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Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW! (Read 2214 times)
Reptar
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Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
10/24/19 at 17:41:59
 
I just received my new Zrock2 and it is still breaking in but so far all I can say is wow!

I thought it would give more of a bass boost ( I have the base Zen Triode system) - I still need to learn more about how to use it by fiddling around with it but I suspect this is more of a function of the speakers that I have. The speakers seem to be fairly efficient at 94.5 db @ 8 Ohms but they only have a 6" single driver so perhaps I am expecting too much.

But everything else is really wonderful. I listen near field in my office while I work so I listen at very low volume which is why I wanted more bass boost. But whatever the Zrock2 is doing - it is doing it magically!

I bought some different tubes to roll to experiment but right now I am listening to it stock to get a feel for what it can do out of the box. I have the level II Caps and tube regulator as upgrades.

Really love Decware - the only complaint I have is that the music sounds so amazing it is hard for me to work, as all I want to do now is listen to it!

Highly recommend the Zrock2!

Regards to all.

Steve
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #1 - 10/24/19 at 18:30:14
 
Hi Steve,

Welcome to the ZROCK2 club! Such an amazing device, especially with the full mods as yours is. It's going to get even better as it seasons in! Keep us posted about your adventures with it.
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Showme
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #2 - 10/25/19 at 21:38:16
 
They are an awesome piece of equipment. Mine is exactly like your’s with the type II beeswax caps and complete anniversary mods. Alas due to changes I’m making I am contemplating selling it. I’m sure I will regret it.
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Vooraphile
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #3 - 10/28/19 at 12:58:54
 
I can consider it.. if you are letting it go.
You may PM me.
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GroovySauce
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #4 - 04/17/20 at 16:09:30
 
I’ve been stuck at my sisters house during this event.

She enjoys listening to music she just bought a pair if Caintuck F15 and 4 ASC Isothermal tube traps so she does care about high quality audio.

Currently the system is audioquest dragonfly red -> zrock2 -> ZMA -> F15’s she also has a 10” svs sub.

I got a fully loaded Zrock2 yesterday.  This morning i was playing with it.  After slowly going back and forth with the dial a few times i asked her what she thought about it.  She said “it sounds more full” she paused then said something that really made me laugh “not just more full, makes it sound like what we were listening to before was shit!”

Yep i agree  ;D
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Rega P8 | SS Zephyr MIMC Star | Roon + HQplayer | MicroRendu | PSA DSD | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZRock2 25th | ZStage 25th | Torii MKiv 25th | Argon 7Ls | Iconoclast 1x4 TPC / UPOCC RCAs | Analysis Plus Solo Crystal RCA | Zenwave Speaker Cable | Curious Evolved USB .2m
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #5 - 05/11/20 at 13:19:11
 
That made me laugh! Smiley
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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KESM
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #6 - 07/04/20 at 01:24:49
 
Just received my ZRock2.  I love the weighty tonal boost that it adds without being heavy handed.  It's subtle but notable...in a sonic way.  I appreciate the capability of being able to dial in the tone that I want on any recording.  Flipping the by-pass switch on & off provides immediately distinctive sound quality...removing all doubt from the subjective equation of A/B listening.  It's day one (albeit)...still....I'm highly impressed out of the box.  

Note:  The unit's custom with Type I Cryo Beeswax signal capacitors and the tube regulation mod


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Archie
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #7 - 07/04/20 at 01:39:05
 
KESM, glad you're digging the ZR2.  Here's something to try.  When you bypass, turn the knob fully counterclockwise and see if the sound is better than leaving the knob at the active setting and just flipping the bypass switch.  There are times when you may want it bypassed and in my experience turning the knob off removes a veil from the simply "bypassed" sound.
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KESM
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #8 - 07/05/20 at 03:03:49
 
Aaaah...ok...now I see.  I had not tried it in that manner.

My chain: PC>DAC (Border Patrol & Topping D90 MQA)>ZR2>LTA MZ3 Preamp/amp>Schiit Aegir amp>Omega Super 3 High Output monitors.
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Archie
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #9 - 07/05/20 at 18:02:56
 
Let us know if you hear a difference in bypass mode settings.  It's possible that it's just my system.  In my case, once I started turning the knob off in bypass, the sound quality wasn't as different as I thought.
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #10 - 07/07/20 at 17:52:00
 
My third ZROCK2 is now in TESTING! It has the stock caps and no options except the tube regulation mode, will go into my headphone only system; the sources are DVR and Audiolab 6000CDT into a 2 input ZBOX with standard caps and no other options, then to a PS Audio NuWave DAC, the other input of the ZBOX is a Pioneer Elite Blu-ray player (which also does SACD) and the ZBOX will go into the ZROCK2, and then the ZROCK2 will connect to a PS Audio GCHA headphone amp. All are plugged into a PS Audio P10. I use ZMF Ori* headphones with this system, and it sounds nearly perfect right now, but the ZROCK2 will be an improvement I know.

*The Ori never sound better than with this headphone amp!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #11 - 07/13/20 at 04:53:44
 
Hi Lon - congrats on another member of your Decware stable!  Why did you add on the tube regulation mode?  What benefit does it provide?
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #12 - 07/13/20 at 06:59:27
 
Oh, I just wanted to see how that would be. I will have one ZROCK2 in each of three systems now, and they are each configured differently. In the two systems that have one now I have all components with Type 2 caps so I also have those caps in the ZROCK2s and one has no further mods, the other the 25th Anniversary mods and the tube regulation mod. In the system this is going into I only have one other tube component, a Decware ZBOX with two inputs and standard caps--which I have had for many years and which I hadn't been using again til recently. As there are no other tube components except the ZBOX and no components with tube regulation in the system I thought it would be nice to add it to this ZROCK2--I suspect it will add a bit of clarity and dynamic contrast to an otherwise stock unit, and this system could use just that.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #13 - 07/13/20 at 09:19:36
 
I plan to order a ZRock2 soon.  Just the basic version.  I’m not clear what the $75 tube adds.  Does it perform the same function as the first tube?  Does it make a 2 tube device?  Or does the second tube do some other thing?
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #14 - 07/13/20 at 11:25:25
 
It's a voltage regulation tube. The way that Steve implements this small tube it will help to improve the quality of the electricity that powers the device, it will subtly alter the sound, it should give you a tiny bit more detail and a bit more clarity to the sound. A further refinement.

This is a miniature version of a voltage regulation tube and will be inside the chassis, assembed to the eye the unit will look no different, one tube only visible.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #15 - 07/13/20 at 19:35:13
 
What about RCA cables for the ZR2?  I prefer copper in general and use AudioQuest.  I see Steve offers a Canare cable for $120 per meter.  Does he have a special design for those?  Or is it just normal Canare wire?  Ghent has Canare starting at $24 per meter.  Wondering if Steve’s is some different?

https://www.ghentaudio.com/part/index.html
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #16 - 07/13/20 at 20:13:23
 
I'm sure that Steve's sound great, I haven't heard them; I used the Silver Reference for a long time, they are excellent cables. I spent a lot of money years back and equipted my entire system with VooDoo Cable Stradivarius interconnects, which are fabulous, but very expensive.

There are many cables that will work wonderfully with the ZROCK2--I'm sure many here will be able to give recommendations or some may be able to speak to the copper Decware cables.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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GroovySauce
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #17 - 07/14/20 at 13:06:01
 
I don’t have any experience with the cable Steve offers.  

I was pleasantly surprised with analysis plus oval one rca cable $100 1m. Let it play with a strong signal for at least 24 hours before listening.  When I first hooked it up, it was a let down and I thought I wasted $100. At this price point it’s my #1 recommendation.

Bluejeanscable offers LC-1 at 3 ft for $37. For a tight budget I don’t know how to beat this cable.

Belden BAV 3ft for $160. I have not used this cable. I’m curious about it.

What tubes did you pick up? let us know what you think.
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #18 - 07/14/20 at 17:30:00
 
I've a pair of the Belden BAV on a shelf. They are quite neutral I suppose. . . I just found them. . . boring. I may have not let them season long enough, I expect I may get back to them again if I need a pair of interconnects.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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GroovySauce
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #19 - 07/14/20 at 18:48:09
 
I just ordered a pair of Iconoclast 1x4 TPC RCAs.  Should have them in 3-4 days.  

My goto cable has been the analysis plus solo crystal copper.  Looking forward to the shootout.
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DancingSea
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #20 - 07/15/20 at 03:06:12
 
GroovySauce, what conductive material is the Analysis Plus Oval One made of?  The Analysis Plus website is a bit dubious in that they offer no spec sheet declaring the materials used.  Is it copper?  With their Copper Oval line, which cost 3 times more than the Oval One, they spell out "oxygen free copper".  With their silver line they spell out that it's copper with a layer of silver.  For the Oval One they only say "quality materials".  Any idea?
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GroovySauce
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #21 - 07/15/20 at 13:22:58
 
DancingSea,

I don't know what it is for the oval one, I'm 95% confident that it is copper, I don't know the grade.

The solo crystal is continuous cast copper, which is a lot more expensive than standard copper.

Wish I knew more about it.
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Rega P8 | SS Zephyr MIMC Star | Roon + HQplayer | MicroRendu | PSA DSD | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZRock2 25th | ZStage 25th | Torii MKiv 25th | Argon 7Ls | Iconoclast 1x4 TPC / UPOCC RCAs | Analysis Plus Solo Crystal RCA | Zenwave Speaker Cable | Curious Evolved USB .2m
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #22 - 07/27/20 at 20:36:06
 
Whoo hoo! My ZROCK2 (my third!) is in QUALITY CONTROL!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #23 - 07/28/20 at 02:22:45
 
Wait till its in SHIPPING!
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #24 - 07/28/20 at 02:25:43
 
Yes, that's when it's hard to sleep! l) Luckily I'm pretty close to the mothership. . . it took whole days longer to reach me when I was in Texas!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #25 - 08/06/20 at 12:50:49
 
The ZROCK2 is shipped nd due to arrive Friday. Managed to reactivate my back pain somehow this week so I'm not sleeping much anyway, so this won't affect my sleeping pattern. . . . Sad Can't wait to hear what it does for this headphone only system. (PS Audio P10 powering all: DVR or Audiolab 6000CDT to PS Audio NuWave DAC to ZBOX to ZROCK2 and also Pioneer Elite Blu-ray/SACD player to ZBOX to ZROCK2--my ZBOX is custom built with two inputs).
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #26 - 08/07/20 at 18:50:46
 
The ZROCK2 arrived and Steve sent a very nice 6189 with it. I set it up and verified it works and am letting it simmer in and will do some serious listening in a bit. So glad it arrived at last! Ordered it May 1 or so. . . and figured I'd get it around my birthday. Shipping on my birthday was a cool thing!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #27 - 08/07/20 at 21:27:29
 
Happy Birthday Lon
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DancingSea
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #28 - 08/07/20 at 23:01:29
 
Congrats Lon and Happy Birthday!

Out of curiosity, is the ZRock2 essentially a ZBox with an equalizer added?  If I bought a ZBox, does it have the same tube effect as the ZR2?
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #29 - 08/08/20 at 03:36:30
 
Thanks, I had a nice birthday on Tuesday.

As for the ZBOX. . . .Well, not really. The ZBOX is almost a unity gain, i.e. it does not offer any gain from the original signal. It gives you a nice impedance match and that nice tube "goodness," but neither EQ nor gain. The ZROCK2 gives you adjustable EQ in two "curves" that are partnered with gain (and a bypass, which makes it closer to a ZBOX when engaged.)
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #30 - 08/08/20 at 03:52:41
 
Thanks Donnie. I'm too old to have any more birthdays now, so good thing this was a good one on Tuesday, and tonight had a nice birthday dinner at my brother- and sister-in-law's where our nephew just moved back from NYC and it was good to be with family this way for the first time since March.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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DancingSea
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #31 - 08/08/20 at 04:18:46
 
Hi Lon,

On the “tube goodness” front, is the ZBox essentially the same as the ZRock2?  I’d only need tube goodness from it.  The rest is handled elsewhere in my chain.
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #32 - 08/08/20 at 11:48:09
 
Yes, I would say that if you don't need an eq adjustment (I always have!) then the ZBOX is quite impressive in what it does. I had one I used years and years ago and then put away for years. It has been modded by Steve to have two inputs to switch from. I put it back in use this year and am very impressed with what it added to a before-then all solid state system. It's a great little component.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #33 - 08/09/20 at 01:19:12
 
Yes, I also need an EQ.  But also have to impedance match and the ZRock didn’t do the impedance part.  The ZBox does.  For the EQ, I got a Schiit Loki.

I just wonder how much tube goodness one wee tube can provide?
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Lon
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #34 - 08/09/20 at 12:17:18
 
In many cases one tube is better than many tubes, and this is the case in Decware designs imo. If you were to add the voltage regulation tube option you'd have two tubes in the ZBOX (one literally inside) and the voltage regulation tube has made a decided improvement in two ZROCK2 that I have.
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #35 - 08/09/20 at 19:05:37
 
Thanks for the insight Lon!
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #36 - 08/09/20 at 19:58:31
 
I just bought the used ZBox off the forum. I’m now officially a part of the Decware family  ;)
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #37 - 08/09/20 at 21:29:40
 
Congrats!
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #38 - Yesterday at 01:21:35
 
Lon - I have 2 each of these tubes left over from my Ah! Tjeob CD4000.  For some reason, the player is no longer reading discs even though the transport mechanism was replaced a few years ago.  The Sylvania’s have never been used in 20 years.

In any case, do these tubes work with the ZBox?

https://tubedepot.com/products/jan-sylvania-6922

https://www.thetubestore.com/jan-philips-6922-low-noise

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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #39 - Yesterday at 02:09:09
 
No, afraid the ZBOX doesn't use the 6DJ8/6922 type of tube. It uses 12AU7 and variants. . . 12AU7, 5963, 6189 and others (and these have European names as well). Steve will send you a really nice, well-tested and balanced and matched in all sections tube with the ZBOX. (I've learned to treasure all the tubes that Steve sends with his components, they are truly "all that they can be" through his attention to testing detail and careful selection).

Here's a good page with info about the different 12AU7 types:

http://www.audiotubes.com/12au7.htm

I haven't bought tubes from Brent Jesse (I mostly buy from eBay) but there's interesting info here about the differing types.
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #40 - Yesterday at 02:42:17
 
Thanks for saving me from blowing anything up!  It’s a used ZBox built in 2005.  I got it from the second owner from these forums.  The tube currently installed only has red lettering reading “ECC81”.  I also bought his never installed Genalex Gold Lion 12AU7 tube.  Any idea about the first one?
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #41 - Yesterday at 02:46:56
 
You wouldn't harm anything using the 6922, I don't think but best not to try.

The ECC81 is a 12AT7. You can use those with the ZBOX safely and you can also get great sound. It "pushes" the signal a little harder as this tube has a little more gain than a 12AU7 I believe. The Gold Lion should work quite well, it may be a bit brighter than other examples but there are many factors that may make that not true! I don't have any experience with your DAC or amp, so can only guess.
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #42 - Yesterday at 03:00:53
 
It will be a worthy investigation to figure out which ECC81 it is.  The seller said almost no markings, and just the ECC81 in red letters.  I guess that rules out the JJ’s as those clearly say JJ on them, right?  Or did 2005 JJ’s not say “JJ” on them?

The other link you sent gives lots in clues.  Once the unit arrives, I’ll investigate further.
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #43 - Yesterday at 03:15:39
 
It's hard to say what that ECC81 is as far as brand. It could have had lettering that was wiped off or worn off. A long time ago I got a tube with my ZBOX from Steve that had 12AU7 written on it in black ink and I could just barely make out other lettering that said it was a Ruby, which is a Chinese tube. (The Gold Lion is likely a Chinese tube as well). I have bought a number of tubes that have faint lettering or just an "orange globe" symbol decipherable on them, it's quite common with even lightly used NOS tubes. Your ECC81 could be a new production Eastern European tube or a NOS tube that the lettering has rubbed off from or been removed. If so, it will take a lot of visual comparisons wtih other tubes as far as internal structure to identify it. . . .
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Re: Just received my new Zrock2 - WOW!
Reply #44 - Yesterday at 03:25:50
 
On another note, Steve sent me a Sylvania 6189 with my ZROCK2 received this week and I popped it into my main system ZROCK2-25 and man, it's become my favorite tube in that component!
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