Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
11/20/17 at 13:50:14 



 
 


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT (Read 679 times)
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 311
PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
07/08/17 at 22:17:02
 
Just received my DirectStream DAC from PS Audio.  I also own a ZDSD, which begs the question...  Has anyone heard the DirectStream with a ZBIT?  Knowing the affect of the output stage (Built-in ZBIT) on the ZDSD, I have to know what an external ZBIT can do to a DirectStream.  

Eager for the Network Bridge firmware update to add native Tidal and MQA support.
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
Bottlehead
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 242
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #1 - 07/08/17 at 23:29:22
 
JoA,

I have a ZBit connected to my Directsream, but my system is quite different from yours because my amp is only a 10W 300B SET. I have to say, though, that I would hate to try to do without it. Especially on poorly recorded material. I still can't quite get to the volume (fullness as well as loudness) on poorly recorded material, but it would be hopeless without it. So with the power/headroom of your ZMA, you may not notice quite the same effect, or the degree of change that it brings to my system.

I don't know if that helps or not, but I'm sold on the ZBit, and I know that Lon is, too. Maybe he'll chime in here with his thoughts.

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


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

Posts: 12886
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #2 - 07/09/17 at 02:19:43
 
Congrats on the DirectStream arrival! I found that the DS sounded good out of the box and gradually better for the first 600 hours or so and really was different (in a great way) 600 hours plus than when new. With the new firmware Huron, and a lot of seasoning, the DS is giving me sound I am so so happy with.

My experience with the ZBit and my DS and Torii Mk III (along with more input from Randy et al) can be found in this thread: http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1429468397/47#47 I don't have any experience with the ZMA to add.

I'm very happy with the ZBit, though I was also very happy without it and I could cope without it, but am glad to have it. I'm going to take it out again this week and try putting one of my CSP2+ back in, as I'm beginning to see how that might be a benefit as well, in its different way than the ZBit, and the CSP2+ will allow me to send the output of the DS to both my Torii and my Taboo headphone amp, which would be a boon. But I won't be parting with the ZBit even if I end up keeping the CSP2+ paired with the DS, the ZBit will be helping out my second system. It's a fantastic product and I'm very impressed with the solution that Steve came up with for balanced to single-ended output.

I'd be interested in hearing your impressions about the broken in DS in comparison to the Zen DSD when that time comes. . . .!
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 07/09/17 at 02:36:51 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
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 311
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #3 - 07/09/17 at 16:33:33
 
This was exactly the information I was looking for gentlemen.  Thank you both for your input and Lon, for the thread link, which I subsequently read.  

The detail out of this DS is superb, but compared to my ZDSD, it does not have the full, dynamic sound characteristic that I have gotten used to with ZDSD and its higher voltage output stage.  

That said, the ZBIT seems to be the ticket, so I ordered one up!  Of the reference tracks I have run through the DS so far, it is pretty incredible the subtle detail I am hearing on some of them that wasn't as present prior.  Couple this detail/clarity with the weighted improvement from the ZBIT and I could be in heaven on earth.  Lots more listening before forming a conclusion as to this (DS with ZBIT) vs. that (ZDSD) but the comparison is the fun part.
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: 12886
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #4 - 07/09/17 at 16:58:08
 
I'm confident that you will enjoy the ZBit with the DS, so try not to fidget too much during the  wait for the Zbit! Smiley Thanks for sharing your impressions.
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: 12886
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #5 - 07/10/17 at 14:57:08
 
Jeff, I sent you a PM about this but I have to say. . .Saturday I put the CSP2+ with Beeswax caps I have back in the system and took the ZBIT out. In the past year while using the ZBIT I changed tweeter resistors in the HR-1s and I got better at tube-rolling and dialing in the CSP2+ while in use in my second system lately.  And then there's the Huron firmware which was the biggest firmware change and all for the better. . . .  These three factors and the elimination of the balanced cabling I think have made it so that now, using the single-ended output from the DirectStream into the CSP2+ I have even better sound, and I don't miss the ZBIT, which I really did not expect. So if you have a CSP preamp on hand (I have three!) I recommend trying that to see if it restores the weight and density that you wish to the detailed, nuance DS playback, . . . I feel as if I have exactly what I want now.

Another strong benefit to using the CSP2+ is that it allows me to use the best cable and best source to feed the Taboo Mk III via it's second output, which is great as my new Taboo Mk IV is arriving tomorrow to take the Mk III's place in the system. Life is good.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 07/10/17 at 15:41:59 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
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2935
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #6 - 07/10/17 at 22:25:25
 
I had the XLR inputs added to my ZMA which basically is the ZBIT without the volume pot (Steve said there is a fixed resistance in this setup). I love it for the DirectStream which is a true balanced output. I especially loved it for when I had a Reel to Reel that I think output something like 20v. The ZMA really loves higher input voltage. Those Jensen transformers seem to add a bit of sparkle to the sound - I didn't think an extra step and cable would sound good, but I'm OK with it.

I'm gathering parts to build my own ZBIT now, though I haven't figured which volume pot to use yet, so I may try it wide open or with a resistance similar to what's built into the ZMA. I'm seeing Steve tonight so I'm going to ask him about volume pots he likes....especially since he put a stepped attenuator in my 20 year old Zen Amp; I'm curious if there is any particular one he finds to be exceptionally transparent.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 07/10/17 at 22:28:55 by Lonely Raven »  
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 311
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #7 - 07/11/17 at 02:45:02
 
I considered, for a New York minute, sending in my ZMA for the XLR upgrade.  However, I have too many sources (TT, R2R, disk transport, DAC) that all need access to the ZMA.  So I got a ZSB, but with that, fully committed to RCA.  Ive got some really trippy IC's that I recently obtained and I don't think I will ever change unless they break.  I plan to go to Decfest this year and will likely bring a set to get some opinions on.  

Anyway, I think the ZBIT will be just what the doctor ordered for me, at least that is the hope.  I agree on the ZMA higher voltage comment.  The ZDSD has some balls and when in play, I rarely could get my ZMA knob beyond the 30% mark.  

Good luck on the DIY ZBIT!
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
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2935
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #8 - 07/11/17 at 06:31:54
 
I look forward to seeing you in October!
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****


"Music is the
strongest form of
magic"

Posts: 311
Re: PS Audio DirectStream w/ ZBIT
Reply #9 - 07/12/17 at 00:41:30
 
Likewise LR.  I have told myself every year for the past two years that I will attend, but something always got in the way.  This year I intend to follow through with my promise to myself.
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
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print