Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
09/18/19 at 16:44:28 


     



Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
ZBIT vs Built-In XLR? (Read 1567 times)
StanleyG
Verified Member
**




Posts: 27
ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
01/01/19 at 22:47:15
 
I use a ZBIT in my main system (connected to a 25th) to very good effect but I fantasize about the Torii Monoblocks which have the transformers built in.  Or maybe the less spendy ZMA with XLR option (or without, using the ZBIT I have) , but oooh, monoblocks!

As I understand, the ZBIT presents a variable output to the amp and one 'rides the gain' in relation to the amp's volume control.  But if the transformers are built-in, is the full XLR output present at all times?  Or is there a resistor(?) or something involved to moderate the inputs when built-in?

Seems otherwise that any XLR input would be way hotter than RCA inputs on the same amp.  And the volume always near minimum on the amp unless using a preamp (which I do have a ZTPRE in another system now rarely used).  Speakers are prolly the next improvement on my personal hedonic treadmill so just speculating for now.
Back to top
 
 

Klipsch Heresy III's
Decware SE84UFO25
Decware ZBIT
Esoteric K-05X
Sonore utraRendu
(soon-to-be optical ethernet)
Roon Nucleus Server
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4025
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #1 - 01/02/19 at 04:25:28
 

Hi Stanley,

The advantage of having the transformers built-in vs. in a ZBIT are really only one less RCA interconnect cable.  Assuming the cable is good transparency the advantages quickly dissipate.  The variable output of the ZBIT is often overlooked because in a given system it may or may not make a big difference depending on where you adjust the output level to ride the gain.  However, when you experience it in multiple systems, or with multiple amplifiers, etc., and notice that the setting changes from system to system you realize that the adjustability is essential.


When the transformers are built-in we usually just run them wide open unless the customer is going to run a high output source into it at which point we'll usually simulate a volume control set to about 3/4 or less depending on the voltage.  This makes the amp sound richer.

Knowing this and being strapped for space on the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode, I did not make it an option forcing the user to use a ZBIT instead.

Certainly using XLR signals are louder than RCA.  RCA is between 1 and 2 volts, XLR is between 3.5 and 10 volts.

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 3436
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #2 - 01/02/19 at 07:23:25
 

Z-Bit or built in, I really like the sound of Zen amps with more voltage coming in from an XLR. I also find XLR cables to have less of a sonic impact than RCA cables.

Anyways, go for it if you're thinking about it - you'll appreciate how it sounds, built in or in a "magic box".
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 16047
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #3 - 01/02/19 at 07:39:07
 
I haven't heard the transformers built in, but I do love the adjustability of the ZBIT--riding the gain really can be a tuning tool as Steve notes. I also can't say I find XLR cabling to be less sonically impacting in a Decware system--I've found significant "character" differences to the sound by playing around with the four different brands of XLR cabling I have.

With my main source a ZBIT is necessary as the transformer-based output is lower than usual. My guess is that if you think you'd like what a ZBIT does, or what Steve's installed XLR inputs does, you are far more than likely to really enjoy them as not.

And Stanley. . . you have a 25th. With the right speakers. . . you're set. I think these amps are game-changers and wanderlust-stoppers.
Back to top
 
 

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-
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 3436
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #4 - 01/02/19 at 20:08:18
 

Agreed on the 25th  - it's such a wonderful amp.

Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
StanleyG
Verified Member
**




Posts: 27
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #5 - 01/02/19 at 22:30:32
 
Very cool!  Thanks for the quick and direct info, Mr Deckert!

So I tried full bore on the ZBIT, had been running the amp high and it low.  Wow!  I think I never even tried it this way as my plan was all along to use the ZBIT as a passive preamp for volume control with some range up and down.

I will continue experimenting but I think all 5 (now wishing for more!) volts from my source make a big difference when the volume is managed at the amp even though the amp may never run over half way up.  As though there is just more information getting through.  Ima have to train my sausage-fingers to operate the two volume controls in tandem!

Maybe I can get a ZBIT made to order with no volume control at all...  or with just a mute/dim switch?  I am so lazy, turning the ZBIT knob all the way around and down quickly for the rare phone call (so as not to mess up the careful balance set on the amp) will surely be a chore Smiley.

And Lon and LR, thanks for the reminder.  The 25th is surely the best sounding of any audio device I have owned.  Although 'best' is too small a word to describe its immersive, mind-bending impact.  Even through my modest speakers (Heresy III's) I am hard pressed to recall ever hearing more 'better' (even when having snuck into the appointment-only room ages ago when there were hifi stores local to me).  Maybe the DNA2's, or the ZOB's...  I really like the single driver idea.
Back to top
 
 

Klipsch Heresy III's
Decware SE84UFO25
Decware ZBIT
Esoteric K-05X
Sonore utraRendu
(soon-to-be optical ethernet)
Roon Nucleus Server
  IP Logged
ScottNC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 291
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #6 - 01/02/19 at 23:37:19
 
Stanley,
 No idea what type or size of room your system is in, but DNA2’s certainly seem like a possibility for you. I can’t speak highly enough to them. You certainly have the groundwork equipment wise to head that direction.
Best,
Scott
Back to top
 
 

TORII MKIV-25th,ZBIT,ZROCK2-25th,ZTPRE-25th,ZLC,DNA2's, REL S/3 SHO
MyTek Brooklyn DAC+,Sonore ultraRendu LinearPS,sonicTransport APi7 4TB
Woo WA6, Sennheiser HD660s
RoomTreatments,LineFeed,DHC1’s,DSR’s,ZENST,TriodeWireLabs,TimberNation Maple Plats
  IP Logged
Dominick
Seasoned Member
****


Still like that old
time Rock and Roll!!

Posts: 253
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #7 - 01/03/19 at 06:21:26
 
Quote:
Maybe I can get a ZBIT made to order with no volume control at all...  or with just a mute/dim switch?  I am so lazy, turning the ZBIT knob all the way around and down quickly for the rare phone call (so as not to mess up the careful balance set on the amp) will surely be a chore Smiley.


StanleyG.....if this is a concern for you then maybe have a Steve reinstall the ZBIT with stepped attenuators, and possibly even dual controls.  That way once you find the sweet spot for your setup, you will know that all it takes is a certain number of “clicks” to turn it down, answer the phone, and then easily get back to where the sweet spot was originally.  
Back to top
 
 

Decware ERR's [Bubinga Wood], Zstage [with Beeswax caps], Zen Switch Box, Rega P2 turntable, Velodyne dual firing sub, Yamaha THX SS A/V Receiver
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 3436
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #8 - 01/03/19 at 14:40:44
 

Quote:
As though there is just more information getting through.


What you described right there is *exactly* how I feel when the Decware amps get more than the standard 2 volts a typical RCA output has! Riding the gain allows you to somehow add more "density" to the music. Once you hear it, it's difficult to go back.
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 3217
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #9 - 01/19/19 at 15:21:36
 
Sweet! ZBIT is ready to go~with dual attenuation/chicken knob's baby!! I suppose I should call on Monday and pay the balance.
Now, to pick up a control sample XLR, too.

I essentially, have a ZBIT (at full tilt non variable output) now, for 4 years next month with my ZDSD. I decided I can't be without one when my ZDSD tanks someday. I will pull and project box the output trannies from my ZBIT then. However, I wanted one with variable adjustment on the shelf and ready to go; plus the fun of comparison right now, with my ZDSD output trannies.

ZMA MOD's continue to amaze. Sweet session this morning: Tungsrams, Telefunken's & 7027A's.
Back to top
 
 

Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony TPort
Illuminati D60
Shunyata Z-Alpha DigPcord
Decware ZDSD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030
XLOProPcord
Decware ZMA/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
Kimber PK10 Palladian from wall
to PS Audio P3
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 16047
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #10 - 01/19/19 at 15:41:29
 
Awesome Larry! You'll have fun playing with the ZBIT. Give it a week or so of use to become its best. I find that having the adjustable output is very beneficial for my system. I'm using dual stepped attenuators in mine and prefer the sound at 16 or 17 steps from 0 to the full 20. It's not a hard decision to make, full out at 20 sounds great, but there's more finesse to the lower settings.

Be sure to report back to us your impressions! (Like you wouldn't!)
Back to top
 
 

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-
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 3217
Re: ZBIT vs Built-In XLR?
Reply #11 - 01/19/19 at 15:50:17
 
Thanks Lon and you know I will!
Back to top
 
 

Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony TPort
Illuminati D60
Shunyata Z-Alpha DigPcord
Decware ZDSD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030
XLOProPcord
Decware ZMA/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
Kimber PK10 Palladian from wall
to PS Audio P3
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print