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Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA (Read 8301 times)
EdGuY
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Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
04/18/17 at 08:57:28
 
People who have jumped from Torii mk III to mystery amp, could you list here the pros and cons of your experiences, was it worth it or was the difference very marginal? Will you miss adjustsble TREBLE & BASS functions? How it works together with the CSP2+ preamplifier?

Thank you!
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Lon
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #1 - 04/18/17 at 12:42:16
 
Interesting question! I don't remember many here who did jump from the III to the ZMA but it would be interesting to hear the comparisons.

I thought many times of moving to the ZMA when I had some cash in the bank but decided I rely on the tone and bass controls so much, and enjoy the synergy of the Mk III and the HR-1s so much that I'll just keep that combo giving me pleasure.
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EdGuY
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #2 - 04/18/17 at 13:31:41
 
It's no wonder then that I could not find anything about this topic.

I'm also really happy with my Torii. Only thing I do not like is that it is not completely silent (as they say it is), when I compare it with my Vincent SP-331 MK :/ SP-331 MK is death silent between tracks even when your volume is at the full and your ear is close to the speaker. Silence is when you hear nothing from the speaker at any volume level (when there is no music playing).

If ZMA really is silent, it would be one very good reason to switch.
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Lon
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #3 - 04/18/17 at 13:52:52
 
I can hardly hear anything at all with my ear right by the speakers in the HR-1s. . . . So I don't have that complaint. (May be that if the HR-1s were more efficient I would hear more, or maybe it's the amp being plugged into my PS Audio P10?)

My reason to move would be that ever present audiophile problem of "Am I missing something?" But with my goal of making the most of my recordings sound eminently listenable on my system, and with the flexibility of the Torii MK III accomplishing that so well (especially with the tone controls and the rectifier tube rolling) I don't think I'm missing much at all. So I'm looking forward to the Mk III being my heartbeat well into the next decade.
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Archie
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #4 - 04/18/17 at 17:36:40
 
My ZMA is not silent like it's not on but with my head against my HR1 and on my digital channel through my CSP3 it is darn close.  I get some hum from my ZP3 on the other channel.  I think the Brownian Motion of the air molecules causes some noise no mater what.   Tongue
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Palomino
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #5 - 04/19/17 at 12:23:39
 
I have listened to both amps a fair amount.  I have a III and Lonely Raven has a ZMA.  He brings it over to my house a couple times a year and I have heard it each time I go to his house.  So I have heard it on a number of different systems/speakers as he and I have change configurations over the years.

I also recently heard a Torii Mk IV.  

If I had the money to spend on such things (and not multiple college educations) I would upgrade to a ZMA.  I believe it provides more musical detail and has enough head room for just about any speaker in the 89db+ range.  The descriptor "musical" is important here as I think this is the strength of the amp.  I can't speak to how silent it is, but it never bothered me at the listening position.

I didn't spend a lot of time with the MK IV, but I think it was closer to the ZMA than the III.  I had heard it several times before, but this last time, it struck me as being the most musical and involving.  Could have been the system or the songs but it was captivating.

Also, there is something to the treble/bass adjustments on the III that allow you to really dial it in for your particular speakers.  If you have or plan to experiment with single driver speakers, I would put these controls in the very desired category.

With all that said, the Torii is now my #2 amp.  I am running my Rachael with fairly efficient open baffles in a small treated room and its now wonderful.  It took over a year of fiddling, but now it sounds great.

I do intend to use the Torii in a second system with some Betsy based OBs in a much larger room where the headroom it provides is needed.

So the ZMA offers more value, but as always, you can get great value out of all the Decware amps in the right configuration/room.  But if I had the budget, I'd go with the ZMA.  It has the headroom and does a lot of things right in a multitude of situations.  I'd only hesitate is the rest of your system or speakers (single drivers) are "bright".  Then the III gets the nod on versatility.


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EdGuY
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #6 - 04/19/17 at 13:16:17
 
Thank you Palomino, Lon & Archie!

I read a lot about ZMA lately from different surces around the internet and everyone say it's most musical amp ever heard. That's good because I like that, and I like to hear every single detail possible boosted with my ST-300mg super tweeters. But in addition to this I really really want my AMP to be silent when it should. According to my doctor I have hypersensitive hearing (both ears), all the excess noise interferes me badly. Therefore I do anything to my system for pure clean sound and to be quiet when it should. It makes me really mad that with DECWARE amplifiers I can not get 100% enjoyment. That is why I thought that maybe with ZMA it would have been possible 😕

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #7 - 04/19/17 at 13:35:13
 
The ZMA is the most musical Amp you may ever hear = correct. It can drive as Palomino mentioned 89db sensitivity and up. Its versatility to drive my modified Acoustic Zen Adagio's + Tekton Design Impact + Decware DM947's coming tomorrow.....total paramount for me.

My ZMA is quiet for me..... . No inherent noise with ear to Speaker at idle. Just the usual lowest of level connection sound....that you find in any hookup albeit solid state or tube.

I have "the hyper" ear too Ed. Very important my Adagio's Tweeter's are exceptional and they are. The Mundorf MCap Supremes, brings a little emphasis out in them that is well received by my ears. The  DM947's are crossed up at 8k for the 8 inch driver/running pretty much full range.....this will bode well for that Tweeter on top. Competing against the Adagio folded Ribbon, would be to much for the 947's Tweet's at 4.5 and up....for my ear's....I've been spoiled by the Adagio's. .....the Tekton's SB Acoustic's are competent and still breaking in.... .  

I have owned: Torii III, SE84CS, Super Zen CKC & EL34 Mono's.
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EdGuY
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #8 - 04/19/17 at 15:19:38
 
Thank you SOT, special thanks for the detailed information 😃

With one thing I can't agree, there is a lot of amplifiers around that are totally silent at idle, for example my second amplifier at my studio Vincent SP-331 MK is, I really mean death silent (like unplugged, no humm, nothing comes from the speakers at idle). I have tried several times to replace Torii with Vincent (as reference), and silence arrives. Why I still use Torii? Because Torii is the only amp I get which sound I like or want to (with right tube combination).
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #9 - 04/19/17 at 16:09:34
 
You stated:
"Why I still use Torii? Because Torii is only amp I get which I can get sound like I want to (with right tube combination)."

EXACTLY.
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Lon
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #10 - 04/19/17 at 16:12:59
 
Well Ed, I recommend a call to Steve, he would be the best authority to answer as to whether the ZMA would fulfill that need.

I'm very sensitive to treble and hear way up into the high frequencies and I NEED the treble cut circuit that Steve puts in his amps. He says he can't put that in the ZMA, it's in the Torii and so I'm hanging with that. Luckily, like you, it gives me the sound I want!
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FarmBoss
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #11 - 04/20/17 at 02:35:31
 
I have never felt that the ZMA needed any adjustment to the treble or to the bass.  It is simply perfect.  By not having these controls it is actually a relief as I know that I am listening to the music as intended.

I find that with my Mini Tori I go back and forth with the setting and am never completely satisfied I have it right. I fiddle with it too much and over analyze the settings.  This takes away some enjoyment of just enjoying the music

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SonicSeeker
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #12 - 04/20/17 at 03:56:28
 
Farm boss, I know what your saying I sometimes wish I had controls but I remember when I did and I was like you I could never seem to get it right, now I just listen to the music and it seems pretty darn right, of course some stuff is not right no matter what you have for controls.
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Palomino
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Re: Opinions? TORII MK III vs ZMA
Reply #13 - 04/20/17 at 14:19:34
 
Now that I have my OBs positioned well, my 807 tubes and Audirvana DSD playback, my digital music has lost most if not all of its edge.  That's what allowed my to move to Rachael with no controls.

I hear you on the fiddling with those controls but I have a couple of test songs and once I get them right I leave them alone.  Of course, you put in some new tubes and you need to recalibrate.  It's an amp for those that are not opposed to fiddling around.  It can be very rewarding.
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