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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 140504 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #615 - 01/31/14 at 23:55:43
 
Quote:
I'm really excited that you're getting the P10, I'm anticipating it will be a game changer.


Honesty, you're not even the first person to say that to me today - so I am really looking forward to the PS Audio gear. Paul seems to have philosophies that resonate with me, just as Steve does - so I expect good things to come.

Also considering upgrading my source to a PS Audio DAC in the upcoming years. But that's a ways off for now. I need to focus on what I have, especially the room.
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« Last Edit: 02/01/14 at 00:07:06 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #616 - 02/01/14 at 00:43:05
 
I know what you mean, it's like someone famous once said

In my experience (and boy have I had fun twisting and gropinga round behind the racks experimenting) putting the best cord on the Power Plant yields benefits for all components, I'd try that first.

Looking forward to hearing your jaw drop. I'll keep a window facing west cracked a little bit.
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #617 - 02/01/14 at 01:07:55
 
Stone, glad to hear you are digging the ZMA already.  I was holding my breath during the fuse episode.

Herbies rings will be my next purchase.  Icing on the cake.

Raven's ZMA is now banned from my house.  It's like some guy stopping by with his 20-something trophy wife in a bikini.  She walks around your listening room winking at you.  Then she blows you a kiss, walks out the door and she's gone.

Seriously, I am looking forward to the next meeting of Rachael and Zen-zilla.  I might even have a shielded power cord you can borrow if I can find some connectors (used them for another cord).  Also, I have my horns with the Zygi driver combo back in.  They go pretty low and I'd love to hear how the ZMA powers them.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #618 - 02/01/14 at 01:12:50
 
Quote:
Raven's ZMA is now banned from my house.  It's like some guy stopping by with his 20-something trophy wife in a bikini.  She walks around your listening room winking at you.  Then she blows you a kiss, walks out the door and she's gone.


Well, except for the bikini, I pretty much have that going for me with Brianne as well.  :)

Quote:
Seriously, I am looking forward to the next meeting of Rachael and Zen-zilla.  I might even have a shielded power cord you can borrow if I can find some connectors (used them for another cord).  Also, I have my horns with the Zygi driver combo back in.  They go pretty low and I'd love to hear how the ZMA powers them.


I have connectors! I bought a set thinking my Styx style power cable would be good enough and planned on making more, but this Pangea showed me I was wrong.

I like "Zen Zilla" - after out meet, that's kind of the feeling I was getting. It's got some of the classic Zen stuff going on, but on a city crushing scale.  ;D

Quote:
In my experience (and boy have I had fun twisting and gropinga round behind the racks experimenting) putting the best cord on the Power Plant yields benefits for all components, I'd try that first.


Thanks Lon, your experience is always appreciated!
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« Last Edit: 02/01/14 at 01:13:31 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #619 - 02/01/14 at 01:21:32
 
Zen-zilla! Best laugh I've had all day.
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #620 - 02/01/14 at 01:21:44
 
I already offered you my unsolicited advice about Brianne  ;)

Ok, I'll dig it out.  Its basically the same cord I am using on Rachael.  I made two a year or so ago.  I was also using the unshielded until recently and one day popped in the shielded and haven't gone back.  You can A/B and see if it helps you out.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #621 - 02/01/14 at 01:50:51
 
Thanks my friend, it's much appreciated!

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #622 - 02/02/14 at 17:42:41
 
I just posted this in the What's Spinning thread - but I wanted to put it here to make sure Steve and crew see it.

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

I just had a moment - I'm not ashamed to admit it, I teared up a bit as I got a bit emotional...over a test CD.

I'm still having some imaging issues in my room, I grab the test disc below (ripped to FLAC) and go through all the phase and soundstage tests...they sound OK at best. Then the music comes on and Vaquero sounds great, I turn it up a little bit...then a little bit more...and soon I'm at 80% on the volume. ZMA is sounding great. The next tunes don't excite me much, and I'm about to either turn it down to background level or off and get some housework done, when I see the Toccata in D-Minor is the last track. I love this piece - it's a classic in Monster Movies, my Mom used to play good portions of it on the piano, and I even transcribed some of it to electric guitar with all the fancy two handed tapping, whammy bar, and special FX that make modern electric guitar so fun.

I guess I was a little unprepared for how good this would sound - I found myself cranking it; ZMA 100% full on, balls out - and I kid you not, I teared up with how beautiful it was. I'm sitting here now all puffy eyed as I type this.

Thank you Steve, this is the amp I've been looking for.



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« Last Edit: 02/02/14 at 17:43:42 by Lonely Raven »  
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #623 - 02/02/14 at 20:22:34
 
LR...sounds like you had a truly Zen experience.  Great music often does the same to me.  

Did you drive the amp into clipping cranked all the way up?  I think I saw mention of the meters bouncing when clipping.

Also, I saw mention in a previous post that the ZMA didn't seem that much louder than Rachel.  I was wondering if you could comment further on this.  I am surprised, but maybe I misunderstood.

Keep your comments/observations/experiences coming.  Hopefully I will have my ZMA soon and will be able to join in.   Cheers!
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #624 - 02/03/14 at 00:17:37
 

When the ZMA was new, it wasn't as loud as I expected. As it aged and the caps broke in, it got louder and I found myself turning it down more. It also takes a while to warm up, so all of that has something to do with volume perception. I've also found it's input sensitive; if it's a loud recording, it really jumps, but on quieter recordings I find myself cranking it due to lower input from my Oppo (I've not measured, but I believe this test CD was on the quieter side).

If it was clipping, I honestly didn't notice, nor did I bother to look at the meters since I was so in the moment. The ZMA clips rather smoothly as well...in one of my previous posts I mentioned where I was cranking Keith Jarrett...and it was clearly clipping, but in a way that made the piano sound like an electric keyboard, not nails on a chalkboard. So I think it's easier to get into clipping and honestly not notice it.
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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #625 - 02/03/14 at 01:38:40
 
LR,
      By chance while at DecFest did you have the opportunity to hear it hooked up to a CSP3? Just wondering how it would sound with the CSP3 up front may also add a bit more gain to it. I've noticed in posts about the  Mark IV's that it wasn't an added advantage to have a preamp up front so just wondered about the ZMA. Thanks again for all of your input on the ZMA lots of us are curious about your observations of it. You are the trail blazers. I just wish I was in the position to move on one sooner than later.


Cool
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #626 - 02/03/14 at 03:35:02
 

No, unfortunately not. Besides the fact that with so many people there I was lucky to get 15-20 minutes to myself, I also only listened to the MK IV and Mystery Amp the way I would at home - which is source, to amp, do MG944.

On my last visit to see Steve, I asked about adding a preamp, and Steve simply said "it would make more things listenable" - which I gather means you can smooth out some rough recordings.
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #627 - 02/03/14 at 14:36:32
 
Sorry, I didn't mean to mislead.  We didn't do any volume tests per se.  I thought I put the volume about the same level as were I put Rachael.

Raven, do you remember where we had the ZMA volume at?  Rachael was at 2/3 which is just before clipping.  It will routinely play music at over 104db (according to my meter ap).  I generally listen in the 80db - 90 db range).

For some reason, my black top Rachael is significantly louder than my white top.  I still haven't been able to figure out why.  The only difference is the v-caps in the black top.

Anyway, the ZMA was so much fuller at whatever volume it was at, I didn't care about the volume.  I don't remember fiddling with it much.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #628 - 02/03/14 at 15:18:34
 
Yeah, I really don't care about volume much either, as long as it's "enough for the recording", which the ZMA has for everything so far (with my MG944)

I don't recall touching the volume knob at all during our meet, and neither of us took measurements, so I can't say either way.

Next time I'll remember to bring my meter - plus my measurement mic, and we can see how accurate our phone db meters are compared to the Radio Shack one I have.

Still no shipping notification on my PS Audio P10 - hopefully I'll have it before the weekend so I can give it a run and start the burn in process.  I still have *no idea* where I'm going to put the beast...I doubt my glass shelving will handle it!
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« Last Edit: 02/03/14 at 15:20:24 by Lonely Raven »  
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #629 - 02/03/14 at 19:13:29
 
About 90% of my listening is done at ‘low’ volume.  I am sure I am Preaching to the Choir when I say…there are times when 1) you just want to crank it up 2) the source material has been mastered with minimal/no compression and you want to listen at moderate levels or 3) the recording uses up a good portion of a cd’s dynamic range (e.g. classical) and you want to effectively hear the softer passages and not have the louder passages be compressed/clipped.    

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the SuperZen doesn’t always excel in the above situations (and likely wasn’t designed to), even with moderately efficient speakers.  Part of the reason I purchased the ZMA was because of the additional power.  I hypothesize that the ZMA’s extra power/headroom will provide a more satisfying listening experience at low volume because the amp won’t be anywhere close to clipping, even during ‘loud’ transients.  The additional power will also give more flexibility in the above situations and enable the amp to drive a broader range of speakers (in case I decide the MG944’s won’t be my last pair of speakers).  I am sure the amp clips softly (most tube amps do), but my preference is to avoid clipping altogether.  

In summary, I am most excited about the tone and liquidity of the ZMA, but also very excited about the extra power.  Amazing tone + more power = winning combination.  
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