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10/04/22 at 23:42:31 

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ZMA First Impressions (Read 207 times)
Steve Deckert

If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 5694
ZMA First Impressions
09/22/22 at 16:40:46

Hi Steve,

I got my Zen Mystery Amp in January.  I have an eclectic mix of speakers and amps but no speakers that were the right match for the ZMA.  My MBLs were way too hungry; I built a pair of Linkwitz LX521 (very special speakers) which need 5 dedicated channels a side so not a ZMA match; I built a pair of wonderful open baffles with the Cube F10 Neo full ranger and a 15” woofer in a slot loaded open baffle (lovely speaker, killer midrange), the ZMA was good but still not really enough power; I have Raal SR1a headphones which need a solid 100 watts -those sounded great with the ZMA but ran out of steam; then I got Maggie 3.7i’s which are among my all time favorite speakers but need gobs of tight gripping solid state watts -no shot for the ZMA; finally I found the perfect match….

I had the great pleasure of visiting Oswald Mills Audio (OMA) studio in Brooklyn and hearing all the wonderful artisanal gear -much in the similar craftsman audio style of Decware.  I absolutely loved it, but it’s stratospheric priced.  A couple of weeks ago I found a used pair of OMA Minis, just the model I wanted, and bought them on the spot.  I first tried them with my conrad-johnson ART300s, KT150 based 300 watt monsters.  Very, very good, but I wanted to try my other amps.  Next were my Audionet MAX amps, terrific solid state powerhouses.  Perfect match for the Maggie’s.    However, the revealing horns of the OMAs gave it a solid state patina, sounded good but definitely SS.    
Wednesday night I switched out the MAXes for the lovely Zen Mystery Amp.  It’s such a rare and treasured moment when you put two fine components together and on first listen you just know it’s a perfect match -music heaven.  Interestingly, the 95db OMAs played better at high volumes with the 40 watt ZMA than with the 300 watt ART300.  The cj’s are phenomenal amps, but the ZMA is a perfect match with these odd and incredible OMA Minis.  It is Zen!

Bravo Steve.  I’m a serious audiophile and this amp is something special.  

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Seasoned Member

If all else fails,

Posts: 171
Re: ZMA First Impressions
Reply #1 - 09/22/22 at 22:26:36
Quite a nice review from a very appreciative customer on a masterful amp.

The ZMA and the Torii were the only two on my list after buying and then selling my 1st Decware amp. It was very close between the two.


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Torii MK V-25th A mods, ZR2-25th A mods, ZBIT, CSP3 (to be DIY modded), Custom HR-1’s, Bryston BDA-3 + BDP-2, Brickwall 8, Ansuz conditioning, DHC-1, DSR-3, ZWire, PI Audio diffusion + DIY room treatments // Audeze LCD-4, Norne Audio Silvergarde S3.
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