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ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices (Read 5005 times)
Lon
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ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
10/28/17 at 21:07:21
 
Added to the ZROCK2 page are capacitor choices: other than the stock GE caps, you can now select as options either the the Type 1 Jupiter beeswax caps, the Jupiter Type 2 copper foil caps, or the V-Caps. Prices are: 130, 200 and 300 dollars respectively.

Options are good! I chose the Jupiter Type 2 for mine. . . .
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Steve Deckert
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #1 - 11/04/17 at 05:10:41
 
Hey Lon... Ironically as I read your post, I find myself setting here listening to your actual ZROCK2 with the silver jacks and the type II beeswax caps.

I am using my vintage Sansui tuner that I had to give up on years ago because it's just too thin for the MP3 radio stations in my area. On a good jazz station with strong signal (which no longer exists) the tuner sounds clean and transparent.  It's quite nice.    

So tonight I put it on a classic rock station that never lasts more than about 22 minutes before I've been distracted by disappointment so many times I just have to give up.

Tonight with Lon's ZROCK2 connected to the tuner's outputs the sound is massively improved. Interestingly I was just realizing moments ago how much more enjoyable it is and that I've never been able to listen to this tuner without rapid disappointment... and it's not the tuner's fault btw.

In fact, the sound I've grown to hate from the MP3 rock station and the Sansui tuner is good enough now, that there really isn't any reason to stream it off the internet and chew up bandwidth and put up with the occasional digital farts that are so impossible to ignore when you use a computer. That will certainly simply life: )

Interesting story... the stations around here are so bad now compared to 20 years ago that I had to give up on my Macintosh MR71 as I found it basically unlistenable - as in the Internet sounded better.

What I am hearing tonight with Lon's ZROCK2 on the solid state Sansui tuner compared to the MR71 which had God knows how many tubes, is actually better. That deserves a long pause while we all hang our heads in shame...

In fact I have to say that the speed and transparency of the Sansui, with the weight hit and tone of the ZROCK2 is far surpassing the MR71 by itself, and frankly the MR71 was too thick to add a ZROCK and get this kind of result. You have to admit this hobby is never boring!

If you look at the price of the Sansui and the ZROCK2 the total is just under the price of the MR71 and the combination sounds better.  There is no thickness or mud, just solidness and HIT.  It's so damn refreshing.

So I guess after distracting myself with that realization, I should say that so far I have spent a fair amount of time with three of the four cap choices, and they are all really good.

My guess as I listen to the type II's in Lon's is that these are going to be at the top of musicality and resolution with no edge whatsoever. The VCAPS will probably impress with more HIT, but will also be more clinical so that voicing may not be good for rooms that are lively.  

So that is to say that the with this particular line up of caps, the sonic results are not what you would guess. You start with the Film and Foil from G.E. which is already reference grade by any engineer's standard. We like this cap because it sounds good on digital.  

Normally as you go up in resolution there is a price to pay.. however in this case it is different.  The next step up is the Cryo Beeswax caps, which are aluminum foil, and with those you get a noticeable increase in resolution without any additional edge.  It's a win win. Normally the increase in resolution would come with some edge that would ruin less than great recordings.

If you increase the resolution further with the type II beeswax, which are copper foil, the only thing that happens is the liquidity goes up as well, there is no trade off.  Again a win win.

I find the sonics of the Jupiter cryo treated beeswax caps reminiscent of what a tube rectifier brings to the table when employed in a good tube amplifier. Midrange liquidity and naturalness in the bass with surprising control... for some reason we tend to think you can't have tight bass without dry bass... a misnomer that came from mid fi retail.

The VCAPS are going to be the king of resolution and HIT but with a less organic feel and several weeks of break-in where you will question your choice at least three times. Once dialed in and properly seasoned, the VCAPS are quite good and do achieve the liquidity that you have on day one with the Beeswax caps.

Happy listening!

Steve
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Lon
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #2 - 11/04/17 at 11:20:45
 
That's great that you're chronicling listening to my ZROCK in "Testing." I have been very impressed with the Type 1 Beeswax caps in my Torris and CSP2+ preamps, and really blown away with the Type 2 that I have in my Torii Mk IV amp. This led me to want the Type 2 in the ZROCK2 and I'm glad that it is sounding so good. I agree about the sound of the Type 2, lots of resolution and yet natural and realistic without artificial edge. Looking forward to the ZROCK2 to play with in both of my systems.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #3 - 11/04/17 at 22:55:20
 
Now, I'm think I should change my order to upgrade the caps from type I to Type II. It still shows "new" on the list. I'll call Steve on Monday
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #4 - 11/17/17 at 00:45:17
 
This might be just the ticket for me.  There are some recordings that definitely need a little boost as Steve said.  I bought a pair of older Err speakers used back in May and I have never been more pleased with my system.  I love these speakers!  Most f the tme I am happy with the bass response I'm getting but there are some recordings where I wish I had jist a little more bass to be totally satisfied and this Zrock2 might be the ticket.
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Lon
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #5 - 11/17/17 at 01:13:39
 
Les,

I just have a few hours of listening in on the ZROCK2 that arrived today, but already I am very impressed. And I think yes, this is going to be a good remedy for the missing "bass" and also for recordings that are too "bright." I'll post more impressions soon--so far I've just listened to two cds that I picked as they were bright and thin, and on my headphones via the Taboo Mk IV headphone amp the discs sounded noticeably improved, and very enjoyable (and there were no bad side-effects, clarity and dynamics were preserved, if not enhanced).
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #6 - 11/17/17 at 04:08:42
 
Thanks Lon.  I look forward to your report.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #7 - 12/16/17 at 21:30:51
 
Is there logic in keeping the capacitors the same across components?  I have the beeswax in my CSP3 and ZP3 (and ZMA?) and HR1s (thank you ZIGI) but I don't know if they are Type I or Type II.  From reading the previous posts I would think going with Type II makes the most sense though.

BTW, where would a ZROCK2 go in the following chain of gear?:  TT-ZMC1-ZP3-CSP3-ZMA.  I would think after the CSP3 to take advantage of both channels.  Yes?

With all the recent praise, now I'm seriously considering one (Black Friday sale is still on too!   Smiley)
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Lon
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #8 - 12/17/17 at 03:21:29
 
Yes, I would place the ZROCK2 after the CSP3 in that set up. And as for caps. . . I'd suggest the Type II. I have these in my ZTPRE, ZROCK2 and Taboo Mk IV. And Type 1 in my Torii Mk III. Both of the Jupiter caps are good, but there's a transparency to the Type II that is very seductive, and would be beneficial I think to aid the transparent EQ changes in the ZROCK2.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #9 - 12/17/17 at 16:08:09
 
Type II Cryo Jupiter for sure Arch and I sprung for the silver RCA's with the Black Friday Sale.....which does run thru the 24th I believe.

Before I buy any Preferred Series KT88's, 6P3S-E, Psvane EL34PH's and/or RFT EL34's.....

.....I am running burning in my ZROCK2 with the 12AU7 Steve sends, with my current KT66's. Besides the Rocks affect on Recordings.....lets see what it does for, or to lets say, my KT's output Tonal scene. Right?
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #10 - 12/17/17 at 18:12:40
 
Thanks Lon and Stone.  That was my thinking too but a little hand holding is reassuring.  As far as placement after the CSP3, would there be any issues with input voltage into the ZROCK?  The CSP3 (and ZTPRE?) can put out 30 volts and the ZROCK wants 15 volts, max.

In general, I'm happy with the majority of my LP recordings.  Based on what Steve and others have written I'm thinking that lower volume listening would be where the ZROCK might be most helpful in my system.  I generally listen fairly loud, which could be a factor of my huge room or my need for "bloom" that occurs at higher volume?  All things considered, my room acoustics are good.

I thought I was done adding components -- especially since I'll have to hang a ZROCK from a shelf as I'm out of room!   Tongue
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #11 - 12/17/17 at 18:24:24
 
Well to be honest I don't think you'll have a distortion problem with the CSP3 and the ZROCK2. . . . I can see that might be the case if you run the output pots on the CSP3 way high and the volume on the CSP3 equally high. But. . . doing so for body and heft will be less of a need with the ZROCK2 adding its heft and bloom to the sound with its own gain as well. I have the ZTPRE with even MORE possible volt output. . . and I haven't encountered any problems with the ZROCK2 in the path ZTPRE to ZBIT to ZROCK2 to Torii Mk III. And I love the sound possibilities.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #12 - 12/17/17 at 18:38:48
 
Lon,

Again, that's kind of what I expected to hear.  My CSP3 adds weight and I like it in front of my ZMA.  I'm swayed by your experience that the ZROCK is a further improvement.  If I understand correctly, the ZROCK is also a gain stage (which I don't need with the CSP3) and that it gives full gain before the equalization curves kick in.  I'm guessing that my CSP3 settings will naturally go down to compensate.  (As you said.)
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Lon
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #13 - 12/17/17 at 19:00:32
 
That's my prediction. . . we'll see if I'm right. Wink
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #14 - 12/18/17 at 01:01:55
 
Reading Steve's description on the ZROCK2 page more carefully, it sounds like when the ZROCK2 knob is at half way, (just before equalization kicks in) that it is at the bypass volume level.  This seems to mean that from zero to half way, it reduces volume.  If so, it may not affect how I run my CSP3.  I think I'll call Steve before I order one so I can get a better idea of what to expect.
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Lon
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #15 - 12/18/17 at 01:04:43
 
Yes, that's true. I never use the volume that low but it will reduce gain.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #16 - 12/18/17 at 01:10:32
 
Without having one I don't understand why he scaled the knob like he did.  I don't see the utility of the first half of travel.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #17 - 12/18/17 at 01:11:56
 
Well, in some circumstances with the attenuator scaled that way some could use it as the only preamp in a system. That's likely why.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #18 - 12/18/17 at 15:08:27
 
Yes, turned down (counter clockwise) from the unity gain halfway position....allows you to have your input gain adjusted higher on your ZMA. So, some super crap recorded with no dynamic range and just "loudness wars" would benefit from this....and maybe some not so super crap recording....but is still very bright.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #19 - 12/18/17 at 15:29:29
 
But then, to contradict myself; maybe, this extreme example I provided, would be better served in the green zone of one of the two EQ settings.  

However, it will be interesting riding the gain from 0 to halfway unity of the Rock' with riding the gain of the ZMA....... .


I will shut up now, until I actually get mine and run it with and without my Line Stage..... . Grin
I really want it just from ZDSD/Steve's output tranny's to ZROCK2 to ZMA....riding the gains of the Rock and ZMA only.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #20 - 12/18/17 at 16:55:36
 
I might be just confused by Steve's description but it doesn't sound like the first half is like a gain stage since he seems to be saying that at the halfway point the bypass switch is neutral.  Wouldn't that make it more like a choke?

From the ZROCK2 manual:

From 0% (fully counterclockwise) to 50% the EQ knob acts like a volume control with no effect on frequency response. Once it is at the half way position, it achieves unity gain which means you can flip the bypass switch on and off and hear no change in volume or frequency balance.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #21 - 12/18/17 at 17:19:11
 
Right, the first half of the dial goes from zero to unity gain. Like a ZBOX does (though for the ZBOX full volume is unity gain not halfway). So it could be used in situations where the source gain is enough to bring sufficient volume. From the midpoint on there is both further incremental gain and EQ.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #22 - 12/18/17 at 20:29:55
 
Reading Steve's copy and the manual again. Zero to Unity and fully up 100% as a treble cut, then backing it towards Unity....I look forward to.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #23 - 12/18/17 at 21:13:16
 
After a long talk with Steve this morning about the ZROCK2, micro-vibrations, isolation, tube shields and all things philosophical, I have my order in!  I went Type II caps and silver RCAs.

With my system Steve felt that I'll more than likely be helping bad recordings than helping system or room deficiencies.  I gather his biggest surprise and pleasure with the ZROCK2 is that it makes great sound even better.  He said I'd likely be listening at 3 or 4 db lower gain -- or 3 to 4 db effective increase.  I can't reproduce what he said but it has something to do with any room acoustics where higher volume only fouls things up.  At that point massive room treatment (or a ZROCK2 is the solution   Smiley).  When introduced, this is a component that I knew I didn't need and now I can't wait to get it.   Cheesy
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #24 - 12/18/17 at 21:27:27
 
That was my reaction too. . . didn't need it but now am enjoying the heck out of it. I never put it in bypass and it's almost always a little "on" with EQ. Everything sounds better. Finding the right tube helps.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #25 - 12/18/17 at 21:31:18
 
Just what I wanted to read Archie on all counts. Ditto Lon and your review(s).
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #26 - 12/18/17 at 21:57:00
 
Lon,

I read about some of your tube rolling in your ZROCK2 on another thread.  Where have you settled at this point?

BTW, I asked Steve about tube life with it on 24/7, as it is, and he thinks a nominal 10,000 hrs tube might go 40 to 50k hrs in the ZROCK2
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #27 - 12/18/17 at 23:28:03
 
That's good news about the tube life. I'm using an Amperex 6085. It's a huge tube, the size of an EL84, and it has a very clean, clear sound that offers the least coloration to the signal of those I've tried and it seems to work the best with the Sylvania ECC189 I have in the ZTPRE, the Amperex ECC189 I have in the Torii and whichever output tubes I have in the Torii (right now I have a new quad of cryo'd JJ6CA7). If I had to describe this tube I'd say "energetic"--it gives great dynamic and a neutral character to build upon. I bought two, so I should be set for some time to come.
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #28 - 12/18/17 at 23:51:50
 
Thanks.  I'll keep that one in mind.  Of course I'll run the stock tube for a while.

Edit:  Ha ha!  I just looked for those and given the price, I'll run the stock tube for a long time!   Grin
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #29 - 12/18/17 at 23:59:43
 
Keep looking. I paid less than 45 a piece for mine from ebay. . .  .
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Re: ZRoCK2 Capacitor choices
Reply #30 - 12/19/17 at 00:54:40
 
Well, that's a whole lot better.  I must have seen a matched pair or something.
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