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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 171629 times)
Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #945 - 03/19/14 at 23:27:11
 
Congrats!
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #946 - 03/19/14 at 23:37:07
 
Steve,

Wow, thanks for all that deailed comparisons, I learned a lot.

Now, just sit back and enjoy and try to decide what speakers to get for the second system. Smiley
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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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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #947 - 03/19/14 at 23:51:19
 
Thanks SteveC for the comparison to the comparison to the Tori III.  

While I have heard LRs ZMA I haven't heard it head to head with the III.  Briefly the IV at the fest.

Do you have any power regeneration (like a PS Audio product) on your Torri?
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SteveC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #948 - 03/19/14 at 23:59:10
 
I don't have power gen. I'm just using a triplite isolation xformer.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #949 - 03/20/14 at 00:35:26
 
No power regenerator for the ZMA...not needed IMHO. I do have XLO Power Cords and three components an ZMA run out of my Adcom AC Enhancer 515 which I find advantages. I am seriously thinking about bringing a PS Audio P5 Power Plant in for trial though (Music Direct 30 days).

I changed my ZMA down to 50mA....I find it better/even smoother and more accurate/articulate with a deeper soundstage-I kid you not. Thanks for posting about the Manual jsm! I have been checking... .

Yeah, you guys (LR & Palomino) will encounter the pretentious bull at the Show as you know so well. Cool, you got in contact with Paul LR! I look forward to reading from San Francisco what you guys thought.

....back to the pretentious people....I hope you don't think I am one of them with my Kimber Select. I just love the 1030 IC & 3035 Speaker Cables Holographic nature with DECWARE. I run 90db Polk LS 90's too. Some might say...those Speakers with those Cables?! I say yes! You should hear it (especially with the ZMA)! I also use Revelation Audio's Cryo i2s as well.
http://www.revelationaudiolabs.com/cables-digital/index.htm#i2s
It has kept my AA Front End competitive against 4K DACS = this i2s an Cables matter for my Speaker choice.

However, I think I need the Power Plant P5 & Direct Stream DAC...then I'm done/also broke.  8-)  :)
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 01:44:29 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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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7825
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #950 - 03/20/14 at 00:38:25
 
Steve sent an email around yesterday about the manual. You guys should make sure you get on that mailing list (email Sarah maybe?)

He also mentioned this Torii he's selilng on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Decware-Zen-TORII-MK-III-Prototype-/221396974792?pt=US_H...
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #951 - 03/20/14 at 00:45:44
 
I must of wizzed through an deleted it.  I will check the Spamer.
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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
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #952 - 03/20/14 at 01:52:52
 
Okay, call me a fanboy! I did not think Steve could do it. I thought he could come close...and he has (Torii III I had/pretty damn good). But, I think the ZMA beats the Single Tube output per channel per Pentode run in Triode SE84CS...with the original Svetlana NOS SV83.

For me it is not arguable how musical the SV83 Svet' is in the CS. However, I don't even have my CSP3 yet...which I might prefer the ZMA without (I think I will prefer it with). This Fanboy......can't say enough about the ZMA's musicality!  Well, done with this for the night.....lets continue the Music. Thanks for this great music making AMP....Steve!
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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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Dave1210
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Posts: 458
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #953 - 03/20/14 at 02:08:42
 
-At this point I have ~150+ hours on the ZMA.  
-This update is less about the ZMA and more about how I am trying to get more out of the entire system
-I have made some adjustments to speaker placement, furniture and room treatments that have improved clarity, soundstage depth and 3D imaging.
-I believe additional performance can be squeezed out of my current setup without making any equipment changes (DAC, speakers, etc).
-I will continue to make adjustments and report back so you have a sense for what I am doing and the results

Soundstage Depth & Clarity
-Initial listening impressions suggested soundstage width and lateral placement of images was excellent.  That said, I felt soundstage depth and 3-dimensional imaging could be improved (my reference is memory, but from experience with the SuperZen and speakers being pulled well into the room*).
-Before optimization (see picture), I had the 944’s pulled out in front of the television by ~ 2.5’.  I then placed an absorption panel in front of the tv during critical listening, effectively reducing the distance to ~2’.  

As an experiment, I removed the absorption panel, pushed the tv as far back on the stand as possible (~4”-6” closer to the front wall) and moved the speakers about 4” closer to the listening position.  The front of the speakers are now about 4’ from the TV (2X previous distance).  With these changes, I am noticing a significant improvement in clarity of the images and soundstage depth.

Next Steps:
•      Remove the tv from the stand (this will get me another 2+’ from the front wall.  I have my audio stand about 1’ from the wall so I can work behind there, which certainly came in handy when I installed the new outlet)
•      Remove the tv from the stand AND move my diffusion panels to the front of the room.  

*Ever so slight exaggeration, but I have had the speakers pulled way out into the room with the SuperZen and the holographic imaging is almost spooky.  Paul Desmond and his saxophone appeared larger than life in my living room during a Time Out listening session.  Ok, back to reality.

Also, I have been optimizing speaker placement (toe in, distance from listening position and walls, etc) using the following laser measure:

http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-DLR130K-Digital-Distance-Measurer/dp/B001U89QBU/ref=...

It’s not cheap, but I am often doing these tweaks myself, so it comes in handy.

Bass
-As others have stated, the amount and quality of the bass from the ZMA is just awesome.  This can be a blessing or a curse depending on the room/treatment.  After listening to a wide variety of material, frequency balance and clarity appears to be ok at my listening position.  Said differently, bass doesn’t appear to be significantly smearing/muddying the sound (which is a major issue at our local audio shop).  That said, I can hear some muddiness/boominess in other areas of the room--particularly in the back of the room near the corners.  
-I have a few bass traps hanging on the back and rear side walls (w/scatter plates to help diffuse higher frequencies).  They were originally placed along the entire back wall, including inside 2 large windows in the rear.  The latter was generating too many dirty looks, so they are now mounted on the wall in between the windows (in less ideal locations). In hindsight, it seems obvious that I should have treated the rear corners of the room first (vs. rear/side walls) but live and learn.

Next step:  Order additional bass traps for the corners in the back of the room.  I will likely order GIK Corner traps (vs. the Soffits I have in the front of the room) b/c of space considerations.

Would love to hear your comments, other ideas, etc...
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Room_ZMA_Front_001.jpg
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #954 - 03/20/14 at 02:37:25
 
Below is a picture of the rear of the room.  As you can see, the bass traps are now hanging on the wall in between the windows.  
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 02:38:31 by Dave1210 »  

Rear_of_Listening_Room_640_001.jpg
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #955 - 03/20/14 at 03:24:52
 
Dave, great looking room.

Hard to tell from the picture, but are your side absorbers aligned using the mirror trick?   They seem a bit forward from where they should be.  Using the mirror, the front edge is almost equal to the speaker.  If they are too far forward, you could be getting a little bounce that could hurt imaging.

Stone, I agree that the power regeneration is not a necessity with the ZMA.  I was just wondering if the Torii would be closer to the ZMA with power regen.  My little Rachael is a lot more musical with the regen (its a different amp, basically).  I figured the Torii might be as well which could move it towards the ZMA.  
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #956 - 03/20/14 at 03:46:13
 
You know, the ZMA may not need the Power Plant, but it will aid the sound of all your other components.
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #957 - 03/20/14 at 03:46:54
 
Thanks Palomino.  I will recheck placement of the first reflection diffusors since moving everything.  Distortion from the wide angle lens is definitely exaggerating distance in the picture.

I checked the Axpona exhibitor list in hopes of finding Nola and Vaughn, but they won't be there.  I would love to hear the ZMA with Nola KO speakers and any of the Vaughn speakers.  Legacy will be there and I have been curious about the ZMA with the Focus SE (@95dB).  The ZMA has a damping factor or 25-35 and >40 is recommended for the Focus speakers.  Measurements would also suggest the impedance curve for the Focus SE's might not be very tube friendly.  Might be why the designer prefers high powered SS amps with his speakers.  Regardless, would be interesting to see how they pair up.  If I attend, would be great to meet up with you guys.  

Stone...I have also moved to a lower bias on the output tubes (52 mA) and prefer it for the reasons you mentioned.  Sometimes I feel like I am going crazy with all this analysis...
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busterfree
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #958 - 03/20/14 at 06:20:19
 
Quote:
Posted by: Dave1210      Posted on: Today at 18:08:42
-At this point I have ~150+ hours on the ZMA.  
-This update is less about the ZMA and more about how I am trying to get more out of the entire system
-I have made some adjustments to speaker placement, furniture and room treatments that have improved clarity, soundstage depth and 3D imaging.
-I believe additional performance can be squeezed out of my current setup without making any equipment changes (DAC, speakers, etc).
-I will continue to make adjustments and report back so you have a sense for what I am doing and the results




I just wanted to say your room looks great.
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busterfree
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #959 - 03/20/14 at 06:23:48
 
Quote:
Posted by: stone_of_tone      Posted on: Today at 17:52:52
Okay, call me a fanboy! I did not think Steve could do it. I thought he could come close...and he has (Torii III I had/pretty damn good). But, I think the ZMA beats the Single Tube output per channel per Pentode run in Triode SE84CS...with the original Svetlana NOS SV83.

For me it is not arguable how musical the SV83 Svet' is in the CS. However, I don't even have my CSP3 yet...which I might prefer the ZMA without (I think I will prefer it with). This Fanboy......can't say enough about the ZMA's musicality!  Well, done with this for the night.....lets continue the Music. Thanks for this great music making AMP....Steve!



This is both good and bad to hear.

Good: ZMA sounds so great and maybe better than SV83 amps.
Bad: Makes me want to try one even more... Cry
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