Eddie Current Zana Deux S

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Luckbad, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. drgumbybrain

    drgumbybrain Science Nut

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    Just foundd this tube Fivre Radio in a flea market, downtown Rio de Janeiro.
    The seller asked me 20$ LOL Very interesting and clear sound tube
    IMG_4028.JPG
     
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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  2. jeeperbge

    jeeperbge Rando

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    Im demoing the ZDS at home for a couple weeks, very cool amp. I’m particularly enjoying the soundstage My main headphone is the HEKse. I’ve read the whole thread and maybe I missed it, but anyone here using any of the Hifiman headphones with their ZDS and have tubes they prefer with it? I’m aware that many think that planars are a bad pairing with the ZDS. I have the stock Tung Sol as well as a Sophia 6SL7 I’m switching between. Finding I like the mids of the stock tube but the bass is a little wooly. I like the refined, tighter sound and soundstage of the Sophia but the bass is shy and I’m missing the mids. For listening to rock, blues and Jazz I’ve primarily been using the stock tube. For classical and acoustic the Sophia has been my preference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
  3. Paulo Mario

    Paulo Mario Rando

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    I had a HE-560 which played horribly from the ZDS, very distant mids and complete lack of bass control. I also have the LCD-4 and the Empyrean, neither one played well with the Zana IMO. I use the ZDS only for dynamic cans (Utopia, Stellia, Verite)
     
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  4. jeeperbge

    jeeperbge Rando

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    Damn that’s not what I wanted to hear. Appreciate the insight! Yeah the search may have to continue for a great tube amp that plays well the my HEKse.
     
  5. slankoe

    slankoe Tongue tastes of LH butthole

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    Will comment on the planars with Zana Deux Super / ZDS combination below but first I want to tell you about the ZDT Jr / ZDTJr.

    I have the ZDTJr in house right now (it has the hum issue that many of the models have which will be resolved by Massdrop).

    In some areas of performance the ZDTJr gets to about 90% of that which the full-on ZDSuper has, and ninety percent is a value that I'm basing off my own subjective frame of reference at this time. It represents what I think is a fairly noticable difference as far as the amount by which an amplifier in the signal chain can make the transducer sound... well, different.

    This says a lot about the ZDTJr. That it can achieve performance that close to something already high up in the fidelity. It isn't as good as ZDS, but perhaps the replacement unit from Massdrop that doesn't have the hum issue will sound even better?

    Zana Deux Super is very much the next step in performance with its clean output transformerless vacuum tubes and ZDTJr. is output transformer coupled tubes.

    I've compared just enough of different amplifier topologies also including tube hybrid to grasp how differently they can sound and what the characteristics of each are.

    For most planars that are fairly sensitive you want to get the ZDTJr.

    For dynamic drive headphones both are pretty good though Zana can transform each dynamic headphone in a staggering way at times. It's the resolution that is cranked up a notch.

    ZDS sucks butts on LCD-4, its just muchy mids and it stinks bad. Okay, it's not that bad, but you won't be getting your money's worth at all. HiFiMan HE-560 also takes a bit of current to drive as well as the insanely demanding LCD-4, and the high impedance ZDS simply doesn't do it justice. LCD-X can sound decent on it, and it does seem to change the character slightly, but many planars are no good on it.

    ZDSuper gives Utopia that extra 5% of refinement, which is a hell of a lot, while cranking the HD650, HD800, up in performance, and giving HD250 Linear I (600 ohm) enough power to sound excellent and slightly smooth.

    An aside: where something like the Phonitor 2 or a more powerful reciever gives HD250 that extra last bit of resolution and a lot of dynamic range (subjectively, you can hear the contrasts more vividly when HD250 is powered to it's fullest.

    By the way, if you manage to see an HD250 for sale in good condition for USD 250.00 or below, I highly recommend pulling the trigger on these if you like natural mids and a U-shaped sound signature.

    It actually does a cool trick where turning up the volume overall affects the percieved tonal balance to bring the midrange forward, which can really change the presentation. Its mainly an interaction with the fletcher-munson curve. In this way it can really be enjoyed at different volumes especially with music that should be listened to loud!

    The ZDS seems to give a more accurate sound that is cohesive across the board with better room feel. ZDTJr adds more of a bass punch that is similar in feel to amplifiers like Bottlehead SEX, or Woo WA7, with more accurate tonal balance and headstage than either.

    My favourite pairings with ZDS are HD650, and Utopia. With ZDTJr, HD800 is my favourite. Denon D7200 is better on ZDS than ZDTJr.

    Planars sound better with ZDTJr, as it delivers the current most need, however anything more demanding than HE-560 will not sound it's best.

    Zana Deux Super + high ohm dynamics = win

    received_552972915209132.jpeg received_901137546724608.jpeg
     
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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  6. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    Guys,

    A friend of mine bought a Zana Deux S recently, but the manual and the back of his unit says SE, while the front of the unit just says "Zana Deux".

    How can he verify that his unit is really an S, instead of SE? Thanks.
     
  7. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Email Craig with the serial number and ask.
     
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  8. songmic

    songmic Gear cycler East Asia edition

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    All ZDS are labeled "Zana Deux" in front and "SE" in rear. The best way to tell whether it is ZDS is to check the height of the 2 black capacitors behind the 6SL7 tube. ZD and ZDSE have short caps (most likely shorter than 6SL7), whereas ZDS has taller caps (most likely taller than 6SL7).
     
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  9. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

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    Thanks!

    His capacitors are taller than his 6SL7 tubes but he's gonna email Craig just to be sure.
     
  10. slankoe

    slankoe Tongue tastes of LH butthole

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    My manual says SE as well, but it is a Super and I have verified this. :D
     
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  11. Captainsubtext

    Captainsubtext Rando

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    I had a chance to listen to the Audio Technica ADX5000 recently on a Vioelectric V281 running off a Metrum Pavane and compare it with my HD 800 SDR mod. I felt that the ADX5k was the better headphone (bass response, more detailed, airier treble) on that setup. The only thing I didn't particularly like about the ADX5K was the soundstage which seemed fairly narrow compared to the HD 800.

    Subsequently, I listened to the ADX5k on a Mogwai SE and I felt that my reservations about the ADX5K's soundstage were pretty much addressed running it through a tube amp.

    I just wanted to check if anyone has listened to the ADX5k on the ZDS and if they had any impressions to share.
     
  12. MisterRogers

    MisterRogers Ethernet Nervosa

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    Another point of reference for Empyrean; I find it has pretty good synergy with ZDS, low impedance output.The Empy's are fairly efficient, so can perform fairly well with ZDS. My Super's running a red base.
     
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  13. Forza AudioWorks

    Forza AudioWorks MOT: Forza AudioWorks

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    All I can say is that Empyrean doesn't need a lot to get going. Some days Ago I had them with Susvara and the drive difference between them was big to say it mildly.
     
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  14. Blake

    Blake Acquaintance

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    +1. I think the Empyrean and ZDS combo perform very well together. I also run the RCA 5691 red base, alternating with a West German military version of the Mullard ECC35.
     
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  15. Blake

    Blake Acquaintance

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    One additional point of reference, I just acquired HEKse and the ZDS is also a very, very nice pairing, but the HEKse is amp friendly. In fact, I prefer ZDS+HEKse to either ZDS+HD800 or ZDS+HD800S. I actually think I am going to sell off all my headphones and just roll with the ZDS+HEKse combo.

    So HEKse and Empyrean seem to be the exception to the rule for the OTL+planar being a bad combo, IME.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  16. ivanrocks321

    ivanrocks321 Rando

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    got a question might pickup a zds but have some questions. anyone know what the output impedance is for the preamp out? Im hoping its low enough for my firstwatt f1j. Also anyone know how this does with the akg k1000 or any ideas how well it might handle the k1k?

    Thanks!
     
  17. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I assume the F1j has JFET inputs which have a super high input impedance. I wouldn't worry about the impedance matching.

    edit: assumption was wrong. Just checked the specs and input impedance is low at 10k.
     

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