ZMF Pendant Amp on pre order

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Scubadude, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    299
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pretoria, South Africa
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
  2. willsw

    willsw Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2016
    Likes Received:
    278
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Happy to see this, I know Zach has been wanting to make a ZMF amp for a while. An EL84 Ampsandsound will probably be nice.
     
  3. k4rstar

    k4rstar Done his time

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Likes Received:
    5,250
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    This amp looks pretty similar to the (now discontinued?) A&S Leeloo/SE-84. Both have 12ax7 voltage gain into EL-84 output, but it seems the Pendant sports a different choke for the power supply and tube rectification. It also ditches the speaker taps in favor of pre-amp outs.

    Unfortunately the product page for the Leeloo now returns a 404 so it's difficult to compare the new design further but it seems this collaboration was borne on that product. The price seems reasonable, I'd like to hear it.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 5
    • List
  4. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,715
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    The Land of Enchantment
    Here is the [Google cache] of the A&S Leeloo product page
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  5. ampsandsound

    ampsandsound MOT - Ampsandsound

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo
    Home Page:
    Im happy to share info here if its ok.
    The Pendant is based on the D/C'd Leeloo, however so much of amp had to be redesigned it got a new name.
    All the transformers were redesigned. The Power transformer was upgraded to accommodate a tube rect. The outputs were respec'd. This was perhaps the biggest area of development. Multiple output transformers were tested (Similar bench results) and then were sent to ZMF for listening tests without Zach knowing which of the amps had the various changes... an attempt at a double blind experiment.
    New feedback network was also employed.
    The amp got Possitive changes we then have incorporated into our other amps.
    Sockets have labels behind the tube (not visible when looking at your amp).
    power supply was revised, spent a few hours combing through Mouser finding caps we liked/could fit. Increased filtering, coupled with new larger choke makes the pendant as quite or quieter than any ampsandsound amp before.
    The 1V P-P in for full power also means its easy to drive using a DAP.
    The pre out is also adds to the versatility of the amp.


    Hope this helps.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 21
    • List
  6. dpump

    dpump Rando

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Like some clarification on the 12AU7/12AT7/12AX7 choice for input tube. The specs say 30%, 70%, or 100% of the available gain according to the input tube. So if I were using a 'standard' DAC with a 2V output, I would need to use a 12AU7 input tube to have a good usable range on the volume control? Or a 1V output DAP would need a 12AT7 or 12AX7? I guess headphone impedance and sensitivity would also come into play but my take on this is that you are using the input tube in place of a switchable gain control?
     
  7. ampsandsound

    ampsandsound MOT - Ampsandsound

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo
    Home Page:
    We supply the Pendant with a 12AX7 with a Mu of 100. However, you can roll other 12*X7 family tubes with differing Mu's which will decrease total power out and have their own sonic signatures.
    Im not such a fan of switched gain... try to have our amps and simple/distilled as possible.
    We have tested with greater input voltage, no ill effects. The volume pot is an input attenuator.
    I would not be concerned with matching per se. Zach and others will chime in at some point, but there is more than enough usable range on the volume pot for nearly all headphones.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  8. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,113
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    India
    Justin, I am guessing the design does not have an input transformer, correct? What's the price for an external IT, if we would like to buy one separately?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  9. ampsandsound

    ampsandsound MOT - Ampsandsound

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo
    Home Page:
    I think we are offering the external boxes at same price as internal when paired with the Pendant.
    There is room but I worry about placement... I rather make external boxes and not worry about potential noise issues re placement of the IT.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  10. zach915m

    zach915m MOT: ZMF Headphones

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,595
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Yeah maybe saying that the different 12axxx tubes work like gain is an oversimplification which is my fault for describing it that was on the site. With a 12au7 I can basically go to 10/11 am for loud loud on the volume knob where-as with the 12ax7 I am between 9 and 10am. More or less it just gives you more options of tubes to use depending on what you have or can find in good old 12ax/t/u7 variants. I'll change the website to reflect this more or at least make sure it's more clear.

    Really with any of these tubes the Pendant can drive just about anything as it has 2.5 watts of power at 300 ohms and 3 at the 8 ohm out.

    Also I don't think a gain switch is needed with where the volume sits right now, it has the right amount of "play" so that on most headphones you're going to be between 9 and 11 o'clock unless the headphone is super easy to drive or super hard to drive. In that case there's plenty of play on either end as needed for the particular headphone. Also the 8 ohm out has a bit more play than the 300 ohm out which has higher gain/volume.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  11. allegro

    allegro Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    663
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Florida
    @ampsandsound in your opinion how does the Pendant rate versus Kenzie driving HD800S on 300 ohm out?
     
  12. ampsandsound

    ampsandsound MOT - Ampsandsound

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo
    Home Page:
    2 different sounds. The kenzie is warmer, the pendant is more detailed and faster.
    I really enjoy both, the Pendant wins for noise floor and thats saying something, as the kenize is very very quite.
     
  13. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,637
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    What are the dimensions of the Pendant? It may not fit on my desk.
     
  14. ampsandsound

    ampsandsound MOT - Ampsandsound

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo
    Home Page:
    12.5" 9.5" 100% awsome
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  15. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Asia
    Where does pendant's power sit in your lineup. If I rememebr correctly: Mogwai se > mogwai > kenzie encore > kenzie.
     
  16. ampsandsound

    ampsandsound MOT - Ampsandsound

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Likes Received:
    184
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Location:
    Aliso Viejo
    Home Page:
    Mogwai SE, Pendant, Mogwai, Encore, Kenize.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  17. dpump

    dpump Rando

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Don't forget that the output power of the Kenzie is higher if you are using 12B4A output tubes instead of the 1626. Might change the power output ratings of the different amps.
     
  18. Jerry

    Jerry Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Asia
    The same with mogwai/mogwai se with KT-88 and 6SL7.
     
  19. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    4,848
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Montgomery, New York
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 9
    • List
  20. dematted

    dematted Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    1,398
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    I received this amp today. I've been looking for a big-boy tube amp for awhile. Was looking at the SBAF favorites, Eddie Current and DNA, but after trying the Sonett 2 I decided that the Starlett probably wouldn't really synergize with the rest of my system (as I found the Sonett 2 didn't). And as far as Eddie Current, those amps are made for serious people who know what they're doing. I pretend to be serious sometimes, but I definitely don't know what I'm doing. I don't even know how to solder. So I decided to go with this amp, mostly because a couple members here I trust had recommended it in PM's and it seemed to fit what I wanted from impressions elsewhere.

    These definitely aren't definitive impressions. Again, only been listening to this for a couple hours, with Tungsram EL84 drivers and a Genelex Gold Lion 12AU7 and Stock Rectifier. Bit of an odd way to put it, but this amp sounds very much like...a Focal headphone. Exhibits most of the traits they're known for: fast, somewhat sharp transients, emphasized macrodynamics and tonal contrasts (with micro-detail sometimes being shoved in your face), excellent bass control and tightness, with just a little bit of edginess and artificiality to the overall presentation. This is definitely a modern "square", "high-fi" sound. At first, there was a bit of hardness to the sound: things seemed overly sharpened. But after around 20 minutes, that mostly subsided: not sure if it was my ear or some kind of gear burn-in. Biggest immediate difference between this and the SW51+ is that whereas the SW51+ is a bit better at rendering fine textures and has less sense of strain to the music (more overall sense of naturalness, I would put it), the Pendant has far, far better driver control, particularly in the bass. Much more "oomph" and "punch", as well as a more expansive sense of stage and much more exquisite layering.

    Compared to the Sonett 2, this just sounds more alive, immediate, punchy, and dynamic. As far as tonality goes, sounds pretty neutral - maybe ever-so slightly U-shaped compared to amps like the Sonett 2 and SW51+, just by virtue of being less mid-focused. Treble and bass extension both excellent, with the bass extension maybe a tad behind the Sonett 2 but much better than SW51+. Again, though, most notable part of this amp is its macro-dynamics and sense of raw power: this is definitely an amp that calls attention to itself. Micro-dynamics are very good but don't think they're anything special for this pricepoint, as they don't seem to be far ahead (if ahead at all) of Sonett 2 and SW51+. Timbre is on the leaner side - leaner than SW51+ - but not lean enough to sound enervated or artificial in my system.

    Anyways, it matches really nicely with the Auteur. Much less nicely with JAR HD600, though. For the Auteur, it pretty much serves as a synergistic amp covering up some of the headphone's weaknesses. The Auteur driver really does not sound "Woolly" or "Floppy" as some have complained out of this thing. If anything, I'm pretty astounded by the technicalities this is getting out of the Auteur - as far as detail and resolution goes, it sounds close (but not quite there) to the Verite and SW51+ combo I heard, though this could also be the sonic presentation of the amp tricking me into thinking there's more detail than there is. JAR HD600, meanwhile, sounds pretty thin out of this amp. Not a fan...

    I'll post more detailed impressions once I'm more confident in what I'm hearing. For what it's worth though, I have a feeling this amp is sort of like the Euforia: really good with certain things, really meh with others. Definitely like what I'm hearing out of the Autuer, but not sure I'd want to pair many non-ZMF headphones with this.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 16
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021

Share This Page