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Review: ZERO 24 BIT/192KHz DAC/Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 140

post #2086 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmel View Post
I'm trying to warn you about really cheap cables... like 6 ft. optical for $3.
I'm the last person who spend money on voodoo cable, e.g. I use a DIY 75Ohm cable with quality RCA plugs.
But I had to buy an optical glass cable because it is too tricky to DIY and I wasn't sure about my quality to build it.

I would never run down other peoples or your opinion about digital cable!
As I wrote in several posts before: Digital cable should have good connectors, a good isolation and protective shielding.

IMO it looks funny if there is someone who is spending a great amount of money on buying and selling headphones, buying opamps, spending time in opamps-rolling but doesn't try a $30 optical cable which is recommended by several head-fi members because it's too expensive.
As I said, I'm not going for optical as it is more easily breakable than coaxial especially glass. I'm using coaxial which is cheaper and sturdier. The Acoustic Research coaxial cable I am purchasing is everything I need in a digital cable. They are very sturdy, have great connectors, and work just as well as more expensive coaxials. I have done my research, mind you, to find the cheapest cost effective way, with sacrificing quality. That is all. Like strologu and Penchum have both stated, a good quality coaxial cable can be had for a decent price as opposed to an optical which can get very expensive. If that's still funny to you, then laugh away. I spend my time purchasing headphones and selling them, and opamp rolling and selling opamps, but there comes a time when I need to start slimming down on my spending. That is why I have gone to the Zero, for my DAC and Amp for a BUDGET system. That is why I have chosen to gone the cheaper coaxial path than the optical.
post #2087 of 9354
Fine... we have to stop the cable discussion, it isn't related to the ZERO in any way.
post #2088 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmel View Post
Fine... we have to stop the cable discussion, it isn't related to the ZERO in any way.
So (not to prolong this..), doesn't the Zero come with a cable? I thought it did.

Can any of you please let us know the cable "name and number" you are buying?

Thanks! :-)
post #2089 of 9354
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by souperman View Post
As I said, I'm not going for optical as it is more easily breakable than coaxial especially glass. I'm using coaxial which is cheaper and sturdier. The Acoustic Research coaxial cable I am purchasing is everything I need in a digital cable. They are very sturdy, have great connectors, and work just as well as more expensive coaxials. I have done my research, mind you, to find the cheapest cost effective way, with sacrificing quality. That is all. Like strologu and Penchum have both stated, a good quality coaxial cable can be had for a decent price as opposed to an optical which can get very expensive. If that's still funny to you, then laugh away. I spend my time purchasing headphones and selling them, and opamp rolling and selling opamps, but there comes a time when I need to start slimming down on my spending. That is why I have gone to the Zero, for my DAC and Amp for a BUDGET system. That is why I have chosen to gone the cheaper coaxial path than the optical.
The AR coaxial is a perfect example of what I was talking about. Inexpensive but a quality build. Perfect! Everyone should remember, it is all about your needs. I would have bought the same cable as this one, for going around my office, except it wouldn't have fit my needs. It would be too large and difficult to get behind some of the stuff in here. So, I opted for the thinner plastic optical, a quality build that was easier to manipulate. It fit my needs.
Thanks!!
post #2090 of 9354
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorcer View Post
So (not to prolong this..), doesn't the Zero come with a cable? I thought it did.

Can any of you please let us know the cable "name and number" you are buying?

Thanks! :-)
The Zero comes with a reasonable quality plastic based optical cable. It gets the job done.
post #2091 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorcer View Post
Can any of you please let us know the cable "name and number" you are buying?
Check this: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ml#post3672717 if you prefer an optical glass cable.. also quality build and inexpensive.
post #2092 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmel View Post
Fine... we have to stop the cable discussion, it isn't related to the ZERO in any way.
Well it is related to the Zero in many ways since the Zero takes coaxial and optical and people were interested in what is the best that would fit their NEEDS. Don't want to say it, but you were the one who subtly attacked my own way of doing things . In all seriousness, I do a lot of research on things before I pay money for it, and it's not like I am very misinformed about this kind of stuff. I may not be the resident electrical engineer at a company, but I do know the main facts and am able to form my own opinion giving no grounds for someone to look down on my own ways in a negative light.

Anyways, my Zero is coming in soon. Hopefully I'll love it.
post #2093 of 9354
Penchum -
I read your outstanding review of the Little Dot MK V (?) as an awesome solid state amp. I liked the review so much that now I'm questioning my upcoming MK III Purchase.

I seem to have two sets of ears - one which wants absolute accuracy at the expense of warm sweetness, and one which likes the big lush fat tube sound.

What I'm getting at is whether you think the Zero will provide the critical listening guy in me enough of a punchy and accurate solid state experience, to allow the kick back and groove guy to listen to the MK III guilt free?
Apologies if this has been discussed, but again, this thread is huge.
post #2094 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorcer View Post
So (not to prolong this..), doesn't the Zero come with a cable? I thought it did.

Can any of you please let us know the cable "name and number" you are buying?

Thanks! :-)
It comes with an optical cable. I believe it is of cheaper quality. You can also get the Acoustic Research coaxial cable for cheaper for just as good quality. Depends on if you need an optical or not. I preferred the coaxial since I have room to route the cable. Some prefer the glass optical, and power to them.
post #2095 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmel View Post
Check this: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...ml#post3672717 if you prefer an optical glass cable.. also quality build and inexpensive.
Thanks. I can't seem to get to the particular post you reference in the link - I tried searching for the post # (3672717) but that didn't work either - I just get redirected to the first post in this entire thread.

I wonder if this thread may be too big for the forum software or something. I've had other problems too, and I'm on a fat pipe at work with a fast workstation. It takes 20 seconds for the thread to re-load when I move around much e.g., to different sub-threads, and I have to switch Display Modes sometimes if things slow down too much - waa waa waa. ;-)

Anyway, if you can tell me the poster's name and date, I'll try that. Thanks again!
post #2096 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by sorcer View Post
Anyway, if you can tell me the poster's name and date, I'll try that. Thanks again!
Here it is:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
I ordered these "glass" optical cables a few days ago. They were recommended by a fellow HeadFi'er who's opinion on such things I take without question. Take a look: eBay Store - Unique Products Online: GLASS Toslink Cables: 6' 6 ft GLASS TOSLINK DIGITAL OPTICAL CABLE - Premium

Not too bad a price!!
post #2097 of 9354
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oatmeal769 View Post
Pencham -
I read your outstanding review of the Little Dot MK V (?) as an awesome solid state amp. I liked the review so much that now I'm questioning my upcoming MK III Purchase.

I seem to have two sets of ears - one which wants absolute accuracy at the expense of warm sweetness, and one which likes the big lush fat tube sound.

What I'm getting at is whether you think the Zero will provide the critical listening guy in me enough of a punchy and accurate solid state experience, to allow the kick back and groove guy to listen to the MK III guilt free?
Apologies if this has been discussed, but again, this thread is huge.
I think it is possible. Before I bought the MKV, I was listening to my tube amps through the Zero, and when I wanted to listen to SS, I'd plug straight into the Zero's headphone amp. It was nice to be able to listen either way. If you are doing the same thing with a MKIII, I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you do this for a few months, and the Zero's headphone amp isn't doing it for you, then you'll know to save a little and pick up a MKV.

Having both SS & tube amps isn't a crime either. I often find that having SS and tube amps will fulfill my every listening mood. I'm sure I am not alone on this either.
post #2098 of 9354

Weird Light Issues

Hello,

First of all, I must thank all of you for this awesome thread and turning me on to a truly great sounding DAC/amp combo! Phew, this is magnificent!

The issue I have noticed, and correct me if I am wrong and this is expected behavior:
Input: Apple Mac G5 Tower, SPDIF Optical (with included cable)
Output: Internal DAC -> Internal Headphone Amp
Issue Noted: The light under "Optical" is dim when using the internal preamp at low or high levels, output wattage does not seem to matter. The light will change brightness when I unplug the cable (brighter) or when the amp is turned off. When playing music, the optical light brightness changes a small amount (both more and less). Every other light on the unit remains the same brightness.

I have not been able to test the coaxial input, but its light has always been brighter (since I received it three days ago).

Is this normal? Has anyone else noticed this? The sound does not seem to waver, so I suppose I might have dodged a problem here, but I would be interested to know what causes this.

Thank you!
post #2099 of 9354
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
I think it is possible. Before I bought the MKV, I was listening to my tube amps through the Zero, and when I wanted to listen to SS, I'd plug straight into the Zero's headphone amp. It was nice to be able to listen either way. If you are doing the same thing with a MKIII, I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you do this for a few months, and the Zero's headphone amp isn't doing it for you, then you'll know to save a little and pick up a MKV.

Having both SS & tube amps isn't a crime either. I often find that having SS and tube amps will fulfill my every listening mood. I'm sure I am not alone on this either.
Is the performance of the two (MK V and Zero) comparable, or does the MK V give a significant step up in performance over the Zero? I ask because your review of the Zero's audio quality is about as glowing as the Mk V review.
Thanks!
post #2100 of 9354
Thread Starter 
I honestly hadn't paid any attention when switching around. I'll check it out after a while and get back. Ow, and Congratulations on the Zero!

I just realized I have done the resistor mod to both of my Zero's, so they are dim all the time now! Someone else will have to check...
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