Zero Dac Opinions & Reliability
Nov 10, 2008 at 2:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

tubes

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Hi all, I'm looking to get my brother an inexpensive Dac/Headamp combo, I've read a lot of the huge thread under headphone amps. It seems there are some reliabilty issues cropping up, whats your experience with this Dac? Thanks.

Phill
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 2:18 PM Post #2 of 6
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The issues that have come up with the Zero so far (off the top of my head) are:

Units received from the most well-known seller, "Lawrence" (biglawhk on eBay from memory) have occasionally had problems, such as the upgraded opamps inserted backwards or not seated well enough or the grounding wire on the volume pot becoming detached.

The Zero itself has a cheap volume pot on the headphone/pre amp that is imbalanced at low volumes. The construction quality of the main DAC circuit board is not that fantastic always. At least one person removed the main board and found flux residue and un-snipped component wire tails.

It seems to be the case that when Chinese companies are rushed, they do poor work, or farm out the work to people who don't do a good job. This is especially true if whatever it is being manufactured is cheap.

I'm suggesting to people that if they buy, they buy off of eBay, so if problem arise, they will have some recourse.

It's not in my sig at the moment, but here is my Zero Guide if you haven't already seen it.
 
Nov 10, 2008 at 2:40 PM Post #3 of 6

DaMnEd

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Forgetting the Lawrence mishaps, and about the craftsmanship of the manufacturer workers I had basically a few problems, one already mentioned by Currawong, the not so clean board.

Here is a picture of my ZERO board when I removed it to upgrade some caps:


Not the best picture (unfocused) but you can clearly see flux all over the board, basically they do not clean after working on the board.

I also found one component leg that was too big (poorly cut) on the back. And also some solder here an there on the board.

So, I had to do a fair bit of cleaning to make sure the board was somewhat close to my standards, within reason of course.

Then, I ZERO would disconnect and connect at will (lose of power), and every movement I made to the casing would cause this also, I noticed that when this happened some "sparks" could be seen on the IEC inlet, so, the inlet was clearly faulty, purchased a new one (3 bucks) and fitted the new one, no problems since then!

The ZERO is a very nice unit, no doubt about it, but the manufacturing standards are clearly loose or completely missing.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 2:14 AM Post #4 of 6

punk_guy182

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- Volume pot is faulty. Sound is way is way too unbalanced and more ponouced in the right ear.

- RCA Jacks are loose.

- Volume knob not well seated it scratches the chassis when I turn it.

- Have to turn in the headphone plug in the jack to have sound in both ears.

- Power led faints.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 6:32 AM Post #5 of 6

BigTony

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I have the upgraded version, bought 3 weeks ago. My only problem is a noisey transformer, but thats on the to fix list. Sound with thr HDAM units is extremely good.
 

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