Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › New Portable Amp By DECWARE
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New Portable Amp By DECWARE - Page 6

post #76 of 124
It's been pretty quite on this thread this week. I have been purposely standing back in regards to this thread as I don't want to appear that I'm trying to dominate the conversation w/ the countless superlatives I've been throwing towards this amp. One thing I have noticed though is the sound is much more relaxed now & its getting to the point were even if I don't recognize the chamber piece or concerto I can pick out the recording label pretty consistently from the "house sound" that the different recording labels normally have. I have two recordings that are definitely not up to par w/ most of my other recordings whose flaws are even more evident as they should be. Oh, one other thing ,which I will mention before I get long winded as I normally do. I decided that my initial change of settings (10k imped & high gain) work better for me. With these settings I'm able to keep my Zunes (more than one) at half volume with no decrease in dynamics & have a very large adjustable range of volume w/ the Zen Head. I know a few other posters received their Zen Heads about the same time mine came. It's your turn fellas, don't make us come knock on your door asking why you haven't checked back in. Good listening & goodnight !(One other thing I should mention As detailed as this amp is it is much easier to detect where the violins are placed in the orchestras as opposed to the violists because you can hear the violinists breatheing . Why you ask? because as we all know violas & violins are actually the same size they just appear to be different due to the fact violinists have larger heads)
post #77 of 124
Skeptic writes:

Clearly, if it struggles with a 250 ohm Beyer, you do have to worry about impedance and synergy, just like with every other headamp. 300 ohm Senn's or 600 ohm Beyer Manufacturer's are also going to require mods, etc.

Actually the issue described with some phones is the cable capacitance, not the impedance. The ZH1 has no issues with high impedance phones, in fact I've been using one at my bench to drive one of my tube amps (100K input impedance) with an IPOD Touch making it possible to listen to Pandora, and internet radio without getting constantly distracted by it's sonic faults. The ZenHead uses a 100 ohm resistor in series with the output jack (with a 10K shunt to ground) that generally improves the sound (at least to me) with most phones but makes it a bit more sensitive to cable capacitance. So if you have a set of phones that gives you static or pre-mature distortion and it's not a function of the internal switch settings on the ZH1 or low battery then you have a cable capacitance issue. I didn't expect this to be a problem having testing it with a wide variety of great headphones, but what I've noticed is that many audiophiles have upgraded cables to after market types of which some are rather high capacitance. I am looking into a possible rev 5 board for the ZH-1 that would include one more switch to bypass the 100ohm resistor. Most phones would work in either setting but the signature of the phones would change slightly from one setting to the other - might be another nice tweak.






Fort_Worth_Keith wrote:

Steve told me that he had lowered the impedance on his Beyer DT 880s prior to developing the Zen Head by replacing the cables. I think its an honest mistake on his part.

Actually, I said I had lowered the capacitance. When I got my 880's the cable didn't impress me compared to my 770 PROs so I cut it off after a few days and replaced it. Then when I got your headphones in the shop with the stock cable I found out it had some capacitance that irritated the ZH-1, hence the jumper wire installation.





PodTweaker writes:

Why you ask? because as we all know violas & violins are actually the same size they just appear to be different due to the fact violinists have larger heads)

Sorry, but I just couldn't stop laughing


Final note:

I have updated the owner's manual on the web site. To prevent confusion, the ZH2 was a prototype that was an attempt to best the ZH1. It has never actually gone into production and none have ever been shipped. With the evolution of the ZH1 there is no possibility that ZH2's will ever go into production. (Often when I feel a design is ready to sell last minute self doubt always moves me to see If I can make something better, hence the ZH2. This either restores my confidence or creates a better product.)

BTW, I feel after reading some of the reviews in this thread that "they get it" with regards to how I voiced the ZenHead and it's gratifying to see other people appreciate the subtleties of a design. Thank you!
post #78 of 124
Is that you Steve ?, if it is thanks for checking in. One question while you're here . I have my 770/Pro 80s about 3 months & my Zen Head about 3 weeks & the 770s have never sounded better, but they still appear just a touch "dry" (& I do mean just a touch) in their presentation of upper octave material. Does that character change a bit as the phones age a bit more. Overall, I would have to say I really love the way this combo places clear solid images in the recording depending upon how well the production team did their jobs. I can't remember how many years ago there was a book written by Laura Dearborn titled 'Good Sound' were she discusses what constitutes a 'representative recording' as opposed to other methodologies of recording. I find it pretty fantastic that I have a portable setup that allows me a look into these efforts! Now if we could only get you designer guys to make us a real player to use as a source... Thank you !
post #79 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Podtweaker View Post
Is that you Steve ?, if it is thanks for checking in. One question while you're here . I have my 770/Pro 80s about 3 months & my Zen Head about 3 weeks & the 770s have never sounded better, but they still appear just a touch "dry" (& I do mean just a touch) in their presentation of upper octave material. Does that character change a bit as the phones age a bit more.
3 months isn't a terribly long time... broken in yes, seasoned no. My guess is that you'll see more change in the Zenhead in the coming months than you will in the headphones.

Steve
post #80 of 124
That is pretty much what I thought, & I was really nit-picking a bit about the 770s . Last night I was listening to some things & I had to ask myself if the 770s weren't doing somethings as well as my AKG 701s. I haven't tried my 701s because I've mis-placed my 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor that came w/ them. I remember looking at the adaptor when I got the phones a few years back & saying to myself "Boy, that kinds of silly idea!" having never heard any source components that I thought would warrant using quality headphones with. What's that saying about you live & learn ? Well, I'm learning, & enjoying things immensely in the process.
post #81 of 124
Podtweaker,

I'm sitting at my computer listening to Pink Floyd on my Philips Ipod clone with Zen Head on and a lovely pair of AKG 701's as my can de jure. I wonder how much sound stage a chap can take before he passes out from sheer delight. I'm reveling in a sonorous soundscape of immense proportions. I am pleased. Anyway, it's certainly worth a whirl.

I'm listening to Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother...now I've switched to Varese's "Ionization." Very terrific this. On to "Ameriques." Oh this Varese fellow is quite good. Almost as good as Zappa. Or John Cage. Or Messiean. Or even Heitor Villa Lobos. Or better yet Elvis.

So far so good with the 701's and the Zen Head via Philips. You might want to find an adaptor. This should not be missed. Even your polka albums will take on a new lease on life. Hey, even my polka albums sound good now.

Still, the best I've heard from the Zen Head and Philips is when I put on my Grado 325i's. There is magic here. Nice synergy. And I need synergy as I've decided that I'm a pirate metal fan (at least for a couple weeks before I get back to serious country music).

Cheers!
post #82 of 124
Yashicaman, I did find the adaptor & the 701s did indeed sound wonderfull but(& I hope what I'm about to relay is not viewed as a "one upmanship" story) I went out yesterday & auditioned (& ended up getting) a pair of phones I like a bit better, the Denon AH-D5000s. I had remembered that I had given them a short listen when I went to audition my AKG 701s I liked them but I didn't really do much of comparison as I didn't really want to spend that much (about $700 at that time) so I got the 701s with absolutely no regrets. I don't know what posessed to go back & re-audition the D5000s(actually it was the store demo price, which is still more than what I paid for the 701s but I can't help myself!) My impression of them is that they retain the openness of the 701s but along w/ that level of transparency they have warmth to them that slightly eludes the open back designs. I will continue to go back & forth w/ them for a while to see if my impressions about the level of transparency remains the same. Quite obviously different recordings may sound better on one pair or the other due to different recording techniques or to be more honest better engineering & production of the various labels. I'm sorry to have bored some of you w/ this discussion about cans on the portable amp forum. To get back on track the dealer I went was pretty blown away by my Zen Head amp I took w/ me to audition things. It seems a couple of his customers are head-fiers & we talked a little about all the talk about the RSA amps. His comment was that he thought this amp was at least the equal of the RSA pieces he'd heard & he might like this amp a little bit more!
post #83 of 124
Podtweaker,

Headphones and amps go together like mashed potatoes and gravy (or, for that matter, peanut butter and jelly). Oh yes, I must add the music player and the music itself. Anyway, when I get a chance, I will auditon the Denon AH-D5000's. There is a giant list of headphones and headphone amps that I'd love to audition. Should try to get to a meet.

Cheers!
post #84 of 124
To everyone out there who has this amp if want to hear some magic you absolutely have to hear your Zen Head ZH1 w/ a pair of Denon AH-D5000s. In an earlier post I described the tone of the James Olson acoustic guitar that David Wilcox is playing in a live recording. I don't know how many of you may be aware of the sound characteristics of different size acoustic guitars & in some cases the sound of double basses & cellos, in certain registers, can be mistaken for one another. Well, listening to the Wilcox recording again w/ the Denon phones you can hear that the guitar being played is not a dreadnought sized instrument but a slightly smaller size instrument due to the fact that the string sound is more balanced from the lower strings through the treble strings, whereas a dreadnought sized instrument will sound a little bit 'chestier' sounding. In other words the sense of scale is very easily discernable through this combo. I suppose I get too wrapped up in details ,but sometimes these details won't let me ignore them due to the fact that most playback of recorded music is very easy to semi-listen to. More often than not, listening w/ these pieces, I find it easier to ignore everything else.
post #85 of 124
I'm curious how this amp performs with the UE11. I read folks using Shure IEMs with it, but the UE11 is extremely sensitive and I'm wondering if there would be any audible noise coming from this amp.

It sounds like the Zen Head is better suited for full size headphones. Would it not be the right choice for an IEM user?
post #86 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by thread View Post
I'm curious how this amp performs with the UE11. I read folks using Shure IEMs with it, but the UE11 is extremely sensitive and I'm wondering if there would be any audible noise coming from this amp.
The UE-11 sounds fantastic with the Zen.

Personally, I tend to listen to music at a lower volume, so for me the Zen was too loud even on low gain/high impedance. Steve can fix this if you request a lower gain.
post #87 of 124
I had an opportunity to use the Zen portable amp yesterday at the Tampa Meet thanks to HiFlight.

I used three cans: AT ESW9, AT ESW10jpn, and Ultrasone PROline 2500. All were driven very nicely and I did not go higher than 9-10 o'clock on volume. The source was an iPod Classic.

However, portable it is not, transportable yes.
post #88 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
I had an opportunity to use the Zen portable amp yesterday at the Tampa Meet thanks to HiFlight.

I used three cans: AT ESW9, AT ESW10jpn, and Ultrasone PROline 2500. All were driven very nicely and I did not go higher than 9-10 o'clock on volume. The source was an iPod Classic.

However, portable it is not, transportable yes.
Sorry I couldn't go up there with you but the NASCAR race was great. Glad to hear that you were able to try this amp. How would you rate it? Can you compare to the Reference and the SR-71 and/or (A).

Thanks

Leo
post #89 of 124
Leo, I did not test it with the level of detail to compare it. Meets are not that conductive to extensive nor detailed comparisons.

Besides, I would not use it as a portable amp and I do not need a home SS unit. For portable I would stay w/ a MiniBox-E+, Reference, D3, or SR71.
post #90 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrarroyo View Post
Leo, I did not test it with the level of detail to compare it. Meets are not that conductive to extensive nor detailed comparisons.

Besides, I would not use it as a portable amp and I do not need a home SS unit. For portable I would stay w/ a MiniBox-E+, Reference, D3, or SR71.
Fair enough! Thanks for the update.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Portable Headphone Amps
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Portable Headphone Amps › New Portable Amp By DECWARE