|The Secret to the ZSTAGE's ability to make such a giant difference in the sound quality of your source... is it's gain.
By turning it up to 4 or 5 volts and then turning your preamp
or amplifier down to compensate,
you will add great weight, punch and overall power to the
presentation... the kind that's just not possible with a standard 2 volt
If that wasn't enough, it also has a switch on the front that gives you two distinct signatures - one is a more laid back setting, the other a more aggressive setting... it's like having two different sounding stereos at the flip of a switch.
And the final icing on the cake is the tube itself. Since no two brands of 12AU7 sound the same, you can do a little tube rolling and find something that personalizes the sound of your rig even more.
|So you want a better sounding source?
present source somewhere and have it tweaked, modded or upgraded for
maybe a 10% improvement...
Buy a brand
new source that costs twice what your present one did and hope for a
Keep your present
source and add a ZSTAGE to it for the biggest noticeable difference in
sound of all three options, by far.
The ZSTAGE is
a single-ended triode stereo gain stage. It uses a single tube operating in class A with no
negative feedback. It accepts any standard 2 volt line level
source like a CD player or DAC and has a variable output via the front
mounted gain control. It can also be used as a purist tube
where multiple inputs are not needed.
Designed for 24/7 operation it is always on, and always warmed up and
ready. The lower voltages that make this possible aren't even
enough to get the tube hot to the touch. It does however greatly
lower odd-order distortion and increase even-order harmonics making
everything sound better.
features a black powder coated steel chassis with a
standard IEC connector and removable power cord. No circuit
boards, Hand Made and Available in
115/230/240 volts for world wide compatibility.
SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES:
The unit is designed with
reduced voltages that only operate
the tube at half power so there is no heat, and the tube will last
twice as long. To keep everything at the ideal slightly warm
operating temperature for best sound, the ZSTAGE is run
24/7 and has no
switch. It draws less power than a 15 watt light bulb and was
specifically designed to stay on continuously.
There are a single pair of
inputs and a single pair of
outputs. The output level can be adjusted with the front mounted
gain control. In cases where no preamp is used, this can be used
as a volume control and drive most amps directly.
A font mounted switch allows
you to adjust the
operating points on the tube causing two different signatures; One is
extra dynamic and full, the other is more laid back sounding. A
valuable voicing tool to find the best compliment to your system, it
also lets you hear any tube you put in it sound two different ways.
A very good description of
how to use this and what it can
do for you can be found in the owner's manual.
A final advantage to using a ZSTAGE is the simple fact that
you can tube roll with your choice of 12AT7's or
12AU7's. Each of these tubes have a different signature as does
every brand of each tube so you gain tremendous control over how your
system sounds by voicing it to your tastes. Since the tube sticks out the
front it can be easily changed at any time. Expect about 5 years
on the tube before replacement. All tubes come with a 90 day
warranty. The unit will ship with a 12AU7 because it's generally the best sounding of the two.
The ZSTAGE is self
biasing so you NEVER have to set or adjust the bias for the output
tubes. It is a maintenance free design.
Of course there are no circuit boards and no Chinese parts evident by the lifetime warranty.
Internally the ZSTAGE uses top
grade resistors and poly film & foil capacitors on each
channel. The output level control is made by ALPHA, internal
wiring by MOGAMI. Voltages are low for tube gear so the tube lasts for
The purist signal path consists of 1 resistor and 1
film & foil capacitor and a perfectly straight solid copper ground
between the jacks and the tube.
amplifier is hand built in the USA by
DECWARE / High Fidelity Engineering C0. It comes with a lifetime
warranty to the original owner. If you purchase one second hand and
ever have questions or technical problems we WILL be happy to check it
out for you and service it if needed for a very reasonable rate.
have a support
many people who own this amplifier who's experiences you may benefit
read reviews on our products here.
None. The ZSTAGE remains unchanged
since it's debut in Aug 2010
|| 7 lbs. ea.
|| 2.5" H x 6"
W x 11.0" D
| Circuit type
|| Single ended
Class A Triode
|| Adjustable from
0 to 5
| Input voltage
||2 volts max
| Noise / Hum
than 1.5 millivolts
|| 10 Hz ~ 70 kHz
|| ZERO negative
|| fast recovery
| Signal tube
|| 12AU7 or
|| precision WW/MF
by DALE, VISHAY
| Signal Cap
| AC cord
|| Removable power
|| 13.5 watts at
| Input jacks
|| RCA type 24K
Gold / Teflon
ZBOX - Tube buffer stage that has no gain.