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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 108453 times)
FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #795 - 03/01/14 at 03:59:46
 
I just hooked everything up and am having a bad night of it.  I turned it on and no power.  Pulled the fuse (5amp) and it was gone.  Tried the replacement and the amp came on.  I hooked up the zp3 (phono stage) and no sound.  Zp3 only had three of the five tubes light.  I switched to an ipod and got some sound out of the martin logans.  

I was expecting the amp to have more than enough power but I had the ipod on max and turned the amp up and up but the music barely go above conversation level.  I got frustrated and turned it all off and walked away.  After I calmed down I turned it back on and the second fuse blew.  >:( Now it is getting late and I have no way to get a fuse and will need to drive an hour tomorrow to get one.

I can get past the fuse part but I need some reassurance that this amp has some balls..  My old solid state amp died (Dennon) and had around 200wpc.  I had read that tube amps rated at 40wpc equaled a160wpc solid state amp.  I definately need it louder. Also I don't get why the zp3 will not light up.  Another frustrating thing is the zp3 manual also was not included and the manual on the website has the jacks in the front and mine are in the back so I am not positive which are inputs and which are out.  

Rotten night

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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #796 - 03/01/14 at 05:14:31
 
FarmBoss,

an ipod cannot properly drive most amps.  You need the ipod connected to a proper preamp, or at the least, a buffer, like the Burson buffer or something like that.  I have a Torii mk.III, and an iPod.  ipod direct to Torii = bad sound, flat, no dynamics, no bass, not much volume, just bad any way you slice it.  ipod to my burson(AB-160) and then to Torii = pretty good sound.  source(ipod or other digital source) to my Dac(Wyred Dac2) to Torii = excellent sound, source to Dac to preamp to Torii = best sound I've ever had.  This turns out to be a case where less IS NOT more... I have been converted to the camp that a good preamp is necessary... and I used to run a passive pre in my SS system for years, but not anymore...

do not judge the ZMA by your experience so far.  I also have a pair of ML Vista's and my Torii(60% of the power of the zma) can drive them to normal "listenable" levels in a large room... but not head-banging, rock-out w/your ??? out levels.  Be patient and take the time to get your system dialed in - you will be glad you did.  
But you're probably going to discover that you need or prefer a preamp if you use a more conventional speaker of average sensitivity like the ML's.  I keep a hi-power solid-state amp around to drive the ML's - but use a tube preamp with it...
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #797 - 03/01/14 at 07:41:33
 
Farmboss, make sure to pick up 5, 6, 7 and 8 amp fuses. I had the same problem and know your pain. I went out and picked up just some 5's. I had to make the 2nd trip at -16 below for the 6, 7 & 8's. The Amp did blow the 6's....7 was the magic number. Steve, did approve up to the 8. He surmised it might be the big Caps needing some time to settle in. He said to use the 7 for a month then back it down to 5 and see if she blows. It has been over a month and I will try to back it down soon.
I have had no problems/blow with 7 amp fuse. NOTE: Home Depot & my local Hardware Store did not have 7 or 8 amp fuses. Only Radio Shack had the 7 & 8's that are needed.

Your Speaker's are 90db/2.83 volts/meter, 4ohm, 8 inch woofer & 20 watts per channel capable. The ZMA has balls....you will be fine.
Here is Decware thread with ML user's:
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1386981742

As Maddog mentioned....don't try to run it direct with an iPod. I am 197 hours in and I can't get enough of this Amp!

I don't have any experience with the Zen Phono Pre....someone else will need to help with that.  -S
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« Last Edit: 03/01/14 at 07:57:00 by stone_of_tone »  

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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #798 - 03/01/14 at 09:03:55
 
My ZMA is now passed 100 hrs. And it makes my system closed to below article. What is great sound quality?

The value of well produced music
Listening to music is one of life's great pleasures. Close to our sense of smell, music has the strongest power to evoke mood changes and bring back memories. We have all had the experience of hearing a song we loved in our youth. Immediately, we may think of a first love, a holiday or special event, friends we knew and experiences we haven’t remembered in years.

Listening to music actually causes the brain to release dopamine, the “feel good” hormone that restores logic and enables us to focus and concentrate. This can literally change your life. For example upbeat, high tempo songs raise energy levels if you feel lethargic. Classical music or jazz will often help you unwind properly after a busy day. It is interesting that when Dame Kelly Holmes won Olympic gold in the 800m and 1500m, she had a theme song in her head for the training and events. Where would films be without music to capture the mood so much better?

Why have great sound quality?
The actual quality of sound reproduction can have a very strong influence on our enjoyment of music. Why is this though? Surely if you can identify the song it's good enough? Ultimately the answer to this lies in defining what exactly is “better” sound quality? To be clear about this, leads to understanding the issues  and making correct choices.

What is Great sound quality? The ear and brain enjoy particular aspects of music. The order of priority is different from person to person but all of the following are present in a great system.

Dynamics:  The ability to reproduce the full energy of a note without loss of impact.  Loss of dynamics  are usually manifested by an artificial softening of bass notes, lack of speed,  blurred treble etc. The sound is essentially dull and boring in comparison with a dynamic sound. Dynamics are akin to the acceleration and braking performance of a car. You should put a big flag on the fact that measurements of dynamics are never included in loudspeaker specifications! This is not to be confused with dynamic range which simply states the range of frequencies that a speaker produces. Neither are efficiency / sensitivity figures a proper measure of dynamics.

Timing / musicality:  Live music is coherent, liquid and integrated – For example, the bass does not lag behind due to sluggish speed or overhang.

Tonal balance: Too much treble emphasis soon causes listening fatigue. Conversely a bass oriented sound  will become heavy and oppressive.

Separation / clarity / definition / transparency: This creates interest as it enables you to “see” into the mix and latch onto each individual strand of the music, whether it be vocals, drum beat, keyboard etc.

Natural Sound:  The ear does not like distortion introduced by resonance, electronics or phase issues.

Freedom from Coloration: Cabinet resonance, cone breakup and ringing are often present in loudspeakers. These are a bit like artificial additives in food and detract from music by causing distraction, usually at a subliminal level but there nonetheless.

Ability to create an “out of the box” 3 dimensional sound image: This is really a result of good definition and tonal balance because if these are present you are halfway there, but imaging is also related to cabinet shape and driver dispersion.

Because the brain knows what it likes and expects to hear from music, it is constantly “filling in the gaps” for reality. In other words it imagines it is hearing the real thing. This is a form of “error correction” that is going on all the time. Visual cues sometimes make this easier. For example one of our staff was at an exhibition and noticed that watching a video of a singer and band  as it was played through a reasonable system made the effect much more real. As soon as he closed his eyes the flaws of the music reproduction were immediately apparent. Closing your eyes is not something we recommend but the point here is that the brain fills in for reality.

There is one caveat here and it is a big one. The error correction process that goes on, is work for the brain that it prefers not to do. Eventually it gets tired and your level of enjoyment does not last anywhere near as long as it would with a better system.
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« Last Edit: 03/01/14 at 09:06:56 by vyokyong »  

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marky
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #799 - 03/01/14 at 11:49:29
 
farmboss
re ZP3.....input terminals are the inner pr terminals, output to amp are the outer ( nearer the side ).
My pr Rachaels, 12 watts, drive ML aeon i`s with plenty left in the tank for accasional raunchy levels. Other sources than vinyl, even louder.
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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #800 - 03/01/14 at 13:04:35
 
It is now morning and I will get to the bottom of this today.  I will have to drive to Radio Shack in the next town for the fuses.  I will also try a few other phono amps and focus on getting the bugs worked out of the ZMA first. Agreed that the Ipod is weak but it was all I thought of last night.  I also may swap out some old Advants to take the ML out of the picture.  

I don't have the right spare tubes to try to trouble shoot the ZP3 today.  I will call Steve next week on that.



Thanks for
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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #801 - 03/01/14 at 13:30:04
 
It looks like the ZP3 phono stage has a ground that needs a plug.  Any idea of type of male connection I need to add to my tone arm grounding wire? All of my other phono amps just have a lug I tighten against the bare grounding wire.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #802 - 03/01/14 at 15:21:36
 
Hmmm. . .on my ZP3 I simply tightened a bare wire down to the lug, though a small banana would have worked better. . . .

Sorry your tubes don't light up, makes little sense three would and two wouldn't. I'm sure the rectifier must have lit up if any did. .. .
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #803 - 03/01/14 at 16:08:26
 
Farmboss, call ahead to Radio Shack and have them check in the drawer for 5, 6, 7 & 8 amp fuses (you mentioned an hour drive-you have). I live in a major metropolitan area...and it was like going on a snipe hunt, plus finding a smoke shifter and a sky hook to find the 7 & 8 amp fuses....but, Rat Shack came through!

It is nice they still keep them in drawer's at the Shack'.  However, instead of being sold by the handful for 20 cents each they are packaged by 4 for $3.49 at the Shack....and 4.29 at the Depot and 4.99 for 4 at my ACE Hardware.
Oh, I miss the good old days....going with my Grandpa to the Hardware store, "grab a handful of those 5 amp quick blows for me Larry, then will go get some fresh eggs at the Farm"...miss those days and him.  -S
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« Last Edit: 03/01/14 at 16:20:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #804 - 03/01/14 at 16:36:00
 
I ended up getting 6.3 amp fuse.  That was the max they had.  I also got 8 amp but they are 125v so I tried the 6.3 and they work so far.  Now I hooked up my yaqin ms12b as the phono stage.  The yaqin has two out put and i used the .7v out.

The mystery amp and the yaquin sound pretty good but I have both set to maximum volume and I don't nearly have enough power to play them as loud as I want.  Any chance I have the mystery amp set too low.  I have the meters at 60.  Does it get louder as the amp breaks in?
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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #805 - 03/01/14 at 16:52:00
 
I tested the decibel level with my iphone.  Average is 65.  Hooking up the ipod through the other input in the yaquin is better at about 75.  I do have a high output moving coil dynavecter cartrige that I do not have a step up for.  I always was powerful enought with my mini torrie without the step up.  I will keep changing stuff around/ switch up the input tube on the yaquin.
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Donnie
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #806 - 03/01/14 at 17:15:35
 
FarmBoss, It is all about input voltage. I fought the problem with using a iPod for a source. Once I got a true digital output to my DAC the problem went away. RCA out of a iPod isn't enough.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #807 - 03/01/14 at 17:53:18
 
I believe Steve said the ZMA needs 2v for full output. If you're only feeding it .7v, you are no where near where the ZMA needs to be to drive the volume you're looking for.
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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #808 - 03/01/14 at 18:57:54
 
Slowly getting there- got the zp3 working.  As I did not have a manual I used the manual on the web to install the tubes.  It looks like the manual was based on a different design than I got so I had the two big tubes in the wrong sockets. No harm done it is hooked up to the mystery amp and does sound better and (a tiny bit) louder.  I don't know what the zp3 output is but I will go look it up.  Still needs a lot more power until I will be happy.  It does sound good though.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #809 - 03/01/14 at 19:22:43
 
....you need to get that line level voltage output at least to the industry standard of 2 volts output, as pretty much stated.

On a different note, I just A-B-A'd my Pangea AC-9SE Power Cord. I know you have one too LR. I have 80 hours on mine so decided to switch it out....and the Pangea will be staying in. Nice tonal balance from top to bottom with tight bass. Relaxed, but not messing with the vibrancy of the music and its staccato.  Deep bass I should add..... .

I will highly recommend for the ZMA. Get one while they are still available at Audio Advisor. I did the comparisons on the fly too...like LR & Palamino did. Those big Caps with stored energy did not skip a beat pretty much.  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 03/01/14 at 19:31:28 by stone_of_tone »  

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