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Review: ZERO 24 BIT/192KHz DAC/Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 567

post #8491 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by decayed.cell View Post
Would you say that amp and a FrankenZero would be the best bang for buck DAC/Amp combo under $500?
A C-2C and the FrankenZERO would be very hard to beat at 500US or less, depending on Zero options. IMO of course.

The FrankenZERO scales very very well....as I continue to add better quality amps and preamps (post Frankie) the improvements continue to astound . I have no idea where this improvement ends.

Sennsay and Pench can concur with this observation. With every (dedicated) amp upgrade the sound quality continues to improve and refine....seems to me the better gear you surround the Frankie with the better the end result. FWIW since I'm bound to say that (I would call a spade a spade though, those that know me would agree).

Merry XMAS to all

Peete.
post #8492 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by goorackerelite View Post
Hi I'm thinking about upgrading my opamps in the headphone/pre-amp section to the LT1364s. Do those opamps provide a smoother sound or a less harsh sound? What will I gain or lose with that upgrade in the preamp section?

Also, I'm using opa627s in the DAC section to drive a little dot mk3, I've heard that it's too tubey from other members, but I think it sounds nicely lush.
If I understand you correctly you are simply using your zero as a DAC/preamp? If this is the case the headphone section in your zero isn't utilised at all and therefore any upgrades in the opamps in the headphone section wouldn't have an impact on SQ.

Edit: This isn't entirely correct.
post #8493 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post
A C-2C and the FrankenZERO would be very hard to beat at 500US or less, depending on Zero options. IMO of course.

The FrankenZERO scales very very well....as I continue to add better quality amps and preamps (post Frankie) the improvements continue to astound . I have no idea where this improvement ends.

Sennsay and Pench can concur with this observation. With every (dedicated) amp upgrade the sound quality continues to improve and refine....seems to me the better gear you surround the Frankie with the better the end result. FWIW since I'm bound to say that (I would call a spade a spade though, those that know me would agree).

Merry XMAS to all

Peete.
I guess it'll be interesting when the Compass DAC comes out then, and of course the FrankenCompass.

EDIT: Speaking of which, where the hell has the pricelist gone lol. And I wonder what the ST-3 sounds like
post #8494 of 9361
If you are using the volume control at all, you are using the headphone board portion of the zero and the sound goes through those opamps, so git to upgradin.
post #8495 of 9361
Yea I am wondering if I should even tinker with this thing. I reckon I'll swap out the caps, install some wima bypasses, and swap out the opamp on the DAC board with a HDAM.

When is the compass coming out?
post #8496 of 9361
Just a curious question since I have an extra HDAM laying around. Would it be possible to combo a normal op-amp and a HDAM in the Zero's amp section? I reckon it's possible but would it have any benefits to the sound quality?
post #8497 of 9361
My unit makes noticeable humm/buzz noice when turned on.
Why is that?
post #8498 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by K3cT View Post
Just a curious question since I have an extra HDAM laying around. Would it be possible to combo a normal op-amp and a HDAM in the Zero's amp section? I reckon it's possible but would it have any benefits to the sound quality?
One opamp per channel.

Why would you want to have two completely different devices for this job? They'll be at different volumes, with different sonic qualities. It'd be like putting a blue filter over one of your eyes...

~Phewl.
post #8499 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clok View Post
My unit makes noticeable humm/buzz noice when turned on.
Why is that?
Noisy transformer. Either put more padding underneath the actual transformer, or replace it.

~Phewl.
post #8500 of 9361
Does anyone know if this is a good replacement for that USB/SPDIF-OPTICAL device that comes with Zero DAC?

LINK

Looks like CM10x devices are worth, right?

I have a PC and now a notebook so I'm thinking of something useful for both.
post #8501 of 9361

That's the first thing I worried about

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sganzerla View Post
Does anyone know if this is a good replacement for that USB/SPDIF-OPTICAL device that comes with Zero DAC?

LINK

Looks like CM10x devices are worth, right?

I have a PC and now a notebook so I'm thinking of soformatsmething useful for both.
But then realized that the Zero has a coax S/PDIF input; I think a cheap converter like this USB-to-optical could be an issue.

I own the exquisite Grado RS-2s and I want the best I can get, of course, but $ is tight. I am exhausted w/ research and have finally decided on the Zero (my first amp.)


While researching pro interfaces, I've learned that clock jitter is a huge issue. Some people think because the signal path is digital that things like interconnects, codecs, power supplies are not as big a concern like a lot of problems w/ analog.

While this gizmo keeps the conversion D-D, it is a conversion. The shortest signal path in any system is highly desired for good reason; the chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. In this case I'll just bet that link is this $15 converter.

You can find out tons of stuff on the Net about the various forms of digital jitter on the net; I have not seen this issue addressed on this forum. I can tell you that the clarity of music reproduced by D/A-A/D audio is probably more dependent on clock synchronicity than anything else. And, after what I've read, I will use choose coax before optical. Either way, I am certainly not depend on any cheap-ass, $15 converter.

Of course, you will get tons of good advice from people way more experienced and knowledgeable than me. Because this thread is so enormous, I think you should start a new one, just about optical/coaxial conversion. Then I will be subscribing.

post #8502 of 9361

OP amp swap

I have a stock Zero for the last 1 year.
I am wanting to change the opamps. I am getting a good deal on a pair of OPA627 Op-Amps on Brown Dogs (used) for $55. Is this a good upgrade from the standard 2604(I think)?
Or can I make a better investment in upgrading the ZERO with the HDAM thing - (I dont exactly know what it is?)
Thanks a bunch!
post #8503 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash View Post
I have a stock Zero for the last 1 year.
I am wanting to change the opamps. I am getting a good deal on a pair of OPA627 Op-Amps on Brown Dogs (used) for $55. Is this a good upgrade from the standard 2604(I think)?
Or can I make a better investment in upgrading the ZERO with the HDAM thing - (I dont exactly know what it is?)
Thanks a bunch!
A good upgrade? yes. A good price NOOOO!! (if you're talking US) - you could get an HDAM shipped to you from China for that, which would be a much better upgrade. If you're going to spend $55 I'd go right to an HDAM (think of it as a souped up OpAmp that was designed for audio specifically).
post #8504 of 9361

My ears failed

Well I just received my LD MKII (early Christmas present) which I am pairing with my Zero. I did an ABX test against the Zero HP amp and really could not hear any noticeable difference. I tried a bunch of different songs, tried listening to snare drums, vocals, guitar, nothing made any difference apparent. I think I must have defective ears/perecption center of my brain because Lame V7 mp3 is pretty much transparent to me and I really really have to struggle to hear any artifacts whatsoever in CBR 112 Kbps (if I can hear them at all), at least for 'Sultans of Swing'. I know, it's pretty pathetic. Unless I don't know what it is I am looking for to discern a difference. If that is the case then I really don't want to learn because it will save me a ton of money not knowing. I don't know why my hearing would be so bad, I am 25, never have gone to any loud rock concerts. I verified that I can hear up to 17 khz (maybe 18 khz). I just don't know.
post #8505 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by helicopter34234 View Post
Well I just received my LD MKII (early Christmas present) which I am pairing with my Zero. I did an ABX test against the Zero HP amp and really could not hear any noticeable difference. I tried a bunch of different songs, tried listening to snare drums, vocals, guitar, nothing made any difference apparent. I think I must have defective ears/perecption center of my brain because Lame V7 mp3 is pretty much transparent to me and I really really have to struggle to hear any artifacts whatsoever in CBR 112 Kbps (if I can hear them at all), at least for 'Sultans of Swing'. I know, it's pretty pathetic. Unless I don't know what it is I am looking for to discern a difference. If that is the case then I really don't want to learn because it will save me a ton of money not knowing. I don't know why my hearing would be so bad, I am 25, never have gone to any loud rock concerts. I verified that I can hear up to 17 khz (maybe 18 khz). I just don't know.
Ain't a real easy way to put this but I'll try. You're listening to CRAP. I'm sure the LD is resolving the CRAP in a little better detail than the Zero, but maybe not. I don't have a LD II. I do have a LD V and it does some better than the Zero.

First things first. You need to listen to some WAV's or FLAC, or APE files or some other lossless format. Trying to discern a difference in these two amps with that low a level of MP3 is kinda like breaking out a cassette tape or 8-Track. Hopefully, you'll notice the difference quickly when you get more detailed source music.
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