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25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier (Read 127888 times)
Palomino
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #150 - 01/10/18 at 21:30:02
 
Give up Archie.  The cosmos are aligning and Steve is channeling their power.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #151 - 01/10/18 at 22:13:42
 
ZROCK2 is packed and ready to ship. I will have to call Sarah tomorrow and pay for it.  Oops, wrong Thread. Smiley
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #152 - 01/10/18 at 23:40:26
 
Beer is of course an excellent accompaniment, but Tequila is an awesome pairing with Steve’s amps!
(just make sure it’s 100% blue agave)
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JD
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #153 - 01/11/18 at 01:12:42
 
I just think it's damn cool that a designer and a great one at that lets people in on the process.

JD
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #154 - 01/11/18 at 02:32:08
 
No doubt JD. I still marvel at my ZMA and enjoyed the process thread back in 2013. I good read to revisit or for others whom have never read it.
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beowulf
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #155 - 01/11/18 at 02:42:30
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 01/10/18 at 19:32:37:
I'd be in line for the 25th, but I don't see me being able to afford it anytime soon. Maybe if Steve kept it under $1500.


Yeah I doubt I could swing a pair of mono's (I don't feel one would be enough for my setup) as I thought he mentioned they will come in at the price of a Torii MK IV.  That would make a pair of mono's close to $7,000.00.  Making them the most expensive amp (per watt) in his lineup ... $1750 per watt! Huh

That makes the 60 watt Torii Mono's, which in comparison @ $93.26 per watt, sound like the deal of the century! Grin
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #156 - 01/11/18 at 04:49:43
 
Quote:
That makes the 60 watt Torii Mono's, which in comparison @ $93.26 per watt, sound like the deal of the century! Grin


Ha, that made me laugh.


Quote:
The mods to Eric's amp were *not* inexpensive.


Um yeah, the mod to my old Zen A was $700 by itself!

Steve would have to go back to a simple box, stripped down design, same power transformer, but do the caps like mine to get the speed right. If he could bring it back down to the original $499 price that my Zen was back in '98....now that would be something!
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Palomino
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #157 - 01/11/18 at 15:15:55
 
At the risk of being labeled a passenger who is spending a little too much time on the SS Fanboy, I’ll write one more post on this amp.

Given that Raven *will* someday take his amp back, I decided to do an A/B last night – Rachael vs Zen -- using Steve’s Tidal playlist.  I went into it knowing which I would like better, but I thought I might be able to jot down some differences that others may find useful.  Both amps were run plugged into my PS Audio P5 with PS Audio AC10 Power Cord to the wall, Cryo’d Hubbel outlets and dedicated 15A circuit.

Steve has selected a nice playlist here and that was clear with Rachael.  My notes include nice big soundstage, interesting positioning of instruments, nice ambient content by Boris Blank, maybe a little sibilance on the female vocal on Tears Run Dry.  

Some of the tracks were a little in my face but I was able to back the volume off a bit and they were fine.  Nils Lofgren sounded like it always does.  On several of them I thought these are neat, creative artists and I like their music.  Overall clear and accurate picture with a fair level of engagement.

I put in the Zen and let it warm up.  I find that it takes about twice as long for the Zen to get to its happy place than it does Rachael.

Then I sat down determined to analyze the differences.  

You’ve heard this one before, but I ended up pretty much just sitting there, feeling immersed in the music.  I listened to the playlist, then I listened to it again, then I went out on Tidal to listen to more tracks by the same artists, then I listened to the playlist again.  Nearly three hours.  Poof.  Up in smoke.  No notes.  I felt that satisfaction you get after watching a really emotionally engaging movie.

This morning I got up early and went down for another listen with the intent of jotting down at least some notes and managed to do so.  In addition to what I have said in earlier posts about this amp being quick and getting the attack right (which engages you), it also draws you in with how lush the soundstage is.  Its enveloping to a higher degree than Rachael and its cozier there.  

As mentioned before, I do have to turn up the Crowns a bit to get the bass to the right level, but I love the timbre of the bass from this amp.  That alone makes this a more enjoyable amp.  It has rich timbre on other instruments as well, but I am a sucker for good bass.

The most immersive songs were Tears Run Dry and The Bridge and I can relate to some of Steve's comments although I don't think I am getting the full experience he is.

I had to keep reminding myself that I am getting this level of engagement out of a little gray box with red and black plastic speaker taps and a power cord thinner than the one that came with my kid’s new computer.  

I get the $$ per watt analysis.  But in fairness to the big picture, try doing that analysis with one of those tube amps vendors that show up at the audio shows.
 
So, I would put a different spin on the analysis.  $$ per level of engagement.  Hard to measure and relay to others, but I think we are all looking for that value.  

If the production model (or its shared DNA siblings) are anything like this amp, I think Steve will deliver a very high $$ per level of engagement.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #158 - 01/11/18 at 16:50:42
 
$700 upgrade ~ is inexpensive in the scheme of things.

Here is how it lays down:

Steve stated he wants to bring the Entry Level Amp in under the 995.00/UFO ZEN.
I think it can be done....if it goes a little over (2, 300 or to $1495)/no one would fault him....It will be, LR/Eric's equivalent Zen or better.

Then we have the 25th Anniversary Amp...with Tube Reg' + all the other Steve's/expertise (please read his last dozen posts).....and a whole other ball game.....and will justify its ticket for entry.

Hope this helped.

NUMBER ONE FAN BOY HERE!   Grin Grin Grin Grin
.....AND WHY I CREATED THIS THREAD: 08/22/14 at 17:45:10.  8-)

Hey, I did not cancel my ZROCK2!  (tool(s)) Tongue
Oh, when I have canceled...I've order an other product...for example; my PAC-S's.....and I've OWNED/PURCHASED NEW: SE84CS, Torii III, SuperZen, CSPreamplifier3/with Jupiter Caps & Styx Speaker Cable.  

Love my ZDSD & ZMA.....more purchased by me from Decware, than the Tool types......... .


I look forward to J of A getting his hands on a pair....and reviewing come late summer!

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Archie
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #159 - 01/11/18 at 17:34:37
 
I may have misread Steve's post about the "entry Zen," but I thought he wanted to get something for sale at a more attractive price point for newbies and not necessarily something up to the modified Zen level.  1K for his lowest price amp is shocking when you come in cold.  It needs to be a "gateway" amp that leads to the harder stuff!   Grin
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Palomino
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #160 - 01/11/18 at 17:40:14
 
PS Audio did this with the Sprout.  Not sure how well that product has done for them.  But I see the wisdom in it.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #161 - 01/11/18 at 17:53:12
 
Quote:
I may have misread Steve's post about the "entry Zen," but I thought he wanted to get something for sale at a more attractive price point for newbies and not necessarily something up to the modified Zen level.  1K for his lowest price amp is shocking when you come in cold.  It needs to be a "gateway" amp that leads to the harder stuff!


That's how I saw it as well. That's why I mentioned it would be amazing if he could do my Zen for that classic $499 price. The V-Caps would immediately put it out of that price range, but if he could keep the power supply speed, UFO transformers, classic power supply at that $499 or thereabouts. Wow.  Maybe to get it into that range, base model (classic power supply transformer with my PS caps), at $499, then do a $200 UFO option, and $200 VCAP option. The key would be to have it at that price to pull people away from the $300 Chinese tube amps that people think are actual tube amps.  ;D  But then give them an option for the real Zen magic.

Quote:
So, I would put a different spin on the analysis.  $$ per level of engagement.  Hard to measure and relay to others, but I think we are all looking for that value.  

If the production model (or its shared DNA siblings) are anything like this amp, I think Steve will deliver a very high $$ per level of engagement.


I agree with this wholeheartedly. That's part of what made the ZMA a Duh! purchase for me. Horsepower and engagement. The little Zen certainly is a whole nother level of engagement.



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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #162 - 01/11/18 at 18:57:42
 
Obviously, it is speculation on my part....I'm a good speculator.

I think it can be done (match LR prototype) under or at $995 Archie, as I mentioned.

However, working on them side by side on the bench (25th Ann)...if the temptation to add a little more to the Entry Level.....?....could justify bringing up the EL a notch/$ (or, have option upgrades for the Entry Level). Still, very approachable in price.

Fun, to speculate! Intrigue!




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Palomino
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #163 - 01/11/18 at 19:25:00
 
I don't think you will ever see a Zen amp for $500.  

I priced out a build a couple years ago with basic components the circuit board and it was more than $350.  Add in skilled labor, etc. and you are over $500 easy.  Granted Steve gets better pricing on components, but I don't see any positive margin there even with lower prices on materials.

Loss leader is probably not a strategy that is often employed by small businesses.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #164 - 01/11/18 at 20:11:14
 

That's exactly what I was thinking as well - back when Steve was hand building these himself, he didn't have the overhead he has now with a proper shop.  Loss leader doesn't make sense as well.

Granted, he could always hire me to sling solder for him - I'm cheap, and good at following ready made examples.   Wink

Have solder, will work for watts.


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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #165 - 01/11/18 at 21:21:52
 
Certainly no loss leader need be done. But, as I said, their might be a reading comprehension problem here....but, here it goes.... As I said, with the base entry model....option upgrades/offered at the time of entry level amp purchase....or later send it back for upgrade. .....Steve making them side by side on the bench right now like I said, you need to wrap your brain around that..... .

Side by side = Annv Amp and Entry Level Amp.

Enough on this matter.....probably will be lost in translation again.


Heck, my ZROCK2 is coming and with my ZDSD, ZMA, Kabling and Speakers....I might have to poke out climbing back into Steve's Anv Triode until Fall of 2019.  8-)

That is Twen-ty Nine-teen. ....F A L L
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #166 - 01/11/18 at 21:46:11
 
Bring on the vinyl review....hope Steves anchored down.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #167 - 01/11/18 at 22:43:46
 
I have been watching this thread with great interest, but can anyone share what speaker Steve is using for his tests?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #168 - 01/11/18 at 22:57:32
 
Good question!  Steve will hopefully let us know.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #169 - 01/12/18 at 00:30:34
 
Hi Everyone... I too have started saving-up for a Zen Anniversary. Very exciting. How much fun is doing high-end audio with 2 watts?! I'm going to be using a floor-standing version of the Omega CAM.

Also, I was wondering what the Zen Anniversary would sound like on a high-end headphone? Any chance of a headphone-output option on the new Zen amplifier(s)... please!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #170 - 01/12/18 at 02:11:02
 
Quote:
I have been watching this thread with great interest, but can anyone share what speaker Steve is using for his tests?


I was about to ask the same question.  If I was to guess, the Monoliths!
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DB2
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #171 - 01/12/18 at 02:26:10
 
"You’ve heard this one before, but I ended up pretty much just sitting there, feeling immersed in the music.  I listened to the playlist, then I listened to it again, then I went out on Tidal to listen to more tracks by the same artists, then I listened to the playlist again.  Nearly three hours.  Poof.  Up in smoke."

Not at all. It was three hours immersed in the here and now.

Be here now!

Be here now!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #172 - 01/12/18 at 02:40:57
 
Hifiguy - welcome to the forum!

Any Zen Triode amplifier can be used to drive headphones including planar headphones by using a remote headphone jack that is wired to the speaker binding posts. The sensitivity of the headphones when exceptionally high will reveal the noise floor of the amplifier in which case a series resistor is used to drop the output below the noise floor. We can make these jacks for you and tune them to your specific headphone for about $200.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #173 - 01/12/18 at 03:01:07
 
Actually, I have used the Monoliths (DM947's) but most of the time I have been using a new DNA horn we're experimenting with. It is simply a scaled up version of the current DNA horn on the site. Rather than using a 5 inch driver it uses an 8 inch driver. In fact it uses the same driver compliment as the DM946/DM947 which is the 8 inch crossover less silver flute wool cone driver and the isodynamic planar ribbon tweeter.  The signature of the speaker is very similar to the DM947.Monoliths but better. The cabinet is an inch and a half thick composite co-mass layer damped DNA horn that gives higher efficiency, tighter more articulate sound with more slam and because you can hear a couple dB increase in efficiency over the Monoliths it gets louder on the 2 watt Zen. This somewhat small difference is just enough to feel like I'm listening to the DM947's on the ZMA which is a favorite pairing of mine. The density and size are about the same, the ZMA having slightly better control and the new Zen having more resolution.

The speakers are proving to be something special with the 2 watt Zen, and being able to get this efficiency across such a wide bandwidth really makes you forget you're only using 2 watts, so that is a small part of my raving about this amplifier and since I really like what I'm hearing right now I don't want to scramble my brain with a bunch of new variables (like speakers) at this stage.

This weekend I'll either sabotage by new found fondness for digital by listening to analog, or who knows... anything can happen.  I just know I don't want to have to work the following day ; )
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #174 - 01/12/18 at 06:03:01
 
Stone,
It sounds like this new DNA may be the perfect (higher sensitivity) compliment to your modified Adagio's allowing you to exploit the 25th Anniversary for all its got.

Like you, I will not sell my ZMA. Just too good and has its strengths.  It can power speakers the 25th Anniversary cannot.  I don't want to lose that capability.  So, it will power my vintage/restored Hegeman Model 1a's which are about 92db efficient, similar to your Adagio's.  In the same room, I will create another amplifier/speaker compliment using a pair of 25th Anniversary amps with my 97db Omega SAHOs.  Best of both worlds.  Can I do it with one amp? Yes, I can.  I had great results with a single Super Zen powering these Omega SAHOs (with my Ultra pre-amp).  That being said, this new amp will be better enabled to drive like speakers than the standard 2-watt Zen amp, based on what Steve is reporting.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #175 - 01/12/18 at 11:07:11
 
Definitely has been a fun read and I know this amp is going to be really special.  

The below also caught my attention...

Quote:
...some of this technology will find it's way into all Decware amplifiers in do time.  Even yours.


Steve...which amps could be upgraded and when do you think that might be possible?

Nothing like pestering the developer about his innovation pipeline before the initial innovation even launches.  
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #176 - 01/12/18 at 14:04:37
 
FWIW, the speakers I am listening to with the Zen have the Silver Flute driver.  Steve does some modifications and has his own waveguide but the sound is similar.  

Using the TEAC 503 as my DAC/pre it is big and produces more volume than I need.   My room is on the small side 16.5 X 12.5.  YMMV
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #177 - 01/12/18 at 15:24:26
 
Oh yes J of A, the scaled up version of the current DNA horn-I took notice.

It has been 10 years since I have seen Steve and DeVon. I plan, by appt., to stop in....if they are willing to put up with me for a few hours.

I plan to do this before I take off to TX, ....tend to my Folks and their Roses and Pineapple Palms.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #178 - 01/12/18 at 17:18:01
 

Sounds like Palomino and I might have a new speaker build to do soon! LOL

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #179 - 01/12/18 at 17:58:40
 
Sounds to me like if Steve and Ziggy do not put it into production you may have more than two of them to build!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #180 - 01/12/18 at 19:06:41
 
I hope to do a comparison of the Dayton Audio AMT to the ribbon tweeter this weekend.  Just for fun.  

While the Silver Flute was never intended to be in an open baffle, I find it to be very good.  The wool cone has a nice organic sound to it.  I will also put the Tang Bands back in this weekend just to see which I like better.

I have built a DNA and my own version of the monoliths.  Raven and I later built the El Camino horns, but it was a flat pack from Zygi.  Night and day difference with the flat pack.

Believe me, this type of build is best left in the hands of professionals.

Anyhow, I can really imagine the sound Steve is getting and think a commercial version of the 947 DNA is a great idea.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #181 - 01/12/18 at 19:48:32
 
Quote:
Raven and I later built the El Camino horns, but it was a flat pack from Zygi.  Night and day difference with the flat pack.


Seriously - seeing the precision of Bob's work is very humbling.  Yeah, if I had to choose between making one from scratch, or paying extra for a flat-pack from him, I would absolutely get the flat-pack!

That said, I do have a really, really nice table saw now.   Wink

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #182 - 01/13/18 at 01:34:00
 
Quote:
Steve...which amps could be upgraded and when do you think that might be possible?


So far the only candidate is the SE84UFO3 monos because that is the only other 2 watt Zen amp with a tube voltage regulator. I have just completed the upgrade to a pair today in fact and will be evaluating the results shortly.  

As those with the monos know, there is only one OA3 tube in the design so the natural question is will we put a second one in and the answer is no. The monos only use one half of the input tube which does not draw enough current to fire a voltage regulator tube and keep it lit. At the same time since there is only one output tube instead of two the power supply generates a higher working voltage. This means we can drive both the input tube and the output tube with the same OA3 regulator. Presently the SE84UFO3 uses the OA3 to drive the input stage and shunts a bunch of current to ground to keep it lit. By removing the shunt and combining both stages we can actually benefit from a higher working voltage than before. The upgrade took 11 additional caps per amp, and a couple resistor changes and some basic rewiring.

Now completed I'm expecting similar results to those I've been writing about with the stereo amp. Also this particular pair were optioned out with type II beeswax caps and I left those installed rather than changing them to VCAP's and then updated the recipe accordingly by using more beeswax caps for some of the bypass work. This should be a very interesting comparison. VCAPS are more percussive while BEESWAX are more organic. The higher voltage on the SE84UFO3 will naturally make the signature more percussive anyway, so in those amps it is possible VCAPS might be a bit much and the Beeswax will actually make the amp sound more like the stereo version... which would be ideal.

In testing on the bench today I did notice the clipping character of the amps was improved and the distortion dropped a bit indicating they can be pushed a bit harder than before.  We'll see.

As for the other amplifiers in the Decware line I will be experimenting with various bypass recipes to see what improvements can be made and if their cost is justified.

Steve

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #183 - 01/13/18 at 02:46:08
 
That's really interesting Steve. Those monos are beautiful. . . and if they have the potential to be as wonderful with the new tech. . . wow. And with Jupiter caps too.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #184 - 01/13/18 at 16:11:36
 
Eager to hear more about an "Anniversaried" pair of Zen Monoblocks. I have always sort of wished I had a pair of Monoblocks and I'd be tempted to get a pair of these if all the mojo of the 25th Anniversary Zen were there. And their 2.7 watts may just be enough for my audio and video needs with the ZTPRE as a pump to feed them. . . .

Exciting times for the Decware world.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #185 - 01/14/18 at 17:30:54
 
Sadly I found one of the tube sockets is chipped on one of the amps meaning it was built that way.  On tuesday the builder will replace input stage and socket. I'm not going to listen to these amps until that has happened, but have great expectations and will report back when I know something.

Steve

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #186 - 01/14/18 at 17:49:43
 
Thanks Steve. Looking forward to your impressions.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #187 - 01/14/18 at 19:22:00
 
Nice to read about the SE84UFO3 monos with the Jupiter's instead of VCaps, as candidates. The different topology derived you mention, very nice as well...to achieve your goal of putting the 3 on par with the AN25th.....at the 3.5k ballpark for either, or.

What I would like to see...is an remote volume added to the ZSTAGE preamp? Looks like their is room to put it in. Bring that to us at $1295 (you won't be able to make them fast enough/here/on Facebook and get/purchase the mailing lists of the Hi-Fi mags...we/you know the ones-direct mail subscribers-about your ZSTAGE WITH remote), per my calculations with Jupiter caps. Then I'm set running ZSTAGE to ZROCK2 to ZMA and UFO3 mono's or AN25th. (Obviously, single input & output at $1295....additional cost for more inputs and another output).

I want the simplicity/transparency (as you wrote) found in the ZR2 of the single tube WITH that simplicity/transparency of the single tube in my remote volume ZSTAGE preamplifier.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #188 - 01/14/18 at 21:08:38
 
That would be cool if the ZSTAGE could be fitted with a remote volume control. . . I personally doubt that it's feasible.

I don't know Larry, I've had the ZSTAGE and I've had and have CSP2+ and I've the ZTPRE. I really preferred the CSP2+ to the ZSTAGE, so I think you may be better suited with your AR preamp if you prefer that to the CSP3 you used to use. Me, I'm good forever with the ZTPRE, I've never heard anything better and don't plan to stray. What I'd love to see is a ZROCK2 with either dual volume or another way to adjust balance. . . in my second system a ZROCK2 will be the icing on the cake, but because of room/positioning issues a little bit of balance control would be excellent and I don't have it in any of the other components.  I don't want to run a CSP2+ AND a ZROCK2 in that system . . . the only real complaint I have with the Peachtree Audio Grand Integrated Z1 I'm using there is that there's no balance control. . . otherwise it's working great as a pre, DAC, amp and headphone amp. And the ZROCK2 would allow me just that little bit of tailoring I sometimes want.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #189 - 01/14/18 at 21:48:45
 
It would be cool and I think it can be fitted. Steve was working on a switch box with remote volume he spoke of.

I'm not totally sure.... But I think Steve put the ZSTAGE up to 0 to 15 volts output and as you know the ZROCK2 handles larger input now. Your ZSTAGE might have been the 0 to 5 volts output.

Love my Audio Research single tube FET Hybrid Line Stage.... But would like to go all Decware. Probably keep my AR too.

Off topic, ....my girlfriend went to the Vikngs game with my ticket. I need to play it cool for my stress test tomorrow.  :'(  she is a bigger fan than me .... And I made sure she went.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #190 - 01/14/18 at 23:34:41
 
Okay. I still suspect you'd be disappointed with the ZSTAGE but the proof is in the pudding. I'd also still be surprised if Steve could put a remote volume control within it.

Hope your test goes well, best of luck.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #191 - 01/15/18 at 05:04:32
 
I prefer the ZMA direct from my ZDSD.  I look forward to only adding the ZR2. Their is a purity of tone from the ZMA I like.

However, I do like this particular Audio Research Line Stage signature pushing through the ZMA.....turns it into a beast of weight and definition.

Just curious about an enhanced ZSTAGE?

Thanks on the test....should go well.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #192 - 01/15/18 at 05:40:30
 
Wishing you the best Stone!  I'm sure it will all go well.

And very cool gesture to "punt" on the tickets and allow your girlfriend to have the experience of her life.  Well done amigo!

All of this is so very exciting.  You and me have some pretty killer gear.  Yet, we are at a point in time where we are presented with some very exciting/interesting information to chew on that may, or may not, catalyze some unexpected buying decisions.  But whether we pull the trigger or not, is immaterial.  We have subscribed to a philosophy in Decware that continues year in, and year out, to peak our interest and provoke thought.  Regardless of how we slice it, it is a win!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #193 - 01/15/18 at 17:17:41
 
stone_of_tone wrote on 01/15/18 at 05:04:32:
I prefer the ZMA direct from my ZDSD.  I look forward to only adding the ZR2. Their is a purity of tone from the ZMA I like.  

I preferred my source directly (through the ZBIT to get that extra voltage) as well. Until the ZTPRE came along. Blew that satisfaction away. . . now I can't imagine life without the ZTPRE. Didn't feel that way with the CSP preamps.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #194 - 01/15/18 at 17:19:59
 
Thanks Jeff....I think it will go well.

Sue, enjoyed the history making win last night, ....is an understatement.

Speaking of catalyzing (so true...what you just said above).......which are the inputs vs. outputs in the ZROCK2?

I assume nothing ......if they are not marked.....I am not hooking them up?!!!!  

Soooo, I'm sitting here with my Zrock......wondering!   Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Nothing in the Manual....and nothing in the copy/website? Unless, I missed it.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #195 - 01/15/18 at 17:23:38
 
The outputs are those furthest from the IEC inlet, the inputs those closest to the IEC inlet.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #196 - 01/15/18 at 17:28:16
 
Thanks Lon!

I had a 50/50 shot at it.  I'm left handed....so most things in life are difficult for me.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #197 - 01/15/18 at 17:29:41
 
Since Steve says that the ZTPRE is a pair of CSP3s in one chassis, is the difference due to the balanced in/out you think?

Ha ha, I asked that same question about the RCA position a couple weeks ago.   Wink
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #198 - 01/15/18 at 17:42:44
 
For me. . . I think yes, it's the balanced in and out and also the increased range of gain that is output. Even when using a lower gain setting the sound seems to benefit. And it is dead silent in a way that no CSP preamp I've had ever has been. (Steve has a "no hum" circuit built in and you get NO HUM out of it, and the differential circuitry eliminates a lot of single-ended noise). This has four toroidal transformers as well, and I think this is a factor, as is the fact that solid state fixed rectification is used (the electrical setting is well-chose and there's no sag or degradation of a tube).

So a number of reasons potentially. And there's the remote control. . . which I didn't think I'd use much but I use all the time.

I didn't really "believe the hype" but I find it to be as Steve notes: a preamp that is not there but makes everything sound better. Even single-ended sources plugged in using a quality adaptor sound better than they do through a CSP preamp.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #199 - 01/15/18 at 17:44:34
 
stone_of_tone wrote on 01/15/18 at 17:28:16:
Thanks Lon!

I had a 50/50 shot at it.  I'm left handed....so most things in life are difficult for me.

You're welcome. I think Steve has been consistent with this configuration with the products in these chassises. And it makes sense when I think "Inputs are furthest in, outputs are on the outer edge."
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