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Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 36579 times)
vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #100 - 10/16/14 at 06:16:41
 
Good Article on NOS DACs
Submitted by Rob McCance on September 26, 2012 - 6:08pm
Good article.

I'm starting to see a resurgence of the ole vinyl / digital debates with most articles summarily dismissing digital.

I'm not here to change the world or take some huge stance but I can tell you this. People that state how horrible digital is probably have never heard much solid digital.

I have both and I have friends with wildly expensive vinyl setups (anti-digital bigots). I can tell everyone, from first hand experience, that a SOLID digital setup, even playing redbook, can rival Vinyl.

If it didn't I would not state it. I've got no dog in this fight.

You have to take as much care with your digital playback chain as people take with their vinyl chain: turntable, arm, cartridge, phono pre amp, pre amp, amp, etc.

I have a NOS digital playback chain that does not break the bank but without doubt, delivers the goods:

MBP/iTunes/Pure Music >> Audiophilleo >> Metrum Octave >> ARC SP16 >> Prima Luna Monoblocks.

This absolutely competes with Vinyl rigs, even playing Redbook, and absolutely SLAYS vinyl on a LOT of material.

But back to the original topic. This NOS DAC (Metrum) is a game changer for the money.

to make things more comfusing
Submitted by tomasz on September 21, 2012 - 1:09pm


Every DAC employing a delta-sigma DAC chip (e.g. PCM1798 in nu force DAC-9 or ESS9016 in Peachtree iDac) can't be truly called a NOS DAC. Delta-sigma module using 1-bit conversion must up sample the data stream at least 32-times to execute digital to analog conversion. Surely using a delta-sigma DAC without digital filter enables getting rid of the annoying post- or pre- ringing which is a side effect of every digital low-pass filtering, but we still are left with some fiddling with audio data. Delta-sigma converter have to change true PCM data into something like DSD.

Only multi-bit (resistor ladder) DACs (like AD1865, AD1862 in Audio Note DACs or TDA 1543 in Pro-Ject DAC FL) can provide a real NOS experience, although a ladder DAC chip don't necessarily mean a NOS application, because it might be used with an oversampling filter. I personally love AD1865 which I use with a 6N1P-EW tube output stage.

Vertex AQ Aletheia DAC
Submitted by PhilipAC on February 17, 2013 - 2:14pm
Hi everyone

I own the above DAC which is a NOS ladder DAC and only 96/16, despite having lots of DSD files which need to be converted to PCM, and it sounds fantastic!

Philip

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It works extremely well for me.

I like the sound sound of it so much that I bought a DAC that only does DSD (LampizatOr DSD DAC), even though like most people, the vast majority of my collection is PCM.

I use JRiver to send everything to it in DSD128. The sound is fantastic.

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/direct-stream...
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« Last Edit: 10/16/14 at 06:30:04 by vyokyong »  

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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #101 - 10/17/14 at 03:03:50
 
I tried many silver cables, like Nordost cables 10 years ago. I did not like silver cables even though it provides very high details and resolution. But the sound is thin and image size is small. I like pure copper cables because of its warm sound. I feel that it is more close to vinyl sound.

However when I listen to Duelund hook up wire version2, I love its sound. It provides neutral sound with both excellent ends. It gives very high resolution, details in both high and low, fast transients and long note decay, good airy and excellent trimbre. impact bass, slam and bass textures and excellent dynamics.

I make one 5 feet IC from Duelund hook up wire version2 (4 cables per channel) and WBT 0110 Ag RCA Male plugs. I love this cable. It beats my MIT Avalon IC by substantial margin in term of details and dynamics.

This IC does not have RF shield braid, same concept of AntiCables, which provides open sound with excellent transparency. It is completely silent when I use my ear close to speaker. It confirms no RFI problem.

The weakness of IC is that the 4 wires of Duelund hook up wire have to rearrange to separate each wire not to close or contact each other. The more space between them, the more transparency.
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Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #102 - 10/18/14 at 09:30:07
 
My ZMA has been tweaked by adding DIY Soundcoat damping material and cone spikes under ZMA base. It is one of my best sonic improvement value per dollar. The sonic transparency is huge increase. If you want to optimize your ZMA to its greatest sonic, anti vibration isolation is a much to do. The higher sonic potential of your Hi Fi system, the higher sonic improvemen you get from well anti vibration isolation.

The cheapest and most effective way is DIY using Soundcoat damping material placed on top of cone spikes. USD 25 for 3 cone spikes and USD 2 for Soundcoat damping material. It is only outlook is not nice. But the sonic improvement is huge in term of transparency. If some one wants to sell me of USD 200-300, I will not hesitate to pay when I hear sonic improvement.

However you need to try to find optimal locations to put under your ZMA. Each location affects to different sound quality of ZMA. Guide line is place two cones under center of transformers and one cone is at front center of amp (1 inch from edge).
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Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #103 - 10/18/14 at 09:32:56
 
DIY cone spikes under ZMA.
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #104 - 10/20/14 at 03:06:36
 
One of other tweaks which is necessary is room treatment.

If you don't invest in room acoustic correction or room treatment, you will not get full sonic quality out of your Hi Fi system. Some room acoustic problem will ruin your sonic sound when you play your Hi Fi system.

I had not invested in room treatment also before this since I am working out of my country and have to stay 2 years and moved to other places again. I just though that I will have room treatment when I am back to my country and has permanent music listening room.

But I was wrong. It is a necessary to have room treatment in order to get your full sonic quality out of your Hi Fi system. I just bought 6 pieces of GIK Acoustic spot panel size 24"x24"x2", price USD 210. The size is the biggest size that USPS allows to be international shipped by air. I just installed only 3 pieces in front only and it has a huge impact to my sound stage. It makes sound more crystal clear, exacting instrument position and precise focus, black black black back ground.

I have flat screen TV at the front center of Hi Fi system since my system are both stereo and home theater. The flat TV affects to center sound image a lot. It must be exactly 90 degree to your view angle so that it will not be affects to unbalance of center vocal and instruments image. And I place GIK spot panel in front of TV, please see in picture, when I play stereo system. It helps a lot to improve center sound image. And GIK panel will be taken out when I play home theater or watch TV.

I highly recommend GIK acoustic products.
http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?ymisc&1332722163
http://www.gikacoustics.com/product/gik-acoustics-spot-panel/

And this is recommend by Steve, Empirical Audio.

06-13-14: Audioengr

BTW, here is what I would recommend for room treatments:

1) to eliminate HF sidewall reflections, put Sonex panels, 3'X5' on the spots where you see the tweeters when putting a small mirror on the wall and looking from the listening position. If these do not pass the WAF, then look to absorbing panels from GIK acoustics with graphics on them. I have some of these as well with a nice Fender guitar printed on it:

2) get two ASC 1/4 round tubetraps, as tall as your tweeters:
www.acousticsciences

Place these just behind your speakers (2" behind) with the inside curved surface faced inward. Start with the flat surface parallel and in line with the speaker inner facing side. Then "tune" by rotating the left one counter-clockwise and the right one clockwise. At some point you will get razor-sharp focus, but too much rotation will compromise the width of the soundstage. Rotate them back until you have just the right mix of width beyond the speakers edges and sharp focus of the vocalist in the center. If you have a reflective surface like a TV screen, these will eliminate the effect of it by scattering the back-wave from the speakers. This is a very effective treatment for both imaging and bass that I have used at shows and at home for years.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
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« Last Edit: 10/20/14 at 03:10:22 by vyokyong »  

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Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #105 - 10/29/14 at 06:28:03
 
In evaluate listening section of each mod stage, I did not use Sub-woofer. Because it is time consuming to adjust sub-woofer to seamless integration with main speakers. Now I finish my mod ZMA and doing more burn-in of mod parts installed in ZMA. It transforms ZMA to be much more sublime now.

But by adding sub-woofer Martin Logan Depth to my main speakers Avalon Avatar (Frequency response from 45 Hz to 20 MHz), my system improves to next level top notch. It is quite close to my friend system of Wilson Audio Alexia speakers and VTL Siegfried Series I Reference Monoblock Amp. My friend system is super top notch in both end top and bottom frequency extension and macro and micro dynamics. I think that this is current trend sound quality of new super expensive Hi Fi system. However by adding sub-woofer, my system is close to him now. But my system has better refine and delicate sound quality to him. I am very satisfied.

More tips of sub-woofer set up.
1) Please use interconnect cable quality as same as your main interconnect cable of your main amp. In the past, I tried to save money in sub-woofer interconnect cable. The result was poor integration of sub-woofer to main speakers. I blamed poor sub-woofer and though that sub-woofer sound quality concept did not work as same as full frequency floor standing speaker.  But when I change sub-woofer interconnect cable to synergistic research IC which is quite expensive. Now sub-woofer can integrate to my main speaker seamlessly and produce top notch sound. And it is flexible to tune bass to suite your listening room.
2) I just place small remaining piece of Soundcoat damping materials under sub-woofer spikes. It transforms bass to be very tight, perfect control and details. it is a surprise. Now Soundcoat damping materials is my magic for doing vibration isolation in my system with very low cost.
3) Make sure that your sub-woofer is fast enough to match your main speakers. It is about time alignment. The sound wave from your sub-woofer should arrive at the same time as the sound wave from main speaker. In the past many sub-woofer are fail in speed to match with main speaker so that they can do poor integrating with main speakers for superb musicality sound. But nowadays sub-woofer improve a lot and many owners of Avalon Isis are using sub-woofer to integrated with Avalon Isis successfully.  

Quote:
Hi South - i run old Wilson X1/Grand Slamms. I run a Velodyne DD18 in parallel, from 41hz down (using a 48db rolloff above 41hz.) The Velodyne set directly on the floor used to be at volume 8 (quite low)...and then upon placing it on an Auralex isolation platform, i ended up finetuning the volume to 32 after the distortion from vibrating the floor was largely taken care of...and thus, i could drive much purer, clean bass to even better integrate with the Wilsons.

Some Avalon owners use subwoofers as an option to complement the last octave down



4) The Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer has phase selector of 0, 90, 180 and 270 degree and volume attenuating of freq 25 Hz which is very essential to dial your sub-woofer to be seamless integrated with your main speakers and solve low freq problem from room reflection. My cut off LFP is 30 Hz. It can be selected from 30, 35, 45, 55, 65 and 80 Hz.  

My next trial will be downloading Dirac Live for 15 days trial period of Digital Room Correction program.

http://www.dirac.se/en/solutions/home-audio/dirac-live/overview.aspx
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« Last Edit: 10/29/14 at 10:02:52 by vyokyong »  

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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #106 - 10/31/14 at 02:52:38
 
Tube Rolling in ZMA.

During the mod ZMA process, I went back to use stock tubes in order to have fair opinion about sonic improvement as same as stock ZMA. But before mod ZMA, my tubes are as following;

Siemens E88CC ($370 for quad), RCA 6L6GC ($380 for quad) and RCA JAN OA3 ($18 for pair).

And this is my past review of this set tubes in ZMA.

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.

However after mod ZMA finish and I install this NOS tube set back (Siemens E88CC , RCA 6L6GC and RCA JAN OA3. The sonic different is not much different as before mod. The stock tubes provides very very good sonic quality already. I can live with these stock tubes after mod ZMA. While before mod, I cannot go back to stock tubes after I install NOS tube set as above. But the sonic different may be in the region of last 5% increment to be 100% perfect. The NOS tube set provides more open and more forgiving sound than stock tubes. The increment sonic improvement is in term of much better delicacy and refinement which makes mod ZMA very close to reality best performance  live concert!.

When my NOS GEC KT66 clear glass arrives, I will give more review of it.
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #107 - 11/21/14 at 06:58:59
 

I just posted my impression in audiogon forum of
 Lightspeed Attenuator - Best Preamp Ever?
as below;


11-21-14: Vyokyong
Hi,

I am using Lightspeed Attenuator for 3 weeks already and want to share my impression here.

My system are;

Audio Note DAC 3.1 custom modded TC Reference MBX. by Bill Baker, Response Audio.with two separate mono power supply unit as same as preamp L2, Mac Mini, Offramp 5 USB convertor, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, XLO Purple Rush power cord
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle RCA IC. Synergistic Research Tesla Reference power cable.
Avalon Avatar speakers. MIT Oracle speaker cable.
Hydra 8. ZSB. Kubala Sosna Emotion PC.

I have modded my Decware Zen Mystery amp by removing volume pot out of signal path. It improves much substantial transparency and dynamics to my system. I don't use any preamp. The source Audio Note DAC is connected directly to Zen Mystery amp. So that I need to have volume control for my amp. I read a lot forum about active premap, passive preamp and all types of volume control from volume pot, shunt resistor volume pot, Auto Transformer volume control (ATVC) and Lightspeed attenuator. My decision to go with Lightspeed attenuator.

I love my system to have amp connected directly to source, no preamp. The sound is fabulous. I temporarily use digital volume control in Pure Music software while Lightspeed attenuator was not arrived yet. The digital volume control is acceptable but still creates some sound distortion that you can hear.

When Lightspeed attenuator arrives, I connect it between my amp and source as a preamp. I hardly hear any different between having lightspeed attenuator in my system and without it in my system. It is so transparency. I give 99.5% transparency to directly connecting between amp and source. The 0.5% transparency short is for need of extra one interconnect cable which affects on sound quality. I am very happy and highly recommend to use Lightspeed attenuator as your preamp if you love your amp directly connecting with your source. Or your source has a very excellent sound and you don't want preamp to change its sound quality. And your system don't have any impedance mismatch with Lighspeed attenuator.

For active preamp, therea re some benefits because there are two more functions in active preamp which passive preamp does not have;
1) Gain stage function. Its function is to increase voltage of signal to improve loud and dynamics of system.
2) Buffer stage, its function is to prevent impedance system mismatch. If your source sound is harsh, buffer stage may help to reduce harsh sound.
Then active preamp is benefit for some hifi system.

You select the best for your system.
Vyokyong  (Answers | This Thread)
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #108 - 11/30/14 at 07:29:56
 
Hi,

I just changed Siemens E88CC 4 tubes from Europe Ebay seller to Tube Museum seller. The tubes from Tube Museum provide more than 30% sonic improvement.  It is substantial improvement. But the price of tubes from Tube Museum is more expensive than general eBay sellers of 20%.  You pay for what you get. However the tubes from Europe are much better than stock tubes.
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #109 - 12/22/14 at 02:07:03
 
Hi,

I just tweak ZMA by using acrylic box to cover tubes on top of ZMA as in the picture. Its function is to prevent micro-vibration from sound wave attacking on tubes. It is the same function as Herbie tube damping. But acrylic box is prevention device while Herbie tube damping is passive device. I have one pair of Ultrasonic RX tube damping from Herbie. It is effective to make sound more focus and clearer. But its side effect is that it can make sound controlled too much and feel stress. The acrylic box make sound more focus and clearer without sound stress or be controlled too much.

One weakness is that when you want to turn volume or turn on, turn off the amp, you need to lift up the acrylic box.

However I highly recommend to go with Acrylic box rather than Herbie's tube damping for save more money and better damping function.  

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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #110 - 12/22/14 at 03:16:25
 
I would think that the acrylic box would be much more apt to vibrate than the tubes. There must be 100X the surface area.
I'm away from my reference books, but I would like to look up the damping factor on acrylic. I'm thinking that it is just this side of sheet steel.
But if it works, who am I to argue.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #111 - 12/22/14 at 07:08:33
 

I was going to say the same thing as Donnie - I'm betting that big panel on top resonates at an audible frequency, which is then dumped into the chassis where the acrylic box rests on the ZMA.

I'd also much rather not trap all that heat in there. Those small holes don't make me feel like it's well ventilated, especially when I don't see any place for the cool air to be drawn in (preferably from below).

I just don't see this as a good idea.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #112 - 12/22/14 at 14:03:44
 
I thought about the Acrylic box a bit more last night.
It would make more sense to me to make a wooden box to envelop the entire amp. Maybe putting a bead of silicone on the bottom.
There would have to be cutouts for the wires and cooling, maybe something on the top to let the heat out.
While I love the obsessive nature of this pursuit, I'll take my time and money to go to a concert and listen to music as it really sounds. No stereo comes even close to a loud sweaty band playing in a dive bar.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #113 - 12/22/14 at 14:14:56
 
That's a great point Donnie. Though loud sweaty bands in bars are definitely NOT my thing, no stereo really replaces live music. Not even when you're just alone in your living room creating it yourself. But. . . Decware components and their few compadres tempt you to inch closer and closer. . . .

I personally find that leaving the amp open and Herbie's tube dampers and using Mapleshade footers as chassis weights work best for my setup (which includes Herbie's Iso-Cups and PS Audio PowerBase). We all have different tastes and different likes, and also things work differently in concert with other isolation and cabling components, etc.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #114 - 12/22/14 at 14:26:34
 
Lon, Donnie,  I haven't seen a live band in a sweaty bar...or was it the band that was sweaty?...anyway, I enjoyed such things in my youth but not now.  I won't even attend outdoor concerts and sitting on the ground is out for the rest of my life.  But I do attend concerts with bands and symphonies in acoustically superb Halls at least twice a month.  When I hear the "Lay Family" Organ put through it's paces...I know that although I love Music in my Listening Cave...it will never be the same as Live.  Mark.



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« Last Edit: 12/22/14 at 14:29:02 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #115 - 12/22/14 at 14:48:19
 
Hi,

Thanks for all commend. The real problem is caused the reflective sound at big panel of acrylic box which is placed between my front speakers. It ruins sound stage a lot. Even though I feel instrument's image is more focus. But the whole sound stage is flatter, less wide and congest, just between the speakers. The previous sound stage is very depth and wider than both speakers.  I accept mistake and remove the box out.

Thanks again for commend.
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« Last Edit: 12/23/14 at 09:35:09 by vyokyong »  

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #116 - 12/22/14 at 17:40:23
 
As everyone is aware, vibration interaction is extremely complex.  It occurs to me to wonder if how we present our equipment to our own unique vibration environments with respect to how Steve presents the equipment throughout the design phase makes a difference in the ultimate performance?  Maybe all of our tweaks are just to recreate Steve's (or other designer's) net environment?
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #117 - 12/22/14 at 17:42:58
 
vyokyong,
Your comment brings up an interesting thought.
Why do we put our equipment between the speakers? Is there some unwritten law about it?
Would it sound better if we placed all of these boxes somewhere else?
My amp sits behind my left speaker just because there is a wall outlet  close to it. The bad thing is that I have a 20" computer screen  setting more or less between  my speakers.
Maybe it is time for me to reconsider things around here.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #118 - 12/22/14 at 18:36:01
 
Donnie,
I've placed my equipment to the left of my speakers and I feel this has really increased the soundstage and allowed my to have a "wall of sound" that comes at me and seems to radiate through the room.  Would never have thought of it till Steve helped me when I asked him about room acoustics.

Happy listening all.

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glineus
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #119 - 12/22/14 at 23:33:01
 
Hi;
After reading Jim Smith's book "Get Better Sound" my equipment was removed from between my speakers and placed on the right wall of the listening area. Since the rearrangement I have noticed an all  round increase in sound quality as follows;-
(a) Increased sound-stage width and depth.
(b) better 3D imaging and clarity of notes
(c) performers and instruments are more focused.
(d) Increase and clarity in bass response. The sound from the four 15"
    mid bass drivers at the rear of the Zu Definitions is now bouncing  
    off the front wall into an open area and not into a rack full of
    equipment.
The only downside with this setup is that experimenting with various speaker cables is costly. However, having installed a twenty two feet length Clear Day Shotgun silver cables  my speaker cable search ended.

Enjoy the music
   
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #120 - 12/27/14 at 13:13:27
 
One more tweak trick.

Wrap your power cable plug with ERS sheet. It makes your system sound of more transparency, expand sound stage, better dynamic and better PRaT (speed). One of best tweaks. But you need to do one power cable as one step to check sound improvement. Some power cable does not work.
As my observation, the power cable plug with plastic head works.  While power cable plug made of metal does not work.
It makes your tube amp sound's dynamic close to SS amp.
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Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #121 - 12/27/14 at 13:20:08
 
The bass is dull when power cord plug made with metal is wrapped with ERS sheet.
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Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #122 - 12/27/14 at 13:28:51
 
I use ERS sheet to cut and pull inside PVC bag. Using this ERS sheet in plastic bag wrap the power cord plug and taped with Scott tape. It is cheaper to order ERS with glue type.


ERS, emi / rfi sheets, 8" x 11", No adhesive backing, Each



$24.95 $24.95 pcX USD Price

 Submit            
     
SPOINTS-70605
QTY      ADD
ERS emi / rfi sheets, 8" x 11", no adhesive backing, Set of 4



$89.95 $89.95 pcX USD Price
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #123 - 12/27/14 at 18:06:59
 
I recently saw a picture where a guy had put copper pipe sleeves over his power cord connector at his amp.  I don't know the theory but is this what the ERS sheet is for?  Some kind of Faraday shielding?

I'm looking at getting some power cords that have twisted main conductors and EMI/RFI shielding in the sheath.  I notice that some cords are not shielded.  I wonder if covering the connector brings the shielding right up to the amp?
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #124 - 12/29/14 at 02:53:51
 
The idea concept to put ERS sheet or copper pipe sleeves over power cord connector of both ends is that normally there is EMI/RFI shielding material on power cable but at the power cord connector point that the cable wires are bare wires to be soldered with power cord connector. Then there is no EMI/RFI shielding material here at plastic made power cord plug. The ERS sheet or copper pipe sleeves over power cord connector acts as a EMI/RFI shielding function at power cord connector of both ends.
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« Last Edit: 12/29/14 at 02:59:03 by vyokyong »  

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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #125 - 12/29/14 at 23:18:43
 
Thanks for the explanation.  That makes sense.  I've been shopping for power cords and I was under the impression that shielding is important and a good thing.  Interestingly, The Decware power cords are not shielded.

If a copper pipe or other shield is used over the connector, does it have to be connected to the ground or anything to work?  Or is it completely passive?
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #126 - 01/05/15 at 02:52:00
 
Some commend on benefits of shielded power cable:

The actual reason is that there is usually a mass of cabling in close confines behind the equipment stacks. Using Hi-Z cabling (RCA) interconnects, the ac lines in close proximity can induce 60hz hum in the unbalanced interconnects. It is the same concept as using shielding on balanced pair cabling.

Unshielded power cords can induce interference onto signal wires particularly when they are in close proximity to each other (like in the tangle of wiring behind an AV rack). Not an opinion, a fact. A properly shielded power cord can/may reduce this interference. Whether or not this specific power cord design does mitigate this interference for any DIYers that want to give it a try was the information I was seeking. That's all.


There are debates between shielded power cord and non-shielded power cord. Then it is no conclusion. It is depended on power cord cable design.

Some information from Empirical Audio,
http://www.empiricalaudio.com/computer-audio/technical-papers/myths-and-snake-oi...

Power Cord Shielding
Shielding a power cable is unadvisable. It will add significant capacitance to the cable with minimal positive benefit. If you really need this, then the shield needs to be spaced well away from the conductors (large diameter) to minimize capacitance and avoid constraining the magnetic field lines that should couple between the conductors.

Empirical testing has shown that standard shielded 14 gauge stranded power cord sounds less dynamic than unshielded 14 gauge stranded cord when used with audio components that benefit from improved cords. The impedance of the AC electrical system is extremely low and susceptibility to magnetic and RF fields is extremely low for power cables so the benefit is questionable at best. Unfortunately, some of the commercially available shielded cords appear to make some systems sound better, but are actually "tone controls" for taming badly matched or designed components. There is some benefit to shielding if you are trying to protect unshielded nearby unshielded interconnects from the fields generated by the cord itself.

http://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=9793

DIY Power Cord :
http://www.venhaus1.com/diymains.html

http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?fcabl&1076545056

http://www.head-fi.org/t/219202/its-done-power-cord-shoot-out-22-power-cords-rev...
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« Last Edit: 01/05/15 at 02:54:57 by vyokyong »  

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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #127 - 01/16/15 at 17:40:52
 
I just ordered the Decware power cord.  I asked Steve about shielding and he sent this reply.  Seems to bear out
what Vyokyong quoted from Empiracal Audio above.

"As for cords, they emit no RF so the only thing to worry about is 60 cycle field which is mostly canceled by the braid.  When we were testing cords during the design process for the DHC-1, we found it to sound better than shielded cords.  Don't know why, just went it."
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #128 - 06/16/15 at 03:34:10
 
THE ZMA ADJUSTABLE BIAS SYSTEM

I have one big observation that ZMA adjustable bias system is one critical key. Don't over look and just set to any level between 40-60 mA.

I have set my ZMA to a sweet spot mA level by delicate fine tuning of touch by touch. It gives a great sound so that I am not believe that it makes a total different. I try to lower or increase to other mA level. The sound is lost of magic that I have to set to this sweet spot level again. Then I want to share this experience for us to be not overlook to find your sweet spot of bias mA level. I think that each system will have their own sweet spot depended on gears.

I love my ZMA. It is a great Amp and may be my final Amp. Even my Avalon Avatar speakers is very old 15 years and used price is only USD 1,800. But it provides sublime sound. It is a amazing speakers that your front ends equipment can push its performance to sublime level. I attend many dealer showrooms with very expensive gears including expensive speakers and still very happy with my system. But I will make a final shot to buy Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers, my dream speakers. I like its sound better than Avalon Isis which I think that it is too cool side for my taste. I love more warm sound or organic, opposite to cool sound or analytical sound.  
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« Last Edit: 06/16/15 at 15:28:29 by vyokyong »  

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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #129 - 06/16/15 at 15:22:52
 

I agree, Bias is important. I think I might want to look more into where my sweet spot is. I've just been setting it at 50ma and forgetting about it, but maybe I should be paying more attention to the levels.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #130 - 06/18/15 at 15:26:28
 
Agreed here too. I'm going to do some experimenting with my bias as well. Maybe, see what 45 to 48mA yields?

Having these meter's bodes well for longer tube life too.

vyokyong, your other tweaks have not gone unnoticed either. Right now, I'm excited to get Stoddard's an Moffat's, from Theta.....Yggdrasil DAC. Spending the rest of this year with my ZDSD & Yggy Front-End fun.

Then, next year, going to Decware with my gear, for a planned visit....to check some other Decware out! Draw my personal consensus, for my Listening pleasure...... .

I do see myself visiting some of your tweaks, such as binding post upgrades on the ZMA, to other things you've mentioned. That will be my final frontier mod-out(s) of my ZMA.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #131 - 06/19/15 at 05:19:08
 
Hi Stone of Tone,

Nice to hear from you. I am very happy with my hifi system now.
I had not changed any thing in my hifi system for 8 years. I was quite happy with them. However my journey started when I read Decware forum about Decware tube gears.

First gear I changed is ZMA to replace Pass Labs X150. I wanted to try tube amp and I worried that ZMA cannot drive my Avalon Avatar speakers which has sensitivity only 85 dB. I wrote e-mail to Steve. He said that ZMA should not have any problem to drive Avalon Avatar speakers. However he insists that if I have chance to change speakers, he would recommend one full range driver speakers with high sensitivity > 90 dB. I told him that I love my Avalon speakers and did not want to change to other brand speakers . ZMA is a masterpiece amp. It turns my hifi system to next 2 -3 steps up to new league level.

Then I wanted to play music computer server instead of CD player. I have Accuphase CD/SACD player which can be accepted SP/DIF signal from computer. I heard that music comp server beat the best transport with much lower cost than expensive transport. And it is true.  I use Offramp 5 USB-SP/DIF converter, Mac Mini, Pure Music software and Mojo Audio LPSU for both Mac mini and Offramp 5 and feed signal to Accuphase DP77. The result is that I get much better sound quality than playing by Accuphase CD player or even SACD player.

However I wanted to upgrade DAC again.  I did research a lot of DAC and there are two main groups of DAC. First DAC group is Sigma Delta DAC chip which is main stream DAC products in market. The second group is minority in market, it is R2R DAC chip or multibit DAC chip. I choose to go with R2R DAC chip because I think that R2R DAC chip is like no-negative feed back amp design concept. It provides raw and keep original record signal. While sigma delta chip is like negative feed back amp concept. Then I read about Audio Note DAC of Non Over Sampling rate (NOS)  against high over sampling rate. I believe in NOS concept then I bough Audio Note DAC 3.1 modified to be DAC 4.1 level to replace my Accuphase DP77. It is a big step jump of my hifi system again. I read and follow your PS Audio Direct stream DAC and Yggdrasil DAC which use R2R DAC chip also. I confirm that you go on the right track of R2R DAC chip, not Sigma Delta DAC chip.

Third, I read about modified amp with boutique components or DIY. Then I went to route of mod ZMA. And this is one big 2-3 steps up to next level of my hifi system again. It is really huge improvement. I would like to suggest to give important to upgrade signal path by pure silver connection and wire in signal path. And I very, very, very  highly recommend to by pass your volume or gain control of ZMA. If the volume control is by pass or no volume control, your hifi system will gain huge transparency, micro dynamics and macro dynamics. It likes you take out blanket out of your hifi system. Now I use Light Speed Attenuator to control volume or gain instead. It is most transparency and cost you few fortune of less than USD 500. I ordered two mono volume control left and right so that it helps to balance your left and right sound level easily.

I think that my system is going to near peak level. But I am not sure that it is only my illusion. So that I visit many hi-end hifi dealers to listen to their expensive gears. But none of them make me impression compared to my current hifi system. I feel more confident in my system and big thank to ZMA. Even though my speakers is Avalon Avatar and now used price is only USD 1,800.

Even in my sub-optimal room, they truly disappear. It never sounds like the music is coming from a box; they have a very stable image that tends to be more deep than wide (in my room). It's easy to identify where each artist / instrument is and I think this contributes to a "live" sound. Others have commented on this characteristic, and it certainly bears out for me. It is as if you are transported to the original venue, recording studio or stage rather than having the venue brought to your room. I'm not sure if that makes sense without hearing them, but you'll understand if / when you audition.

The only drawback I hear in my system is they don't have the impact I have heard from some big-time systems on snare drums, etc. I once heard Take Five via a Walker TT and all burmester gear including their big speakers and I'll never forget the impact it reproduced on the drum solo. My system can't do that but it likely has as much to do with the other gear. I guess it's unfair to compare my $25k rig with a $100k + setup...haha.

Now there are two weakness of my system which I need to address.
1) If music file with low gain record is played, it is not loud enough. I need more gain so that I will add preamp to my hifi system. However I love passive preamp more than active preamp. Now I am looking at Coincident Statement Line Stage preamp (The synthesis of the best passive preamps with all the advantages inherent in an active line stage). There is no any resister and resister stepped attenuator volume control in signal path.

The Coincident Statement Line Stage is the most direct, purest approach in active pre amplification. The input signal travels from the transformer based mono volume pots to the transformer input and then to the 101D tubes for gain and lastly out through the output transformer. The 101D tubes are directly heated triodes that are the most linear amplifying devices ever invented.

2) My lovely small 2 ways Avalon Avatar speakers with martin Logan Depth sub-woofer.  I went to listen to Avalon Transcendent. It is not much improvement compared to my Avalon Avatar. Even I listen to Avalon Indra which is much much better than Avalon Transcendent. I am still happy with my Avalon Avatar and save my money. It is a magic of Avalon Avatar that it can still compete with Avalon Indra model. But I give big credit to mod ZMA that push Avalon Avatar performance to near Avalon Indra with Krell Amp or Boulder Amp.

Last week I went to listen to Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. OMG, it is very excellent and make my Avalon Avatar out of league. And I am lucky that dealer have special price clearance sale of Avalon Eidolon Diamond. Because it is discontinued models and will be replace by Avalon Compass Diamond model. This Avalon Eidolon Diamond is my dream speakers, I had never though that I can afford to buy them. But now it has 40% discount from MRSP. I made a deposit booking and be waiting to get them end of this month.

I think that I will be only one person in the world that have ZMA to drive with Avalon Eidolon Diamond Speakers. I will report back when I get them and set up the system well. I hope that I will get the impact sound that I heard from big dollar system.  
   
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« Last Edit: 06/19/15 at 10:02:04 by vyokyong »  

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Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #132 - 06/19/15 at 14:21:33
 
Nice System, including the Audio Note DAC 4.1. Congrats, on Avalon Eidolon Diamond Speakers! I hope to hear those locally (or Compass Diamond).....just to know...... .

If Steve decides to do the UFO MOD with large/tall densely wound UFO Transformers for the ZMA.....I will have the Volume Pot eliminated/period and Silver Wire Up-grades in key positions. Have Steve, put Balanced Inputs too. I will probably end up with his new Preamp...run that Balanced out.

Nice how the ZMA can drive Speakers like your Avalon's, Martin Logan's and JanZen's, just to name a few. However though, since I gutted the x-over's out of my Acoustic Zen Adagio's....run them Full Range, with a single Mundorf MCap Supreme to the Tweeter's, crossed at 4.5kHz.....I will never look back. The clarity, the imaging, the SLAM!....without being detrimental to the Tonal Balance at low or higher volumes is just incredible! Of course, first and foremost, Tone & Timbre are everything for me with imaging/detail, detail an detail-then Soundstage depth. All of this is shining through at the utmost. I was told these were great Driver's in the Adagio's. At 89db SPL at 1 watt/1 meter with the original x-over they were not bad Speaker's. However, with the MOD aforementioned, these Adagio's are now Giant Killer's.

Do report back about your awesome Avalon's coming soon!




Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

*************************************************
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Yggy coming! (Schiit Yggdrasil)
*************************************************

Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
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Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

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« Last Edit: 06/19/15 at 15:21:58 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #133 - 08/04/15 at 05:52:24
 
Hi,

I just want to update that I have changed my main speakers to be Avalon Eidolon Diamond replacing Avalon Avatar. Now the Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer is not used any more. There is enough bass and it is very high quality bass with pitch, texture, clean and control bass, no any bloated bass. What you get more than Avalon Avatar is that music has much more weight and body. Now I already understand that you cannot expect to get well body weight and impact sound if your speakers don't have more than 10" woofers. The book shelf speakers or floor standing speakers with lowest frequency to 35 - 45 Hz spec used with sub-woofer cannot provide real body weight and impact, it is just imitate in my experience of Avalon Avatar with Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer.

The Avalon Eidolon Diamond is one of the most sound coherent speakers. It is seamless integration from top to bottom frequency. First listening, you feel no dominant in any frequency of high, mid and low. But overall presentation is that it is so real LIVE music.      

It is like music band is playing LIVE in your room, you listen to music band, not HIFI sound reproduction system. The dynamics is effortless, no any compression or stress sound. The music can play loud with very clear note from each instruments, no blur, no congest at all. There is palpable singer and superb holographic image of all instruments. It is champion in 3D holographic sound imaging. The speaker boxes are disappeared.
Live, unamplified music has unmistakable presence and clarity. Yet, at the same time it also sounds relaxed and no fatigue at all. The very breath of music flows as dynamic nuances and minute details are reproduced with the gentle touch of a master's brush. Thunderous low frequencies are delivered with authoritative and articulate control as you are transported into an environment of music that is effortless, natural, alive and whole.
Every music notes and singer words have their own bouncing sprung with energy, they are dancing together! I love this sound characteristic.

When I compare Avalon Eidolon Diamond with 2150 monoblock Boulder AMP and Esoteric DAC in dealer showroom with my Audio Note DAC mod to 4.1 level and ZMA. I feel that it is not so different while dealers system is much higher price than my system. The sound dynamics may be less than dealer system but my system is more liquid and organic sound with more nuance and textures. I must give credit to ZMA. It is a great AMP. (However the dealer set up may be not in good set up and Avalon speakers are very sensitive of toe in degree and speakers location placing in room to get best sound out of them).
   
The Avalon Eidolon Diamond is very accurate and neutral speakers. It will show any fault in previous system chain, if there is. And it is very sensitive of speakers location placing in room and toe in set up of speakers. If anything wrong, its excellent sound will be collapsed and becomes just ordinary sound speakers. If toe in is not enough, no focus image and no soul sound or you will feel not involve in music, lifeless music. If toe in angle is too much, the bass sound dull. But if you set up correct, its sound will be superb excellent sound which you cannot imagine that it reaches to this excellent level. My Avalon Eidolon Diamond has just been playing for 200 hours and its burn in is 400 hours to get full open blossom. It can be better.

I am very happy



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« Last Edit: 08/04/15 at 10:31:01 by vyokyong »  

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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #134 - 08/04/15 at 23:03:29
 
Great to read! I wish I could hear them with your Audio Note and ZMA.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #135 - 08/05/15 at 03:43:30
 
Hi,

I want to add more about loudness level I get from ZMA.

For well high gain record music album.

The max SPL is 95 dB measured at 230 cm from speakers when ZMA is connected with Avalon Avatar (84 dB sensitivity and 6 Ohm load, minimum 4 Ohm)

The max SPL is 99 dB  measured at 230 cm from speakers when ZMA is connected with Avalon Eidolon Diamond (87 dB sensitivity and 4 Ohm load, minimum 3.5 Ohm).

ZMA can dirive Avalon Eidolon Diamond without any power constrain, no stress. Bass is very articulate and well controlled.

However some low gain music record album, the maximum SPL is only 84 dB SPL while I normally listen at 87-92 dB SPL. Then I plan to switch my passive preamp (Light Speed Attenuator pre-amp) to be active pre-amp (Coincident Line Statement pre-amp) in order to get more gain of 13 dB variable volume control. Or I will use both pre-amps together by LSA acts as volume control of ZMA and Coincident Line Statement acts as pre-amp. So that I can play both volume control to fine tune to get optimal dynamic body and weight level.

HOW CAN A PREAMP MAKE THINGS BETTER?

A good preamp becomes an extension of the source enhancing it's dynamics and overall voltage swing as well as enhancing it's output impedance to more effortlessly drive difficult power amps.  A good preamp can extract detail and timbre that is otherwise hidden by these conditions.  A good preamp can add body and weight and size to a stereo image and improve the depth and palpability of the sound stage. A good preamp can make tiny speakers and or tiny amplifiers sound and perform as though they were bigger then they really are.  A good preamp can organize the presence in a recording to create several more layers to the music.  It can pull things apart and make recordings sound less like recordings and more like real music.  FROM PRE AMPLIFIERS - do they help or hurt the sound?
inspired by our new SE84CSP

April 2004 by Steve Deckert

I will report back when I get Coincident Line Statement pre-amp. It is variable transformer volume control (TVC) with active gain by D101 DHT tubed circuit pre-amp.
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #136 - 08/05/15 at 18:26:20
 
Yes, the ZMA can drive them well. Logan's & JanZens too.

I gained 2 or 3db in efficiency when I put Mundorf Mcap Supremes in my Acoustic Zen Adagio's. I could not be happier with them now.

Oh a big yes about the Preamp. I look forward to the balance I will find with my Auralic Vega attenuation ~ CSP3 gain ~ ZMA gain....... .
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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #137 - 09/08/15 at 03:19:55
 
Hi,

I would like to report of adding Coincident Statement Line stage preamp (CSL) to replace Light Attenuator passive preamp (LSA).

Pro:
1) Excellent Authority and Dynamics. It is like you change car from 1,600 cc to 3,000 cc turbo charge. Absolutely dynamics and in different world to LSA. It means that ZMA + CSL provides dynamic authority as same level or better than SS amp. It makes you feel excite and PRaT. It can play loud as 101 dB of any album record (high or low gain).

Con:
1) All nuances and micro details gone or disappear or high definition sound is gone. LSA or dierct connect between source and ZMA provides or keep all nuances and micro details (high definition sound) which makes you feel realism of LIVE music band playing in your room, very emotional music.

Now it is dilemma for me to choose between Excellent Authority Dynamics or Nuance and high definition sound.
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Coincident-Line-HEADER.jpg

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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vyokyong
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #138 - 09/08/15 at 03:35:06
 
As I open to see circuit inside Coincident Statement Line stage. I found out that :

1) The signal wire used in CSL is normal small cable wire which may cause all nuances and micro detail sound gone.

2) There are two switches in front of CSL.
    2.1) In Put selector between CD and AUX which causes signal wire to run from back of CSL (RCA plug) to front of CSL (Toggle switch) and back to back of CSL again. The distance is nearly 100 cm for signal to pass on small normal cable.
    2.2) MUTE on and off selector which causes out put signal wire  to run from back of CSL (Transformer wire) to front of CSL (On and Off Mute Toggle switch) and back to back of CSL again (OUT PUT plug). The distance is nearly 100 cm for signal to pass on small normal cable.

I suspect that all nuances and micro details sound disappeared is causes by above two factors. Then I plan to mod CSL by replacing its signal cable wire both IN PUT signal cable wire and OUT PUT signal cable wire by Deulund Hook up pure ribbon silver wire 2 version 2. I hope that modded CSL will provides me both Authority Dynamics and High Definition Sound. Then my system of ZMA will be up to next level superb sound quality again.

And I want to confirm that ZMA can drive Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers in full authority with its specification of 40 WATTS.    
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« Last Edit: 09/08/15 at 06:08:15 by vyokyong »  

P1070859_1.jpg

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #139 - 09/08/15 at 03:36:58
 
Power Supply Unit of CSL.
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csls086_zps6aa6a327_1.jpg

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #140 - 09/11/15 at 06:27:17
 
Very interesting and looking forward to your findings.  vyokyong, is there any reason you chose the Coincident over the new Decware Preamp that Steve is currently working on?
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #141 - 09/11/15 at 07:38:11
 
Hello Beowulf,

My pre-amp project started one year ago before new Decware Preamp news. If I know that Decware will launch new Preamp with XLR in put and out put. I will be waiting for new Decware preamp. Because I love Decware ZMA and I trust Steve. I did not buy CSP3 preamp as I read mix results working with ZMA. Or I think that CSP3 preamp is not good enough for ZMA.

As I read a lot forum about pre-amp. My interest go to passive pre-amp. Then I bought Lightspeed Attenuator passive pre-amp to try first. It provides best transparency pre-amp which is totally better than any active pre-amp. You hear transparency in different world from active pre-amp. It likes direct connecting between source DAC with ZMA.  However its weakness is authority bass and dynamics, if your source DAC cannot provide enough drive or voltage to feed ZMA. Even ZMA in put needs only 2 volts and my Audio Note DAC3.1 provides 2 volts out put. In general it is okay but there are some low gain record album that it cannot be played loud enough. (may be 20% of all my collections). Then I have to try active pre-amp or get pre-amp with 13 dB gain.

I choose CSLS pre-amp because of its concept to use Transformer Volume control instead of general stepped (resistors) attenuator volume control and provide 13 dB gain by 101D DHT tube circuit.  The main lost in transparency of active preamp is caused by stepped attenuator volume control which is resistors in signal path. So that if TVC is used then there is no any single resistor in signal path.
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« Last Edit: 09/11/15 at 07:39:44 by vyokyong »  

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Posts: 169
Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #142 - 09/14/15 at 06:18:06
 
Good thing of Coincident Statement Line stage pre-amp is that it provides 2 RCA out put for sub-woofer or Bi-amp. I already have Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer 1 unit. When I got Avalon Eidolon Diamond spealers, I have not played it with subwoofer. I want to familiar with Avalon Eidolon Diamond sound signature first of two month playing. And I think that sub-woofer should not be necessary.  Because it states in Avalon Eidolon speaker manual that any sub-woofer is added to Avalon Eidolon speakers will give negative effects more than any positive gain. So that it is not advised to add sub-woofer.

Yesterday I tried new set up by adding Martin Logan Depth sub-woofer to my Hi Fi system.  the result is OMG! It provides body and weight which is essential for orchestra music. The dynamic is incredible! Micro-contrast and macro-contrast is superb. All types of music songs is much more real Live show and involving. It is strange that it provides more black background and more focus in 3D imaging. All music instruments and singer have more space around them, separately from each others. It is contrast of my old believe that adding subwoofer will have negative in transparency and clarity. Now it is not true.

From my set up, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers needs subwoofer to perform that lower 24 Hz to 20 Hz in order to be perfect 20Hz - 20Mhz. The adding of little frequency 20 Hz to 24 Hz makes huge improvement in sound quality. (Avalon Eidolon Diamond speaker spec is 24 Hz to 20 MHz.)
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Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #143 - 09/16/15 at 19:03:32
 
The CSP3 is good enough to use with the ZMA. I would not use it, if it could not provide the transparent musical fidelity I require. The problem with your CS Lines Stage is....it's getting in the way of your music, with to much RUBE GOLDBERG in its Topology. Tough truth on that....for you... . But, don't feel bad, so many so called high-end Preamps can't get out of the way like the CSP3 can....when properly administered.

Using the proper voltage output from the CSP3 makes it ideal. Plus, the Input Tube I'm using matters too. Those using shitty cables and not knowing what their doing with the CSP3 will report on what they deserve=poor results.

I have my KS6063's in!
Talk about even further involvement in my Music! Without getting into all the superlative adjectives.....they are an incredible addition and immediately apparent. The even further clarity and decay with further differentiation of instrumentation, is Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just want to keep turning the System up and up! It continues to maintain tonal balance at higher SPL's and weight ~ like a properly done Live Performance WITH ALL THE JE NE SAIS QUOI of detail/clarity/decay aforementioned! Truly incredible. Especially, when you consider my System already and some serious underhung clarity from the Driver's in the Adagio's.
The fact that I got these for 52% off with the premium WBT-0681-Ag Spades...makes this deal so much Sweeter!

Stone, has left the building!!!

Cheers, and happy Oktoberfest to all!





Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital power cord....coming for ZDSD!
Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/176.4)
{also @ kept/-20 Ref Level & -.5db or -1.0 Input volume Level}
{ also @ -18 Ref Level & -1.0 Input volume Level}
{ also @ -16 Ref Level & -1.0 Input Volume Level}

WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
**********************************************
10 of 10 for Input tube & 8 of 10 voltage for Output tubes
Volume adjustment used at 0 to 40%
**********************************************
WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
***NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 in my A12 an B12 positions***
ZMA used as straight Power Amp, at 90% of Volume

***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

REL T5 SUB, Neutrik connection from ZMA
{30Hz @ 35% of volume~0 Phase}
Auralex Subdude II

Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)

XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/120 ~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)
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« Last Edit: 09/16/15 at 19:37:14 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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Posts: 169
Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #144 - 09/18/15 at 04:56:03
 
The sound quality of CS line stage pre-amp is excellent, particularly its strong point of leading edge and decay of transients, dynamics and bass articulation which is excel as same level as Boulder SS amp. (I have heard Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers played with all Boulder pre-amp and power amp). The details solution and all subtle nuances is same level as those top brand pre-amp as I heard in Audio show in Hong Kong.

However when I modded ZMA by replacing signal path cable wire by pure silver wire Duelund Hook Up wire 2 and replacing RCA out put female jack with WBT pure silver Next Gen female jack. It gives ultra high definition sound which I refer like changing HDTV to 4K HDTV. I have not heard any Hi Fi system in Hong Kong Audio show which can provide this ultra high definition sound also.

I addict to this ultra high definition sound. My assumption is that signal from source to speakers must be kept as original as possible by passing through pure silver wire Duelund hook up wire 2 from source to speakers. My interconnect cables now are DIY Duelund hook up wire 2. Then the weakest link of chain is internal signal wire in CS line stage pre-amp.

CS line stage pre-amp will be modded by  by replacing signal path cable wire by pure silver wire Duelund Hook Up wire 2 and replacing RCA out put female jack with WBT pure silver Next Gen female jack (as same as I mod ZMA). I hope that ultra high definition sound will come back to my system. I will report back the result of mod.
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« Last Edit: 09/18/15 at 07:55:37 by vyokyong »  

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #145 - 09/18/15 at 21:08:45
 
Law of diminishing returns. Good luck in these endeavors.
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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #146 - 09/22/15 at 14:34:53
 
Seventh day in on my Kimber KS6063 Speaker Cables. I have no reservations about selling my 3033's. With some hours on the 6063's now.......they are keepers! Unlike, the 3035's/to bright, these are an upgrade of biblical proportions.

Now that I have my System locked in with all Decware and Kimber Select.......bring on my Torii Jr.  

Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital power cord....coming for ZDSD!
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« Last Edit: 09/22/15 at 14:59:34 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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Posts: 169
Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #147 - 09/23/15 at 02:56:34
 
Great news! Great Upgrade!.

Please provide review of Torii Jr and Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital power cord.
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Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #148 - 09/23/15 at 14:00:26
 
You bet, I will. Sarah gave me a lead time of approx. 7 weeks. So, end of the first week of November delivery. I'll put 75 to 100 hours on the Jr. by the end of November............... .

My Shunyata Ztron Alpha Digital Power Cord....should be here and in my System by early next week.

YES! What the Kimber Select KS6063's are bringing to my Music-is spectacular. As special as Decware is at getting the emotion of the Music to you....so is the Select and 6063's making the further effortless flowing connection!
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« Last Edit: 09/23/15 at 14:39:19 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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Posts: 169
Re: Ways to improve sound quality of The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #149 - 09/28/15 at 03:03:30
 
Update picture of CS line stage pre-amp which is modded  by replacing RCA out put female jack with WBT pure silver Next Gen female jack (as same as I modded my ZMA).
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IMG_2182.JPG

Audio Note DAC3.1 Custom modded to 4.1, DIY Duelund wire RCA IC, Offramp 5 USB SPDIF converter, Mac Mini, Amarra Symphony player,
Zen Mystery Amp. MIT Oracle speaker wire, Avalon Eidolon Diamond speakers. Coincident Statement preamp, Martin Logan Depth subwoofer
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