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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 168601 times)
stellablues
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #855 - 03/05/14 at 03:49:33
 
I seem to be the only person with whom this whole preamp subject is not sitting well?

Plunked down 5000 for an integrated amp that it turns out really is not integrated and everyone recommends a preamp... I wasn't really looking for a new problem to solve when I made the order.

I got the xlr input option so this means I need a pre with rca and XLR output... does decware have one of those? is it an option?

Also, its tuesday but our ZMA's did not ship. anybody know why or have an estimated date?

I'm hoping getting the amp in my hands helps to alleviate or clairify my concerns and I can stop conjecturing. is that a word. Undecided  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #856 - 03/05/14 at 04:26:10
 

Except the ZMA isn't exactly an "integrated amp". An integrated amp implies that it's a preamp and amp in one - this is an amp that happens to be able to handle source level inputs. Slight difference, true, but still a difference.

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stellablues
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #857 - 03/05/14 at 04:39:30
 
Good point. totally understand. Auralic Vega is 4.7v thru rca and xlr... might be a great option.
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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #858 - 03/05/14 at 10:24:33
 
Don't wory about it until you try out your own equipment and room.  It probably will be just fine.  For me it drives my speakers to right about where I would actually listen to it.  I want it to go to 11.
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #859 - 03/05/14 at 13:28:49
 
Having multiple source level inputs with a volume control as many of Steve's amps provides is the same as having a passive preamp with a volume control tied to an amp at full gain.  Many purists who's amp has no gain control of its own take this approach as a way to not introduce any new "character" to the amp's signature.

Adding an active preamp that adds gain is the missing piece that really drives the amp's capabilities.  This added gain is like putting a turbo on a car engine.  A car's engine, like an amp, has a fixed horsepower.  It can only put out so much.  How you get to that max horsepower is another story.  An active preamp urges the amp's power with better responsiveness, helping dynamics.  

From day one with my Torii I never considered not using my preamp (Cary SLP 98P).  It will take its place with my ZMA soon.  I happen to need it for its phono stage but I really like the other control features, such as separate channel level controls for room balancing, a master volume, and of course the remote.  I really enjoy having a remote for various reasons, even if it only controls volume and mute functions.  

Because the Cary is all tubes playing CDs through it seems the best approach also.  If the CSP3 could merge with the ZP3 and an RF remote, that would be a great offering but it would require starting from a clean sheet of design paper, something Steve has some experience with I think. Wink  
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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #860 - 03/05/14 at 14:42:13
 
My speaker sensitivity is only 85 dB.  There are only some CDs, not much, which are not loud enough. I am also considering to have CPS3.

But today I got new power cord, XLO Reference 3. I replace my old Siltech SPX 30 power cord which is used with Accuphase SACD/CD player DP77. I am surprised with result. The sound tone harmonic shift to more mid and high freq. Its sound is more transparent and more speed, vivid. But the most surprise is that it is louder, may be 2-4 dB. Now all CDs can play loud enough. No need to add CPS3 pre amp. So that in my case, I would like to give one observation about power cord that it can provide enough current to your device or not?  You can play around with power cord also to tune your sound tone and loudness. Just my latest experience to share.
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« Last Edit: 03/05/14 at 14:47:41 by vyokyong »  

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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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #861 - 03/05/14 at 16:52:00
 
Exactly stellablues, you need to have the ZMA in your Room to know.

I could happily live with my 3.6 volt output from my DAC/volume control. However, I can swing it at this time to add even more "Tube Love"...with the added versatility...to "squeeze" even more goodness out of the combination of CSP3 & ZMA.

I love this Amp. It never leaves Class A/no neg feedback with glorious even order harmonics....this does not get talked about enough. Thus, the balancing Act...of Watts output Steve chose...NOT to get into negative feedback needing to be applied.

Before I ordered Steve's CSP3...I actually considered getting a $4500 Audio Research Pre....but I want the no neg feedback and purity Steve provides with the 0 - 30 volt gain for use with the CSP3's Master Volume control! This also affords me to be able to buy another .5 meter of Kimber Select 1030 IC, that I so dearly love with all 3 of my Decware Amps (with Kimber Select Speaker Cable).

Vyokyong, I have similar XLO Power Cords...love them. I use one in my bedroom system with my SE84CS per Svetlana SV83 original NOS output Tubes...great Cord. I will use my other XLO for my CSP3....I have a Pangea AC-9SE for the ZMA....just perfect/great.    -S

Caveat outside the Purity of the Listening Room Experience: (I use a Kimber PK-10 Palladium Power Cord to my Solid State Power Amp in my Living Room Rig....makes the thing much more tolerable for sure = it is more than subtle in what it does = improvement).
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« Last Edit: 03/05/14 at 21:42:14 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #862 - 03/05/14 at 19:45:55
 
Plus, I will add, if your going to run Redbook in to the ZMA....I new I would probably need the Preamplifier. I have an exceptional front end with the DTI-PRO32 in front of the v3.0 DAC. With the DAC, I run it in its upper digital volume range to preserve the 20 bit dither output.

However, with my Cables and all mentioned and the ZMA.....as Steve eloquently stated in his most recent post (and in his design notes way back)....you will need the CSP3 for your Redbook. Even though I could live nicely with my DAC to ZMA...as I said above. But why? I want the best out of the ZMA....AND the added SPL when I do want it!   -S
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« Last Edit: 03/05/14 at 21:43:37 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Lord Soth
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #863 - 03/06/14 at 02:56:11
 
Hi fellas,

Glad to hear that ZMA is working wonders for you all. Smiley

Dear Stellablues,

System synergy has an important bearing on whether an extra preamp is required.

My experience with the Decware CSP3 is that it added an extra layer of sonic veil which I did not like with my Decware Torii MK4.

On the other hand, it added an extra pinch of hypnotic allure to my other SE tube amp whilst preserving the sonic transparency.
( my other non-Decware SE amp has the same transparency and lack of sonic veil as compared with the PP Decware Torii MK4).

So there is a risk that you might not like the sonic veil introduced into your ZMA based system, which I gather is already extremely transparent.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #864 - 03/06/14 at 03:02:13
 
Are you sure an interconnect is not adding another sonic veil?

(Ducking under the chair).

I just don't find that veil with my CSP2+s in use with my Mk III.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #865 - 03/06/14 at 03:13:54
 
My ZMA is being fed a fine feast of bits directly from the PW DAC and it's spitting out some beautiful music.

I should hit the 100 hour mark by the end of the week.  The amp hasn't sounded better and my ears are VERY happy!  

Back to the music...  
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« Last Edit: 03/06/14 at 03:14:18 by Dave1210 »  
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Lord Soth
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #866 - 03/06/14 at 03:23:21
 
Hi Lon,

In my system test, the entire audio Chain was the same.
Used the same interconnects with both amps.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #867 - 03/06/14 at 03:42:28
 
Okay. It's just not my experience at all.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #868 - 03/06/14 at 16:32:42
 
...certainly a possibility Lord Soth?

However, after I put extensive hours on my new CSP3 and Kimber 1030 IC with my ZMA system and three gain controls to work with (DAC w/adjustable voltage output/VOLUME CONTROL, CSP3 w/adjustable voltage/MASTER VOLUME CONTROL output & gain control on ZMA)...I will come to a conclusion.

Plus, tube rolling....out of curiosity, I have to get KT120's in the ZMA...probably in another month. I have Cryoset ...23P's too. I think LR said Steve stated the KT120's were warmer sounding. To be able to use KT120's in a Decware/Steve's Topology....especially this Amp/ZMA is exiciting/cool.

Plan B: I want a great Headphone Amp. The CSP3 will fit the bill. All the strides the last half decade in Planar Headphones is exciting! The Kimber 1030 can easily take up refuge in one of my other two Systems (or stay right with the Headphone setup).

I don't have money burning a whole in my pocket. I sold a few things to afford the ZMA = well worth it. Having the CSP3 coming in is a great luxury/problem to have for all us whom get to indulge in this great Hobby.....right?!  For me, I have 900+ compact Discs to serve. Six more Disc's should arrive from Amazon today.    Enjoy, -S
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« Last Edit: 03/06/14 at 17:12:16 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #869 - 03/06/14 at 17:31:12
 

Quote:
I think LR said Steve stated the KT120's were warmer sounding.


Steve said "more romantic" - whatever that means! LOL

I don't know if this was happenstance or you saw my post in the Classified, I'm looking for a quad to test. Reason being, last night I was playing some recordings that I kinda like, but it was very dry. I'm also trying what Steve recommended by putting the Oppo at 100% and using the volume on the ZMA to see what I see.

As far as I can tell, having the Oppo at 100% and ZMA being the variable, it's just showing how dry and analytic the Oppo is, and dry or poor recordings are painfully so. I'm hoping to try some KT120 to see what a "more romantic" presentation might do for that.

I can't afford a preamp right now, so maybe some used tubes will help.

I still love the Oppo though, it does the detail thing well.
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