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Motor boating (Read 19896 times)
hdrider
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Motor boating
11/03/14 at 16:12:44
 
I rec'd my ZP3 last week and have it up and running along with a ZMC 1 in front of it. I am getting a low level oscillation / motor boat sound out of the left channel only. Rachael amp alone, no oscillation. When I have the ZP3 plugged into the Rachael without the ZMC or Cart it is still there. Played with gounding points for the TT, ZMC1, ZP3 and all had no impact. Changed the two 12AX7 in the front of the ZP3, no change. I am going to swap the Valve Arts 274B that came with the ZP3 with the one that came with the Rachael tonight when I get home, see if that makes any difference. Anyone have strange sound during break-in that disappeared after the first 50, 100, 200 hours or should I call the mothership and ask for help (I think it may be too soon)??? Thanks, and 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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JD
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #1 - 11/03/14 at 18:25:09
 
Chris are you using shielded interconnects?  If you aren't I'd try looking at those.  I've had a similar noise and both times it was the interconnects being non-shielded or amp proximity or motor of my turntable being to close to an amp or a combination of all. It can be very frustrating and also time consuming so I'd try one at a time.   I forget if you said what kind of turntable you own but sometimes how close the arm is to the amp can negatively effect the signal as well.

good luck

JD
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hdrider
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #2 - 11/03/14 at 19:03:01
 
JD - I have a Sota Star Sapphire turntable with a FR-64 arm, same table, cart, arm I used with my ARC SP-11 without the motorboating sound. The TT is on top of the rack and ZP3 is 24'' below that and the amp is below that. All IC are shielded and I have checked them with a volt meter and cable tester. It's faint but you can hear it on quiet passages. The Rachael is dead quiet on cd, dvd, or streaming. The thing is with just the ZP3 plugged in to the amp I still get the sound out of the left channel. It does not get louder when I add the ZMC1 and cartridge. The fun of phono!!
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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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JD
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #3 - 11/03/14 at 21:12:38
 
That is an awesome table and arm sorry to hear about the issue persisting. I would give Steve a call he is always willing to help trouble shoot and hopefully he can narrow down the issue.  

good luck

JD
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #4 - 11/06/14 at 15:34:37
 
Let us know if and how you were able to eliminate the thumping when you do. I'm curious

thanks

JD
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hdrider
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #5 - 11/06/14 at 16:06:01
 
JD and all- sorry for taking so long to reply, just been a very busy week with work and sound. Yes, I scored on the Sota TT, FR-64 and it came with a Shinnon Red cart. Picked it all up for 700 dollars from a local audio store (when those were around). A retired dentist had traded it in to them since he didn't what to ''fuss'' with records anymore. At the store I asked about the table and was told it was ''broken'' since the sub-platter didn't move/bounce like a Sota does when set up (I had set up a few Sota's in a past life in the audio business). I checked the three feet and yep, they were tightened down like they should be for transport. Bought it, took it home and works perfectly. I will have time this weekend to trouble shoot the motor boating on the ZP3, could be proximity of the ZP3 to Rachael, could be VR tube (bought a new one from Ron @ Cryoset), could be just how the cables are dressed behind the rack...I will get it sorted out. Loving the Rachael, liking the ZP3 even with a little noise. Really thinking about the Monoliths for speakers, have more gear to get sold. Going to be a busy weekend. 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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #6 - 11/06/14 at 17:30:47
 
Hi chris, my ZP3 is a bit fussy and took a while to get it happy. Finally figured the input i/c`s  needed to be just so, as if the transformer was playing a part.  Of course the dial on the ZMC caused a racket when it was at max either right up or down, cant remember which.
Great score on the TT. Unusual vacuum system pulling the record tight on to the platter surprised me when I did a quick read up.
I know you`ll think wow when it the music starts captivating.



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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: Motor boating
Reply #7 - 11/06/14 at 17:46:12
 
Marky- Like I said, not in a panic over the ZP3 being defective. Maybe a tube but my guess is proximity of cables or unit to other noise makers. Yes, the vacuum platter is wonderful. Just the minimum amount of vacuum. The ZP3 was actually sounding pretty good the other night for minor listen. Still a LONG ways from broken in. The plan is to get the noise resolved, use as much it as possible before the four day Thanksgiving weekend and then just hunker down for some family and music. Happy listening, Chris.
P.S. I bought the same digital thermometer that my QC department ha,s the the temp in the closet where the gear is hasn't gone over 82 degrees. When the door is opened there seems to be a pretty large exchange of air, a lot of movement. Want to keep them happy!
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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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JD
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #8 - 11/07/14 at 01:23:09
 
As a way to ascertain the purity of my sound I always turn my amps up once  warmed up without the volume of my source turned on.  This allows me to find peak volume without any type of buzz, hum or interference during listening sessions. One of the reasons I love Decware is that I don't have to turn it down too much (maybe 7-15%) to hear complete silence which for a total tube system is righteous.  Once I turn down to complete silence which depends on tube contingent( i don't mind sacrificing some microphonics if the sound is worth it aka some 7308's, and source I then turn up the source and manage weight, treble, balance etc. to find the magic zone.  
With various sources the addendum that isn't music isn't always noticeable or relevant but there none the less. The whole tree falls in the woods but no one is there to hear it philosophy. If any sound including motor boating is there when you have the volume up it is still there even if you don't hear it when volume is lower.  To me that matters but to most it doesn't. My point in posting is that you guys probably do care.  I just took the plug pin out of the zp3 that is there for grounding since my rega p6 doesn't need to be grounded and wow.  I think it's been transmitting energy into my signal to the amp therefore affecting sound.  I only realized this after switching some shielded cables (decware which for the price point are a steal) with my favorite unshielded grover huffman cables.  Guys wow what a great result.  
Sorry for being so verbose but sometimes it's what we take away versus what we add.
As Dusty Springfield sings in the back ground over and out.

JD
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hdrider
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #9 - 11/07/14 at 02:00:34
 
Amen and well said. Grounding is a very interesting thing. So plain and simple on one hand, and not on the other. Floating the ground on the ZP3 is one of the experiments to be tried this weekend, as is measuring the voltage potential at ground from the various components when they are not interconnected. Well, gotta box up my NYAL Moscode 300 Maxi I just sold. 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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hdrider
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #10 - 11/08/14 at 22:46:22
 
All resolved! The ZP3 does not like to be directly above Miss Rachael in the rack. I was pretty sure it was some kind of proximity problem. Moved it up two shelves, and there is no motor boating and all in all pretty quiet. Now I really need to rack up some hours on the ZP3. Cowboy Junkies, Dregs, Jeff Beck all sounded GREAT. I am so happy with these two products! Thank you Steve and Decware Team!!
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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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Syd
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #11 - 11/09/14 at 00:06:50
 
Amen to that Chris ! I was thinking the same this evening as the surprises started happening...again.
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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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JD
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #12 - 11/09/14 at 16:24:18
 
nice

JD
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Archie
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #13 - 11/09/14 at 23:48:31
 
hdrider, I'm curious what you mean by your ZP3 being "all in all pretty quiet."  I've been trying to resolve a hum in my ZP3 but I'm not sure that it isn't typical of ZP3s to have some hum.  I run mine through a CSP3 into a ZMA.  With the volumes full up I get a serious hum from the speakers. However, at a high listening level, the hum is only slightly audible from my listening chair with no record playing.  If I run the ZP3 directly into the ZMA, the maximum hum is significantly reduced.  (I think my ZP3 puts out about 0.5V with my cart so without the CSP3, it really isn't enough to drive the ZMA satisfactorily.)  The ZP3 also has an audible hum from the unit itself.  I've done a lot of troubleshooting and I don't think I can change any of this with unit placement, tubes or interconnects.

So anyway, how quiet is quiet?  I get dead silence from my other channel through my CSP3 into the ZMA.
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hdrider
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #14 - 11/10/14 at 00:28:33
 
My mc cartridge has either .2 or .3 output, which I run into a ZMC1 step up > ZP3> Rachael. I have the loading control on the ZMC1 at the 3:00 pm position (this control does affect the overall volume/gain) and if I turn the volume on the amp all the way up I have some low level hum. That is too loud and I would never be able to turn the music up that load due to clipping. At the levels I listen to records the unit is very quiet. I would talk to Steve if you think there is a problem with your unit. Once I got the ZP3 moved up another 9'' about the amp, I don't have the motor boating sound at all. When you think about all the gain required to get a small signal boosted to drive an amp I am amazed how quiet it is. A lot less noise than the ARC SP-11 that it replaced. Let me know how your trials progress. 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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Archie
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #15 - 11/10/14 at 16:05:36
 
Thanks for the feedback.  10 months ago I went over this with Steve and others.  My conclusion then was that my ZP3 was a bit noisier than average but tollerable.  The Noise Spec that Steve lists is apparently on the high side.  I don't run a step up unit and I think my CSP3 sort of does that job for me.  I have a MM cart with an output of 4mV.  I can't come close to full volume on my rig for listening.  I think the CSP3 really jacks things up.  If I could get a better feel for what I have versus what the ZP3 is supposed to give, I might send it back for a look.
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JD
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #16 - 11/10/14 at 16:15:18
 
I can echo that I have an audible hum when volume is turned up all the way on my zp3 but at listening levels my zp3 into my torii III is totally quiet.  The zp3 is EXTREMELY sensitive and there are many possible reasons for hum but most seem to be related to voltage differences between the amps, connections etc. and the emf frequencies of all equipment/sources that are being used.  It is possible to make quiet but also easy to have the opposite occur.

JD
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Archie
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #17 - 11/10/14 at 16:24:04
 
I forget the specifics but I tried running a resister across the interconnects to simulate the TT load and got the same hum.  I've tried different TTs, moving the ZP3 several feet away from everything. several different interconnects (shielded) and different tube sets.  Without the ground the hum is super loud but with the ground I can't eliminate it all together.  I'm open to trying other things short of spending lots of money on a gamble.  Did that already with better interconnects and tubes.  The audible hum from the unit itself makes me think the amplified hum is related to that.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #18 - 11/10/14 at 16:48:52
 
Archie - I don't think that we could ever eliminate ALL the hum/noise in the phono stage, but that is at a level we don't listen to the music at. You have a healthy output from your cartridge, I may look into a medium output mc next time around. I think maybe a trip back to Zen central to have Steve verify that your particular unit is 100% would be worth the $. I am a happy camper based on what I have heard so far, this ZP3 SMOKES my ARC SP-11 and it is not even broken in! Tone, sound stage, frequency top and bottom are all way better. This phono and amp make my Sequerra speakers sound like better than new, though I am still thinking about a different speaker system. Keep us posted on your ZP3 and the step you decide to take. 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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #19 - 11/11/14 at 01:28:19
 
Chris, thanks for your encouragement and insights. Peace of mind seems to be about 90% of this and sending the unit back to Steve might be the best way to achieve that.  I think we all hear a little differently and that's what makes it so hard to even decide if a problem exists.  (My ears are relatively blown by years of use and abuse!)  I've read that there is a noise/performance tradeoff in phono stages and that super quiet stages actually can perform much poorer.  Once the needle hits the groove, that noise generally overpowers any unit hum.  I've got some HR-1s on order and once they show up I'll really see whats what.  So, for now, back to just playing and enjoying.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #20 - 11/11/14 at 03:17:29
 
Archie- sit tight, listen often and have fun. Get those HR-1's broken in and then make a decision. HR-1….I am so drooling on my keyboard right now.
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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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #21 - 11/11/14 at 16:25:46
 
HR-1s.  Yeah, kind of insane but I listen in the space I live in and I have so many obstacles to transcendental sound that I figured the radial design would help overcome many of them in one shot.  The wait is kind of tough though.  4 months and counting!  I'm hoping that I get some depth and more width to my soundstage.  
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #22 - 11/11/14 at 17:20:00
 
I think I waited more than six months for my latest pair of HR-1s. I wouldn't want to be without them. You'll definitely experience more depth and the soundstage should be amazingly different.
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Archie
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #23 - 11/12/14 at 00:19:58
 
Here's a laugh.  I was listening to my 180 gram The Doors, Strange Days, When the Music's Over and I was hearing really loud hum in the quiet part near the end.  I was thinking that my ZP3 hum was really bad after all.  Come to realize that the hum is in the recording.  It's even on the CD!  Another good lesson in just enjoying the music and not listening for defects. Grin
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #24 - 11/12/14 at 02:38:05
 
I can't tell you how many amps I had that hummed, and sometimes not even in the correct key! Nature of the beast back in the day. Finally got away from it when I went wireless on my bass guitar, also stopped the shocks on the mic. Our Rachael and ZP3 are breaking in nicely. Actually sat down after work with Gigi and listened to Loreena McKinnitt ''Mask and the Mirror'' and she mentioned all kinds of things she has heard (a lot of them related to the break-in of the amp) over the last few week. Loving it all. 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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #25 - 11/14/14 at 22:57:23
 
Hummmmm.  I have had my ZP3 for several weeks now, and was
flummoxed when I heard a loud 60 Hz hum when I first plugged in my Rega P3.  The ZP3 is plugged into my ZMA and that into GoldenEar Triton 2s.  The cartridge is a Dynavector 10x5.  With the ZMA at full volume, the hum could be heard in the next room ... and it is never in the right key!  60Hz is right between A and A# two octaves below middle C.  Ouch!  I spoke with Steve, and he was helpful and knowledgeable as usual.  If all the usual solutions to ground fault failed, he suggested a couple of higher output, MM cartridges.  

First step:  both ZMA and ZP3 connected with Decware power cables to a 500W isolation transformer, with TT also plugged into transformer and tone arm grounded to ZP3.  Hum is lower, but still annoying.  Next step:  moving things around.  No difference.  Third step:  different interconnects (Rega has been rewired with Cardas cable, captive) using insulated cable (Acoustic Zen) and uninsulated cable (Decware silver).  Dec cable slightly better.  Final step:  TT and interconnects plugged into ZP3 using AudioQuest 90 degree connectors (very tight), and both TT cable and interconnects very close together.  Success!!?!

Hum not noticeable, even close to speakers.  Go figure.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #26 - 11/14/14 at 23:44:51
 
If it ain't hummin' (too ound) and your toe is tapping...I say happy listening. One thing about phono listening is that it takes the attention to the most minor of details of gear set up/ positioning to a new level. Enjoy, 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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #27 - 11/15/14 at 00:36:59
 
RickVee, could you describe your hum solution again?  What is the TT cable that you are referring to?  Is that the interconnect between the TT and ZP3?  You are using unshielded cables between the ZP3 and ZMA only or in both places?  What was the thing that finally eliminated the hum?  

I haven't had any luck changing interconnects.  I have a CSP3 in the chain though.  I've only been focusing on the TT to ZP3 connection since my 2nd channel is hum free.  I don't think my cables between my ZP3 and CSP3 would make a difference.  My tonearm is also wired with Cardas cable but to a pair of RCA jacks on the back of the TT.  Since the hum is the same with my backup TT, I figure that the issue isn't with the TT or Cart.  BTW, my ZP3 has an audible hum when it's not connected to anything but the power source.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #28 - 11/15/14 at 18:28:23
 
Archie - If your system hums with the ZP3 plugged into your amp but with NO TT plugged into the ZP3 and the volume at a ''normal'' listening level you may have a problem with the ZP3. That is how I solved (mostly) the hum in my ZP3 (proximity of the ZP3 to Rachael amp). Good luck and keep us posted. 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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #29 - 11/15/14 at 19:31:37
 
The "audible hum" is a transformer hum, I think.  When the ZP3 is hooked up to the amp but not the TT there is a "hiss" but not a hum.  Mind, it is at high volumes that it is a problem.  If I take the base off of the ZP3 the "audible hum" is significantly reduced.  There seems to be some kind of resonance with the base.  I haven't been able to completely silence it.  However, this hum isn't really an issue.  I just wonder if it is related to what I hear over the speakers.

This is all 3rd order stuff and not necessarily an issue depending on how fussy one is.  However, given the overall quality of the equipment, tracking down every possible detriment seems like a reasonable thing to do.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #30 - 11/15/14 at 22:29:56
 
I think that if you have a tranny humming like that it needs to head back to Steve @ Zen central for a once over. I am listening now while my 2 1/2 year old grandson naps and it's getting better each album side. The background hum I hear without music playing and the level up almost all the way is not present a normal levels (and I am listening a little lower now while Cooper naps). I am loving this gear more and more, as each side plays.  Kitaro, Genesis, Lorenna McKinnett, David Grisman…I am floored. 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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #31 - 11/15/14 at 23:22:01
 
I've sent Steve a question about this and I'll report back on his answer.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #32 - 11/22/14 at 18:30:33
 
Steve replied to my questions about hum and Hiss the following way (he, of course, offered to look over the unit under his Lifetime Warranty):


I see two issues in your email.  

A) The unit hums without anything hooked to it, meaning you hear a mechanical vibration.  This could be from one or two things.  The power transformer, or the rectifier tube.  I would change rectifier tubes and see if the amount of hum changes.  (There will always be a small amount of mechanical hum from transformers) and since you say your other Decware products are fine, it leads me to believe it's the tube.

B) Hum through the speakers.  With a phono stage (tube type) there is always some hum, the trick it to get it below the noise floor so you don't hear it.  That means that at your normal listening volume, you should hear no hum.  If you rotate the volume higher you will eventually hear hum.  If the hum is audible without the input cables from your tone arm connected to it, and the volume set to your normal listening level, then you either have a noisy tube or some other issue.


Sounds like your ZP3 is hum free (small amounts of hum are normal in a tube phonostage, but you would have to really max the volume to detect it.) and that the hum you do hear is coming from your tonearm cables, tonearem or cartridge. That too is not unusuall, but it is possible to have the three items work well enough to be undetectable, ...


Regarding the hiss I hear when the ZP3 has no input connected:

Correct, hiss is not hum.  The level of hiss is directly effected by the smaller 9 pin tubes.  The front one being the biggest player in noise and or hiss.  If you try different 12AX7 tubes in the front you'll hear the character and amount of hiss change from tube to tube, some are quieter than others.


So, I have concluded (for now) that everything is spec with my ZP3.  I changed around rectifier tubes with no noticable change in the mechanical hum.  I also have noticed that my CSP3 has a similar hum but a little quieter.  Mechanical hum is low and not a problem for me.  I don't seem to have that magic combination of TT, cart and interconnects but the audible hum isn't really an issue.  One last thing that Steve mentioned that made me laugh is that this Forum "can be like a forest fire."!  I guess the interpretation of that is up to each of us!   Grin
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #33 - 11/22/14 at 19:16:47
 
Agreed about tranny's always hum. One of the benefits of having my gear in the living room closet is closing the door and not hearing anything except music from the speakers…but then I don't get to see all my WONDERFUL TUBES glow so the door stays open. Today is Turntable Re-set up day with the Fosgate Fozgometer and AP test record. I will post later on the change, assuming that my ''by the ear/cartridge gauge'' was not 100% perfect. Listening last night with my wife before dinner and the ZP3 Rachael combo sounded GREAT!!!!
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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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #34 - 11/24/14 at 00:28:09
 
HDRider and Archie - thanks for the comments.  Have been away for a few for eye surgery (successful).  Concerning the hum from my ZP3, and the cables, etc.:  the Rega tone arm was rewired with the Incognito kit, a single run of Cardas cable, from the cartridge to the RCA connectors at the phono pre.  I tried three different interconnects from the ZP3 to the ZMA (Cardas, Acoustic Zen, Decware) with minimal differences in the hum.  I thought that the tighter connections at the TT and ZP3 RCA interface using AQ 90 degree connectors solved the problem - but not quite.  I have discovered that pushing laterally on the right channel TT/ZP3 interconnect produces a little "pop" in the right speaker and the hum disappears temporarily.  If I touch the right channel TT cable the hum may return, louder or softer.  Another push makes it go away.  I suspect something is going on with the right input on the ZP3.  Any thoughts?....
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #35 - 11/24/14 at 12:53:15
 
I would put a call into Decware and let them know what you found. If there is an electrical/mechanical issue, they should address it and it may help future ZP3 owner. Me, I spent Saturday going through a complete TT set up to double check everything. I used the Fozgometer, but no understand that the Fidelity Research FR-64 arm that I have does not allow for axial adjustment of the cartridge. I played with some shims under one side of the cartridge (.002'' .003''thick) but I still have a little bit more output from the left channel. I have my o'scope coming back this week from a long term loan and will set that up Friday and get some measurements. It may just be that my cart has more output on the left channel…no biggie. The ZP3 / Rachael combo is sounding great.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #36 - 11/24/14 at 17:22:31
 
RickVee:  I've found that poking around my cables and tubes can cause popping and clicking that I originally thought was due to some kind of microphonics.  I was told by Keven at KAB, however, that the clicks are due to some kind of ?dielectric? discharge and that Cardas wiring in the tonearm can even cause this due to tonearm motion.  Don't quote me on the physics!  I also found that one of my interconnects seems to have a poor connection at the connector (causes noises and dropout when moved around) so I don't use that one.  That said, I'm going with Steve in that the hum is due to the cart/wiring and not the ZP3.  Without any input my ZP3 hisses.  With the headshell/cart installed I get a low hum while without the headshell installed I get a loud hum.

Here is an interesting paper that talks a little about phono stage noise and how it is a trade between fidelity and quietness:  http://www.co-bw.com/Audio_All_about_phono_preamp.htm

So, hum free my ZP3 is not.  But I don't hear it so I try not to think/worry about it.  I have a MM cart and I wonder if the MC carts might not have quite the hum issue?  One last thing.  I considered angled RCA adaptors but didn't go with them because some feel that the large hunk of brass can degrade the signal compared to a good interconnect end.  I just used longer cables.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #37 - 11/25/14 at 22:15:52
 
Chris and Archie, again, thanks.  I will contact Decware about this.  If it was only the cart (Dynavector 10x5 high output mc), or the tone arm wiring, I don't think that wiggling the rca connector at the right input on the ZP3 would make a difference, which it does.  Sound degradation or not, the AQ right angle connectors fit tighter than the Cardas rca, and are more effective in reducing the hum.  For now, I just give it a poke, sit back, and listen.  The article by the Graham Slee guy was interesting and informative.

By the way, I am now listening to the later vinyl of Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations, and I am hearing an annoying background hum of about 200 hz.  (ha ha, small joke).
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #38 - 11/26/14 at 16:40:54
 
RickVee, is your hum only (or mainly) out of the right channel?  Have you tried swapping the interconnects to see if the hum follows?  Or using different interconnects altogether?  I'm curious since I had a "bad" interconnect at one point.  I've opened my ZP3 and the RCA jacks are so rigidly installed and so basic that I think the odds are more in favor of a bad interconnect -- but one never knows.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #39 - 11/26/14 at 17:26:11
 
The hum comes out of both channels/speakers.  It is affected only by manipulating the ZP3 right input.  I have tried different interconnects from ZP3 to ZMA with no real effect.  The interconnects from tonearm to ZP3 are captive (Incognito rewire).

Thanks,
Rick
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #40 - 11/27/14 at 00:31:36
 
Yeah, sounds like a Steve issue.  Let us know what he says!
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #41 - 12/03/14 at 15:13:01
 
My ZP3 has a light hum which is only noticeable when there is no music playing. Nothing I do changes the hum. Its a slight hum, I've had worse with bad grounds, etc in the past with phono stages. Once any music is played, even at lower volumes, I don't notice it at all. I can live with it. I will try swapping rectifier tube again.
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #42 - 12/11/14 at 18:26:54
 
Just got my ZP3 yesterday.  By itself it is pleasantly quiet connected to my CSP3.  However when I use the ZMC 1 there is a bothersome 60hz type hum.  I've have tried the usual interconnect changes and grounding options with little effect.  I do know id the ZMC is within 12" of the ZP3 the hum will get louder but once outside of 12" it does not improve.  

With a MM cart the ZP3 is nice and quiet but add the ZMC even if not connected to the TT and there is the hum.  Not real noticeable when music is playing but loud enough to be irritating during quiet passages.

Anyone else have this issue with just a ZMC step up?
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #43 - 12/12/14 at 00:34:19
 
Do you think you are hearing ZP3 hum amplified by the ZMC or is the ZMC introducing the hum?
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #44 - 12/12/14 at 15:34:02
 
I hear no excessive noise when the ZMC is not in the system so I assume it is the source of the hum.  Although there may be another source for the interference with the ZMC.  The ZMC seems very well shielded so it is surprising that something external to it is the source?
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #45 - 12/12/14 at 17:11:41
 
I don't have a ZMC so I don't know what one might do.  I noticed with my system that the hum from my ZP3 feeding straight into my ZMA is about half of what it is when it feeds through my CSP3 into my ZMA.  I assume that the difference is due to the increased gain from the CSP3.  I thought that the ZMC might be doing the same thing in your case but it sounds like something else is going on?  As others have mentioned, the hum I hear does not affect the music, even at high volume though I can hear the hum if the needle is not down on the record.
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #46 - 12/13/14 at 16:31:30
 
I have a ZMC1 in front of the ZP3 and the extra gain does make the hum more noticeable but not bothersome with music. But as the ZP3 and Rachael are getting more hours the enjoyment level is going up and up.
Loving these products, just need to get the present speakers up for sale and get the Monoliths before the sale ends….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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Re: Motor boating
Reply #47 - 12/13/14 at 17:54:38
 
What about the "El Caminos"?  They are seeming that they might be the Monoliths in one package?  I opted for the HR-1s.  In Finishing!  Whoo hoo!
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Re: Motor boating
Reply #48 - 12/14/14 at 00:04:45
 
What are the ''El Caminos'' I have seen mentioned on the forums and also in the talk of the last Decfest. As a bassist, I need to have a good extended bottom end. I don't expect to hear/feel my Moog Pedals as I do/did on stage but I need the extension down there.
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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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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #49 - 12/15/14 at 05:02:30
 
Well I broke down and bought a Ortofon 2M Black today and I think it pairs up beautifully with the ZP3 and my VPI Classic.  With the ZMC out of the circuit there is no noticeable hum at all and the 2M Black sounds great through the ZP3.  I sent a note to Steve to get his advice on the ZMC hum problem.
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