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ZCD240 with Headphone Amps (Read 2752 times)
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ZCD240 with Headphone Amps
01/20/17 at 09:44:39
Hey Steve, very interested in the ZCD240 but most if not all of the impressions come from people using speaker set ups.

I was wondering how the custom transformer output stage works with headphone amps since this is my main setup. I am going to assume that it might have way too much power for this application but I thought i would ask.

Also, while I'm here, has anyone compared the DAC of the ZCD240 to any of Schist's multibit DACs? Thanks.
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Steve Deckert

If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

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Re: ZCD240 with Headphone Amps
Reply #1 - 01/20/17 at 22:38:26

The ZCD240's output level is infinitely adjustable from 0 to about 7 volts.  You simply dial it in while at the same time playing the master volume on your headphone rig and you'll find the magic ratio.  I would say the performance on headphones is better than on speaker systems due to the fact that headphones can be and usually are higher resolution and therefor benefit more from a good dense source.

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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: ZCD240 with Headphone Amps
Reply #2 - 01/21/17 at 06:42:21
Hi Maverick,
I am not sure how the ZCD240 compares to the ZDSD in terms of the transformer coupled output stage, but if they are the same (which I believe they are), it is magic.  My first introduction to Decware was the ZDSD and Taboo MK III, so strictly for headphone use.  My ZDSD feeds into my Taboo and it is pure bliss.  I have very hard to drive planar headphones from ZMF called the "Ori" (Formerly known as the Omni) as well as a pair of Ultrasone Signature Pro's.  I use the Sig Pro's on the low impedance XLR output since they are more sensitive and easier to drive, and the ZMF's on the high output XLR as they require some juice!  

If I am correct in that the outputs function similarly.  One is a transport and the other a recorder purposed as a DAC and hi-res digital audio player.  If playing an optical disc, I use a highly modded Oppo BDP-103.  

Sooooo.... while not an apples to apples comparison, I believe my experience with the ZDSD for headphone use would have some relevance to the ZCD240 when considering the output stage.  

As far as the DAC of the ZCD240 compared to the DAC on my ZDSD, this is what Steve has to say, just to put my experience with my ZDSD into perspective:

"Both are using Burr Brown DACs, however the ZDSD is dual mono.  The most noticeable difference is an increase in density.

I feed the digital output of the ZCD240 into the ZDSD and use the ZDSD as a DAC. This makes it easy to run RCA cables from each unit and do direct A/B comparisons. The variable output on the ZCD240 is an advantage, the dual mono on the ZDSD is an advantage, each worth close to the same amount of points, so in the end the two rank very similar.  

The combo is of course the best and can be created with a stock CD240 and a ZDSD. I particularly enjoy the high-res streams from the ZCD240 from either unit,  But the added density of the ZDSD as well as the record button is damn handy to record whatever you're hearing. You can fit around 15 hours of 24/96 stream onto a single 32G SD card."
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