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Message started by Archie on 03/22/19 at 18:39:54

Title: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/22/19 at 18:39:54

Anyone with a ZLC ...

I just got my ZLC and I've already blown both fuses. †I have less than 3 AMPS load connected to it (ZP3 .5A, CSP3 .5A, ZMA 1.5A, ZR2 .1A, TT .1A, DVD OPPO .1A). †When I first plugged the unit into my Leviton hospital grade, surge protecting outlets it tripped my 20 amp breaker. †The breaker held when reset. †I was checking about some system hum and I unplugged everything from the ZLC and the ZLC from the wall. †After reconnecting everything, the outlet was still hot but the ZLC fuses were blown.

Anybody have any ideas? †Nothing in the manual about this as far as I could see.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/22/19 at 19:00:17

Archie,

This shouldn't happen. Did you check the size of the fuse?--should be 8 amp.  I have.a TV, a DVR, a universal player, a CSP2+ with 25th Mods and a Taboo Mk III connected to my ZLC. Has operated flawlessly and acted as if it isn't even jogging, for two weeks plus.

Sorry this has happened. Seems if the fuses are 8 or 10 amp a call in to Steve is the next step.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/22/19 at 19:30:21

I'm waiting for him to call back.  The only thing I can think of is that when I plugged everything back in, the amps were on and something surged.

Of course, in my neck of the woods, fuses are hard to come by.  I found a pair of T5A, 240V fuses at my local True Value.  Most of what they have are for christmas lights!  These shouldn't blow given my load but who knows?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/22/19 at 19:38:57

Does seem odd that a 5 amp would blow, but who knows. Hope he calls back and this gets resolved.

So far as I can tell you and I are the only ones mentioning having received the ZLC on the board. I'm enjoying mine. I had very high expectations and most were met. Rock solid, though the top cover does "ring" and I dampened it with a little brass elephant. . . . I don't like ringing case parts, seems it may be vibration prone.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 03/22/19 at 21:34:15

I got mine about an hour ago, going to give run in an hour or so. Bummer on the fuse, I canít imagine it having the wrong fuse in it, itís looking like they really burn these things in when they go through all the final steps after building them.
I have to say the packaging is pretty impressive, it took about 20 minutes to get at the thing!
I hope you get it resolved, I have the same problem here finding anything like a fuse, Iíve been meaning to get a full set of internal and external from Steve for backup and tubes too, guess Iíll be on that ASAP, if something goes for me Iím out of luck also.
Keep us posted on what you hear.
Best,
Scott

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/23/19 at 16:19:00

Iím sorry youíre having trouble Adam. That kind of crap can be so aggravating! Iíve had mine going for a week or so with no issues. I hope by now you have talked to Steve and have figured out what happened.

Best,

Geno

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/23/19 at 17:50:44

Steve will update the manual but he said the toroid transformer is so efficient that if the 60Hz AC is at its peak when you plug it in it can pop the breaker. †He said that once it's plugged in to just leave it that way. †As far as the fuses, the 5A blew immediately which Steve said was inevitable given that it's a 10A toroid. †The 8A may be borderline but he put them in for safety sake. †He's sending me some fuses, hopefully some 10A. †There is one red herring in my power and that's that I have Leviton "surge" protection outlets. †Steve looked them up and while he couldn't see any problem, he suggested that if my problem persists that they could be somehow contributing.

If some of what I wrote doesn't make sense, I may have got it wrong since I really don't understand much of this.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/23/19 at 18:20:24

Glad the mystery is solved; hope you get fuses ASAP and all goes well.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/23/19 at 19:16:27

Hope the new fuses get to you quickly. Fingers crossed that you donít have any more problems, but it sounds like there is a chance you may have to replace the outlets. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/23/19 at 22:57:11

I'll be bummed if I have to change an outlet.  Besides being hard to do given its location, I swapped the Hospital grade outlets I had there for these thinking they'd give me better protection.  Could be a case of too much technology.  We shall see.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/25/19 at 21:01:14

Steve sent me a pile of fuses so I could blow a few. †They were all 8A and fortunately I didn't blow any. †I first turned off my breaker to the outlet and plugged everything in but with the ZLC switches off. †After turning the breaker back on, the voltmeter read 120 V and I turned on all of the switches without incident. †I'll see later how it does with the power down and power up cycle. †I haven't decided whether to use the ZLC switches or the component switches. †The only difference I can see is that by using the ZLC switches I might save wear and tear on the component switches which are likely harder to replace when worn out.

But here's the amazing part. †At start up, my ZMA meters were 8mA higher than where I'd left them last night! †I had to dial them back. †After 45 minutes of warm up they lost only 1 to 2 mA, if that. †Any ideas what's up with that?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/25/19 at 21:14:15

Glad it's all functioning. Don't know what to say about your meters . . . or my display info.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/25/19 at 21:30:42

Steve said the other day something about the high efficiency of the toroid transformer and I think there is something in the manual about it being super fast in supplying power for peaks. †I wonder if it makes the amps more efficient somehow? †IDK, I sent him an email letting him know my ZLC was on-line and I mentioned the bias effect. †Maybe he'll shed some light on it.

Edit:  As the ZMA has more fully warmed up the bias has lowered more but I think I'm still dialed about 4mA lower than without the ZLC.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/25/19 at 23:24:39

Hope it will act right for you this time, Archie.

Is it ok to leave it on all the time? Mine has been on non-stop since I got it about 12 days ago.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/26/19 at 00:34:11

So far so good. †The other day Steve told me to keep the ZLC plugged in always. †When the switches are all off, it doesn't draw any current but the toroid stays charged. †I plan on using the ZLC switches to turn components on and off. †The ZR2 switch will stay on all the time though.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/26/19 at 00:37:30

I leave mine on all the time. I believe it's designed to be perfectly fine with that.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/26/19 at 00:42:57

Archie,

Your idea of using the switches on the ZLC to power components on and off may be the way to go. Keeps the individual component switches from wearing out.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/26/19 at 16:46:54

I don't know if it's a transference of the weight and heft of the ZLC itself into my psyche or a real effect but the music I played last night had a weight and density at the base that was impressive. †It seemed to have a solid foundation that was somewhat lacking before.

I have a suggestion for Steve for the blanks above the ZLC switches. †How about labels either with or without lights behind them. †Six switches is beyond my ability to consistently remember what they correspond to. †My typical limit is two. † ;)

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/26/19 at 17:16:21

Ha. It's funny that you say that, because last night I tried powering everything off using the ZLC switches and had to end up making a note so I'd remember what was what.  I just got through using a label maker here at work to make some labels to stick on when I get home.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/26/19 at 17:31:58

I know! †I made labels too but they don't stick very well. †I wonder if we can find those inserts in white so a sharpie would show up. †I have mine in a cabinet so aesthetics aren't as important.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/26/19 at 18:56:54

Does anyone know the actual hole size that the plugs fill? †I found white-ish plugs but I don't know the size without pulling a plug which has proved difficult without taking the ZLC cover off. †I think they are 3/4 inch though. †Or I could use a white paint-pen on the black covers.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 03/26/19 at 19:22:44

Brother P-Touch † [smiley=10.gif]


Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/26/19 at 19:41:02

I just used the exact same label maker to make labels, Scott!  Are they sticking ok?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 03/26/19 at 19:44:12

So far, so good.
I have everything on and use component switches, but I still wanted to know what was where, plus a couple things are on 24/7

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/26/19 at 19:45:15

Adam, 3/4" looks right, but white paint pen printing might look pretty cool.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/26/19 at 21:14:23

I went the white paint route. †Since mine is in a cabinet penmanship didn't count. † :P †

I like turning things on and off from a central location. †Reaching behind the ZP3 and CSP3 transformers was always a bit of a pain.

This is a really nice piece of equipment. †Anyone need a slightly used Trip-lite? † ;D

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/26/19 at 21:56:49

At the moment I'm only turning one or two items on and off on that system and I have those two plugged into the 1 and 2 spots, easy to remember. The others (DVR, TV, Universal player) I just leave on all the time. (The TV has its own standby state when plugged in and the ZLC switch is on).

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/28/19 at 02:36:22

Got my labels on. They stuck pretty well but I can see what Archie was talking about when he said he had trouble. If they fall off, Iíll go to the white paint pen.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/28/19 at 03:54:37


What a fabulous idea to use the hole plugs as labels !!!   Great Job!  

The hole diameter is 0.87 or 7/8 inch.

Steve

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/28/19 at 04:03:24


Regarding ZMA bias...

When the line voltage drops, the ZMA bias also drops.  When the line voltage goes up, the ZMA bias will also go up.  

Regarding sound, the stored energy in such a huge transformer is going to pack a pretty serious punch compared to a wall outlet so amplifiers that actually consume some power are certainly going to sound better.

Steve

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/28/19 at 16:50:22

Steve, I'm not sure how to interpret what you said about line voltage and bias relative to what I observed. †The ZLC voltmeter read 120V, which is very likely what I always have (my electric meter has a voltage readout that stays pretty steady at 240V) but my meters read 8mA higher with the ZLC than without. †Once I dialed the bias back it has stayed constant. †Have you looked at your ZMA bias with and without the ZLC? †I don't know if this changes anything about how my ZMA runs but I thought it was an interesting effect.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/30/19 at 17:15:07

I put the 6P tubes back in my ZMA and have the bias set at 60mA.  The point I want to make is that now my output transformers are running barely more than warm.  Before the ZLC I could expect 120+ degrees.  If I had to guess, I'd say they are well below 110.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/30/19 at 17:44:39


If you think about it, noise on a 50/60 cycle wave such as the AC voltage at the outlet, would not necessarily be in phase with the fundamental frequency of 50/60 cycles.  You can be certain that any out-of-phase signals, or DC entering into the primary of a power transformer is going to create heat and lower efficiency.  My guess is that your amp runs cooler because there is no longer any noise on its primary windings.  

Steve

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 03/30/19 at 21:52:25

Certainly a welcome effect! †I think this must tie into the bias difference somehow as well. †Maybe we now have less heat and more music. † :)

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/31/19 at 00:59:09

Call me a perfectionist...

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 03/31/19 at 01:32:41

Ahhh...
Funny...Had to have it
I like the round stickers

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by HockessinKid on 03/31/19 at 01:41:43

I'm thinking grey or silver stickers with black hand written lettering. I think that will look cool. 8-)

HK

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 03/31/19 at 02:02:04

Geno needs another ZLC for his turntable. . . ;)

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 03/31/19 at 02:09:56

I surely do need another one, Lon!  

Thatís funny, Scott! Great minds think alike 8-)

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/04/19 at 18:56:49

Okay, I think my ZLC is well-broken-in by now. I began experimenting with incorporating it into my main system Tuesday and have continued into today.

I tried all the analog components plugged into the ZLC and all digital into the PS Audio P10. And then I tried the reverse, all analog into the P10 and all digital into the ZLC. My conclusion: the original option was the best, all components plugged into the P10. The difference was really not subtle--all components into the P10 exhibited noticeably more dynamic contrast and more "focus," with the best tonal balance.

Then I once again plugged the ZLC between the wall and the P10, so that the only item the ZLC was feeding was the P10 itself. Subtly I found this was the best configuration. There is a touch more mellowness to the overall sound, and a bit of a more controlled feel overall. I'm leaving this configuration in place. All power cords are the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 for all components. The ZLC is sitting atop the P10, which sits on a PS Audio PowerBase on the top shelf of my Mapleshade Audio Samson Rack Ver. 3. Like all my other components the P10 sits on VooDoo Cable Iso-Pod footers; as I don't yet have enough the ZLC sits on four Herbie's Audio Lab Iso-Cups with Green Moss Quartz balls.

Sound is very very good. The ZROCK2 is finally FINALLY broken in and sounding fantastic and that is what spurred this whole experimentation. I did this in waves as I found it takes about 12 or more hours after making the plug in and out changes before all the components are again at their best. . . . So the present configuration is only in place about ten hours but I can already tell it's my favorite and tomorrow morning it should "be all it can be" and I bet it knocks my socks off.

Over the last few years with my move back to the small powered amps, the "Z Amigos" of ZBIT, ZROCK2 and ZTPRE, and all the wonderful 25th Anniversary Mods the system has become a bean-stalk climbing beast. I love the "nature" of the sound.

One day I may have another ZLC to put back in that new headphone system. It sounds pretty okay without one so no real hurry. . . and that's good because I am very BROKE after all the changes I've shelled out for. . . .

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/04/19 at 18:59:55

And one final note: the ZLC continues to "seemingly" deliver about 5 more volts into the P10 than it shows entering into the ZLC on the gauge in the back.

Whether this is really happening or not. . . . well I've decided not to worry about it. I consulted several other P10 owners and they didn't seem to feel that it would make any difference. I've gotten pretty good at convincing myself not to worry about certain things so I think I'll succeed in just forgetting about that soon.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 04/04/19 at 20:49:26

Lon,
Great to hear things are coming together for you and things are settling in to sound great. Nice review.

Best,
Scott

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/04/19 at 22:11:02

Thanks Scott. The modded ZROCK2's sound really threw me for a loop and it has been one of the biggest "break-in" processes I've been through. Hopefully I have the best possible sound now with all these components. I'm looking forward to just settling in and listening.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Showme on 04/04/19 at 22:40:13

And one final note: the ZLC continues to "seemingly" deliver about 5 more volts into the P10 than it shows entering into the ZLC on the gauge in the back.

Lon: Sounds like meters to me. One component of the other.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/04/19 at 23:01:52

I don't know, I'd like to think so. But. . . both read the same incoming voltage until I connect them together. The P10 believes it is receiving more volts. I don't think it's a big deal but I don't think it's just the gauges.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/04/19 at 23:46:10

Given how differently my ZMA biases and the lower operating temperature of the transformers, I suspect something real is going on -- not just a meter inconsistency.  5V would be a big difference too.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/04/19 at 23:54:12

"Something is happening. . . but you don't know what it is. . . do you. . . Mr. Jones."

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by bikehappy1 on 04/05/19 at 04:50:45

My ZLC arrives Monday. I think I have small ground loop on my ZP3 because thereís an audible hum when my Toriiís Turned about half way. Itís not audible with music playing but I Think it could be quieter. Weíll see soon.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by mperdue63 on 04/08/19 at 00:59:51

Received my ZLC on Friday. Plugged it in the wall, connected ZMA, ZP3, Jade, Ambre, Zstage and TT. I just noticed with all the ZLC switches off I can hear a loud hum every few minutes coming from the ZLC, Is this normal? The hum only lasts a couple of seconds and then it stops until the next hum starts. Any thoughts are appreciated.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 04/08/19 at 03:28:34

Are you sure itís coming from the ZLC itself?  If you are certain that it is, Iíd unplug everything and see if it hums with just the ZLC plugged into the wall. If it hums with nothing plugged in, contact Steve. If no hum, then plug in one component at a time until you figure out where the ground loop is. Good luck!

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/08/19 at 03:46:41


The problem you are having is caused by a pulsating DC offset on the electrical mains of your house. †It happens when someone uses a hair dryer or electric heater with high/low settings and operates it on the low setting. †The low settings are achieved by using a diode in series with the heating element which causes a pulsed DC offset on that circuit. †It wouldn't matter if you have things plugged-in to the ZLC or not. †Large toroidal transformers are the first to complain (hum) when there is a unresolvable problem on the AC line, such as pulsating DC offset.

When I say unresolvable, I mean from a sonic standpoint.  Many smaller devices in your home while equally effected, are perhaps 10 times harder to hear the DC offset on so the problem goes un-noticed.

The effect is particularly bad when the offending heating device is on the same circuit (breaker) as the transformer. That said, it is also possible for it to happen when a neighbor uses a hair dryer, so it may not even be in your own home.

Toroidal transformers are particularly sensitive to this due to their efficiency and the larger the transformer the more you'll be able to hear it happen.

Basically the ZLC is letting you know there is an issue with the power feeding the outlet it is plugged into, and issue that even if you weren't using a large toroidal isolation transformer would still be there poisoning your sound, making things flip from sounding great to less than great and back again.

No harm will come to the ZLC from a situation like this, but it certainly warrants trying to find the cause because it would be too distracting to ignore.


Steve

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/08/19 at 16:16:00

Does the ZLC cancel out this noise/problem or just hum to show it's there?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by bikehappy1 on 04/09/19 at 02:50:55

ZLC is in the house and all hooked up!! No hums, nothing blew and the ZP3 is quiet as a mouse! The soundís damn good too!

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/09/19 at 09:02:52

Congrats BH! Glad you have it and it's delivering the goods.

My ZLC is no longer feeding my P10 in my main system. Though I think there was a subtle improvement in the sound overall, I remained troubled by the 5 extra volts that it is seemingly transferring to the P10 and the resulting doubling (ha! from .1 to .2 percent!) of the noise in the regenerated power caused by the P10 working to reduce the output voltage during regeneration (or whatever). So rather than be concerned daily, I put it back in the headphone-only system.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by DyersEve726 on 04/16/19 at 17:10:39

I just received my ZLC yesterday. My first Decware product. It looks and feels impressive, but it immediately tripped breakers on two different outlets on two different panels. After several tries at this, it's completely dead. Both fuses are burned out. I never even got to plug any devices in. I've yet to receive an email back, but either I got a dud or it's somehow unusable in my home. This sucks :(  I have a $900 paperweight.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 04/16/19 at 17:17:04

Did you check through the posts on page one here, might help you if you have not
Scott

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/16/19 at 17:28:13

Same issue I originally posted about. †Steve sent me some fuses and I have been successful at getting things started by first turning off my breaker and then plugging the ZLC into the wall. †I hook everything up and then turn the breaker on and then turn on the individual ZLC switches. †Steve said the toroid can pull a load at plug in that will trip the breaker. †I'm not sure why the fuses blow but I haven't had the problem since my initial startup attempts and following †my startup procedure.

Now that there has been a second startup event with blown fuses, I would think Steve ought to consider including extra fuses with the ZLC.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by HockessinKid on 04/16/19 at 17:31:29

Call Decware. Talk to Sarah, I'm sure they will make things right. They do come with a lifetime warranty. Sorry to hear about this.

HK

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/16/19 at 18:05:21

Yes, get a call in to Steve. I've had mine trip my breaker once when I relocated it after trying it out a third time with my main system, but not blow a fuse yet at all. But house and apartment wiring can be quite different, different loads etc.

I'm pretty certain Steve can guide you to a method that will put the ZLC into use, and that you'll enjoy it a lot when you have. . . .  

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by DyersEve726 on 04/16/19 at 18:09:42

I've sent an email to Sarah. I'm not able to call at the moment, unfortunately. The one outlet it DID work on was in my kitchen and it's a dedicated outlet for my microwave and toaster. I'm thinking I need to start it up on a breaker with absolutely nothing plugged in. When I get my replacement fuses, I'll go through and find all the outlets on the breaker before plugging in. Such a long wait for disappointment, so I hope I can get it going.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ZZuZZaXX on 04/16/19 at 18:12:04

Wow, interesting developments with the ZLC.
I want one but I'm afraid of it at the moment.
I live in an older house and I'm not sure it could handle the jolt.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/16/19 at 18:15:32

I wouldn't be too scared. I live in a house built in 1919 and not a lot of modern wiring and I've had one breaker trip, no fuse blowing, and have moved the ZLC about seven times.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/16/19 at 19:03:22

I think the plugging in of the ZLC can cause a breaker to trip but I think if there is an active load on the ZLC as well, it can cause the fuse to blow. †That's why I think having all the switches off and nothing plugged it to it when the breaker is turned back on is the safest. †In fact, turning the breaker off and then plugging the ZLC in seems the "safest." †I have a nearly dedicated circuit (just a single hospital grade outlet and some small task lights in front of it).

Lots of "I think" in this post since I can't say for sure. † ;)

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by DyersEve726 on 04/16/19 at 19:45:23

I didn't have anything plugged into it at any point and all switches were off for good measure. First outlet had a PC on the same breaker. The other only had some phone chargers and other random devices idling on it, but that's it. I also tried flipping the breaker while the ZLC was plugged in and it immediately popped back :-/ Not sure when the fuses blew, but never had anything plugged in.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ZZuZZaXX on 04/16/19 at 20:46:35

You have to turn off your breakers, plug in the ZLC, and the turn the breakers back on? †WOW!

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/16/19 at 22:07:50


As with any larger TOROIDAL transformer, which the ZLC is, the turn-on surge is determined by chance. The surge can be literally ZERO, or all the way up to 8 or 10 amps. As explained earlier, it is determined by the state of the AC sign wave at the wall outlet, be it positive or negative the closer it is to the zero crossover point when you flip the switch the larger the surge will be.

I have turned them on and off here at the shop 250 times and seldom see a surge exceed the fuse rating.

If you are blowing breakers instead of the 8 amp supplied fuses it simply means that you have already got a significant load (7 amps or more) on that breaker.

There is no reason to turn the unit on first and then flip on the breaker... If you're blowing the breaker, shed some of the existing load on that circuit by unplugging other appliences or lights before you plug-in the ZLC.  

Steve

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by DyersEve726 on 04/16/19 at 22:20:50

There's no way I had 7 amps being drawn when I tried it. Nothing more than a couple android chargers (with nothing charging) were on the circuit and I reset the breaker three times. Besides that, the internal fuses blew also. I emailed you and Sarah and got no response today. I'm willing to try it again with new fuses and absolutely nothing else plugged in to the circuit, but at this point, I'm unhappy with the situation and the response. An email would be appreciated.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/16/19 at 22:40:49

I hear your frustration, seems that the thing should work when you plug it in far more easily than it is now. (Mine, #2, does).  Hope you get some more fuses (10 amp would help) and get a communication from Sarah or Steve. Emailing the office is hit or miss. Three of my last four emails have gone unanswered. They are more responsive to phone calls and voice mails. . . . That just is what it is or is what it has been. It's not a large outfit working round the clock.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/16/19 at 23:37:49

Steve,

Despite what you've written, I popped my 20amp breaker more than once with nothing else plugged into it when just plugging in my ZLC. †If the toroidal surge is the culprit then it must be big. †I do have those Leviton surge protect outlets installed which might, in my case, make a difference. †The reason I've turned off the breaker before plugging in the ZLC is that it saves a step (since it pops the breaker anyway) and seems to offer protection to the fuses during plug-in/turn-on.

My steady state operation has been flawless. †I leave everything on at the device and just turn the ZLC switches on and off.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/17/19 at 04:57:04



Quote:
There's no way I had 7 amps being drawn when I tried it. Nothing more than a couple android chargers (with nothing charging) were on the circuit and I reset the breaker three times. Besides that, the internal fuses blew also. I emailed you and Sarah and got no response today. I'm willing to try it again with new fuses and absolutely nothing else plugged in to the circuit, but at this point, I'm unhappy with the situation and the response. An email would be appreciated.


We have, after seeing your post, shipped you additional fuses. †At this point an email isn't going to solve the problem, but a phone call possibly might. Once you get the new fuses if you have additional issues, we will offer to replace it and reset the 30 day trial. We can send a new one out within 24 hours of receiving yours if need be and would be happy to do so.

Thanks,

Steve



Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/17/19 at 16:20:57

Wow, if every business had this level of CS, what a wonderful world it would be! † 8-)

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by DyersEve726 on 04/18/19 at 23:55:21

I'm happy to report that I got some fuses today and gave it another go. I verified every outlet on the circuit and unplugged everything from them. It, again, tripped the breaker. I left it plugged in and reset the breaker and it finally stayed on the third time. Once everything was turned on, I put my ear up to my amps and DAC and was thrilled to hear...nothing! I'm used to everything in my rig exhibiting transformer whine. I definitely hear some improvements in the audio, but can't exactly put my finger on what.

Anyway, I apologize for getting upset. It's definitely doing what it's supposed to now :) however, I do think that it's a little ridiculous to have to go through so much just to get a power conditioner working. If this issue can be addressed somehow, I think it should be. Inrush current limiter?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/19/19 at 00:57:41

Glad it's up and running.  Breakers can get weak with age.  Mine always reset without tripping but once running, I try not to touch it!

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/19/19 at 05:20:52



Quote:
Anyway, I apologize for getting upset. It's definitely doing what it's supposed to now Smiley however, I do think that it's a little ridiculous to have to go through so much just to get a power conditioner working. If this issue can be addressed somehow, I think it should be. Inrush current limiter?


First of all I'm happy you had the persistence to stay with it and am most certainly pleased you're getting good results!

Your idea of an in-rush limiter is valid. †I considered it during the development but it requires a circuit and a relay to accomplish the task and I hate to put the large transformer on the contacts of a relay if we don't absolutely have to because it will A) possibly not sound as good and B) offer a failure point for the unit that may some day need replaced.  

The only way to see if this will be required is to get a lot of units out there and see what percentage has startup problems like you had.  So far I know of 3 out of 50, which is 6% so we'll be keeping an eye on things.

I like the idea of leaving it plugged-in and flipping the breaker now that I think about it, as you are already down there at the panel making it easy to flip the breaker a couple times in a row.  I mean the odds of turning on the breaker more than once at the crossover point in the AC cycle is pretty low and I doubt anyone could make it happen more three times in a row!  Like I said, I have done it here at least 250 times and yet to pop a breaker, and have only seen a turn on spike exceeding 8 amps a few times.

This is how we know Father Murphy was not only an audiophile, but his stereo sucked and cost too much, so now in the spirit world he takes it out on all of us with truly great sound.

Steve

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/20/19 at 00:22:10

I think the first time I popped a breaker, the fuses didn't blow.  I'm not 100% sure but if so, that seems really odd.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/20/19 at 04:22:04

The breakers are apparently faster than the fuses in some cases, or they are just getting touchy.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/20/19 at 18:16:45

If anything were suspect it'd be the breakers.  I've seen old Cutler Hammer breakers not trip with wires intentionally crossed into a dead short.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by atacgene on 04/22/19 at 23:20:48

Damn it. I got mine today and just as predicted by some of u guys, the circuit broke and my 8 amp fused were blown after i plugged it in. The funny thing is. It worked the first time but when I plugged it to different outlet the fuse blew! What to do? Get new fuse and turned off the breaker and then plug in the ZLC and hope for the best ? Change to 10 amp Ruse ?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by atacgene on 04/22/19 at 23:23:41

Also plugging it to a powe strip with surge protector would help? But thar is another additional connector that may degrade the sound ?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by DyersEve726 on 04/22/19 at 23:28:43

I ordered these and they worked well for me. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0183EQL8Y/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_V8JVCbHPRBW7M

Remove everything else that's on that breaker before trying again. I only had success when flipping the breaker while it was plugged in. Still took a few tries though. Good luck. It works great when it works!

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/23/19 at 00:20:33

atacgene,

That's exactly how mine went when I first got it.  I am using 8A fuses but I power off the circuit before plugging the ZLC in.  Once everything is hooked up I turn the breaker back on and only then do I turn the ZLC switches on.  That's worked for me the few times I've had to disconnect it.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ZZuZZaXX on 04/23/19 at 18:40:23

Wow, this is a product I really, really want but I just see me plugging it in and then there's an explosion. I know, extreme, but still. I'd be paranoid about it all the time. My wife would freak.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 04/23/19 at 18:44:05

An explosion? † [smiley=10.gif]

Scott

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by mark58 on 04/23/19 at 19:02:47

I've been following along with the ordeal some of you've been having. †I'm sure the ZLC is a great product but I've been happy with my Running Springs Conditioners (Jaco and Haley) for over 4 years. †No problems, just plug and play. †I've been watching for another on ebay cheap but so far too pricey or the older model...  

https://www.audaud.com/the-running-springs-jaco-ac-power-conditioner/

http://www.tonepublications.com/review/running-springs-audio-jaco-power-conditioner/


Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 04/23/19 at 23:45:21

Iím not trying to make light of the problems that a few others are having, but Iíve had mine for a month or so, and all I did was plug everything in to it and plug it in to the wall, and have had no problems at all. For prospective buyers to consider.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/24/19 at 01:24:31

Hey, let's not make more of this than it is. †Mine too runs flawlessly and with tangible benefits. †Yeah, blowing fuses in the beginning was a bummer but that was a minor thing overall. †I still think Steve ought to modify the manual and ship the ZLC with extra fuses. †I think all of my other Decware came with an extra fuse in the holder.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by atacgene on 04/25/19 at 04:21:42

Finally the fuse arrived today, (I can't find the 10 Amp fuse in Home Depot, ??!!) and now the ZLC is working nicely. I did not need to shut down the breaker before plugging in (I forgot) and this time no fuse or breaker problems.  
Quick impression, mainly from vinyl rig that i am listening to last few days there is perhaps a wider soundstage and  better stage, more 3D imaging/air. but this is based on memory since I can't do A/B comparison, as I use all Decware tube gear. Only the Turntable, Decware Torri Jr and Z Stage is plugged into the ZLC.  The phono stage remains with the old isolator ($150).

I then switched to CD player --> DAC, all plugged to ZLC. Again only from acoustic memory, there is a bit smoother/analogue feel, perhaps also better sound stage. Since I have not listened to CD for at least few days it is harder to compare.

Will report more later.

Any reason why Steve sent these units with  8amp fuses instead of 10 Amp ? I am confused, esp the unit states only "use 10 Amp fuse". If 10 Amp fuses are there to begin with then there would be less fuss.
I hope Decware would spend more time on post production testing, perhaps. sending to customers to test out. I had same issue with fuses with Torri Jr, kept blowing the 2-3 amp fuses until he told me to use 5-6 amp.




Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/25/19 at 15:49:23

Steve's explanation of his use of 8A fuses is that if you blow the fuses (in normal use) you can go up to 10A now knowing that you are close to maximum.  With all 6 ports used on mine, I'm only up to a few amps.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by atacgene on 04/27/19 at 04:22:11

So I suppose some would be fine using 8 amp ?

Anyway I am running  10. amp, using all 6 plugs now. I am currently running multi-channel on my SACD player so all 6 receptacles are used, working flawlessly. All the preamp/amps are also connected the ZLC, except for the power amp for the rear channel.
based on tonight's evaluation (from memory, no A/B) there is a better sense of space, less fatigue sound, the sound stage has moved back, less forward, giving more air and so the balance is more natural. The center channel usually has some issue of being a bit too forward but now this effect is less.
There also seems to be a quieter background/lower noise floor because my L/R channel is known to be defective (old SACD player) but now it seems this noise is lower with better S/N ratio. Or maybe I am able to listen to music at lower volume with better results now?

Does the ZLC require some burning in to get better ?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/27/19 at 11:08:53

I'm using an 8 amp fuse and have not blown any fuses. I did trip the breaker once. . . . Not turning on or plugging in, just shortly after I put it in use after relocating it, a few minutes afterwards. Nothing since.

I'm using a 32" Sony TV, a DVR, a massive Denon universal player and a Taboo Mk III in this system. I was using a PS Audio Power Plant Premier in this system prior. There is little change in sound in comparison.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by atacgene on 04/27/19 at 15:07:46

Steve did mention somewhere that a power regenerator like the PS audio can be used together with ZLC. I think he stated the power regenerator can be plugged into the ZLC so it can supply a clean AC current to the regenerator. Have you tried this ?
Opps - just saw that you did comment on feeding ZLC ---> PS10. you are afraid of noise issue? I suppose there was not much improvement with that setup?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/27/19 at 15:23:48

I did try this. For some reason the P10 shows the incoming voltage 5 volts higher with the ZLC every time I do attempt it. And this causes the P10 to work harder to reduce outgoing voltage and as a result distortion, instead of being reduced to .1 percent, is more often .2 percent. That may not be audible. There is a difference in the sound using the ZLC, perhaps just a tiny bit more "relaxed," hard to say. But the difference is not really worth repurposing an 800 dollar component, and I was worried about the constant higher input voltage shown, so I put it back in use in my headphone system.

The P10 is a FANTASTIC component, I wouldn't trade the ZLC for it, but even at a discounted price I paid four times or so what I did for the ZLC. If I could I'd have three P10s! †The ZLC is doing fine in the system it controls.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/28/19 at 18:37:53

Can someone with a ZLC and a voltmeter measure the voltage at the ZLC plugs versus the wall plug?  I assume the ZLC voltmeter is for the incoming voltage.  Whether  the ZLC ups the voltage by 5V or it's something else would be nice to know.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 04/28/19 at 19:36:56

I have 121.4 coming in, 296.9 watt, 2.65 amp, system up and running at moderate volume, everything but my headphone amp is on. Voltage at the one open plug on ZLC is 124.6. And yes that reason ZLC is incoming as far as I remember from one of Steveís posts.
Scott

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/28/19 at 19:53:22

So, your ZLC is raising the voltage 3V+?  I guess Lon's experience is real.  Does this matter?  Seems like it's not something desirable although maybe if steady state, it doesn't matter -- unless it's feeding a power conditioner that's trying to bring the voltage back down?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by ScottNC on 04/28/19 at 21:21:50

Arch,
My incoming voltage changes several volts, like +-2v-3v during the course of almost any given day. I know Steve has commented that DecWare products donít really care and while most of my system is DecWare, my sonicTransport is not nor my DAC which is Mytek and headphone amp is Woo Audio none of them seems affected by it, I really canít imagine it matters because, and this is only assumption on my part, but I doubt anyone has an absolute constant voltage, I mean look at all that occurs in any given power grid. I donít know virtually anything about regenerators, but I guess that could be a challenge if the thing is fighting it constantly, out of my paygrade as they say. I do know my system is continuing to break in wonderously, if thatís a word and my system is sounding pretty sweet with all my doors open and a 78 degree breeze coming through, John Cougar Melankamp is coming through just fine.🤗
Iím pretty certain youíll get a more knowledable response than mine, but have a great rest of the afternoon!
Best,
Scott

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/28/19 at 23:29:16

You are probably right.  I've never paid attention to the voltage before.  Now that we have something measuring it it comes to our attention.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/29/19 at 01:56:33

My incoming voltage can swing from 118 to 122 or 123 volts during different times of the day. My power regenerator can create a steady voltage that I can set within parameters I haven't fully explored; I tend to keep it at 120 or 121 volts. That steady voltage is something the components really really seem to like, and on top of that distortion is removed from the system (mine generally runs about 2.3% coming in and is knocked down to a steady 0.1% with the regenerator.)

I don't think the seemingly added voltage that the ZLC brings to the input of my power regenerator is actually dangerous to my regenerator. It does seem to lift the distortion to 0.2% but again I'm not sure that difference is audible. The truth is there's a tiny bit of difference with the ZLC feeding the regenerator, and I may even be imagining it, so I'm just not going to use it exclusively for that purpose, and I'm going to keep using it in my least used system. I don't think it's going to harm any of the components there. But if it is increasing the voltage a bit that tends to thicken up the sound a bit, which is not a bad thing for that system.

One thing I will say for certain: of the three power "centers" I have in three systems I would say I would never part with the P10, the Power Plant Premier does a very good job for what it is and its price point, and the ZLC is the third on the list, I think it does create an electrical benefit, but not to the extent that the two power regenerators do. Just my experience.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by will on 04/29/19 at 03:29:09

The only reason I got a PSAudio P5 was that I determined a lot of my difficulties with fine tuning my system with tubes, wires, feet, etc, were created by inconsistent voltage. I was using a Pi Audio Uber, which is a nice, relatively transparent power filter. With it feeding my power, I was trying to find a really good balance between dynamic warmth and spacious fine detail. But I would get it "right," and it would change. Mostly I noticed a thickness that was difficult to tame consistently. Sometimes notably better, and sometimes notably worse, in time I figured it out with a volt meter...With my Toriis and CSP3, higher voltage made the sound bigger/thicker, and lower made it leaner, more spacious.

Finally, for the level of refinement and consistency I craved, the problems were not night versus day power quality (though this had some effect, the Uber did a lot to smooth it out). It was more the variable voltage from the power company in my case. I think I recall, from about 119 to about 123, most often in the 120-123 range according to the meter I had.

So I got a regenerator to try for its consistent voltage. I did not like the P5's "signature" at first after the Uber, but after struggling to find better sound with the right feet, fuse, cable and settings, I came to like it in time. Even so, a realization was not using it for my source gear, computer, DAC, etc, where its remaining lack of transparency (warmish signature) was more obvious in defeating the space and fine detail I wanted. For source power I use a modified Brickwall with a Shunyata plugin filter which allows space and fine detail more cleanly. But for my Decware amps, once I got the P5 cleaned up to my satisfaction, it was a breakthrough for my continued tuning. I suspect what you are referring to Scott, about Steve saying the amps didn't care about voltage, was likely in terms of damage, not sound. There are clearly sound differences with voltage changes with my Decware amps...If you have a variac around, or use a PSaudio regenerator, you can increase and decrease voltage to hear these differences.

The regenerator fixed variable voltage, allowed setting voltage wherever I like it, along with other nice tuning tools for your power. Finding the best phase, multiwave/sine settings, and voltage for my system, room and tastes, I like 118 volts, to me, lots better than the variable, usually much higher voltages from my wall. With the P5, my tuning is based on a pretty consistent power, and associated, sound.

This is not to say that my regenerator is necessarily better than a ZLC or similar, especially with relatively stable voltage. But with highly variable voltage, this is a real sound consideration for me.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Palomino on 04/29/19 at 22:27:44

Like Lon, my incoming swings as well.  123 is about the highest.  Same reading on my p5 as my power plant premiere on a different circuit so its likely house-wide.

I bought a P300 Power Plant for a smaller system at my cottage but the voltage was really stable there (out in the boonies)  so I didn't notice any difference.

Its boxed up and ready to go if someone wants to buy it.  I just haven't posted it for sale yet.




Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/30/19 at 00:32:26

Pal, do you get an increase in voltage once it goes through the ZLC as well?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Palomino on 04/30/19 at 00:36:52

Hi Archie,

Sorry I wasn't clear.

I don't have the ZLC although I think its an interesting product. †The fluctuation was seen just monitoring the P5/PPP. †I have a fair amount of voltage fluctuation and extremely high distortion in my home power despite having a dedicated line.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/30/19 at 00:41:23

Oh.  I can't see the meter on the back of my ZLC but I think I'm fortunate and have fairly steady power.  There are some advantages to being part of a rural electric coop I guess.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/30/19 at 01:55:50

You'd be surprised. I live in a rural area for sure,* and even get power from a pole with a transformer about 75 feet from my circuit panel, and my power fluctuates about 5 volts during the day. It spikes when my few neighbors come home from work about 5! And it's heaviest on the weekends, which makes sense. I bet if you monitored yours you'd see some changes.

*https://www.google.com/maps/place/11358+Brookside+Rd,+Chardon,+OH+44024/@41.54128,-81.2370152,1365a,35y,39.03t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x88310a36ffab06d1:0x2fc093ac2581a1bd!8m2!3d41.5527568!4d-81.2327577

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 04/30/19 at 02:56:01

Could be.  My transformer is in my front yard and I'm the end of that line.  I have a voltage readout on my meter which seems very steady.  What I don't have is a meter that I can check my outlets.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by mperdue63 on 05/04/19 at 03:17:21

I just noticed that when I flip the switch labeled 5 on my ZLC both the no. 5 outlet and the no. 2 outlet energize. The same thing happens when I flip no. 2. Both no.2 and No.5 energize. I'm guessing that this is not by design. Anyone else having this happen? Thanks

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 05/04/19 at 12:26:18

ARGH! That is not supposed to happen, and doesn't happen with mine.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 05/04/19 at 17:11:18

That one sure sounds like a QC issue. †I will defend Decware 100%. †I never read anywhere Steve claiming perfection but I've personally had him go over and beyond the call of duty to make everything 100% right, and then some.

My ZLC is performing perfectly. †For the record, the ankle biter issue I had with the breaker and fuse was a minor glitch and NOT a "negative report," as far as my experience goes.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by mperdue63 on 05/04/19 at 20:03:12

I'll call Decware on Monday and report my ZLC. I'm sure it's just one of those things. I certainly was not intending to cast a shadow on the Decware team. The rest of my Decware is fabulous and I can't imagine listening without my ZMA.25, CP3.25, ZP3.25. etc. I was a little hesitant to reach out right away to Steve, I know they are slammed. I wanted to make sure I wasn't having a "stupid moment" with the ZLC before I called. My ZLC has really made a positive difference with my setup. Thanks for the comments

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by atacgene on 05/05/19 at 03:56:09

Steve did reassure me on the phone that the issue with breaker and fuse when plugging in is relatively rare, as he has posted the reason before here - something to do with a random fluctuation of amp that leads to surge beyond normal range. I am not sure if my 10 Amp is now more protective than the 8 amp but I am leaving the 10 amp fuses inside now. The idea is also not to keep plugging the DLC in and out unless you have to (e.g moving location).
Yes, the result of the improving SQ is obviously there, if a bit subtle. I could perhaps do A/B comparison with my old $150 isolator but it is too troublesome. From audio memory it is all +ve. with improvement in sound stage which gains depth and 3D, better instrument separation. My old digital setup with my MacBook Air is sounding better than before too. There is less fatigue, more clarity, possibly more analogue-feel to the digital music.  For vinyl, it is mainly soundstage and perhaps dynamic punch too ?
It is no brainer that the electrical source is most important!    

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 07/03/19 at 15:42:50

Over the weekend and yesterday I played around once again with adding the ZLC to my main system. I used the exact same power cord for both the ZLC and the PS Audio Power Plant P10 so that variable was eliminated as a factor.

As I had issues using it to power the PS Audio Power Plant P10 and then the rest of the system before (it seemed to add a few percents of increased voltage for some reason, or at least that is what the P10 tells me) I instead first tried using the ZLC to power all the analog components and the P10 to power all the digital. I was able to let it all simmer overnight and listened for a few hours late on Saturday. The sound was different, can't say I preferred it. It seemed a bit tighter, drier, brighter than my default (P10 powering all components). There also seemed a bit less depth to the soundstage, everything pushed forward a bit more. I played with the modes and settings on the P10 but little ameliorated that.

So before retiring I reversed the set up with all my analog components powered by the P10 and the ZLC powering all my digital components. Then I let all simmer overnight and revisited the system late on Sunday. This was a better configuration, bringing me closer to the sound that I had before with some differences. Playing with the settings on the P10 had a happier benefit on the analog components than the digital. I was able to regain that depth of soundstage, and much of the tightness, brightness and dryness to the overall sound dissipated. I left that configuration in place and listened with that setup through yesterday afternoon and got a handle on the sound and enjoyed it with a lot of material, but I missed a certain warmth and "ease" that I felt was there when all components were powered by the P10.

So yesterday evening I removed the ZLC from the system and restored all components to the outlets on the P10 and let it all simmer and I have to say, today. . . I eased into the restored familiar sound and noticed better bass and better dynamics as well as a smooth ease to the sound. So I've put the ZLC back into my least used system, the headphone system, and think I've done due diligence and I'll let it do its good work there.

I wish I could quit tinkering with the setup and just kick back and enjoy the music. . . . I do do that for long stretches but reading here fires up my imagination and I do enjoy the experimentation, especially when it bears new fruit or ratifies my previous choices. This is such an involving hobby if you let it be so.


Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Geno on 04/11/20 at 17:04:23

Hi Lon. I know this is an old post, but I think that it should be noted that this is a comparison between $895(ZLC) and $4995(P10)  For that kind of price difference, the P10 had better be significantly better!

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Lon on 04/11/20 at 20:05:46

Well, I'll note that I got the P10 brand new at the lowest official price I've seen for a new one, about 60 percent of the listed price you quote.

And yes, I find it significantly better. I'd not want to be without it. What I can do with the P10 as far as tuning and tweaking is really amazing to me.

The ZLC is great for my headphone only system, a system that I allow myself to have lowered expectations for and that I don't use as frequently. I'm glad I have it. But it's my third favorite of three electrical components I have: the P10, the Power Plant Premier, and the ZLC.

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by bikehappy1 on 05/25/20 at 00:42:30

I recently bought a ZMC1. Unfortunately itís the seventh plug in. One is going to be left out of the ZLC. Which one should it be? The Toriii?

Title: Re: ZLC
Post by Archie on 05/25/20 at 01:01:05

Do you even need to plug in your ZMC1? †I don't plug mine in. †I think the plug is more for a ground issue -- the manual talks about this. †The ZMC1 doesn't use any power.

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