AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> ZSTAGE ?

Message started by SonicSeeker on 01/02/17 at 20:00:56

Title: ZSTAGE ?
Post by SonicSeeker on 01/02/17 at 20:00:56

Does anyone have any feedback on using a ZSTAGE with a ZP3?
I would like to add a little body to my vinyl and I spoke with Steve earlier and we decided a Zstage would be best for me so I ordered one with the cap upgrade.
I was just hoping for some real world feedback here from others that may be using it in there vinyl playback.
I will be putting this between my ZP3 and my Torii Jr.

Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/17 at 21:04:06

When you get yours, please give us a full report.  My guess is most people here on the forum are using a preamp.  To them I would say pay attention - because if the output of your cartridge through the ZP3 is less than the output of your DAC you would likely get similar results to what's about to be posted here, despite having a preamp.

The ZSTAGE simply raises the output level of the ZP3 (or any source) and is therefor thought of more in the context of being part of the source.  In the case of the ZP3, a Zstage is a nice transparent way to add slam and get things animated irregardless of if you use a preamp or not.


Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by Archie on 01/10/17 at 22:00:34

The CSP3 is not doing the same thing as a ZSTAGE only more so?

Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by Brian on 01/10/17 at 22:25:47

I think so, but this will be more, more. It's additive; well actually multiplicative.

Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/10/17 at 22:37:15

I am using my ZSTAGE in a similar fashion.  I have a TEAC X-2000M R2R that I wired the playback head (2-Track) directly to a set of RCA jacks to bypass the SS electronics.  From those jacks it will run to my ZP3, then to my ZSTAGE and finally onto my ZMA.  

While I enjoyed my Teac directly into my Torii Jr., I knew I could achieve a higher SQ if I wired it for direct output to RCA's.  So, I purchased a ZP3. However, when installed, the sound was accurate, but rather anemic.  I decided to purchase the ZSTAGE to address this issue.  I had to send my ZP3 back for repair (yesterday), but when it returns, I will connect it up with the ZP3,  ZSTAGE and ZMA (which will take the place of the Torii Jr.).  I will report back with my results.

I have an Ultra pre-amp and while I could have routed the TEAC to my Ultra then to my amp for additional gain, I decided to keep this setup completely independent and separate.  Don't ask me why.  Well, you can ask, and my unscientific explanation will be this: For some reason I felt the urge to simply increase the gain without adding any other pre-amp "flavor" to my tape sound.  There you go.  

Steve can chime in and provide some input as to why my decision was brilliant or asinine.  

Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by Archie on 01/10/17 at 22:38:00

So, ZP3 into ZSTAGE into CSP3 is the way to go?  Or in my case, put a ZMC1 in front of the ZP3.  And my ZMA already goes to 11!   ;D

I can't keep up.

Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by Matchstikman on 01/11/17 at 01:15:27

Archie, you'll have to add a hitter soon.

Title: Re: ZSTAGE ?
Post by SonicSeeker on 01/14/17 at 22:55:45

My comments on this unit will have to wait until I receive my new VPI.
I did listen to it for a few albums but my turntable is in need of repair for a serious vibration issue  that just appeared right after I got the ZSTAGE and I thought I was done :( I was wrong, so on to a new turntable, it is 30+ years old anyway so it was about time.
I will say what I heard with the Zstage in the mix was quite excellent, it really filled in the sound and I was very very pleased.
Thank you Steve for your help and for producing another excellent product.

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