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Is the zero dac usb good?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
do a search on ebay for zero dac usb

http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=zero+dac+usb

does the usb work under linux?

this is a external sound card and amplifier in one right? i can use this on my laptop with no problems?

should i buy the 2009 version? or wait for the 2010? when does it come out?
post #2 of 54
I heard that it suffers some major reliability issues, which is why I'm going for the v-dac now
post #3 of 54
USB input controlled by PCM2704, which means it follows USB Audio 1.1 standard, something for which there are drivers with pretty much every O/S.
post #4 of 54
They've had a few meltdowns resulting in some damage in the past. However, the new 09 model should be improved. It's had quite a remodel or so I've heard.
post #5 of 54
The Zero was pretty much flavour of the year in DACs for something like most of 2008 because it was cheap and easily modified. During that time, a couple of the ebay sellers took advantage of that and sold pre-modded units. Unfortunately the reliability of one of them was poor, and people started receiving units with blown parts, and, in the worst case, one destroyed a pair of headphones. For $99 (at the time) it was a matter of you-pay-for-what-you-get, but has a very "musical" sound. Since you could swap the OPAMPs** and improve the sound, it's not a bad unit, but now there's a lot more on the market, especially around the $200 mark, which is what a Zero cost if considerably modified, it's not the only option.

**OPAMPs are entire amplification circuits condensed into a small chip, rather like the modern version of vacuum tubes. If socketed in a device, they can be pulled out and switched with other models.
post #6 of 54
Thread Starter 
what are some of the other options available at that price point? and when does the 2010 zero come out?
post #7 of 54
The Aune would be almost exactly the same with more reliability.
post #8 of 54
I have a Zero '09 version. The earlier models suffered from poor reliability, but from what i've heard, these new version are great and the problems that caused earlier ones to break have been addressed.

I use the optical input to analog output, so I can't comment on the USB. If you want pics, just ask.
post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
so how is the sound quality for the zero 09? good for the money? on the ebay page it says that it is the best value amp for less than 200.

i am more concerned with the sound quality instead of the amping since i will be using the hd 555s and they don't need that much amping.

anyone know when will the 2010 version come out? i want to know if it is worth waiting for

what's with the multiple sellers selling the same zero amp on ebay? who should i buy from? is there another place where i can buy this amp?

can i use this amp for speakers in the futures if i buy some?
post #10 of 54
I think the only reason there is a "2009 version" is that they added USB. I don't think it's an indication there will be a new model every year. It should be fine with whatever headphones you choose.
post #11 of 54
Yes, there is not a version every year. See the '09 version as Revision 2. The main change was that USB was added and I believe the power circuitry was reworked.

Here is a list actually.

Quote:
2009 new edition has the following improvements:

﹡09 edition has an added auto search and signal lock function.

﹡Memory function can save data automatically after powering off. It will return to the last situation if no signal is found after power on again.

﹡USB function.

﹡Special independent circuit for D/A converter, the sound effect is greatly improved.

﹡Adjust and refined the analogue circuit to improve its function.

﹡Enlarged the height by 30% of all 9 pcs radiating ribs to better disperse heat.

﹡Improved the power section to eliminate static disturbance.

﹡With color option: black and silver
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by expxe View Post
so how is the sound quality for the zero 09? good for the money? on the ebay page it says that it is the best value amp for less than 200.

i am more concerned with the sound quality instead of the amping since i will be using the hd 555s and they don't need that much amping.

anyone know when will the 2010 version come out? i want to know if it is worth waiting for

what's with the multiple sellers selling the same zero amp on ebay? who should i buy from? is there another place where i can buy this amp?

can i use this amp for speakers in the futures if i buy some?
You should buy from the ebay seller coolfungadget. He's a member of the trade here on Head-fi. He's a great person to deal with.

Yes, you can use it for speakers.
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixdown110 View Post
You should buy from the ebay seller coolfungadget. He's a member of the trade here on Head-fi. He's a great person to deal with.

Yes, you can use it for speakers.


if i use it for speakers, how many watts can the speakers be?
post #14 of 54
It is NOT a speaker amp. You can use it for speakers, but you'll have to have a seperate power amp. It doesn't have banana jack output nor does it have the power to run speakers. If you want a speaker amp/DAC/HP amp, try the Travagan's Green. I would reccomend the Green over the Zero if you're just using USB and want speaker outputs. Otherwise, I'd say to check out the Maverick D1.
post #15 of 54
Thread Starter 
the zero dac does include a sound card correct? my music will sound better if i plug my headphones into it instead of the onboard sound i currently have, am i correct?

how can i tell if one USB DAC will sound better than another?
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