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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 156454 times)
Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #675 - 02/14/14 at 17:28:28
 
Lon...you can get both balanced and unbalanced inputs on the ZMA, you just can't use them both at the same time.  Not sure if that is what you are asking...
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #676 - 02/14/14 at 18:54:40
 
Cool! I thought you could only get one or the other.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #677 - 02/14/14 at 19:26:36
 
LR, I am going to use restraint and not put in KT120's until my ZMA has 300 hours on it. I also have ...23p Cryoset pre's & NOS RCA 0A3's. All in good time...all in good time.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #678 - 02/14/14 at 20:06:11
 

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on all those tubes. I'm just going to keep trucking with what I have.

Speaking of which, I don't see the Super Cryo 23P on the page anymore.


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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #679 - 02/14/14 at 20:30:55
 
the 23p is currently available only on the "regular" cryo preamp tubes page... not available in "Super" cryo version at the moment. (I shared this info with you a few days ago LR)  
here is the regular cryo version --> http://www.cryoset.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_24&products_id=243&osCs...
But given my understanding from Ron at cryoset about what makes his "super" cryo'd tubes "super", I bet he can make you some - if you ask.......
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #680 - 02/14/14 at 20:51:25
 

I thought I remembered someone bringing them up recently.  :)
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #681 - 02/17/14 at 15:31:18
 
Stuck home this morning, so why not make the most of it.

The ZMA is Blooming its Brains out! I truly love this Amp!

The Pangea AC-9SE is a worth while upgrade. Music is more relaxed without loss of speed or detail. It replaced a very good XLO Pro Power Cord, which provides more than a subtle difference from the stock cord that comes with and I have used for years. I also took the brass weights off the two inside tranny's...not needed.

Well, some work and then time to Snow Blow.....I really need to downsize and find an affordable inlet beach house in the St. James Florida area.    -S
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« Last Edit: 02/17/14 at 15:40:31 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #682 - 02/17/14 at 16:02:44
 
I guess I should do a small update as well.

~175 hours on the ZMA

Brought it over to Palomino's house for the 3rd meeting of the Chicago Decware Audio Enthusiasts (or whatever the hell he called us LOL).

Last time I brought the amp over to Palomino's listening room, it only had 25 hours on it and Palomino's Rachel sounded scary good - the ZMA sounded better after an hour of warming up, and as he said "never looked back" from that point.

This time, the ZMA smoked his really excellent sounding Rachel right from the get go, no contest, not even in the same league. Listening to the Rachel by itself is awesome, but having an amp like the Mystery amp in the same room simply made the Rachel sound anemic.

We did a lot of A/B testing with the limited gear we have, and our notes were exactly the same all throughout - here are some highlights:

#1 My MG944 are *way better* than I realized. The room treatments that Palomino is constantly adding and adjusting in his room, plus his excellent sounding Rachel proved that. I'd say their only drawback is that they are a bit beamy and very room dependent - if the room isn't balanced, and your head isn't in a vice at the sweet spot, your imaging will be off. His room sounds so good, we were hearing imaging off by inches due to something in the room. (the room was that good and the sound that detailed!)

#2 I knew this already, but it still shocks me when you listen to a well treated room - the quality of sound in his his room, before/after room treatment, is on the same level as the difference between the Rachel and the Mystery amp - his room treatments were as big of an improvement to his *existing* gear, as dropping $4600 on the ZMA! Keep in mind, he's got less invested in his *whole setup* room treatments and all, than I paid for the ZMA alone! The room and room treatments are that good, and that important.

#3  The Mystery amp in a well treated room, is truly amazing. We both agreed, this was the first amp we've ever heard, that truly gets Piano right. We also heard guitars in recordings, that sounded *live*, like they were right there in the room with us. I've said this in almost every post about the ZMA, the dynamics and harmonics - this amp makes the music truly come alive.

#4 The PS Audio P10 power plant easily added 25% quality improvement to Palomino's setup. I completely agree with Steve now, that with the big caps on the ZMA, a Power Regenerator is *less* necessary, but on the Rachel it brought it up to another level. I still firmly believe the Power Regenerator makes an improvement to the ZMA, just not as drastic as what we heard with the Rachel. I can now see why you guys say these things are game changers. While we agreed that it was a 25% (huge!) improvement on the Rachel, I think it was more like a 5% improvement on the ZMA. But at this level of quality, every percent counts!

Side note: when I got home I put my little 2 watt Zen amp on the P10, and *wow*, that was like buying a new amp! It even sounded louder! Zero regrets on the expenditure of the P10 now - I'm very happy with it!

Lastly, the negative - part of our audio play date was to help me suss out the buzz issue I'm having between the Oppo and the ZMA - we easily recreated the issue, and basically ran through all the elimination tests I did at my house - I do have *two* different buzzes - #1 being the ICs picking up noise like antenna, which with proper equipment and cabling layout is minor and almost inaudible at the listening position (even in Palomino's small room). #2 The buzz between the Oppo and ZMA, it's there, no doubt about it - as soon as you plug in the ICs, BZZZZZZ, goes up and down with the volume control.

But, as soon as we plugged in the Rachel, it's *dead quiet*. All things being equal, only change was the Rachel, dead quiet. In fact, it was so quiet, I actually said "is it on?".

I'm in Peoria today for work, but there is a big storm rolling in - I'm going to call Steve and see if I can swing by tonight with the ZMA and Oppo and see if we can figure out what's going on. I *really* like the Oppo, it does just about everything I need it to, and I really can't afford to replace it. So I'm going to see what Steve can do to help out. Right now my worst fear is that there is something off about the Oppo's design that will be inherent in any Oppo I get - I don't want to get rid of it, so I'm hoping we find a solution. I *need* to get the dead quiet I heard coming from the Rachel.

Calling Steve now to setup an appointment.   Smiley
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« Last Edit: 02/17/14 at 16:08:18 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #683 - 02/17/14 at 16:12:07
 
Well, you're closer to getting the buzz gone! I hope that you can get some insight and cure from Steve.

As for the P10, I'm so glad you got to hear what it can do. Even if it is only improving the ZMA 5%, it is doing more than that for your other components.

It's nice that you and Palamino have someone to share these experiences and to help with tests.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #684 - 02/17/14 at 16:26:47
 

Just spoke with Devon and Steve - Devon said roads are pretty impassable right now - so I'm hoping to drop off the Amp and Oppo with Steve tomorrow if the roads clear up. Being without the amp for a week makes me sad, but I know it's in good hands. Wish me luck and cross your fingers!
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #685 - 02/17/14 at 16:35:29
 
+1 on all Ravens comments.  I put my system back together after he left and felt petty good about my system/room but side by side with the ZMA Rachael felt, well, a little violated.

I learned a huge amount in just 4 hours. We could have gone on the rest of the day easily. See my comments on the regenerated power thread but the P10 is a game changer.

My only add would be my cheapo DAC faired well versus the oppo.  I bought it because of the giant killer claims to use in a second system and it's become my primary DAC.  In fairness to the oppo we did not test this much.

Finally my horns did not play well with the ZMA.  I had different drivers in and the ZMA just overpowered them.  It's interesting because they were the first speakers we listened to with Rachael and the P10 and they sounded good.  With the ZMA they sounded unlistenable.
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DBC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #686 - 02/17/14 at 16:51:16
 
Quote:
LR Wrote:  But, as soon as we plugged in the Rachel, it's *dead quiet*. All things being equal, only change was the Rachel, dead quiet. In fact, it was so quiet, I actually said "is it on?".


LR:  Is it also true that you can connect your Oppo to your Super Zen at home and there is no "Buzz #2" ???

Quote:
Steve Deckert Wrote:  The earth ground at the IEC connector is bonded to the metal chassis and the audio ground of the amplifier is also connected to earth ground.  This can be verified by taking an ohm meter and testing between the ground lug of the IEC connector and the metal chassis and then again from the earth ground at the IEC connector to the outside part of any RCA jack.  And finally, from the outside part of the RCA jack to the metal chassis.  All three points will read as far below 1 ohm as your meter's cables are capable of reading (usually 0.4 ohms +/- 0.3 ohms)


If you only get "Buzz #2" with the ZMA (not other amps) then I would suspect the Earth Ground on the ZMA. If the ZMA has a higher resistance to Earth Ground than it should then the path of least resistance will be through the interconnects to the Earth Ground of the Oppo.

I'm sure if you get to Steve's he will sort it out in short order. I'm South of you in Springfield, IL and the ice is bad here. Be careful on the roads.
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #687 - 02/17/14 at 17:00:35
 
Also, when we changed out the DAC - everything else the same, there was still a buzz, but it was much quieter.  Maybe it was a different frequency tone too.  Hard to tell because it was maybe only a quarter of the volume.

My DAC is on a 12v battery.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #688 - 02/17/14 at 18:16:51
 
Very cool & constructive LR, Palomino & DBC. I look forward to Steve's further insight.
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #689 - 02/18/14 at 07:05:05
 
I gotta say, this is a great thread,  Learning a lot and quietly listening to the buzz saga.  I know LR, Palomino, DBC and Steve will get it worked out.

On a side note, interesting to know that the Rachel is overcome by the ZMA ... I was always thinking that nothing could touch the SET experience.  The ZMA must really be special. Cool
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« Last Edit: 02/18/14 at 07:07:44 by beowulf »  
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