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Zen Ultra (Read 550 times)
Fstnblbs
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Zen Ultra
09/15/18 at 20:45:28
 
Hi Decware Denizens,
I hope all is well with everyone. Having an issue with my wonderful Zen Ultra preamp. After being on sometimes for a short while and sometimes for several hours a hum begins to develop. I have traced the problem to the 6N1P tubes. I have swapped them around in multiple configurations but the problem always returns. It can be tamed by reseating the tubes but again, it always comes back sooner or later. Any thoughts? Tubes themselves, socket(s), or something else?   Thanx for any help or insight!
                   Best Regards, Mike
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neac1976
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Re: Zen Ultra
Reply #1 - 09/16/18 at 12:07:32
 
Hello Mike,
To me, your problem sounds as if it originates with the tube(s) themselves, especially because it continues after re-arranging the tubes.
Of course, speaking to The Master himself will be the quickest way to solve this problem.
Good luck, Mark
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Jeff of Arabica
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Name the greatest of
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Accident.

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Re: Zen Ultra
Reply #2 - 09/16/18 at 13:56:53
 
Hi Mike,
Having the same Ultra pre-amp, I do have a couple questions.  When you say you swapped the input tubes around in different configurations and the problem returns, are you swapping them within the same channel (i.e., Fronts, Rears, or Center/Sub)?  As you know, the Ultra is comprised of three discrete pre-amps so I'm just trying to get a better sense of how you are troubleshooting this with regards to isolating the bad tube(s).  That being said, if you are placing the tubes in different channels, is the hum moving to the corresponding set of speakers relative to where that input tube is placed?  Or, is the hum always coming from the same speakers, no matter where the tubes are being placed?

Another thing to note is the Fronts channel does go through the Mix channel tubes so be mindful as you move the input tubes around. Those two input tubes above the Mix knob (far right side) could create audible issues in your two front speakers.  .
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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Fstnblbs
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Re: Zen Ultra
Reply #3 - 09/16/18 at 18:09:25
 
Hi Jeff and Mark,
 Thanks so much for the replies. Jeff I have moved the tubes in all configs that I can think of. The problem continues to arise but again is temporarily solved by reseating. Also, I realize that this is a fairly complex preamp so I may be just doing something moronic which will be revealed down the road. It has happened before! I wonder if either of you have done any rolling with any of the 6N1P variants and if it yielded any benefit. A slippery slope I know. (Addiction? I ain't got no stinkin' addiction!).
  Have contacted Steve for his spin as well.  Thanx Again Guys!  Mike
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Fstnblbs
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Re: Zen Ultra
Reply #4 - 09/16/18 at 18:12:19
 
Addendum:
Jeff, the problem does not show up in separate channels no matter how the tubes are swapped. Strange stuff. Cheers!
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Fstnblbs
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Re: Zen Ultra
Reply #5 - 09/18/18 at 23:58:20
 
Hi Guys,
  Well...the Zen is headed back to Steve for some evaluation. Hope we can flush out the gremlin. Will keep you posted. Will be swapping out my newly refreshed Eico hf 85 preamp in the interim. Should be fun!
   Jeff, I noticed that you were selling your zrock2. Just curious as I have one and find it pretty amazing. Ok if I ask why you are cutting it loose?
            Best Regards, Mike
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