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Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device (Read 828 times)
Lon
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Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
09/06/22 at 14:41:04
 
I tried out a device from Pine Tree Audio that is like a ZBIT (without volume control). He advertises this as a Single-Ended to Balanced signal transformer converter device, but he can build it in reverse, Balanced to Single-Ended.

At the price point (225 shipped) I suspect it does not have the same quality Jensen transformers as the ZBIT, though it does use Jensens. And it may not have the total transparency and sparkle that the ZBIT does, but it sounds quite good overall. I'm using it between a PS Audio DSD DAC and a ZROCK2.

It's a well-made solid device. Took about two weeks from order to shipping.

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Tony
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #1 - 09/06/22 at 15:48:58
 
Lon mentioned above:

I tried out a device from Pine Tree Audio that is like a ZBIT (without volume control). He advertises this as a Single-Ended to Balanced signal transformer converter device, but he can build it in reverse, Balanced to Single-Ended.


Hi Lon, Thanks for the tip. I have been looking for a ZBIT for my second room set up for months, but I have not found any on the market. I have written to Pine Tree Audio asking for additional information. Looks interesting.

Tony
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Lon
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #2 - 09/06/22 at 15:57:03
 
You're welcome. Owner builder Jesse is very nice and very responsive to emails and quite willing to dispense information.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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RonP
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #3 - 09/06/22 at 19:33:38
 
I have a few cables from Jesse and will +1 what Lon said
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Tony
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #4 - 09/06/22 at 22:12:01
 
After GroovySauce's post, this post of mine seems like small potatoes. Congrats, GS; if I ever get back to NC, I will have to drop in:)

Still, for those who may be interested, I ordered from Pine Tree Audio a ZBIT-like balanced XLR to RCA conversion that gives me a variable output level up to the total voltage of my DAC. Additionally, Jesse added a level control for an additional $45.

Since I do have a ZBIT in my main listening room, I can compare the two. Hopefully, it will be a favorable outcome. I'll add some comments after I receive it next month.
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Lon
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #5 - 09/07/22 at 00:23:26
 
Great Tony! I'll be interested in hearing the impressions you share.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #6 - 09/08/22 at 15:23:30
 
PS: I was wrong above, it was 275 shipped.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20365
Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #7 - 09/09/22 at 15:12:25
 
Well, the ICs that were in a box for a few years (Take 5 Audio Neotech XLR Deluxe) have seasoned back in and this Pine Tree Audio device is sounding really good. I've never had a ZBIT in this system to compare, but I don't feel the need to--getting that extra voltage from the DAC has really made the amp drive the headphones a bit better. Great sound!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Tony
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #8 - 09/20/22 at 15:45:01
 

RonP says above: I have a few cables from Jesse...

RonP, I am still waiting for the delivery of Pine Tree's ZBIT-like unit and noticed they have good-looking cables at reasonable prices.  Were you satisfied with the ones you purchased?

It was great working with Jesse, and he was very responsive to my numerous questions.

Thanks, Tony
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RonP
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #9 - 09/20/22 at 18:54:03
 
@Tony

I've had 0 issues with Jesse's cables. They all work great. He even walked me thru which of his XLR cables would work better for my situation.

Ron
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Tony
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #10 - 09/28/22 at 02:08:52
 

A few weeks ago, I mentioned in this forum that I had ordered this ZBIT-like device from Pine Tree Audio and would report back once received. I have had it for a few days now and think it's great.

I already have a ZBIT in my upstairs system and love it. All my listening is streaming, and the ZBIT adds density and richness to my CXNv2 streamer, which now I cannot imagine not having.

I began to miss what the ZBIT adds upstairs in my downstairs system. I wanted another ZBIT. However, getting back in the Decware waiting line seemed illogical, so I started looking online for a used ZBIT. That was about six months ago, producing nothing. A few weeks ago, when I saw this topic on the forum, it caught my attention.

I contacted Pine Tree Audio and asked if they could custom-build a balanced XLR to RCA conversion with variable output level control that:

1. Gives a variable output level up to the total voltage of my DAC
2. Level control knob on the front panel
3. XLR inputs and RCA outputs on the back panel

Numbers 1 & 2 make their unit function like a ZBIT.

Jesse from Pine Tree Audio was great. He customized his product to match my request and shipped it quickly at a reasonable price. I would judge our communications as excellent, which was essential due to the customization process.

I should conclude by adding that my " Balanced XLR to RCA conversion" unit functions perfectly in my system and sounds great. Is it as good as my ZBIT? I am sure there must be some differences in the build, but I cannot speak to that. I can say that their resulting improvements to sound quality are very similar to one another, which is a compliment for Pine Tree.

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ChJKy (Chris)
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #11 - 09/28/22 at 14:37:16
 
Tony and Lon,

Any access to the internals on either device, the ZBit from Steve or the other one from Jesse, to compare the components used? I have read elsewhere on the forum that Steve uses the Jensen JT-11P-1 for the ZBit, which is likely on of the best and is not cheap at all. Jesse also uses a Jensen transformer but it looks to be a different one. Also wondering what type of level control is being used.
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Lon
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #12 - 09/28/22 at 14:43:52
 
I'm very glad you are very happy with the Pine Tree Audio component Tony. I'm very happy with mine--which does not have the volume control that you had him custom build into yours.

When I first got mine I felt it wasn't quite as transparent as my ZBITs--but I was using a pair of very good XLR interconnects in between DAC and the component that had been sitting unused for about three years. In a few days I noticed more transparency and speed--possibly a combination of the component seasoning and the interconnects "waking up" after a long sleep.

I'm very happy with mine and it definitely made an improvement in allowing me more voltage out from my DAC.
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. Dick

Posts: 20365
Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #13 - 09/28/22 at 14:49:37
 
I have opened neither of mine Chris. I could not imagine that the two use the same Jensen transformers--the price points predict that as very unlikely. Nor have I compared the two directly in a system. I'm not inclined to--the Pine Tree Audio did its job admirably and I'm now "done" with that system. I now have three systems the way I want them, two include ZBITs and this one (my headphone system) has the Pine Tree Audio. Nice to be at this point in the journey. Now I only have two future goals: eventually a better regenerator for my audio/video system, and when available the Decware 300B amp.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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Tony
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #14 - 09/28/22 at 16:10:58
 
Good morning ChJky aka Chris,

Good questions that I do not have answers to.  If you contact Jesse at Pine Tree, I am sure he will give you the info you seek.  I found him to be open to questions and responded quickly.
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ChJKy (Chris)
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Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #15 - 09/28/22 at 17:52:03
 
Going the Pinetree Audio route sounds like the way to go at this time. Once I receive my Torii MK5 and then my ZRock2, an XLR to RCA would be a good purchase. It's not even a matter of price, just waiting 3+ years is definitely too long to wait for the Zbit. I live the next town over from Jesse, so I may see if I can pay him a visit...

Thank you both for the replies. And Lon...thank you for ALL the replies over the many posts all over the Decware Forums that I have been reading over the past year. You've been indirectly very helpful in my Decware audio journey...
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Lon
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"Love without
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Posts: 20365
Re: Pine Tree Audio ZBIT like device
Reply #16 - 09/28/22 at 18:00:02
 
Yes, if you live that close to Jesse arranging a visit makes sense!

And I'm happy to have been helpful in any way.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls; Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Or
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