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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 154561 times)
Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #690 - 02/18/14 at 12:57:57
 
I'm still forming my opinion but I feel the ZMA is SET on steroids. All the imaging plus more detail pushed out by those massive caps. This is not just raw grunt or low end.  It's across the frequency range.

Maybe Raven can chime in on the "cymbal" experience we had.  That cymbal has always been heard in that song and Rachael plays it crisply and clearly. But the ZMA plays it more fully and you can hear the full cymbal resonating and as the sound wave expands to the full circumference of the cymbal it gets deeper.  We just looked at each other and said "now that sounds like a real cymbal."

Same thing for the dsd violin music we listened to.  You didn't just hear the strings, you heard the bow rubbing against the strings *making* the sound.

So when Steve says liquid honesty I think he's saying all the lifelike detail and none of the "edge."

Note: I'd like to hear some comparisons to the Torii.  Maybe it is too big a jump from a Zen or Rachael and you can get some of this with a Torii III or IV.
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« Last Edit: 02/18/14 at 14:20:09 by Palomino »  

Mac Mini with Adirvana, Onkyo ND-S1 Digital Transport (modified) with linear power supply, iPod Classic, Chord QuteHD with Linear Power Supply, Signal Cable Digital Coax, Decware ICs, SE34I.32, PS Audio Power Plant Premier, PS Audio Power Cords, DIY Speakers
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #691 - 02/18/14 at 14:43:24
 
Quote:
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


Seriously, after the first 150 hours of break-in, the ZMA is on a whole different level. I really feel I've got my moneys worth out of the ZMA and the PS Audio P10 now - and I expect the ZMA at least will get even better with age! I wish I had a MKIII or MKIV to demo in Palomino's room, up against the ZMA - where we can really take our time and ferret out all the nuances between the amps.

Oh, a couple photos from our mini-event.   Wink
(please forgive the cell phone photos)

















A side note about why Palomino's crawling on the floor:

Since my source is an Oppo Universal Disc Player, I really needed a screen to utilize it for anything other than shiny disc - and we were going back and forth between his DAC and my Oppo. We could *hear* the addition of that little screen in the room, as well as a small table we put drinks on next to the chair. So we had to move these two small items out of the way, otherwise they shifted and/or distorted the image!

Edit to Add: which reminds me of another detail about the setup - I brought a small green laser pointer I got off eBay for $8-$12, and we used it to setup the speakers as accurately as possible. Using the tape marks on the floor as a starting point, I placed the laser pointer on the inside-side panel of the speakers, right at tweeter height, then pointed them to about the same 1" square at the listening position. This little detail further sharpened the image on top of everything else we were doing. Of course, you could always adjust in and out from there, but it's a quick and easy starting point to try and find some balance in the room.
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« Last Edit: 02/18/14 at 14:48:30 by Lonely Raven »  
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #692 - 02/18/14 at 14:48:08
 
I was bowing and paying homage to the ZMA/P10 combo Grin
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #693 - 02/18/14 at 14:49:12
 
Quote:
I was bowing and paying homage to the ZMA/P10 combo Grin


I just laughed so hard I snorted.

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busterfree
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #694 - 02/19/14 at 02:20:29
 
What power cord was used on the Rachael, Mystery Amp and P10? Did you use any tube damper items on the Rachael? Just curious. Thanks
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busterfree
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #695 - 02/19/14 at 02:43:19
 
Does the output power change if one were to use the other compatible tubes (KT77, EL34, 7027, 5881)?
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #696 - 02/19/14 at 03:14:20
 
Eric can comment on the p10 power cord.  I simply called it "the python."  

Rachael had the DIY audiophile power cord recipe from DIY audio.  Basic shielded power cord.  We had herbies tube dampers on the input tubes.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #697 - 02/19/14 at 03:59:29
 

This is the power cord used on the P10

http://www.amazon.com/Pangea-Audio-AC-9SE-Signature-Power/dp/B005AXJRUG/ref=sr_1...

The Mystery Amp and Oppo used DIY power cables using Zen Styx type cable in 10AWG.
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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #698 - 02/19/14 at 05:24:36
 
Hi,

I am the owner of 4th ZMA which someone mention before. (Mr. Veerachai from Vietnam). I would like to share my experience of ZMA. I am new in tubed audio amp. The ZMA is my first tubed audio amp and first Decware amp. My objective to buy ZMA is to replace my Pass Labs X150 SS amp. I want to try tubed audio amp. However my worry is that
1) Short of Watt power to drive Avalon Avatar speakers which have 85 dB sensitivity. Tubed audio need to match with >90 dB sensitivity speakers.
2) Short of dynamics or bass to play hard rock musics.
The result of 50 hours played with ZMA is
1) It can drive Avalon Avatar loud enough for my listening level ~83-93 dB. Wife does not allow > 93 dB. Once I can get 96 dB for music and movie or home theater system.
The different of ZMA to Pass labs is that ZMA can still keep holographic sound image and layers of music instrument while Pass labs cannot when play at 93-96 dB level with complex instrument musics. For Pass labs, the louder you play, the noisier you feel. It is less musical and messy or fighting between music instruments. But ZMA keep all music instruments in line.
2) Bass, now I hear bass different. It is much more articulate and details, details and details. With ZMA, I can hear drum skin resonant and bass string resonant.  This feature is one of my happiness to buy ZMA. I can play without sub. Normally I must use sub with Avalon Avatar speaker.  
Dynamics, No dynamic problem at all with ZMA. It is very liquid transition from quiet level to loud level, no delay and no over shoot, no canny sound.  

I am very happy with ZMA now. It is worth every dollar for buying ZMA.

I will use V-Cap capacitor sound characterizing from Clive Meakins for sound characterizing of ZMA as following.

My immediate and lasting impressions were of dry tight bass, clear treble and very broad stage width. Bass is strong, laying a carpet of bass in the room. Treble very clear at the top-end (of my hearing), vocals are meaty. Famous Blue Raincoat / Jennifer Warnes; not only does this reference recording sound impressive, the V-Caps deliver a strong bass foundation, excellent treble extension and impressive vocals.

I provide my system information because different system provide different sound.

Player is SACD player DP77 Accuphase.
MIT Oracle RCA.
Decware switch box.
MIT Oracle RCA.
ZMA
MIT Oracle speaker cable.
Avalon Avatar speakers.
Shunayata Hydra 8.
Power cord to Hydra 8 is Kubala Sosna Emotion.
Power cord to ZMA is Synergistic research Tesla precision reference.
Power cord to Accuphase DP77 is Siltech.

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Accuphase CD/SACD DP77 player, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, XLO Purple Rush power cord
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle RCA IC. Synergistic Research Tesla Reference power cable.
Avalon Avatar speakers. MIT Oracle speaker cable.
Hydra 8. ZSB. Kubala Sosna Emotion PC
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #699 - 02/19/14 at 05:52:31
 
Hi vyokyong, welcome to the forums and Decware family!  Thanks for that great detailed review of the ZMA as well (I can't wait to hear one myself someday).  Anything made by Pass is no slouch as you can attest to, but I think the magic of Decware tubes is rather seductive in comparison to any solid state that I have heard thus far.  Congratulations on your ZMA purchase!
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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 05:53:25 by beowulf »  
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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #700 - 02/19/14 at 08:48:36
 
Hi LR,

Thanks for your post picture of ZMA. However I saw that ZMA is Stacked on top of PW P10. I would like to recommend that please don't place ZMA stack on PW P10. Because PW P10 has big toroidal transformer inside and magnetic filed from toroidal transformer has a great interfere with ZMA. It makes ZMA sound dull or less transparency.  You can proof it by place ZMA at other place and see result of sound improvement. You will be really surprise.

Now all my Amp, CD players, Pre-amp, power regulation and DAC converter are placed to make sure that there is no magnetic filed from transformer to interfere them in order to maximize transparency of system.

Second, all IC and power cable cannot be touch each other or be closed together, particularly power cord must not be closed to Interconnect cable. When music has more bass sound, the magnetic filed from power cord can interfere signal current in IC and make sound dull, less transparency.  

Just recommend from my experience.
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Accuphase CD/SACD DP77 player, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, XLO Purple Rush power cord
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle RCA IC. Synergistic Research Tesla Reference power cable.
Avalon Avatar speakers. MIT Oracle speaker cable.
Hydra 8. ZSB. Kubala Sosna Emotion PC
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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #701 - 02/19/14 at 08:52:09
 
Sorry wrong typing. It should be Magnetic field, not magnetic filed.
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Accuphase CD/SACD DP77 player, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, XLO Purple Rush power cord
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle RCA IC. Synergistic Research Tesla Reference power cable.
Avalon Avatar speakers. MIT Oracle speaker cable.
Hydra 8. ZSB. Kubala Sosna Emotion PC
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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #702 - 02/19/14 at 08:59:51
 
Hi Beowulf,

Thanks for your welcome. I totally agree with you that Pass Labs is no slouch. I am very happy of Pass Labs X150 for 7 years and it makes me very worry of replacing it by ZMA. However the more I read on Decware forum, the more I desired to try Decware Amp.

Now my Pass Labs X150 must find new home!
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Accuphase CD/SACD DP77 player, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, XLO Purple Rush power cord
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle RCA IC. Synergistic Research Tesla Reference power cable.
Avalon Avatar speakers. MIT Oracle speaker cable.
Hydra 8. ZSB. Kubala Sosna Emotion PC
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #703 - 02/19/14 at 12:03:07
 
Welcome and thanks for your review.

The ZMA was stacked on top of the P10 just for our listening session. Lonely raven brought all his gear to my house and we didn't have much room to set it up so we stacked them. They are both too heavy!
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #704 - 02/19/14 at 12:55:41
 
Mr. Veerachai, excellent review!

As Palomino said, the stacking was only temporary as I was visiting his house. At my house, the P10 is about 5' away from the Mystery Amp - but that is a great observation, and I will keep it in mind!

I too love the detail the Mystery Amp brings out! Palomino and I were admiring how you could hear the bow resonate on the strings of a violin. I'm going to have to pay more attention to drums next time I listen!

Again, great review, and I agree 100%. Just wait till you get to 150 hours on the ZMA, it wakes up even more!
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