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ZO - why am I not impressed?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Got my ZO via Amazon - seems like based on packaging it may have been used, and was missing a piece of instructions I saw in the YouTube videos. So not a good start.

I have a Fiio E-11 and love it so thinking this was a bass head amp I bought it. First off, it's unclear if I am in high gain and I'm not sure if it matters. I hooked it up via a fiio LOD connector to my iPhone 5 and let her rip. Again, not nearly as loud as the E-11 and not so much more bass even on RED contour if not less.

So first, ZO owners, how can I be sure I'm in high gain to get the head thumping bass and ear ringing volume I expected? Or is this all I get? If so it goes back to seller. $100 and it is not a challenger to my Fiio.

Please post up if you understand this little beast and how to get it LOUD. TIA. All this playing into Sony XB700's. .
post #2 of 5
Here you go mate here;s a video on setting up Zo. Let us know.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the link - it cleared up the high gain thing.  High gain is ONLY for using the 3.5" mini plug instead of the LOD. 


I'm going to give it another chance using high gain and not use the Fiio LOD connector and see.  Then I'll double amp it with the E-11 and see how I like it. 

post #4 of 5
I bought the ZO a little while ago. The headphones I am using are the Mad Dogs by Mr Speakers. My source is an iPod Touch 5th gen.

First of all, the included interconnect is complete garbage. It started messing up after a week.

When I tried to power these 50ohm headphones with the ZO, it wasn't enough. I didn't use an LOD cable, I just double amped it. In high gain (pink) mode, it sounded horrible at high volumes. It was distorted, but even so I didn't find it very loud at all.

What they did work with was my apple earpods. When you pair this thing in high gain mode with those earpods, they sound fantastic.

So a few days ago, I got an Objective 2 amp. I bought it because the Mad Dogs need more power than a ZO2.

Just this evening, I bought some new interconnects so I could try triple amping the setup. (iPod to ZO2 to O2)

I was able to get the volumes I wanted, but the distortion was still there in pink mode. Even though I was using a 3.5mm interconnect and not an LOD, I decided to try low gain (purple) mode. 

In this mode, the distortion disappeared completely. I was about to sell this thing off, but apparently when you use it in low gain mode in a triple amped setup it works perfectly. I got exactly what I wanted. 

Basically, this thing seems like it works very well with IEM's, but with full size headphones, you should expect it to give you more bass, but not the volume you want. For both volume and bass, you need another amp to supply the power.

I could be wrong about different headphones with lower impedances, but with the Mad Dogs, you need power.

Edit: My mistake, you're not supposed to raise the volume on the source too loud. The distortion disappeared once I reduced the volume on the iPod in High gain mode. It works fine in pink now, all I had to do was put my amp to full volume.
Edited by Goofy145 - 1/9/13 at 11:10pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Decided to double amp my toys............iPhone into E-11, then into ZO and from there into my Sony XB700's. WOW..........serious depth of sound and power and incredible bass. I am keeping them both and keeping them piggybacked.
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