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Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments? (Read 187345 times)
stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #650 - 10/20/18 at 13:07:48
 
Ah yeah, cough, the P5 would be different than the P3, to implement my suggestion.  I had complete confidence; Norm could figure that out immediately. Grin ...and all others too.

Interesting, since ditching my Pangea AC9-SE, from the wall to my P3 and using my XLO Pro Powercord from wall to P3, the thickness in the low end that could show up is gone and the dynamic's are killer. Once again, my ZMA is being supplied filtered/protected and not regenerated (I use an additional XLO Pro Hubbell ends Powercord from P3 to ZMA). In which, had me thinking this morning, let's put the ZMA on an regen outlet and see if I like it now, that way. When with the Pangea, I only preferred my ZMA not regen'd, with its big cap power storage.  Jury is still out.

Plus, I will manipulate Regenerated/the front end and ZMA simultaneously between 118 & 122. My ZMA always saw 120, 121 & 122 from the wall through the filtered & protected only outlet.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #651 - 10/20/18 at 14:47:05
 
Oh, it is not even funny and subtle or has to be heard for two weeks to discern. The ZMA has then and still now, is more dynamic and clean and stays away from sounding sanitized-when staying off of regen. A testament to Steve's ZMA power supply topology.

Now, my front end components? Absolute must, regen makes them thrive and with the Powercord I have running to my ZDSD.

Okay, enough about this and back to my 6 hour Saturday morning Jam Session. Cool
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #652 - 10/20/18 at 16:17:44
 
Dudes & Dudettes!

Garry P., from the Show Me State, has on order:

DECWARE POWER CONDITIONER.

What's the scoop Zen Master. Grin

Inquiring minds want to know!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #653 - 10/20/18 at 18:47:32
 
I saw that on the waiting list as well. I immediately thought maybe a product page was created and went to see. Would love to learn more before pulling the trigger.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #654 - 10/20/18 at 19:15:18
 
I looked all over too. Figured I missed something? Would not be the first time. Grin
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #655 - 10/20/18 at 22:07:29
 
Steve is just practicing with mine.

Gerry
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #656 - 10/21/18 at 16:25:06
 
I pulled my ZMA off the PSAudio P5 Regen and plunged it into an i500 isolation transformer (recommended by Steve a while ago). It may be my imagination, but the bass seems lower and fuller. I played "Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, op. 78 ""Organ"": Allegro moderato-Presto" by Saint-Saëns and the organ was amazing. My sound memory may not be good enough to really remember how things sounded when the ZMA was plugged into the P5, but  I'm not looking forward to crawling on my belly to swap and do an A/B.  I have everything else plugged into the P5. So I am now wondering about having my ZTPRE plugged into the P5. Other's thoughts?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #657 - 10/21/18 at 16:32:40
 
My thoughts? I've never had a Decware amp with the huge power capacity that the ZMA does and I concede that may be a different case, but every time I have thought "I probably don't need to have my amp plugged into the power regenerator" (whether the PPP, P5 or P10) I did not prefer it plugged elsewhere. Sounded better with the regenerator: clearer, sweeter, more dynamic.

The difference was even more pronounced with the ZTPRE and the P10. Leave it plugged into the regenerator!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #658 - 10/21/18 at 16:42:02
 
Yeah, I see your points Lon. However, the ZMA for me, does sound better through the HC/filtered/protected recepticle (no regen). So, I concur Norm. You are using the i500, but I'm getting the lower and fuller bass and more dynamic's all the way up the ladder....having got rid of the Pangea from the wall to my P3 (using XLO Pro pcord~incredible to P3 and one from P3 to ZMA)!  I was seriously in awe yesterday. I was in my Listening Room from 6:20 am till 2:30 pm, ....this change for me was so damn good.

I don't envy belly crawling you mention! Undecided  ....nice thing about a dedicated room and no kids (raised 4 all grown up) and no pets....my System is configured on the floor and my P3 is perpendicular to my System and set vertical...easy access to all components for me.

I would try your ZTPRE. The next time my Audio Research LS-2B MkII is in....I'm not regen'n it ~ A/B'n.

As I said above though and we know....the sensitivity of digital gear....I would not be without my P3/REGEN/120, for Transport, ZDSD and the Shunyata powercord I have to ZDSD. +, when in use...Regen of my plate Amp to my Caintuck kick arse OB Bass unit/needed. However, the transmission lines in my Adagio's are so coherent....the OB only kicks use when I need to go major league visceral for fun.

Busy with the Vikings today & Fleetwood Mac tomorrow....but later next week I'm pulling my Kimber PK10-Palladian, off my Solid State Behemoth downstairs and running from the wall to my P3 in my Listening Room....I have never tried this!  Obviously, I need to do this for comparison to the XLO from wall discovery to P3 ...no go for the PK10....from P3 to ZMA though I tried that long ago (Regen & HC).
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #659 - 10/21/18 at 17:24:15
 
The PSAudio P5 tends to dark and veiled for me. If this is the case in another system, I recommend an exceptionally clean and complete sounding power cable, one that might be a little too clear on your amp. 9-11 gauge sounds best here of those I have tried. With a bigger gauge of the same cable, I get a bigger/deeper sound, moving from big to too thick if the cable is too big and warm. And smaller gauge opens the sound, too small....too lean.

But especially with a revealing power cable and system, settings make a big difference here, offering nice refinement potential even with a cable that is a little off. I currently use 118V. Here this is more open and revealing of spacial and fine information than 120, and 121 or 122 will be bigger and fuller. I used Low Distortion for years, but tend to like High Regulation the last few. Hi Reg is tighter and clearer here, and Low Distortion is softer and more complex with more micro information. Even though I am pretty demanding for micro info in my sound, lately I think I have enough fine detail and space from other work so that I prefer High Regulation. I like Sinewave as multi goes thick and has an unnatural push here. Multi may be good depending on the system. I wonder if it is more designed for "warming" and pushing solid state.

The really intersting one here is Phase. I find either way off zero will shift the sound toward a more complex signal, more open lower, and more big in the positive direction, a nice refining tool here. I used -4 for a long time, and lately like -5. Could be my power, but I suspect similar results might happen elsewhere, though perhaps arriving at different setting combinations. Here, there is a Phase setting where the sound seems nicely and authentically open and complex, but a little loose/feathery, especially lows. Then backing it off one, or going one further, might bring it right in, open, complex and solid. Whatever one comes up with in a given system, I found in mine that playing with adjustment levels can make very nice differences for supporting a system the best.

I recall different feet made pretty useful differences here too.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #660 - 10/21/18 at 19:40:17
 
Although this really isn't the best "place" for it, I wanted to add a bit to Will's comments. I agree that different isolation "feet" are beneficial with the regenerators. With my P5 and P10 the PS Audio PowerBase (acoustically if not necessarily electrically) was a significant aid for detail, especially "room" and ambient detail, and additionally I've tried various Herbie's Audio Lab feet (Tenderfeet, Iso-Cups, Fat Dot and Soft Fat Dot, Ebony feet), Aurios and VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods. I find that Iso-Pods used throughout my system are wonderful, so I have added them under all components and they were clearly the best under the P5 and P10 of any I tried.

I too use "High Regulation" as I have very good detail retrieval from cabling and power and isolation and quality components and "Lowest Distortion" tends to become a bit fatiguing for my system overall (though for highest resolution digital material and analog this is less the case). And though I haven't played with "Phase" as extensively as Will it does do interesting things. . . . I have mine set at "0" but play around a bit sometimes. And I find that since I moved to the 25th Anniversary Monoblocks and CSP325 "Multi-Wave" at "1" is just the right dash of seasoning for Redbook and for most higher resolution material.

These regenerators (I've had a P300, a PPP which I still use in my second system, a P5 which Palamino now has, and the mighty P10) are excellent tools for audio imo--and were especially helpful when I was in a more urban environment. Although it has made a significant improvement out here in the woods with a much "cleaner" power from the wall, and the jump from P5 to P10 was "WHOA!"--very surprising in a positive way, so I'd recommend the regenerators anywhere.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #661 - 10/21/18 at 21:42:53
 
I think it is a best place Lon as we delve into this topic off the topic heading, then go back to center. You have my attention doing better by my P3 in isolation.

I think we/you also do a great job of referencing a thread to page for someone's question. But, I know what you mean, we are not on the direct Thread of topic on this. However, ideas of  thought, flow better this way off topic heading of the Thread. We don't do the off topic police thing. Makes the Decware Forum be at its best.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #662 - 10/21/18 at 22:10:37
 
I agree Larry, I just was covering my arse. Wink I do like the way that threads morph and flow like a conversation on this forum. On other forums persons can get a bit bent when this happens. . . and when searching in some forums it's more helpful to have topics more specific. But we're Decwarites. We're different by nature! L O L

I have a second PS Audio Soloist protector/outlet that I just ordered a Furutech plug (matching the one that I have on the Soloist in use) so that I can use it to test out the SE84UFO3 Mononblocks plugged in elsewhere than the P10. These are the only ones of my amps that I have not yet plugged outside of the P10 to see how that sounds. We'll see--it's worth trying because the 25th Anniversary power supply is such a different, big beast. If they don't sound better than the amps plugged into the P10, then the outlet will be an upgrade to my second system, it's a win win.

I was listening to my second system this afternoon: a Denon flagship universal player feeding my Torii Mk II and driving the Trapezium speakers. Unreal sound for what that system is for. . . fills my upstairs loft with great sound, and when I lie on the bed directly facing the system a great soundstage and tonal balance. No 25th Anniversary components there but still a very good general, not strictly clinical, listening system. We're so lucky with all the great Decware options we have. . . . We can get sound we only dreamed of before Decware.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #663 - 10/21/18 at 23:37:42
 
Lon, before Decware I had no idea this kind of reproduced sound was possible.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #664 - 10/22/18 at 00:31:21
 
Well, I'm glad I kept babbling about Decware on other forums until the news reached you and sparked your curiosity Joe. I know how wonderful Decware sounds. I haven't heard a ton of other brands because I got into Decware in '97 or so and have been on their course for amplification, pre-amplification and speakers every since. But I have to think Decware is among the best VALUE for exquisite sound quality there is in the market.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #665 - 10/22/18 at 23:46:22
 
I was not able to attend Zenfest this year, first time since 2012, because I went to RMAF this year, which is the exact same weekend.  So I wish somebody who was at Decfest this year, would chime in here about the Decware power conditioner.  What is it?  What's in it, etc. etc.  Is it a box full of isolation transformers or what?
And since this is a Decware Developments thread... we just as well talk about the new isolation bases too while we're at it.
Smiley
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #666 - 10/23/18 at 00:32:13
 
+1
Yes, inquiring minds want to know.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #667 - 10/23/18 at 01:34:47
 

I don't have all the info, but it looked pretty solid and well built - like an audiophile version of the Tripp Lite power isolator.

Steve Said it has a toroid power transformer and didn't elaborate beyond that, and I really didn't peck at him for more information either. It seemed there were two versions, a stripped down, and a loaded out. Here is what they looked like.

Again, I don't know if these are final production models yet, but they looked pretty finished to me. Besides the Toroid Isolation Transformer, I didn't see or hear about anything secret squirrel Zen-works inside.  











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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #668 - 10/23/18 at 01:36:11
 

And yes, I was very tempted to crack one open and snap some photos, mostly for my own curiosity...but I was good and didn't snoop.  :)
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #669 - 10/23/18 at 13:49:46
 
Reply #655.
Very cool Gerry!

I look forward to what Steve has to say soon with his practicing. Wink
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #670 - 10/23/18 at 14:14:04
 
Thanks for the post, did I understand those "meters" are tubes?
I vaguely remember an old Webcor?? tape recorder that had a green eye with a V in the top that closed to read recording input, I was very young, but we did have electricity! The thing weighed about 50lbs.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #671 - 10/23/18 at 20:04:08
 
Best to restate what Lon put best (back in reply #594):
"Keep calm and place an order." Cool

Me?
All purchased new...
SE84CS
TORII III
SuperZenCKC
Zen Styx
Zen Mystery Amplifier
CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
ZDSD w/Steve's Output Transfomer Stage
DECWARE PAC-S

DECWARE DM947 Monolith's (used)


On the build sheet: My ZBIT w/Dual Attenuation.

DECWARE Power Conditioner ~ potentially
ZMA 25th enhancements ~ potentially ~ however, love my ZMA as is...with great Kabling/Room & Speakers. ... my power is pretty good too Roll Eyes

So purchase something picture taker!
Tire kicker wall flowers should not criticize a couple canceled orders - ever.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #672 - 10/25/18 at 23:32:08
 
As I stated in post #662 I intended to try the 25th Anniversary SE84UFO3 Monoblocks "plugged into the wall" though the wall is a PS Audio Soloist outlet that is plugged into another PS Audio out lie in the wall with a Furutech plug.

The upgraded Furutech plug I ordered was discontinued by Furutech and I re-ordered a step above that, and won't have it for a week or so. But I couldn't wait and pulled the Monoblocks from the P10 and have been listening last night and today with them plugged into the Soloist. (The P10 is plugged into another Soloist, an SE, and all other components but my TV are plugged into the P10; the Tv is plugged into a PS Audio Powerbase that is plugged into the same Soloist SE as the P10.)

Well, I can see why those who use the ZMA can hear little or no difference when the amp is plugged into the wall or to a regenerator. More than any other amp I've had these Monoblocks sound very good plugged in outside the regenerator, and I believe it's the number of capacitors and their placement that is responsible. Still, I hear clear differences. There is less bass "slam" without the P10, and there is a softer focus, and a softer attack to the notes, which I am getting used to and which sounds nice. I do miss the bass precision and impact though. But it's easy enough to go back and forth for a spell. I think I may enjoy them unplugged from the P10 enough to leave it be for a while.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #673 - 10/27/18 at 17:27:55
 
Oh my! I'm using my Kimber PK10 Palladian, from the wall to my P3. The thickness from the Pangea is gone. I'm going to miss the PK10 in my SS Rig downstairs, but the Pangea can move into that mid-fi scene. The PK is staying from wall to P3 communicating to my filtered/protected receptacle/only; communicating my XLO Pro to my ZMA! All front end is Regen 120. Multiwave OFF.

Oh, I was cleaning and about to put in the PK10 a few days back and decided to put my Adcom AC - Enhancer in for awhile. Whoa, the PS Audio P3 went back in pretty quick. I wish what an PS Audio Powerplant does could be done for cheap IC's and Speaker Cables. No such luck chicken wire Belden user's. My Kimber Timbre IC is great with Kimber 8TC and ZMA. However, don't make the mistake of hearing Kimber Select with your DECWARE, or Voodoo or Morrow's very best.....you can't go back!
I did make that mistake 17 years ago.  8-) I have updated my Select ever since: KS1030 & KS3033, KS3035 and now, KS6063.
PK-10 Palladian from wall to P3 is a revelation. NOT to be run from P3 to ZMA.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #674 - 10/27/18 at 19:23:54
 
Still on power, I had an interesting experience with my P5. Listening to Lon again with his appreciation for setting the multi-wave on 1 with his P10, I tried it again. There was a new firmware version up on the PSAudio site, .46. Now I can't say for sure the firmware changes made me start to like some setting combinations using Multi-Wave, but I think so. I remember when I first talked with Paul McGowan about multi-wave some years back, I said it seemed a little unnatural and thick to me. He asked if I used tubes. I can't recall if I asked why, but tubes apparently could influence multi-wave effects in the ways I heard it at the time. And it is likely that higher levels of open resolutions from my amps are partly responsible for this change. I got a few notable leaps lately, but I am pretty sure I checked multi-wave not too long ago and still did not prefer it, so am guessing this firmware version is a good thing.

Playing around to get other settings complimentary, so far I keep coming back to Multi-Wave set at 2. It now more apparently cleans things up in its own special way, especially apparent on lower settings where less power punch leaves more openness with the increased articulation. Higher phase and voltage settings also seem to be more clear/articulate with multi, but the signal push is bigger, taking up too much audio space for me.

To get the most from multi-wave without notable sacrifice, as usual micro detail and decay are a good read for me. When the signal density and push are higher from multi, detail/space complexity is sacrificed. I found I like it best when the phase is set low enough, and fine-tuned to where there is excellent micro detail and space along with good signal density and weight. My voltage setting of 118 also contributes to this more open basis and some phase settings definitely help balance enhanced micro/spacial info with bass/body here. Then fairly low settings on the multi can be very nice, more punchy and articulate, but still naturally spacious and complex.

I may still go back to "Sine," really liking less altered decay complexity. But also I like a lot about multi-wave. Once I found a good setting balance, seductive articulation throughout while most spacial information is retained, it can help define the soundstage in nice ways here. To me, so much of this is just figuring out tools to help awaken our Decware as much as possible....so I am always glad to find refinements in complimentary power!

So I am looking forward to hearing more about Steve's power rig, but concerned it may not regulate voltage, something I really need here.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #675 - 10/28/18 at 13:35:13
 
Will, back to what you mentioned of to thin from the wall to PS, or to thick.

Yes, my XLO Pro is to thin from the wall to my P3 and the Pangea, to thick in the low end sometimes from the wall. However, my XLO Pro (I have two), has been beautiful from P3 to ZMA (protected/no Regen); now being augmented by the PK-10 Palladian from wall to my P3. Five days deep on the PK in and nothing short of revelatory. The PK-10 however, cannot run from P3 to ZMA.
All front end are Regen 120 Sine/NO Multiwave.

Thanks again for your depth on these matters that motivated me to even further improve my Power and I know you understand my Kables from your clearly excellent personal designs of Power, IC and Speaker cables.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #676 - 10/29/18 at 00:04:32
 
Hey Stone. Yes, even after years of hearing real differences in power cables, it remains amazing to me how much they can effect the P-type regenerator's sound for better or worse. Within limits, my amps and other things seem much more flexible with variations between different high quality power cable parts, geometry, and gauge, though still I end up with favorite combinations toward improving the system as a whole. This may just be that my Decware and other gear is set up to be very transparent, and the regenerators have enough self-sound that they need more effort to optimize. Don't know if they have worked out color/transparency issues with the newer ones or not. But just thinking of receptacles, wires (type, size, dielectric), caps...even solder... and how much they can each influence the sound, it makes sense that some combinations of parts and tech could end up being decent, but a bit off in revealing systems....especially once a designer starts trying to make things more "warm" or "forgiving."  Luckily, with several cable making experiments, and a lot of settings exploration, I have the P5 sounding good, but out of the box, I would have sent it back. Even so, though somewhat subtle, last I tried, I sacrificed too much running my DAC/computer setup through the P5. But the amps seem good to me, especially since a volt or two is so influential to my amp sound. I really love the voltage stability here.

Speaking of voltage...not sure the options with the P3, but if one of your cables is really close, but still a little lean or thick, upping the P3 voltage a touch should beef up the sound, and lowering it, lean it down. I imagine this may only work with the regen plugs, but it might be intersting to explore settings if you get close but want a little more.

Glad you are onto a good progression of refinement!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #677 - 10/29/18 at 19:05:12
 
my experience with he PS Audio regen products, up to the P5 I currently use, has been the opposite of Will's.  Every system I've ever plugged into them, produced a "significant" increase in resolution, both micro and macro, more transparency, more dynamics.  An increase in the ability to hear into the recording further, to hear the acoustic space the recording was made in, etc.  
I typically am listening to Decware amplification and crossover-less full-range speakers since about 2012.  But prior to that I used solid state amps and ribbon or electrostatic speakers.  I used earlier versions of PS powerplants back then, but heard the same types of differences.  I think the P5 was quite a bit of improvement over the PPP I had.

I've also taken my P5 to other peoples homes and used it in their systems - same result - more detail, resolution, dynamics, transparency, etc.  I've never heard a PS regen component add "darkness" or "thickness" to a systems sounds.  But that's just been my experience.  As usual YM will vary.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #678 - 10/29/18 at 22:52:44
 
Interesting. 1st, I don’t think I said the P5 in general thickened the tone, but that too big a gauge of power cables going into it, especially the Pangea, and multiwave could thicken it here in past experiments.

The rest I guess may be in part semantics, part where I started from, and part what I am after. When I say "tending to dark and veiled," coming from a strong focus on micro detail and space as primary reads for signal integrity, a little too dark/warm and veiled can mean a lot with my listening experience. I think I make this focus for unrestricted resolution and space clear in my posts in general, but again, what does that mean without hearing it? Relative to this, lots of tubes many seem to enjoy I can't use, sounding good in many ways, but not complete to me, lacking complexity of fine detail and/or space. And I know from my own front ends over the years, some are much better at revealing the finest detail and space, and some not so good at revealing these sonic aspects critical the whole for me...another factor beyond P5 influence that can help or hinder revealing the sound of the P5. Equally, I can't use many cables due to what I consider their restrictions in musical transparency and resolution. These, and more variables can obviously add up to a lot, toward revealing, and away from it.

Years ago, how my power started was the basis for impressions of the P5, and unfiltered, it was pretty clean. But I wanted surge protection and one switch. With this power and power cords I thought were notable improvements across the spectrum over stock, decent Decware silver ICs and Styx, a hospital outlet, an Audio BrickWall modded with better outlets and plug, a few Kemp power cleaners, an Alan Maher active power cleaner, a few passive filters on circuit breakers, lots of vibration tuning….it turned out my first power refinement attempts were really good! With a Decware SE34 and modded MG944s the system was more transparent and spacious with the Brickwall, not a lot, but it did no noticeable damage. I seem to recall the little plug filters did more than the Brickwall, especially the Alan Maher RFI/EMF filter ($80 back then) improving fine detail and spacial info quite noticeably with the system/room then... the Kemp ones also helpful enough to keep, especially the Schumann Resonator.

Then I got a Pi Audio Uber Buss. Compared to the Brickwall/etc I thought the Uber (with the rest) "warmed" (darkened) things a bit, but pleasantly. And nicely transparent and revealing otherwise, it also improved solidity and dynamics. Again, not a whole lot, but finally worth it. Some time later, on Steve's advice, I was playing with a variac to tune voltage. This clarified that I didn't like the effects from my voltage being high in general, and moving around, it made consistency of tuning tricky...thus the P5.

And I did have the P5 checked out when in for warranty work, the unit apparently "normal."

Anyway, too many variables to be absolute, but from where I started, with very transparent power and a very revealing system/room, the P5 needed help here. And though I have heard several (in my limited exposure) who agree with what I heard, I am glad most people like the PSaudio regens right off.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #679 - 10/30/18 at 00:01:33
 
I'd recommend the new firmware upgrade for the p5.  I felt I noticed a more open sound right away.

Will, per your suggestion, I have been running 118v for some time and like it.  Multiwave on 2.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #680 - 10/30/18 at 20:32:50
 
I haven't check for firmware on any of my PS Audio gear in ages...


Anyways, picked up my ZMA #000 after it's 25th Anniversary upgrade - I'm hoping to give it a good listen late tonight after I get some errands run and projects done. I'll be reporting back soon.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #681 - 10/30/18 at 20:50:12
 
Hmmm inquiring minds want to know...
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #682 - 10/31/18 at 00:43:19
 
Pal, I also thought the new firmware sounded smoother/less peaky, without losing fine detail complexity.

LR, Exciting the ZMA!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #683 - 10/31/18 at 00:51:11
 
LR, did you get the new big caps?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #684 - 11/01/18 at 01:33:34
 
I figured I'd get the caps at a later date, this is already more than I could afford. I played it for a few hours last night, but I'll reserve my thoughts till I get more burn in hours on the amp.

I may need new tubes to really enjoy the improvement.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #685 - 11/01/18 at 20:15:56
 
Though I haven't yet received an upgraded plug I'm still enjoying the 25th Anniversary Monoblocks not plugged into the PS Audio P10. I've done some system tuning around this and enjoying the slightly softened, spacious sound. I put Steve's tested and matched 6N5P in place of the Amperex Holland 6DJ8 in the ZTPRE, I moved from the Raytheon OD3W to the RCA OD3 and then back again in the Monoblocks, and yesterday the icing on the cake was replacing the Sophia Electric Aqua 274B in the 25th Anniversary CSP3 with my oldest RCA short bottle 5Y3. The sound is just right now. I'm going to try to leave it alone!

These 25th Anniversary Mods to the Zen amps and the CSP3 are the real deal. I'm more and more fascinated with the sounds and the possibilities that changes to all that surrounds and attaches can bring.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #686 - 11/01/18 at 20:46:15
 

Ok, I think I'm ready for my initial thoughts on the 25th Anniversary updates to my ZMA, in my setup at home. I'd like to preface this with a couple things to keep in mind.

#1 I think there is more here I'm not getting yet - I feel like the amp needs some burn in of the new parts and/or I need fresh tubes.

#2 My infamous L shaped room that has plagued me for years currently has hard floors in the form of LVP (Luxury Vinyl Planks). They are 8mm of layered Vinyl with a cork underlayment built in that I just installed. Side Note: I had to laugh that directions on these said they are sound absorptive. I think something was lost in translation, I think they maybe meant floor squeaks and footsteps maybe. Previously I had a really tired beige berber carpet throughout.







#3 While I know many of you live without Room Treatment, I can't have a serious listening session without some. The reflections and reverberations in a room are too chaotic to me without it, and currently my Room only has a couple studio grade absorbers on the ceiling. Everything else is packed up while I continue to work on installing the LVP floors.

So with those 3 items above, I was hesitant to post my initial thoughts on the amp. But after a little bit of mental recalibration and more burn in on the amp, I feel I can better speak to my initial thoughts. I will absolutely post more after much more burn in, room treatments, and maybe even new tubes if I can swing them...and YES, I will absolutely do a side-by-side with the little Zen that started all this 25th Anniversary madness.  :)



Note: Thanks Donnie for the slab - it's found a good home and goes well with the new flooring! Now I just need to find a mate for the ZMA!


So, I plugged the amp in place of the Zen that I've been listening to, which for most of this year had pretty much knocked the ZMA off it's pedestal. I've had a love/hate for the Zen amp for 20 years, but the 25th Mods...well, like I said, it knocked the ZMA right out of rotation; I just couldn't listen to the big amp anymore. Anyways, I plug it in - System is one of my custom built Music Servers running ROON ROCK which pushes the bits out to the TEAC NT-503 via USB, and/or PS Audio DirectStream via Network and it's Bridge II network connection. From the ZMA it goes to my (yes, unfinished) El Camino speakers.

Initially I was like WTF, this sounds horrible...but then I remembered, oh yeah, the ZMA does that until it's warmed up and the big caps have evened out. Damnit, it's been almost 5 years and that still trips me up!  Well, I let it play and warm up as I went about my business checking E-mail, making dinner, loading the dishwasher.  I really don't pay attention to the music, and eventually something catches my attention, or even subconsciously I wander back into the listening room and find myself sitting and focused. But....that didn't happen. I let it play for hours, and while it sounded good, it didn't sound "engaging".

So last night I decided to start fresh. I went back and listened to the Zen amp for a bit to recalibrate my head, it helped me realize that the room reflections were messing with my perception of the mids on up. Then I put the ZMA back in, and gave it many hours of warmup time while I mowed the lawn, worked in the garage, basically did anything but listen. Then as I was walking through the house I got caught off guard by the bass. I don't recall what was playing, because I had Roon pretty much playing at random, but it had speed, punch, and grip. And I found myself sitting down and clicking on some new albums in my library - fresh music, and I started to hear my ZMA again!

Except...the bass. There was something sexy and lucid about it. Acoustic bass sounded woody and percussive, and electronic bass had more of a room filling, punch you in the chest feel about it. I don't mean to say that it was louder, but just had more weight to it, even at low volumes. I noticed this on the Zen amp after the mods, the little amp that could...except now the big amp with it's horsepower and new found speed had more grip on the bass. With that, the beginning and the end of each bass note was sharp and articulated. Not necessarily "deeper" mind you; the notes the system could hit didn't change, but the notes it hit were THERE!

As I continued to click through tracks, old and new, I started hearing more micro-detail and speed throughout the range. *That's* what I was looking for and expecting! But as I said, with the chaos of the more reflective room, I'm feeling a lot of what I'd normally be able to spot instantly is smeared in the reflections and I can't really fully flesh how good the amp is nor compare it to the little zen till I get the room tamed. I honestly didn't think the lack of room treatment would trip me up so badly, but there it is. I felt I needed to put some small update up, even if just to laugh at myself for thinking I could hear through the room and confidently state what the improvements are in the Upgrade. (sigh)

So yeah, not a very fleshed out review, but interesting. I'm looking forward to updating and putting the two amps head to head in the (hopefully) near future.






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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #687 - 11/01/18 at 22:21:19
 
Eric,

A lot of variables to sort with changes to your listening room. I hope you have some success taming reflections, etc.

Your comments sound promising and based on the 25th Anniversary modded ZMA performance at Decfest, I'm sure you'll be pleased when the amp finally settles in.

If you are contemplating some new tubes, I highly recommend a quad of Tung-Sol 7581A power (output) tubes. You can pick up a quad on eBay for $88.95 shipped. I think you'll be very impressed as compared to any KT66 tube. It's my new personal favorite.  

I'm using Russian NVEZ black box, 3X MICA 6N5P's for the phase inverter and input tubes. The tube combination is heavenly.  

Good luck.

HK
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #688 - 11/02/18 at 15:19:23
 
Those floors look really nice LR!   I especially like the stash of Liquor in the speaker corner tho! lol  
 Try the following easily to see what net gains you may get from adding an area rug....    Go grab your comforter off your bed (and a blanket or 2 if the comforter is thin)  and lay it down between the speakers and your ottoman.  Where an area rug would live.   It should cut down on  alot of the floor reflections and I imagine that you'll hear a pretty big difference.  Going from your previous carpet to the vinyl is a huge difference in room reflection.  Should really help to clear up/uncongest your upper mids.  If so,  then maybe an area rug would be $ well spent.  I imagine you can find some online at a pretty good price or even a local WalMart,  etc..
  Just a thought,..    Best!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #689 - 11/02/18 at 15:29:29
 
Quote:
I especially like the stash of Liquor in the speaker corner tho! lol  


What do you mean?  Those are sound diffusers.   Wink
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #690 - 11/02/18 at 16:19:39
 
no, no, no,... my bad,.  I meant to say 'Holographic Soundfield Optimizers' that also double as soul, joint and cerebellum relaxers.     Grin
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #691 - 11/02/18 at 18:24:44
 
Yes!  And tuning them for the room requires adjusting the amount of liquid volume in each - of course always removing liquid, never adding to.   Smiley
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #692 - 11/02/18 at 18:39:28
 
No doubt,..  adding to is ALWAYS the wrong direction to go when dealing with those types of 'special' sound enhancement elixir's...  must always be imbibed FROM.  Don't ask me why,  I just KNOW that's how it works,..  from first hand exp. of course,.. too much!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #693 - 11/02/18 at 20:13:59
 
Funny, I posted that image on Facebook, and that's what everyone immediately notices.  Though the living room looks settled, I was just pushing furniture in there to make room in other areas of the house to finish installing the flooring....and I've not moved my liquor cabinet back in yet, and I'm debating finding a better, more modern cabinet...so everything is stacked on the floor so I can decide what bottles to keep, give away, or toss. One girl actually asked me if I was Russian, and said this is something her family would do (really?)

I do already have plans for an area rug; I've been looking for something lightly used on Facebook Marketplace. I can't find anything I like that's affordable. LOL

I may also start putting some of the diffusers back in this weekend...not including the liquor filled ones I mean.

I feel like queuing up some Miles Davis tonight, seeing how that sounds with the ZMA.

Oh yeah! One thing I totally forgot to mention which I think is important.

The damn ZMA keeps startling me - what I mean is that I'll be clicking through my music library looking for what to play next, I'll press play, and even though I *know* music is about to come forth...I'll get startled by the first note. And no, again, it's not because it's loud, it's because the system goes from dead-quiet-stopped to MUSIC faster than a blink of an eye. The room goes from empty to full in that instant.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #694 - 11/02/18 at 21:53:47
 
If you can find a rug you like and fits the budget,  I think it may be your missing key,..  should be cheaper than adding absorption to the entire ceiling, lol,...     If you get bored tonight try tossing the blankets/comforter on the floor and see what it nets you.  Just don't trip over the mess on the floor as go to adjust 'Holographic Soundfield Optimisers' for the 5th time,..  lol!   I would by the end of the night   Smiley
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #695 - 11/03/18 at 14:36:58
 
ZMA packed and I'm hitting FedEx in an hour or two. My budg' allowed me to do this/less Nichicon's (for now/not available). Update: 1, 2 & 3 are happening. Will be nice to get back (11/29, 30 or the 1st?) and season in for the arrival of my ZBIT (February) and needed XLR purchase. The budget will handle this well then too.

Archie, I'm just going to go cold turkey without my ZMA Cry I can't hook up SS in my Listening Room.  Let the suffering begin...... .
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Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Archie
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Posts: 1141
Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #696 - 11/03/18 at 18:52:17
 
Stone, may your turnaround time be short!   Cheesy   I think you'll be pleased in the end.  Although it still may not make Bruce Springsteen clear and understandable.  I commented to my daughter this morning while listening to "Nebraska" that despite $20K in audio, he STILL mumbles through his songs!   Grin
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3
ZR2
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
HR1s
Silver Cabling
Isolation platforms under everything.
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stone_of_tone
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Listen Often/Listen
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Posts: 3152
Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #697 - 11/03/18 at 22:40:56
 
Thanks Arch.

Yeah, I do like Tunnel of Love via ZMA. Great run of Tunes on this one and a little stripped down/does well.

ZMA is on the road to the Mothership!
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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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Lonely Raven
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Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 3283
Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #698 - 11/05/18 at 15:38:47
 

I saw Bohemian Rhapsody with a friend this weekend. I really enjoyed it. We both teared up a bit once or twice...probably partially due to the sound being so bloody loud and fatiguing, but it was a good, somewhat formulaic rise to stardom story.

After my ears settled a bit much later that night, I put the DirectStream via XLR to the ZMA and played Night at the Opera Remastered from cover to cover; which I haven't done in over a decade.

I've been playing with some GE 7027 from the 60s that I picked up somewhere...don't recall if that was specifically for the ZMA or for one of my guitar amps, but they have just enough hours to be broken in and sounded good...a bit dry but really good with the 25th Mod. Steve recommended them since he knows I like speed and detail, so I broke them out again.  I'm not sure I'm going to stick with them...they are great tubes, but I seem to gravitate to the fuller sound of the stock KT66  with my ZMA, modded or not.

I really should narrow down what tubes I like and stick with them and just flip the rest...I've got tubes piling up everywhere from decades of guitar and audiophile amps and I really can't remember what all I have or what I like, or what they are worth. I keep saying "when I have time I need to sort through these..."

Anyways, the ZMA is back to sounding like a ZMA, but with more detail - I'm really enjoying it, just what I needed to hear!
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stone_of_tone
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Listen Often/Listen
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Posts: 3152
Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #699 - 11/05/18 at 22:11:45
 
Cool LR. I saw Star is Born a couple Tuesday's ago. Tomorrow night Sue and I are seeing Bohemian Rhapsody. SB was great. Look forward to BR. I saw Queen in the summer of 1981. Billy Squire opened for them. Then, Queen burned the Arena down! Only, Robert Plant for me, has commanded the Stage as Freddy's equal. Robert Plant solo 1985 ~ Page/Plant 1996 & 98.

Anyway, yes, I look forward to this next evolution for my ZMA.
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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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