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ZROCK (Read 13203 times)
SonicSeeker
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ZROCK
02/14/17 at 19:57:43
 

Update 3/7/17  web page is now completed:  http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZROCK.html


STEVE IS ACCEPTING PRE-ORDERS FOR THIS NOW!

I was given the privilege to be the first to receive one of these.
I have been talking with Steve for several months now expressing some issues I was having and he had told me of something he had wanted to build that was probably a perfect fit for me.
Well after receiving it yesterday I would have to say, as usual, he was correct.
I have played a few dozen records so far from things that already sounded quite excellent to things that did not and the improvements are quite exceptional.

I will start with the effects on recordings that I "thought" already sounded as good as I would ever want them to.
The ZROCK made a very noticeable improvement in density throughout the frequency range everything sounded richer, fuller with more detail and with an unexpected increase in the soundstage which surprised me. I am also now able to reduce the toe in of the speakers quite a bit since the density is so much better. I am really surprised by how much more information I am hearing now and how much wider and deeper the soundstage seems to be. I was worried that it would be the opposite since I was adding another device into the signal path. Just a note I did have this built with the Jupiter caps as with my other gear.
I was also concerned that I would have too much bass, you know the non musical fill in type bass, not the case at all, everything is very balanced tight and full.

Now with things that were harder to listen to on a reveling system such as mine.
First there are two settings on this that give two distinctly different EQ signatures, one is very clear and dynamic and the other while increasing the lower end also rolls off the highs and should do an excellent job at allowing us to listen to some very poor recordings making them listenable again, thank you for this.
So far everything I have listened to has sounded excellent with the more dynamic setting.

With the increase in the lower register it really makes everything sound better in that it is fuller richer and deeper I also don't have the urge to turn it up to try and gain some density and impact anymore.
Before I would get up and turn it up and then get up and turn it down because it was just louder not better, and the real litmus test is my wife hasn't asked me to turn it down for two days meaning first, it isn't too loud anymore and second it sounds really good.
This is not just a low frequency boost on my system but a density boost all the way through.

I have to say this again because it is such a surprise to me, the part that floors me the most is how much more depth and width I seem to have now and it even seems clearer and more detailed probably because all of the information is better balanced now.
I am anxious to see how it will sound after some hours are put on it.

I want to say thank you to Steve for working with me all these months and helping me get to where I wanted to be, above and beyond what we expect in today's world. Great business man but more importantly Steve is a stand up guy.
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« Last Edit: 03/07/17 at 23:29:44 by Steve Deckert »  

Torii Jr
ZROCK
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #1 - 02/14/17 at 20:24:29
 
As of right now same as Zstage 649.00.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #2 - 02/14/17 at 20:56:49
 
Awesome! Looks like I need to get an order in...... .
Nice first impressions SSeeker. Yeah, a pic or two from SS or Steve would be great. Input and Output back, etc...front view close up...... .


Yes, very "stand up".....Steve just fixed my ZMA ASAP and Sarah did a stand up job of getting it on the road back to me. No complaints here.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #3 - 02/14/17 at 22:42:27
 
.
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« Last Edit: 02/15/17 at 13:59:05 by SonicSeeker »  

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #4 - 02/14/17 at 22:59:49
 
Pic
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20170214_155452_resized.jpg

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #5 - 02/14/17 at 23:03:38
 
Pic
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20170214_155507_resized.jpg

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #6 - 02/15/17 at 03:26:29
 
Iam sorry.... what exactly is this?  Did i miss the press release?
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #7 - 02/15/17 at 06:01:32
 
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #8 - 02/15/17 at 13:32:36
 
ah got it!  it has a name now.  that's the part i missed.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #9 - 02/15/17 at 17:00:03
 
Nice Pic's SS, thanks.

Now the switch in back is power off on I see and the EQ sig changer is the front one, correct?   Gold knob, gain of course.

What tube is in it? 6922 tube type, yes?

I too am shy of having another box in the chain, but your fears were alleviated. I have a matching IC (was used with my Preamp(s).....just itching to be used with the ZROCK)!

Have you tried any digital with it? Or, are you Vinyl only?
Of course, Steve's build team has been using it streaming. So, I am not worried about it taking on the digital redbook I want it to massage.
.....as you mentioned....it is tackling your best stuff with improvement...so I would and will do that first too.

Once again, nice review and I look forward to getting one. First, I am going to play around with my PAC-S's that come today.

My seasoned ZMA comes back tomorrow!  Oh, the pain of Solid State coming out of my Listening Room.....the pain the pain the pain..... Cry Cry
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« Last Edit: 02/15/17 at 17:19:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #10 - 02/15/17 at 18:25:57
 
Stone
The horror..

The switch in the front is the bypass, on off, switch.
The one in the back is the two different EQ's.
The tube is a 5963 12au7 type.
Just vinyl Smiley
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #11 - 02/15/17 at 19:29:03
 
Cool, thanks SS.

Discuss more about using the gain/knob with the gain of your Jr., down the road when you're ready with more burn in/seasoning of it..... .

Sweet! I'll plug an uncle Kevy Mullard CV4003/12AU7, to talk/sing to my E188CC/7308 Mullard's in my ZMA inputs.

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/preamp-tubes/products/mullard-cv4003-12...

Then again, Mull's to Mull's might be a bit much? If the tube Steve sends with it, is getting the job done....I will probably leave alone.
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« Last Edit: 02/15/17 at 19:36:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #12 - 02/15/17 at 19:53:51
 
I just finished a little experimentation with a couple 12au7's I had, an RCA clear top and a Psvane and the 5963 he sent actually sounds best, so I guess I will leave it alone for now and let it burn in for quite a while before I try anything else.
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« Last Edit: 02/15/17 at 19:54:27 by SonicSeeker »  

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #13 - 02/16/17 at 17:46:39
 
Nice. Sounds good.

My ZMA is out for delivery/coming back from the Mother Ship.  8-)
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #14 - 02/16/17 at 18:53:13
 

My ZMA has been out of service with my livingroom torn up for home theater upgrades. I've been so busy with work, no time to listen, and I was craving it last night. So I feel you brother.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #15 - 02/16/17 at 19:35:53
 
I know you know my brother. I'm following your reorg. HT and Listening Room Thread.....keep it coming.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #16 - 02/17/17 at 00:55:28
 

Here is the link for anyone wanting to pre-order the ZROCK.

http://secure.ultracart.com/cgi-bin/UCEditor?merchantId=DIY&ADD=ZROCK

Steve
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #17 - 02/24/17 at 18:03:55
 
Just a quick update.
I have had this unit for almost two weeks now and have played about 40 hours of several different types of music from rock to classical to jazz to reggae etc. and the improvement in sound top to bottom is absolutely fantastic.
Everything I play now sounds much better.

The second EQ setting which lowers the upper frequencies I thought I would never use because it is darker and seemed much less detailed, but I found it actually works very well on those terrible recordings that are unfortunately part of my collection and sometimes some of my favorites allowing me to listen and enjoy without my ears ringing for a week, it allows you to turn it up at which point the detail returns quite a bit. Some older rock is recorded in a way that only sounds good turned up but was unbearable in my system and room and I think as I get older my ears just can't take it anymore but it is no longer an issue it now sounds good playing at lower volumes or higher.

This is the best improvement that I have made to my system, by a large margin, other than my amp and speakers.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #18 - 03/03/17 at 19:39:22
 
Have started the web page for the ZROCK, should be ready soon : )



Covert testing facility

Steve

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« Last Edit: 03/06/17 at 22:31:34 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #19 - 03/03/17 at 21:04:18
 
Cool, look forward to checking it out further.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #20 - 03/07/17 at 01:46:24
 
Here's some pics of the Z-Rock






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Re: ZROCK
Reply #21 - 03/07/17 at 01:46:43
 



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Re: ZROCK
Reply #22 - 03/07/17 at 01:47:09
 



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Re: ZROCK
Reply #23 - 03/07/17 at 01:47:27
 




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Re: ZROCK
Reply #24 - 03/07/17 at 01:47:38
 


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Re: ZROCK
Reply #25 - 03/07/17 at 23:28:37
 
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« Last Edit: 03/07/17 at 23:28:58 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #26 - 03/21/17 at 22:05:19
 
SS

Any further updates on your experience with the Zrock?  I am considering  purchasing one to add to between my TT (Rega P3-24) and my ZP3. Seems like you are using the Zrock between your TT and ZP3, as well. So I am especially interested in your feedback after spending more hours with Zrock. Worth the $$?

Tal
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #27 - 03/22/17 at 16:51:19
 
Curious about placement of the ZROCK. I know something like this probably works best close to the source, but with the option to bypass it with the simple flick of a switch, what about this configuration?

Two Sources - say 1) Turntable into Phono Stage, and 2) DAC or CD Player
Both sources fed into CSP3
CSP3 output fed into ZROCK
ZROCK output fed into Amplifier (in my case, Rachel)

This way I can cable everything up, bypass the ZROCK at will, and if I put on a less-than-optimal CD or record, I can just switch in the ZROCK.  Would this work?

Curious if anyone has tried this, and also for Steve's opinion if the ZROCK is too far down the audio chain for it to be as effective as right after the source.

Doug
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #28 - 03/22/17 at 17:50:00
 
Tal

I couldn't live without it now.

DougK

That should work just fine the way you describe.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #29 - 03/22/17 at 18:23:24
 
Yup, on my purchase radar this Fall, most likely.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #30 - 03/22/17 at 21:02:19
 
Last century it was all "if the first watt. . ." and a purist signal path. . . this century it's CPU and power supplies and preamps and ZStages and now a ZRock too!

I'm sure the ZRock is really cool, but I have spent years getting my system so that it does both the mediocre and the great recordings justice and I'm not adding another box in the chain! (The passive ZBit was the last item I needed. . . I'm in awe every day now of the music in my room, and the best sound comes from a direct source into the amp, no other gain stage or eq in the path).
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« Last Edit: 03/22/17 at 21:04:53 by Lon »  

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Re: ZROCK
Reply #31 - 03/23/17 at 20:58:00
 
Lon, thanks for chiming in.  You've got a lot of gear listed.
Can I ask what components you're using to reach your audio Nirvana?

Thanks,
Doug
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #32 - 03/23/17 at 21:09:11
 
Pretty much the gear listed in the "signature" is in use in two systems.

Main system: Rega turntable and PS Audio DMP and DSD, Cambridge Audio CXU, Time Warner DVR as sources; Torii Mk III and ZP3 as amplification (Taboo Mk III as headphone amp connected to CXU and DVR)*; Decware/Turning Point Audio HR-1 as speakers. PS Audio P10 as electrical foundation.  All components are on PS Audio PowerBases-- but at the moment only one PowerBase is "powered"--the one that powers the DVR and Sony TV.

The PS Audio DMP feeds the DSD via HDMI (I2S), as does the DVR via optical and the CXU via coaxial digital. The PS Audio balanced audio out is connected to the ZBIT, which feeds one input of the Torii Mk III; the ZP3 feeds the other Torii input. The Taboo Mk III powers a pair of Audeeze headphones.

In a second system upstairs I have a Denon DVD-AUD1 universal player feeding a Decware CSP2+ and also feeding a Sony TV. I use Oppo PM-1 headphones there,* and all components are plugged into a PS Audio Power Plant Premier.

Cabling in all systems is PS Audio for power cords (AC-12), VooDoo Cable for analog interconnect (two original Stradivarius, three Stradivarius Cremona Edition) except for a Take Five Audio "Deluxe" for balanced to ZBIT; Take Five Audio "Deluxe" coaxial digital, Lifatec optical cable. HDMI cables are PS Audio AC-12 and AC-10.

I could put together two more systems with the Toriis and Decware speakers I have in storage. . . but there's no room here and my wife informs me "there never will be." Cheesy

*Edit to add: This week I moved my headphone amplifiers around. I found I was not really using the CSP2+ as a preamp in my system, just really as a headphone amp. I prefer the ZP3 straight into the Torii by a hair compared to through the CSP2+ so I decided to bring the Taboo Mk III into the main system to power headphones allowing me a nice change. . .sounds great with these sources and connected to the PS Audio P10.
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« Last Edit: 03/24/17 at 14:15:39 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
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #33 - 05/17/17 at 18:36:56
 
Hi gang. Trying to read this on my phone. Thus ZROCK will work in between the turntable and the phonostage? Is there a ground lug on the ZROCK for the turntable interconnects? Thanks, Dana
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #34 - 05/17/17 at 18:40:31
 
Wouldn't it seem more appropriate to run it between the phono stage and amplifier, or between preamp and amplifier? I would only see the need to run it between turntable and phono stage if the phono stage were in a receiver or integrated amplifier. . . . Not sure how well that would work in that situation to be honest.
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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
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #35 - 05/17/17 at 18:52:57
 
Thanks for the response. I would love to try this device. Just trying to figure out where it should be placed in the chain. Dana
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #36 - 05/17/17 at 19:21:55
 
I was trying to PM SonicSeeker to ask exactly how he hooked it up but days that I need 5 posts to PM. Guess I should just call Steve at Decware and ask?
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #37 - 05/17/17 at 19:49:11
 
Yes, makes sense to call Steve.

I will PM Sonic and see if he will weigh in as well.
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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
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #38 - 05/17/17 at 19:49:28
 
I am running it between the Phono stage and the amp.
Listening to Eric Clapton right now and it sounds most excellent.
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #39 - 05/17/17 at 19:57:13
 
Thanks SonicSeeker!  Sorry for all of my typos. Do you crank the gain all the way up on the ZROCK and just use the master volume control on your amplifier?
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #40 - 05/17/17 at 20:20:02
 
Lon,

I thought you used the decware power cables?  What is the advantage of the ps-audio ones?
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SonicSeeker
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Listening to the
music not the
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Posts: 308
Re: ZROCK
Reply #41 - 05/17/17 at 20:23:24
 
For some reason I don't like turning anything all the way up but it is set most of the way up and yes I use my amplifier volume. With my Torii Jr. i only have to play around 1/4 volume, and lower when family is home, with this set-up for listening levels that are as loud as I would usually ever want.
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Torii Jr
ZROCK
ZP3
Sonist Concerto4
VPI Signature Classic Rosewood

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

Posts: 12870
Re: ZROCK
Reply #42 - 05/17/17 at 20:41:05
 
It's been about seven years or so since the last of the Decware power cords migrated out of my main system.

I think the Decware are really good bang for the buck power cords. But to be honest the best analogy I can come up with, insufficient as it is, between the Decware cords and the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12s that I have in use throughout my system is. . .well the Decware is like a faucet turned two-thirds of the way up and the PS Audio is like the faucet wide open as far as it can be turned. Everything is better, everything flows. They work so well on all my components (even my guitar and  bass amps), They were expensive, but it's a one time investment really and I am so glad I was able to make the investments at one time.
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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
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Martindfletcher
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Posts: 39
Re: ZROCK
Reply #43 - 05/17/17 at 21:38:46
 
Well after my 2x ufo2's show up and if your ever San Diego, bring 3 on the plane, I would love to hear them, I would provide food and wine.
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12870
Re: ZROCK
Reply #44 - 05/17/17 at 22:07:01
 
Ha! Not likely to be traveling that side of the country for a few years at the least, but I'll keep that in mind.
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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
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Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 310
Re: ZROCK
Reply #45 - 05/18/17 at 18:57:27
 
Martin,
Have you seen those PS Audio power cables in person?!  If not, watch the movie Snakes on a Plane and you will know what Lon would have to deal with bringing those monstrosities on the plane.   Smiley
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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
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12870
Re: ZROCK
Reply #46 - 05/18/17 at 19:00:08
 
That's true. Just not going to happen. Wink

I haven't been to California since the second half of the 'seventies. Not somewhere I plan to visit soon. . . and if I did I probably wouldn't be bringing power cables along.

I do encourage finding a way to audition them though, possibly a local dealer . . .?
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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
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Martindfletcher
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Posts: 39
Re: ZROCK
Reply #47 - 05/18/17 at 19:59:29
 
No I hadn't seen one.  Can you plug more than one into an outlet?

Honestly they are too rich for my blood now.  But seemed really intriguing with what Lon said.  I just got into this hobby and it's encroaching in the investment levels of my Ducati's and triathlon gear

I don't even have my decware amps still in "new status", the wait period gives you too much time to "want" more gear.

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

Posts: 12870
Re: ZROCK
Reply #48 - 05/18/17 at 20:05:31
 
Yes, they don't overcrowd socket space much on a wall fixture.

http://www.psaudio.com/products/ac12-power-cable/#tab-features

Here's photos and a drawing (not mine):





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« Last Edit: 05/18/17 at 20:08:05 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
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DanaHolmes
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Re: ZROCK
Reply #49 - 05/20/17 at 19:04:08
 
SonicSeeker I also have a KAB RF-1 Rumble Filter in my turntable analogue chain after the phonostage.  Would I want to place the ZROCK in line after the KAB Filter or before it?  Or is this a technical question for Steve?  Thanks - Dana
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