Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
10/18/17 at 01:14:15 



 
 


Pages: 1 ... 17 18 19 20 21 ... 23
Send Topic Print
The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 145883 times)
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #900 - 03/13/14 at 17:41:42
 
For those of you running the ZMA, how hot do your transformers get?  My inner transformers get hot enough that I can't keep my hand on them for more than a couple of seconds and after several hours the top plate gets very warm.  My ZP3 and CSP3 run relatively cool.  Some of the ZMA heat may just be heat soak from the KT-66s which run super hot.

Thanks for any input.  Also, you guys must have incredible hearing.  I find my ZMA phenomenal right out of the box!  One thing though.  At very high volume I had really bad feedback due to induced vibration of the ZMA from the (very solid) platform that it sat on.  I built a separate isolation platform using springs and the feedback was eliminated.  I built similar platforms for under my ZP3 and CSP3 and all induced vibration is eliminated from the components.  (Doesn't isolate the airborne vibrations -- of course.)  I pick springs with natural frequencies well below the audible range, say 10 Hz.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #901 - 03/13/14 at 18:11:26
 

Maybe your more heat sensitive than I am, but my power transformers don't get too hot. Really warm, but not too hot to touch. I measured it with an IR (touch free) thermometer, but I don't have my notes in front of me. I can report back later with the exact temps. Some of that heat is probably from the KT-66 as you said.

My old Zen amp on the other hand, I couldn't keep my hand on for more than a second and I'd flinch away. That was one really hot amp!

I've also noticed (and measured) that with the PS Audio P10 Power Plant, my power transformer temps dropped about 4-5 degrees, and no longer buzz with DC or other crap on the power line. Which is possibly a source for added heat by the way.
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #902 - 03/14/14 at 00:37:05
 
LR:  The inner transformers definitely get hot.  I'm running off of a Hospital grade Triplite. I don't notice any transformer buzz on the ZMA but the ZP3 and CSPS have audible buzz.  Steve seems to have fixed any noise issues.  With everything turned full up I can barely hear anything with my ear against the speaker.  I have the red caps like you.  Maybe the difference is the CSP3 or that I've been playing LOUD a lot?  It all sounds so good I just can't help myself.  :)
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #903 - 03/14/14 at 17:59:38
 
Well, you're going to have an ever so slight hum...lets call it from the swooshing of the Tubes/Transformers. The BUZZ LR and I had, was from the Earth Ground and Audio Ground being connected. Steve sent me the instructions to do the MOD myself. It was very easy, just had to clip off a 14 gauge wire in two spots....  .75 inches of.... . The ZMA has draining resistors....so no worries when I went in there....but I was still careful....you show those CAPS...the Big Reds some Respect! It was also cool to admire the Build Quality of Steve's & Company.

Anyway, I digress, ENJOY YOUR ZMA! I love this Amp and can't wait to get my CSP3....I am watching it climb up the Build Sheet!   -Stone
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/14/14 at 18:02:47 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
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #904 - 03/14/14 at 18:39:30
 
Steve told me that the transformers should NOT be running as hot as mine seem to be.  He said you should be able to touch them for a minimum of 10 seconds.  He told me to set my bias at 50ma and let him know how things are.  So far, at 50ma, the transformers are running warm to the touch.  We shall see what they are in a couple of hours.

Stone -- With my CSP3 and 91 db Monitor Audio speakers I can get the volume up well beyond what I consider too loud.  I haven't tried the ZMA without the CSP3 so I don't know how loud it would get or if I'd notice a change in sound.  When I ordered I got the capacitor upgrades on my ZP3, CSP3 and ZMA but I did not get the stepped pots.  My motivation for the CSP3 was the flexibility of having two outputs to the ZMA but there are other obvious benefits!  Steve gave me an input/output knob setup that is different from the description on the CSP3 product page.  He suggested having the ZMA volume full up and the input knobs, which are closest to the CSP3 volume knob, full up and then to set the other knobs (output level) to normal listening level with the CSP3 volume set at the halfway point.  Of course for headphone listening, the setup would be different.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #905 - 03/14/14 at 19:21:35
 
Hi Archie, I have my output tubes at 60ma and I am able to keep my hands on the inner tranny's. They are warm to hot and run a little cooler than my SE84CS Tranny' that has been in service for 13 years come May. I am sure you will get yours worked out with Steve.

I run 90-91db Speakers too. I love the added SPL I can now get with the ZMA. However, I just recently had the SE84CS back in....I love the lit from within Pentodes run in Triode musicality...and would never sell my CS! I am so glad I purchased the ZMA! It comes so close to my CS & CKC it is spooky....but with the Power added headroom when called upon.

So, why do I want a CSP3? I want the ZMA to be all it can be with what Steve exactly described in his #848 reply. Some, but very few recordings can be a little dry with the ZMA too....as compared to the whet/wet sexy hot humid....that I can get from my SE84CS. Plus, quite frankly, when I want to pound the piss out of the ZMA with Dynamics & the Organics I'm getting with through my Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable....I NEED the CSP3 to do so.  8-)

Okay, I am confused when you say "Steve gave me an input/output knob that is different.....". I do plan on having the ZMA volume full up/treating it as a straight power amp with the CSP3 running into it. I will have the volume 1/2 up on the CSP3....my DAC turned up full/for best resolution....and then from 0 volts on each left  & right channel (the ones labeled C in the CSP3 product info)....I will slowly turn those up for volume....then use the Master volume knob on the P3 to fine tune.

I guess I am confused with the: "He suggested having the ZMA volume full up and the input knobs, which are closest to the CSP3 volume knob, full up and then to set the other knobs (output level) to normal listening level with the CSP3 volume set at the halfway point".

Is this involving the B knobs illustrated in the product info/headphone knobs? Or your different output knob setup you mentioned?  
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/14/14 at 19:57:07 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
  IP Logged
jsm71
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 134
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #906 - 03/15/14 at 15:20:17
 
I picked up my ZMA Thursday from Steve and had it in the system in time to put about three hours on it that night.  Initial impressions:

1.  Heavier for sure than the Torii.  Ugh!

2.  Love the looks, including those red caps.

3.  Initial bias was indeed easy.  I haven't had to fiddle too much since.

4.  I actually thought running hours were put on this unit it sounded so good out of the box.  Steve says, "no, that's the way the amp sounds".

5.  Based on everyone's feedback on the improvements in sound to come, I'm pretty excited.  There is just a bit of edge to the sound that needs to be shaved off.  I know this will come with time.

6.  Love the power switch in the front.  No more on my knees to turn on and off.  Thank you Steve for that change.

7.  I haven't pushed volume yet but there is no doubt this amp has the goods.  Dynamics clearly have more attack, like a rim shot getting more force than before.

8.  Bass.  Ah, bass.  Yes, its there in spades and oh so tight.  I played some Count Basie where the stand up bass with the torii was in the background.  The bassist with the ZMA has taken a few steps forward and again, much more tight.

9.  I'm not a fan of the placement of the bias knobs behind the regulators.  I have short fingers and this was a PITA.  I may have to keep some longer needle nose pliers handy.  I got it ok but this is my only ergonomic issue.

10.  Quiet as a church mouse.  I could hear the faint hum from the transformers on my Torii.  Nothing with the ZMA.  I hope it stays this way as it breaks in.

So far I'm thrilled with this.  A great amp and still a relative bargain.  My JansZens are happy to have a new mate.  This combo is great.  I know David has raised his prices some but these are superb speakers that really ignite when fed a quality signal.  He will be advertising a new stand mount model soon using the same technology but with less size, fewer drivers, and lower cost of course.  I'm so happy I got mine before the good reviews hit and price increases became inevitable.  I kind of feel the same about the ZMA.  Steve can raise the price any time now that I have mine. Grin

Edit:  I do not have the ZMA's gain at full tilt.  If I did, my preamp's volume control would be too sensitive and not have much swing.  I like to get into the best sounding range of the preamp with is between 1/3 and 2/3 of its full gain.  This requires that I keep the ZMA gain lower.  Just a thought for those looking to get a preamp with their ZMA.

Scott
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/15/14 at 15:30:04 by jsm71 »  

Decware ZMA, Cary SLP-98P preamp, JansZen zA2.1 speakers with JansZen speaker cables, Marantz TT 15S1 turntable, Lyra Delos MC with Bobs Devices SUT, Marantz SA8004 SACD/CD player, Morrow level 4 ICs, Decware and Shunyata PCs.
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #907 - 03/15/14 at 18:52:42
 
Stone -- The CSP3 I have is stock so if you refer to the product page I think what I wrote will make sense.  The "B" knobs calibrate the volume knob for headphone use but make a difference to the overall volume when using the CSP3 to drive the amp.  With them full up you get the maximum out of the CSP3 with respect to where knobs "C" are set (0 to 30 volts).  I guess we need to have two setting positions on the "B" knobs depending whether we are using the headphones or driving an amp.  I generally adjust the loudness by tweaking the "C" knobs once I set things for a "normal listening level".

With my bias set at 50 mA (per Steve's recommendation given my high transformer heat at 60 mA) I am measuring inner transformer heat at about 110 to 115 degs F after about 3 hours.  Still hot but not burning hot.

I don't have the language to describe what I hear with the CSP3 driving the ZMA but I like it!  I put my system together based solely on the unbridled enthusiasm of Decware users and Steve's recommendations and philosophy towards quality and sound.  I'm not ashamed to stand on other's shoulders and save myself a lot of running in circles!  :)
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #908 - 03/15/14 at 20:25:47
 
Since I don't have the CSP3 yet...or any experience with it...I thought this is what you meant Archie. Thanks for the clarifications. Enjoy!

Cool Scott, you're up and running! Enjoy!
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
tom collins
Senior Member
***




Posts: 51
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #909 - 03/15/14 at 21:01:34
 
scott:  bring that basie with you tomorrow please.

tom
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #910 - 03/15/14 at 21:26:44
 
Quote:
With my bias set at 50 mA (per Steve's recommendation given my high transformer heat at 60 mA) I am measuring inner transformer heat at about 110 to 115 degs F after about 3 hours.  Still hot but not burning hot.


Thanks for reminding me about this. My typical temps are right in the 110 to 115 range as well. I've had the amp on since yesterday at about 6pm. I'm cranking the ZMA with some Keith Jarrett right now (Oppo at 100% ZMA at 90% or so), dialed in at 60ma with the gauges sightly bouncing, I'm at 122.0F on the right power transformer, and 123.2 on the left power transformer. My IR thermometer is a decent $45 one, so I'm sure it's accurate, assuming no operator error. I can put my hand on the power transformers for 10 seconds before it's uncomfortable.

Piano is the best I've ever heard on any amp.

Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
SteveC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 133
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #911 - 03/15/14 at 22:04:23
 
ZMA 200 hour update

I've been burning in and listening to the ZMA without toying with the Torii3 for a while.   the ZMA has smoothed out.  it's less edgy, less critical than before.  it is an absolute joy to listen to.  

so, I just did another torii3 to ZMA side by side comparison with a mono signal again.  All the things I said before still hold true.  tight bass, power, and accuracy are mastered by the ZMA.  And again for the torii3, that, by elimination, "loose bass?", lushness, boominess?  well, whatever it is, it sounds really good too.  It's just different.  The torii3 just sounds "delicious".  But the ZMA sounds "correct", "right", by comparion.  Again, I didn't realize that quality about the torii3 until I got the ZMA.      I still love the adjustability of the torii3 to suit the mood and song.

I give up, they are both great amps.  their characteristics won't change, and I think I've reached my limit of understanding, perception, and vocabulary to tease apart differences.

a couple experiments I'll do next... try the kt66's in the torii3.  (are kt66/el34 swappable both directions?)  perhaps the sonic difference is largely the tubes?  or is it the zma power supply?  don't know.  

Also, I have a bottlehead OTL headphone amp.  I'm going to use it as a preamp of sorts to play with riding the gain before I order a csp3.  with other hobby expenses, I have to let my wallet recharge for a while.

in summary, my perception is the same as last time, but the ZMA has smoothed out noticeably, taming down the highs and getting richer lows.  It's wearing into a damn near perfect amp.  zero complaints.


Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12719
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #912 - 03/15/14 at 22:10:22
 
Steve, thanks for these further comparisons.

I'm using the KT-66 in the Torii Mk III for the first time this week. There IS a difference, but I'm sure the power supply differences between the two amps are making a large contribution to the differing characters of the amp. Would be very interested to hear what you hear though.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
SteveC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 133
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #913 - 03/15/14 at 22:19:04
 
Lon, yeah I saw your post about that, that's what gave me the idea to switch some tubes around.

during the comparison, since I only use one channel at a time, I can compare the kt66's in torii3 and zma at the same time.  

i'll report back later.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12719
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #914 - 03/15/14 at 22:35:39
 
Hey that's cool!

I was surprised that the KT-66 sound softer to me than the 6CA7 I was using. I'll probably put the 6CA7 back in soon for a comparison and because I'm missing a bit of something that I think is the result of the Hazen Grid not being in play.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #915 - 03/16/14 at 18:55:31
 
LR -- I've been monitoring my transformer temperatures over time using two different type thermometers and getting the same temp (within a degree) for both inner transformers.  Given maybe 6 to 8 hours I've gotten up to about 125 F at 60 mA.  In about 4 hours I've gotten to about 120 F at 50 mA.  I think the main difference in the bias setting is how fast the temperature rises.  The maximum seems relatively close.  Since touching the transformers is so subjective I'm glad that we can compare temperatures.  It seems like I'm not far off what you are getting.  I don't know what a MAX TEMP should be to ensure the transformers don't degrade.  So far Steve hasn't gotten specific.

I tried an experiment of standing about 15 7mm magnum shell casing on top of one of the transformers to act as a radiator but it made NO difference to the temperature.  I have my amp out in the open but I'm wondering if a fan might be needed?  Or maybe this in a non issue?

I don't notice a difference in the sound or volume with the 50 mA bias setting so for now I'm sticking with it since things get hot slower.  I can only bias down to around 47 mA in any case.  Do you have any idea what the bias does other than affect the temp/time curve?
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #916 - 03/17/14 at 02:47:44
 

Archie,

It's a non-issue. These transformers are actually running quite cool compared to other amps I've had. The ZMA is actually quite efficient.

I was just watching a movie with the volume cranked, temps were the same, about 122F on the right, 123F on the left.

Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #917 - 03/17/14 at 23:59:41
 
LR -- Thanks for the reassurance.  I feel like a new mother and the ZMA is my baby!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #918 - 03/18/14 at 00:21:27
 

Yeah, no worries - I've actually had guitar amps that got so hot, they cooked the labels off the transformers!

Just enjoy your amp! I look forward to seeing how you feel about it after 125 hours or so.   Wink
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 657
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #919 - 03/18/14 at 00:54:39
 
I just got a reply from Steve.  He said the "safe long term operating temperature is 135 F."  

I've already had a couple experiences of Holy S...!  Sound so pure it's almost not real.  I feel like I'll be doing laps through my vinyl as the amp seasons.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #920 - 03/18/14 at 06:46:46
 
I hear you Archie!

I have 277 hours on mine and I hate to shut it off and go to bed.
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #921 - 03/18/14 at 14:24:52
 

Wow Stone! You must be doing marathon listening sessions! LOL

Maybe I'm being conservative, as I only count hours where I'm playing above background listening levels. I'm also watching some downloaded and streamed TV episodes on it since my Surround Sound Receiver tanked due to an issue with large dogs, glass shelves, and gravity. Tongue

Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #922 - 03/18/14 at 17:19:50
 
You know it LR!
January 22nd...the Eagle Landed.

5.036 avg per day hours x 55 days (as of yesterday) = 277

Even allowing for 1 or 2 days a week not having it on....some week nights & weekends I have it on 6 to 11 hours straight at Listening Levels you can hear up in my Kitchen making dinner with the GF and a glass of wine or two.

I am following the Direct Stream DAC thread over on the PS Forum. I am figuring out a way to get one by the Fall. First, the CSP3 and some tube rolling with KT120's...... .
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #923 - 03/18/14 at 17:59:47
 
Quote:
I am following the Direct Stream DAC thread over on the PS Forum. I am figuring out a way to get one by the Fall. First, the CSP3 and some tube rolling with KT120's......


So how far away from Chicago are you? Smiley
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #924 - 03/18/14 at 18:04:58
 
PS Audio room 434 at Axpona Chicago April 25-27.

Billing it as the first show with Direct Stream.

I'll be checking it out.
Back to top
 
 

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #925 - 03/18/14 at 18:41:41
 

Dammit, now I want to go to that. Hell, I'd ask Paul if I could bring my ZMA so he could hear a *real* power amp! Smiley


Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12719
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #926 - 03/18/14 at 18:45:16
 
NOW YOU'RE TALKING! Cheesy
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #927 - 03/18/14 at 18:45:27
 
I don't know about that.  He may hear things in his CDs he's never heard before  ;)

I think they are probably in one of the small "hotel rooms."  I think a lot of curious minds will want to know.  That will probably be the first rooms I visit.

I am looking at the exhibitor list to set my game plan.  Last year was too random an approach and I ran out of time.

Edit: also these rooms are pretty tough to get to sound right, but hopefully I will get the idea of what this DAC does.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/18/14 at 18:47:11 by Palomino »  

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #928 - 03/18/14 at 18:51:01
 

I just E-mailed Brianne to see if she's OK with me going. I don't recall why, but something was making it difficult for me to attend...a wedding or something maybe.

That said, I still have some PTO days I need to burn, so I can take that Friday off and start early.

If she green lights me, I'll go with you, and I will genuinely see if Paul would mind a few minutes to try the ZMA and the DS together, even if it's an off hours visit.
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #929 - 03/18/14 at 18:54:27
 
Have pelican case, will travel...

I am going on Saturday.  I think you said you had a trip lined up.
Back to top
 
 

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #930 - 03/18/14 at 18:58:22
 
I am so jealous Palomino! I remember you mentioned you were going to Axpona. I will be with my Son at Stanford for an Admit weekend and for his housing in the fall, etc... (he gets his mega brains from his mother-I can't take credit).

I would be there Palo...if for not this Trip. I don't spend enough time with my son as that goes/he is 18 now. Besides the cool stuff at Stanford and area...we will hit up a Giants game...they are in town that weekend.

However, LR & Palomino, I am only 5 hours drive from Chicago Land. Seriously this Fall, if I get one...{will see what Palomino thinks about it/especially under show conditions that usually suck-and without a Decware Amp....are you going LR(?)}..... . We should get together and I'll bring my CSP3/ZMA/Speakers/Wires....and of course the Direct Stream DAC!  Unless, Palomino buys one before me!

Yes, Paul needs the ZMA/CSP3 combo with DSDAC for the show!  

Cool LR....you're going too and if you got after hours with your ZMA! Wow.

Lon, I know you have mentioned you're not into this sort of stuff. But, I think I can speak for the other guys....you know you are invited. Especially, over from Ohio now...not traveling from Texas.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/19/14 at 18:29:40 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
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #931 - 03/18/14 at 19:50:35
 

Yeah, Brianne got back to me, we have a camping trip planned that weekend. I'm still going to figure out what I can do - I really want to hear the PSA DS with the ZMA.   Wink
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
maddog07
Seasoned Member
****


seeker of truth

Posts: 460
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #932 - 03/18/14 at 21:50:45
 
I have met Paul McGowan several times.  I think you will find him sincere, genuinely curious, open-minded and a heck of nice human being.  He is not opposed to tube amplification.  He uses a tube preamp at the moment in his system - he has even raved about it publicly.  He seems to be on a mission to get a "specific" sound via solid state circuits that he has heard produced by tubes being somewhere in the chain.  But this is just my speculation.  I'm not sure why he/PS does not introduce tubes into PS designs if that is the "sound" he's striving for.  

I suspect he will be as curious as you to see what his DS Dac sounds like driving your Decware amp/s... the question will be, "what" speakers he has on hand for you to strap your Decware amp to.  They are not likely to be of the high sensitivity type.  He used to be fond of Avalon speakers and demo'd with them frequently.  He is also a big fan of ribbons as everyone knows by his Infinity IRS' he now uses as a reference.
Back to top
 
 

Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
  IP Logged
Dave1210
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 920
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #933 - 03/19/14 at 02:41:57
 
I can't remember if I posted it on this thread or not, but the current PW DAC feeding the ZMA direct sounds so good it's hard to imagine what the DirectStream would sound like.  Ted talks a lot about more foot tapping with the DirectStream, but I am already tapping my foot to most discs with the current DAC. Maybe Decware users will be dancing vs. foot tapping.  Or maybe we will go into a trance and find ourselves sitting and listening at the recording venue on each and every disc.  Foot tapping, check…what else can you bring to the party DS?  Anyway, looking forward to finding out...
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/19/14 at 16:57:28 by Dave1210 »  
  IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #934 - 03/19/14 at 11:34:13
 
Stone,

Enjoy your school visit.  That's a special time. Raven and I will hopefully figure out what this DAC is all about. And if you want to come down for the next Chicago Decware Appreciation Society meeting our doors are open.

If you guys want an opinion on anything else at axpona let us know. I have not had my ear that close to the ground so this new DAC is the only thing on the dance card thus far.
Back to top
 
 

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #935 - 03/19/14 at 18:33:30
 
Yes, thanks for the invite Palomino-will do.
Definitely want to hear your opinions on the Direct Stream DAC.
I will see if I can come up with anything else at the show we all might be interested in. You guys, I am sure will do the same.
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #936 - 03/19/14 at 18:41:48
 

I typically don't like shows like this. Too much noise, poor room setup, douchbags with entitlement issues pushing their way around - just not my thing. I don't plan on staying long, but I'll try and poke my head into as many rooms as I can in a short amount of time. I'll probably buddy-up with Palomino so we keep each other on task. We tend to attack tasks/issues the same way. Smiley
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #937 - 03/19/14 at 18:43:24
 
I forgot to add - I got a response from Paul about Axpona -

"Hi Eric it’d be a pleasure to see you and say hi.  I will be there Friday and Saturday in Walter Liederman’s room playing DirectStream, I think on the Emerald Physics."

Maybe we should move this to it's own thread? (about 2 page too late I know - LOL)
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/19/14 at 18:43:47 by Lonely Raven »  
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #938 - 03/19/14 at 19:08:22
 
+1 on the douchbags.  You'll want to shower when you get home.  Its a carnival barker environment in some of the rooms.  And the prices....don't get me started on that.

I will just say this...you will come home appreciating the Decware value proposition.

Maybe I will start another thread.  I would like some input on what might be worth checking out.
Back to top
 
 

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
jsm71
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 134
Attention:  Owners manual available
Reply #939 - 03/19/14 at 20:58:30
 
Link at the bottom of the ZMA product page.  Am I the first to notice this?  I was looking for it however.  When I picked up my ZMA last week I asked Steve about it and he said this week.  Thanks, Steve.  The amp is killer!!!
Back to top
 
 

Decware ZMA, Cary SLP-98P preamp, JansZen zA2.1 speakers with JansZen speaker cables, Marantz TT 15S1 turntable, Lyra Delos MC with Bobs Devices SUT, Marantz SA8004 SACD/CD player, Morrow level 4 ICs, Decware and Shunyata PCs.
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #940 - 03/19/14 at 21:12:22
 
What link at the bottom of the ZMA page?


Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #941 - 03/19/14 at 21:22:50
 
Back to top
 
 

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2908
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #942 - 03/19/14 at 21:24:02
 
Nice! Looking it over now.

I'm in trouble right on the second page!

3. Never leave this amplifier powered
ON while unattended or at night
when sleeping.

Edit to add: This is already the *best* Decware manual yet! I now see why Steve wanted help to update all the manuals!

Second Edit: One misspelled word and a couple typos - beyond that, this is very well done. I like it!

A couple notes - I notice Steve is recommending 50ma as the bias point rather than 60ma.

I notice KT120 was dropped from the list, but that was probably for brevity, rather than to list *every* tube that would work - or maybe because Steve is trying to save the power transformers from abuse.

I also notice it takes a 6.8 amp fuse as standard.

That was just a quick skim.




Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/19/14 at 21:43:03 by Lonely Raven »  
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
lLance
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 163
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #943 - 03/19/14 at 23:00:57
 
Hour 1 on ZMA, fantastic right out of the gate. Already sounds way better than my Tori 3 and that's saying something.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA, ZTpre, VPI Scout 1.1 & Soundsmith Zepher Cart, Janszen zA2.1 Speakers, PS Audio DSD, Berkeley Audio Alpha USB, PS Audio P10, Win 8 & J River app, Morrow Cables Triode Wire Labs #7 & Lessloss PC, voodoo AES
  IP Logged
SteveC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 133
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #944 - 03/19/14 at 23:26:32
 
This is the end of my comparison testing.

1. Side by side, using kt66's in the ZMA and Torii3, the ZMA still does the tight defined bass trick much better than the Torii3.  If I turn the bass control all the way down (tighter), the torii3+kt66 will approach the bass tightness of the ZMA, but there's a lot less of it.  And it still doesn't have that razor sharp attack that the ZMA does.  It really doesn't compare.  I think maddog said he can get his torii3 to sound like a torii4 or zma by tube swapping, and I agree.  The kt66's in the torii3 make it sound more... leaner? crisper? tighter?


2. The torii3 sounds better using E34L (mine are E34L's not EL34's) than kt66s. I agree with Lon, there's some vocal and presence magic that's gone from the torii3 with kt66. (because of missing Hazen Grid mod?)  EL34's sing.  Through swapping configurations, I ended up just listening to the stock torii, and I was tapping my toes with a big smile.  It's a damn good amp. Very fun to listen to.

3. Using a Bottlehead OTL headphone amp as a preamp made both the Torii3 and ZMA sound much better.  That was an aha moment for me.  I need better source.  I could make the sound thinner or fuller riding the gain.  I hear it. I get it now.

4.  no more playing around.... The torii3 is just fun to listen to.  The ZMA is just powerful and accurate and right.  I give up. They are both great, and different beasts.  I won't be giving up my Torii3. (Which mean, I'll probably be getting more speakers. 2nd system. sigh.)

5.  no more playing around... because I removed one voltage regulator in the ZMA when I was doing side by side single channel comparisons.  when I put it back in, ZAAAAAP.  big pop. big arc. change of underwear.  And funny enough the zma manual says... don't do that. Smiley   I did this a couple days ago, then noticed that balance was off.  one side was quieter, and bass was missing.  I had a horrible sinking feeling for a few minutes. Did some left right swapping to troubleshoot it.  finally swapped the voltage tubes after letting the caps drain (unplugged while it played out).  This fixed it.  Assumption: was bad contact where it arced.  It's fine now. channels balanced, bass is back, etc.

no more playing around. I'm just going to enjoy it. well, both of them.  :)

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12719
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #945 - 03/19/14 at 23:27:11
 
Congrats!
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12719
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
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,V2+V3;CambridgeAudio CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Palomino
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1473
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?
Back to top
 
 

i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 2, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Chord QuteHD with LPSU, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY Speakers
  IP Logged
SteveC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 133
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.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2578
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-)  :)
Back to top
 
« 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
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 ... 17 18 19 20 21 ... 23
Send Topic Print