ZMF Verite Closed-New Closed Back ZMF Flagship.
Nov 2, 2021 at 5:51 PM Post #8,251 of 10,432

Marutks

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Ideally I want something that sounds great out of the box without any hiss or fuss. However, it seems many owners of the more popular tube amps have had to make some adjustments to deal with various issues. I'll start checking out 1101 Audio though and see how that looks.

ECP T4 is noise free but it is not OTL amp.
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ecp...plifier-built-and-sold-by-beezaraudio.924736/

1101 Audio Blue Halo amp is noise free if you use 6N6P soviet tubes ( you need adapters ). Or you get very lucky and find some noise free 6J5 tubes.
 
Nov 2, 2021 at 6:20 PM Post #8,252 of 10,432

DeweyCH

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DSC05683_1296x.jpg
Stupid vanity question, but I think these are my VCs in this Pendant pic:

@zach915m do you happen to know what pair this is? Is it Neptunia?
 
Nov 3, 2021 at 2:02 AM Post #8,253 of 10,432

mfgillia

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The amp choice will also depends on what other headphones you plan on using. I bought an Auris Nirvana, but I also run Susvara most of the time, so I needed a nuclear reactor to power it. If you plan on using planars of any kind, then OTL amps aren't likely to work for you. The Mogwai SE is a really nice amp (all ampsandsound amps are). The Forge from headphones.com/ampsandsound is also a lovely amp. Any of these will power pretty much any headphone.

Woo Audio WA22 is also a really great choice and is built like a tank and will power most planars. WA-5LE is slightly above your price range but is also a nuclear reactor that can power anything so that's something to consider.

Cayin HA-6A/HA-300 are great amps, but since you mentioned noise, they both literally need an adapter to run high impedance dynamics like VC or you'll get a ton of noise, so that's not going to work for you.

So if VC is your main headphone and you don't have any hungry planars, you can basically look at any "quality" amp, but if you want to run anything, you're more limited.
Thanks very helpful post - touches upon many of the amps I've been looking at recently. In theory, I want something more versatile which could use for both planars and dynamic drivers so looks like perhaps non-OTLs are preferred.

Which then leads to one likely very newbie question - are there general reasons why one might favor OTLs instead?
 
Nov 3, 2021 at 2:09 AM Post #8,254 of 10,432

mfgillia

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if you're not powering planars, and want a quiet high end amp, two models come to mind that are incredibly good with the VC. First is the Decware CSP2 or CSP3. They don't come along used often but if you see one, grab it, it's good. The second amp that comes to mind is the Kenzie by Ampsandsound. It's Justin's quietest amp, and is an excellent match with ZMFs. I doubt you'll see one for cheap, but if any used DNA amps come up, also killer amps. I had a used Sonett 1 and it was really nice. Dead quiet with a nice tonality.
I was looking seriously at the Kenzie after running into Resolve's review. Didn't realize it's also known for having a low noise floor though. I see it comes with 32 and 600 ohms outputs but believe they would customize it upon request. For running the VCs would changing the 600 ohms to 100 ohms, which is inline with the Pendant, be preferrable?
 
Nov 3, 2021 at 3:01 AM Post #8,255 of 10,432

sp33ls

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For running the VCs would changing the 600 ohms to 100 ohms, which is inline with the Pendant, be preferrable?
Yes, if you want to run both planars and
ZMF, then 8 Ohm & 100 Ohm taps is what I'd go after. Generally speaking, you want the output impedance to be at least 2x less than the headphone impedance (not a hard requirement tho).

You could run the VC on the 600 ohm, but it likely wouldn't be ideal. There's a chance the bass response might be a tad "loose". 100 Ohm is what I'd go with for the VC, and would work well for any 600 Ohm cans you might acquire down the road.
Which then leads to one likely very newbie question - are there general reasons why one might favor OTLs instead?
Like a lot of things in life, less is more is a favored approach with amps. Adding a transformer to the output (like speaker or headphone terminals), is useful for better matching the impedance of the output tube to your headphones (to have an option to use both planars and VC), but comes at a cost.

Transformers will add a tiny bit of distortion, and will limit the bandwidth of the signal. We audiophiles are a crazy OCD bunch and most try to have the most "unadulterated" signal reach our transducers. OTLs tend to be favored when matched with the correct load for this reason, but you're then pretty limited with what headphones you can use with it.

Everything with this hobby is about trade-offs. You can have less overall compromise if you're willing to (wisely) invest more, but the laws of physics still triumph at the end of the day.

And to make matters more confusing, some people prefer trade-offs which often times are objectively inferior [i.e., measurements]. Some people actually like having transformers in their signal path.

IME, that's why this hobby is more about the journey of identifying what it is you prefer.
 
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Nov 3, 2021 at 4:13 AM Post #8,256 of 10,432

mfgillia

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Yes, if you want to run both planars and
ZMF, then 8 Ohm & 100 Ohm taps is what I'd go after. Generally speaking, you want the output impedance to be at least 2x less than the headphone impedance (not a hard requirement tho).

You could run the VC on the 600 ohm, but it likely wouldn't be ideal. There's a chance the bass response might be a tad "loose". 100 Ohm is what I'd go with for the VC, and would work well for any 600 Ohm cans you might acquire down the road.

Like a lot of things in life, less is more is a favored approach with amps. Adding a transformer to the output (like speaker or headphone terminals), is useful for better matching the impedance of the output tube to your headphones (to have an option to use both planars and VC), but comes at a cost.

Transformers will add a tiny bit of distortion, and will limit the bandwidth of the signal. We audiophiles are a crazy OCD bunch and most try to have the most "unadulterated" signal reach our transducers. OTLs tend to be favored when matched with the correct load for this reason, but you're then pretty limited with what headphones you can use with it.

Everything with this hobby is about trade-offs. You can have less overall compromise if you're willing to (wisely) invest more, but the laws of physics still triumph at the end of the day.

And to make matters more confusing, some people prefer trade-offs which often times are objectively inferior [i.e., measurements]. Some people actually like having transformers in their signal path.

IME, that's why this hobby is more about the journey of identifying what it is you prefer.
Thanks! Great explanation - very helpful and easy to understand.
 
Nov 3, 2021 at 10:11 AM Post #8,258 of 10,432

whirlwind

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Nov 3, 2021 at 11:07 AM Post #8,259 of 10,432

robo24

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Currently I'm running them with the JDS Labs Element 2, which is great, and a baseline solid state that Zach uses to test headphones. I'm currently researching other potential options. I'm particularly looking at the iFi Pro iCan amp since it's very flexible, also has a tube built-in if you want to switch to a hybrid mode, and I like that iFi sound. I'm still debating versus some other options though.

I had a Feliks tube amp which sounded great with VCs, but I ended up preferring solid state.
I really found it a great match when I had the iCAN, though it can be greatly improved with some tube swapping suggested on that thread.
 
Nov 3, 2021 at 1:07 PM Post #8,260 of 10,432

Wes S

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Nov 4, 2021 at 10:11 AM Post #8,264 of 10,432

TheMiddleSky

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Oh wow. Great shot.
Cool pic! The Sapele is my favorite of the bunch.
+1, Sapele is also one of my favorite ZMF wood.
Thanks. True, I also a bit surprised with sapele. Sapele looks nice on Aeolus, but look awesome on VC. I still prefer the Stabilize by much though haha.

Wow yea never thought Sapelle would look so good. It's very holographic, it's a great wood.
Yes the texture really do the job to create the holographic effect.

But if we look at the other side of Stabilize VC (the middle position from photo above), its texture is even crazier to create 3D effect:

2021_1102_17141600.jpg



Are all three your own? :D
Edit: Checked out your profile -- you've got some great skills!
Thanks. Unfortunately not, I just lucky able to photograph them together :o2smile:
 
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Nov 4, 2021 at 12:54 PM Post #8,265 of 10,432

PointyFox

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Anyone heard the VC off a Hagerman Tuba? Interested in the African wood, but my chain is a Modi 3+ and Tuba.
I just ordered one, so will know once/if I receive it.
 

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