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pre amp my super zen (Read 4250 times)
phil
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pre amp my super zen
02/19/13 at 16:20:17
 
Hey guys,been playing with my new zen amp and MG944's but because of my room acoustics the bass just gets swallowed up.So i'm pre amping from my Marantz 2285b into the zen so I can use the EQ and boost the bass.The difference is amazing,the speakers really come alive.My question ? Is this an abomination to the strict audiophile listening experience? I don't know what the wattage is coming out of the pre amp,but I'm going into a 2watt amp.
Excuse my ignorance.Any help would be appreciated.
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Lon
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #1 - 02/19/13 at 16:40:54
 
Hey, whatever you like to hear is what's right. I had a similar Marantz and have used the preamp out into my Zen Rev. A amp in the early years of my Decware experoence (mainly to use the phono circuit).  The sound is nothing like havign a ZP3 and a CSP2+ in the path, I mean the SS preamp stage does have a signature that I clearly don't prefer, but I actually like the sound of a SS preamp into a tubed amp better than a tubed preamp into an SS amp.

I have a similar problem with my rooms. . . A CSP2+ REALLY helps, adds body and weight, as does cabling choices (i.e. going back to good copper from silver and just finding "the right ones") and the PS Audio Power Plant Premier was the final icing giving me the foundation the system needs, brought out the lowest bass and more slam.
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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #2 - 02/19/13 at 17:27:19
 
Thanx for the quick rely Lon.I will continue with this setup 'till my mind changes and takes me in another direction or my tinnitus gets worse.Played a lot of loud rock n roll over the years now paying the price. By the way, The zen amp is way cool and Zygi does a masterful job slapping those speakers together,worth the wait.
Thanx
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Lon
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #3 - 02/19/13 at 17:31:45
 
I bet that SuperZen is killer! And I know full well how fine Bob's construction (and design, as well as Steve's speaker design) is/are. Amazing value! Glad you are enjoying. . . .

I know about the loud music. . . . Was in a few bands at the end of the 'eighties. I always did my best to take care of my ears, and so far so good. . . .
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Rivieraranch
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #4 - 02/19/13 at 23:23:57
 
i'm pre amping from my Marantz 2285b into the zen so I can use the EQ and boost the bass.

If that's "abominable" then I'm the abominable snowman!

I do the same thing with my Marantz 2226B, a puny version of what you have.

Hell with what the supposed audiophiles think.
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Lon
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #5 - 02/19/13 at 23:45:56
 
For the record, I wouldn't think this is an abomination of sound either. However, speaking of using it as a phono preamp, the Marantz receiver was pleasant feeding a Zen amp, but nothing like the sound of the ZP3 alone or through the CSP2+ into a Zen amp -- that is amazing sound.
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« Last Edit: 02/20/13 at 00:12:53 by Lon »  

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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #6 - 02/20/13 at 12:45:47
 
Well Riverranch,perhaps abomination was too strong a word but I know a lot of tube heads don't like to put too much in the signal path.My source is Oppo bdp95 which is way cool with dedicated analog audio outs.Just doin the stereo thing.Don't need a sub with the 944's although I have been looking at Mk2 mid bass module,sounds interesting.Have to save up some more shekels.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #7 - 02/20/13 at 13:43:38
 
Catrafter over at Audiokarma wants $600 to go through my Marantz 2226B and bring everything up to date. I have been waiting nearly two years.
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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #8 - 02/20/13 at 14:28:29
 
That is way too high to bring that up to specs.There are several on the web for sale at half that price.I have owned several Marantz amps over the years,have three right now.
Two getting worked on by a friend.I don't think you should pay more than a 'couple hundred to re-cap and bring things up to snuff.
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DBC
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #9 - 02/20/13 at 14:54:00
 
phil,

I Googled your Marantz, WOW, how fast can I say "FLAAAASSSHBAAAACK"

I graduated High School in the mid 70's. As far as I know equipment was still all analog back then. Everything, including my 8-Track player had Bass & Treble controls.

Generally I try to keep as much equipment and signal processing out of the signal path as possible. In the end however each of us has to use what we have on hand to achieve the best sound possible. Part of the fun of this Hobby.

The difference you describe:  "The difference is amazing,the speakers really come alive." This was my reaction when I introduced the HSU Mid Bass Module into my system and reinforced the 50 to 150 Hz range.

My new Super Zen coupled with the Mid Bass Module is so transparent and has such improved resolution that I can clearly hear the differences small system tweaks now make on the low end. When I get a chance I will post some additional observations on my original post "Adding Weight & Body.

In the meantime enjoy the magic you have going on there.
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Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #10 - 02/20/13 at 15:32:16
 
DBC, I was trying to think of where I read about the mid bass mod and it was your post.Went to the HSU site and checked it out.May get one in the future.
Looking forward to more observations from your post.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #11 - 02/20/13 at 21:40:10
 
The Catrafter does a lot more than just change caps. He goes through the entire unit. In my case I asked for the tuner to be modified to reject RF interference that produces awful white noise. This results from the digital signal being piggybacked onto the analog signal. The broadcasters have been doing this for the past several years and the older receivers suffer as a result.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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stone_of_tone
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #12 - 04/01/13 at 15:31:41
 
No abomination from where I stand either Phil. I drive my CKC in my Reference Rig with an Audio Alcheny Dac 3.0 with remote control set at 3.5 volts output (via internal jumpers)....so it is preamp driving it hard and Musical!

I was fortunate to find another set of mint AA gear on Audiogon last February.  However, if I did not find this other AA gear I cherish...I would not hesitate bringing a Wyred for Sound or NADS new DAC with pre-out/volume control. So, something to consider....... .

..both sets of AA Gear are running well...but my original set purchased new in 1995...just had me Jonesin' to find another set just in case... .

I like having the Voltage output adjustment that my AA gear provides though. The AA DTI & 3.0 do for the Redbook Standard today, as well as they did new, back then, when I bought them new in 1995!  Cheers, Stone

PS-just re-read you have the Oppo bdp95 which is way cool with dedicated analog audio outs...but without Voltage gain out adjustment you still might need the preamp external of DAC scenerio.
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« Last Edit: 04/01/13 at 15:44:15 by stone_of_tone »  

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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #13 - 04/01/13 at 15:59:31
 
Stone of Tone, well I mainly use the Marantz as a preamp so I have EQ.Because of my room acoustics I need the tone control. I'm quite new to tube audio so I'm experimenting.
I would like to find one of the old Harmon Kardon or Marantz stand alone pre's with eq,since it seems such a waste powering up the Marantz just for a few volts of preamp.
Oppo bdp 95 is my source.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #14 - 04/01/13 at 23:40:29
 
The Catrafter has my machine. He has sent me pictures of the work he is doing inside of it. One important thing is installing a gizmo that reduces and eliminates RF noise from the FM broadcasts.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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jameskk
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #15 - 11/16/13 at 12:07:28
 
I was not going to comment on this BUT, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO USE THE SUPERZEN  WITH ANYTHING BUT ITSELF. these other guys won't say anything, yes abomination!!!!!!!!!!  I'm using the Oppo cdp 103, and Decware cd200i ZCD with audio nirvana in 2.8 cabinets and planet 10 frugalhorns, with the Enabled fostex fe126en's . Drives these speakers easlily
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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #16 - 11/16/13 at 14:25:07
 
Well Jameskk,the original post was awhile back and my reason for preamping,like I said in the post was the room is poor for acoustics .18 ft. ceiling ,lots of bouncing around so it just swallowed up the low end.However,since that post I have added a HSU mid bass module,no more preamping.
The HSU covers the area the upper low end just like I wanted.Huge difference in soundstage.
Got the idea from DBC and stone of tone in these forums.
Room treatment is not happening with the spouse.
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DBC
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #17 - 11/17/13 at 21:00:07
 
phil,

Glad to hear you are having success with the Mid Bass Module. How long have you had it? Any difficulty getting it to integrate seamlessly with your system / room? Where did you end up placing it in your room?

I have the Super Zen and adding the MBM made everything sound so much more powerful (not just the lowest frequencies) in my system / room. You commented "Huge Difference In Soundstage". Can you expand on this a bit more?

I'm just curious how the MBM sounds in different systems / rooms.

DBC
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Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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phil
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #18 - 11/18/13 at 12:14:12
 
DBC,I guess it's been about 3 months since purchase.Yes, major difference.Like I said before the room sucks for sound.
18ft. ceiling 12ft.wide 32ft.long sloping down to one end.System is super zen.Oppo bdp95 ,MG945 speakers.
The sweet spot in this room was at the far end from my setup,sounded fabulous there.But I don't want to stand at one end of the room to listen to music.So enter the bass mod.It sets right next to the MG's and is connected as per your instructions from the zen.I can sit anywhere in the room now and enjoy the music as it should be.Truly amazing the information that is in the upper low end,and this system is also used for home theatre.I'm not really a sub-woofer kinda guy,don't need explosions to rattle the house, the mid bass covers enough low end for movies and fills in nicely for the music.I like the fact that you can dial in the freq. although I generally keep it at 150hz and volume set at half.Seems to work fine for most everything.Now since it's down firing into the carpet this concerned me a bit.I placed it on a board but that didn't seem to make a difference,I may experiment with that more in the future.
By the way,thanx for turning me on to this.
Phil
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DBC
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #19 - 11/19/13 at 00:56:29
 
Phil,

Thanks for the response. Sounds like your setup and resulting Mid Bass Module performance is similar to what I have experienced despite vastly different room dimensions (impressive). I also have the very simple Oppo - SuperZen - Loudspeaker audio chain.

Some years ago I purchased a Decware Preamp in an attempt to add more weight to the music. The preamp helped some but ultimately it was the Mid Bass Module that extended the soundstage beyond all of my expectations.

The SuperZen is a great little amp and coupled with the MBM produces a much bigger sound than it's meager 2 watt's would suggest. Glad the MBM was a success for you. I hope our positive experience with this product will encourage others to give it a try.
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Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
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jameskk
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Re: pre amp my super zen
Reply #20 - 11/19/13 at 14:37:05
 
Yes there it is a very large room for 2 watts, my room is a mere 9x13 x 8 high. understand the acoustic problem now , well not a problem , just a better solution which you took care of.....
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