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Positive Feedback ISSUE 2
With that, I take exception to the reviews of the Zen amp from the three gentlemen who wrote them. As a background, I have owned or reviewed many of the high-end amps and pre-amps that are popular with the Hi-fi journals. I now own the exact Zen amp reviewed in this issue.
I don't begrudge a difference of opinion. My gripe is that all three reviewers seemed to mate the amp with speakers that weren't well suited to the task. It's fine to try different speakers in order to experience first hand any amps' capabilities and synergy with that speaker, however these reviewers seemed ill prepared to plumb the depths of an amp they knew put out only 3-5 watts of power. Not only that but their excuses at the end of their articles seemed lame and anemic for "professional" reviewers. This is not up to the standards of this fine publication.
Regarding the Zen amps sound, I find it to be an excellent musical transducer. Mated with proper speakers it is rather special in its balance of attributes. It is very fast and very alive without being edgy. It's spot on in tonal balance. It images well. It is extremely musical sounding with great rhythm. It is better than many of the pricier components I have used and it is only $500 or so dollars!
We often talk about converting more people from the mid-fi market to Hi-fi and here we have a product that just blows away every mid-fi product I have ever heard and yet doesn't cost much more than many of the Sonys, Onkyos, NADs, et. al.. Don't you think for this reason alone that it (and any other similarly positioned product) deserves a more professional approach?
Incidentally, I have used this amp with various speakers including some old KLH speakers through which they amazed many guests to my home.
Again, thank you for a great forum.
thought your readers might find my list of "Classical SACDs" useful. You'll find
this at: http://www.bitwareoz.com/sacd/classical.html
There's also a corresponding "Jazz SACDs" list which is now sadly out of date. If enough people e-mail Julian (address at the head of the list) hopefully he'll get around to updating it.
Enjoy your "mag". Keep up the good work!
Stephen...it's been a while since I heard from you. (Then again, I've not had any extra
time for audioasylum.com... too bad, that.) Thanks for sending along the URL of your
classical SACD list. We'll post
All the best,
Jeff Braecklein, USA
As to break-in, unfortunately each component it different. I have heard some things changeimprove with a hundred hours or less, whereas other components seem to take forever. My imagination? Don't think so. Too much experience and that of others has shown it to be a real issue. Problem is, "What is the real break-in time?"
For most CD players I would go with at least 200-300 hours of continuous music playing. Whether it needs to see a load at its output I have never got a straight answer, but I prefer to leave a player hooked-up to a preamp when playing a disc. The preamp does not need to be onat least that is what I have heardbut then again if you leave stuff on, just turn the volume down. I have just finished about 300 hours on my new Cary 306-200. Major differences between "out-of-the-box" and now? Not really major, but the differences are real and worth the time. Warmer, sweeter, more open, and with a bit less "edge." Enjoy the Rega!
You: "Alas! Due to the bloody increases in the already bloody high shipping rates... to "the rest of the world," PF is not currently shipping outside of the USA and Canada. If that changes, or we find some other way of spreading our joy and cheer to the rest of the planet again, Joel, I'll post a notice here on AA."
Me: "Best case for web based subscription if I ever heard one !
"You: "Yah, if you can come up with a web-based subscription model... that really works... and doesn't kill the print end of things...then you've got something there! But then, that's the problem...."
Just in case you think I am making this up: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/hirez/messages/46467.html
Congratulations on PFO!! I am a tad slow, since I only 'discovered' it at Issue 2. I was thinking about your contributions to AA's Hi Rez forum today and quickly clicked on the PF link in my bookmarks and was pleasantly surprised. Somehow missed your announcement.
I miss those contributions on Hi Rez. In my book, the SCD-1 upgrade saga is still one of the highlights. Plus your SACD tips. We seem to have recurring DVD-A vs SACD discussions these daysthink someone is tinkering with AA's medicine cupboard or we have to change chemists! I dubbed it "Kremlin Watching" in a recent post. Nobody has the facts and we're all guessing as to the future of a format. Gets a bit tiresome after a while.
I am glad I can now 'subscribe' to PFO and I will start reading Issue 1 before I work my way over to Issue 2. It sure looks like a pleasant on-line read. Don't skimp on the pictures though... a picture paints a thousand words as you know (and it's easier to proof-read :-)
Anyway, just wanted to show my support.
a lot and I wish you and the entire PFO crew lots of success.
I have vague memories of that exchange at AA...all too prophetic, as it turned out, eh?
in regularly... there will be more to each issue as time goes by, right up to the point of
"cutoff." Dynamic publication, and yes... lots of photos!... should make it a
Editor in Chief:
Music, like communication is subject to perception, interpretation and I might add --imitation.
The only "absolute reference" is that conceived by the sound the composer hears in his/her head. After that, all efforts to recreate that "original performance" becomes an effort to recreate a unique event in time. An effort that sounds like the original, but is in itself a new creation. With the exception of a recording, no two performances of the same musical material is ever quite the same. Although I should add (at the risk of sounding redundant) that even the same recorded material played back on different equipment will sound differently.
There will always be subtle differences, nuances, etc. subject to individual tastes, perceptions, biases, whatever. Whether it be classical, jazz, reggae, C&W, or rap, each successive reproduction itself becomes a new point of reference. In the words of my ex-wife, a trained musician and violinist, "No matter how good it sounds, it will always be a recording."
It's all about the Music. Let's enjoy and participate in the creative process that gives it life.
Please advise if you can when you will be publishing Online the next installment of this. Also, I see you have a upcoming review of the Marsh 200s scheduled. That is a coincidence as I have been looking into it actively of late. I was going to contact Audio Advisor about an audition but perhaps I should wait for the article first. What do you think?...lol Ok David, keep up the great work. I must say I am very impressed by the PF online and I told Richard that too. He was expecting you awhile back as I was talking to him. I will subscribe to the printed version soon. I suppose you don't make too much off the online version. Again, I think you have a great publication here.
Dave Clark and I are glad to hear that you're enjoying PF Online! We want it to be a resource for the entire fine audio community, a site that's pleasant to read...educational and entertaining at the same time.
Don't worry about subscribing to the print version; we've discontinued that...Vol. 9, No. 3 will be the last. PF is strictly online after that.
Thanks for the good wishes...all the best!
All the best,
Editor in Chief:
I found a pair of 12" Tannoy Royal Blues (in home made cabs) on the used market. I must say the original plan was to build custom cost-no-object cabinets for the drivers, and to refurbish the crossovers and drivers (recharge magnets and install new foam surrounds)hoping to make them look like downsized Churchills. Needless to say swapping in the Royal Blues (as is) for the D-500's was not what I expected, a couple of giant steps backwards actually. I'm looking forward to getting started on the project. I'm starting to get a little long winded here so I'll cut to the chase. I'm planning to go on the web myself featuring my system for the time being but hoping eventually to market the mod that's been done to my Dynacos. In the mean time I was wondering if I you would be intersted in correpndence relating to the progress of my speaker project.
We'll be glad to look at anything you'd care to send along...email when you can.
Thom...good to hear from you again.
That's an interesting idea on the article dating. I'll pass this exchange along to Dave Clark, our trusty-rusty website editor. He can respond to it over there.
Uh... well... maybe... I guess... but the TOC does have the month and I am now using red "New" next to the latest additions. What I wanted to do was make the TOC have the look and feel of a print TOC, so I want to keep it simple. But your idea has merit. We'll see...