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microZOTL 3 by Linear Tube Audio. True High End Audio.

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by jamato8, Dec 21, 2018.
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  1. Matthew Willims
    Ah, got ya. I use mine as a preamp into a copy darTZeel NHB108B power amp so I kind of like the remote volume control. I've ordered the motorized Khozmo 64 step ladder attenuator so I think that will improve things somewhat. I'm very interested to hear your comparison of the MZ3 however :)
     
  2. jamato8 Contributor
    Well the MZ3 is here. I am disappointed. I had hoped my MZ2 would hold up better to the comparison. The MZ2 is really good and I enjoyed it.

    The MZ3 after a few hours of warm up and it still needs some burn-in, takes everything to a completely different level. The sound shimmers and with such extreme delicacy and yet authority. The level of refinement to the sound is more than I had expected. The bass even shimmers with control and cymbals, I don't think many have heard them like this. Cymbals that are well recorded are kept in their place but dance.

    The soundscape is huge and stays out in front of you and power seems to encompass the sound but everything is open and free. This is with my SR1 and the Utopia. Will try some planers as well. The HE1000 V2 and LCD-2+ will be up to the list for listening.

    The case has also dramatically changed. It is an extremely solid case, not heavy, not light. It is a matured build, compact, nice thick aluminum grill on top, nicely rounded faceplate to finish off the look. The 1/4 jack has one of the nicest, grips of the plug. No more locking jack but quality grip has replaced it. A nice soft blue glowing power button when on, eliminated volume and setting window, neatly done on the front and you can time out the leds so no light is emitted from them. The back, quality RCAs (input X3 output as a preamp X2), speaker posts for high efficiency speakers. The power supply has an umbilical of around 3 feet and snaps into place on both the PS and the MZ3.

    Great stuff!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
    XERO1, WNBC and Tao8 like this.
  3. Matthew Willims
    Ah crap..... You realise I need to buy one now :frowning2:
     
  4. purk Contributor
    How much is it?
     
  5. jamato8 Contributor
    $3700

    Listening to some piano on Melinda, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Chills. Wow. This amp serves up the volume, dynamics and weight of a piano and it is crazy good.
     
  6. Tao8
    Hi Jamato8,
    Sounding like it’s turned into a big win in going to Mz3 from the Mz2. That’s a great thing. Just checking tho you mention in your earlier post that there is 1x pre out but was thinking it is supposed to be 2 x pre outs. Have they changed the spec?

    Thanks for the updates.
     
  7. SteveM324
    Does anyone know the difference between the Microzotl preamplifier and the Microzotl 3 headphone amp? I looked on their website and found a few differences but I'm wondering if the performance of the preamp as a headphone amp is the same. Also, would there be any difference in the preamp performance between the two? The preamp has 1 more RCA input and a unbalanced XLR input that is not present in the HP amp. The HP amp has speaker outputs that are not present in the preamp but I doubt that I would ever use it as a speaker amp. Obviously there is a form factor difference between the two components. I'm guessing the external power supply is the same for both but I'm not positive about that. It seems like the specs are the same but the preamp costs $750 more. The price difference isn't important to me but I do care if there is a performance difference. Since I liked the mk2 version of this HP amp when I heard it at Axpona last year, I'm sure I would like the Microzotl 3 even more.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  8. jamato8 Contributor
    You are correct. Input X3 and Output X2 (as a preamp).
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  9. jamato8 Contributor
    This is a word I normally don't use, just not part of my vocabulary.

    The bass slam, impact, quality on the MZ3 is Epic. And yet it does not interfere with the rest of the frequency range or seem out of place, just some of the best quality and impact I have ever heard. I was not expecting this much of a change, Dynamics is also superb. I am still burning in the MZ3 and left it running all night, which I normally don't do with tube equipment but this doesn't run the tubes hard and nothing get really hot except the tubes, which is normal.

    The quality compact design of the MZ3 is also a pleasure as is, unexpectedly, the remote. They use an Apple remote that isn't big or too small but a nice quality just big enough not to get lost, all aluminum remote.
     
  10. bdh
    @jamato8,
    Could you please describe the sound compared to some of the SS outputs of your digital sources. I'm currently listening to my CA Atlas via the headphone jack of my Empirical modified Benchmark Dac1 -- which sounds better than my HD-250 tube amp. (The HD-250 sounded better with my DX1000's).
    My main concern with considering this amp is the self-described lack of body to the music - I like body to my music. But then people mention it sounds close to solid state, and the output I hear now doesn't lack body. Anyway, thanks for sharing what you can.
     
  11. jamato8 Contributor
    The Preamp has a more expensive case and more internal space but from what I understand, the internals are very close as is the sound. The preamp is more geared towards to amp/speaker systems with 5 inputs, 1 balanced and more control of what is being routed and how, per what is normally needed in a preamp.

    You can get a number of the same operations with the MZ3 but they are though the remote. On both the tubes are NOS that are hand picked.
     
  12. jamato8 Contributor
    I am still burning in the MZ3 and expect this to go on a little while so these are all impressions within the 1st 24 ours and now stretching past 24 hours but barely. The sound is extremely dynamic and no mushy tube sound but like a solid state with tube quality. The sound is full, very transparent and the speed of the MZ3 is amazing. Some of the best piano I have heard. Piano doesn't sound like a miniature but like a feed to the even and you can visualize a large piano in front of you with a grand sound and all the completes that a piano puts out in sound.

    Compared to digital out or other SS amps I have, it is a more natural warmth but not tube warmth but what sound normally is like, analogue.
     
    Tao8 likes this.
  13. SteveM324
    Jamato8, thanks for the reply. I spoke with Mark from Linear Tube Audio today and confirmed that the MZ3 and the preamp should perform the same as a hp amp and preamp. Like you said, the preamp has a more expensive case and 2 more inputs. The preamp has buttons on the front panel that the MZ3 lacks (those functions are only available via remote on the MZ3). The power supply is the same for both but it's internal to the single chassis preamp and external for the MZ3. Both use the Apple remote so no difference there. He told me that the MZ3 has enough power to drive the HEK v2. Did you try the HEK v2 on the MZ3 yet? I'm interested in your thoughts about this combination.
     
    Tao8 likes this.
  14. jamato8 Contributor
    I have some Tom Petty live music on. Melinda, what a song, anyway, at 60 out of 100 and plenty loud, maybe a little too loud, yes too loud lol. Plenty of headroom and very nice bass and very good depth.
     
  15. freesole
    Curious about this as well. Trying to decide between the Preamplifier and the MZ3 which would be a fantastic headphone amp along with a very, very good preamplifier for my speaker system.
     
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