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ZROCK2 (Read 17878 times)
Steve Deckert
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #150 - 01/24/18 at 23:06:27
 
Interesting thread. Wish I had read it before today. I've been absorbed in the new amplifier design so something has to give, and reading the forum posts is one of them.

With a 15 Volt limit on the ZROCK2's inputs overdriving it is certain to cause distortion. The output level of the ZDSD set to -20 is going to be an issue because the ZROCK2 does not have an input level control. The control you see on the front of the ZROCK2 is actually dealing with the output of the tube, not the input feeding the tube.  

This means that in order to make a ZROCK2 work properly with a ZDSD's output set as high as it will go, you will have to reduce the signal feeding the ZROCK2 either by reducing the output level of the ZDSD to -16 or by simply reducing the input level aka recording level on the ZDSD. Many people use the input level control on the ZDSD as a volume control. This approach does not effect the "weight" of the output that you've grown to like when set higher than -16dB, it simply adjusts the input volume that feeds that beefy output stage on the ZDSD. This is all that is required to solve the issue, and what I would have recommended had I known before today what was actually going on.

A preamp is not required to get a ZROCK to work, even with a ZDSD provided it is properly set up.

Steve
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JOMAN
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #151 - 01/25/18 at 02:57:49
 
Thanks for that information Steve.  I haven't made any adjustments to the input volume up till now.

Distortion has not been an issue any more but I was intrigued so I left the ZDSD at -16dB and started to adjust the input volume.  After a bit of experimentation I found that I could take the “edge” off of some recordings that needed it without affecting anything else by adjusting the input volume of the ZDSD.  Once one gets the idea it’s easy and quick to do.

In one case a volume adjustment of one notch, from 10 to 9, on the CSP3 brought the volume to the right level but some “edginess” still remained.  Then an adjustment from 0.0dB to -0.5dB on the input level of the ZDSD was all it took to eliminate the edginess.

When I get some time I’m going to try this at the -18dB output level on the ZDSD, not that I’m disatisfied with where it is now just curious.  Now I’m approaching this from the viewpoint of having greater control over the edginess of some recordings.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #152 - 01/25/18 at 05:18:43
 
Yes, I find it a helpful tool because if you watch the VU meters, many recordings are pushing it into the red where you get distortion or at best server artifacts from the compression. Adjusting the input level down as you say sometimes as little as .5dB and sometimes as much as 1.5dB is needed and it dramatically cleans things up in those recordings. When streaming radio I found about 40% of the recordings needed to be trimmed on the input slightly for the best sound. And you are correct it has no effect on the signature or weight, just the volume.

When using a ZROCK2 just drop it as low as needed to keep the sound clean.  -6dB wouldn't be an issue or even more because the ZROCK has gain and will put the gain back that you took away.

Steve
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #153 - 01/25/18 at 13:36:30
 
you mentioned:
"either by reducing the output level of the ZDSD to -16 or by simply reducing the input level aka recording level on the ZDSD."

I tried both and did not like it. Plus, changing my ZDSD alone (as you mention to only -16) mine, all the way down to -9.....I still had audible distortion.  

Their were some songs at -9 that I got to hear what the ZR2 was doing...was not bad (so I know the unit was fine/and I ran it through all its functions to make sure).

I guess, I'm more of a purist.....and the full sparkle and output at -20 Reference output + at 0.0 Input Volume, is the only way for me.... . Nothing in the chain other than my Line Stage, once in awhile. Manipulating tone with input and output tubes + kabling is my forte'  8-)

Glad I tried it!  Frees up funds for a Rachel when some of the new tech gets to her. She is perfect as she is in Hazen-Grid/Christmas comes early/UFO/6 watts per channel triode (I need/want the power insurance too)...but maybe she gets some of the new stuff......till then, your output stage at full tilt/ZDSD, Steve...to my ZMA.....I won't/can't do without.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #154 - 01/25/18 at 13:47:13
 
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1422222973/200

Joman? ....did you ever upgrade your power cord to your ZDSD (as mentioned in the above thread way back)? Posts 249 & 251?

...........takes the ZDSD to an whole other level.  I'm not hawking for the CableCo....but their try before you buy program is fairly priced. ...and how I got my KS6063 at a sweet low price (+the Shunyata digital cord/low/fair price).

I wrote in Reply #249:
"PS~ a significant upgrade/further for the ZDSD, is a Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord. I try and buy from the cableco, with a 11.5% discount.

The cableco., is how I was able to get a new pair/demo of Kimber Select KS6063 at 65% off. ....whole other level of getting out of the way of the music...when the gear upstream can deliver as Decware can..... .

However, once again, the Shunyata cord mentioned is transformative and you can try with no obligation on loan. Ask if they are sending a well seasoned auditioned one....as they should (if you decide to do so)."

....and of course, have two or three sent at a time to hear. Great resource...and I rolled a few in and out of here...as you can imagine. Glad I'm done with all that....but, the only way to know for your ear/brain connection.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #155 - 01/25/18 at 14:38:23
 
It appears that Shunyata cord is no longer available.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #156 - 01/25/18 at 15:31:20
 
Stone,  no I didn’t.  Not that I won’t. It’s just that I’ve heavily invested into Decware/Omega components over a period of time and have done quite a bit of tube rolling as well.

I want to get it all to a point that it’s burned in and in it’s treated room which is about 2 months away.  Once that happens I should have a baseline and will evaluate the result.

A lot of my effort has gone into seeing how far I can take the low power/high efficiency ideology.  It’s been surprising to say the least, and it sometimes takes a few weeks to get my head around what’s happening.  Like Lon, I find my self re thinking what I thought I knew.

I do appreciate your input though and I haven’t forgotten.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #157 - 01/25/18 at 16:10:06
 
Yes, why I want to revisit the low power/moderate efficiency/sensitivity (under 94db @ 1 watt/1 meter) but above 90db.

My SE84CS did drive my modified Adagio's. However, for more headroom assurance and availability of the NOS output tubes I want to roll with my NOS Input tubes....the Rachael's 5.8/channel, is the one for me. The new tech will find its way into all Decware Amps....as stated I believe in the Decware Development Thread.  

Until then, reading and enjoying the 25th Anni and Mono UFO3's further/final development, is to be enjoyed....then will see/read if it goes to the Rach' in some form.   .....no hurry, all in due time of 2018 in to 2019.

PS~Steve, posted today, in the Development Thread: "A room that was smaller or more live would also do it so a bridged pair may not be needed for some people." ...this was with the HR-1's....92.5db @ 1 Watt/1 Meter....very encouraging! Also, why I have my System in a smaller Room and not over-treated (even with my ZMA).  However, I want a Rach' for the reasons I stated just above.....all in good time..... .
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #158 - 01/26/18 at 04:59:41
 
Somehow that doesn’t surprise me after working with the low power/high efficiency set up that I have.  Granted the S3HOXRS are 97dB but the result surpasses any high power/low - mid efficiency set ups that I’ve had.

Patience was required in bringing it all together.  At times I would think that I had reached the pinnacle only to make an adjustment, an addition or make a change and then I would walk away in disbelief and rethink what I thought I knew.

Pushing the “boundaries” in this way suggested that a lot more was possible with a 2 watt Decware amp.  I’m convinced that all I will need will be one A-amp.  After getting the system to where it is and as I read the thread on the A-amp I can’t help but wonder “How much better can it get”?

I’m almost afraid to find out, if that makes any sense.



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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #159 - 01/26/18 at 14:48:46
 
When I obtained the Class A power of Steve's ZMA and I purchased and subsequently had my Acoustic Zen Adagio's modified...it would be hard for me to go back to low power/high sensitivity. I have had Zu's and the Decware Monolith's.

However, my love of music and having owned a SE84CS for 14 years/used just about every day. My passion for this Amps music making ability was unbridled.

......for more headroom assurance and availability of the NOS Output tubes I want to roll with my NOS Input tubes....the Rachael's 5.8/channel (economies of scale in the one chassis too), is the one for me......with some Mono UFO3 & 25th AN....influences....is my next Decware purchase/when/if it happens.

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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #160 - 01/26/18 at 16:13:21
 
It’ll be interesting to get your impressions once you obtain the Racheal...

I’m with you on the NOS tubes... never gets old.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #161 - 01/26/18 at 16:20:17
 
That's a cool plan. I had an earlier version of the Rachael, and a pair of Monoblocks that Steve built that were very similar. I liked them at the time but compared to either the Zen or the Torii . . .they paled, just didn't have the magic or authority these two have. I don't want another one. So I'm going to target the Monoblocks or a bridged pair of the Zens in "Anniversary" format.

Though why I'm bothering I don't know. . . listening to my Taboo Mk IV driving my HR-1s I don't know why I need "more" or "different" other than. . . I'm an audiophile.

I swapped out speaker wire today, the Mapleshade were substituted with PS Audio xStream Statement (little strands of wire replaced by hoses of copper!) Interesting change!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #162 - 01/26/18 at 16:23:46
 
Lon, I had those mono-blocks too. However, the Rach' has tube rectification....and it would have to take on some of the new influences of the UFO3 or 25th AN, for me to purchase.

.....I know their is magic to be found in the SV83 tube type. Believe me, I was a connoisseur of this tube. I hoarded quite a few. However, good Karma....I sold them all, to a half dozen buyer's that would appreciate them.

Having said that and my knowledge of the SV83 tube type....I want the Rach's capability with Christmas Comes early and certainly being able to run:
EL34 or 6L6G or KT77 or KT88 or 6550 or 807 with adapter....says it all for a tube rolling junkie like me. I would order a Rach' right now...however (as I said above), I want to see what might roll her way with Steve's latest innovations.

Following the ZMA Development Thread for 6-7 months and then purchasing my ZMA was exciting.  Following the current Development Thread is no less exciting!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #163 - 01/26/18 at 16:27:36
 
....and yes ....why are we bothering!  We are audiophiles!

Exactly.

I too, switch to my new jacket 8TC....still great Kable.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #164 - 01/26/18 at 16:40:33
 
....and yes, Joman.....NOS tube rolling never gets old....to hear my favorite Input Tubes, using both halves of the triode driving a KT88 in Triode or 6L6G/6PS3-E's.....in Triode is exciting.

.....and the obvious parallel's of running for example/from my matched quads....KT88's in both my ZMA and Rach'.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #165 - 01/26/18 at 16:41:23
 
Well, I had the Integrated with tube rectification as well and a box full of rectifiers. Still wouldn't want another, but hopefully you'll get one with the "treatment" and be happy.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #166 - 01/26/18 at 16:47:10
 
Well, like I said, with the output tube rolling choices and some influences.....like tube regulation...if even necessary....will be interesting.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #167 - 01/26/18 at 18:50:26
 
To further elaborate on: "Why bother."

I could walk away right now and put all my resources and time into my Music & NOS Platinum Tube rolling (Input & Output tubes).

However, my evolution involves owning new:

SE84CS, Torii III, SuperZen CKC, CSP3 with Jupiter Caps & Zen Styx. +, had in for audition EL34 Mono-blocks, ZR2 & one of Steve's earliest Buffers (and took the re-stock fee/shipping to and from hits). Also, purchased an nice wood case piece from Ziggi, for my SE84CS.

For me? I want to own another slice of Steve's genius in Pentode run in Triode along with my ZMA in rotation....it is just that simple. With my past listed above and I have arrived at my ZDSD with my ZMA.....the Rachael/potentially enhanced, is my next evolution.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #168 - 01/26/18 at 19:26:37
 
Cool.

I've cooled on the EL34/KT-66 et al tube type after a decade or so of listening to it and want to return to the SV83 for speed and feel. I've about 15 pairs in reserve, and am ready for another amp or two that uses them. I am LOVING the sound of the Taboo Mk IV driving the HR-1s which really IS surprising me, and I'm going to try to be in early on the Anniversary rollout. . . not sure I can swing it as there are home improvements I foolishly committed to on the horizon, but I'm going o make an effort. Push the envelope Steve, I've an envelope glue moistener!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #169 - 01/26/18 at 20:07:46
 
Point well taken Lon. I too have hung onto a few pair of the SV83's. I just could not sell them all (full disclosure).

I might be headed in that direction....viewing the whole Landscape when the dust settles......later this year.....I believe Steve said this summer.......release on out....and to be continued..... .

I do like low level Listening of Steve's pentodes run in triode....why I was successful with my 2001 signature below...and why I keep it....never forget where you came from. Heck, I remember the floor standing Bose you had with your A Amp.....we go way back = wisdom.

I still enjoy providing Eddie's paper to people and remember blowing friends minds in my Listening Room in my first house....and turning my SE84CS....way up without distortion with my LS90's....at probably 1.8 watts per channel......burning a watt up per, in the x-over!   Killer musical and they could not believe it............ .
Plus, I got lucky with how the LS90's particularly coupled with the SE84CS.

http://www.x3mhc.no/dokumenter/SE-v-PP-Part1.pdf
Big Ed's paper......... .
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #170 - 01/26/18 at 20:12:17
 
Yes, there are so many great combinations to find, and we've had a journey and learned a lot.

The ZROCK2 is making the Taboo possible for me and making me want to hear what it will do with the upcoming amps. It's great to have something to look forward to, even though a big part of my personality wants to stay put with a set up and just spin music. I teeter precariously between these two positions most of the time. . . .
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #171 - 01/26/18 at 20:34:27
 
Oh yeah, I read you....could just walk away.

I will add, big part of that early eye opener to accompany Steve's SE84CS....was the adjustable voltage output of Peter Madnick's DAC - under the hood/used with my DTI-Pro...I tell people I've been adjusting voltage output for a quarter century/much to their surprise....and still have all my AA Gear to prove it!  

So when Steve did his Output Stage with the ZDSD....I was hopeful....and just like his Amps.....he more than delivered.

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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #172 - 01/26/18 at 20:37:40
 
I'm glad you're digging it. I was on a different journey and landed with the PS Audio DirectStream. I'm glad I stuck through the long breakin period for the output transformers (I think that's what took so long) because that and its transport and the HR-1s are not going anywhere.

Tapping into it's balanced output via the ZBIT is another good thing, so I hear you about the transformers. There are so many ways to get to great audio; in our journey the Decware highway has been the fast route.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #173 - 01/26/18 at 20:39:39
 
Voltage output so critical to Decware........... . Glad you got a ZBIT and ZR2 to help your PS stuff.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #174 - 01/26/18 at 21:35:58
 
......and Glad you're part of the 91db to 93db @ 1 watt/1 meter Camp....and have not gone over to the Dark Side of 94db +!

A Pair of the 25th AN's or UFO3 enhanced Mono's....you should be good.

Like you and the HR-1's....I'm not parting with my modded' Acoustic Zen Adagio's.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #175 - 01/26/18 at 22:09:26
 
Yes, some things you have to have as an anchor!
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Archie
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #176 - 02/02/18 at 18:27:06
 
Parts pulled!   Cheesy
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #177 - 02/02/18 at 19:43:16
 
Very cool
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #178 - 02/07/18 at 07:03:37
 
I received my ZROCK2 today and was able to get it installed in my system.  I put it behind my Zen Switch Box and in front of my Ultra pre-amp and ZMA.  By doing it this way I have the opportunity to send all of my sources through the ZROCK2 if I so choose.  

I have the stock tube in now, and once I get acclimated, I will roll the Amerex 6085 tube I recently purchased.  

I have been listening for a few hours tonight and one thing I must say, it is not as simple as flipping the bypass switch to do an A/B comparison.  The ZROCK2 is adding gain, so unless you fill in that gain elsewhere, it is not a fair comparison to simply flip the bypass switch on and off to compare sound.  Tonight, I did all of my listening through my PS Audio DirectStream DAC (Tidal and Qobuz Hi-Res) into the ZBIT.  So, in my chain, I have three opportunities to increase or decrease gain outside of the ZROCK2.  I can adjust the ZBIT, the Ultra or the ZMA. In order to maintain a similar dB listening level with the bypass engaged, I found one step increase on the ZBIT and one step increase on the Ultra brought the listening level up to the point prior to engaging the bypass switch.  

It will take some time and lots of source and genre rotation to really get a feel of the ZROCK2 and how universal it is in MY SYSTEM. So far, I am pleased with what I am hearing.  I am already convinced that this box will fix issues with lean/anemic tracks.  However, my system has weight and my speakers are able to dish out bass in droves, so I am not sure how it will play out with well recorded and beefy music in my system with the numerous gain points I have built in.  But, the only way to know is through lots of quality listening which I am very looking forward to!  

One observation I noticed immediately is that ZROCK2 did add a smidge of hum in my VERY quiet system.  It is subtle and I'm not convinced that it would be audible in my listening position, but my household was active tonight and with the elevated ambient noise it was too difficult to tell.  I swapped the stock tube with the Amperex and the very low level hum persisted.  I would not consider the level of hum to be of concern at this point, just something that I noticed being very close to the speaker.  It is another gain contributor so I am not saying the ZROCK2 is the source.  It may just be amplifying further, what was already present, but at a lower level.  Again, I don't feel it is a problem, just an observation.  If you already have hum at a borderline problematic level, this could, like any gain point, increase the hum level.  

I am finding that 3/4, or just shy of 3/4 on the dial is the sweet spot in my system so far.  I find this to be a great balance of highs and lows.  My Omegas are very bass giving so I did not need to crank the dial beyond this point to get the effect I was intending.  

Bottom line, this box works, and works as advertised.  Like everything it is system dependent and after some hours under my belt, I will chime in with further observations.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #179 - 02/07/18 at 11:55:38
 
Jeff, glad your ZROCK2 arrived and has been getting some immediate use in the system. I too have multiple gain stages in my system (DSD, ZTPRE, ZBIT, ZROCK2, Taboo) and I generally have this set up so that I just use the volume control on the ZTPRE and the ZROCK2 gain stage, the others at "full output."

My system NEEDED the ZROCK2 in my room for a "fulfillment" of tonal balance, so I haven't messed with bypass too often, the ZROCK2 is almost always a little or more engaged. But yes, it's a challenge to get a true bypass for comparison but it is instructive to adjust and listen.

I go back and forth with the 6085 and two other tubes (the one that Steve sent and a 6211)--different signatures and interact with different complements in other components. A really versatile unit in my system.

I too found a little hum introduced in my system. I took my time letting the unit warm up and settle in and in a few weeks I discovered it was actually coming from my DVR via the coaxial cable from the wall. I had had that problem before and forgotten that it is introduced in the system when I connect the audio output to the ZTPRE or CSP2+ (I run my audio via HDMI from my DVR into my Cambridge Audio CXU and then to the DSD and via analog cabling to the ZTPRE).(Before adding the analog output of the CXU to the system there was no significant hum, I listened to the output of the CXU via coaxial digital into the DSD).  I put a hum filter on the coaxial cable itself and now all is dead quiet again.

Keep us posted on your impressions please!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #180 - 02/15/18 at 13:13:20
 
The ZR2 has settled in and the result has been much better than expected.  I think that referring to it as a “bass restoration module” does it a disservice because it has such a profound effect on the whole frequency spectrum.

First, if you have a ZDSD do not worry about distortion.  Make the necessary adjustments, including minor adjustments on the Input Volume, and I think you will be surprised if not shocked at the result - you will gain density not loose it.

Second,  the accepted ideology is that the more components you add to a system the worse the end result.  This ideology can be a serious road block to achieving superior results as I have found out.

There is some truth to it but only if the components you add are of inferior design and/or execution and, of course there’s system synergy to add to this.

On the other hand, if the components you add are of superior design, with quality components and proper execution then the opposite is true.  In that case “more is less” much less and far better.

So, given the above, do not be afraid to add a ZR2, a ZBIT or whatever is needed.  IMO, best investment you can make.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #181 - 02/15/18 at 13:56:04
 
Amen. I too have moved away from "less is more" via what I refer to as "the Z Amigos"--the ZTPRE, ZBIT and ZROCK2. Adding these has been "more." Each has improved the sound; in totality they bring so much extra fidelity. The ZROCK2 has anchored that fidelity allowing me to extend it with recordings and sources. In fact without the ZROCK2 I could not settle into using the Torii Mk IV as a power amplifier for my HR-1s--it allows me the best frequency balance and the right amount of density and heft.

These are great components and I'm so glad I heeded the great reviews here and went this route.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #182 - 02/23/18 at 01:26:34
 
Ok, some of you may recall my bitching about distortion on some recordings.  I think I posted these adventures in the "What's Spinning" thread.  Steve even responded at one point.

I ended up changing every tube except those in my CD Player. The problem seemed to track the recording accross formats...CD or Spotify via my laptop. This week I've been using the Russian tubes I bought from Stone in the inputs of my Mono Blocks and since they are nice but definitely less revealing than the Amperex 7308s they replaced, things seemed different but not so much better.  Then something I read here dawned on me ...Stone had a problem with distortion from the ZROCK II but it was due to the ZDSD...not something I have.  So I started reading from the beginning of this thread and Archie in post #103 gave me the answer.  My CSP3 is capable of putting out more voltage than the ZROCK II can handle.  Head Smack.  So I usually have the CSP3 almost all the way up on the gain knob and use the Monoblocks to adjust the volume.  I have no idea where the voltage dials were.  I dialed both voltage knobs off and went up 7 clicks...seemed good, one click back...good, another click back and I stopped so 5 clicks.  And now there doesn't seem to be any distortion or fuzziness.  Things even without the distortion just seemed off before.  I'll put the Amperex 7308s back in next session and see how things sound.

So the lesson?  Before you go changing all your tubes, consider what the last piece of gear you added, requires.  Remember the ZROCK II is touchy when it comes to voltage input.  I hope I've spared someone the same frustration I suffered for too long Smiley Mark.

PS... I wasn't having this problem when I first put the ZROCK II in my system.  I think when I played Vinyl via the ZP3, I must have turned the voltage on the CSP3 up and it remained there causing all the problems.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #183 - 02/23/18 at 03:21:16
 
Great to hear Mark! Now you don't have to listen for distortion . . . enjoy the listening sessions.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #184 - 02/23/18 at 18:59:16
 
Good reminder Mark!  My ZR2 shows up next week.  Since I will be using my ZP3 into a CSP3 into the ZR2 I will need to find that CSP3 sweet spot.  I think I put 1 volt into it from the ZP3.  Right now I have the Outputs at 8, the "Headphone Calibration Controls" at 9 and the Master Volume at 2 o'clock.  Where were you with your vinyl rig?  I'm not sure, but I think I can just lower the Master Volume to back off the output voltage.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #185 - 02/23/18 at 19:26:01
 
Archie, I honestly don't remember.  What likely happened is I was using Omega Alinco speakers at 93 to 94 dB for a while and with my 2008, 2.3WPC MonoBlocks with the ZP3 there isn't much if any headroom so I likely turned up the voltage.  It was at the wrong level obviously and I remember thinking this sounds bad and I haven't listened to vinyl in that system since.  Normally I'm using Zu Audio "Soul" speakers that have no issues with 99 dB efficiency.  I would suggest starting low and clicking up if needed.  I've had to completely relearn where dials need to be...Mono Blocks, CSP3 and ZROCK II.  All I know is I was thinking it was everything but the cause.  Steve should put a big red warning label on top of the ZROCK for Dummies like me Smiley Mark.

PS...Archie, I still have my CSP3 one click from Maximum but the voltage knobs are at 5.  I haven't used the CSP3 for headphones so no idea where they are.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #186 - 02/23/18 at 19:48:04
 
Mark, is that "one click from maximum" on the Master Volume (with a stepped attenuator)?

What would be great is a volt meter built into the output.  There are so many potential gain stages that it's not hard to overwhelm the ZR2 I guess.

According to Steve's description on the CSP3 page the front knobs are:

B) Left and Right Headphone Calibration Controls.
These are used to calibrate the master volume control so that your headphones don't get too loud, too fast.  Typically set so that the master volume control is half way up at your normal listening level. They can also be used to adjust the balance between the left and right ears.


I think some call these "input" knobs but if they just calibrate the Master Volume, it might be safe to keep these at maximum for speakers.

I think the output must depend on input so my 1 volt from my CSP3 might not exceed the 15 volts of the ZR2?  The CSP3 is my most confusing piece of Decware equipment.   Tongue
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #187 - 02/23/18 at 19:50:22
 
Yes, have to run...
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mark58
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #188 - 02/24/18 at 11:49:40
 
Well, I have replaced the Russian Tubes purchased from Stone, Reflector 6N23P-EV Military Cryoed, with a different, newly acquired pair of Amperex 7308s...the Russians were dull by comparison. I put on the Dave Holland CD "Prime Directive" that had some distortion in the past and there still is some minor distortion so who knows...I think some of it has to be the recording.  Regardless, I have turned the voltage down on the CSP3 another notch with no apparent ill effect.  Of course the monoblock's volume/gain knobs have to be turned up higher.  Things are sounding great so I think I'll stop messing with things and relax and enjoy the music.  The only thing I want to do at some point is to replace the Baldwin labeled Raytheon 50's Black Plate 12AX7s in the Jolida CD Player with the Sylvania Black Plate Triple Mica 5751s I like so much in the ZP3 but that will require digging it out and taking off the cover, six screws, so not likely to happen soon.  So back to the whats spinning thread for now.  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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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #189 - 02/24/18 at 12:31:08
 
Mark, one suggestion: Try the volume on the Monoblocks all the way up and adjusting the volume via the CSP3.

Over the years (despite buying most amplifiers with stepped attenuators) I've learned that for me the best sound is with the amplifiers all the way up or nearly all the way up. In riding the gain I find I don't like a lot of the natural compression at the amplifier input tube that can occur at the amplifier input, and unless it is pretty wide open the distortion you are still hearing could be the input tube being overloaded a little bit.

Your tonal balance may be a bit changed as a result, but that's the beauty of a system with a ZROCK2, a little dab should fix that.

Just a suggestion.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #190 - 02/24/18 at 13:13:30
 
Lon, I'll try that.  That's what I do in the Cave with the Torii MK IV.  The CSP3 is used to adjust volume with the Torii almost at full volume.  

In the second system my speakers are different distances from my listening position plus the Mono gain knobs are easier to get to than that on the CSP3 is why I'd gotten used to doing the opposite there.  I'll make the changes now.  Mark.

PS...I've done it, not sure I hear much difference though.  By the way this CD is fantastic, it is one of many that was bought over the years and never opened. It's probably been waiting 20 years for it's chance... Smiley
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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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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #191 - 02/24/18 at 13:25:02
 
Well, it was worth a shot. Thanks for obliging.

I just realized that I have five ways to control balance on my system, one (PS Audio DirectStream DAC) possible via remote. A bounty!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #192 - 02/24/18 at 13:35:10
 
Lon, I never knew what I was missing until I had the dual gain knobs with the Monoblocks.  But in the Main system, I just use the CSP3's voltage adjustment to change balance if desired...sometimes to soften the drums in stereo recordings is why I use it most often.

PS...I'll try a few tracks of the "Prime Directive" CD to see how it sounds since it was where I was hearing the problem.
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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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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #193 - 02/24/18 at 13:39:52
 
Yes when I was using the CSP2+ I made subtle balance adjustments with the input or output gain knobs. Such a great feature. I can now do this via the DirectStream, via the output gain knobs on the ZTPRE, the dual volume knobs on the ZTPRE, the dual volume knobs on the ZBIT and the dual volume knobs on the Taboo Mk IV. Next there will be the volume knobs on the Anniversary Monoblocks when they are built and sent and the Taboo is back to headphone duty.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #194 - 02/24/18 at 13:48:42
 
OK, what I've done is put the Monos four clicks from maximum and then adjusted the CSP3 to normal listening volume.  That way I'll be able to use the Monoblocks for volume adjustments between recordings yet still be using the last quarter of the Monos gain range.  

The "Prime Directive" CD still has the same issue...it's the recording ...haha
I'm tired of listening to it anyway...
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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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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #195 - 02/24/18 at 13:57:37
 
These machines show us what's on the recording in a way so many others don't. Into every session a little distortion must fall. Happy listening!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #196 - 03/01/18 at 00:51:44
 
I am getting acquainted with my just arrived ZR2.  Remembering Mark's issue with his CSP3 gain overloading his ZR2 I played around with that but I couldn't induce any distortion.  I think it has to do with my input from my ZP3 being only about 1 volt.  So, I can easily stay under the 15 volt ZR2 maximum.  I play 99% vinyl.

It will take more time to really hear this thing but so far I am preferring the "B" curve setting with the dial set in the 2 to 3 o'clock position.  I don't notice a reduction of treble with the "B" curve at these settings but that could be my hearing as much as anything else.  I don't use a resistor on my HR1s and if anything, my system would tend toward bright anyway.  I like the weight the ZR2 adds.  It's akin to the weight I get running through my CSP3 compared with direct.  So, it's kind of like double weight!

The "loudness button" is a good analogy if anyone is wondering what the ZR2 sounds like.  But with the adjustability it's far beyond that.  It's easy for me to dial in way too much base and it's nice to have that bass "headroom" for a change.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #197 - 03/01/18 at 01:05:50
 
Archie, I don't hear treble reduction at that setting on the "B" EQ either. Probably why I don't use it much! I'm someone who needs treble reduction and that's the main reason I love the ZROCK2! It's fun to experiment with isn't it? Keep us posted with your impressions.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #198 - 03/01/18 at 01:18:02
 
Lon, do you hear treble reduction at any usable setting?  It may be, in my case, that bass overwhelms before I get to the treble cut part of the curve?

So far, the "A" curve doesn't give much difference from the bypass for my taste.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #199 - 03/01/18 at 01:40:56
 
With B I encounter the same: the bass is so powerful right off the bat that it is too overwhelming before the treble reduction kicks in. It's designed that way I believe and does work well with some recordings that really need the bass impact, but they are few and far between in my listening.

I get a lot of usable range with EQ A and I find that with my favorite tube complements in the ZTPRE, ZROCK2 and Taboo Mk IV I have the setting at about 3 to 4 most of the time. I've been rolling a lot of tubes in all three components lately and need to stay put with what I have right now for a while, I like it a lot and A is the curve I'm generally using, with 3 o'clock being about the general setting in use. A in the ZROCK2 is just what the doctor ordered for my system with the Torii Mk III and now the Taboo Mk IV driving the HR-1s.
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