While it might look great, it's really about the sound! The opposing layout of the tubes creates a small 2 x 4-inch space between the tube pins at the correct angle where the entire audio circuit can be built using only the parts leads themselves.
When you look at how much this industry spends on cables and wires, it's not hard to realize that the only thing better than a preamp built around the world's most expensive wire is one that doesn't use any.The transparency of this approach is limited only by the tubes and interconnecting cables themselves which is a kind way of suggesting that this preamp will never be the weak link in your audio chain... regardless of how much money you may have wrapped up into sources and amplifiers.
The ZTPRE project was about figuring out how to wire the circuit with the absolute least number of nodes and how to keep the shortest distances between them that created this uniquely beautiful chassis design.
ZTPRE DESIGN SKETCH
Normally, a fully balanced circuit like this would be laid out in up to 144 square inches of chassis space where the ZTPRE has done it in only 8.
preamp like this one is very much like the preamp that you can't
hear... except for the way it animates the music. It takes music that
already sounds good, and makes it pop into a believable experience. It
does this with dynamics, separation, pace, density and holographic
imaging and does so against a backdrop of liquidity and intoxicating
tone. These are all things which are the natural result of gimmick-free
circuit design and superior execution.
ZTPRE AUDIO CIRCUIT
transparency of this approach is limited only by the tubes and
interconnecting cables themselves which is a kind way of suggesting that
this preamp will never be the weak link in your audio chain...
regardless of how much money you may have wrapped up into sources and
The ZTPRE comes standard
with 1 pair of balanced XLR inputs and 1 pair of balanced XLR outputs.
Each channel's output has an output level control and master volume. This is the most 'purist' configuration with the least number of parts because there is no input selector.
adds a Silver Contact Input Selector to expand the number of balanced
sources from one to three. The orange stars indicate the additional
parts for this option.
Option 2 is using stepped attenuators in
place of the master volume controls. These attenuators divide the otherwise
infinitely adjustable volume controls into 20 steps using 1% precision
metal film resistors. This approach can bring more transparency to the
sound and make it easy to adjust both channels equally by counting the
steps as you turn them. The bad news are that these steps make it
impossible to have fine adjustments to channel balance. So, surmise it
to say some people like them and some people don't which is why it is an option
on the ZTPRE. NOTE: The rear-mounted output level (trim) control for
each channel IS a stepped attenuator and comes standard in all ZTPREs.
Option 3 is to use infinitely
adjustable motorized Alp's volume controls that can be operated by remote
control from the listening position. This option lets you raise and
lower both volume controls at the same time with one remote. You can
also manually make adjustments to channel balance and the relationship
between the two controls will stay that way until you either turn the
volume all the way up or all the way down which resets the balance to
perfect center. Watch the video above to see it work. NOTE: The
only way to make this video was to plug the output of the ZTPRE into
our ZDSD digital recorder so the sound you hear in this video is the
ZTPRE REAR VIEW
changes one of the balanced inputs to an unbalanced RCA jack by using
transformer-coupling. This makes it possible to connect an unbalanced
source to your ZTPRE by transformer balancing it. NOTE: Unbalanced
sources are typically 2 volts, while balanced sources range from 3.5 to
10.5 volts. This means that if you use an unbalanced source with
this option, it should ideally be higher output than 2 volts. A common
way to accomplish this on stock 2 volts sources is to use our single
tube device called the ZSTAGE to raise the voltage to 5 or 6 volts
is signal capacitors. The ZTPRE is based on our highly successful
unbalanced preamp design model CSP3, which has developed an almost cult
following since 2006 due in part to its wonderful signature. To
maintain that signature in the new ZTPRE, we use the same audiophile grade film capacitors. However, for those who want to kick things up a notch, we
offer cryo-treated copper foil beeswax capacitors by Jupiter that we
feel are the best sound money can buy for this product.
Included in the price of the standard ZTPRE is your choice between Below are the four possible combinations:
Red or Black Face plates, and Black or Silver knobs.
RED FACEPLATE WITH BLACK KNOBS
BLACK FACEPLATE WITH BLACK KNOBS
RED FACEPLATE WITH SILVER KNOBS
BLACK FACEPLATE WITH SILVER KNOBS
All of the above options can be configured from within the shopping cart.
The ZTPRE is compatible with RCA to XLR adapters on the inputs, outputs, or both. Alternately, you can configure it with transformer-coupled RCA inputs as one of the options in the shopping cart.
H x 17.00" W x 10.75" D
0 ~ 35 volts
||- 58 dB
|47 k Ohms
~ 100 kHz +/- 4dB 20 Hz ~ 20 kHz +/- 0.7dB
||At 10.83 VRMS output 0.4% THD
negative feedback used
||Ultra Fast Recovery Bridge
resistors are audiophile grade
||Cryo treated Copper Foil Beeswax
filter caps are premium quality
||Dual Fuse holders / one per channel / external
||109 watts at full power
||High Quality XLR
|| High Quality XLR
This preamplifier comes standard with our World Voltage Compatible Transformers.
It will be automatically wired for the right voltage for your country and be supplied
with the right removable power cord.
ZTPRE Distortion Analysis at full output 0.4% THD
ZTPRE Schematic of One Channel Only
ZTPRE TOP VIEW
Have your ZTPRE built and shipped to your door for a
30 day money-back in home trial less a 10% restock fee.