Eddie Current Balancing Act vs ZD Super

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by TomNC, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. TomNC

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    Could members who have heard both kindly provide some comparative comments on them? I wonder which one is overall superior, a used BA (with good 2a3 perhaps) or a new ZD Super?

    I am saving towards a purchase of a mid-level or above amp to drive primarily HD800s and 650s (even better if it can drive HE-6s to a somewhat decent level).

    I don't have experiences with decent tube amps except the entry-level LD MK3 with C3g drivers. My reference SS amp is Taurus MK2 and I like its precise imaging capability besides overall excellent performance. But it would be nice to have the options to get warmer/lusher mids and sweeter trebles with tube rolling.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    BA is warmer, lusher, more laid-back, and had a delicate treble. Staging is also more precise and expansive. Resolution is a tiny bit better. The BA was running EH 300B tubes for what it's worth - a fairly typical 300B bloomy sound. A KR PX-4 will make the BA sound more neutral (if you can find a KR PX-4).

    ZD Super is a bit bassier with the Senn cans (higher output Z), but not necessary warmer or lusher, and is more present in the mids. ZD Super is also less refined and a little bit rougher around the edges compared to the BA, but it does have a spooky euphonious sound which is difficult to describe... most easily heard in vocals.

    This was from my direct comparison between them two weeks ago. (Same source, same recordings.)

    Although I appreciate the HD800's strengths, I am not a big fan of the HD800. But I did get it play very well in this setup: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...tem-synergy-special-sound.54/page-3#post-4891
    The BA in that setup was too laid back for the HD650s.

    On the other hand, I love the HD650/HD600 (and HD800 modded) from my regular setup: ZD Super + VPI Classic. (The Classic as it is currently setup with the phono pre is not what I would describe as a warm classic turntable sound. It's rather energetic and slightly leaner and brighter than Yggdrasil.)
     
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  3. TomNC

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    Your input is greatly appreciated. It seems there is no loser between these two. I am slightly leaning towards the ZD Super as vocals are a big part of my listening. Working well with both HD800 and 650 seems also a strength of the ZD Super.
     
  4. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The BA can work well with the HD650 with a KR PX4. The problem with those tubes is that they are hard to find (not always in stock), have had a high defect rate, and are way too expensive. EML was said to be working on a PX4, but I haven't been keeping up.
     
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  5. TomNC

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    Thanks again. I recall some head-fi'er sold a BA with EML not long ago. Hope more units will be available before long. There are often round-up reports on vehicles in the same category on automobile magazines. Would not it be nice if there are detailed reviews that compare and rate a group of amps in one report? Yet I cannot recall I have read once such a report from audio magazines.
     
  6. TheloniuSnoop

    TheloniuSnoop Almost "Made"

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    This is a question for those familiar with the BA circuit. How much of an influence on the sound do the Solen cap's have, and would it be
    worthwhile to upgrade them? Thanks.
     
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