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Just stupid good (Read 3105 times)
Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
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Just stupid good
02/21/17 at 09:21:29
 
I have spent the last few weeks getting to know this new love in my life - my ZMA.  I had just transitioned out of a very fond relationship with my Torii Jr. so when the ZMA moved in, there was that inherent awkwardness as we got to know each other.  But, it didn't take much time before that subsided and the personality of this amp wooed me.  

Based on my setup, I am convinced this amp is for me.  Even in its "off the shelf" format, I was blown away by the quality of sound this amp is able to produce.  I have big plans for the amp and I have been further upgrading my system around this amp since its purchase.  I feel like it was a significant enough step up from my Torii Jr. that I had to put my money where my mouth was and surround this beautiful amplifier with equally worthy components.  

Everything else kept the same, this amp brought an elevated level of density.  My 946-based Monolith's have increased volume which creates a greater balance and a more fulfilling sound.  I no longer feel compelled to use my subwoofer when 2-channel listening.  There is an accuracy to the sound coming out of my system that is so gratifying. When I first purchased the amp, I felt it was slightly warm for my preference.  I replaced the Tung-Sol Kt66's with a quad set of platinum cryo'ed Gold Lion KT66's from Upscale Audio and I have not looked back since.  

Whatever I throw at this ZMA it masterfully absorbs it and delivers a sound that leaves me nothing short of amazed.  I have run a plethora of genres though it from chamber music to hip hop, all well engineered of course, and it has delivered!  It is a pricey amp.  Do you get what you pay for?  Without a shred of doubt...YES!!!



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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #1 - 02/25/17 at 15:57:57
 
Congratulations Jeff.  Sounds like the ZMA upgrade was well worth it.  Just wait until the transformers and tubes burn in Smiley

My ZMA and CSP3 preamp are currently on the bench, so it won't be long now.  I just keep re-reading the owners manual and listening to my new Omega Super Alnico High Output speakers that arrived last week.  I think this pairing will be very synergistic.

 
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« Last Edit: 02/25/17 at 15:58:46 by HockessinKid »  

Dedicated "Lonely Raven" music PC w/ WiFi>Oyaide NEO d+ USB cable>ZDAC2 (OR) Nottingham Interspace TT w/ heavy platter + Dynavector 20X2 LO + P-75 MKII phono preamp>iFi micro iTube>CSP3+ preamp>Zen Mystery amplifier>Omega SAHO XRS speakers> ZenWave IC's and PC's.
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Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
strongest form of
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #2 - 02/25/17 at 19:22:37
 
Sounds like we will be in the same boat Smiley  My Omega SAHO's are on the build list.  They should be ready to ship in the next 2-3 weeks.

I got my ZMA pre-owned so it will well seasoned and sounding beautifully!
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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #3 - 02/25/17 at 23:51:31
 
Great minds think alike.  You'll love your Omega SAHO's.  Lou makes great speakers, this is my 2nd pair of Omega's.

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Dedicated "Lonely Raven" music PC w/ WiFi>Oyaide NEO d+ USB cable>ZDAC2 (OR) Nottingham Interspace TT w/ heavy platter + Dynavector 20X2 LO + P-75 MKII phono preamp>iFi micro iTube>CSP3+ preamp>Zen Mystery amplifier>Omega SAHO XRS speakers> ZenWave IC's and PC's.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #4 - 03/01/17 at 15:31:12
 
My ZMA is back with the new Western Electric meter's and Resistor's. It has never sounded better. It was serendipitous for it to go back to Steve for a check-up and adjustments!

Mine, is 001, so nice for Steve to check out his first baby shipped after 3 years of continuous use by yours truly. I swear it is even more detailed at lower volume than before.

I'm glad to have only paid 4695. However, if I came late to the party even today, I would gladly pay its current asking price new from Steve.

You two know how great this Amp is ~ enjoy.
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Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 349
Re: Just stupid good
Reply #5 - 03/02/17 at 06:39:39
 
Great to hear Stone!  That was a nice "silver lining" to that shitty experience you went through with your tubes/ZMA.  Those meters seem like a nice little upgrade.  If I get an itch I may just order a set and throw them in myself as it seems like a fairly simple bolt-on upgrade.  

Yeah, I hear you on the price.  I was fortunate to pick up this seasoned red-capped version for $4400.  And I agree - knowing what I know now, the current retail price is still a steal for the quality of sound this baby produces.
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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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Archie
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #6 - 03/02/17 at 17:50:34
 
Quote:
Great to hear Stone!  That was a nice "silver lining" to that shitty experience you went through with your tubes/ZMA.  Those meters seem like a nice little upgrade.  If I get an itch I may just order a set and throw them in myself as it seems like a fairly simple bolt-on upgrade.  



Are you saying that the new meters help the sound?  

Stone, did Steve do anything else that you are aware of?  Maybe you're heart grew fonder in her absence?   Kiss
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Bottlehead
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #7 - 03/03/17 at 04:38:25
 
Hey Jeff of Arabica and HockessinKid,

I've had my eye on the SAHO's for some time now, but for a bit different system. I have a 10W 300B SET amp that I can't seem to give up. I have all kinds of amps with way more power, but none that sound any better, especially at lower volumes. I can't count the number of times that I've boxed it up, thinking that I would sell it, and just couldn't. The only problem is lack of volume on poorly recorded material. I've been able to overcome that for the most part by using the balanced outs on my dac for the increased voltage, into Steve's ZBit, into my amp, and out to my Monoliths. I'm close to where I want to be on that system, and I've been thinking that the SAHO's might just get me there b/c of the higher efficiency. So I'll be interested in your reports when you get your new speakers (although you have 4 times the power of my amp, so it won't exactly be apples to apples). Please review them after youhave them broken in - I'm thinking I'm not the only guy on the forum that is interested in the SAHO's. Thanks, Randy
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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #8 - 03/06/17 at 22:05:34
 
Bottlehead,

My SAHO speakers have almost 200 hours on them now.  They have really opened up and sound incredible.  They excel in dynamics, tonality, and truthfulness to the recording.  Sound better than the single driver Omega's on complex music and imaging is out of this world.

This listening has been done with my Decware Zen SE84CS EX & Hazen Mods w/ Mullard GZ32 rectifier, Cyro'd SV83 & EH Gold 6922 tubes coupled with a Eastern Electric Minimax preamp.  Plenty of power between the two to drive the SAHO speakers to loud volume levels.

My Decware Mystery amp and CSP3 Jupiter capped preamp are getting QC'd in Peoria at this time.  Hopefully I'll have them early next week to begin the burn in process.  I'm looking forward to listening to this combination with the speakers.  

Yesterday I listened to the25th Anniversary Graceland album on my TT. The sound is absolutely stunning on the Omega SAHO's.  The wait for these speakers was well worth it X10!


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« Last Edit: 03/06/17 at 22:05:50 by HockessinKid »  

Dedicated "Lonely Raven" music PC w/ WiFi>Oyaide NEO d+ USB cable>ZDAC2 (OR) Nottingham Interspace TT w/ heavy platter + Dynavector 20X2 LO + P-75 MKII phono preamp>iFi micro iTube>CSP3+ preamp>Zen Mystery amplifier>Omega SAHO XRS speakers> ZenWave IC's and PC's.
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Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 349
Re: Just stupid good
Reply #9 - 03/07/17 at 02:14:18
 
Bottlehead,
I got an update from Louis at Omega and he is waiting for the SAHO drivers to arrive which ship in about a week.  I imagine my SAHO's will be completed and shipped toward the end of the month.  

Hockessinkind and I are in a dichotomic situation in that his SAHO's are broken in with a pending virgin ZMA arrival.  My ZMA is well broken in awaiting the delivery of my brand new SAHO's.   As soon as they arrive and have some hours on them I will provide some feedback.  I will run some vinyl, reel-to-reel, and hi-res digital content through the system during this time. It should give me a real sense of the capabilities of the combo.
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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #10 - 03/07/17 at 11:10:40
 
Here is a link to pictures of my Omega SAHO's for anyone interested.  They are the two-tone pair, 3rd set down in this Audio Circle posting.  My speakers have real wood veneer (Level 2), with Bird's Eye-Maple front and rear panels and Cherry sides, top and bottoms.  I really like the looK.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=148911.0
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mark58
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #11 - 03/07/17 at 12:00:30
 
Those are very beautiful and I'll bet they'll sound great.  I wonder why Louis chose to port them in the back instead of the bottom as done in the single driver version.  Keep us posted on your impressions.  Mark.
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"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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JD
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #12 - 03/07/17 at 12:14:34
 
HockessinKid,

Those are beautiful. Had a nice talk with Louis and it looks as though I might be having a pair in my listening room (zebrawood i think) by the summer.
Post all of your impressions.

Thanks

JD
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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #13 - 03/07/17 at 13:51:41
 
Mark,

I am not sure why the Louis ported them on the back.  The port does have an internal baffle and I haven't noticed any chuffing/huffing on heavy bass music even when played at high volumes.  My guess on placement is that some people may use the speakers without spikes, making rear placement more logical.

JD,

I'll be posting more impressions when my ZMA and Jupiter CSP3 arrive and I get some time on them.  Suffice it to say I am absolutely delighted  with the Omega SAHO speakers.  Very natural sounding on vocals and instruments, dynamic, easily driven w/ low powered tube amps, and synergistic with Steve's amps.  I did some extensive listening to several standard boxed and open baffle designs prior to making my decision.  For my listening room and musical preferences I prefer the alnico driver Omega's.  YRMV.

 
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« Last Edit: 03/07/17 at 13:52:30 by HockessinKid »  

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Bottlehead
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #14 - 03/10/17 at 22:36:42
 
Hey HK, thanks for responding. It helps to know that you are getting good results w/low power. I think that your current setup tells me what I need to know. It's the fidelity and transparency of the SET that beats all the other amps that I have, so I just need to pick the right speakers for it, and I think that he SAHO will fit perfectly. I tried it with Steve's FRX2 drivers in an open-baffle configuration, and I loved the quality of the sound, but couldn't get where I needed to w/volume. (I have since paired the FRX2s with a 21W Audio Space 300B push-pull amp with great results). I have also ordered a set of Betsys from Randy, so I'll give those a go with my SET, too, but I have a feeling that ultimately I'll end up with a pair of Louis's speakers.

Also, J of A, thank you for the information. I won't be buying a pair right away, but they are definitely on my radar. I'm sure that you are anxiously awaiting their arrival. In addition to all the great reviews that I'm hearing, they really are beautiful speakers. I'm more a fan of large monitor speakers (think VMPS 626), b/c I can make solid stands for them at the height that I need for my listening position. So I've got my eye on the Quartered Madagascar Ebony veneer that is shown on the SAHO Monitor webpage. YOWZA! Just a stunning pair of speakers. Like artwork.
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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #15 - 03/14/17 at 21:15:03
 
Steve has finished the ZMA and CSP3 builds, they've been QA tested, packed and are now on their way via UPS.  Anticipation...
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Dedicated "Lonely Raven" music PC w/ WiFi>Oyaide NEO d+ USB cable>ZDAC2 (OR) Nottingham Interspace TT w/ heavy platter + Dynavector 20X2 LO + P-75 MKII phono preamp>iFi micro iTube>CSP3+ preamp>Zen Mystery amplifier>Omega SAHO XRS speakers> ZenWave IC's and PC's.
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Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #16 - 03/15/17 at 07:08:49
 
Oh what a feeling!  :)
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HockessinKid
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #17 - 03/17/17 at 20:18:00
 
ZMA and CSP3 are now in the house, literally warming up after the three day journey from Peoria, IL.  They are unboxed and I'll be doing the initial set up tomorrow morning.  Cheers.

HK
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Lon
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #18 - 03/17/17 at 20:53:25
 
OH YEAH!

Grin
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Jeff of Arabica
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"Music is the
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Re: Just stupid good
Reply #19 - 03/18/17 at 08:11:44
 
HK,
You life is about to change... plain and simple.

Enjoy!

Jeff
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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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