That's a good start, reading first, learning a bit and then buying, however we all have moments of not to be patient enough, but that's later stage, at least I hope you will be like that, otherwise your wallet will hate you for life…
There are some differences, which one may like more or less, but my decision was based on fact of using GS1000 with those amps and Yoshino won for me and here is why:
1 EAR's delicacy
2. EAR's mids
3. EAR's speed - it's kind of extra you get with it.
Zana is fast to, but not as EAR. Zana is very extended and with some driver tubes such as COSSOR ( think Brimar made ) I owned, it was endless, amazing tube, crystal clear and very detailed, but not unnatural. The mids, while are not bad, they were more kind of created by rolling of driver tube, so, I think the strongest basics of ZD are: bass and extended all the way up and down, where EAR's basics are very strong mids and delicacy. Bass wasn't that tight and deep, but it never bothered me, so, both of these amps are simply great, where one was better match for Grado GS1000 and another for Sennheiser HD650, to name a few. One last thing, which I found very important at the time I was looking for my amp, it's the ability of have plenty space with volume adjustment. If you take ZD then you are pretty fast done around say 9.30-10.00, maybe even less, but Yoshino was / is way better in that regard, cos you can run it with pretty high level and EAR just stay as cool as you can get, perfect, imo.
There are some options that EAR have and ZD not and these are fully balanced IN/OUT and 4x headphones outputs: 2x low and 2x high imp.
My ZD was one of the first run, number 28, and I believe one of the first 220V made, bought from a very nice gentleman from Czech Republic and sold later to a very nice gentleman from UK:-)))
In any way, I do believe you will love it, cos such quality and great personality are not much present, even these days, with so many gear around as it today I mean, only few are for life, so, great choice mate.
Originally Posted by AppleheadMay
I read the thread last night, quite the sandwich to digest! :)
It wasn't a leisurely read, I took a lot of notes and came to a nice list of interesting tubes with specific details to look for in order to get the right ones.
Really interesting thread with good info on the sound of the tubes and mostly a general consensus, not all over the place different opinions on them.
Some of these tubes are quite pricey though. I'll send an email to the shop in Vietnam first. I wonder, has anybody been able to purchase tubes from that dealer?
Oh, by the way Blackmore, I see you sold your Zana and went for the HP4 after that, which you don't have anymore as well if I remember correctly. May I ask how the Zana and HP4 compare?
I ordered a customized Zana from Craig, he said the mod I wanted was possible. I'm awaiting the invoice to pay the advance.
By the way, if anyone has any tubes they want to sell, feel free to contact me.