Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
12/14/17 at 22:57:38†





 



Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good! (Read 14586 times)
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #50 - 08/18/17 at 15:44:54
 
A week ago I received a pair of VooDoo Cable Evolution XLR interconnects to use with my ZBIT (purchased from bottlehead/Randy, he has one pair left to sell). I was happy with the 2' Take Five Audio cables I bought purposefully instead of VooDoo Cable XLRs for the ZBIT. . . I didn't want to pay the VooDoo Cable new price and the Take Five are very similar in construction and materials and are also cryo'd. But I thought that the 2' length would be fine and it isn't, I just needed another foot to place the ZBIT where it works best, so I went for the Evolutions, knowing that Randy is fantastic to deal with.

Well these Evolution from VooDoo Cable are just better than the Take Five in a few important ways: they are a bit more refined and a bit more neutral in tonal balance. They bring out tiny details in spatial and rhythmic ways and draw me into the music. With the Take Five Audio cables I felt that the ZBIT and the CSP2+ were both equally great ways to get sound from the DSD DAC to the Torii, but with the Evolution cables the ZBIT method is just a bit superior. I'm so hoping that the ZBIT and the ZROCK2 will work well together as this should give me the best, adjustable, sound.

The ZBIT just is such a transformative device in my system. This elegant little brainchild of Steve's keeps impressing me, and it will respond to cabling and placement and keep dishing out wonderful sound.

I'm so impressed with the Evolutions that when a friend repaid me a loan I made him seven years ago (! ! !) I invested in a pair of VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Amati XLR cables that the Cable Company showed as a special (probably demo) pair from VooDoo Cable at a price that was the best I've seen. . . . I hope those are actually at VooDoo to ship (the Cable Company wasn't yet sure) and I know (as I have Stradivarius interconnect cables everywhere else in my system) that these will be EVEN BETTER.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/18/17 at 15:46:16 by Lon »  

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #51 - 08/20/17 at 15:09:16
 
I ordered another ZBIT. I needed to have a second set of stereo outputs added to my ZBIT . . .and a) I couldn't bear to think of a few weeks or more without it and b) I have another excellent set of XLR cables and a great source with a balanced output upstairs in that little system. . . so I decided to order another ZBIT to use with that system.  I know from experience that the ZBIT driving the modded C amp is an excellent sound. . . and with both balanced and unbalanced outputs on that source I can also drive the Taboo Mk III there for headphones.

I'm a Decware addict!
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 340
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #52 - 08/20/17 at 17:20:59
 
Haha!  Aren't we all Lon.  Not a bad "substance" to be addicted to, though.  Doesn't require any dark alleys or shady acquaintances.

I suspect my ZBIT will ship this week.  Been in testing/QC for awhile.  Can wait to get it attached to my DirectStream w/ Huron.  Although, this DAC attached to my Torii MKIV and Omega SAHO's has a noticeable increase in weight and drive.  Could be a product of system synergy and/or break in time.  Ive got quite a few hours in on it.  Whatever the reason, it is sounding really good just out of the RCAs.  I can't imagine how awesome it will sound with the ZBIT in place!
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #53 - 08/20/17 at 17:26:54
 
I added the ZBIT during the Torreys OS days and did the Huron update with the ZBIT but. . . well I love the DirectStream either with the ZBIT via the XLR or the CSP2+ via the RCA, may prefer the ZBIT by a hair for a certain refinement it maintains. You're going to be happy!

I actually really like the DirectStream straight from the RCAs into my Torii MK III a LOT. I just needed a bit more gain for one input (DVR in "Normal" not "Narrow" mode) as it wasn't quite loud enough for my wife--she likes her TV loud! That is what started me on the ZBIT trail and I'm glad I did, plenty of gain now and though I guess there is more body and heft it's not heavily painted and all subtleties remain.

Glad yours is shipping soon! I know you'll share your impressions Jeff!
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/20/17 at 18:34:10 by Lon »  

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #54 - 10/19/17 at 22:27:42
 
Well, thirteen months after ZBIT #29 hit here ZBIT #34 hit here. I had this one built with two stereo outputs (silver RCA) and two stepped attenuators. It's a beauty. It spent a long time in "Testing" and "Quality Control" and sounds pretty darned good right off the bat.

With the two outputs I can feed one of them to my Torii Mk III and one to my Taboo Mk IV. I had been disconnecting and reconnecting and disconnecting and reconnecting to use one or the other of the two amps for a few months and not really enjoying that (plus that's a lot of wear and tear on connections and connectors).

I love the ZBIT. My original ZBIT is now in my second system feeding my Taboo Mk III from the XLR output of the Denon universal player and sounding quite good. I think I may be able to use it in place of the CSP2+ I have there and simplify that system. I think that means I have three Decware preamps and three Decware amps in excess. . . I'm going to have to start selling items soon. Maybe I can sell enough to afford a ZMA! Wink
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 340
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #55 - 10/21/17 at 06:29:47
 
Ha!  That actually sounds like a damn fine idea!  You should do it  ;)
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #56 - 10/21/17 at 11:03:41
 
Maybe. It's so hard for me to sell stuff. But I may get on the stick.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #57 - 10/21/17 at 14:27:43
 
Gotta say it's so nice to have the dual stereo output on this new ZBIT. And it already sounds really nice. . . the ZBIT is a great component, Steve really struck a rich vein with the Jensen transformers and their integration into components.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
alper_yilmaz
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #58 - 11/19/17 at 02:16:37
 
I just received my ZBIT with two outputs and one volume control.  In my system in my livingroom, I am feeding a Hegel HD30 DAC into a Copland push-pull (with KT120ís) with ProAc D28 speakers and a TABOO mkIII with an Audeze LCD-2.  Hegel has both RCA and XLR outputs.  Even at its full-volume (Hegelís volume), I did not enjoy listening to the TABOO much as it lacked something in the bass compartment (my usual problem).  I had a feeling from what I have read on the Forum that the ZBIT would resolve the issue by doubling the input into the TABOO.  And baaam!  Here it is!

As I am writing this, I am listening to some Robert Glasper, and I have never heard the TABOO and the Audeze sound this good.  By the way, volumes on the TABOO are at full (both the gains and output) and the ZBIT is at 2:00 oíclock.  The lucid mode is off.  The tube compartment of the TABOO includes a NOS Siemens 6922, the stock SV83ís and a NOS RCA 5Y3GT.  

When I fed the Copland with the ZBIT, I must admit I did not care much for it.  Direct feed from Hegel into the Copland via RCAís sounds so good already, I felt like the ZBIT took part of the body out.  

Is the ZBIT a keeper?  Hell yeah!  With the TABOO, it is amazing!  I cannot wait till it fully breaks in.  

In the meantime, I think I am done for the time being in terms of sources, DACís, pre- and power amps.  The only itch I am left with is a pair of speakers for my bedroom, maybe a pair of Zuís...

Thanks for another wonderful product, Steve!!!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #59 - 11/19/17 at 16:52:48
 
Alper, I totally agree that the Taboo and the ZBIT are a great combination. Steve alerted me that the Taboo loves a ton of gain and the ZBIT allowing all those volts in is a great boon to the sound. When used as an amplifier for speakers even MORE gain can be beneficial--in my second system I use the Taboo Mk III to drive Trapezium speakers and a ZBIT feeding a CSP2+ preamplifier gives me the best sound.

I'm surprised that the ZBIT isn't contributing to the BEST sound in your system with the DAC but there are so many factors . . . . In my own system the ZBIT mated to my DAC's balanced output yields the very best sound. . . . over the last year as I have grown more knowledgeable about the ZBIT and its use and spent BIG bucks on XLR interconnects the sound has bloomed and blossomed and with the ZTPRE added before the ZBIT I have really found clear, dynamic, vivid sound a daily occurrence and am living the good life!

On top of that there's now the ZROCK2 in my system. More than a cherry on top!
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
alper_yilmaz
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #60 - 11/19/17 at 18:44:02
 
Thanks for the note, Lon.  My Copland is an integrated pre- and poweramp (both tube).  It does not require a high-output source, and the RCA connections from my DAC at its full output gives me a very satisfactory sound, which the ZBIT did not contribute (actually, it even deteriorated).  And my take is usually to keep the signal chain as simple as possible.  So, if it is working fine, I would not add any other component to the signal chain.  

With the TABOO - Audeze combination, it was a different story till I introduced the ZBIT into signal chain.  

But, I will definitely give it another try.  Maybe the two outputs of the ZBIT are different, I do not know.  I need to experiment a little bit!  :)

Best,

Alper
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #61 - 11/19/17 at 19:02:54
 
Cool. Unlike the Copland the Decware amps DO like to have more volts pumped into them so the ZBIT (and the gain possibilities of the ZTPRE) really do fill that need and get them hopping!

I really used to be a "as little in the path as possible" guy and as Decware moved towards all these boxes to put in the chain I was actually taken aback and a bit pissed. But. . . I have reversed my thinking and the proof is in the pudding: the ZBIT and the ZTPRE and now the ZROCK2 have each IMPROVED the sound with no degradation. So I've drunk the Koolaid, so much that I have to take bathroom breaks. . . Wink
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
alper_yilmaz
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 168
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #62 - 11/19/17 at 19:46:58
 
Smiley Smiley Smiley

I just tried it again, Lon.  

Hegel HD30 --> ZBIT --> Copland

Two observations...

- The RCA outputs of the Hegel gives as much volume as when the ZBIT is fully cranked up.  Should not be the case, but I wonder this has anything to do with the Hegel, or the input stage of my Copland.

- The sound without the ZBIT is fuller with a deeper soundstage.

But with the TABOO, it is a different story.  In my setup, the TABOO is all the way up and the ZBIT is around 2:00 o'clock.  And maybe the first time, I am enjoying the TABOO this much with the headphones...
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 13014
Re: The ZBIT makes many DAC's sound twice as good!
Reply #63 - 11/19/17 at 20:10:32
 
Interesting. I wonder why that is with the DAC and amp but hey it sounds great so no worries!

Yes, the ZBIT and Taboo are truly a great match. I also this weekend tried ZBIT into ZROCK2 and into Taboo Mk IV and WHOA. That's a very good WHOA.
Back to top
 
 

HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,Torii MkIII,ZBIT,ZROCK2,Taboo MkIV;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade:Dbl Helix+,SamsonV2+V3;CambrAudi CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,Groovetracer upgrades,Exact2;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner,Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print