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Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2 (Read 11854 times)
jslateiv
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #100 - 04/12/19 at 13:13:54
 
Yes,  knowing that you and others have had a time getting it to settle in helps my nerves a bit!  I think we're all so used to (and know) what great sound is, that when a new component like the ZR2-A is introduced and just doesn't immediately fit-in,  it unhinges us a bit,  :-/.  Glad to hear yours is finally there Lon and with your other tweaks is giving you what you want/need.   I can definitely hear the benefit at times,  just waiting on the consistency I guess.  Then let the tube rolling begin, Shocked
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VPI Scout (SS Zephyr MIMC) > Lundahl 1933 SUT > ZP3 > Auralic Aries Mini > PSA DSD w/BridgeII > PSA BHK Pre > 25th Anniv. Zen Amp/Torii Jr./NuForce STA200/TubeLab 300B > Triangle Celius 202 / Zu Omen (Hi-Mod) : PSA P12 : Iconoclast Cabling
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #101 - 04/12/19 at 13:59:00
 
Well, letting it have its "time off" period should help. I think part of my unsettlement was that I had really gotten used to the original ZROCK2 as the centerpiece of my system, and this one was so different, different breaking in and different as it came into its own. As with many other significant changes the system is so revealing I had to play around with a number of aspects. . . . But it was worth it I believe. It's more transparent and even more "influential" than the unmoved ZROCK2. Quite a powerful component.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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JOMAN
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #102 - 04/13/19 at 13:39:59
 
Since I put the Raytheon 5814a W-getter I also have experienced a bit of a roller coaster ride.  Tried the ‘off time’ and it definitely made a difference.  Did it again last night.

The ZR2 with the A mods has been settling down and while there’s no going back for me now, it has been somewhat unsettling.  It takes the Decware house sound in an altogether different direction, another plateau so to speak and this for me was unexpected.  Still rooted in the Decware house sound but not what I had become accustomed to.

Yesterday I walked over to the system to turn the volume up a notch, leaned over, started to clasp the volume knob on the CSP3 and froze in that position, getting my mind around what I was hearing.  One of the thoughts that ran through my head was “this must really look ridiculous”.

The sound seems to emanate from the air around the speakers and within a very large sound stage in a manner that is so like the way it would sound if the person or instrument was in the room.  This is not the same as “it’s here” or “I’m there”, it’s hard to describe.  Obviously no one is really in the room but the impression of that is so solid that it’s... unsettling.

As Lon said it’s resulted in a bit of playing around and I’ve decided to take one more step that I never thought I would.  I’ve now collected enough of the Raytheon 5814a W-getters to send a couple off for cryogenic treatment.  I found out that Gene at Take Five does that or has it done, and I have confidence in him so when I get the next pair off they go.  

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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #103 - 04/13/19 at 13:50:21
 
It's definitely a trip, and certainly a more transparent and revealing version of the ZROCK2 emerges with the full mods. I must say what I have landed on is still the Decware sound as it has evolved in my system over the last year, but without the "thickening" that the original ZROCK2 imparts ever so slightly to the sound in all positions of the attenuator. At least in my setup which is not room-treated and not conducive to the ultimate in soundstaging. . . concentrating more on true tonal balance and timbral reproduction.

Part of the confusion and aggravation I experienced was brought on by my tube-rolling during break-in. Shouldn't have done it perhaps, but I also knew I preferred a certain type of tube in the predecessor and stubbornly tried them out. Should have stuck with one tube, and then experimented. Ending up with the 5814a was a great thing sort of by accident, and when I got to there the component was beginning to settle down.

I've two of the RCA backplate 5814A that I am really enjoying, so one is a backup and I think with these two I'm good for a long time to come! Cryo treatment may be a nice thing, will be interested to hear your impressions should you send them off and get them back.
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JOMAN
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #104 - 04/13/19 at 14:31:34
 
I think that we’re more alike than different... “Shouldn’t have done it...but...

Same here!
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #105 - 04/13/19 at 14:52:24
 
We're definitely cut from the same audiophile cloth.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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HockessinKid
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #106 - 04/15/19 at 15:11:13
 
After ~65-70 hours the caps seem to have bloomed. Not sure if there will be additional periods of funky, closed in sound but for the time being the sound quality is excellent.

Deep, black background to the music. Gobsmacking detail with tone to die for. My vinyl has never sounded so good. Hoping this isn't just a dream.😎

I am disconnecting the power cord at night per Lons' suggestion. This seems to be helping.

HK
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Lonely Raven PC (or) TEAC PD-600H > ZDAC2 (or) Nottingham Interspace (heavy platter) TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 LO cart + P75 MKII phono pre > ZROCK2-25th > CSP3-25th preamp > Zen Mystery 25th amp > Omega SAHO XRS speakers > ZenWave Audio, TWL, & Acoustic BBQ cables.
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #107 - 04/15/19 at 15:17:43
 
Great news. I think you're well on your way. Still more improvement to come I would guess. . . . This is an amazing component.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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JOMAN
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #108 - 04/20/19 at 16:34:25
 
Happy to report that my modded ZR2 with the Raytheon 5814a W getter is settling in very nicely, I’d say it’s ‘killer’ now and probably still has some more settling in to do.  A couple of ‘off’ periods helped a lot.

Next... CSP3 mods.  Love the looks of the new Anniversary Edition but don’t want to loose the headphone capability.  I can only add so many components.
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #109 - 04/20/19 at 16:47:05
 
You'll enjoy the CSP3 mods and good move to retain the headphone capability as I've never heard better headphone playback than through the CSP3 with 25th Anniversary mods!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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Showme
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #110 - 05/16/19 at 03:43:19
 
Joman, I would like to try the 5814A but cannot find any information referencing the W-gitter. Can you steer me in the right direction.
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mark58
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #111 - 05/16/19 at 12:19:32
 
Showme, all the W getter is referring to is a "Windmill" getter.  Just do a search for Raytheon 5814 windmill getter and you'll find plenty... Photo below.  Raytheon's 5751 tubes with a windmill getter are quite popular as well.

I have been using the RCA black plate triple mica 5814 in my ZP3s and ZROCKs for years and turned Lon onto them...he uses one in his ZROCK.

http://www.tubemongerlib.com/gallery2/d/11788-2/Raytheon+CK5814+Windmill+Getter+...

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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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Showme
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #112 - 05/16/19 at 13:18:50
 
Thanks, I’ll take a look. I’d like to try one in my Zrock.
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #113 - 05/16/19 at 13:42:27
 
The 5814A type is certainly worth exploring. I haven't tried the Windmill getter variety, but have been using the RCA black plate that Mark mentions in my main system in my 25th Anniversary ZROCK2, and I'm also using in my audio and video system's ZROCK2 a GE gray plate. A bit more neutral than the RCA which does have a whisper of warmth tagging along. Both tubes are killer in the ZROCK2.
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cave
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ZROCK2
Reply #114 - 09/06/19 at 02:36:39
 
Just got a new zock2, no cap upgrade (yet).

First thing I did, is hook it up using the bypass switch only, then removing the unit altogether to determine if the unit is truly out of the system when bypassed. I did this many times for comparison reasons. This is between Oppo player and preamp, for now.

There is noticeable difference with and without the unit, in my system. The only other difference would be the extra set of interconnects needed, which are only 2 ft and exactly the same build as my preamp to amps interconnects. (Neotech MKIII with Neotech connectors).

Because it is introducing loss of clarity and imaging, some dynamics, and that bit of closed in sound, I'll attribute that to needing break in time. Really in bypass mode there looks to be only some mogami cable plus the female RCA's, so it shouldn't really be noticeable unless something needs to settle in.

Any thoughts about this?

Thanks in advance.



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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #115 - 09/06/19 at 03:30:57
 
I think most of that difference will dissipate with break-in. I haven't done this "bypass check" myself, but the sound DOES become more transparent and dynamic with 200 to 500 hours or so of use.
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cave
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #116 - 09/06/19 at 03:41:45
 
Sure caps and a bit of wire, mostly the caps, specially if they're in the signal path, will change, we'll see. IME you normally get a pretty good idea after that first few hours, talking specifically caps & wire, but they will continue to change.

Maybe you should try what I did, since using the unit and adding the EQ curve does increase imaging and what not, it's sort of tough to tell if your original imaging and sonics are coming thru or not, see what I'm saying?
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #117 - 09/06/19 at 08:15:32
 
I see what you are saying, but I've no desire to take the ZROCK2 out and do comparisons. I'm at a point now where it's seasoned and I'm just spinning disc after disc and loving my system immensely. Don't want to mess about with it at all.

Ultimate transparency isn't really my goal. Being able to enjoy disc after disc of varying material and varying recording quality and getting lost in the music is the goal for me. And the ZROCK2 has been a key component in getting me closer to this goal in two systems.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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cave
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #118 - 09/07/19 at 02:25:23
 
It's not just about ultimate transparency, when you have a great system, everything matters. For example, caps in the zrock. You would likely want better caps than stock, like the jupiters or even sonicaps. Parts matter.

It's just like cap and tube rolling, I know you're into that, right? It all matters. Most every single part inside the zrock matters, so something is causing the sound to behave as I described in bypass mode. If you think swapping a tube makes a difference, think what it could sound like if it truly only added EQ, and took away absolutely nothing else.

There's already been mods, tube, caps, even power cord, what if it was taken further with possibly a goldpoint attenuator, neotech hookup wire, bypass the bypass switch itself, furutech RCA's, etc., You get even closer.

Look at it like this. If you were able to modify the zrock to the point where it was very difficult to tell whether your system sounded the same with the unit completely removed and the bypass switch, think of what it could really sound like when you added the EQ.
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #119 - 09/07/19 at 02:36:43
 
The ZROCK2 in my main system has the Jupiter caps and the Anniversary mods including the tube regulation, and the stock attenuator. I use the same power cord I favor on all my components with it.  And I find my system sounds fantastic with the ZROCK2 as is. I love the sound I'm getting. I don't need to take the ZROCK2 out--for all I know it now IS completely transparent (this, my second one, took a long time to break in). I'm also using the ZTPRE and the ZBIT. If the ZROCK2 is missing a tiny bit of fidelity I'm not fretting over it  I appreciate your suggestion but I'm very happy with this just as it is, I don't need to take it out to compare, and I'm enjoying one of those periods wherein playing music is the joy, not the equipment or tweaking with it, and will carry on in this manner. I agree everything matters but there's a point where when I reach a plateau of excellent sound I pitch a tent and dwell there for a good spell, and that's where I am camping now. I think you'll enjoy your ZROCK2 more and more as it breaks in and seasons. If you want to pursue further modifications such as Goldpoint attentionuator, go ahead, I find mine just right as is. Have a great weekend.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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cave
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #120 - 09/07/19 at 03:52:13
 
I guess if Steve released upgrades like I mentioned, you would jump, (just like the cap mods), but coming from me, I get it, but we all know better parts normally = better sonics. I know it can do better, but hey if you're happy. You have to look inside the unit and understand how the signal path is being affected. I used to never question any manufacturer. But there's compromise in almost every design, you just have to understand it. BTW Jupiter makes great caps.  :-X

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cave
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #121 - 09/07/19 at 03:54:05
 
Hoping there are others who could chime in, looking at other forums it's clear Lon shows up when Decware is mentioned, not a diss but just an observation.
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #122 - 09/07/19 at 06:03:18
 
I understand how the unit works, and what you are saying. I do know there's always more one can do, I know what parts can do. You're new to posting here, and it's not that I'm shooting down your suggestion, it's just that I've been living with Decware components in my system since 1998 and have been watching and using developments in their gear for over two decades and have consolidated my approach and formed my own vision of what a system brings to my listening time. I have taken my ZROCK2s out of the system before, early on in their use, to help analyze and appreciate what they DO. And realize that I would not want to have a system without one. A tiny bit (after break in I'm sure you'll find that's all there really is) of a loss of ultimate transparency is not an issue for my system as it works so so very well.

And I've actually found in my listening world chasing the very best, most transparent, is not the best course for me. I honestly am in this hobby for music. I used to play, now I listen. I have thousands of discs and most are NOT wonderful sounding recordings. I find my systems need a little forgiveness, and in some ways the ZROCK2 in its configurations from the factory (I own one with no mods in a predominantly vilsual-based system as well) is almost like a father-confessor of sound, it allows me to have that bit of forgiveness needed. I'm not a DIYer so I'm not going to mod components myself, and usually what Steve releases is right near the very sweet spot of fidelity I need to bring out the best of my not the greatest recordings, and the ZROCK2 is the final absolution stage. For my needs it works excellently. If I just wanted to listen to only the very best recordings, or was able to have a treated room and pursue the nth degree of soundstage and holographic detail, sure, I'd be more inclined to have the very best parts and to modify further. But that's not ME. I want to listen to my private recordings of jazz from decades past I collected last century from collectors, and recordings made in less than stellar studios and circumstances because I love the music. I would also probably have different speakers than the HR-1s, cabling, etc. Finding Decware helped me to get to the heart of the recordings, and over the course of two decades I've really been able to pursue building a system that does what I want. . . and perhaps no more, as  more is not necessarily better for me.

There are others with ZROCK2s here who will chime in. I suspect you will find that they feel the component is transparent and very useful, if not essential. for the overall character of the sound of their systems. And I suspect one or two may want to follow the path of further modifications. I love how we're all different and that we have different goals, tastes, and needs. Also there's a lot of information from other posters in this thread and in other threads about ZROCK2 that you may not have yet investigated that you might find interesting.
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Archie
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #123 - 09/07/19 at 17:22:44
 
Quote:
I guess if Steve released upgrades like I mentioned, you would jump, (just like the cap mods), but coming from me, I get it, but we all know better parts normally = better sonics. I know it can do better, ...


Cave, have you seen this thread on just how far Steve's componants can be taken?

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1554416974/0

For the majority of us there is a "good enough" but if you decide to explore the outer limits, keep us posted!   Cheesy
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
Silver Cabling
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cave
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #124 - 09/07/19 at 20:06:17
 
Great link, been down that road with a lot of gear, sometimes it gets better sometimes just different and sometimes worse.

See, I also would like to actually use the bypass switch, I'm not comparing just because. There's a lot of music that sounds OK without EQ. In that case the bypass should sound exactly like the unit is not there. I mean I don't need hot fudge on everything all the time.

The caps, rca jacks, and possibly the bypass switch itself will be where I go first.


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Archie
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #125 - 09/07/19 at 21:09:26
 
I can't take my ZR2 in and out to compare simply because I don't remember well enough to make an evaluation.  But having one of the early models (so I've had it a long time), I never bypass other than to confirm that I prefer it engaged.  That said, it makes sense to me that even bypassed, the ZR2 would have an effect on the sound.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under everything.
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #126 - 09/07/19 at 21:34:54
 
Like Archie I rarely engage the bypass switch at all. If I were living alone and could set my system up differently and have a freer hand with the gain controls on components I probably would use bypass more often.

But the beauty of the ZROCK2 is that it allows me great tonality in "compromised" settings. Worth a possible tiny loss of potential fidelity for me.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;Rega P3 w/modPS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3,double helix Plus spark cbl;Oppo UDP205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: PM1,HD800S,LCD-
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cave
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #127 - 09/08/19 at 18:10:54
 
The stock yellow polyester caps appear to be .33 uf.

When upgrading to Jupiter copper caps, does anyone know if the value is the same or was the value changed to?
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Archie
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #128 - 09/15/19 at 23:08:06
 
This thread did prompt me to play with my ZR2 in the bypass mode a bit and I definitely can hear a change in sound with the bypass switched to bypass and rotating the knob from full left to full right.  Full right seems to color the sound in an unwelcome way.  Full left seems to most neutral but I didn't disconnect the ZR2 to compare.

It seems that bypass is not the same as disconnected.  Since I don't run in the bypass mode, this is a non-issue for me.  The fact that sound is colored when the ZR2 is engaged is the whole point of the unit.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
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Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
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Lon
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #129 - 09/15/19 at 23:12:55
 
I'm with you Archie, I just don't use the bypass mode so a little coloration isn't a dealbreaker for me. In the center position it seems relatively uncolored for me, but the gain differences makes it hard to gauge without removing the component.

I'm using an Amperex 6085 again. Riding the gain among components I am getting amazing sound.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #130 - 09/16/19 at 00:47:45
 
Guys, the point really is, what would it really sound like if it was not taking anything away?

The fact that any inline EQ colors the sound does not mean it should also take away something.

You're settling for the fact that a tube and the eq curve makes up for what it takes away, but in my system, so far, it does not.

It's just, different.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #131 - 09/16/19 at 01:13:22
 
Hey, different strokes for different folks. In my system it does. Sorry it doesn't for you, but you got to try it and make the decision. That's your point, I get that. But not an important point for me. I'm not parting with either of mine.

I will say that it takes a lot more than 20 hours for it to "be all it can be," but if it's not pleasing you in the first 20 it probably is best to move on.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #132 - 09/16/19 at 01:19:02
 
Then there must be something incredibly wrong with my system because I can clearly hear the difference when the unit is completely out, less imaging, more closed in sounding, less clarity/presence. It's not just a little.

It has been breaking in and I hear no change in that dept. It should enhance what's already there, not take something away then replace it with tube imaging and eq.

Damn resolution anyway.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #133 - 09/16/19 at 01:45:44
 
Sorry it isn't working out for you. I'm sure that there is some coloration bypassing. But I need and enjoy the coloration the unit provides, and one day I'll get another. I have beeswax caps in both of mine, which matches the beeswax caps I have in preamp and amps, maybe that's a factor, don't know. We all have different needs and different ways to get what we need.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #134 - 09/16/19 at 01:52:43
 
Hi Lon, I understand you're OK with it, that's really OK. But that's not the issue.


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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #135 - 09/16/19 at 02:55:18
 
Okay, I don't have an issue. I understand you do. Best of luck.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #136 - 09/16/19 at 03:03:21
 
Lon, best of luck to you as well.

Can we get back to the issue at hand?

Thank you.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #137 - 09/16/19 at 03:23:51
 
It's your issue. No one else seems to have it. Carry on. Perhaps in a separate thread? I'll stay out of that. This thread has more area it covers.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #138 - 09/16/19 at 03:36:37
 
It's not just me, 2 friends and family hear it as well, just to make sure I wasn't crazy, K?

You said you didn't actually do what I have done, i.e., take it out completely and really see what happens, how can you know?

Of course we don't have good memories, but it takes me < 30 seconds to switch mine out, I have no problems hearing the difference and it is repeatable.

If you have not done what I have done, and you do not have the system components that I have, I guess you're in no position to imply, maybe your system is not resolving enough to hear it, or, you're not going to f with it because you're sold, that's OK too.


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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #139 - 09/16/19 at 03:53:03
 
I don't doubt your results, but I have been using the unit for over a year in one case and all summer in the second, Anniversary modded case, and I love what it does. As I've said if it adds a bit of coloration in bypass or diminishes a bit of transparency it doesn't bother me, and the overall benefit to the system far outweighs any little loss for me. It's not easy for me to pop the unit in and out of my system and I haven't bothered to see if the unit is completely transparent, as it transforms my system and allows me to really enjoy in my main system the cd collection I've gathered over the last thirty years, and also really enjoy the DVR and Blu-ray player I use in my second system. I don't need to conduct your experiment.

I've used tube amps for instruments since '77 and in home stereos since '85, and I currently use a creamp, a ZBIT snd a ZROCK2 so I'm obviously not concerned with ultimate transparency--I prefer a little forgiveness. This thread is about the ZROCK2 with Anniversary mods and I and others like to report how we are using our units in this thread. Why not start a thread dedicated to ZROCK2 bypass  transparency and outline what you want to achieve with it?

Either way, I'm shutting down for the night. Sorry to seem combative, h don't really want to be so, have a nice night.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #140 - 09/16/19 at 03:59:27
 
Lon, you love it, we get it.

Can we get back to the issue I'm having? Please?
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #141 - 09/16/19 at 04:14:01
 
Sure. I suggest a new thread, but carry on with whatever you hope to achieve.
Just realize that this thread will contain other discussion because it's designed for that.

On another front, I rolled three different tubes in my Anniversary modded ZROCK2 this week and surprised myself by preferring the 6085 in the current setup. In the past the 6085 has been very "up front" and a bit more detailed than I like, but with some isolation change and with adjusting the gain between DAC, ZTPRE, ZROCK2 and Monoblocks, I've really found a "zone" of sound that even further brings an "analog" sound to most Redbook, and yet doesn't sacrifice the detail of the better recordings.

Like John I was pretty sold on the 5814A and favored an Amperex and an RCA version. The 6085 is giving me what I really liked in th 5814A and also a bit more "push," a bit more dynamic contrast. It surprises me how "malleable" these components and tube choices make the overall sound signature. In the past I sometimes got bored with a system, but that just doesn't happen with the signal path I have now. And it seems to indicate I have plenty of transparency and resolution to show me results from all the changes I can make.

Good night, and happy listening.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #142 - 09/16/19 at 04:26:50
 
I've tried a NOS Mullard, a Philips labeled Mullard, RCA clear top, RCA black plate, and believe it or not an amperex bugle boy, also some misc 5963's.

These all have a different sound, yes, and they sound mostly as I expected they would.

But it didn't restore the imaging and purity I was getting before.

I think this thread is appropriate, as it directly affects whatever anyone is trying to achieve by modding the unit, as am I.

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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #143 - 09/16/19 at 13:15:20
 
Yes, I've tried several 5963s from Amperex, RCA and GE, 12AU7 from Amperex, RCA (clear top), Mullard, GE, Phliips and Brimar, also a handful of 6189. Discovering the 5814 was a very interesting game changer for my system, a significant uptick in vivid playback and clear treble and spatial info, which really put me closer to my goal of having a sound that makes me just ease into the varying sound emerging from the many sides of my collection.

And I had explored 6085 tubes with my Taboo Mk IV and really enjoyed them but found them problematic in the ZROCK2--a lot to like but I just couldn't get the tonality quite right. Then I began to realize how important the interaction of gain between DAC, preamp, ZBIT, ZROCK2 and Monoblocks is and learning more about that, and about tuning my isolation, I now find the 6085 to be a very satisfying tube in the ZROCK2. Amperex have a great cumulative family sound in my system and I have 7308s in the ZTPRE and Monoblocks, and the 6085 in the ZROCK2 and I feel I am now in another stage where I am sitting back and relaxing into playback.

Though I loved my ZROCK2 with just the copper beeswax caps and the silver jacks as options, the fully factory modded ZROCK2 with the Anniversary power supply and tube regulated mods took the component to another level. (Though it took it's time getting there!) The unit did disappear more and offer clearer and deeper tube change characteristics, and has become one of the most important components of my system. It's possible that the bypass transparency may or may not have been improved, I do sense a type of "purity" and though sound staging is not something I really can set up to maximize, instrumental imaging is very faithful to the recording. I really do favor the factory choices in mods and would recommend them to anyone rocking the basic ZROCK2. Go whole hog if you can!

After a meager listening weekend I'm turning on the system for a good day of disc spinning.

Edit to add: just having had a wonderful experience listening to the Chet Baker "Let's Get Lost" K2HD cd I must say, I really want for nothing at the moment. The clarity of the recording has come through with realistic body and tonality so correct for instruments I know well such as bass, classic guitar, piano, flute and trumpet. Heavenly sound! And I know the fully Deware modded ZROCK2 is a major contributor.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #144 - 09/16/19 at 16:20:36
 
Cave,

I'm not 100% sure what the issue at hand is.  Running the unit in "bypass" vs no unit may impact the sound in a bad way.  No argument.  But are you saying that running the unit engaged vs no unit is also hurting the sound?  This seems impossible to check definitively.  I think what Lon and I (for sure) are saying is that what the unit brings to the table when engaged, far outweighs any degradation (if any exists) that may also occur.  Neither of us runs the unit in bypass.

I don't know what effect the different capacitors and upgrades might have.  If I'm correct, your unit had the film capacitors whereas Lon and my units have the type II beeswax caps and the full anniversary upgrades.

Am I still missing the point?
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
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Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #145 - 09/16/19 at 18:23:40
 
What I gathered Cave was saying is that as the stock unit is not entirely transparent in bypass, the "effect" the engaged unit is performing would be even "better" if the unit were completely transparent bypassed. This is probably true, but sort of a moot point for you and I as we're gobsmacked with what it does as is; and I don't think any unit that is going to put extra internal wire, a switch, power supply and interconnect into the signal path is ever going to be perfectly, purely identical to the signal without the unit. I have never heard the ZROCK2 with the stock caps and the gold jacks. I would bet that the Jupiter copper caps and the tube regulation assist the unit in becoming somewhat more transparent than stock. I don't do my own modifications and I'm not sure I would do more or other than Steve has done. If I were to modify a stock unit myself I'd go that route. But with my skill set I let Steve do the work.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #146 - 09/16/19 at 18:47:37
 
I'm not even sure that the bypass and the engaged modes are connected.  That's why I suggest that it's not possible to determine sound coloration of the unit.  Of course, I suppose that just using the dial to go from fully left to fully right might tell something.  Even there though, I'm not sure where the "bypass" point really is.  Steve says 12 o'clock but I think it's before that.

What we might need is the ZR2 circuit integrated into the amp so that some switches and wires can be avoided.
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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ZMA (25th A mods)
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #147 - 09/16/19 at 18:54:34
 
Yes. I'm not dissatisfied and don't need "more." What might be a great product for me would be a combination ZROCK2 and ZBIT. Would save me the use of a pair of very expensive interconnects and isolation feet. Would do that in two systems.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #148 - 09/16/19 at 21:25:59
 
Some way to reduce the number of boxes.  I had to suspend my ZR2 over my amps since I'm out of shelf space!
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under everything.
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Re: Anniversary Mods for the ZROCK2
Reply #149 - 09/16/19 at 21:31:26
 
I hear you. I built a series of stands behind the entertainment center my wife bought for my second/audio-video system because only the Oppo UDP-205 has a rack space that can be used. I have a PPP and a Taboo Mk IV with the Anniversary mods and a ZBIT and a ZROCK2 and a CSP3 with the Anniversary mods tucked back there. At least they have ventilation. The ZBIT and ZROCK2 are suspended. . . not ideal but works.
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