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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 77946 times)
FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #850 - 03/04/14 at 10:20:32
 
Steve thanks for the confirmation.  I never really was too worried as I know there was something wrong with my config and not the amp.  It raeallydoes sound wonderful.  The two things I have noticed is how it just powers through the lower end.  Tons of what I think of as torque.  Also I have been blown away by the soundstage using my VPI Classic.

I would make sure that the fuses sent on future amps are changed.  Yhe 6.3 volts seem to work fine.
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Fireblade
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #851 - 03/04/14 at 15:08:17
 
Hi Steve,

The implications of the extra gain on the Mini-Torii (a well known design fact) are not that convenient when trying to 'ride the gain', especially to boost weight and body, isn't it?

I mean, if we need to increase the output gain from the preamp we need to also decrease the volume on the amp to achieve a positive signal pressure on the preamp's end and allow the boosting described.

This would entail the amp would always be run in the less transparent range of the volume pot, a not desirable condition.

If, on the other hand, one wants to use the higher range of the amp's volume, the preamp would have to come down, therefore creating a leaner sound altogether (as the starving input signal would be diluted further by the amp's higher volume), wouldn't it?

So either we lean the sound and work on the transparent range of the amp, or else, boost the sound by working the amp on the less transparent range. A difficult tradeoff to face.

On a side note, I'm about to get a DAC with a built-in, transparent preamp. The range of the preamp's 'analogue' volume is 0-12dBs. The output voltage is rated at 2V at 0dB. Would this be enough to ride the gain in the Mini-Torii?

Thanks for any orientation.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #852 - 03/04/14 at 17:09:56
 
Thanks Steve for your post. ....just what I am looking for into my ZMA.

......"cases will benefit greatly with the CSP3 and frankly, so would the better DAC's in most cases... it just handles digital so well you forget about formats, gear, and everything else...as it should be".

....0 to 30 volt just knocks it out of the park too!  Cool.

....and of course the CSP3 is getting a Kimber Select 1030 run in to it as well.  -S
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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #853 - 03/05/14 at 00:33:37
 
        Guys have fun! Sounds like you will have some more excitement coming your way. Your going to love those CSP3's. Best money I have ever spent.                           Smiley






Cool
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #854 - 03/05/14 at 01:18:25
 
~ IMO ~

With the lack of inputs alone on the ZMA , a Preamp is almost a given unless you like to get up and swap sources and cables every time you change mediums and I don't believe an input selection box is really the best way to go ... sometimes there's a source that just needs a little gain/oomph to get it going.

I'm chasing a unicorn here, but I'm still waiting for a 2 channel Decware Preamp that has enough inputs for 3-4 analog sources and a remote (only a volume is needed, but source selection would be nice).  The Zen Ultra is overkill (not to mention expensive) for most 2 channel guys.  There is a big hole in Decware's lineup for this product.  I could see the cost coming in between the CSP3 and Ultra.
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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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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 »  

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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 »  

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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 »  

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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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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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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 »  

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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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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #870 - 03/06/14 at 18:58:02
 
For those who ordered the ZMA with transformer balanced XLR inputs, I think you'll find the beauty of the transformer is it's ability to remove dryness which can occur when feeding the amplifier directly from a DAC.  Very similar sonic effect that an active preamp brings to the table where dryness or lack of dimensionality are concerned.

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vyokyong
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #871 - 03/06/14 at 23:24:00
 
Yes, ZMA is liquid, honesty and high resolution. Oppo is in thin and dry sound compared to Accuphase. In my case of Accuphase, I am impression of ZMA to provide low freq sound region, base is tight, speed and details so that I can hear details of drum skin, like you sit next close to drummer. But I wish base to have more weight and slam! However the mid freq sound region, particularly vocal voice, is not impress. It is improved and better than my Pass Labs SS Amp. But all of us know that tube amp has mid sweet sound, particularly vocal voice, to die for. I just have a hope that the mid sound will be sweet when ZMA passes > 200 hrs. But it is lucky that I replace my Siltech SPX30 power cord (which is made of silver + gold wire) with new XLO Ref3 power cord which is made of copper wire. The sound tone shifts to more mid range sound. Now my mid sound is very sweet and vocal voice is so sweet to die for. It is sacrifice of details in base sound, less hear drum skin, but the base has more weight and slam as I wish. The sound stage is wider, each instrument has more mass or size of real live concert, more separate with more black background. Before each instrument is small size, thin and sharp image. Now I am very very happy.
Its sound improves to next level, more like real live concert.

Then I would suggest to try replace silver cable of IC or power cord with copper cable. It may help to solve dry sound in your system!
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Lord Soth
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #872 - 03/07/14 at 02:01:12
 
Hi Stone and Lon,

What I was trying to say is that I got mixed results when I introduced the CSP3 into the same audio chain.

Oppo 95 --> sound silver symmetry --- > CSP3 ----> sound silver symmetry ---> Amp A / Amp B ----> Clearday double shotgun -----> Alesis speakers MK2 Passive

I got the sonic veil ( from the CSP3) when amp A was the mk4.
On the other hand, there was no sonic veil when Amp B was the other non-Decware amp.
The CSP3 was utterly transparent and I could not hear any veil.

The MK4 sounds just as transparent as my other setup combos when the mk4 is run directly from the source.
So that is my preferred setup for now.

Dear LR,
The Oppo DAC is extremely accurate.
I suggest trying warmer input tubes in your ZMA.
I have found that Decware amps, ( CSP3, CSP2+, MK4) are like a straight wire with gain and the input tubes can significantly alter the sound.

My MK4 required a couple of 100s of hours to mellow, like a typical "man" Wink
It was a bit too analytical at first.
Since the ZMA takes sonic accuracy to an even higher level, I suppose it requires even more hours to mellow as compared with the MK4?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #873 - 03/07/14 at 02:14:09
 
Parts pulled for my ZMA today. I like what Steve is saying about the balanced inputs. I can't wait to hear how it sounds straight from my M51 DAC.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #874 - 03/07/14 at 02:31:27
 
I understood what you were saying, Lord S. I just have had no similar experience with my sources and the CSP2+ and the Mk III.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #875 - 03/07/14 at 02:40:25
 
I am very much enjoying how my system sounds right now (PW DAC-->ZMA-->944).  I expect it will only get better with continued break in.  

I recently used a laser measure to fine tune placement of the 944's.  I wish I would have done that earlier.  Imaging is spot on and the sweet spot is very sweet.  Albeit very head in a vice.  

I have never had a tube pre-amp in my system so I don't know what I am missing (if anything).  I applaud the folks who are going to get the preamp and decide whether or not it works for them.

I have a couple things I want to try over the next week:
1)      Plug the ZMA directly into the wall and bypass the PowerPlant
2)      8 ohm vs. 4 ohm taps
3)      Balanced vs. unbalanced inputs

I also have an Oppo BDP-93 that I can substitute as a source.

LR…Not sure if others are interested, but it would be great if you could provide a list of the discs/music you found to be dry so people can use them as a reference (if they so choose).  Cheers!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #876 - 03/07/14 at 04:17:18
 
They weren't very good recordings, but look at my list in the What's Spinning thread for the past day or so, starting with the Tribute to Tom Waits. The Heart albums sounded fine as they always do.

The Tom Waits one is really bad...one of the tracks actually sounded like a low rez MP3 dumped to CD, but then the next track sounds like a proper studio recording.

The Kelli Ali discs were really dry.

I feel that what really made this dryness apparent. is that I'm running the Oppo at 100 and using the volume of the ZMA - it really lets the source shine through, for better or worse.
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« Last Edit: 03/07/14 at 04:18:52 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #877 - 03/08/14 at 18:46:18
 
I did the MOD!

Separation of Audio Ground from Earth Ground. BUZZ be gone....I have cast you out!

Lowest possible noise floor now re-established. Engage Mr. LaForge! ....give her all you got Scotty!    

It was cool to crack her open and follow the signal paths (0A3's to preamp tube) and see those sweet Jupiter Cap bundles too!

.....and not a DAMN TRANSISTOR IN SIGHT!

Cheers, Stone
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« Last Edit: 03/08/14 at 18:49:33 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #878 - 03/08/14 at 19:20:24
 

Congrats! I'm glad you got that worked out!

I happen to be listening to my (modded) ZMA now, actually using it for TV watching.

Tell us what you notice later tonight after you get some quiet time with it!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #879 - 03/09/14 at 03:19:55
 
Today I'm playing with my new Roku device, seeing what all features it has and watching some TV and listening to Music on it - and I'm astounded how great it sounds, even on streamed TV shows. Then I play some BBC TV shows I downloaded, and every opening track sounds great. Now I'm playing some random FLAC files and I'm marveling at how great everything sounds.

Then I remember, Oh yeah, I've had the amp on (not playing the whole time) for 2 days straight, and I'm closing in on 200 hours. This amp just gets better and better.
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« Last Edit: 03/09/14 at 03:49:52 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #880 - 03/09/14 at 03:34:13
 
I find that these amps love to be run for days on end, day after day, they get incrementally better sounding after 24 hours and more of running time. Mine has been on since Wednesday and the sound is stunning.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #881 - 03/09/14 at 17:04:18
 
ZMA is back in and sounding very good (quiet now). I had my SE84CS in the System on Friday. Man, do I love that AMP!

However, the ZMA is back in this morning with the Power...is just kickin' it right now!

I do look forward to seeing what the CSP3 in front of it will do. Also, I am going to sell a couple of pair of Speakers in the Spring to get a good pair of Headphones....like the Audeze LCD -X. Beats Audio WHO?  -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #882 - 03/10/14 at 20:50:07
 

Not sure if anyone cares, but Parts Connexion has Mundorf M-Lytic HP+ 500v caps on "Overstock Special" in the 2200uF Range.

I have the big reds, so I obviously won't be messing with mine - but it's out there for you tweakers who have the courage to mess with a $4600 machine.  :D

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Reply #883 - 03/11/14 at 19:23:04
 
Yes LR, we have to appreciate the Big Reds = Mallory NOS Caps in the ZMA.

I also appreciate the design of this Amp, having personally opened it for my MOD and admired the build quality of the ZMA with tracing most of the signal paths and grounds.

LR, what do you think of your Pangea AC-9SE? I find it, in my System with the ZMA, to be elaborated to excess in the Bass & midrange push out. I have gone back to my XLO Power Cord, which has complete Tonal Balance with the ZMA. I am glad I have another of the same XLO to go to my CSP3 coming.

Of course, yours and others mileage may very with it to the ZMA.

I put the Pangea AC-9SE with my Rotel 1062 preamplifier = very nice with Solid State. I have a Kimber Palladium PK-10 (Kimber's best I bought used from David Weinhart/Weinhart Design out of LA-he has a lot of good stuff he takes on trade...because people have upgrade idis'-hehe)...the Palldium runs to my Emotiva XPA-2 Solid State Amp....and takes this Amplifier to a whole other level for the Living Room Rig.

But I'll tell you, this Pangea is one hell of a value because it competes with my Palladium PK-10.....no doubt. I just feel it is better suited for Solid State, like the Kimber Power Cord is..... .
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« Last Edit: 03/11/14 at 19:27:11 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #884 - 03/11/14 at 19:48:25
 
Pangea AC-9SE is between the wall and my AC-10. I have my DYI braided 10AWG power cable (made from Zen Styx type wire) between the P10 and the ZMA.

I honestly don't hear any difference between (quality) power cords. That said, with all the noise I've had previously, on top of my high ambient noise in the room, I simply wasn't really able to hear any subtleties between power cords.

Palomino and I have been talking about sitting down to focus on a power cord showdown, especially now that he's got a PPP - but we really don't have a lot to choose from.

I guess I'm still skeptical about power cords. IMHO - if the power cord isn't holding the amp back, it's good. Anything that does hold the amp back in any way, or adds noise, isn't good. So, again, IMHO - all the "high end" cables I have appear to be good, because they don't hamper the equipment in any way. Stock cords maybe sound a little less dynamic (hampering the gear) - beyond that, I don't hear the changes people talk about like with ICs and Speaker Wire.

Still, I'll give power cables a fair shake and see what I see. I just feel I need some more samples besides my Pangea, DIY, and Palomino's DIY.
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« Last Edit: 03/11/14 at 19:49:50 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #885 - 03/11/14 at 20:10:57
 
I am thinking about signing up for the trial service at the cable company to give us some variety.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #886 - 03/12/14 at 03:26:46
 
The amp has definitely turned a corner and is headed closer to Zen (I have a conservative 125 hours on the amp at this point).  I feel there has been a recent breakthrough in texture and 3 dimensionality (dryness and flatness appear to have vanished without a trace).  I just finished listening to the new Beck album and to say it was enjoyable would be an understatement.      

I still haven't gotten around to doing any of the additional experiments I planned to do.  For example, I want to try out the balanced inputs, but apparently don't have any balanced cables (seems they have gone missing from my tangled web of Pro Audio cables).  On a similar note, I did some research on the balanced outputs of the PS Audio DAC and at 100% volume it outputs 5.6V (2X the unbalanced, which is already reasonably high).  Should be an interesting experiment (even more gain than I realized and Steve's comment that the Jenson transformers add some of that pre-amp magic).  Anyone have a recommendation for good XLR interconnects?

Cheers.
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Reply #887 - 03/12/14 at 03:58:25
 
Hey Dave,

I just got the ZMA up and running tonight.. Im on hour 2. Smiley I am using XLR and have not yet tried my RCA.

The beck album is amazing on vinyl. i played side 2 about 8 times in a row last weekend...

You might look at VH Audio DIY silver XLR cables. this is what I am using but I have always built my own cables and always preferred silver. not too difficult but soldering experience helps.

http://www.vhaudio.com/wire.html  

altogether around $110 with all parts. if you upgrade to OCC wire its 70 bucks more. I may build another set using that cable here soon.

won't get you that immediate fix however.





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Reply #888 - 03/12/14 at 04:49:28
 
Thanks for the info on the cables SB.  

Enjoy your journey with the ZMA.  I have been listening throughout the entire break in process and it has been insightful.  Keep us posted.

Sounds like I should pick up the new Beck album on vinyl.  I have been spinning and collecting vinyl for 10+ years (I was a dj in college and maybe you could argue I never stopped).  Seems like a crime that I don't have at least one turntable setup at the moment.

Happy listening!
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Reply #889 - 03/12/14 at 15:14:12
 
Which Beck album are you talking about here?  I'm putting my monthly vinyl buy list together so this is timely.  I am also picking up my ZMA tomorrow at Decware (road trip) and will like getting some new music to help put it through its paces.

I will be picking up the ZMA in person becuase I'm swapping the Torii MK IV for it.  Steve and I came to agreeable terms on that.  I will be a little sad giving up the MK IV.  It is sounding SO good.  Has anyone else had both the MK IV and the ZMA?  I'm guessing from reading early reports that the ZMA won't disappoint, rather it will be the amp I really need for my JansZen speakers.  

The Torii has worked really well but I can foresee a time in the future where I will have a bigger room and the ZMA seems like a better fit given the nature of my speakers.  I also remember reading way back on page 7 of this thread where Steve and David Janszen both certified this speaker/amp combo.  I'm really looking forward to seeing if the ZMA does in fact give that extra oomph.  The sound is so good now with the Torii that any added performance will be very cool.  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #890 - 03/12/14 at 15:29:43
 
Congrats on the upgrade!

Drive safe! It sucks out there right now with the slushy snow, and it's supposed to get colder (freezing this mess) later today!
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Reply #891 - 03/12/14 at 16:00:14
 
I have been watching the weather.  We had 73 degrees yesterday here in Cincinnati.  Today is much colder and rain.  I realize traveling north will make that worse.  I'm motivated however and have four wheel drive if needed. Smiley

My son has the day off and he will be my traveling buddy to help with the driving and to provide company.  We both like road trips and I don't get as much time with him as I would like, so the trip will be good for a variety of reasons.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #892 - 03/12/14 at 16:40:28
 
Have a nice safe trip! Here in Cleveland area it has been snowing since 8 a.m. (afer raining a few hours) and there's no end in sight. Smiley But as you say, you're motivated!
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Reply #893 - 03/12/14 at 17:02:03
 
The latest Beck album is Morning Phase.  See link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Morning-Phase-Beck/dp/B00HHYEOY0/ref=tmm_acd_title_0?ie=UT...

If you like the music on his new album, also check out Sea Change.  Both albums have excellent sound quality.

Can't wait to hear your impressions of the Mystery amp with the JansZens.  Those speakers are on my short list to demo.

Cheers and have a safe trip!
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« Last Edit: 03/12/14 at 17:12:54 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #894 - 03/12/14 at 17:28:31
 
jsm71 if you would like to get rid of your janszens please let me know. I loved them in the store but they didn't fit my room configuration at that time. I didn't get them and then the price hike in december really hurt my spirit.... now I need to find a demo or used pair. and force my room to work... or just put that dream on the back burner.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #895 - 03/12/14 at 18:54:59
 
Awesome jsm71, you are going to love it (ZMA).
You have a nice Pre for it too.

My CSP3 has made the Build Sheet!

I came to my senses and I will run my Kimber Silver Streak from DAC to CSP3...then from CSP3 to ZMA will be my Kimber Select KS-1030. The damn 1030 IC has gotten to up there in price for me to get another.

ZMA is making music right now.....back to it.  -S
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« Last Edit: 03/12/14 at 18:56:30 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #896 - 03/12/14 at 19:42:07
 
I look forward to Tube Rolling and others impressions late this Summer and Fall...after seasoning of this great Amp.

1st, KT120's.......keeping all else equal. I have 251 hours on my ZMA as I type. I will put the 120's in approx. 2 to 3 weeks before my CSP3 arrives to get an understanding of them prior to my Pre.  -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #897 - 03/12/14 at 22:21:01
 
I just switched from the 4 ohm taps to the 8 ohm taps to assess differences/preference with my setup.  For reference, I did ask Steve what he prefers, and below is the response I received:  

"Myself I often use the 8 ohm taps with 944's, but it's a room dependent choice combined with how loud you're going to try to play the amp."

That said, I think the guidance is try for yourself and decide.  

LR...have you tried both taps with your 944's?  If so, where did you net out?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #898 - 03/12/14 at 22:26:47
 

No, I haven't really tried both taps - I will eventually now that my buzz issue has been resolved.

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Reply #899 - 03/12/14 at 22:41:16
 
This may be a stupid question, but do transformers also need some time to break in?
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