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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 103766 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #585 - 01/27/14 at 20:53:39
 
Really minor update ~ 60 hours on the amp.

Trying out some regulator tubes. I've been trying to find some that glow blue, simply for the *blue* - I've got a pile of NOS JAN VR90 I'm testing that all burn purple - I'll keep a pair for myself and sell the rest in the forums for cheap so keep an eye out or ping me if you want/need some.

Was listening to Fleetwood Mac Rumors 24/96 while writing someone who asked me about the Mystery Amp via E-mail, and the music kept distracting me! That's a hugely good sign.

Next morning, was feeling terrible, decided to just chill in my favorite chair and listen to music quietly and let the cold medicine kick in. Was playing the Hackers soundtrack - a disc I've played hundreds of times since it's release in 1995 - and even at low level volumes I was catching sounds that I'd never heard before! How is that friggen possible when I've been listening to the Zen Amp all these years!

The only thing I can figure is that the ZMA reproduces sounds across the whole spectrum evenly and equally; nothing is really overpowering anything else  which I think was the case with the Zen amp. When things got too dynamic, the little Zen amp would trip over itself a bit to get the music out, whereas the ZMA with those big caps has the reserves to push out all frequencies with ease. That, and/or the harmonics - I know I keep bringing this up, but I really feel the harmonics is what sets this amp apart from other tube amps. It just breathes a little bit of life into the recordings, making the reproduction sound more like a live instrument in the room.

More and more happy every day as the amp burns in. Part of me wants to lock it up in a closet blasting at 75% volume for a week straight to speed up the process - but the journey is part of the enjoyment!




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« Last Edit: 01/27/14 at 21:47:20 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #586 - 01/27/14 at 20:58:17
 
I forgot to add - I've got one of these on the way! Found an open box deal too good to pass up!

I'm officially broke for the rest of the year. LOL

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« Last Edit: 01/27/14 at 20:59:01 by Lonely Raven »  
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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #587 - 01/27/14 at 21:25:35
 
Lonely Raven,
      Your not broke you are actually in the process of fixing things. Remember the cup is half full. What matters is your living life to its fullest!
Bottom line enjoy the amp I enjoy hearing about it. Were not here for long.



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« Last Edit: 01/27/14 at 21:26:25 by Digger »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #588 - 01/27/14 at 22:02:57
 
I could not agree more Digger...it is getting shorter all the time.

I had the luxury today to put the 19th through 26th hour today on my ZMA. I am very pleased. I new my front end could handle the honesty of ZMA in 20 bit dither. The DTI Pro32 is key here...with Redbook.

I switched my Galo 3.1's around, where the bass woofer's fire out instead of in towards each other. These being acoustic suspension, this change really locked in/improved the bass. The ZMA has weight. The high's are extending too/coming along very well.  

I had the Amp at 91.5 db SPL peaks today....hovering in the mid 80's db SPL....just magnificent...no clipping or compression. Just shear music! I recently had a 175 watt/channel, Moon Solid State Amp in, that could not compete with this Amp/ZMA! Harmonics, Harmonics & Harmonics = ZMA! You just want to turn it up and up.....no fatique or grain! It is certainly very far from being burned in too.

Lower level and low level Listening is just as impressive ( I, 9 out of 10 Listening Sessions-listen at 68 to 74 or 74 to 82db SPL). There is even more there in detail, than my SE84CS. I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that....but it's happening.

My System for ZMA:

Room is 9' x 11'
Acoustically treated/Michael Greene Room Tunes & Home Brew 18" x 30" open filter panels = 18 of them.
System Tri-configured on floor (no rack) on flat shelves/on full carpeted room/floor underneath-concrete ...Townsend CD Seismic Sync under digital Audio Alchemy components ...XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA ...Adcom AC-enhancer 515 ...all four components plugged into it...has sequential on off start & shut down

Sony DVD Player as Transport
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro32 (Set at 20 bit dither)
i2s Prophecy Cryo Digital (sends music 20 bit dither signal separate from clock signal in which it also sends to DAC)
Audio Alchemy v3.0 DAC (dual ladder DACS-w/remote wand volume/adjustable voltage output/driving directly into ZMA)
Kimber Select 1030 interconnect coax/RCA
ZEN MYSTERY AMPLIFIER
Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable
Anthony Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1 Loud Speakers

-Stone

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« Last Edit: 01/27/14 at 22:06:37 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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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #589 - 01/27/14 at 22:21:15
 
Quote:
Harmonics, Harmonics & Harmonics = ZMA! You just want to turn it up and up.....no fatique or grain! It is certainly very far from being burned in too.

Lower level and low level Listening is just as impressive ( I, 9 out of 10 Listening Sessions-listen at 68 to 74 or 74 to 82db SPL). There is even more there in detail, than my SE84CS. I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around that....but it's happening.



Sounds like our notes are pretty much the same. I'm glad you got your fuse issue worked out. Hopefully after those caps form, you'll be able to put a normal 5 amp fuse in there. Not that it matters I guess.

Question for you stone, when you power down the amp - do the regulator tubes percolate and do a soft popping through the speakers as they drain the capacitors?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #590 - 01/27/14 at 22:57:59
 
Hi LR, I get no soft popping as the Amp Powers down or percolating from the 0A3's. However, with powering up/on...the 0A3's percolate quite a bit (with no popping through the Speakers). I DO remember them doing this percolating, as well with my Torii III.

I always turn my volume on the Amp all the way down before shutting off the System. This way, when my Adcom AC-enhancer turns things on in order, from Transport to DAC to Amp/ZMA...I get no "thump" through the Speakers.

Have you noticed how cool temp wise, the outer Tranny's run compared to the warm inside/inner Tranny's?    -Stone
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« Last Edit: 01/27/14 at 23:00:03 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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Lonely Raven
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Posts: 1147
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #591 - 01/27/14 at 23:32:52
 

Actually I've done more than notice...I picked up an IR thermometer and I've been measuring the tube and transformer temperatures regularly. I originally got the IR Thermometer to measure the heat on the little Zen amp as it seemed a bit excessive, but the ZMA showed up the same day the thermometer did, so the little Zen kinda got forgotten! LOl

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017L9Q9C/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&p...

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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #592 - 01/28/14 at 03:19:24
 

Raven or Stone?
   
     Have you guys noticed as you have gone thru your share of amps as you have climbed the food chain with them as they become so much more revealing, clear and transparent that you find yourself really cranking them louder and louder without realizing they are as loud as they really are? As my systems have improved I have found it to be a symptom of success within my two current systems one tube and one solid state. Things must be good when all you hear is the music floating around within all of this open black space within it all.
     It is good hearing what these amps are bringing to the table for you guys. I'll be looking forward to hearing more! Looking forward to my opportunity to hear one in person.                          Smiley



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« Last Edit: 01/29/14 at 04:20:01 by Digger »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #593 - 01/28/14 at 16:05:06
 

I get what you're saying, and I have sort of a non-answer. LOL

Yes with the little Zen amp. That's part of why I upgraded, was because I kept wanting just a little bit more. Now with the Mystery Amp, I find I'm turning it down more - not because it's harsh or fatiguing (though too much volume does make me tired of listening), but because it seems to do it's thing at pretty much any volume.

Then, some songs just want to be cranked. LOL

Well see if as the ZMA smooths out, if I find myself turning it up more to peek deeper into the music - or if I'm sated with lower level listening, because, seriously - the amp just does it at all volumes.



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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #594 - 01/28/14 at 23:29:39
 
    Lonely Raven,
    I guess what I was saying about volume is and I really didn't explain it very well was that the volume can be turned up a bit more than I think do to the sound not having any bad or harsh effects that I have had with some of the earlier equipment I have owned over the years. What I have had happen to me is I'll set the volume to where I can start feeling the bass and hear everything so nice thinking I still have it at a volume for my wife and I to still be able to talk and find out it is a bit louder than I thought. Easy to do with transparent sounding equipment.
    It does sound like your having some fun!


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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #595 - 01/28/14 at 23:33:42
 
I am loving this Amplifier. It is my SE84CS with CKC....sounds like Steve's pentodes in triode...but with Power! No B.S. ...I don't get paid to say these things. I am just a customer....whom is taken aback by the musicality of this Amplifier. Surprised, but not surprised, by Steve working in this fidelity spectrum/envelope of 38 watts/channel.

I put my Polk LS-90's in place of my Gallo's. They are a little more efficient. Did the bass show up? Boy, did it ever and everything else continues to shine. The ZMA is extremely musical with full denseness. I am in my 33rd hour on the Amp, with my most favorite pair (the 90's) of the three that play well with the Zen's & now the ZMA.

These Speakers have been a Gem for low level to moderate level Listening, with the SE84CS by luck, when I got my CS in May of 2001. I have owned the LS-90's new, since February of 1993. ...Never to be sold.

Now, the LS-90's with the ZMA are great at low, moderate....and when you want turn it up! To bad Solid State = not aloud in this Room!  

The bad news is: I'm canceling my Torii IV order.

The good news is: I'm ordering the HR-1! I can't do both in calendar year 2014....but am glad I can swing the HR-1's. I have to get Steve's best to go with my ZMA. Plus, the craftsmanship of Zygi & his Son.  

Cheers, Stone
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« Last Edit: 01/28/14 at 23:36:01 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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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #596 - 01/28/14 at 23:49:58
 
Stone,
      Glad to hear your still liking your Polks with the ZMA. I certainly like my LS 70's for me they are the right size for my room and they can crank when needed. Although they are much better than when they were stock units. 60 watts of tube power is plenty more than I need for sure.   Smiley

      I'd say my only dislike with tube vs solid state is listening to certain types of rock music. My solid state set up still rules for punch and speed. I'm speaking in behalf of my current equipment setup!



Cool




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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #597 - 01/29/14 at 00:13:08
 
For sure Digger, my Reference Rig(s) via Decware....and HR-1's to join the Stable in my Listening Room will/and does rule for the most INVOLVEMENT deep into the Music. This is why, we go through the trouble. I can tell the difference in two notes between at least a dozen Alto & Tenor Saxophonists. I want all the tone & texture...Decware delivers!

However, for Rock (mostly all recorded like Sh$t).....my basement Living Room Rig with my Polk SRS SDA 1.2's....will definitely get your YA YA's out! I love old vinyl on this Rig too! I leave my Audiophile Hat in the Listening Room...when I come out to the Living Room Rig for Solid State Mid-Fi, as I also leave my Audiophile Hat at home for Live Concerts (we all know how that can go too).  

http://www.lasareath.com/
Here's a dude with the ones I have.
I need to post some pics's.

Cheers, Stone
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« Last Edit: 01/29/14 at 04:11:48 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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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #598 - 01/29/14 at 01:13:07
 
      Stone, Those Polk's are huge. There was a pair locally for sale a while back and the bells started ringing and than I came back to my senses do to there size and power requirements to make them breath properly. I wasn't sure if I needed such an adrenalin rush anymore in life like I did when I was younger He He!. I'm currently running a custom set of MTM designed speakers with 2 seas 7" woofers and Vifa tweeters with 10" Aura subs running off of a Dayton 900 watt sub amp for the mains in my solid state 2 channel system. I run the Dayton from my McIntosh pre amp along with the Mac power amp. At this point its plenty to get my Ya Ya's out! And your absolutely correct about the S###y recordings but Zeppelin sure can kick some as@@$ when needed.

Keep that ZMA cookin!



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« Last Edit: 01/29/14 at 01:14:52 by Digger »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #599 - 01/29/14 at 04:37:08
 
Sweet setup Digger...with the Solid State Mac's.

Oh yeah, the 1.2's are 180 pounds each. A Royal pain in the back even with a hand truck. Well worth the effort. If I ever need to rebuild the Xover's...I will take it to Midwest Speaker, 10 miles from me. Polk shelves and sells the original TL Tweeter's (which mine actually have the original 1st year Tweet's)...and of course offers better improved Xover parts now.

I won't Frankenstein Polk these...because of the SDA Function. The great part is I can completely redo them to Polk Spec and protect their resale value. It is not uncommon for these to sell on the Polk Forum...where someone will meet me half way between Mpls & Kansas City for example, pay my gas and hotel to buy them over dinner. However, I am not selling them anytime soon. They do have a cult following for SDA and this model, along with a couple of other good SDA models from 85 through 1991.

I do use the SDA function for all forms of media out in the Living Room: TV (Palladia & AXS too), DVD, Blu-Ray, Sirius Sat Radio, Vinyl on my Pro-Ject Debut Carbon III/modest setup.


Living Room Mid-Fi Rig:

I have a Emotiva XPA-2, 300 watts/ch into 8ohm.
Kimber PK10 Palladian Power Cord to XPA-2...that I bought used (less than 1/2 price)...completely transforms this Amp...I ABA'd to death...and I still scratch my head how this passive Power Cord can do what it does musically for Solid State...

Kimber 8TC to the Polk SDA SRS 1.2's...that kick ARSE'
Rotel 1062 as a preamplifier
Velodyne Sub (I'm not really big on super big bass)...8TC to it as well

I bought a HSU Research MBM 12 that sits behind me/couch. This thing is impressive....the weight it adds between 50 & 120hrtz!

You just reminded me Digger?! I have Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day on my DVR from the O2 Arena....time to go crank it and watch!  

Yes, the ZMA will keep cookin'....Stone very pleased!  

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« Last Edit: 01/29/14 at 04:38:48 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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