weeks of travel and a stop at the German customs the Zen Amp arrived
in good condition. Nowthat it's been a few weeks within my system I
would like to give you a feedback. The problem with the German voltage
of 230 Volt and the US-voltage SE84B I overcame by buying a step-down
converter which has cost me 20$.
was purchased prior to the new World voltage models - editor.
So I had
no problem to integrate the Zen Amp into my system which actually consists
of an older - but modified - Marantz CD 62, a German made Raphael Ortophonic
VII tube preamp (all tubes are 6922), and 2-way floorstanding speakers
with Scan-Speak chassis and a SPL of 89 dB. The cables are all
DIY style solid core. Speaker cable are from cat. 5 network cables.
with the tube preamp the Zen Amp is replacing a Thule integrated amp
(solid state), a 1400.00$ value. The first and for me most impressing
thing I've found with the Zen Amp is the very deep and tight bass.
Thule's bass is nothing against it. After some years with my speakers
I'm now surprised by the bass the 7 inch woofers can produce. In the
midrange I had expected the Zen Amp superior, and it is, very much detailed
and also with this glorious warmth of tubes. The trebles are crystal
clear, and by changing the preamp's Sovtek 6922 in the line stage to
Philips JAN 6922 - which are well known for their performance in the
trebles - I was able to discover that the Zen Amp is really passing
the input fidelity through.
the volume I can reach with my speakers it is fairly high when I have
the bias switch in the high gain position. Toggling the bias switch
into the lower gain position the increasing distortions are limiting
the total volume. So I'm now thinking about building 2-way horn systems
with a target SPL of 93 or 94 dB. I've found some ideas already on the
web. 20 years after running my last tube powered equipment, an old Grundig
chest style integrated system, I've found again what I've missed all
over the years. Thanks for that!
this little amp is from excellent fidelity! And it really cries for
excellent produced music. Patricia Barber's 'Modern Cool' (Premonition
Records 1998) is perfectly demonstrating all the strengths of the Zen
Amp. Highly recommended for all Zen Amp owners.