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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 136676 times)
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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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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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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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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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #705 - 02/19/14 at 13:02:06
 
Quote:
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."


I missed this part earlier - Yeah, when the cymbals came in, I was a bit caught off guard as I was listening elsewhere, and Palomino and I both perked up, and I said  WOW, that actually *sounds* like *brass*.

It's funny when we're listening at his house, because he's got this big, lumpy, comfy chair that you have to climb into (in the sweet spot), and an old wooden kitchen table looking chair right behind it (just outside of the sweet spot). It's like we're the Sanford and Son bobsled team. But the person in the back seat can watch the body language of the person in the comfy chair while still catching most of the effect of the music, and I'd giggle when I caught something cool in the sound, and I'd see that Palomino would perk up in the chair at the same time. Or I think he caught me cringing when I was really into a piece, and there was some distortion in the recording on a high pitched note that almost turned my eardrums inside out.  ;)
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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 13:03:55 by Lonely Raven »  
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #706 - 02/19/14 at 14:30:03
 
You know my wife saw that Sanford and Son bobsled visual and has been chuckling ever since.

She also takes pictures of my various projects to prove to her family/friends that I've gone off the deep end.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #707 - 02/19/14 at 17:12:08
 
Great report vyokyong.

I can't get enough of my ZMA!  

LR, have you brought your ZMA to Steve?
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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 17:14:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #708 - 02/19/14 at 17:19:43
 
Quote:
LR, have you brought your ZMA to Steve?


Yeah, dropped it off yesterday on my way back home from Peoria. So I'm without ZMA or Oppo for a week. I have high hopes that he'll figure it out and get me back on track. If he can help me figure out the issue, and I can get the setup as quiet as Palomino's Rachel was, then I'd be in business!

Hell, if it was that quiet, I'd probably have to start working on lowering my noise floor in the room!

On the Plus side, the lack of distraction (Mystery amp) this weekend will mean I'll be in the garage shop prepping for building the QRD diffusers. I've already ordered some new router bits, and I'm calculating material needs and tweaking my final design. I'm still debating between a really broadband (500Hz to 12kHz), very complex diffuser, or a slightly less complex diffuser that uses less materials, will cost less, be faster to build, but will only cover 600Hz to 10kHz range.

Whatever design I decide, I really want to stick with because I'm going to be building a few jigs to help me mas produce the individual parts faster and more consistently than doing everything in small batches. I'm calculating about $100 each, just in materials, and I want to build 24 of them!!

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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 17:23:44 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Reply #709 - 02/19/14 at 17:22:32
 
Interesting trip LR and Palomino. A lot of good information from your Palomino room ride. I have few thoughts.

My seriously modded Oppo 83, for the subtler stuff does not remotely compare with my Tranquility DAC with PureMusic and a Mac Mini...except for playing movies Smiley. I hear the newer Oppos are better, but based on your explorations, I wonder if the Oppo might be an aspect your image issues LR???

I have decent stuff throughout...cables, feet, power, vibration control and lots of tubes to play around with for synergy, but "live" player in the room sound is the norm here. Also, my MG944s image beautifully in my main room (this one has various treatments but no traditional diffusors), and also in my untreated workshop with a Rega Apollo in front of the Torii MKIII, but tonal balance is not as good there. I have damped the mid/bass drivers a touch with 3mm Marigo dots and this definitely "awakens" and tightens the speakers by calming dulling resonance.

Both rooms here have good stuff shape-wise and material-wise. They have diffusion of sorts in the ceilings with irregular round log beams and rough boards with gaps on top. Then a tarpaper "diaphragm" under thick fiberglass. The image is deep, wide, saturated and stable with the 944s, no vise necessary, though being in the middle areas are the best. There was virtually no image change bringing in the HR-1s.

With the MKIII an MKIV piano is very, very real with my 944s, though the HR-1s do it better. Both systems sound like players in the room with half decent recordings. I have experimented a lot, but I take this quality as normal.

On my main system I do EQ to fine tune, also having explored cap rolling, cable rolling, speaker damping on both pair, various feet and foot placement, room treatments, and tubes to no end, all toward that real and live sound without harsh. It has been fun and in the end the system has a very convincing balance.

I have a few 3mm dots on the HR-1 drivers also, as well as a couple deflex panels inside tightening them up. I found this to articulate the sound throughout while maintaining warmth and excellent balance. Everything became more real sounding from bows on strings to big drum hits.

One area that was really interesting to me was adjusting the HR1  tweeters with caps and resistors to balance the highs. It was amazing once the macro and micro detail balanced out...more information, but appearing less bright. I am a sucker for micro detail, and this further improved stuff I love... the bow on strings and wood of an instrument, the hammer pad on the piano string, fingers on strings, the roll and shimmer of a cymbal, ambiance near the player and far.... all there before, but it is more balanced and smoother now...there, but it is not in your face. I have not gone there with the 944s, but know it is possible ...I think it is the same tweeter..simpler really as there is no resistor.

I don't know Raven, seems like you have a fair bit of treatment....have you ever tried EQ, or maybe better yet, Palomino's front end in your room and maybe play with his software EQ. If not a fix, it could be informative to see if you can pull things into better image focus and locate problem areas?

Is it possible that your bass, mid-bass and/or low mids are masking your mids to highs a bit too much? You might benefit from a little midbass or low bass cut in the right places....and/or some upper mid/high assistance to bring the upper mid balance to your room. For me, getting the right balance really helps clarify the sound stage and makes it more real/live sounding. Really good recordings are solid even with masked upper mids, but for depth and complexity, there is nothing like the right balance of mids, highs and bass to articulate the players in space.

I used to do this with tubes, but now tubes and EQ is better and easier. I do fairly complex EQ these days with a bunch of little parametric cuts and bumps as well as progressive low and high shelves. It is amazing to me what 1-3 dB in the right places can do for fine tuning!

But for experimentation it could be interesting just to try some really simple EQ tests...Like a low shelf that dumps heavily below 20 Hz or so... and maybe another low shelf with something like a 3db cut that you could slowly sweep from maybe 25 to 160 hz and see if it shows a problem area. If so, and things were a little off from the shelf, you could play with parametric cut(s) in the noted areas and keep the low dump if that helped. Even though my room does not measure much down there, I like the sound better with a low dump.

The other areas that could be informative and an easy test would be a high shelf....maybe adding about 3dB again for experimentation sake. I might sweep from somewhere around 2800 up to 7500 and see if somewhere things wake up in a real sounding way. Maybe even 1.5 dB would do the right thing to liven up and solidify the sound stage.

Just thinking out loud...good luck with it all!

This is fun thread to follow.
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« Last Edit: 02/19/14 at 17:26:26 by will »  

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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #710 - 02/19/14 at 18:36:13
 
Well, my room is getting better, but still needs work.  Eric brought his mic but we didn't get a chance to sweep the room and see what we were up against.  

I started with 2" absorbers, then added a little diffusion and got the imaging pretty good, then this recent round of bass traps.  Then I rearranged the room using Ethan Winers suggested setup.  Before the bass traps and room rearranging, I did use EQ.  Now I go without.

Once we really measure the room (I only measured the low end using crude tools), I think I'll revisit EQ.

I felt the imaging off the speakers was better after using the laser to line everything up.  My speakers also don't give you much latitude either so it could be the room.   In the sweet spot though, that is the best I have heard the 944s.

My DAC did sound good next to the oppo, but it is very limited in terms of inputs.  No USB, only optical and coax.  Can play up to 192k only.  No native DSD.  But if you are on a budget, I think its hard to beat.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #711 - 02/19/14 at 18:53:04
 
Quote:
I felt the imaging off the speakers was better after using the laser to line everything up.  My speakers also don't give you much latitude either so it could be the room.   In the sweet spot though, that is the best I have heard the 944s.


That was absolutely the best I've heard my MG944 as well. I'm smiling now just thinking about how good it sounded. Now I need to surpass that in my room!

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vyokyong
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Reply #712 - 02/20/14 at 02:44:21
 
Hi,

Thanks for all your welcome.

My first priority set up is TRANSPARENCY AND CLARITY. If your system provides great transparency and clarity. You will hear all details, focus and holographic sound stage.

In order to get Great Transparency and Clarity,

1) Black back ground noise.

One recommendation to get rid of buzz sound and get black back ground noise or very low noise floor is to plug all power cords in one source plug. It prevents to have different resistant in ground so that no appliance use other ground path of power cord, for example ground path through IC cable to other appliance which has less resistant of ground.    

2) Magnetic field is great enemy to transparency and clarity.

Magnetic field from transformer inside appliance. More expansive appliance has bigger transformer inside and more powerful magnetic field sending out side of appliance.

Magnetic field from current flow in cable from strongest to lowest is power cable, speaker cable and interconnect cable. When music has more bass or high dynamic, the more current flow in cable, the more send out of magnetic field far from cable and interfere music signal in cable. It create dull sound, transparency disappear.

Then you have to make sure that all signal cables, interconnect cables and speaker cables and appliances are not interfered by magnetic field.

Second recommend is to use Glass cone like in picture to raise your appliance far from each other at least 15 cm and see the result. If it provides more transparency. Yes, that is main course of your dull sound. The transparency disappear because of magnetic field from other below or above appliance. And all shelf do not design to have big gap between shelves because it looks not nice. We always ignore or over look of shelf problem. However if you want to make shelf look nice, you can do decorating later when you get great transparency by place your appliance far from each other at least 15 cm below and above.

This is one of my observation to see pitfall in many set up of expensive hi-fi system and does not get excellent sound as it should be! Just my 2 cent!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #713 - 02/20/14 at 09:53:10
 
vyokyong,
       
       Thanks for your input on transparency and clarity. I know its something that I need to pay more attention to in my own system to get best results. Glad to hear your enjoying your mystery amp we will all be looking forward to hearing about your on going impressions of it as it breaks in and smooths out. Always interested in hearing about others experiences.


Enjoy!



Cool
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #714 - 02/20/14 at 20:31:53
 
It might be a Blizzard outside!  But, I made it home to my ZMA, giving me a mind blowing experience inside! Just sell something, strike a deal with the Devil at the Crossroads....purchase this AMP!  This Amp is it!  

I am now at 141.5 hours!   -Stone
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #715 - 02/20/14 at 20:43:25
 

Mine's still chillin with Steve while he helps me figure out a solution for my Oppo/Grounding problem. I'm sure a few hours are being put on it, but I left it with him at about 175 or so.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #716 - 02/20/14 at 21:38:46
 
I wonder if it really is feedback to ground. Or, maybe, just encase the Tranny's like the Mono Block's have, to mitigate the problem.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #717 - 02/20/14 at 21:49:42
 
It has nothing to do with the transformers, it's not RF or Magnetic, it's definitely coming down the ICs.

As I test, I put a 1/16" steel panel between the transformers and ICs, and hear no difference.
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Reply #718 - 02/20/14 at 22:08:14
 
Yeah, I figured you tried this (1/16" panel....separation/encasement) just to eliminate the remote possibility of it.

As I concluded too with my IC's....working back from the ZMA first.
You can find my post....and you later stated too....I want to keep the Transparent IC's I have....NO over shielded non-transparent garb allowed.

I have mitigated my issue down to where it does not concern me. Probably just the nature of the beast. As long as the micro dynamics and overall musicality is off the charts....which it is with this Amp.
Below 60hrtz...maybe a little noise...but surely does not seem to be masking anything.

However, having said that...then why my interest? Well, I want mine to be perfect too...and look forward to Steve's insight on this and how I can squeeze the last ounce down on the noise floor as well. -S
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vyokyong
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Reply #719 - 02/21/14 at 02:13:30
 
I will add one trick to create wall or block magnetic field interfering between components. Using old textbooks to place between components as in picture. It helps a lot to block magnetic fields and you can do to see the result before and after without any extra cost.

Transparency and Clarity is king!

I listen to ZMA and my foot is always tapping to music with any song. It doesn't matter a slow song or a fast song, even playing not loud, just 80-83 dB level. ZMA provides excellent power, speed and details or high resolution of all frequency spectrum, particularly bass, bass, bass.

Really enjoy excellent PRaT! It is quite rare that tubed amp can give excellent PRaT but ZMA is one of rare excellent PRaT tubed amp.

Remark : PRaT is abbreviation from Pace, Rhythm and Timing. Defining it, as with most audiophile terms, is more or less an exercise in futility.

Some components appear to have better PRAT than others because of the aspect of the note that you are hearing. As a drummer, I time the music on the edge of the notes. And I guarantee that you hear/assess PRAT in the same way.

If a player opens up the middle of the note more than another, it may sound fantastic for vocals, but appear to have less PRAT--or even to sound too laid back--than another player that accentuates more the edge of the tone. This is often the reason that one player has you tapping your foot to the music, and another not. Or that you might conclude that a particular component is great for rock but not for jazz.

It is not only does the PRAT get better but everything else get better also ,Tone and Defintion!

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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #720 - 02/21/14 at 02:21:25
 
What is PRaT? Without them you've got nothing musically.

Some comment about PRaT from AudiogoN member Ghunter

Objectively speaking, PRaT is directly related to the speed of a system's response and is the continuously relative delay between the information being read from the source and the tones being reproduced from the driver. The design factors that will have perhaps the largest impact on this would be the quality of the power supply in the amplifiers and the speed of the materials used in the driver material.

There are lots of opinions about this out there, and if you google "flat earth audio" you will undoubtedly find a link to the flat earth forums where this has been debated into the ground.

Legend has it that the foot-tapping description was attributed to Linn, who encouraged their dealers to tap their feet when demoing Linn systems and not tap their foot with competitors equipment to demonstrate the rhythmical superiority.

Now, to add a bass player's perspective (adding to the drummer's) the PRaT of a system just means that large transient attacks of a bass are not softened by a slow amplifier and the punch of the instrument is properly presented to the listener. My current bass amp is small by most standards but even then a home hi-fi would have a considerable task to replicate the punch of a 400W dedicated amplifier and two 12" long voice coil drivers. Systems with PRaT do try, and some do it very well.

Other commend.

The key is largely tuning the power supply with the amplification circuitry. This is relatively easy with a simple SET amp but gets much harder with SS amps. I personally don't know a scientific method to attack this. I just play around with power supply topology/component values until things settle in with actual music, the o-scope and meters be damned at this point. One way to attack things is to have a regulator dedicated to each amplification stage. This I suspect allows the sinking of current from regulator to one stage of amplification as it is being modulated by the music signal not be seen as an error on the power supply line by another amplification stage. Naim does this on the CD player that costs as much as a car, the 555. Lamm also does this on their products.

This is why in my profile I say, “Power supply design is what separates the men from the boys”.

Another commend:

While I readily confess to using them from time to time, terms like PRaT and slap (or its cousin slam) are shorthand for a combination of attributes that can be more precisely described by identifying them separately. Terms like dynamics, speed, resolution, transparency, power, bass control and tonal balance are more precise and more widely understood ways of specifying an amplifier's performance. If you were to tell me that a particular amplifier has good dynamics, speed, resolution and bass control, I would expect that it would have good PRaT and slam because those attributes are the "building blocks" for PRaT and slam. OTOH, you may or may not like its overall sound depending on the tonal balance and it may not be appropriate for your speakers if it does not have enough power.

I think you are talking about slew rate, not bandwidth. Slew rate is the amps ability to accurately track a signal with a large rise in amplitude with a very short rise time. This is what gives an amps`ability to reproduce good dynamics, not what makes an amp fast. Desribing an amp as fast is technically wrong.

Slew rate is still a very important spec that is unfortunately not understood very well. Its the single spec that gives a quantifiable measure of how well amps can track transients in music. An amp with a poor slew rate but very low harmonic distortion will sound much worse than an amp with a high slew rate and say .1% harmonic distortion.

Timing can be upset by sources (especially jitter in cd and phase shift in cartridges), amplifiers (especially at the bandwidth extremes) but mostly in speakers. I suspect the superior timing performance of many panel loudspeakers is one of their big attractions. Timing particularly affects the capacity of a system to create a convincing illusion of soundstage from just two speakers. The term Stereo actually translates as 'solid' and the solidity of a stereo image depends on accurate timing from microphone to speaker. How many listeners have noticed that many systems reproduce cymbals in nearer than the drums of the same kit? How long are the drummer's arms? This is usually caused by crossover timing errors between midrange (or mid-bass) unit and tweeter, on top of their individual & inherent errors.

Conclusion

PRaT are the most basic building blocks of musical performance. In domestic audio they are essential for appreciation and enjoyment of music. If your home audio is purely for home cinema it is probably not important to you, but TNT-audio.com is a magazine dedicated to domestic reproduction of music.

Sheet music prioritises these elements for good reason. Without them you've got nothing musically.

http://www.tnt-audio.com/edcorner/prat_e.html

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« Last Edit: 02/21/14 at 08:18:43 by vyokyong »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #721 - 02/21/14 at 02:43:43
 
Transparency and Clarity is King! You will enjoy every nuance of music notes, micro dynamics!

Magnetic field from power cable is enemy to Transparency and Clarity. In order to prevent its magnetic field to interfere signal current in interconnect cables and speaker cables, one trick is to use thick fabric to wrap around power cable as in picture. You can try it and see the result before and after without any extra cost.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #722 - 02/21/14 at 08:39:40
 
Pace, Rhythm, & Dynamics
By Martin Colloms • Posted: Nov 24, 1992

Martin Colloms (footnote 1) suggests that the traditional ways of assessing hi-fi component problems overlook the obvious: does the component dilute the recording's musical meaning?

For all its quantifiable technical faults, easily identified in the laboratory when compared with the measured near-perfection of CD, the vinyl LP disc possesses a powerful and effortlessly musical content, with an easy, fundamental rhythmic stability and solidity. Interestingly, this innate character seems to be quite robust, more so than digital. Subjectively rewarding results may be obtained from analog sources without much trouble. Many well-established but not necessarily high-priced components may be assembled to produce musically satisfying results. With analog, one can listen through the blemishes and be aware of a strong musical message, one in which the music's flow, pace, and tempo are well conveyed, and into which the listener is drawn.

By contrast, digital audio is a fragile medium. Sonic greatness remains elusive, digital replay often seeming to get bogged down at an earlier stage, one in which the listener's lack of involvement leads to a substitute activity. The mind remains busy, but is now cataloguing perceptual features and comparing them with previous experiences. This is an interesting abstraction, comparable in the realm of visual art with the analysis of the brush techniques of old masters. But, as Robert Harley points out in this month's "As We See It," an obsession with technical minutiae can blind one to an appreciation of the whole. That easy, rhythmic grace inherent in competent analog replay points to one of the greatest paradoxes of digital replay.

Digital's technical advantages at low frequencies include low group delay due to a highly extended bass response, in theory even continuing down to DC. Technical appearances can be misleading, however. From my experience of more than 250 digital products, coherent, expressive, naturally explosive dynamics and the ability to present good musical pace and a confident, upbeat rhythm are areas in which digital is surprisingly weak. If digital bass is agreed to be tighter-sounding, less colored and less "phasey," then how on Earth can analog still be in the running when it comes down to subjectively satisfying bass rhythm? Nevertheless, digital bass generally sounds laid-back and downbeat, even if it is highly neutral when viewed purely in technical terms.

A listener well-trained in the analysis of sound quality may understandably be fooled into thinking that good bass automatically implies good rhythm. It does not.

While good rhythm is a key aspect of both live and reproduced music-making, it is not easy to analyze. It's as if the act of focusing on the details of a performance blinds one to the parameter in question. The subjective awareness of rhythm is a continuous event, registered at the whole-body level and recognized in a state of conscious but relaxed awareness. Once you've learned that reproduced sound can impart that vital sense of music-making as an event, that the impression of an upbeat, involving drive can be reproduced again and again, you can't help but pursue this quality throughout your listening experience.

http://www.stereophile.com/reference/23/index.html
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« Last Edit: 02/21/14 at 08:54:01 by vyokyong »  

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Reply #723 - 02/21/14 at 10:49:27
 
This is all entertaining reading. You could become bewildered wondering if
what you`re listening to is p.r.a.t endowed....time taken away from just enjoying. You dont really want to have to sample endless combinations for comparison as a part time job. Some do, and enjoy it.
Which is what brings us here ....Steves ears Smiley  he designs and voices the amps. All you have to do is supply your front end, cables, speakers, and room treatment, all of which, I`m sure contribute more to p.r.a.t. than the amps. You either compliment the amps more, or less, or a lot more.

And of course why were here again. Paraphrasing Steve " The advancements in digital technology are for the first time rivaling analogue, so I decided to design a new amp for our users who are keeping apace with the new technology  " The ZMA
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #724 - 02/21/14 at 14:31:35
 
Quote:
Paraphrasing Steve " The advancements in digital technology are for the first time rivaling analogue, so I decided to design a new amp for our users who are keeping apace with the new technology  " The ZMA


Which describes me exactly.


I hate to be the naysayer, but I don't see how vyokyong's books and towels do *anything* for magnetics. By nature, magnetism goes right through these materials.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #725 - 02/21/14 at 17:41:42
 
yeah, non conductive materials have no effect on a magnetic field.  I think vyokyongs point is about separation of things, components, wires.  Field strength diminishes with distance (inverse square I think), "padding" things so they cannot be physically near each other can help.  That's how I read his advice.

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Reply #726 - 02/21/14 at 22:58:25
 
OK, that makes more sense.

I'm really missing the Mystery Amp - I'm looking forward to swinging by Decware and bringing it home on Tuesday night.

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« Last Edit: 02/21/14 at 22:59:21 by Lonely Raven »  
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Reply #727 - 02/22/14 at 05:28:44
 
I just spent my first two hours listening to the ZMA. It's late and I am listening at low volume.  Excellent clarity and musicality right out of the gate.  I don't think I am missing any of the low volume essence of the SuperZen.  And the bass is much more pronounced.  I would say the sound has more tone and fullness across the entire frequency range.  It's very engaging.  I can't wait to turn it up tomorrow.  
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« Last Edit: 02/22/14 at 12:30:50 by Dave1210 »  

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Reply #728 - 02/22/14 at 06:33:39
 

I didn't want to say anything at the time, but when I stopped by Decware on Tuesday, I saw a Pelican case with Dave W (I think it was W) on the lid staged for pickup.  :)
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #729 - 02/22/14 at 13:37:46
 
Congrats Dave! I'm glad you are enjoying it from the start.

I should stop reading this thread. Even though I don't need one I find myself wanting a ZMA. Won't take one without treble cut circuit incorporated though.
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Reply #730 - 02/22/14 at 13:41:38
 
Lon, with raven's amp on my full rangers I did feel the treble cut was needed.
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Reply #731 - 02/22/14 at 13:48:17
 
Thanks for mentioning that. I know I would need it as I have loved and used it on four Decware amps now. With tube-rolling and a much better room I haven't needed it running my modified C amp at my Dad's but I don't have as wonderful a room at my place.

The treble cut circuit has been the best upgrade on a Decware amp I've made, even more so than Beeswax caps, which is a big one. with the treble cut circuit I can listen to any recording satisfactorily.
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« Last Edit: 02/22/14 at 13:48:37 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #732 - 02/22/14 at 15:17:47
 
Sweet Dave1210.

Happy Saturday to you...with your new ZMA!  I have mine on right now...enjoying Clapton...Reptile with a good cup of Joe!
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Reply #733 - 02/22/14 at 19:16:22
 
Thanks guys!  It's been a long time waiting and I am glad to have it on my rack.  Attached are a few pictures, assuming I know how to attach multiple pictures…which I clearly don't…so here is one picture : )
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« Last Edit: 02/22/14 at 19:22:07 by Dave1210 »  

ZMA_Day_1-5.jpg
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Reply #734 - 02/22/14 at 20:48:14
 
Here is one picture of the room…

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #735 - 02/22/14 at 22:14:28
 
My Guide for how to post images in the forums.

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1388257078

Are those diffusers on the right and left first reflection points?

Looks like some PS Audio goods as well!

Of course, anyone with a Blackface Deluxe reissue and a THD Hotplate probably has good taste in sound and room treatments.  :)
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« Last Edit: 02/22/14 at 22:15:33 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #736 - 02/22/14 at 23:49:41
 
Those Hot Plates are really useful tools! I have one for my '59 Bassman LTD reissue.

I'm using a Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face with my Bassman TV Fifteen to accomplish almost the same thing. I love that Bassman TV Fifteen, it brings out the best in all my guitars and basses.
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« Last Edit: 02/23/14 at 00:08:26 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #737 - 02/23/14 at 00:00:46
 
Thanks for the image guide LR.  

You nailed it on all the gear.  

Room Treatments:  
-First Reflection Points (except for ceiling): GIK Q7d Diffusers (I think I prefer diffusion at the first reflection points because it seems to better extend the width of the soundstage)
-Second Reflection Points: GIK 242 Absorption Panels
-Front Corners: GIK Soffit Bass Traps
-TV: 242 Panel (Without the panel, the reflected sound is a little too bright.  I spoke with Steve and he thought diffusion in front of the tv should be better than absorption for increasing SS depth, so I may try that in the future)

I am still working out the rear of the room and will post pictures in the future.  

Gear:  
Outlet: PSA PowerPort Classic
PowerCord from Wall: PSA AC-10
Power Plant: PSA P5
Power Cords to Gear: PSA AC-3's
Transport: PSA PW Transport
Connected via I2S: PSA AC-12 HDMI
DAC: PSA PW DAC mkii
Interconnect: Anti-Cable Reference Plus
Amp: ZMA
Speaker Cable: Anti-Cable Reference
Speakers: MG944's

I love the Deluxe Reverb…nice clean sound at low volume and breaks up nicely for that sweet tube crunch/distortion at higher volumes.  Without the HotPlate my neighbors would hate me even more than they already do, and so would my ears.

Cheers!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #738 - 02/23/14 at 00:42:17
 
Excellent setup. I would have preferred the HR-1's there, though.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #739 - 02/23/14 at 00:42:33
 
Nice Room.  Thanks for posting!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #740 - 02/23/14 at 00:52:41
 
Thanks guys.

Fireblade…the HR-1's are definitely on my consideration list (I think the ERRx's would be a little too laid back for my taste).  The 944's are sounding pretty good right now and I will continue to post my thoughts as the ZMA breaks in.  I have <10 hours on it so far…

Cheers!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #741 - 02/23/14 at 01:25:02
 
Sure! I just meant the level of investment in your setup (great) is a liitle unbalanced in the important loudspeaker area. The 944's are very much appreciated in this forum, but I think there's a consensus also on the superiority of the HR-1's.

This is just a rational thought based on my formed opinion, though, as I have not heard either. But in order to tap the best out of the setup in place, I'm just wondering if the 944's may become a bottleneck, especially after room treatment.

Take this thought with a grain of salt.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #742 - 02/23/14 at 01:29:06
 
Yeah, it's too bad the HR-1s are over five grand a pair! They're fantastic speakers and we should all have a few pair. I do, but ten years ago I couldn't have imagined owning one pair at this price, let alone two! I could the last few years, but the hard way (losing my wife and being able to be more "liberal" with my spending, then selling my house and moving across the country and making quite a bit of money on the sale.)
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #743 - 02/23/14 at 01:33:18
 
That argument looses face in front of the large investment already committed in rationally less important areas in this setup.

$0.02
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #744 - 02/23/14 at 02:01:45
 
I think you have a very valid point Fireblade.  Most people upgrade their speakers first.  I plan to upgrade them last.  

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« Last Edit: 02/23/14 at 02:10:56 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #745 - 02/23/14 at 02:21:35
 
I think every part of the chain is important and I find that the best source is equally as important and in some systems more important than the best speakers. We all take different paths and my two cents are that there's no one right way. My personal path has led me to believe that the best source with not quite the best speakers is a better listen than the best speakers and not quite the best source. That's me though.

You've got a great system now, and you're enjoying the sound a lot, and that is what counts. That amp is going to really take it all to another level.
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« Last Edit: 02/23/14 at 02:23:07 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #746 - 02/23/14 at 02:57:49
 
Lon…great points.  Like you said, there is no right or wrong way, you just need to figure out what works best for you.  I am a big fan of experimentation and learning for myself.  I also try to listen to as many systems as possible for additional perspective.  For me, the journey is a lot of fun.  The destination of great music and toe tapping is even better.  Lets just say my toes have gotten quite the workout today.    

I greatly appreciate the different POV's people bring to this forum and I am all ears.  Cheers everyone and happy listening!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #747 - 02/23/14 at 13:03:50
 
Having heard the ZMA and 944 combo a weekend ago, I would say you have a pretty sweet setup right now that it would certainly "tide me over" until I could upgrade my speakers.

The ZMA raises the game of all speakers I have heard connected to it.  It may disrupt the conventional wisdom in terms of the sequencing of gear purchase.

Let us know how the break-in process goes.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #748 - 02/23/14 at 14:44:23
 
Just to clarify: I don't mean to put off this wonderful setup, and it does not have anything to do with 'sequence' ...

Every component counts, so you should aim at getting the most out of the set by avoiding 'relative' bottlenecks. In this case, it seems the MG 944's are the bottleneck. It does not mean those speakers are not good or the setup won't sound great, just that  it could get even better for the already committed amount.

I hope it is now clear enough?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #749 - 02/23/14 at 14:53:51
 
Not really clear that was in your previoius statement for me, but that's okay.
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