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Review: ZERO 24 BIT/192KHz DAC/Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 6

post #76 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arteom View Post
perhaps a better way to describe the sound that I'm looking for would be to say that I want something that adds body to the sound, the sound I am experiencing out of my soundcard is thin. From what I understand perhaps I am better off getting a tube amp, I have been thinking about a darkvoice 336i. I have very little experience soldering so dont know how easy it would be for me to change opamps, but I imagine changing a tube would be easy as unplugging it.
Hi! The Opamp chip is mounted in a socket, so you just pull it straight up and push in the new one straight down. Very simple. No soldering! I don't remember if you said, but does your sound card have optical or coaxial out?
post #77 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Hi! The Opamp chip is mounted in a socket, so you just pull it straight up and push in the new one straight down. Very simple. No soldering! I don't remember if you said, but does your sound card have optical or coaxial out?
yes, it has both. but im still not sure if this amp will add the body/presence that I want to add to my sound.
post #78 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arteom View Post
yes, it has both. but im still not sure if this amp will add the body/presence that I want to add to my sound.
I was wondering, were you thinking about going analog out of your sound card to the possible tube amp?
post #79 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
I was wondering, were you thinking about going analog out of your sound card to the possible tube amp?
yes. RCA's seem to be what I would need to connect to. So probably would need to get a mini ro rca cable.
post #80 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arteom View Post
yes. RCA's seem to be what I would need to connect to. So probably would need to get a mini ro rca cable.
Ok, thats what I was thinking. My ASUS notebook audio was thin as well. What ever DAC is in there just wasn't up to the task. By going optical out, I'm by-passing the bad DAC and letting the Zero do the detailed DAC work. It made a night and day difference! Once the Zero does its thing, I can choose to listen to its headphone amp, or go analog pre-amp out to my LD MKIVse tube amp for additional tube smoothness.

The situation I think you are in is similar. Your sound cards DAC just isn't cutting it. That is the thin sound from the analog out.
Does this make sense to you?
post #81 of 9361
yes, but from what i understand the dac in my soundcard isnt too bad. Its a cirrus logic dac, supposed to be the same dac as used in the headroom micro amp. I also was under the impression that characteristic of sound had more to do with the amplifier than the DAC. Do you think that the body/presence of sound added by this amp is comparable to a tube amp?
post #82 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arteom View Post
yes, but from what i understand the dac in my soundcard isnt too bad. Its a cirrus logic dac, supposed to be the same dac as used in the headroom micro amp. I also was under the impression that characteristic of sound had more to do with the amplifier than the DAC. Do you think that the body/presence of sound added by this amp is comparable to a tube amp?
I have heard about the Cirrus Logic DAC from others, so I imagine it is OK. Someone might need a specific number of the DAC to tell you for sure. Sound card amps seem to be problematic as well. So, your "thin" problem still comes back to the analog side of your sound card. I still would recommend by-passing by using optical or coaxial out to a DAC and then analog out to an Amp. Whether you get a DAC/Amp now (fairly cost effective), and add a tube amp later or buy a DAC and a separate Amp or Tube Amp, I don't believe you are going to escape doing one or the other. One thing I know about tube amps is that if you give them a poor source, they can't do much in the way of fixing the sound quality. They do best with a super clean source. Good luck and let us know what you do. These sound card issues vary so much, it can be a challenge.
post #83 of 9361
i have just one more question, how much are they paying you?

lol, jk!
post #84 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arteom View Post
i have just one more question, how much are they paying you?

lol, jk!
I wish! It's just a really good unit and it does solve quite a few issues that many here a Headfi have been looking for an answer too, without breaking the bank. I'm 100% behind that kind of action, for sure!
post #85 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penchum View Post
Well, for the purpose of the "impressionistic" review, I didn't want to assume how high up the quality ladder the Zero could compete with directly. I knew for sure it stomped all over my Entec 205.5, so I tried to keep a level playing field around that. I agree there is NO reason why it couldn't compete with $600 or higher units, I just didn't have a way to substantiate that high of an impression. I can say with confidence that it's quality and performance suggest to me that it CAN compete at that level, but like I said in the review, I wouldn't go as far as expecting it too.
I really respect you for this.

I'd love to read more of your future reviews if you maintain this style.

There are too many people who hear one piece of good, inexpensive gear and instantly believe it is the bee's knees even if they've only heard one (or none) other the products in another price bracket.
post #86 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by d-cee View Post
I really respect you for this.

I'd love to read more of your future reviews if you maintain this style.

There are too many people who hear one piece of good, inexpensive gear and instantly believe it is the bee's knees even if they've only heard one (or none) other the products in another price bracket.
Thanks d-cee!

That means a lot to me, coming from you! The style I use is the one I like most, so I'll stick to it. I hope to do some more reviews soon. I have a couple of overlooked items coming in that might warrant a review. I've always preferred the "impressionistic" reviews more than the "comparative" reviews. Too any inherent flaws in comparative reviews IMHO. Plus, impressionistic reviews paint a better history for reading as time goes by.

Thanks again! I'm going to go celebrate now with some music!
post #87 of 9361
Is it possible to change the voltage to the european standard (220-230V)?
post #88 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henmyr View Post
Is it possible to change the voltage to the european standard (220-230V)?
I believe the power supply is installed for the appropriate voltage based on where you are located. Just email the seller for specifics to be sure, they have responded to my queries very quickly.

post #89 of 9361
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henmyr View Post
Is it possible to change the voltage to the european standard (220-230V)?
This was on the spec sheet listing on eBay:
"Input voltage of power : UNIVERSAL VOLTAGE:100-240v"

Read here for all of the information on the Zero:
ZERO NEW 24BIT 192KHZ DAC +HEAD PHONE AMP - (eBay item 140188390838 end time Dec-15-07 21:00:57 PST)
post #90 of 9361
my wallet hates you penchum . I went ahead and ordered one, hopefully I made the right choice for my first amp. And if not I will atleast have a clean source for a future tube amp. I might also end up selling my soundcard if this works well to make some money back (my onboard sound has a coaxial out). All thats left to do is wait. I hope it doesnt take too long.
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