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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 155241 times)
Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1080 - 04/30/14 at 15:03:18
 
I don't know the original disc.  I got it off of The Real Deal, Greatest Hits vol 1.  I think its the best produced track on that disc despite being a live recording.  I also use Riviera Paradise as a test track.
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1081 - 04/30/14 at 15:42:08
 
In this case, I thought my PS audio DAC also has XLR outs, why not give it a try. It was uncanny good. Everything you said changed in your system, I concur with. So go back and try using the RCA's again and let us know if it has as much to do with the Steve's version of an XLR converter or was it really another stage in your Mystery amps break in?

My ZMA has the XLR inputs and I still haven't tried them.  Been dragging my feet on XLR cables for weeks.  This really is the motivation I needed.  I hope they sound as good as the little black box with my PSA DAC  :)

MG-944 on spikes

Do these make an improvement?   My 944's are sitting on carpet at the moment.
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tes
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1082 - 04/30/14 at 15:46:14
 
Greetings all,

I have been a long time lurker curious about picking up a ZMA when funds permit.

It is interesting to hear of LR's improvement after adding XLR's.  I remember reading about the DIY nCore amps that come standard with XLR inputs.  

Apparently, the designer suggests that a specially constructed cable with XLR's on one end and RCA's on the other is a superior way of doing things.

With this option for the ZMA, is this a better sound quality option?

PS.  Thank you all for sharing all of your interesting experiences.

tes
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lLance
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1083 - 05/01/14 at 00:32:28
 
Dave1210, my biggest improvement recently was to get my speakers off of the carpet. I recently acquired a pair of JanZen zA2.1's and they didn't come with carpet spikes. I finally got around to ordering Mapleshade speakers platforms with brass spikes and now those speakers sound incredible with the ZMA. It was a huge difference. I do have the dreaded L shaped room so nothing's perfect.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1084 - 05/01/14 at 01:11:46
 
Quote:
MG-944 on spikes

Do these make an improvement?   My 944's are sitting on carpet at the moment.


Yeah, for sure; the resonation of the floor will damage the sound coming out the speaker - the frequency depending on the shape/size/wobble of your floor. Isolate the speakers and let them speak!

Quote:
Apparently, the designer suggests that a specially constructed cable with XLR's on one end and RCA's on the other is a superior way of doing things.


This is counter intuitive - but I'd like to know more. I'm still trying to figure out why the ZMA sounds better with the XLR - I know it has more voltage, then there is the Jensen transformers, and Steve said something about how a good XLR setup can improve the sound like a preamp. He did say I might be surprised by how the Oppo sounds using XLR, but I didn't fully understand why.
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1085 - 05/01/14 at 02:54:13
 
lLance...I will look into the MapleShade speaker platforms.

LR...what are you using to isolate the 944's?
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1086 - 05/01/14 at 03:23:02
 
Cheap Chinese spikes on Herbies Giant Gliders.

http://herbiesaudiolab.net/spkrfeet.htm

I'm not sure how much the gliders actually do, but getting the speakers off the floor so they can put their energy into the air sure made a difference.
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tom collins
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1087 - 05/03/14 at 20:09:45
 
in regard to xlr connections.  i had a wonderful cary 120S big tube amp for a good while.  when i changed from single ended to balanced, the sound was so much better that i never considered going back.  on that amp, the balanced impedence was different and i think it just worked better with the preamp and speakers which accounted for the change. must have allowed them to work in more comfortable ranges.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1088 - 05/08/14 at 15:58:18
 
Quote:
Greetings all,

I have been a long time lurker curious about picking up a ZMA when funds permit.

It is interesting to hear of LR's improvement after adding XLR's.  I remember reading about the DIY nCore amps that come standard with XLR inputs.  

Apparently, the designer suggests that a specially constructed cable with XLR's on one end and RCA's on the other is a superior way of doing things.

With this option for the ZMA, is this a better sound quality option?

PS.  Thank you all for sharing all of your interesting experiences.

tes


With a fully differential balanced source, like my tape machines and DAC, I find that using an XLR to RCA cable completely sucks by comparison to using the transformer.   The change you hear isn't the amplifier, it's what happens to the source.  Granted, no two sources are alike and some might sound fine with one side of the balanced output shorted to ground (what happens when the XLR to RCA cable is used) but my guess is most won't.

I find the transformer adds dimensionality.  But, it really doesn't ADD dimensionality, it preserves dimensionality.

Also understand before going gaga over balanced outputs on various components make sure you know how it was balanced.  A) Differential Circuit  B) Single Ended Circuit with Transformer Balanced Outputs  C) Single Ended Circuit with OpAmp driven differential circuit or D) Placebo XLR jack that's not actually balanced at all.  

A and B sound good.  C and D, the far more popular approach, don't.

-Steve
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1089 - 05/08/14 at 16:02:21
 
I'm curious now, Steve. I'm going to write Oppo and ask them exactly what kind of XLR output I have. I'm positive this isn't placebo, but I have no idea if it's just an Op-Amp.

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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1090 - 05/08/14 at 18:57:35
 
Quote:
MG-944 on spikes

Do these make an improvement?   My 944's are sitting on carpet at the moment.


Dave,

I have brick floors so quite a different situation, but at first I put my 944s on a some little rugs and then compared them with spikes. No comparison here in the big picture sense...more articulate top to bottom, yet still musical.

When I put in the HR-1s with spikes, they sounded really good, but I got curious about further vibration isolation, so got some Herbie's little fat gliders. Again, in an serious listening sense, a big difference...the spikes by comparison are harder with more sense of edge, particularly notable in the midrange. Whereas the gliders allow more balanced detail, as far as I can tell, more detail, but softer feeling and with more delicacy and texture....more nuance.

Not that this is necessarily the tool for you, but if you have not dealt with Steve at Herbie's, he knows his stuff, has a number of potential solutions for your situation, has lots of experience advising for taste and environment, and answers email quick...Also he has a good return policy.

EDIT: And by the way, herbiesaudiolabs isocups are really good under the Torii MKIII and MKIV, so I would guess would be good under the Mystery amp too. I use four, and move them around under the amp base to tune to my preference. Weird that this works so well, but it does.
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« Last Edit: 05/08/14 at 19:09:29 by will »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1091 - 05/08/14 at 19:45:05
 

Looks like my Oppo is differential.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE
􀁸 Balanced audio connectors are used mostly in professional audio electronics, such as high
quality microphones and inter-equipment connections. The BDP-105 utilizes the 3-pin XLR
connector (shown below), which transmits a pair of differential signals (positive /negative). The
amplifier extracts the voltage difference between differential signals, thus the common noise can
be rejected and the signal integrity is improved.
􀁸 In some audio systems the position s of "hot" (positive) and "cold" (negative) pins are switched.
In this case please set “ XLR
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Archie
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1092 - 05/09/14 at 00:37:31
 
Regarding puting equipment on spikes, from an engineering standpoint, they in no way decouple vibration.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1093 - 05/09/14 at 00:51:05
 
Right, they couple rather than decouple. And sometiemes that's the ticket!
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Archie
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #1094 - 05/09/14 at 01:16:51
 
I can see where one might want to experiment with coupling and decoupling speakers but I would think that decoupling all other equipment would always be desirable.  Yes?  No?  Before I isolated my ZMA I actually had bad feedback at high volume.  It was caused by the vibration transmitted through my stand.
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