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New- Zishan Z1 DSD player thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by musicday, Apr 15, 2017.
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  1. groucho69
    me too.gif
  2. Dark Helmet
    I meant digital volume along with the pot like the Walnut V2
    nick n likes this.
  3. silverfishla
    Zishan Z1 does not have that. No variable line out either.
  4. Dark Helmet
    Jus got my Z1 today, finally after 5 weeks. Gotta say it sounds better than my modded Walnut. All I put in the Z1 is an OPA2604, and the Walnut has a Power cap mod new socket all silmic caps and a Phillips Made in Thailand 5523. The Z1 has a blacker background add the bass doesn't sound rolled off like on the Walnut. The Walnut has many many hours on it and the Z1 has about 2 hours on it thus far. Still need the new firmware.
    macky112 and knudsen like this.
  5. knudsen
    Would it be possible to limit the output power to say 2/3 or 1/2 of the current max (volume level) without degrading or altering the sound otherwise?
  6. Dark Helmet
    By the way great synergy with TY HI Z32 and SR80e.
    yabai likes this.
  7. james-O-hifi
    Alright, now I'm gonna add my experience with the Z1 too :) I was really looking forward to having this little Chinese guys delivered for weeks. Now finally two days ago I caught my postman on the street :D Whew, got home just in time.

    First visual impression

    Sturdy little device, a little bit smaller than expected, very lightweight and very pleasing haptics. It has this selfmade kind of feeling to it. The only thing I can't stand is the tramp stamp and the font but hey, I'm very willing to put up with this if this boy delivers what it's nutty cousin already promised (still waiting for my walnut btw, this is only based on what I read about the Walnut).

    Test Equipment

    Sony MDR-1000X
    Rock Zircon
    both low impedance (any recommendations for affordable high impedance IEMs and/or earbuds that'd be a good match with the Z1)?

    Comparison to: Oppo HA-2

    Source Material: Flacs and some free DSD files I found online. Mainly acoustic stuff and classic music. Extensive comparison done while listening to Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's recording of An Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

    I got my Rock Zircon a couple of days ago and got used to the sound signature pretty quickly and I like it a lot. Somewhat V-shaped, good clarity, fun sounding. Same applies for the MDR-1000X, although they're noise canceling, they are good sounding headphones (at least they fit my taste better than the Oppo PM-3, uh oh... now it's out there. Compared them side by side for a whole afternoon at my local headphone dealer and went with the Sony). However, this is not about the headphones it's about the little player and Oh Boy, was I surprised. I had high hopes after reading the thread here for weeks and after all I read about the Walnut and let me tell you, this little device delivers. The sound is incredible for a 30$ device. It is phenomenal. It's somewhat warm, fun-sounding player, it gives you a good sense of what is going on the recording (noticed this when I listened to some friends great Cello & Guitar compositions. check 'em out at www.sainmus.at). Then this morning quickly did the update to the new firmware and noticed that the sound already changes when you enter EQ-select-mode (anyone else noticed this?). Then played around with some EQ settings just to go back to the default settings after a while.

    Now, in the evening (Europe time) I did an extensive side by side comparison of the Z1 to the Oppo HA-2 and yes, the Oppo outperforms the Z1 but by no means by a margin that would justify spending about 11 times the money. The Oppo has more clarity, a better defined bass, finer details in the highs and also a more authoritative feel to it. The Oppo feels like it knows what it does very well at any given moment. The Zishan feels a little sloppier, a little blurred sometimes but hey, 380$ vs 30$ shipped and the Z1 definitely makes my Oppo stay in my backpack a lot more often now.


    The Zishan is an exceptional piece of hardware given the price point // It is an exceptionally cheap really good DAP/DAC. This little player made me talk to my non-audio-nerd-friends about how great it is for half of last night until they finally wanted a demonstration. :wink: The result? I ordered 3 more for my (non-audiophile) friends and a fourth one for a HiFi friend of mine today. Get it! It is a good player and took me by surprise, although I had read a lot about what I'd get.

    Bottom line: The Zishan Z1 is really good choice and a very solid product.
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  8. Dark Helmet
    Put an OPA2604 Opamp and I think your results might change.
  9. DBaldock9
    I've got an OPA2134PA on order (from eBay).

    Is there a chart, table, or knowledge base article somewhere - that shows a comparison of the SQ characteristics for the various OPA opamps? (or the various families of different brands of opamps?)
  10. Dark Helmet
    The 2134 is an excellent opamp try it. As far as there being a chart, not that I'm aware of. Ti's all trial and error. I decided on the 2604 because it is very balanced and has great detail and speed. The Z1 is warmer than the Walnut, but considerably more musical, and the 2604 gives the Z1 better resolution and detail, which help to make the Z1 a more complete player. There are probably other opamps out there that may be better. You may like the 2134 better for your tastes, that's why i would recommend you try it.
  11. DBaldock9
    Currently, I've got 2x ADA4627-1BRZ mono opamps on a DIP-8 carrier ($46.39 - actually more expensive than the $32 Z1) installed in the Z1 (with one of my MicroSD cards of FLAC files). It has good resolution & detail, and isn't as warm sounding as the stock NE5532 opamp.

    The other opamp I've received, of the 5 types I ordered from eBay, is the LME49720NA. I initially tried it in the Walnut V2, and during the short listening session (with 320KB MP3 files), didn't really notice much difference between it and the stock NE5532 opamp. I haven't tried it in the Z1, yet.
  12. Dark Helmet
    Get to opamp rolling. The LME you have might be a good choice though I didn't like it in my Z1 and took it out after about 1 minute. If you can get a OPA2604 on ebay do it and give it a shot. I got 2 for $11.00 from this seller:

  13. DBaldock9
    I believe it was over in the Walnut thread, that I posted this list of opamps I recently ordered -

    1x - DIP-8 dual opamp, made from 2x ADA4627-1BRZ mono opamps
    2x - DIP-8 dual opamp, made from 2x AD825AR V3 mono opamps
    2x - DIP-8 OPA2134 2134PA dual opamp
    2x - DIP-8 LME49720NA dual opamp
    3x - DIP-8 PHILIPS NE5532N (Vintage - mid-90s) dual opamp

    The ones that I've received so far, are the ADA4627-1BRZ and LME49720NA.
  14. nesty
    @DarkHelmet, is the OPA2134 pin to pin compatible with OPA2604? I mean just plug directly into the socket? Thanks
  15. Dark Helmet
    nesty likes this.
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