Massdrop x Eddie Current ZDT Jr. (Official Thread)

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Hands, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,467
    Dislikes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    @SteelCannon What is your preferred setup again? I don't know what direction you're coming from.

    @Lyer25 If you have the patience and can save up for a really, really nice amp, that's a good way to go. Try to hear a similar amp first before dropping the cash in the event it doesn't end up being your thing.
     
    SteelCannon and Lyander like this.
  2. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    5,812
    Dislikes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    No worries, @SteelCannon, I'm (reasonably) certain I know what I'll be signing up for. That's the beauty of having steady baselines, yeah? Thanks, by the way, I appreciate the guidance!

    (Yes I'm a fan of warmth, so seeing something that reportedly competes with spendier amps is genuinely exciting. The only reason I'm hesitating is because I know I'll be wanting a proper TOTL eventually anyway, and am trying to avoid superfluous expenses on the way there, haha)

    @Hands, the patience is there, but sweet fajitas this is tempting :))
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    58,933
    Dislikes Received:
    101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    To be clear, it's not the warm or bloomy sound that I care for. (It should be noted that ZDTjr is less warm, less mushy, and more aggressive than NBM). I do appreciate the richness, the lush mids, the smooth treble; but it's the resolution, the microdetail, the microdynamics that have really wow'd me.

    Sagaheim / Jotunheim has way better grip and hits harder, but tops out in resolution somewhere in between Modi Multibit and Gungnir Multibit DACs.

    ZDTj kept scaling way to Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil - tweaked output stages and all (no, these tweaks don't involve stickers or fuses).

    Maybe @Mdkaler can say a few things, although I'm sure he came back to his house completely ruined. I left him alone with the AF, ZDTj, and Yggdrasil for a few hours.
     
    slankoe, A1Gear, Lyander and 4 others like this.
  4. Arun Kumar

    Arun Kumar Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2017
    Likes Received:
    183
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Chennai, India
    IMO massdrop has been bombarding its customers with new (custom) products with similar functionality. It's definitely good to have options for customers, but might generally result in confusion / fatigue, beyond a point. Other than SBAF talking about the ZDT Jr. I don't see many other places doing the same. Massdrop should probably pace themselves a little bit better.
     
  5. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,429
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'm torn about this amp. And it's not the i don't have faith about how good it is. Based on trusted ears I feel that it's an amp that I'd really enjoy. But given my recent moves (sold hd800 and BHS) I think that something like the MD CTH might be better for what I've got, hd660 AFO and lcd i4. Still I'm waffling about missing out on the Jr. Tough choices.
     
  6. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    478
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    usa
    @Hands

    I guess I would say my preferred setup of the ones that I have owned was gungnir ds, torpedo 3, modded hd650.

    l'll try to give you an idea of my preferences. I love my modded hd650, for comparison I dislike the utopia I think its overly dry and has wonky bass. I preferred my gungnir ds to my Gungnir Multibit. I thought the torpedo 3 was great and regret selling mine. From EC I like the zds(although I consider even the zds slightly softer than my preference) and studio(at least with whatever dac Craig uses ). I hated both black widow models, way too dark and too much glare/grain for my taste. From schiit I like the Valhalla 2 and other than terrible soundstage depth and lack of warmth I think the jot is pretty solid with hd650s.

    I have been away traveling for the last 6 months and sold off most of my audio gear before I left my Gungnir Multibit, phill BMRs etc. Now that I am back I am looking to build it up agin. Id say I am more interested in speakers than headphones right now which is why zds seems really appealing. But I don't really know what kind of speakers I want yet so still trying to flesh things out. So far what I have tried from philharmonic audio and Omega speakers hasn't quite fit the bill for me. I really like @thegunner100's osmt and consider very close to neutral, but I listen to a lot electronic music and would prefer not to have subs. Hope that helps give some Idea where I am coming from.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
    slankoe, Lyander, Dino and 3 others like this.
  7. ufospls2

    ufospls2 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Dislikes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Canada
    [​IMG]





    ....looks like a fire hazard tbh.
     
  8. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,467
    Dislikes Received:
    39
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    For the AFO alone, you may be better off with the CTH, since it will work well with a wider variety of headphones. But if you want a good amp mostly for dynamics, the ZDT Jr is a good choice.
     
  9. WNovizar

    WNovizar Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Likes Received:
    188
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    43
  10. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    272
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    CA
    Hope I wasn't giving wrong impression. Staging is very good, like Sagaheim PR good, but tube hybrid flavor vs transformer coupled(?) flavor.Trading blows between spaciousness and smoothness/coherence. Sagaheim has slightly more space in between instruments if you listen to an orchestra and the space is silent, the ZDT Jr fills that space with subtle reverb/plankton/harmonics.
    While not comparable to the Af, IMO ZDT Jr staging is better than Valhalla 2, since you mentioned Val 2. Well, I might as well just go on and say almost everything is better than Val 2.
    This right here is tube sound done right; not dry, not bloomy or syrupy enough to mask microdetails, good microdynamics that contributes to a very coherent stage. Now for $400 you can get a very good stage comparable to the $750 Sagaheim. Some pretty crazy value. Oh almost forgot, the Saga might actually lose the battle if using stock tube, which reminds me this particular ZDT Jr has American vintage tubes.

    @WNovizar Nooo I didn't. But I see some trusted ears are saying ZDT Jr is better.
     
    A1Gear, Hammy, Lyander and 3 others like this.
  11. Mdkaler

    Mdkaler Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    272
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    CA
    @Marvey Yes thank you for ruining it LOL. Just when I thought I have reached the point where I don't need to upgrade.
    Nah just kidding. My setup is good enough till I upgrade to the HD800. Vader is awesome.
     
  12. WNovizar

    WNovizar Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Likes Received:
    188
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thank you for your impression, @Mdkaler. Even though I am still salty about this drop, I already have NBM so I will hold out until I am able to purchase Stratus or ECAF. I am just curious on how much better ZDT Jr. is in comparison with NBM
     
  13. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Likes Received:
    5,812
    Dislikes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pasig, Philippines
    On the whole, I'd say I don't actually have much of a sonic preference, though I concede I like my treble polite and my mids lush. Went from loving lean bass to enjoying the hell out of the X00 Ebony (save for a tiny 10-11kHz hot spot that GRAS insists is fake news), so I'd say I'm currently a fan of darker/warmer presentations.

    Still consider myself barely past the start line as far as knowing my own gear preferences go. It doesn't help that I'm hella awkward in person and the people in local circles who have the components oft referenced here kinda intimidate me. I guess so long as the FR is reasonably balanced I'm just after stuff with more resolution and macrodynamics, so I develop an ear for that sorta stuff.

    But anyway, I love the recent turn this thread took, going to great pains to help describe the sound as accurately as possible for the benefit of people who can't demo this stuff. Fucking awesome. Thank you all, really.

    Speaking of, no worries @Mdkaler! My fault for not being more eloquent in my phrasing, I feel. Thanks again for the impressions, and lol, sounds like you had fun!

    Noise: @SteelCannon, on a scale of one to Roberta going batshit, how pissed are you at the Black Lagoon hiatus? Just noticed your avatar :))
     
    Wilson and SteelCannon like this.
  14. SteelCannon

    SteelCannon Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Likes Received:
    478
    Dislikes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    usa
    @Lyer25 Word man, I really hope the hiatus actually ends. Black Lagoon is the dankest XD,
    Samurai Champloo, Kill La Kill, and Katanagatari are close though.

    send me a pm at some point and let me know what you are reading/watching maybe we can exchange recs.
     
    Lyander likes this.
  15. el1x

    el1x Rando

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    24
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Thats for your impression @Mdkaler. I have been very interested in the sagaheim setup prior to the ZDTj drop opening up and was looking for impressions from multiple sources comparing Jot/Sagaheim with the ZDT Jr.
     
  16. Luge

    Luge Acquaintance

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Likes Received:
    40
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    Thanks for all the impressions, experiences and reviews.

    I get that the ZDT jr. is in its best when paired with high impedance dynamic headphones. In this thread I have learnt that the ZDT jr. is great with HD600, HD650 and HD800SDR and I assume it will be similarly good with HD800s.

    However, having and liking HD650 (HD6xx), what other "upgrade" headphones (apart from HD800/s) do you consider a good pairing with the ZDT jr.? I am really intrigued by all the praise on the ZDT jr. but don't want to end up in a dead end caused by its limited matchability in the future if I decide to upgrade my cans.

    Thank you for insight.
     
  17. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2016
    Likes Received:
    808
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Europe
    Care to share why? This is not a very common opinion and it's not the first time I hear someone say the same.

    Edit - maybe in a DACs thread.
     
  18. WNovizar

    WNovizar Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Likes Received:
    188
    Dislikes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    43
    One thing about tube amps with transformer-coupled output stage is that they have rather low output impedance, compared to OTL designs. That means it can be paired well with low impedance headphones. @Hands noted that they sounded fine witth this MA900 and E-MU Teak, which both are low impedance headphones. I also paired mine with MDR-F1 and MDR-Z7,
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    58,933
    Dislikes Received:
    101
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Anything fairly efficient. K701 is probably a no go. Some HFMs which like power, like the HE560, HEK, HE-500, HE-5, HE-6 are likely a no-go. Audeze LCD-* and HE400S might be OK. Haven't tried them yet, but I bet AD2000 and Grados would work great.
     
    Lyander, Decomo and Zed Bopp like this.
  20. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,703
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northern Californium Valley
    @Marvey I jumped in on this. How do you think the Paradox would match?
     

Share This Page