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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 169110 times)
Lon
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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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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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Dave1210
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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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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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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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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #960 - 03/20/14 at 14:43:31
 
Thanks Busterfree.

In this case, I think a few pictures are far better than 1000 words.  The ZMA is an incredible amp and I bet with some relatively minor tweaks, most folks can get more out of it.  Hopefully this information will be helpful to others.    If anyone has any comments/ideas on how to improve the room, I am open.  

I personally think the ZMA has quite a few advantages over the Super Zen (I own the SZ and don’t plan to ever get rid of the amp).  For me, the ZMA has 95% or more of the clarity, detail and holographic nature of the SZ , but with more bass, tighter bass, more tone and dynamics.  For me, it is more than just a super charged/turbo charged SZ.  

Cheers!
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #961 - 03/20/14 at 14:52:58
 
After listening to the Raven's ZMA twice now for extended periods, I stand by my nickname for the amp: Zenzilla Grin
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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #962 - 03/20/14 at 14:55:28
 
Hopefully Steve is considering an official name change.  ZMA is so nebulous...ZenZilla (Z2) on the hand...
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #963 - 03/20/14 at 14:58:39
 
Quote:
I personally think the ZMA has quite a few advantages over the Super Zen (I own the SZ and don’t plan to ever get rid of the amp).  For me, the ZMA has 95% or more of the clarity, detail and holographic nature of the SZ , but with more bass, tighter bass, more tone and dynamics.  For me, it is more than just a super charged/turbo charged SZ.


I would agree with this. When my ZMA was getting the ground loop issue sorted out, I put my 15+ year old Zen Amp back in place, and I was shocked by how silky and holographic it is, and how well it holds up to the ZMA.

That said, the Mystery Amp has some more *realism* that's difficult to describe. On top of all that speed and power throughout the audio bandwidth of course.   Cheesy

The more I work with the ZMA, the more I see why Steve said it's the amp to use with High Def files (or in his case 15ips 1/2 track master tapes!). It's realism and honesty matched with a very accurate source, bring us even closer to the original.

I look forward to finding a source that truly gets us closer to real along with the ZMA - since we can't all have reel to reel master tapes, I'm hoping the hype on the PS Audio DS is a beginning of a new era in HD that gets us close, especially if it does it with the recordings we already have.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #964 - 03/20/14 at 15:49:08
 
You read my mind Lon. I meant to go back in an amend my post.

I think the P5 would help my Front End & my CSP3. Then, after some time add the ZMA to it. However, at first keeping the ZMA off the P5 (redundant I know).

My timeline: CSP3 in around late April/early May. Put some break in time on it. Then, pull in a Power Plant P5 (do the prescribed above). Furthermore, continue to read & educate myself more with the great Threads you and the other guys have created about Power Regeneration.

Following the PS Audio Direct Stream DAC Thread will continue to be fun. Reading how things unfold with that and Palomino & LR's visit to AXPONA the 25th an 26th of April/visiting Paul McGowan = interesting to say the least.

All you Perfect Wave DAC (PWD) owners have an upgrade path (if you chose to do so)...with the kit, not just the trade in option. Cool.

My main interest as I stated over on the "PS Audio is about to do" - Thread...is PCM running  into the DSDAC via Transport and/or PCM FLAC files. DSD an other Hi-Rez bit/sampling rates....if it ever pans out, are  just icing on the cake.

Dave1210, awesome room. I am in a smaller space, so I don't know if ceiling treatment or high frequency treatment in your corners are needed like I need/have.

LR, I will change to the 6.8 fuse....Farmboss is using 6.8 too....by discovery we both had blowing fuses/that merry-go-round. I currently still have my 7 amp quick blow in it.

I wonder why Steve did not mention KT120's? Now, at 50mA...my Power Tranny's are running cooler and it sounds even better....I reconfirmed this morning. Talk about baptism by fire! I burned my ZMA in at 60mA for nearly 280 hours.

Yes, the ZMA has a realism that is difficult to describe. The SE84CS with the NOS SV83 Svetlana has a romantic clarity/realism that is hard to describe too. Great problems to have! Of course, I enjoy the SE84CS in a slighty different quick room adjustment and at lower SPL.
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 16:26:30 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #965 - 03/20/14 at 16:03:26
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 03/20/14 at 14:58:39:
I look forward to finding a source that truly gets us closer to real along with the ZMA - since we can't all have reel to reel master tapes, I'm hoping the hype on the PS Audio DS is a beginning of a new era in HD that gets us close, especially if it does it with the recordings we already have.


I wouldn't personally have my hopes set that high. Closer than your Oppo? Oh yes, definitely. Close to reel to reel or other master "tape" source realism? Not expecting that to be honest out of the tech and implementation from our existing discs et al.
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #966 - 03/20/14 at 16:24:33
 
Well, I have listened to that cymbal on Shelby Lynne 'A Little Lovin' about 20 times in anticipation of the Direct Stream audition.  On my system it sounds more like Agean than Zildjian Wink
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 16:25:20 by Palomino »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #967 - 03/20/14 at 16:29:30
 
Yes, I did take note of that Cymbal comparison over on the PS Thread. Damn, you guys are going to have some fun and you might come away not impressed too. I am prepared for that. Even Ted Smith said in his 36 min part 1 video...."you might just be pleased with what you have".
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 16:30:06 by stone_of_tone »  

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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #968 - 03/20/14 at 16:34:25
 
I'm a little cynical about the hype, but I am hopeful for the product.

My wife caught me watching that Ted Smith technical video.  I think she would have been more relieved if it turned out I was watching porn.

I'll stop clogging up this perfectly good ZMA thread now.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #969 - 03/20/14 at 16:52:23
 
Well, it is time for me to pull my Parker Crusader's out of my closet and try them with the ZMA. They are Parker 95's with the Ribbon Tweeter and lower separately powered bass units via outboard plate Amp named by Dave the Crusader. They can't handle the Hi-resolution of my Kimber Select...but the Zen Styx are perfect and very very good with them. These are 95db SPL @1 watt/1 meter.
http://www.parkeraudio.net/
These Speakers/my Crusader's are very good with well recorded Blues and Audiophile recordings.
Note: Acoustic Suspension on top with MTM configuration and ported 7" active bass driver's on bottom via plate AMP.


I also have a pair of the mighty Klipsch RF-7 II.
http://www.klipsch.com/rf-7-ii-floorstanding-speaker
These are SENSITIVITY:  101dB @ 2.83V / 1m  
Fun as heck!

See? I have efficient Speakers that do great. However, I don't prefer them to the musicality I get with my Kimber Cables & Speakers.
Others do to...that are running: Martin Logans, Monitor Audio, Legacy Audio and of course me, with vintage Polk LS 90 & SDA 1. So, don't be afraid to venture down this path. However, it is pain in the ass to find ones that work well. I own 10 pair of Speakers and 4 of the 10 work well with my Decware Amps (the four mentioned in this post).

...yet these two pair (Parkers & Klipsch RF 7 II's) are fun and enjoyable.  I would recommend. Since, I am digging them out and playing them today with my three Decware Amps...I thought I'd post.
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 17:49:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #970 - 03/20/14 at 16:56:49
 
To funny Palomino!
Yeah, my ex-wife and now GF...just roll their eyes. But, my new GF loves my Mid-Fi Vinyl set up.  We spin some good stuff and have fun with that. My Listening room is beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals! HEHEhe......

I like here/Decware...we can get off the OP a little (original post) and then come back to it-without a Fascist moderator chiming in. We are adults now....imagine that... .
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 17:01:23 by stone_of_tone »  

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Dave1210
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #971 - 03/20/14 at 16:57:32
 
I have no doubt that the DirectStream is better than the current PW DAC.  The question is by how much?  And more specifically how much in your system (Paul is rockin' Infinity IRS's after all).  Will it be the holy grail and sound like the master tapes?  I seriously doubt it, but it should be pretty compelling (knowing PS Audio's reputation for innovation and having experience with a few of their products) and especially at the 6K price point (50% more than the current DAC).   Paul has a lot riding on this price increase with his current user base.  Obviously the difference will depend on your current baseline, but I expect it will be a noticeably better front end.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #972 - 03/20/14 at 17:09:03
 
Oh God yes....Ted & Paul have a lot riding on it = profit motive.

We will be the ones to discern its merit.

As far as the 15K to 100k Speakers go...you can put them all on a boat with all the Lawyers...and sink them. I can take the four pair of Speakers I just mentioned two posts up that play well with Decware in my room and set up and yield musical bliss.

But like you said Dave, how much better and is it worth it to you me etc...et al. ...to pay the price. The excitement does lay in helping PCM for ME..... .
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #973 - 03/20/14 at 17:09:36
 
Quote:
I wouldn't personally have my hopes set that high. Closer than your Oppo? Oh yes, definitely. Close to reel to reel or other master "tape" source realism? Not expecting that to be honest out of the tech and implementation from our existing discs et al.


I probably should have said *closer* - I for one have heard the differences in generations away from the master tapes. I've even had a shop test me between original copies of a CD, and BMG music copies of a CD (which I heard from an insider were copies of copies) and I picked the BMG out as the lessor version almost every time.

That said, if Ted says this is even closer to real than the current PS Audio DAC, it really sounds like the DAC I'm looking to match up to the ZMA.

Back on track -

Since you guys are dialing back your ZMA to 50ma, I'll try the same - maybe I'll reach out to Steve and see why the change. I also have a power cord from Palomino to try out, and my hand is hovering over the purchase button on a PS Audio AC5 2M for $190 shipped. Though I really want to try an AC12. Lon, you want to loan me one?  :)
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #974 - 03/20/14 at 17:42:26
 
Hey SteveC....  thanks for the update and "conclusion" - I concur.  I had a pretty good idea when I met you at zenfest, that you & I hear & think alike.  I too do not see me parting with my Torii mk.III in the foreseeable future.  Folks... if you have a Torii 3... don't get your bloomers in a bunch about trading it for something else - especially if you are using it w/high-efficiency, full-range, crossoverless speakers.

Stone "hit the nail on the head & drove it home"... when he said he has 4 pairs of speakers "that work well w/Decware amps".  Synergy is "the key".

I have heard all the Decware amps at various times and on various speakers, had 3 of them in my own system/s, and have owned two.  Currently have a Jupiter capped mk.3.  There is not a bad apple in the bunch.  They are all excellent and will "get you there".  It just depends on the partnering speakers, your room acoustics, your sources and your personal listening preferences more than anything.

I still hold the opinion that the Torii mk.3 has the highest potential for synergy w/high-efficiency, full-range, crossoverless types of speakers.  I have not heard better sound "overall-all aspects considered" come forth from these types of speakers yet, than what I get with the Torii mk.3.  
In fact I just had another OMG experience w/the Torii 3 week before last... I installed 6CA7's and 6N1P's from cryoset (I think Lon is the proponent of these and where I got the notion-thx Lon!) - unbelievable the sound that is coming forth... so real, so palpable (to use a professional reviewers term) as to evoke an emotional response w/well produced music every time.

I have a hunch the ZMA is a better match for more conventional multi-driver speakers, w/crossovers and perhaps of lower sensitivity ultimately.  However, I have no solid objective experience in this regard - yet!  I'm thinking about getting a zma on the build list to be "deliverable" about Decfest time later this year....and hope I can talk Steve into putting some hours on it "in the shop" prior to my arrival to take possession.....

Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #975 - 03/20/14 at 17:49:07
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 03/20/14 at 17:09:36:
I also have a power cord from Palomino to try out, and my hand is hovering over the purchase button on a PS Audio AC5 2M for $190 shipped. Though I really want to try an AC12. Lon, you want to loan me one?  :)


The AC-5s are quite good. . . the goodness deepens when you go to the AC-10 and really gets amazing with the AC-12. Sorry Eric, mine are all in use and I'd have to accompany them wherever they go, and with my situation there's no traveling going on! Can't even call in sick for a day, and no weekends off! Sad
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #976 - 03/20/14 at 17:56:31
 
Glad you are digging those tubes madddogg! They are the real deal for me.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #977 - 03/20/14 at 18:51:44
 
One of the things I like about Decware is the upgrade potential (some probably hate it).  There is some comfort in knowing that your gear won’t be obsolete in a couple of years.  I think this is especially relevant with technologies that are moving at a fast pace (e.g. DAC’s).  PS Audio has offered an upgrade option for their DAC in the past and are now doing so with the DirectStream.  Early adopters of the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC have lived through the mki to mkii conversion, and  most users probably felt the upgrade was money well spent (given the performance increase).  This upgrade is a little different IMO.  Both the analog and digital boards and the power supply need to be replaced.  Instead of a $1000 upgrade, this is a $3000 upgrade (it appears to be a linear scale vs. the mkimkii upgrade…upgrade 1 part and it’s $1K, upgrade 3 parts and it’s $3K).  Not only is it a very expensive upgrade, which increases expectations significantly, but current users have to decide exactly what to do with the already great DAC that could be sitting (albeit in pieces) on their kitchen table after the upgrade.  Are we just going to throw the old boards in the trash and call it a day?  Seems crazy.  I wouldn’t mind having my current PW Dac as the front end in any system.  I bet there is a significant portion of the current PSA user base that is trying to figure out exactly what to do…

On a totally different note, would there be a benefit to tube rolling the OA3 tubes in the ZMA?  Do people have favorites for these types of tubes?  If so, recommendations and where to pick them up?   Cheers!    
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #978 - 03/20/14 at 19:01:19
 
Dave, there already is one thread on the PSA forum where someone is trying to figure out what to do with the PWD Mk II boards. NOT going to be eay as you need a display and it can't be that simple to just slap on another display.

Mk I owners will probably be able to do an upgrade to Mk II cheap, there should be quite a few of those boards for sale!

As far as OA3, in the Torii there definitely is a benefit to rolling them.  I've moved to OB3 in my new home where I need less bass. I have found RCA, Raytheon and GE to be quite good, and a pair of Arcturus to be the very cat's meow. All I have I have gotten off ebay.
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« Last Edit: 03/20/14 at 19:11:09 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #979 - 03/20/14 at 20:33:33
 
Dave, tube rolling for ZMA. Yes, I have done with Siemens E88CC ($370 for quad), RCA 6L6GC ($380 for quad) and RCA JAN OA3 ($35 for pair).

The sound quality of ZMA with stock tubes is unquestionably superb
. But I need more in lush midrange female vocal, sparkle treble and powerful bass or bass slam.

My first plan is to burn in ZMA with stock tubes for >300 hrs first to know the sound. Then do tube rolling step by step to observe sound quality changing. But ZMA with stock tube's sound is so good that I imagine what if I put Siemens E88CC tubes in, how much is the sound improvement?  
I cannot wait, I change plan to put in Siemens E88CC tubes first 3 days ago. Midrange sound is more lush, both high end and low end extend more, more holograph sound stage. But speed is slower than stock tube.  The fun or PRAT is reduce a little. But overall sound improvement is very satisfy. I replace KT66 with RCA 6L6GC next day. There is more dense sound and more bass. Now speed come back, PRAT is same as stock tube now. But bass is little boated, not well control. Then I put in RCA JAN OA3.
OMG, it is the last jigsaw. RCA JAN OA3 make over all sound dense, coherent and PUNCH SLAM bass!  Boated bass disappear and very well control now.

Now I get all, lush midrange female vocal sound to die for of tube amp reputation, sparkle high and PUNCH SLAM bass!  Playing with heavy rock music, you can feel wavy air movement of bass. It is very very scare realism! If you run at 56 ma, it likes discotheque. If you run at 52 ma, it likes stadium rock live concert. The strange is that you just listen at normal SPL 80-93. It is scale down at any SPL, no need to get loud of 100 SPL to get rock live concert feel.

Is it worth to change tubes as above? In my system, the answer is absolute yes!  I will report more when have more hours on these tubes. It is improving.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #980 - 03/21/14 at 02:25:55
 
Lon..thanks for the info on rolling the OA3's.  I will pick up some different OA3's and OB3's to try down the road.

Vyokyong…thanks for the heads up on the tubes and your thorough write up on your experience with tube rolling in the ZMA.  Sounds like you were prepared to roll and you are indeed rockin'.  I will look into acquiring  the tubes you mentioned to experiment with.

This may be a stupid question, but is there something unique about the JAN descriptor for the RCA OA3 tubes?  It seems that some tubes on ebay contain the descriptor and others don't.  See link below…are these the tubes you are referring to, or should I be looking for something different?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-0A3-VR-75-VINTAGE-SINGLE-TUBE-OA3-NEW-OLD-STOCK-UNUS...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #981 - 03/21/14 at 02:46:27
 
Oh the old "Joint Army Navy" designation. . . usually meant they were in more basic packaging, may mean with some brands and types that they were a bit more rugged and/or teseted more heavily but I'm not sure that is generally the case.

Yeah, RCA made OA3 over many years and a rather personal observation that I've come to is that with regulation and rectification tubes. . .the older the better.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #982 - 03/21/14 at 03:35:53
 
I have a bunch of JAN OB3 that are heading to the classifieds soon. That said, the manual for the ZMA said 0A3 only.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #983 - 03/21/14 at 03:43:40
 
I guess I should read the manual!  I definitely don't want to do anything stupid and wreck a good thing.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #984 - 03/21/14 at 04:03:47
 
Ah, not owning a ZMA I didn't read that. In the Torii you can use OA3, OB3, OC3 or OD3. That sort of flexiblity is VERY cool.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #985 - 03/21/14 at 04:08:54
 
Dave, NOS (new old stock) tubes under same brand have many variance and sound different. You must check carefully in all details in order to get same tube which someone recommend.

MY RCA OA3 tube is JAN or  the old "Joint Army Navy" designation. . . usually meant they were in more basic packaging, may mean with some brands and types that they were a bit more rugged and/or teseted more heavily, which is explain by Lon.

I posted wrong price, Its price is only US 18 per pair. From your link website. IMO, it is okay because it is NIB (new in box) The tube's condition is better than me. But it is not JAN. But you must request seller to send you matched pair (from tube tester machine). From picture, my two tubes are not exactly same but they are matched pair.

JAN RCA OA3 tubes replace stock OA3 tubes. The sound is more dense in all frequency. Bass is well control, tighter and punch powerful bass. First install, the sound stage is narrower or contract but it will expand wider, more holograph sound stage after just 10 hrs.

I highly recommend to start first tube rolling of RCA OA3 because its price is low and see the result of NOS tubes. If you like then you can roll other tubes.

This is also my first time of NOS tubes rolling. But this is the main reason that I switch from SS amp to tube amp. I want to try  NOS tube legendary story by myself. Is it true that NOS tubes are better than current production. From first round, I am very happy of my bet NOS tubes. However there are many fake NOS tubes in market today, you must carefully buy NOS tubes to get real one. All my tubes buying are from e-Bay!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #986 - 03/21/14 at 04:31:02
 
Seimens E88CC NOS tubes rolling in ZMA.

My tubes detail is Two matched pairs of  vintage SIEMENS & HALSKE E88CC = 6922 (ECC88 / 6DJ8) double hi-mu triode tubes in NOS condition from the 1960ies. This quad set, I bought from eBay seller in Budapest, Hungary.

Calibrated TV-7/U  test results :

(62 is the minimum value on 6922/E88CC tubes)

   scale reading                     transconductance                      factory code

tube#1 :  100/110      (12.5/13.8mA/V)      A0 1= 4D (1961)

tube#2 :  104/104     (13.0/13.0mA/V)      A0 1= 3B (1961)

tube#3 :  110/106      (12.5/13.2mA/V)      A4 9K     (1964)

     tube#4 :  100/96       (12.5/12.0mA/V)      no readable code    

When you roll Siemens E88CC NOS tubes  to replace stock tubes, the sound change is
-both end of sound frequency extend, more high and more deep bass.
-Mid range sound is more lush, vivid, palpable.
-Wider sound stage and very well holographic sound stage.
But the PRAT or speed is lower than stock tubes.

IMO, this is the crown of tube rolling in ZMA.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #987 - 03/21/14 at 04:54:09
 
RCA 6L6GC Black Plate NOS tube rolling in ZMA.

There are two types, Black Plate and Grey Plate. Mine is Black Plate and matched quad set.

When you roll this tube to replace stock tube. The sound change is

- Get better PRAT and speed. It is more fun to listen, particularly rock music. It helps to solve weakness of Siemens E88CC tube.
- More mass or weight in Bass but bass is not well controlled, a little boated.
- A little less power compared to KT66 tubes. But it is still acceptable in my case with 85 dB sensitivity speakers.

In my case, I recommend to use both RCA OA3 NOS tube together with RCA 6L6GC Black Plate. Because RCA OA3 tube helps to solve boated bass of RCA 6L6GC Black Plate. And if you like to listen heavy rock music, this is a heaven tube rolling in ZMA for heavy rock music.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #988 - 03/21/14 at 04:57:16
 
More picture
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #989 - 03/21/14 at 12:41:27
 
Those RCA Blackplate 6L6 are some of my favorite tubes in vintage guitar amps from the '50s and '60s. Great tubes!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #990 - 03/25/14 at 18:34:05
 
I plan on putting in my NOS RCA 0A3's soon. I am holding off on purchasing the KT120 matched quad since Steve voiced the ZMA with the KT66 and recommends tube rolling those (see manual). I also have a matched quad of Cryoset 23P's I am in no hurry to put in....just nice to have on hand.

My CSP3 is on the bench! I just saw the email! How can you not be excited about a Decware product going in to production with your name on it?!  Stone happy...................bring on the Transparency with the GAIN for my ZMA!


My System for ZMA:

Dedicated Listening Room is 9' x 11' x 9' high

Acoustically treated/Michael Green Room Tunes...Corner Tunes
& Home Brew 20" x 30" open filter panels = 18 of them

System Tri-configured on floor (no rack) on flat wood shelves/on full carpeted room/floor underneath-concrete ...Townsend CD Seismic Sync under digital Audio Alchemy components ...XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA ...Adcom AC-enhancer 515 ...all four components plugged into it...has sequential on off start & shut down~

*another XLO Pro Power Cord (burned in) waiting for CSP3 arrival*
*Kimber Silver Streak IC (burned in) also waiting for CSP3 arrival*

Sony DVD Player as Transport
Illuminati D-60 Digital BNC
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro32 (Set at 20 bit dither)
Revelation Audio Labs i2s Prophecy Cryo Silver Digital (sends jitter reduced music 20 bit dither signal separate from clock signal in which it also sends to DAC)
Audio Alchemy v3.0 DAC (dual ladder DACS-w/remote wand volume/adjustable voltage output/driving directly into ZMA)
Kimber Select 1030 Interconnect RCA
ZEN MYSTERY AMPLIFIER (3lb Brass Weight on each inside Power Transformer)
Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable

*****Anthony GALLO 3.1 Speakers******
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« Last Edit: 03/31/14 at 19:38:38 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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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #991 - 03/27/14 at 13:43:56
 
CSP3 is in Testing/QC! I know, I am like a little kid.

........I am having a nice ZMA morning Jam with my morning Joe...the other Hi-End Manufacturer's can keep their boat anchors.

*313 hours and counting on my ZMA
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« Last Edit: 03/27/14 at 13:58:09 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
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #992 - 03/27/14 at 14:22:23
 
I've lost track of hours. ZMA seems maybe to have smoothed out a little more. Also, I swear it's a tiny bit louder! I'm not sure how that's even possible, but I'm finding myself turning down the Oppo a little more today that I did last month.

I was also stupid enough to get into a "discussion" with the AVS forum guys who say that Paul from PS Audio should be arrested for fraud for the BS claims on his Power Plants (sigh)
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #993 - 03/27/14 at 15:27:06
 
I keep a pad an pen right next to my Listening Chair. I think after the 500 hour mark I will stop/let it go. I suppose I could use my iphone note pad...but I do old school.  ;D

Yes, I believe mine has smoothed out even more too. Tone is coming through with even more purity. You just sink in to the music like my Leather Chair. I have to agree with the volume going down too. For me, at the ZMA gain knob. It has more headroom with burn in! I am keeping her at 50 mA too....very nice.

Yeah, I hear you about the "other Forum" closed mindedness... . Lon, can attest to this! I stumbled on, and he has mentioned, for example, he brought up the CSP3 or 2 over on the Hoffman Forum as a suggested Preamp...and all he got was "crickets"....ignored. The PS Forum, I  am sure has a bunch of snots too from my reading. Lon has 100 posts over there. I was part of the Minnesota Audio Society for a few years and encountered my share of snobbery.

I can see on the AVS....you can get the opposite of Hi-End too. Belden Wire & plugs straight in to the wall for some.
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« Last Edit: 03/27/14 at 15:34:05 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
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #994 - 03/27/14 at 15:51:37
 
Well, I have defended Paul recently as well.  It's not often I am bowled over by audio products.  I went to Axpona last year and just wasn't moved by much of what I heard.

But when Raven plugged my amp into that P10....Boom.  I had a PPP within two weeks.  Money is tight these days, but I found some.  Then once I heard the impact that power cords play and tried this AC12...Boom.

So the guy has two solid wins with me.  The only other company to do that to me is, well, ah, Decware.  I'm sure there are others but these two stopped me in my tracks.

Now if I can just scrape together that ZMA fund...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #995 - 03/27/14 at 16:03:14
 
Yes, I like Paul an Wares. I will have a P5 in here by October....for my front end & CSP3.  Paul is very charismatic & passionate. However, I also like Steve Deckerts style...his great Amplifiers speak for themselves.

I will continue to follow the PS Direct Stream DAC thread over there...an let the bugs get worked out...see what kind of firmware updates happen, etc...etc...over the course of this year.

Plus, I am excited for you guys going to Axpona this year. Show conditions in Hotel rooms....not ideal...but hopefully you get a great Demo from Paul. I wish I was going...I would love to...and would tell people about my ZMA, Cables & etc....hopefully getting a good response...not the snob stuff...but, go after the snob if need be....I am jealous!   -Stone
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« Last Edit: 03/27/14 at 16:16:26 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
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #996 - 03/27/14 at 16:20:41
 

I feel the same way - I'm not a rich guy by any stretch - and I was all set to send the P10 back if it didn't perform. And even though the big caps on the ZMA lessen the lift you get from the P10, I was sold as soon as it warmed up and started performing. The slight lift I got in my video, home theater, and subwoofer helped cinch the deal as well.

I'm still a skeptic on power cords, but I'll give the AC12 a chance to win me over as the P10 did.

I'm going to do my best not to try to educate the unwashed masses - I basically got drummed out of the AVS thread saying I was either a shill for PS Audio, or just deluding myself. I got the same response when I said that digital rips of CDs on my Oppo sounded better than the original CDs - I was met with cries of "Impossible" and "your imagining it" - but then Oppo Engineers backed me up on this in an E-mail that suddenly caused crickets.

These are the same guys that say tube amps are crap because they "add something unintended by the original Mastering Engineer" and that they are "changing the sound and therefor are bad" or "so it's (tubes) an EQ or special effect".

I'm a super skeptical guy, everything needs to earn my respect, but at least I don't keep my head in the sand.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #997 - 03/27/14 at 16:34:14
 
Yeah, a lot of those guys don't even have Vinyl collections an listen to their 11 Telarc Discs, 9 SACD's & a handful of DSD & hi-rez files worth having....over & over & over & over & over & over again.  

Sad, they can't let the specs go....and get absorbed in the musical stereo illusion that it is anyway. Only Tubes can give me the Timbre I need for musical involvement.
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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #998 - 03/27/14 at 17:38:26
 
I guess I can't claim "skeptical" or "critical" in the usual use of the words...sort of with the assumption of built in hyperbole or "truth stretching" shall we say, as a definitive aspect of these terms.

I try to approach stuff with a distinctly open mind, as non-biased as I can. Then I seem to hear more (good or bad) not because I am more open to suggestion, but because I am more open to whatever is really happening with this body, in my room.

Many of the things that are commonly looked at on this forum are thought to be BS by many, and it always impresses me when someone disses something I can clearly hear as BS. I keep coming to the conclusion that there is some impediment in their system/rooms causing their systems not to be as revealing as mine; or that their bodies do not pick up as much as mine for some reason(s); or that their perception is different from some other barrier(s). Whatever, since I daily experience the vastness of the sound field and musical spectrum as if it were real, it always surprises me when I hear these usually belligerent statements, that for me, in my room, defy reality.

And why is it so important (and why those poor folks who don't get it miss out)? When I can hear foot type and placemet effect things, or cable rolling, or whatever, no matter how subtle, if it can bring the realness to the sound just a little more, this can be a lot since that last few percent finally becomes sort of epic in the cumulative effect of gorgeous and captivating music in the home.
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« Last Edit: 03/27/14 at 17:54:51 by will »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #999 - 03/27/14 at 21:47:01
 
Quote:
LR said,
These are the same guys that say tube amps are crap because they "add something unintended by the original Mastering Engineer" and that they are "changing the sound and therefor are bad" or "so it's (tubes) an EQ or special effect".


To be fair McGowan said some of the same things about tubes while he was trying to promote that class D amp that PS Audio was working on.  Which was scrapped because for the most part class D sucks (which I could have told before he started and saved him a bunch of money ... or I would have given him that advice in exchange for a P10 Cheesy)

I wonder if he says the same things about tube amps now ~ after he took that class D amp to a shootout and lost to an old tube amp I haven't heard a peep from him in regards to tube amps. I do give Paul props in that he at least admitted his amp design lost on almost every level.

I also recall reading in one of his posts that he got an Aesthetix Calypso Preamp ~ which is ironic since I recall reading from him that preamps were no good either and just got in the way ... so not only is he using a preamp, it's also a TUBED preamp. Grin

Maybe he's coming around to the darkside Wink
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