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ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand (Read 6190 times)
EVOLVIST
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ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
04/14/17 at 18:04:51
 
Hello,

A real audio newbie here (or, at least when it comes to this topic).

I had seen on the site for he ZBS Switch Box that it can be used as a "Tape Loop." Now, from my understanding, Tape Loop these days can be synonymous with a Process Loop, or maybe I have that wrong. In fact, I'm sure I have a lot of things wrong. Haha.

So, let me describe what I want to do, and let's see if I'm looking at this upside down and sideways, or if I'm on track.

My DAC is a Chord DAVE and it has some very pure RCA outputs, which are quite lovely in their signal presentation. I don't want to mess with the clarity of this signal, because the whole Chord tech is predicated upon it.

At the same time, though, I'm imaging a solution where I can use a digital room correction processor, but without sullying the signal from my DAVE. In other words, could I go from the RCA outputs from my DAVE, into the ZBS Switch Box and straight to my amp - keeping the purity of signal - while at the same time, running my digital room correction process in a "tape loop/process loop" through the same ZBS Switch Box, to where the end signal going to the amp is not colored by whatever sonic signature the digital processor box has, but instead, I'm only getting the effect added to my signal?

The clarify, I simply want to bypass the characteristics of the digital processor box, itself, with its own inherent THD+N, house sound, or whatever the circuits could impart to my sound if I were to run straight from the RCA pre-amp outputs of my DAVE, into the digital processor, and into my amp, and then speakers.

Some of this might be born from my lack of understanding how the ZBS Switch Box works, or how a tape loop/process loop works and/or any combination all of the above.

So, are we talking real-world practice here, or something dingy from my space-cadet mind? Smiley

To quote my digital processor's manual:

"If your integrated amplifier or preamp has a ‘tape 2’ loop (sometimes called recording loop) or ‘Pre
in/out’:
• Connect the output of the ‘tape 2’ loop / ‘Pre out’ to the input of the RP-1.
• Then connect the output of the RP-1 to the input of the ‘tape 2’ loop / ‘Pre in’.
Using this confi guration enables you to use multiple audio sources without switching source and/or
cables, since the ‘tape 2’ loop ‘Pre in/out’ is always active and not depending on other used inputs
and outputs."  


Thank so much! Really. Any help would be appreciated.

Best,
Nick
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will
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #1 - 04/15/17 at 01:26:37
 
Hey Nick. Yes, sounds confusing.

I have not studied all you can do with the switch box but I recall a lot of flexibility in design. Best to call Steve for design advice if you get serious about it. But I think the benefit of a loop described from your instructions, is that the DSP circuit is introduced into the pre (or switch box) as a loop, so anything going into the pre (or switch box) could be processed by the room correction loop.

If you are using a correction box, since room issues effect anything we put through the amp, a correction loop being common to all sources makes sense. If you want room correction for the signal from the Chord, its signal would have to go through the DSP before the amp whether through a loop, or directly...imparting anything the DSP device does into the signal before the amp.

Then, if you have only the Chord source, and you want DSP, why add a switch box? If it is RCA out of the Chord, and RCA into the DSP unit, you still have the qualities of the Chord RCA output either way. And if you want to adjust the music with DSP, it has to go through the DSP circuits, providing DSP corrections, as well as any DSP unit signature. Finally, adding the switch box adds the box and another set of ICs to the circuit also.

I hope this helps.

Will
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #2 - 04/15/17 at 02:55:14
 
So yeah, trying to use the DSP box before the DAVE, because I guess I don't understand when you say that I will still have the DAVE qualities going from my DAVE pre and then into the DSP box. It is my understanding that the DSP would seriously screw to much with the purity of sound that I have coming out of the DAVE. But maybe I'm mistaken; I don't know.

That's why I am looking into a switch box. But I might just he confusing myself even more. Haha!
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will
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #3 - 04/15/17 at 04:30:45
 
The DSP unit is likely designed to try to correct the signal based upon measurements of the amplified sound from your speakers, right? If the room amplifies some frequency areas, and attenuates others...Then the DSP will attempt to adjust these areas to be "correct"...trying to get better balance of frequency and phase, right?

The signal has to come from a source, in this case, your DAVE. Without the DSP, your Chord output is exactly what it was designed for, but amplifying it in your room, it will be altered by room problems as well as anything in the signal path...adjusting the DAVE sound. In the best of synergistic system setups, to you, without room treatment, your room problems have now altered the Chord output.

What I pointed to before...no matter what comes after the Chord, it is the Chord signal in its pure form that leaves the Chord...then...whether room, DSP, traditional room treatment, switch box, the amp...anything after the Chord imparts their individual qualities on the Chord sound that you hear.

An amp that cannot convey the best of the Chord, or speakers, cables that are not up to the DAVE quality, or bad power....any of these individually and collectively will effect the source signal. So yes, conceptually, adding another unit to the signal path will reduce transparency to various degrees. Then it depends how good whatever those things are at what they do...how transparent and musical are they?

If your DSP unit is really well designed and made, and if it is quiet, then the question becomes: Do the improvements in room/system interaction outweigh whatever else happens from adding the DSP unit in the signal path.

Many "purists" would glibly say, anything added to the signal path is wrong. And this is true in some ways. But if your DSP makes your music sound better with little discernible harm, what is impure about a better musical experience? Whereas, if the Chord in your room sounds better without the DSP unit...either way your question is solved.

I assume that since you have DSP, you chose to try it rather than fix room problems with traditional, or esoteric treatments, or both. More options.

I use them all here.
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #4 - 04/15/17 at 09:57:04
 
Will...

That is a really good post, and excellent food for thought. Of course, you're right, there's basically an armada of variables to contend with in setting up an audio system, and yes, I won't know how it sounds until I get the unit in hand, plug it in and give it a whirl.

I don't think I'm being stubborn, however, in still wanting to see if the ZBS switch box could possibly play a roll of running the RP-1 before the DAC, and even if there is a way if it will make a sonic difference.

But yeah, again, a great post.
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will
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #5 - 04/15/17 at 18:01:57
 
Oh yes, before makes sense to me. I don't know anything about the RP-1, seeing guitar pedals and a Rega turntable in initial searches. Do you have a link? Since we were talking about the Switchbox/DSP after the DAC, I wrongly assumed that was where it needed to be.

But yes, if you can run it before the DAC, that seems conceptually better to me, especially if those connections can be all digital.

To help solve room issues here, I use EQ directly on the digital files, in computer, via my computer player software. So the DAC sees the files the same way as with no additional EQ/DSP, just a digital music file. In effect though, all music files have been "mastered" as a group to better work in the system/room. To me, for adding something, this seems quite clean.

In this vein, if your transport/computer/server can be connected digitally in a quality way to your DSP device, and the DSP digitally connected to the DAVE, you will have remained in the digital domain with the music files...very probably a good thing...a less complicated path that goes through less electronic manipulation....

I know I may well be missing something, but I still don't understand the switch box loop idea. If the Chord is your only source, and if you can set it up direct...digital file player>DSP unit>DAC...then RCA out of the Chord to your amp, what is the switch box about?

If you need to switch sources though, then a switch box makes sense to me.
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #6 - 04/15/17 at 19:04:33
 
Hey Will,

Check this out:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.lyngdorf.com/med...

I dunno. I guess I'm thinking that the switch box isn't just for switching, like between sources, but that it can also be used as a black box for running call components in a chain. But maybe I'm wrong.
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #7 - 04/16/17 at 04:32:57
 
Hey Nick,

From that link, best I can tell, the RP-1 is analog in and out, with digital internal processing. If this is true, you would likely need to connect the DAVE RCA or Balanced outputs to the RP-1 inputs, and then the main out of the RP-1 to your amp.

You have to call Steve to see if he can/will do whatever it is you would like with a Switch Box (SB). Best I can imagine, if you can get a loop arrangement from it, you would still be putting the DAVE signal into the RP-1 after the DAVE output, just in a more convoluted way.

If I am right about the all analog in and out of the RP-1, to create a loop, you would need a pair of ICs from the DAVE to get into SB input jacks. Then for the loop, a pair of jacks out of the SB, and another pair of ICs from the SB to the RP-1 input. Completing the loop, a pair of ICs returning from the RP-1 output to a pair of loop return jacks on the Switch Box. Then to get to the amp, another pair of jacks for output from the SB, and a pair of ICs to your amp.

That would be four sets of ICs and the Switch Box with its many connections between the DAVE and amp. If the ICs were really good, since the SB is built for transparency, this could be a decent solution if you need extra input sources that you could switch through the RP-1 loop.

Alternately, if your DAVE is the only source, that would require only two sets of ICs...DAVE>RP-1>Amp...a cleaner, less expensive setup, saving two pair of ICs and the Switch Box.

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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #8 - 04/16/17 at 05:08:28
 
Yeah, Will. You're right on all accounts. I've looked into some pro-audio stuff on the front-end of the DAVE, like loopers and such; they all seem to come in the form of mixing boards.

I guess the thing is, just to try the RP-1 in the standard setup, first, and then see how it suits me. Otherwise, to be honest, I might be getting tired of the DAVE as a high-end solution with sonics that only a bat can hear. Heh.
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #9 - 04/17/17 at 00:35:56
 
In the end, I think this whole thread I created was barking way up the wrong tree.

I apologize. Thanks for your help, Will.
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will
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Re: ZBS Switch Box - Please help me understand
Reply #10 - 04/17/17 at 02:28:39
 
You are welcome. One thing I love about this audio beauty pursuit...it is all an exploration...the fun part! Let us know what you find...how things work out! Wink
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