input Question (Read 3622 times)
Jon
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Direct/Variable Input Question
09/26/10 at 19:43:06
 
Anyone with experience on this?

Is it possible to do the following: CD player to Zbox to variable input and use the gain on the Zbox for volume.  Turntable to phono stage to direct input and use the volume control on the amp for volume control.  

I have looked at the manual and there is a place on the amp for a direct/variable switch, my amp does not have that switch.  Is it possible to run the above configuration without the switch, without and damage to any components and without any sound degradation?

I was wondering about this so I don't have to continue to unplug and plug in interconnect cables.  Am I just better off switching the interconnect's when I want to change sources.  If the above configuration is not possible or a good idea, I will most likely look into getting the rotary switchbox in the future.

Thanks,

Jon
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Juan Antonio
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #1 - 09/27/10 at 20:50:07
 
I haven't got this amp but I have the knowledge that you cannot use both at the same time.

In fact, if you could, it would be the opposite. Direct input using the pot of the Zbox and the amp's pot all the way up. Variable input using the amp's pot to control the volume through your turntable.

Regards
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« Last Edit: 09/27/10 at 20:54:20 by Juan Antonio »  
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Jon
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #2 - 09/28/10 at 23:54:13
 
Thanks Juan!  It looks like I will be switching interconnects for a while until I get a switchbox...
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Lacee
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #3 - 01/25/11 at 20:27:18
 
I just registered and let me say upfront that the Zenselect is one of the finest sounding amps I've owned in a long line of some highly regarded amplifiersover more than 35 years in this hobby.

That being said my amp(new in Dec 2010)also does not have any selector switches,which I thought was odd since the downloaded manual talks about one or two of them.

At first I just used the amp as an amp and ran everything thru my Audio Valve Eclipse pre.

Then I wanted to try without the pre.
And I do like the simple approach of driving my cd player(it has volume control-Audio Aero Capitole)direct to the amp using long inter connect and short speaker wires.

But I also have a vinyl set up( Rega p9-Sutherland PHD) that I haven't tried without the pre amp.

It appears from this post that this will not be the case.

Correctly me if I am wrong,but I don't want to damage anything either.
I have been apprehensive to run the two interconnects sans pre amp to the Zen because without the switch the amp would see both components simultaneously and that might cause problems.

I was wondering if Steve could shed some light on this and inform us of when and why he changed the design.

My take is that any switch degrades the sound,but then so does running thru two volume controls ,one at the amp and one at the pre and in my case a third at the cd player.

Inspite of this I still stand by what I said, this is one of the best sounding amps I have owned.

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Lon
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #4 - 01/26/11 at 05:00:23
 
Lacee,

WELCOME!  Good to see you here, and please keep telling us about your impressions with the Select.

Now, I hope Steve very soon explains everything right and ready. Here's my understanding: the two inputs are generally meant to be just two different versions of ONE input. In the Select I had, one was controlled by the volume switch, and one really wasn't (the switch would attenuate the signal, but there was also a tonality shift). I believe the amp is designed to just have one set of the inputs connected to another component. . . . I think it would work alright as long as the unused component was not turned on, or at least had no signal output. . . .

The Select is an amazing amp!
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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7912
Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #5 - 01/26/11 at 05:50:42
 
And so I think you could go either way with the Select: preamp or no preamp.

I generally used the Select without a preamp. But I started using a CSP2 with other amps, and it's certainly not degrading the signal, it's in fact improving the signal in some ways. A good preamp is going to shake hands with the Select and they'll be a partnership to get you rockin' and relaxin'.

And if you have the right source and speakers, using the Select's volume pot can lead to some very amazing hours.

The Select will season over the coming months, and I just say experiment a bit as you can and I think the right direction will reveal itself to you.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Lacee
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #6 - 01/26/11 at 14:52:50
 
Thanks Lon, my cd  sounds great with my pre amp, but I have always been a KISS audiophile, so when I get mt TT back in shape I'll have to do some more experimenting.

One more question to throw out there.

I have someone who has offered me a choice of Rectifier tubes.

As much as I like the sound as it is stock, I have read where a change in this tube might kick things up a notch.

One is an old Sylvania and the other is a Buggle Boy, both at the same price

I don't have a tube tester so I am going on faith and goodwill, but these tubes are supposed to last a lifetime so I doubt either is running much below spec.

Just wondering what some folks who have rolled their own have chosen, and in what respects the new tube changed the sound from the stock tube.
I am not looking for more of one thing that takes away from something else.
Just a tube that ups the ante .
I should state that any future tubes bought as spares will be from Steve's stash, as I feel he has the best ones for the input and driver tubes.

Thanks to all, and I am looking forward to hitting the "mark" in a few more hours.

I won't swap rectifier tubes until this one hits the sweet spot.
Not a fair comparison until it does.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #7 - 01/26/11 at 16:36:06
 
Lancee[lot]: Move that rectifier out of the chain right away. Another poster here did some very detailed comparisons of rectifier tubes and he concluded that the Tung Sol was the cat's pajamas. I am a Sylvania man myself. I am certain that the NOS American rectifiers are better than the Russian and Chinese. A good rectifier could last indefinitely. Keep the original equipment for a spare.
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Tubes Rule !!

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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #8 - 02/03/11 at 16:33:02
 
Don't dismiss the Russian NOS black plates.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Pair-5c3s-5u4g-SVETLANA-BLACK-PLATE-196x-NOS-/320650827714

Bested my NOS RCA black plate and a loaned Sylvania. Both early 60's vintage.

The best rectifier I've heard in my amp, which is highly modified and more transparent than the stock Select.

Cheers,               Crazy Bill
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Lacee
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #9 - 02/07/11 at 18:03:14
 
I've taken my pre amp out of my system,and I believe I could be quite happy never replacing it.

Iam currently using 20 ft runs of Art Audio IC3 plugging an unplugging between my cd player and my phono stage.

I would love to try the interconnects made by Deware but I need a pair 3 mtrs long to run from my sources to amp(in beyween my speakers.
I may buy an 8ft run of the speaker wire to replace my old Goertz AG flat lines.

Then I may have a source for a Sylvania rectifier.

In any case, things as they are , are working just fine.
I thought that the pre added a little something when running vinyl, but I definitely know cd direct is better.

So just to recap, until I can try a few things,I am really enjoying my amp.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #10 - 07/03/11 at 22:27:12
 
Quote:
Don't dismiss the Russian NOS black plates.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Pair-5c3s-5u4g-SVETLANA-BLACK-PLATE-196x-NOS-/320650827714
Bested my NOS RCA black plate and a loaned Sylvania. Both early 60's vintage.
The best rectifier I've heard in my amp, which is highly modified and more transparent than the stock Select.
Cheers,               Crazy Bill

Bill, took your recommendation and ran with it. Located 5 Svetlana black plates, NOS vintage 1955-58. Looking forward to trying them out in my two Toriis and ZS. After that, the Ultra. To RR's point, looking forward to seeing how they compare with the Raytheons and Mullards (all NOS) I already have. I almost had my hands on a matched quad of RCAs, but lost them due to not paying attention, but will soon—ahem—rectify that. So to speak. Ouch. Sorry. Wink
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« Last Edit: 07/03/11 at 22:33:07 by Pale Rider »  

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jameskk
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Posts: 188
Re: Direct/Variable Input Question
Reply #11 - 07/17/12 at 14:05:44
 
maybe I was premature to put a new subject up , I too have had a eargasm with this winged C 5U4 , JUST SOUNDS BETTER, QUIETER!!!!!
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