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ZROCK2 (Read 22039 times)
Steve Deckert
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ZROCK2
07/26/17 at 22:47:08
 

We are now shipping ZROCK2 to all those with who had the original ZROCK on order.

I have also re-written the ZROCK web page to reflect the design changes.  

The ZROCK 2 has fully variable equalization that can be set as high or low as you want.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZROCK.html
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Steve Deckert
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #1 - 07/26/17 at 22:53:39
 

As a followup to previous posts, while we are using a new power supply, it is set up to exactly duplicate the old one so the sound doesn't change. This means anyone with an original ZROCK could easily have it upgraded to a ZROCK2.  It also means that we have chosen to stay with the 12AU7 instead of the 6922/6N1P.  We built the ZROCK2 prototypes using the 6922/6N1P tubes and found too much variance from the original 12AU7 which caused the equalization curve to change slightly. So the 12AU7 wins in this product and will continue to be the recommended tube.

Steve
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #2 - 08/07/17 at 00:10:49
 
ZROCK Tube Rolling

 I have about 50 hours on my ZROCK2 and it is hitting its stride with a wider and deeper soundstage (than when it was brand new (three days ago).

The tube Steve supplied is a red tip 5963 made in U.S.A. and Steve told me he found some special NOS tubes for the ZROCK.

I am curious what is the make of the tube that Steve supplied (it is a short plate gray with two long ribs and three cross ribs (like a double pane window). The "Window Pane" is flanked by two small rectangle holes aligned with the center cross rib.

Based on online photos It looks like an RCA.

Photos to follow

I have enjoyed tube rolling in the past, does anyone have any suggestions or should I just enjoy the tube Steve supplied for the 10,000 hours

Peter
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #3 - 08/17/17 at 20:17:21
 
Peter, I don't have a ZROCK2 yet, I'm on the list with about 8 ahead of me so there's a wait. But that hasn't stopped me from researching tubes and buying a few. I thought the "oversized" 6085 looked like an interesting tube so I bought two of them, both Amperex SQ, one a "pinched waist" version. I'm eager to hear what they sound like!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #4 - 12/10/17 at 20:03:53
 
Well my original ZROCK is in E. Peoria and will be delivered to Steve tomorrow.
It will be changed to the new version with silver RCA'S and copper caps.
I had made a few changes to my phono playback and the older version ZROCK was too bass heavy to use with it.
I am anxious to get it back.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #5 - 12/10/17 at 23:22:43
 
Here's hoping it comes back soon. I think you'll be very happy with it.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #6 - 12/20/17 at 16:31:29
 
Wow! that was fast.  Just got a usps tracking notification yesterday. The Zrock2 (ordered black Fri) is ready to ship! Xmas comes early.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #7 - 12/20/17 at 18:03:13
 
Nope, looks like UPS can't get in or out of Peoria, until after the New Year.  ;D
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #8 - 12/20/17 at 19:08:34
 
My newly updated ZROCK2 should be here Friday just in time for Christmas break. Wink
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #9 - 12/20/17 at 19:21:19
 
Great news!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #10 - 12/20/17 at 19:37:22
 
I am looking forward to spending some time with it over the upcoming week for sure.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #11 - 12/22/17 at 13:16:59
 
The ZROCK2 as it has seasoned in has shown me how versatile it is day after day.

Each bias and speaker ohm setting, each gain position on preamp, amp, ZBIT, ZROCK2, each tube choice. . .adding or detracting a few increments of EQ A or B. . . sonic parameters change. And if you have a P5 or P10 each of the settings for "Mode," voltage, "Multiwave" etc. on these regenerators will add to the wealth of sonic possibilities.

I love this component. In time I hope to get another one for my second system. . . if it had a balance control it would even MORE valuable there as I could eliminate a preamp.

And one final note: if you're a bass head, which I fear I am (I have a contrabass violin and six electric basses as overkill as that is!) this is the ultimate component. Palamino would love it!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #12 - 12/23/17 at 17:39:36
 
Received my updated ZROCK to ZROCK2 last night, connected it and let it sit overnight.
I am only on my second album and all I can say is that I sure am happy I decided to update it and keep it in my system.
The new version does everything I originally stated about the first version but the way Steve set up the gain and EQ on this is much better.
Really is an amazing piece.
Now just need to get some hours on the new Capacitors.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #13 - 12/23/17 at 18:54:01
 
Excellent! Those caps sound good right out of the gate, so at least getting some hours on them isn't painful! Enjoy, and merry Xmas.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #14 - 12/23/17 at 19:28:41
 
Thanks Lon and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Yes these Caps are sounding great already and actually get better, which is amazing.
I am listening to Kind of blue right now and it sounds absolutely beautiful.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #15 - 12/25/17 at 01:01:32
 
Here is my "review" of the ZROCK2: I have it hooked up to my DAC, and I now find myself playing my SACD's through the redbook layer instead of the SACD layer so that I can hear them through the ZROCK.  

The downside of the ZROCK2 is that next year I'm going to need to buy one of Steve's switch boxes so I can play all my sources through it.  

Merry Christmas, DecHeads!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #16 - 12/28/17 at 16:55:34
 
Funny how I thought some of my music couldn't sound or didn't need to sound any better.
Well with the Zrock2 and some tube rolling this week I have really dialed things in and I am glad to say I was wrong, my music could and did indeed need to sound better. I am amazed, nothing better than having great sound and making it quite noticeably better. I guess I didn't know what I was missing.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #17 - 12/28/17 at 17:47:00
 
Lon and SS - What tube are using?

Thanks
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #18 - 12/28/17 at 18:27:00
 
I'm using an Amperex 6085.



It's a big mother!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #19 - 12/28/17 at 18:28:41
 
I am using the same tube as Lon.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #20 - 12/29/17 at 01:09:29
 
Any thoughts on a non Amperex 6085 tube?  I found a National NOS 6085 for $20.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #21 - 12/29/17 at 01:36:06
 
It's probably a good tube to try. It may well be made in Europe, there were far more made in Euriope than the US, and a lot of the US brands were European manufactured.

Here is what the Brent Jesse site says about the tube:

E80CC / 6085:This unusual European tube is basically an industrial type 6085. However, it's specs are similar enough to a 12AU7 that audiophiles are grabbing them up while the prices are still reasonable. The heater life is rated at 10,000 hours, and some have gold pins. The larger box plate structure gives this tube low microphonics and silky smooth sonics. Some of the Philips Holland versions had the rare pinched waist, where the glass dips inward and actually molds around the top mica plate, giving the plates extra support and virtually eliminating microphonics. There is also a version made at the Amperex factory in Hicksville, NY, which is often priced lower but looks the same and sounds very similar to the Holland version. Since this tube has a much higher Gm and Mu factor than a 12AU7, the gain is going to be greater and this tube will give a more forward presentation. Awesome in phase splitter applications. If in doubt, check with your amp or preamp manufacturer to see if this tube will work OK in your application. This tube is also about twice as tall as a 12AU7, so installation space in your chassis is a consideration as well. These are out of production, rare, and getting very hard to find. The European types usually command the top prices, but USA types exist as the 6085 and should be a bit lower in cost, but they are also rare and climbing in price. Many USA tubes were actually made by the European factories, so watch for the 6085 USA brands!
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #22 - 12/29/17 at 15:47:38
 
The ZROCK2 is such a versatile component! Paired with the very versatile Torii Mk III I can get amazing sound from almost any tube complement. This morning I replaced a sextet of Sylvania ECC189 that I have been really enjoying in the ZTPRE with a sextet of "super cryo'd" Voshod 6N1P tubes from cryoset.com that I had in before, and also replaced the pair of Amperex ECC189 that I had in the Torii Mk III with a pair of the same 6N1P.

A bit of adjusting with the EQ of the ZROCK2 and great sound! The ZROCK2 actually may pay for itself with some of us over the years in savings we may make on expensive NOS tubes. . . because honest we may not need to spend the bucks on tubes to get the type of sound we crave.

I'm definitely getting the type of sound I've craved . . . I'm so happy with my system right now.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #23 - 12/29/17 at 16:42:07
 
Quote:
It's probably a good tube to try. It may well be made in Europe, there were far more made in Europe than the US, and a lot of the US brands were European manufactured.



Thanks.  Yea, for $20 I think I'll try one.

I can't find much information on National Electronics vacuum tubes but I think they may have rebranded other's tubes.  So, who knows what I just bought.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #24 - 12/29/17 at 18:31:11
 
Yes, might be a Philips, Amperex, Tungsram, hard to say. Let us know what you think.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #25 - 12/29/17 at 18:41:39
 
Lon and SS - thanks

Brent Jesse has one NOS Amperex 6085 in stock for $175! In the meantime, I found a pair of unbranded 6085 on ebay for $35. I may go for it
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #26 - 12/29/17 at 18:51:53
 
Yeah, I personally think some of these tube sellers charge ridiculous prices. 35 dollars is more like it. Give it a shot. I've only tried Amperex, at about 45 a pop, but I'm very happy with these tubes. As the ZROCK2 is serving as sort of a centerpiece in the system having a great tube there helps everything.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #27 - 12/29/17 at 23:12:02
 
I paid the same as Lon for the same tubes but I have seen them for much more also. There are some on E-bay if you are OK going that route, I did.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #28 - 12/30/17 at 00:14:08
 
The lowest price Amperex on ebay that I am finding is $95 for a pair.  Not bad if you need two.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #29 - 12/30/17 at 00:56:48
 
I bought two so I have one for the future. Planning way ahead if Steve's prediction about tube life in these components is on the money.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #30 - 12/30/17 at 04:02:05
 
Just got my ZROCK2.  Had to work with the gain structure a bit and it is still a work in progress but despite that, and with only a couple of hours of playing... man is it good!

Then I just had to roll the tube, of course that’s not the best idea with so very few hours on it, but I too actually bought a couple of tubes prior to ordering the ZROCK2 - Siemens ECC82 NICKEL PLATE - and they just had to be tried.  My initial impressions are simply WOW!!!

My Omega S3HOXRS in addition to being super fast have nice, tight, articulate bass a plenty with benefits to the mids and highs as well.  

This is not meant to be a review just my initial take but the execution seems so obviously right.  Now the wait for it all to burn in...
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #31 - 12/30/17 at 07:15:32
 
I got lucky and found a single Amperex 6085 that tested new for $29.  Like everything else not in current production, the deals will be there, but timing is everything.  

This tube is ZROCK2 bound.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #32 - 12/30/17 at 08:39:18
 
JOMAN wrote on 12/30/17 at 04:02:05:
Just got my ZROCK2.  Had to work with the gain structure a bit and it is still a work in progress but despite that, and with only a couple of hours of playing... man is it good!

Awesome!   Won't take too long for it to burn in. Mine sounded very good at the end of a week.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #33 - 12/30/17 at 08:40:32
 
Jeff of Arabica wrote on 12/30/17 at 07:15:32:
I got lucky and found a single Amperex 6085 that tested new for $29.  Like everything else not in current production, the deals will be there, but timing is everything.  

This tube is ZROCK2 bound.  

Hope you enjoy it, I suspect you will. Looks like I started something!
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #34 - 12/30/17 at 17:57:53
 
Since Steve doesn't label things ...  

Which is the input and which is the output on the ZROCK2 RCAs?
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #35 - 12/30/17 at 18:21:42
 
Input connections are innermost, closest to the power cord; output connections are furthermost from the power cord, on the left edge (if facing the back of the unit).
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #36 - 12/30/17 at 18:49:08
 
Thanks!  I'm trying to keep from posting, "My ZROCK2 doesn't work!!!" once I get it.   Grin
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #37 - 12/30/17 at 19:11:19
 
That seems to be the layout with this style of Decware chassis if I'm not mistaken. But yeah, it's not even noted in the manual, you have to experiment I guess.

But you are forearmed and should have an easy set up. Hope yours doesn't arrive a half an hour before your wife comes home like some of my recent Decware items have! Wink
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SonicSeeker
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #38 - 12/30/17 at 19:31:02
 
Yes inside is in and outside is out.
I always receive my packages in the evening so the most I can do is connect them and wait till the next day to try them, it's painful at times Lon. Yes you did start something with that tube but that's a good thing.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #39 - 12/30/17 at 19:38:23
 
Yes, it sure can be.
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whoopycat
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #40 - 12/31/17 at 18:08:11
 
Joman brings up a good point, the faster your speakers (and amp) are, the better the ZROCK2 will perform in your system.
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Archie
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #41 - 12/31/17 at 18:32:28
 
Do you guys find that you set the ZROCK2 for a particular recording or do you set it more for a particular volume?  (Or both?)  I'm wondering how much adjusting tends to be the norm.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #42 - 12/31/17 at 18:49:36
 
I have a setting that works well for much of the material I play ad I just leave it at that setting a lot. But a certain recording will come in and I will begin to feel that I could get better sound with adjustment and I'll start adjusting.

And when I roll tubes which I have been doing and plan to do less. . . I'll start adjusting.

So for me it's periods of non-adjusting as well as periods of adjusting. My guess is it will be similar in your case.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #43 - 12/31/17 at 19:41:35
 
Thanks Lon, that's what I was hoping to hear.  I generally don't like a lot of fiddling.
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #44 - 12/31/17 at 20:27:35
 
I agree with Lon... set it and forget it most of the time, every now and then I have a recording where ZROCK is overkill and I tweak.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #45 - 12/31/17 at 20:36:18
 
Any situation where any of you bypass the ZROCK2 and just let the song play through without any influence?
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #46 - 12/31/17 at 20:41:01
 
There are a few SACDs I've used with the Bypass on, but it's just as easy to dial back the EQ to the center position or close to it which I end up doing more often, that achieves the same thing.

This little box is so versatile that I don't mind the futzing as much as I thought I might or I might with other components. And really with the right tube in the ZROCK2 it just adds a great tone to the system that I don't think of bypassing.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #47 - 12/31/17 at 20:42:24
 
Good to know.  Thanks Lon. I have my Amperex 6085 in hand ready to slide her in one the ZR2 arrives.
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #48 - 12/31/17 at 22:00:02
 
Hope the 6085 works out for you. It should. I sent my pair to bottlehead to try in his preamp before I got my ZROCK2. . . I had tried it in my Taboo and really liked it there and felt it might be great for the ZROCK2. Randy (bottlehead) fell for the tube and bought his own pair so I felt I was on the right path. . . .
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Re: ZROCK2
Reply #49 - 01/01/18 at 17:17:12
 
Jeff, I do find my phono stage (Manley Steelhead) needs the ZROCK2 less than my DAC (Yamamoto YDA-1).  Since my current amp is an integrated, I can only use one source with it, so I haven't hooked up the phono stage to it.  It certainly doesn't have the bass extension of the ZROCK2 but tone wise it seems to do ok without it in the chain.  Overall I prefer DAC +ZROCK2 over my current vinyl setup though.
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