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Zana Deux: Best or Worst for HD800? - Page 2

post #16 of 35
I've got the ZD and the HD800. I know this may prove to start some interesting conversation here. This is as unbiased as possible. I believe the HD800 offers a very good combination with the Zana, though there maybe better out there. It sounds effortless and eminently smooth. Extremely controlled with very accurate low frequency reproduction. After listening to more than 50+ different redbook CD's in their entirety through my Wadia 6 directly to the Zana I've come to conclude that it is a very listenable combination, but I just couldn't get the spine chilling experience if you will. I listen more for emotional impact rather than just ultimate neutrality. Ironically, it's one of the most neutral setup's I've heard. It may even beat the my ex HP-2 with the Zana. So, in conclusion the ZD with the HD800 is excellent but could not move me emotionally. There seems to be something missing. Maybe impact.
post #17 of 35
Well I sure get impact. I have had to rearrange and upgrade the source though to deal with the clarity. At this point I am blowm away. At the recent meet I was very happy on how it stacked up against others, only one really may have surpassed it and that had a higher end dac and was balanced(I am still waiting for my upgrade dac).
post #18 of 35
The Zana sounds great with the HD800 if you've got it paired with the right DAC. I heard a few at CanJam and none impressed me. But with the Zana hooked up to my modded DL3 it sounds fantastic.
post #19 of 35
The ZD into the HD 800s being fed by the RM-10/Sumiko/Bel Canto combo is the best wsound I've heard. The BA will sound even better.
post #20 of 35
I'm in the market for a new headphone amp, and I spoke with Craig Uthus on Friday about my setup. I am looking for something to drive my Sennheiser HD800, and Craig said I'd more than likely be happy with the Zana Deux.

I am leaning in this direction. So, from the HD800 users, are the stock tubes the way to go, or is there a concensus that there better ones out there?

I'm also looking at Woo, but what is making me a little gun shy is that there seems to be a lot of upgrades available; tubes and even additional parts offered where with the Eddie Current stuff, its just the amp, and nothing else. It seems like the Eddie Current stuff is complete the way it is, or are there more mods and tubes that people purchase to get more out of the amp?

Thanks.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemalter View Post
I'm in the market for a new headphone amp, and I spoke with Craig Uthus on Friday about my setup. I am looking for something to drive my Sennheiser HD800, and Craig said I'd more than likely be happy with the Zana Deux.

I am leaning in this direction. So, from the HD800 users, are the stock tubes the way to go, or is there a concensus that there better ones out there?

I'm also looking at Woo, but what is making me a little gun shy is that there seems to be a lot of upgrades available; tubes and even additional parts offered where with the Eddie Current stuff, its just the amp, and nothing else. It seems like the Eddie Current stuff is complete the way it is, or are there more mods and tubes that people purchase to get more out of the amp?

Thanks.

the willingness of a builder to use boutique parts has nothing to do with the quality (or lack thereof) of an amp. a builder offering some tube options (instead of making you find your own) speaks neither well nor ill of them either.


also note: for my BA, Craig did offer the options of upgraded tubes (KR PX4's), upgraded tube sockets (teflon), and partial-silver output transformers. only the last of which is shown on the website.
post #22 of 35
Hi Doug, thanks for your perspective.

I see that you have an HD800. How do you like the paring of it with the BA?

Also, have you ever heard an HD800 with the Zana Deux?
post #23 of 35
I have the Zana Duex and I currently, and for a while have been using a Valvo NOS tube for the driver. I bought several tubes for drivers during the first 200 hrs, which ended up being the break in period. After that, I ended with a few favorites and the Valvo was one of them......haven't really thought about it for a while, this one has been in for six or more months. I think I bought two new on ebay-matched pair for around $110 or so but there are better deals and some tubes I like just as well-I got for $30. Not a big chunck of cash compared to the amp cost, but I would dump the Russian driver it comes with first thing. Also be aware that for many, and for me, that 200 hr mark is a major deal, and I am one who rarely subscribes to the break in philosophy.
post #24 of 35
I have the Zana Deux too, and I agree with dallan. If you decide to go for one, do yourself a favor and swap the stock russian tube out with a good NOS tube. It really is worth it. As dallan said, they don't have to be expensive, and are very very easy to swap if that's your worry.
post #25 of 35
The ZD is an excellent amp for the HD800. I agree with dallan and Nor_spoon that it is easy and relatively inexpensive to roll tubes. You only need to roll 1 (driver tube) of the 5 tubes to really affect the sound quality. I swapped in a NOS driver tube, and kept the other 4 tubes stock.
post #26 of 35
The ZD is very easy to use compared to some other tube amps.

You really only need to roll one tube, the 6SL7, and no tube biasing adjustments are necessary. And for this, you basically only need to remember three words, Valvo, Tung-Sol and Mullard.

I use the HD800 with the ZD, as well as several other headphones. They all sound pretty good.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas View Post
The ZD is very easy to use compared to some other tube amps.

You really only need to roll one tube, the 6SL7, and no tube biasing adjustments are necessary. And for this, you basically only need to remember three words, Valvo, Tung-Sol and Mullard.
.
One more - Brimar is good too.
post #28 of 35
Dallan, Elephas, SteveM324, nor_spoon & El_Doug,

Thanks to all of you guys for answering my questions. I am very new to headphone amps and want to make the right decision and I really appreciate your thoughts about driver tubes.

I will ask about driver tubes when I speak with Craig again.
post #29 of 35
when it comes to the ZD, i beg you to consider the ECC35 from Mullard, if you get the opportunity - such a fantastic tube, I cannot stress it enough!!! highly detailed, extended, sweet.... i wish all of my amps could use this tube
post #30 of 35
Doug,

Thanks, it's on the list!
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