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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 109515 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1020 - 04/01/14 at 18:10:35
 

There are now two pairs of Gallo 3.1 up on eBay now. I'm so very tempted to buy them, give them a listen, then flip them if I don't care for them. I've always wanted some AG speakers as the design just makes so much sense to me. Their little MTM speakers might actually make more sense, and de-clutter the front of my room a bit. (yes, I'm trying to talk myself into a set)

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1021 - 04/01/14 at 18:34:19
 
Don't become a truly Lonely Raven  ;D....by getting in trouble with your fiancé!  

However, I have no regrets back in December driving 76 miles round trip in the dead of night at 16 below zero to go hear their potential and get them (with some Mapleshade stuff too).

The imaging, rock solid Acoustic Suspension top to bottom...no box colorations.....I will never sell them!  

If you could get a pair for 18 or 1900 delivered....well worth it...and you could still flip them for that.... . ...half my pairs or better were bought at "I can flip them and break even" prices. Or, just a small hit under 5 to 3%....beats common 10% restocking fee's as of late........ .   
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« Last Edit: 04/01/14 at 18:59:00 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1022 - 04/01/14 at 19:03:00
 
Plus, I have not tapped into the additional lower coil lying in wait with my Plate Amp yet! That gets you another 10hrtz down. I currently have the bass driver's facing out to diffusion panels off of side walls....Rock Solid bass as is right now. However, I have to hook up the Plate Amp....eventually. Curious George!
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« Last Edit: 04/01/14 at 19:11:29 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1023 - 04/01/14 at 22:48:21
 
My two cents…

I think the combination of ZMA & MG944’s is fantastic (for reference, I have the latest generation stock MG944’s).  I don’t think the cost mismatch would make sense to most, but I would invite anyone to have a listen and hear for themselves just how good the combo is.  I am sure the combo can be beat, but at what expense?

IMHO, music sounds natural, musical and engaging (e.g. foot tapping).  Whether I am listening to Miles Davis play trumpet, Hank Jones play piano, or Malcolm Young overdrive a Marshall stack with his Gibson SG, everything just sounds right.  Ditto for drums, vocals, etc.   Music is crisp, clear, detailed, fast and liquid.  The 944’s disappear and there are no boxes or veils to be heard.  

I just recently did two listening sessions with a friend and fellow audiophile and there were quite a few speechless moments (“I really don’t know what to say, it sounds so good”).  We covered jazz, jazz vocals, blues, acoustic rock, indie rock, hard rock.  We listened at low volume, high volume and everything in between and not once did the ZMA/944 combo skip a beat.   We heard things in recordings we haven’t heard before and not once did we complain about listening fatigue (although there were a few times we turned it down to prevent hearing damage..dB meter was north of 90dB).

The sweet spot is pretty narrow with the 944’s (so that could be better), but doesn’t seem to be much different than the panel speakers or electrostats I have auditioned.  In fact, the more I think about it, it would be fair to compare the 944’s (when driven by the ZMA) to panel speakers.  The 944’s are extremely fast, detailed and with the first and second reflection points treated the imaging is fantastic, and there is very good soundstage depth (without being dipoles).  I  would argue the 944’s trade off a slight amount of resolution and soundstage height (vs. panel speakers) for better bass slam, seamless driver integration and better dynamics at low listening volume (which may be an amp vs. speaker consideration given that I have only auditioned panel speakers with SS amps).  

In summary, there isn’t much to fault the ZMA/944 combo on.  Cheers.  -d
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1024 - 04/02/14 at 19:01:30
 
My 2 cents...  Some might be interested in my impressions running the ZMA with the JansZen zA2.1 hybrid ESLs.  I've got a lot of hours left to get into the ZMA's full value, but I've heard enough to know the match up is good.  Followers of this thread should remember David JansZen and Steve listening into the wee hours months ago with this combination.  See page 7 of this thread.  Steve was pretty strong with his endorsement and I don't disagree.

First just a bit about these speakers.  They are rated at 87dB sensitivity, but that can be as high as 90dB if you set the woofer and tweeter controls up all the way.  I have the woofer setting at +3 dB, but the tweeter control dialed well off full.  I may have raised the sensitivity to somewhere in the middle.  Regardless these are not HE speakers.  When I had the Torii it could play at levels I was comfortable with without any strain but the Torii would give out before the speakers would.  The same still holds true with the ZMA I'm sure, as output on paper should be only another 3 dB.  That is where the comparison ends.

The ZMA, as all who has one knows, is in another league with foundation/oomph/balls!  Watts is only part of the story.  The JansZen woofers are flat to 30 Hz and can reach into the 20s, no problem.  How twin 7" drivers do this is a testimant to David's engineering.  The ZMA has encouraged the bass in ways that flatter the speakers even more.  I can't believe how correct and tight the bass it.

The ESL panels do, well, exactly what ESL panels are noted for.  Being able to control the ESL tweeter bias level however is a feature I have come to really enjoy.  Like the tweeter and bass controls on the Torii III, you can voice these speakers with regard to tonal balance with a lot of range.  This is both a blessing and a curse, the later due to my inablility to leave the damn settings alone.  Kind of like tube rolling because you can.

The meters on the ZMA tell a lot.  I rarely listen above 80dB and the meters are stable at that level.  This last weekend I wanted to see "what she'll do".  At about 85dB the meters just started to twitch ever so slightly.  At 90dB they were moving visibly but not peaking or indicating stress, nor was I hearing any.  I decided to stop there simply because in my room 90dB is loud and I don't care if there is more headroom.  I won't be going there.  Frankly, I generally keep the volume between 65-75.  The speakers are fully engaged with solid bass at those levels.  The ZMA seems like plenty of amp for these speakers but the ZMA's design qualities are what make for listening magic, not the wattage.

I have been reading with some interest regarding people's experiences with PS Audio's power products.  I use their older Quintet conditioner and it does a great job on my low voltage stuff.  I plug the ZMA in the wall.  The power supply on the ZMA is the reason to buy the amp, not its wattage rating.  I had enough power with the Torii but the ZMA provides support/foundation/whatever you want to call it that is great and that provides the blackest background and transparency I've heard yet in any system I've had.  It has been interesting to read that the ZMA doesn't benefit strongly from using a power regenerator.  The JansZen's ESL panels really reveal this.  My ZMA is also as quiet as any SS amp.  No transformer hum whatsoever.  Thanks, Steve.  I'm pretty happy with this amp/speaker combo if you can't tell.

It's a shame David has raked MSRP up to $8,750, but I'm not sure you can equal the sound quality at that price.  No doubt recently strong published reviews have emboldened David to aim higher.  I am so grateful I met David early on in his rollout.  I won't say what I paid but I feel like a thief.  He also has introduced a new stand mount model just under $5k that he will be showing off at the Chicago Axpona show next month.  I may try to attend just to hear these.  They use the same components just less of them in a smaller form.  Shows unfortunately don't show these speakers off well.  Setup to get them sounding their best takes a little work and frankly time with the controls.  I can say the same about many speakers.  If they bode well at a show it is often a fluke or the design takes the room out of concern like Steve's ERRs.  In home or at somebody else's home who has achieved good setup is the best way to hear gear.

Edit:  BTW, I also use a Cary SLP-98P active preamp in the mix.  Very nice together.  Really nice dynamics!!!!
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« Last Edit: 04/02/14 at 19:07:38 by jsm71 »  
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ncblue
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1025 - 04/02/14 at 19:26:18
 
How about a couple pics jsm71?
Glad your enjoying your system. My first "high end" speakers were Martin Logan Monolith 3s, so I know how good electrostatics can sound. Now I'm used to tremendous dynamics, tone and pace with my Zus. The Janzens are tempting though. Esp with the ZMA!
Nat
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1026 - 04/02/14 at 20:43:26
 
This picture is older when I still had the Torii MK IV.

[img][/img]
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1027 - 04/02/14 at 20:45:38
 
Not sure how to add a second pic in an existing post.  My ZMA getting ready to be placed in the rack.

[img][/img]
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ncblue
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1028 - 04/02/14 at 21:01:52
 
Very nice, thanks!
The Janzens are really beautiful. Odd seeing an electrostatic speaker in a more traditional cabinet. May have to investigate. Can they "rock" when called for? Never know when I want to spin some Wu Tang! Grin
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1029 - 04/03/14 at 02:41:13
 
ncblue, yes the JansZens can rock.  I live only about 1.5 hour drive from David's shop and I've been there a few times.  Being an early adopter David has upgraded me a couple of times to the current build design he now ships.  When I'm getting my speakers worked on he always has to test them afterwards and he likes to crank them to levels way above where I listen.  He likes to feel the bass.  It's like being in a dance club.  They can play loud.  They can rock out.   Both the ESL panels and the woofers are in sealed enclosures.  I'm not sure why that promotes punch, but it does.  To really rock you will need about 100 watt/ch.  My ZMA as nice as it is probably won't hit 100dB levels, but the speakers can play that loud.

Actually, turning up the volume with these speakers is very deceiving.  The sound character doesn't change at all because distortion levels are so low.  The sound just swells like coming from a bigger and bigger speaker.  Quite strange and you have to be cautious because the dB level is higher than you think.  You know its loud when you have to shout to have a conversation with someone though. Smiley
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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1030 - 04/05/14 at 02:46:25
 
i now have the CP3 hooked up.  I am now completely happy.  It added more than enough gain.  Stone it Pushes the ML ESL's sounds great!  Thanks Steve.
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1031 - 04/05/14 at 13:43:06
 
Farmboss, I'm curious how you have the volume control set on the ZMA.  For me I find the best sound and the most preamp control to have the ZMA volume about 2/3 full.

Scott
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1032 - 04/05/14 at 14:00:09
 
farmboss...thanks for the update.  sounds like the pre-amp was just what you needed.

jsm..i'm curious if you have tried running your digital source direct into the ZMA.   if so, what were the results?  if not, would you be willing to try it and report back?  

stone...have you received your pre-amp yet?  looking forward to your impressions....
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1033 - 04/05/14 at 17:38:03
 
Dave, yes I've tried my Marantz SA8004 straight in.  I still prefer running through my Cary preamp.  I recently have been trying some new NOS Sylvania 6SN7GTBs that a friend is letting my try and those seemed to help out the CD sounds more than vinyl.  The preamp seems to make the soundstage blossom more.  CD with these tubes and the ZMA has closed the gap some from preferring vinyl.  I am starting to wonder what a top notch DAC might do.

Scott
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« Last Edit: 04/05/14 at 17:48:29 by jsm71 »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1034 - 04/08/14 at 00:49:46
 
Nice System jsm.

Thanks for the update Farmboss!

Dave, I get mine Wednesday and it will be hooked up ASAP.


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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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