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Review: ZERO 24 BIT/192KHz DAC/Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 3

post #31 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oicdn View Post
How can I get use of this with a laptop as a source?
I'm just guessing here, but your notebook doesn't have optical out? If not, I have read where many are using a USB to SPDIF device that costs very little and works real well. Tell me about your notebook.
post #32 of 9361
Yeah, no optical out. Is this the device you're talking about?

CryoParts USB to SPDIF Converter

$50...that's almost approaching the cost of the player, lol. Anything else out there?
post #33 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oicdn View Post
Yeah, no optical out. Is this the device you're talking about?

CryoParts USB to SPDIF Converter

$50...that's almost approaching the cost of the player, lol. Anything else out there?
More like this one I think NEW USB to SPDIF & OPTICAL Interface UDA1321 / CS8405A - (eBay item 140185612073 end time Dec-07-07 20:03:16 PST) at least the cost is less. Anyone else want to chime in on a good one at low cost?
post #34 of 9361
^ It's not that much lower cost ($6), and I have to wait for it to come from HK, etc.

Hmm...anything else out there?
post #35 of 9361
I have seen one for about 10-12 dollars somewhere but have no ideal as to how good it would be.
post #36 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slwiser View Post
I have seen one for about 10-12 dollars somewhere but have no ideal as to how good it would be.
I read entire threads about which ones were better, but now I can't seem to find them. Maybe in dedicated source? I'm still looking..
post #37 of 9361
I rememnber seeing one too, but I couldn't find anything either.
post #38 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
I would love to do a side by side on them, but my budget keeps me from taking one for the team.
[...]
I would keep the MKIII and use it in conjunction with the Zero. I'm doing this with my MKIVse and the sound is wonderful.
Not sure I understand right - are you saying you have a Zero and a mkIV Beresford to compare (your PC's recent demise notwithstanding - sorry to hear it man ) but not a mkIII?

Dying to read a comparison (mkIV is presumably the currently available latest model? i.e. the one I'd get if I ordered one now?) as they both look rather excellent choices based on what people are writing about them

Failing that, does anyone have a view on which might be a better match for Grado RS-1s and/or listening to (all kinds of) electronica (just based on reviews/posts on here/specs/whatever)?

</impatiently taps credit card on table >
post #39 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmudger View Post
Not sure I understand right - are you saying you have a Zero and a mkIV Beresford to compare (your PC's recent demise notwithstanding - sorry to hear it man ) but not a mkIII?

Dying to read a comparison (mkIV is presumably the currently available latest model? i.e. the one I'd get if I ordered one now?) as they both look rather excellent choices based on what people are writing about them

Failing that, does anyone have a view on which might be a better match for Grado RS-1s and/or listening to (all kinds of) electronica (just based on reviews/posts on here/specs/whatever)?

</impatiently taps credit card on table >
Sorry if I confused, or am confused! I have a Zero and a Little-Dot MKIVse tube headphone amp. I'll go optical in to the Zero, analog out of Zero to the analog in on the MKIVse tube amp. With this setup, I can listen to headphones with either unit.

I was saying I wish I had a Beresford DAC/Amp to compare the Zero with.

The challenge for the Zero is that it is so new, where the Beresford has been around a long time and is highly recommended. I'm hoping that others (like me) will pickup a Zero and then let the Headfi community know just how great they are. I believe the Zero represents a new direction for DAC/Amps because you can afford one early on and not need to replace it for a long time. This goes against the "established" recommendation chain. I believe that times are changing and being "thrifty" has a place in Headfi quality audio.

Hope this helps some. Feel free to ask anything and I'll try to help!
post #40 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmudger View Post
Not sure I understand right - are you saying you have a Zero and a mkIV Beresford to compare (your PC's recent demise notwithstanding - sorry to hear it man ) but not a mkIII?

Dying to read a comparison (mkIV is presumably the currently available latest model? i.e. the one I'd get if I ordered one now?) as they both look rather excellent choices based on what people are writing about them

Failing that, does anyone have a view on which might be a better match for Grado RS-1s and/or listening to (all kinds of) electronica (just based on reviews/posts on here/specs/whatever)?

</impatiently taps credit card on table >
The latest Beresford DAC is MK6/3 I think. It looks like its alot better than my MK III...
post #41 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Sorry if I confused, or am confused! I have a Zero and a Little-Dot MKIVse tube headphone amp. I'll go optical in to the Zero, analog out of Zero to the analog in on the MKIVse tube amp. With this setup, I can listen to headphones with either unit.

I was saying I wish I had a Beresford DAC/Amp to compare the Zero with.

The challenge for the Zero is that it is so new, where the Beresford has been around a long time and is highly recommended. I'm hoping that others (like me) will pickup a Zero and then let the Headfi community know just how great they are. I believe the Zero represents a new direction for DAC/Amps because you can afford one early on and not need to replace it for a long time. This goes against the "established" recommendation chain. I believe that times are changing and being "thrifty" has a place in Headfi quality audio.

Hope this helps some. Feel free to ask anything and I'll try to help!
Oh man not another amp to go read about!

Only joking - you see the connundrum though - I'm only going to buy one, and I have to buy it without listening to it/just hope it's the best match for the headphones I happen to have

...unless of course I suppose anyone knows of a shop selling any of these (in the UK/London in my case...)? (unlikely I know.. )

Maybe I'd be best-off getting a Zero and arrange to go see the people who make the Beresford, audition it and if I like it better, eBay the Zero? (I think they say they take visitors by appointment or something and they're in the UK - don't know where though..)

Fair bit of hassle though - I know what's going to happen - I'll get both and not be arsed to eBay the one I don't like/yet another disappointing gadget gathering dust (much like my noisy Total Bithead)
post #42 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmudger View Post
Oh man not another amp to go read about!

Only joking - you see the connundrum though - I'm only going to buy one, and I have to buy it without listening to it/just hope it's the best match for the headphones I happen to have

...unless of course I suppose anyone knows of a shop selling any of these (in the UK/London in my case...)? (unlikely I know.. )

Maybe I'd be best-off getting a Zero and arrange to go see the people who make the Beresford, audition it and if I like it better, eBay the Zero? (I think they say they take visitors by appointment or something and they're in the UK - don't know where though..)

Fair bit of hassle though - I know what's going to happen - I'll get both and not be arsed to eBay the one I don't like/yet another disappointing gadget gathering dust (much like my noisy Total Bithead)
I sure do understand. It is difficult to buy audio on faith. I looked back a little and couldn't seem to find what headphones you are using? Please tell me that. On a positive note, I have tried 7 different models of headphones on the Zero with great success. They were all Senn's, but ranged from 32ohms to 300ohms. Every one of them kept their normal properties during amplification. Example: My wife has a pair of HD-570s. They are old, but sound very laid back, soft and warm. I plugged them into the Zero and gave the volume knob a whirl. The sound was identical to listening un-amped, it had a better sound stage and 3D properties, but best of all, their particular sound was great amplified! Now I think she wants a Zero! This transparency (if you can call it that) is great as far as I'm concerned. It assures me that a great sounding headphone un-amplified, will sound as good if not better amplified! You see what I'm getting at here? This is one of the reasons why I recommend this Zero unit. Anyway, let me know how things are going!
post #43 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
I sure do understand. It is difficult to buy audio on faith. I looked back a little and couldn't seem to find what headphones you are using? Please tell me that.
Oh right yeah - Grado RS-1 (recent purchase - all I can say is WOW, by the way ), currently running off a Total Bithead. Don't know yet if it's the phones, lack of break-in, or the Bithead that's the problem (don't know if you/anyone're familair with it/might know how it compares to any of the amps mentioned here...), but most importantly I'm looking to match the 'phones with something with bigger bass (by the sounds of it, noise, my other issue with the bithead, isn't going to be a problem with any of these choices...)

Case in point - I did a back-to-back listening test with some Senn HD600 at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago (different amp - internal to a DJ mixer thingy - forget which now, but a good one/recent model) and the Grado was nicer in absolutely every way, except the bass which was so much fuller ('fatter'!) on the Senns; and as I say I listen to a lot of electronica where this kind of quality contributes majorly to the overall enjoyment

Oh, I also have some Shure e5c and E500 PTH that I'll be using with it from time to time (now you see why I'm trying my level best to buy ONLY ONE nice amp!! ...let's face it, probably going to fail hehe/oh man... ), and a pair of slightly-buzzy-in-the-right-channel-at-certain-frequencies HD580 I don't really use much any more kicking around under the bed... (my first proper headphones - served me so well, especially since they cost only £75 many many years (and several replacement cables ) ago, but think they're just kinda broken now )
post #44 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmudger View Post
Oh right yeah - Grado RS-1 (recent purchase - all I can say is WOW, by the way ), currently running off a Total Bithead. Don't know yet if it's the phones, lack of break-in, or the Bithead that's the problem (don't know if you/anyone're familair with it/might know how it compares to any of the amps mentioned here...), but most importantly I'm looking to match the 'phones with something with bigger bass (by the sounds of it, noise, my other issue with the bithead, isn't going to be a problem with any of these choices...)

Case in point - I did a back-to-back listening test with some Senn HD600 at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago (different amp - internal to a DJ mixer thingy - forget which now, but a good one/recent model) and the Grado was nicer in absolutely every way, except the bass which was so much fuller ('fatter'!) on the Senns; and as I say I listen to a lot of electronica where this kind of quality contributes majorly to the overall enjoyment

Oh, I also have some Shure e5c and E500 PTH that I'll be using with it from time to time (now you see why I'm trying my level best to buy ONLY ONE nice amp!! ...let's face it, probably going to fail hehe/oh man... ), and a pair of slightly-buzzy-in-the-right-channel-at-certain-frequencies HD580 I don't really use much any more kicking around under the bed... (my first proper headphones - served me so well, especially since they cost only £75 many many years (and several replacement cables ) ago, but think they're just kinda broken now )
Wow. Thats a bunch to think about. Maybe there is another way of looking at this. If you buy the Zero, you stand a better than average chance of being more than satisfied with the stock unit. If for some reason you are not, the Zero can be customized enough (Opamp swap) to match your needs. Example: I like the stock unit very much. Just super! After the review, I swapped out the OPA2604 for the LM4562. WOW. I'm still not over it. It is like a whole different unit! Even my old HD-570s sound fantastic! If I needed to go the other way, say, back the Zero down to be more "tube" like, I'd re-install the OPA627 x2 on Brown Dog Adapter. Just having this flexibility will help match up to the most unique situations, much like the more expensive portable DAC/Amps can do.
post #45 of 9361
I wonder how a pair of AD797's or the AD8397 would sound? I have often found the 4562 to be a little HiFi sounding but it is also in the implementation so I am glad it sounds good in this setup. In looking at the board it sure appears you are getting very much for your money. This is more like a low wholesale price. I have seen amps in China selling for 40 dollars and have no idea, even with their low wages and living cost, how they do it. My friends in China just say, "this is China, we can make thing cheap". I bought a soldering iron there that I still favor using over everything else I have. The cost, $2.25 and tips were 25 cents and the first one is still going strong (much better than my Weller tips that cost 6 dollars or more.

Has anyone compared this to headamps costing much more?
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