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Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can? (Read 667 times)
HuskerDu
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Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can?
03/11/19 at 22:19:56
 
I'm trying to pick the right amp for a pair of Zu speakers I'm in love with.

After a ton of reading about the architectures of amps, I want to check a couple of assumptions here, I hope... And feel free to point out that I'm asking the wrong question if that's so... I don't know what I don't know.

Firstly, is 6 watts per channel enough for the Zu speakers? I'm reading that 2W is not quite enough. I stumbled upon Mr Deckert's posts about putting two in series. (Whoa!!! What if that works!?!?) I'm convinced that SE84 tubes are the sweetest of all tubes. And I at least like the metaphor of having a car with a ton of torque that I can (very sensitively) drive at 120 mph. At least in metaphor, tubes can close the gap with "sand" responsiveness... (... the infinitely variable chicken head knobs please. Wink

But money is a constraint, of course, so...

Secondly, is it likely that a pair of SE84 Zens in series (together, about $2,000 for 6W, if my notes are correct) will sound 30% better than a ($1,500) Rogue Sphinx II? Obviously the hardware is not comparable, but I'm hoping the sound itself might tend to converge. (?) The Rogue starts from "sand" and adds tubes for soul, while the SE84 gets faster by being in series. (Um, Tina Turner and Mick Jagger can kinda cover each other's songs. ...but how would they go about covering Aretha Franklin?)

Lastly, a(nother) blind spot for me: Are there other kinds of benefits I should consider, assuming there's more to come? (I first considered a single SE84 vs. a used Rogue Sphinx I, to live within my $1,000 budget. But I see too much compromise. In moving up a little, do I open a can of worms?)

Or should I just get an NAD (20wpc) for $500, and kick the can down the road? As I read it, the NAD would be ... well, a technical mismatch with the speakers, but wouldn't sound aweful. Just kinda thin maybe. I'd rather do this right the first time, though.

Thoughts?
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Archie
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Posts: 1418
Re: Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can?
Reply #1 - 03/11/19 at 23:35:09
 
What I did and I'll bet many on this forum did was first say "no way!" and then slowly get sucked in the great Decware Vortex! † Grin

I recommend putting aside your "budget" and go for what you can afford without starving the kids. †Buy the best right off and don't look back.
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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)
HR1s (Upgrd - top & bass drivers & X-ovr)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under everything.
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armstdav
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Posts: 56
Re: Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can?
Reply #2 - 03/12/19 at 03:19:52
 
I ran a pair of Druid Mk IV/08s with an SE34i.2+ (forerunner of the Rachael) and while the 6 watts there sounded great at lower volumes, it ran out of steam if I cranked it up. I've since moved up the chain to Druid Mk Vs and I'm currently experimenting with a Torii Mk IV, and it's pretty glorious. The idea to save your money for something heftier than the SE84 is probably good advice.

In the meantime, the Zus are pretty forgiving and people run them with all sorts of amps, tube, SS, and hybrid. I must have tried 10 different amps with my earlier Druids, and they never sounded less than good, and some of them were pretty great. Have fun with the journey!
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ArtMan
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Re: Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can?
Reply #3 - 03/13/19 at 05:06:02
 
I will throw my two cents worth here. I have the Zu Omen Dirty Weekend speakers and the SE84UFO amp (all 2 watts) and I have never lacked for power. At this level of resolution, I do not have to play it loud to hear it clearly. I've cranked it up to 94 db once but it was much louder than I would ever play it listening to music.
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Martindfletcher
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Posts: 54
Re: Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can?
Reply #4 - 03/16/19 at 15:22:48
 
I have druid vís bridged seufo2 and they get to 100db in a closed room, in an very large open they sound great to 85-90db, but struggle above that. † The druids are a bit high on the impedance and therefore a bit power hungry.

They sound great with a sub, touch voice forward, but great speed and dynamics. †Thinking about a 25th anniversary or calling Steve to see I& he has any upgrades for me.

What Zuís do you have the impedance makes a difference. I think omens would be fine with a single.
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Chain in order: TD124 mki, Denon 103R, Ortofon RS-309D, zu silver phono cable, ZMC1, Audio Art RCA, ZP3, vintage RCA 5U4G Rectifier, Gold lion signal tubes, DW silver reference, Xhadow, Bridged UFO2's, gold lion 6922, mapleshade double helix plus, zu Druid v's
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mark58
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Re: Value Sweet Spot or Kick the Can?
Reply #5 - 03/16/19 at 15:52:27
 
First, I have run Zu Audio Souls (99 dB, 8 0hm) with a pair of Zen Signature Monoblock Amps at 2.3 WPC for years...plenty of volume for me.  

Second with the newer UFO Transformers I think you have a switch to choose from hi or low impedance so all Zu Speakers would work ...my 8 ohm souls, 12 ohm Dirty Weekends and most others at 16 ohms.

Bottomline, I think any Decware Amp would work well, provided it has the UFO Transformers.  If not then you'd have to take into consideration what transformers the amp has. Hope this helps, Mark.
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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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