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ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order? (Read 296 times)
SXB1991
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ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
10/19/20 at 20:40:19
 
Hello.  This topic may well have been covered in a thread already, but I'm new to this forum and just feeling my way around.  

I'm in the UK and have a Technics SL1500C turntable.  Currently with an Ortofon 2M Red, with a 2M Bronze on order.  Phono stage is an EAR 834P clone from China with some nice vintage Brimars in it (surprisingly good).

I'm not a total basshead as such, but I do like a satisfying thump to the low end.  Through various forums I heard about the ZROCK2, and want to order one.  

I'm not a technician at all, and there are a slightly bewildering array of upgrade options.  Signal caps run up to $300, a poly bypass cap mod at $140 or a beeswax bypass cap mod at $260 (no idea what that does), and a tube regulation mod at $75 (no idea what that does either).  You can basically double the price of the basic unit with upgrades.

Please could someone advise what the best bang for the buck upgrades are?  Or point me to a thread or other source of information where this has already been covered?

I should probably mention that I had to quit my job 7 months ago due to a serious medical issue, and have not been able to work since.  Hence my credit card has its limits set relatively low.  Also shipping to the UK is probably around $120.  And UK Customs will charge me 22% tax on the value of the ZROCK when it enters the UK.  Which is nice of them.
So this could get seriously expensive if I'm not careful.  

Many thanks.
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SXB1991
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Re: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #1 - 10/20/20 at 20:13:22
 
Any thoughts on this?  Or have I posted it in the wrong place?  Or is it already covered in another thread?

I have found a post from Lon regarding the $75 tube regulation mod: "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".

So it sounds like this upgrade would be worth having.

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Lon
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Re: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #2 - 10/20/20 at 20:27:48
 
I was hoping some others would chime in. My two cents: the stock ZROCK2 is very good, with no mods. The beeswax cap option, and then the power supply bypass "Anniversary Mod" puts you further into "audiophile" territory: more clarity and transparency, and the bypass mod gives a stronger sense of "density" to the sound. But it's also a "garbage in" phenomenon: bad recordings won't hide, great recordings will really shine. The stock caps (and you can bypass those too I believe) are a bit more forgiving and "warm."

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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: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #3 - 10/20/20 at 20:47:14
 
Welcome to the forums!

The I'm having difficulty answering your question because I'm really not sure what is the most performance to cost item to upgrade. I've only heard the fully modded ZR2.

The beeswax type I and type II signal caps are higher grade caps than standard.

The bypass mod is also called the 25th anniversary mod. After Steve developed the UFO25th amp he took what he learned from that and offered it as a mod for this other amps.

You read what Lon said about the tube regulation.

If you can swing it I would say get all four. I'll present it in stages.

Stage one: poly bypass mod.

Stage two: Beeswax type II and Poly bypass.

Stage two point five: Beeswax type II, poly bypass and tube regulation.

Stage three: Beeswax type II, Beeswax bypass mod and tube regulation.

please do not hold be to this order of which to get. Someone else might have more experience with the individual upgrades.

Here is a link to Steves documentation of developing the 25th anniversary amp.

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1510887200





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Rega P8 | SS Zephyr MIMC Star | Roon + HQplayer | MicroRendu | PSA DSD | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZRock2 25th | CSP3 25th | Torii MKiv 25th | Argon 7Ls | Iconoclast 1x4 TPC / UPOCC RCAs | KCC Hercules | Zenwave Speaker Cable | Curious Evolved USB .2m
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Lon
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Re: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #4 - 10/20/20 at 21:04:16
 
N, I may be wrong but I thought Steve was only bypassing with the same caps as the primary caps. So poly with poly, Jupiters with Jupiters. But I'm not certain--I've only had one ZROCK2 with poly, no bypass and the tube regulation mod, one with Type 2 Jupiters and no other mod, and one with the Type 2 Jupiters, the bypass mod with Jupiters, and the tube regulation mod. They're all good, each is perfect for the system they're in.
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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: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #5 - 10/20/20 at 22:56:19
 
I have a feeling Lon is correct. Might want to ignore my post.  
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Rega P8 | SS Zephyr MIMC Star | Roon + HQplayer | MicroRendu | PSA DSD | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZRock2 25th | CSP3 25th | Torii MKiv 25th | Argon 7Ls | Iconoclast 1x4 TPC / UPOCC RCAs | KCC Hercules | Zenwave Speaker Cable | Curious Evolved USB .2m
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SXB1991
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Re: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #6 - 10/21/20 at 16:21:48
 
Many thanks to all for your replies.  I've actually had an email from Steve in answer to this question, so I'll post it below in case anyone else in future might benefit from the information.

I'm going to hang fire on the ZROCK for a couple more weeks.  I'm going to put the 2M Bronze into my system first, just to see what the differences are.  It's on order but can take up to 4 weeks to arrive.  

_________
Hi Mark,

The best bang for the buck is bone stock.  That said, here is some comments about the mods.

The signal caps are almost a sideways move which is to say the sonic difference is on the subtle side.

The bypass cap mod is not subtle.  It is a big difference, increasing speed and detail and focus.

If your ZROCK2 has poly caps, do the poly bypass cap mod.  If it has beeswax caps, do the beeswax bypass mod.

The tube regulation mod cleans the power, so it would make the unit sound the same during the day as it does in the middle of the night without it.

Hope that helps!

Steve
________

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SXB1991
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Re: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #7 - 10/21/20 at 16:24:18
 
Sorry, I should also have said: I've become interested in the ZSTAGE, and I'm wondering whether that may be a better bet for what I'm trying to achieve.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: ZROCK 2: best value upgrades to order?
Reply #8 - 10/22/20 at 16:14:56
 
You would not be disappointed with a ZROCK2 with standard capacitors, bypass modification and tube regulation.
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