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ZO2 Impression Thread - Page 8

post #106 of 1126

Mine came in yesterday, I fully charged it and fired it up today.  iPod Classic with Soloz Audio Silver LOD to the Zo, with the Zo providing all of the gain. I got it specifically to use with my ER4s's.  It definitely does add adjustable LF extension, but at the cost of a great deal of the ER4's transparency which is where all the magic is.  OK for casual listening, but nothing more.  I much prefer going with a better, albeit larger, amp (i.e. SR 71-A) and forgoing the boosted and bloated bass.   

post #107 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Mostro View Post

I much prefer going with a better, albeit larger, amp (i.e. SR 71-A) and forgoing the boosted and bloated bass.   

 

Forgive me for editing and bolding this section of your post, but this sums up the fears that I held for the ZO2 prior to placing my order. That said, there is a massive price difference between the ZO2 and the SR71-A - horses for courses.
 

 

post #108 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

 

Forgive me for editing and bolding this section of your post, but this sums up the fears that I held for the ZO2 prior to placing my order. That said, there is a massive price difference between the ZO2 and the SR71-A - horses for courses.
 

 



I wasn't expecting it to keep up with the SR71-A, but the difference in SQ is several order of magnitudes greater than the price differential.  Don't get me wrong, it is a fun little piece but at the end of the day the cheap electronics really show through.  I really wanted to give it a shot with my ER4S as a small portable set up, but the loss of transparency and detail renders them no better than many other IEM's with decent LF extension on their own.  Believe me, I did not set the bar too high -- it's not like I was comparing it to my HP P-1.   Sometimes you win, sometimes not.

post #109 of 1126

Point taken - no problem.

post #110 of 1126
Sorry to read about the hiss. I was toying with the idea of getting one of these, but noise floor matters to me. I'll be watching for the ZO3 reviews.
post #111 of 1126

EDIT: Take all the comments with a pinch of salt, I've experienced huge improvement after a while of use!!

 

I got the package today and been listening now for about an hour or so. No hiss here but I'm not using IEMs so that's to be expected.

 

I'm still in the process trying to validate whether I'm liking ZO1's or ZO2's signature better. There's a little difference in sound. I may think that ZO1 even sounds a bit more transparent at the lowest 3 or so levels. ZO2 packs perhaps a bit more punch but it sounds almost even more colored than ZO1 though.

 

EDIT: What I do notice is that the ZO2 sounds better if ZO2's volume levels is put a bit higher say at lvl 20~25 or so perhaps and turning down on the source instead and it starts sounding more transparent, more like ZO1. The coating feels really nice and LEDs are very bright. I still need to do more listening to know for sure.

 

EDIT2: Now I'm starting to realize the ZO1's non-linear contour level adjustments worked very well like they were, I had thought it would be perfect with just one more level in-between the very lowest level which resulted in a bit less bass than not using ZO1 and the first boosted level which provided quite a significant boost. Ideally ZO1's contour levels with one more lvl added in-between the lowest and and first boosted lvl would be perfect. With ZO2 you get roughly the same bass quantity with the very lowest lvl as not using ZO2 and at first level it brings less of a boost than ZO1 does at first level which I had thought would be optimal but I dunno, there's something about the ZO1's contour lvl adjustment I can't put the finger on.

 

EDIT3: So far it sounds like ZO2's bass is a bit less tight than on ZO1, I really loved the bass response of ZO1 cuz of that. And unfortunately I do have to say ZO1 do seem to sound a little more transparent in my ears so in my ears ZO1 might even be a bit better sounding. :s


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/9/11 at 3:03pm
post #112 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD

 

EDIT2: Now I'm starting to realize the ZO1's non-linear contour level adjustments worked very well like they were, I had thought it would be perfect with just one more level in-between the very lowest level which resulted in a bit less bass than not using ZO1 and the first boosted level which provided quite a significant boost. Ideally ZO1's contour levels with one more lvl added in-between the lowest and and first boosted lvl would be perfect. With ZO2 you get roughly the same bass quantity with the very lowest lvl as not using ZO2 and at first level it brings less of a boost than ZO1 does at first level which I had thought would be optimal but I dunno, there's something about the ZO1's contour lvl adjustment I can't put the finger on.



Not that I plan on using the ZO2 with any IEMs, but so far they seem to be falling short, is what I'm gathering. Like, almost the exact same product, and yet even though it took 5 steps forward, it took 7 steps back. (10 steps would probably not be the correct analogy as it seems to do the job just not what everybody was expecting)

post #113 of 1126

Would adding the volume attenuators between the LO signal and the zo's line in make any sense?

post #114 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemperMalum View Post



Not that I plan on using the ZO2 with any IEMs, but so far they seem to be falling short, is what I'm gathering. Like, almost the exact same product, and yet even though it took 5 steps forward, it took 7 steps back. (10 steps would probably not be the correct analogy as it seems to do the job just not what everybody was expecting)

 

 

EDIT: Take all the early impressions with a pinch of salt, I've experienced huge improvement after a while of use!!


Yea, I like the coating, the leds, the removed pop noise when turning on/off but on the sound quality aspect I'm not convinced by ZO2, if I had to choose based on sound quality, I would probably have to pick ZO1 unfortunately. ZO1 is an unusually transparent sounding bass boost amp in it's price range with unusually good bass quality that is controlled and tight. ZO2 sounds more like a "typical" bass boost amp around $100. Sound quality wise I'd put ZO1 easily worth like 150~$200 (ie exceeding it's price point) while ZO2 is just about appropriate for its price, well 100~$120 or so.

 

EDIT: Seems like this was an issue that I haven't let the amp burn-in, now it seems a whole lot better after some hrs of use already. Take any early impressions with a pinch of salt.

 

I'd rather stick with the same components on the circuit board as ZO1 (so it would sound the same because they seemed to have found some combination working like almost magic there), keep the visual changes of ZO2 and tweak the volume levels and possibly even add a gain switch and use the contour level adjustment of ZO1 but with one added level at the very start and it would be a perfect product.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/9/11 at 3:04pm
post #115 of 1126

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
Yea, I like the coating, the leds, the removed pop noise when turning on/off but on the sound quality aspect I'm not convinced by ZO2, if I had to choose based on sound quality, I would probably have to pick ZO1 unfortunately. ZO1 is an unusually transparent sounding bass boost amp in it's price range with unusually good bass quality that is controlled and tight. ZO2 sounds more like a "typical" bass boost amp around $100. Sound quality wise I'd put ZO1 worth like 150~$200 (ie exceeding it's price point) while ZO2 is just about appropriate for its price, well 100~$120 or so.


Maybe I should sell my ZO2 then and trade down for a ZO1. I wouldn't mind the glossy feel, nor the removed pop. Sound quality is what I got it for. I guess I'll get it in tomorrow, play around with it on the M-80 and the SR80i's and then take a look at how I feel and what my options are.

 

post #116 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
I'd rather stick with the same components on the circuit board as ZO1 (so it would sound the same because they seemed to have found some combination working like almost magic there), keep the visual changes of ZO2 and tweak the volume levels and possibly even add a gain switch and use the contour level adjustment of ZO1 but with one added level at the very start and it would be a perfect product.


Let me ask this: (*ninja edit*) to somebody who's never touched either yet, which would you not hesitate to recommend first?

 


Edited by SemperMalum - 11/9/11 at 3:49am
post #117 of 1126

EDIT: Take all the early impressions with a pinch of salt, I've experienced huge improvement after a while of use!!

 

Well ZO1 lacks volume adjustment so you'll have to use it with a headphone jack but or else you'll have way too high volume so then it depends a little what's your DAP is, if you're like using some portable device it doesn't always have such a great quality on it etc but if the analog output on the source is at least of decent quality I think you'd also find ZO1 better sounding. Look I'm just using an Audigy 2 ZS soundcard myself with kX Audio drivers and I really do hear the difference in transparency relatively easily between ZO1 and ZO2, ZO1 has a more natural less colored sound to it, bass is more forgiving in not overhelming the overall frequency response range too much. Besides that I can't hear much difference if any but there's quite a lot difference regarding transparency (sorry I don't know how to explain it into words, I know the meaning of it tho). In complex passages with lots of stuff going on it's like easier to pick out the small details, they stick out more clearly so to speak.

 

Can any1 else that's tested both ZO1 and ZO2 relate to this or is it perhaps just my source that is not a good fit for ZO2?


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/9/11 at 3:41pm
post #118 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Well ZO1 lacks volume adjustment so you'll have to use it with a headphone jack but or else you'll have way too high volume so then it depends a little what's your DAP is, if you're like using some portable device it doesn't always have such a great quality on it etc but if the analog output on the source is at least of decent quality I think you'd also find ZO1 better sounding. Look I'm just using an Audigy 2 ZS soundcard myself with kX Audio drivers and I really do hear the difference in transparency relatively easily between ZO1 and ZO2, ZO1 has a more natural less colored sound to it, bass is more forgiving in not overhelming the overall frequency response range too much. Besides that I can't hear much difference if any but there's quite a lot difference regarding transparency (sorry I don't know how to explain it into words, I know the meaning of it tho). In complex passages with lots of stuff going on it's like easier to pick out the small details, they stick out more clearly so to speak.

 

Can any1 else that's tested both ZO1 and ZO2 relate to this or is it perhaps just my source that is not a good fit for ZO2?

 

I guess since I'm going to be mainly using my Samsung Galaxy, I might not notice. If that's the case, it'd be more of a situation where I might be better off sticking with the ZO2 since that's my main introduction, rather than downgrading/upgrading to the ZO1. Again, pure speculation.
 

 

post #119 of 1126

hey mind if I ask again, would the volume attenuator have smaller effect on sq in between the player and zo, or should it be in between the zo and your iem/headphones?

post #120 of 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by SemperMalum View Post


Let me ask this: (*ninja edit*) to somebody who's never touched either yet, which would you not hesitate to recommend first?

 



M50.

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