Zen TABOO Review

Re: Zen Taboo Amplifier Beta Test Circle
Reply #105 on: 03/15/05 at 4:00pm »

I really enjoyed listening to the Taboo amp with my Radial 1.5s. As Scott described, we first listened to his CS-EX. He had not heard the Radials before so there was some time when we both were acclimating to each other’s equipment. Anyway, after about an hour we switched to the Taboo. It defiantly needed Scott's Bottlehead Foreplay pre-amp to have enough power to play my 2mv CDP at reasonable levels. Without the pre, we needed to turn the Taboo volume to about 3 o’clock to reach a listenable level and it sounded like the Taboo was straining. But, with the Foreplay pre, we generally listened between 10 and 12 o’clock with the ease at which the Taboo sounded best. (The EX drove the CDP just fine.)
The Taboo was very smooth, went deep, and presented the highs with a clarity and sparkle I hadn't previously heard on the Radials. Of course, the imaging, focus, and soundstage were very detailed and accurate; bring out the best features of the Radials.
One thing I noticed was that there was a noticeable heaviness in the lower male vocal range, which seamed to smear the vocal accuracy. Also, there was a distinct distance to many recordings I previously had enjoyed as having a more up front or closer presentation. Well, with a change from the Mapleshade speaker wires to some traditional 10-gauge speaker wire both problems cleared. This is not to discredit the Mapleshade speaker cables. For me, I just don't think they were as compatible with the Taboo and/or the Radials. This will take more investigation by others.
I also want to acknowledge Scott's generosity in sharing the Taboo experience with me. Thanks.



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