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09/19/19 at 01:03:20 


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ZP3 Phono Stage's Reel to Reel tape option (Read 1998 times)
Steve Deckert

If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4025
ZP3 Phono Stage's Reel to Reel tape option
02/23/17 at 17:40:31
I stumbled across your products for a completely different reason. I originally was looking for a step up transformer for a phono stage that is does not have enough noise free gain for my moving coil cartridge.

I looked at your ZP3 and discovered it can also be utilized for tape.

Can you get the ZP3 as a Tape only, or is one of those situations where it's not possible or worth not doing so.

I read the manual, but could not determine if you can use the ZP3 as a phono stage or tape stage at the same time. Meaning connect both, and use a switch to switch between the inputs. In my setup it would make sense to have either or versus moving internects in and out.

I'm more of a set it and forget it kind of person. Therefore I'm curious how I would easily select NAB or IEC using the POTs.

The ZP3 when configured with the tape option can then be used for either LP or TAPE.  You have to plug one in or the other as there is no switching to select sources.  The switching is to select between the TAPE and RIAA equalization.  As for going between NAB and IEC you have to adjust a screw, one for each channel.  It is easy enough to mark both positions, and when rotating the control to that position you are allowed to hear the top end change as you turn.  If you listen to tapes from a variety of sources, especially those beyond today's producers of new master tape dupes, you will find that NAB or IEC is often a bit off from tape to tape.  

For example, you have a NAB tape and you play it but it sounds a tiny bit bright.  Turn the screw slightly to the left and the brightness is gone.  Of course many tapes can sound a bit dull, in which case to fix it you turn the screw to the right until the sparkle you were looking for appears.

Having a switch to go between NAB and IEC makes this impossible, and as a result would ruin the potential in many of the tapes you might own.  It's also important to understand that the equalization and tape bias settings on any tape machine is independent for each channel, so it is common to have one channel be different from the other due to small miss-adjustments during the recording or duplicating process.  Having a screw for each channel on the ZP3 tape option makes it possible to quickly dial in the equalization independently for each channel.

You'll find that after awhile, worrying about getting it set exactly on NAB or IEC is only necessary as a curiosity to see how perfectly the tape was recorded, and in practice you'll find yourself simply adjusting the screws like a pair of treble controls to make it sound the way you want.

If you have a vinyl rig and a tape machine and don't want to swap interconnects when you listen you can use or ZSB silver switch box to switch between tape and LP or just buy two ZP3's and have one set up with the tape option.


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