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Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently? (Read 3802 times)
tgarden
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Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
09/06/14 at 16:15:10
 
Hi,  I'm ordering a Rega RP10 turntable next week, and am considering using the Rega MC cartridge (available for a great price).

I'm using a well seasoned Jupiter capped ZP3, backed by my trusty very well seasoned Torii MK III/IV conversion.

If I go with the Rega MC cartridge, I'll need the Decware step-up transformer.  Has anyone heard one??  The one review I read on the web, said that although the S/N ratio was great, the ZMC took away the tube like sound and changed the soundstage for the worse.

Any input from someone who has used a  ZMC would be appreciated.

Not much  about these on the web.

Thanks!

Mike in Seattle area
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« Last Edit: 09/06/14 at 16:26:36 by tgarden »  
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Syd
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #1 - 09/06/14 at 18:06:53
 
Mike, allthough I haven`t tried any of the other step up transformers that I`ve seen on my i/net travels eg Cine-mag, Partridge, Ortophon and a few others, the ZMC`s use Sowter coils sourced by Steve, even commissioned I think. They cant take the tube sound away because they are in the pre/tube stage..straight from the cartridge. My ZMC1 produces a perfect signal for the ZP3. It`s passive, fit and forget. Like all my Decware products the satisfaction with the end result is impressive, so the soundstage, frequency response, speed, and detail are all there.
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« Last Edit: 09/06/14 at 18:29:36 by Syd »  

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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tgarden
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #2 - 09/07/14 at 05:47:16
 
Marky,  thanks for your response.

The ZMC1 sounds like a great step up transformer, and I'm glad to hear it produces a perfect signal for the ZP3.

I just need to check with my Rega dealer to find out which of the three models will work best with the Rega MC cartridge.

I saw a photo of the internal construction of this unit, and it looks relatively simple.  Was the wait time after ordering, very long for the ZMC?

Mike

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beowulf
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #3 - 09/07/14 at 09:00:31
 
Congrats on the RP10!  It looks to be a great table.  I have a RP6 myself and love it, so I can imagine that the 10 is everything of the 6, 8, plus even more.  I've read that the Apheta cart can be difficult to load, but once you find the sweet spot it really opens up.

Stereophile did a fairly extensive review on the Apheta cart, but is was underwhelming.  But Art Dudley (who reviewed it) used an EAR phono stage and it only had 1000 ohm loading. I'm pretty sure the inst. manual for the Apheta says 50-75 ohms and Jeff Dorgay from Tone Publishing even went down to between 25-30 Ohms and said it really shined in that area.  I believe he loved the cart as long as it was loaded right.

I don't know anything about the step ups that Decware sells (or even if this applies), but just want to mention that from Jeff Dorgay's Review the optimal loading should be from 25-50 ohms (or possibly even a little lower) or else you may find (like Dudley's Stereophile review) the Apheta to be on the bright side.
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« Last Edit: 09/07/14 at 09:02:12 by beowulf »  
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Syd
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #4 - 09/07/14 at 10:39:07
 
Yes Dave there`s not a lot to them, in and out, and you`ll notice on the ZMC`s a rotary control. I think this is for loading....a variable cap or resistor. It made no difference on my present and past cart unless it was turned near fully clockwise and then a loud hum started. Y`know it probably does make a difference and a reviewer might say he preferred it in one place over another because......One day I`ll do an a/b test with it to see if there are subtle differences.
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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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hdrider
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #5 - 09/07/14 at 16:28:38
 
Mike - I bought a used ZMC-1 off someone on this forum to use between my rebuilt (soundsmith) Monster Alpha Genesis very low output MC and my current ARC SP-11 pre-amp. Totally changed the whole phono landscape in my room for the positive. No hum or noise. Also, there is a knob on the front that changes something but I have never gotten a clear understanding of what it is changing. I have it set at about the 2 o'clock position (just done by ear with a good acoustic recording). I would not hesitate to add one and plan on using mine when I sell the ARC (anyone want it?) and get the ZP-3. Happy listening, Chris.
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Rachael, ZP3, ZMC 1, SE84CS, Oppo BDP-93, Sota Star TT w/ FR-64, Shinnon Red Moving coil, Omega 7XRS Mk 2 walnut, DeepOmega 8 sub, Morrow Audio PH3 and MA3 IC's, Stax Lambda Signature Pro & SRM-T1 tube amp, Gamma Electrostatic phones.
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tgarden
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #6 - 09/07/14 at 17:20:39
 
Beowolf, Yes, I'm getting pretty excited about the P10.  I'm moving up from a Rega P25 (with a Clearaudio wood-bodied Virtuoso) which I've had since 2000.

This summer, I heard the Apheta at a Seattle dealer, mounted on a new RP8. I would say it sounded lively, but not bright, and it was being driven by a solid state amp, preamp, phono stage (I'm not  a solid state guy).

I trust what Jeff Dorgay of Toneaudio has to say about loading, especially after his stellar reviews of Decware gear.  The ZMC2 step up with1/10 ratio, for 3-100 ohm cartridges, "might" be ideal for the Apheta.   Decware and my dealer (Gig Harbor Audio) can help with that.  

I don't have the funds to pay for a full-price Apheta, but it's almost half off when included with the RP10 (or RP8).

Marky, I like the idea of the loading control being fully adjustable.  It makes sense you'd get a hum once it was near fully turned up. Guess you need to find just the right loading position for the cartridge.

Mike
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tgarden
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #7 - 09/07/14 at 17:31:24
 
Chris , thanks for your really positive input about the ZMC-1.  I'm glad it's worked out so well for you.

Between what you and the other forum members have said, I'm completely sold on the ZMC step ups.

You will have no regret if you purchase a ZP3.  I would recommend getting it with the optional Jupiter caps, which give it a more organic sound over the stock caps, in my experience.

Mike
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hdrider
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Re: Decware ZMC's-Anyone used one recently?
Reply #8 - 09/07/14 at 19:32:50
 
Mike - I have been reading through Steve's articles and website for years since I build my SECS84SE Zen amp and in my heart know that this path is going to be much more musical and pure. I have been in and out of the audio business for years and have used some really great products, but just like in cooking, wine and motorcycles…simple is better. If you were closer I would be happy loaning you mine for a time, but I don't get near Seattle too often. Happy listening!
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Rachael, ZP3, ZMC 1, SE84CS, Oppo BDP-93, Sota Star TT w/ FR-64, Shinnon Red Moving coil, Omega 7XRS Mk 2 walnut, DeepOmega 8 sub, Morrow Audio PH3 and MA3 IC's, Stax Lambda Signature Pro & SRM-T1 tube amp, Gamma Electrostatic phones.
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