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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 111040 times)
stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1000 - 03/28/14 at 05:38:52
 
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1364651891

....time to bring the Anthony Gallo 3.1's back in to the Listening Room!

They are enjoyable an kinda mesmerizing actually with the SE84CS & Super Zen CKC. However, they could use a little more juice. Plus, I want to drive them with the ZMA alone from my DAC for awhile, then apply the CSP3 with ZMA in to them. Tomorrow nights endeavor. It will be hard for me to move the SDA 1's out for awhile...but I love my Gallo's too.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1001 - 03/28/14 at 06:07:34
 
I still like the idea of the Anthony Gallo...
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1002 - 03/28/14 at 09:08:53
 
Do they even make the Gallo 3.1's anymore?  It doesn't appear that you can buy them from their website at this time.
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« Last Edit: 03/28/14 at 09:09:11 by beowulf »  
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1003 - 03/28/14 at 12:06:22
 
The 3.1's and 3.5's are no longer being produced.  There is supposed to be a new reference floor stander launching this spring.  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1004 - 03/28/14 at 15:43:11
 
I picked up my 3.1's this past December for $1500. A great pair of Speakers and also, now part of Audio History. I don't plan on selling them...but if I do....they will hold their value.

Yes, Anthony Gallo has a new one coming out and Sandy Gross of Triton has one too. Both should be at Axpona(?)

Anyway, Sandy's will still fall in the category of "being able to run with small & larger Decware Amps" per the Decware thread I posted above. Sandy personally uses a 24 watt per channel SET to run any of his Triton's...including the new Flagship released next month (April).
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« Last Edit: 03/28/14 at 15:44:12 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1005 - 03/28/14 at 15:57:12
 

There is a nice set of 3.1 on eBay right now for $2k. I was seriously tempted to nip them...but I'd get divorced before I even got married if I popped another $2k into my setup.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1006 - 03/28/14 at 17:15:10
 
It is all about balance LR....balance in your life. You're a young man...I see great things in your audio musical journey.

Now me, having turned 50 last month an getting peppered with AARP mailings...geeeeeez  ;D..... .  Balance, is the key....I still run 7 miles...3 times per week...so I can drink my Summit Extra Pale Ale and not get fat! The girlfriend comes up tomorrow...for the rest of the weekend...so I need to put in some quality time with my ZMA an Gallo's tonight!

I was able to get the Gallo's switched in this morning and just wrapped up a great session with them. Lets just say, they are staying in and I am glad I put 300+ hours on my ZMA & Kimber 3035 Speaker Cable (they now have 500+ hours)....before I put them in....the 3.1's do not disappoint with Tubes/ZMA!

Now, off to get something done today... . Goodnight Auberge....I must work while you sleep the day....(Chris Rea)...my metaphor for the day.
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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1007 - 03/28/14 at 22:26:36
 
Beowolf....

yes Paul did state publicly that the Aethetix Calypso preamp "changed his mind about the role of a preamp in a modern system".  I have talked directly to Paul about his experience with his Calypso several times.  And as a result, ended up getting one myself, and got the same exact tubes Paul uses in his, and from the exact same source, that he claims makes the Calypso a giant slayer.  I believe the Calypso Paul originally heard that made him go all ga-ga, was driving a pair of ARC Ref-150s.
I've had my Calypso several months now... it is good, it is very good.  But I have found the tubes Paul recommended to be a bit too much of a good thing for me, at least part of the time, unless the source/recording is absolutely pristine.  This is with my Calypso in front of a Jupitered Torii MK.III.  And I have paired it with other amps as well.  I also bought a set of Aethetix matched and burned in tubes directly from Aesthetix and they tend to drive down the center of the road a bit better than the highly resolving tubes Paul recommended.  As we all know, synergy is key... put in some different tubes in my Torii... and things would be different and need to be adjusted somewhere else probably.

Anybody who dismisses the effects of the PS Audio regenerators has either 1) never actually had/heard one in their system, or 2) simply can't hear or doesn't want to hear.
I first had the PS regenerator OMG experience with a PP Premier in May 2008.  It had a dramatic (positive) impact on my system and everything plugged into it.  And I drug it around to a few friends houses, and it did the same thing there too.  My PPP developed some issues when it was 4 yrs old and out of warranty, which PS fixed - no charge.  I upgraded to the Perfect Wave P5 late December 2012, so have had it a bit over a year now and it has been flawless.  I could not decisively tell you that the P5 performs better than my old PPP, but it is at least "as good".  I became very accustomed and acclimated to what the PPP brought to the table and could readily identify it.  Occasionally I would unplug my pre or amp from it, just to see what I could hear, if anything changed, etc.  Never once did I have to "struggle" to hear the difference.  Rez, micro dynamic detail, blackness, etc. all improve several notches when components are plugged into the P5.  I consider it an essential component at this point.
Do not get all hung up on the P3 vs P5 vs P10.  Their sonic improvement potentials are essentially the same - only their output capacity is different.  One of the things about the P5 and P10's is that they have the ability to show you the "load" being pulled by your gear/ watts being drawn.  With my system at full song, my P5 shows that there is never more than 250 watts being consumed.  I have all my 2-ch gear plugged into the P5 and the P5 plugged into a dedicated 20-amp circuit.  My Torii draws about 145 watts all the time per the P5, if memory serves.  the Torii's power consumption does not change with the volume level like that of a class A/B amp.  Idle, no music playing, or volume uncomfortably high, Torii power consumption is the same.  I have never heard, seen or observed the fans coming on in my P5 - ever, except during first turn on from the master power switch in the back which kind of "reboots" it.  I also have never felt it more than slightly above room temperature either.   The P3 has nearly the same output power capacity as a P5, just no touch screen interface, nor networking capability - if you don't want, need or desire those features..nor need the power capacity(unlikely you do unless you plug a big screen TV into it) save the $$ and get a P3.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1008 - 03/28/14 at 22:36:24
 

Yeah, I got the typical "any EE will tell you that's what the power supply does, regenerators are BS" thing.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1009 - 03/28/14 at 23:10:31
 
@ maddog07 - thanks for the clarification of the differences between the 3 models.  Considering you can often find P5's for very close to the same amount as the P3 (music direct for example has P5 demo units that cost $200 more than a P3). I would hold out for a P5 if looking for a newer model. Cool
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« Last Edit: 03/28/14 at 23:11:28 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1010 - 03/28/14 at 23:13:29
 

I also believe the P5 and P10 have more firmware options, and the P10 has 70Amps of reserve current for dynamic passages.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1011 - 03/28/14 at 23:35:39
 
LR... check your P10 load/power output when your ZMA is on, idling, no music playing - and check it when the volume is at ear-bleed levels - draw will be the same.  Only class A/B amps power draw varies with the music.  I had a big arc-welder SS amp, class A/B and it would draw about 1/3 the power at idle of my Torii.  But as the volume went up, so did the power draw of the amp - considerably.  But never saw it go over 400 watts at volumes that I could not comfortably listen at for less than a few seconds - speakers would probably have folded too.  If you have a component that draws 70 amps of current for more than milliseconds very frequently - I'd like to see the fuse and the size of the wiring inside that component.  A 20 amp household circuit, wired with 12 awg to code can sustain about 1920 watts continuous draw.  The most power hungry thing I have ever observed in my house on a 15 or 20 amp single phase line - a hair dryer, space heater or a plasma big screen.  These will all draw about the max a 15 amp line can sustain....
the P10 might have the ability to deliver a 70 amp burst for a millisecond, but your zma will never draw it or need it.  It is class A and draws what it draws all the time - idle or full bore.  But we could ask Steve about this to be certain.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1012 - 03/29/14 at 00:08:29
 
Big difference between heavy current draw and peak draw, and I'm sure having the headroom doesn't hurt. Just like having the fat caps on the ZMA helps, having that extra juice helps.


Also, my ZMA isn't the only thing on the P10. I've got a whole whole theater (Receiver, HTPC, Oppo) with a 2000watt subwoofer.

As I said, the P10 has a 70 amp reserve, I didn't say it draws 70 amps.



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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1013 - 03/29/14 at 01:28:30
 
FYI, the P3 will tell you how many watts your equipment is drawing.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1014 - 04/01/14 at 02:30:03
 
I have been enjoying my Mystery Amp but as it is in my other place I only get to listen to it on weekends.  At this rate I will have 500 hours in a few years...

Off topic but my Headphone rig the Mini Torrie has now started sounding distorted.  I haven't changed the tubes since I got it.  Do tubes deteriorate over time or do they just stop working?  It sounds like crap right now with my LCD2's and any source.   If it is a tube problem would it most likely be the output or input or a regulator?  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1015 - 04/01/14 at 02:35:48
 
It could well be a tube going old and senile. Most likely a power tube, they have the shortest of the lives.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1016 - 04/01/14 at 02:59:43
 
Lon-I think it was the power tubes.  I had some 1958 RCA 6V6GT in there.  Swapped out with the JJ tubes it came with and it is sounding better.  I also think it is that I got used to the Mystery Amp and my Martin Logans and am now hearing the faults in my headphone rig.  Funny how once I was content.  More is never enough is it?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1017 - 04/01/14 at 03:15:00
 
No you're right, we get to these peaks and plateaux of contentment and then the sky clears and we can see the next peaks off near the horizon, and they draw us to them.

Glad the power tubes were the culprit. I've had power tubes give me distortion before, so that was why I suggested it.
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« Last Edit: 04/01/14 at 03:18:03 by Lon »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1018 - 04/01/14 at 16:12:23
 
Another Mini-Update:

I've lost track of the hours on the ZMA - I'm somewhere between 250-300 I figure. I'm not really worried about it at this point.

Had a quick listening session with Palomino recently; when he comes over, I shut the subwoofer off and run the MG944 full range rather than crossed over (rather high at 120hz). I was pleasantly surprised by how big and punchy the bass was from the little MG944 speakers; I could actually feel it hit me in the chest! The ZMA and these speakers weren't doing this 100 hours ago!

I've been re-listening to some albums that I kinda got burnt out on while waiting for the ZMA, and when I first got the ZMA - Some Musica Nuda, ALT-J, Heart, Crosby, Stills, & Nash. I gave them all a spin over the past few days, and all sounded even better! The dry top end is starting to smooth a bit, which is good, because that was getting to me. The ZMA being "honest", really shows how accurate, but *dry* the Oppo BDP-105 is.

I'm no longer having the "Wow, I've never heard that before!" instances like when I first started putting hours on the ZMA, it's more like "Ahh, the smoothness, and air around the instruments".

I'm also trying out some power cables borrowed from Palomino - a PS Audio AC-12 and AC-5. I'm skeptical of power cables making a difference, and I'm not hearing any wiz bang changes; maybe just blacker backgrounds, and I swear more even sound across the audio spectrum. Which, IMHO, would be enough for me to spring for these cables if they didn't cost so much. The problem is, with the amp maturing as well as it is, the difference I heard on Sunday (the only day I had time to listen) could simple be the amp being the amp. I'm going to listen to the new power cables a bit more late tonight, then put my DIY cables back in and see if removing the cables makes me go "damn this sucks" or not.

I firmly believe the big caps on the ZMA negate much of the WOW factor that you get with the PS Audio Power Plant and PS Audio power cables. It's not perfect of course, but instead of a 25% improvement in sound with these devices and cables, I'm probably hearing a 5% improvement. Putting my little 2 watt Zen amp on the P10 made me go WOW, and Palomino keeps telling me how awesome his PPP and these cables are on his Rachel amps - which backs up my thoughts. (all hail the giant caps!)

I know I've mentioned this before, but the apparent volume of the ZMA has increased slightly as well. I find myself turning the output on my Oppo down. When the ZMA was only minutes old, I was at 80% and kinda disappointed, within hours of new the ZMA was off like a galloping horse and I was down to 75%. Fast Forward to today, and on average, I'm (casual) listening at around 55% and deep listening at 75%, both a good 20% lower volume than just six weeks ago!

Lastly, I've also heard told that the apparent volume on amps seems to go up with AC-12 power cables due to the blacker background. So I'm going to see what I see later tonight when I got back to my DIY Zen Styx style 10AWG power cables.

There is more I want to say here, but it's more about listening than the ZMA specifically, so I may start another thread rather than further clutter up this one. It's just another one of my audio theories that I need to flesh out a bit, and maybe talking about it in the forums will help me develop this theory.
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« Last Edit: 04/01/14 at 16:12:57 by Lonely Raven »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1019 - 04/01/14 at 17:51:10
 
Cool LR....keep it all coming..... .

I love this Amplifier! My CSP3 is so close to "Shipping Department".....I will hear from Sarah soon.

I have had my Gallo 3.1's in the last 4 days....and they ain't and I mean ain't coming out.  I swear, being crossed over at 150...they play like they are 93db...not 88db @......2.83 etc... .

Next up...another pair of Speakers that can play with my Zens!
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL

Hell, I have 10 pair of.....why not make it 11!   Grin

http://www.audiophileliquidator.net/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=120&produc...
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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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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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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 »  

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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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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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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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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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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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ZMA1_sm.jpg

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1035 - 04/09/14 at 21:37:34
 
Wow! I have had my CSP3 on for all of an hour and Steve, wow...the DEFINITION I am getting pushing through the ZMA is blowing my mind! Top to bottom an especially the bass definition too.

All this, when obviously those wonderful transparent caps, the rest of your voicing & the tubes need some seasoning...it will only get better an maintain.   Thank You!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1036 - 04/09/14 at 22:19:10
 
I own three Decware Amps....all needed understandable burn in. However, I can't believe how good this Pre is out of the box. Sound Stage depth with even better definition and shimmer an decay of ride an crash cymbals....an the gain?.......oh yeah. As I said above, top to bottom definition......................................................................
..  .

Over & Out...time to jam...I will leave the pontificating to you all....... .

-Stone of Tone
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« Last Edit: 04/09/14 at 22:19:51 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1037 - 04/09/14 at 22:48:28
 
Awesome Lar,
We told ya. Smiley You should be sure to try it with your Zen amp. Yeah buddy, you did good getting this one.
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Reply #1038 - 04/10/14 at 15:54:47
 
No doubt Lon-no doubt.

I will try it for sure with my Zens.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1039 - 04/10/14 at 16:25:15
 

I just had a minor epiphany - I had a great, although short, listening session last night. Just put on some random albums while cooking dinner, and everything sounded amazing, even better then last week I swear.

Then I was thinking about my post in the MG944 thread, and how I have a couple nit-picks about my speakers, and how I have a few nit-picks about my Oppo, and probably my P10 if I really thought about it...then I realized; I honestly can't think of anything I'm unhappy with, wish I could change, or even a minor nit-to-pick on the Mystery Amp. And I've just about always got something I wish was better...except, i can't think of a damn thing I wish the ZMA did better or that I'd want...except maybe for Steve to accidentally installed some balanced inputs for me free of charge.  ;D

In the future I could see having only one set of inputs being a limiting factor, but right now that doesn't even bother me.

Oh wait! I just thought of something, it's not sound related though. The IEC input - it's kinda loosey goosey and doesn't seem to handle heavy power cables well. In fact, I bought this up with Steve and he said he'd looked far and wide for a better one, and even the expensive name brand ones sucked.

So if any of you guys who build amps know of a good IEC inlet that doesn't break the bank, I'd be interested in knowing what it is and run it past Steve.

I'd say it's a good piece of kit when that's the best I could do for a complaint. LOL
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1040 - 04/10/14 at 16:38:40
 
The PS Audio fits just right.  All my other cords - no.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1041 - 04/10/14 at 16:43:58
 
That figures...another reason for me to want an AC12. LOL

I think my Pangea fit OK, but not tight. Steve actually recommended putting some heat shrink on the leading edge of the plug to tighten it up in the IEC inlet. I might try that if I can find some big ass heat shrink that's at least 3:1 shrink ratio.
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Reply #1042 - 04/10/14 at 16:52:12
 
I have some 1" that would work on just the inlet portion of the plug.  I just tried it and it fits.  Might help.

Next time you visit the temple...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1043 - 04/10/14 at 16:54:12
 
Sure, if you're not busy playing Popeye.  :)

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Reply #1044 - 04/11/14 at 01:44:24
 
I new I needed the CSP3 for my ZMA....because you need the CSP3 to get the proper definition out of the ZMA at 78db to 92db SPL. Where as, my SE84CS & Super Zen CKC are fine with the my volume attenuated DAC at 68db to 80db SPL because it will clip beyond this SPL.

However, the glorious holographic music you get at those SPL levels with the CS & CKC is stunning...I will keep both of these Amps indefinitely.

But, my point being.....you need the CSP3 to run the ZMA = period, if you want to hear all it can be. Another suggestion would be multiple Speakers for playback with the ZMA...at least two pair....preferably four...to really know what the ZMA can do!  In for a penny...in for a pound. If you settled on just high efficiency speakers for your ZMA...then you are at a loss.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1045 - 04/11/14 at 03:05:05
 
I keep thinking about the CSP3, but then I'm still thinking about going with balanced inputs on the ZMA, especially if I go tape...none of Steve's preamps are balanced.
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Reply #1046 - 04/11/14 at 03:13:00
 
Add the XLR for your Tape...and you already have the RCA...and get the Pre...ask Steve to send you home with the in house CSP3...you don't need to tell us  8-).  You will want one IMHO.

Hey, I am ordering the CROZ CD.....a must!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1047 - 04/11/14 at 03:30:59
 
I still haven't tried out the balanced inputs on my ZMA.  It would help if I had XLR cables in the house or could make a decision on which ones to pick up.  I was about ready to click order on a set of Kimber Hero XLR's from Music Direct, but I decided not to at the last minute.  I then decided to contact the folks over at The Cable Company and they recommended Kimber or Synergistic Research.  Stone was also kind enough to take the time and give me his feedback on Kimber...so one really needs to ask, how much more information/convincing do I need to just get some in and try them out?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1048 - 04/11/14 at 04:24:23
 
I was just going to buy the balanced plugs and make the cables myself using the 20AWG version of the Decware Styx cable. If it turned out to be a real winner (using balanced), then I'd probably buy something better.
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Reply #1049 - 04/11/14 at 15:34:49
 
Go for it Dave. You get good service an no pressure to buy from the CableCo guys!

I would bring in the Hero XLR on loan and get a cheapo XLR, say, from Emotiva as your control...see if you can hear a difference worth spending on the Hero.  

The XLR's from Emotiva for 29.99 are unavailable. But, you can buy a control pair to burn in an ABA against the Kimber anywhere...grab one off of Amazon...etc... .
Or, Parts Express I should say....I get an email from them everyday!



Cheers, happy Friday....another near 70 day for today an tomorrow...then Sunday a high of 39 for us up in the great white north! Well, a good day for Music then...and the final round of the Masters... .
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« Last Edit: 04/11/14 at 16:06:51 by stone_of_tone »  

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