ZAPpulse 2.3SE vs. 700XE - diyAudio
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Old 1st August 2005, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default ZAPpulse 2.3SE vs. 700XE

Several have inquired about the sonic differences of these two ZAPpulse variants. Especially since the 700XE under some conditions have up to 250 times lower THD than 2.3SE.

How does this play out in real life sound quality?

Listening tests have been performed with non-technical but musically qualified testers.

Switching back and fourth between the two amplifiers with remote controlled high quality relays, made it easier to compare.

The first test is done on a typical 3 way speaker 700 Euro each.
First with some typical modern pop music, or jazz music. The room and soundstage is very clear on both amplifiers, the bass is tight and dynamic on both amplifiers. In fact there is very little or no difference to be heard. Lastly going to a known "problem CD", featuring a male choir (something like turtle creek chorale) known to ditch almost any amplifier.
Class A, A/B or D. On this CD a slight difference between the two amplifiers is audible, a thin curtain on the 2.3SE is lifted away, and the sound cleared up on the 700 XE. But the difference is small enough, that you would have to use the A/B relays to notice the small sonic improvement of the XE. So i would say for listening to primarily pop music, and using a 'normal' level of speakers would not endorce the extra cost of the ultralow distortion 700XE amplifier.

Now second test switching to a set of Dynaudio Consquence, high end speakers, also price wise. These 1.5 meter high towers of pure solid rosewood cost around 9000 Euro each. It's a 5 way dynamic speaker, known as ultra revealing to details anywhere in the signal chain.
With the same CD's in test, now the improvement is more noticable, even on the pop and jazz CD's. The sound is simply a wee bit cleaner on the 700 XE. When going to the problem CD that can make hifi salesmen very tired, when you take it to expositions and shops, the male choir is now noticably cleaner and more distinct on the 700XE compared to 2.3SE. You have no problems seperating voices in the choir. When playing on the 2.3SE you could on these high end speakers hear the thin curtains clutter the vocals. The cluttering is completely abcent and the sound crystal clear on the 700XE. There is no difference in soundstage, and bass dynamics on these speakers. The linear bass down to 16 Hz is really impressive, and not at all lazy or damped. It simply sounded fantastic!

So i guess which version is the best depends on whether your speakers are extremely revealing towards the amplifier, or if your taste of music leans towards what i would designate as very complex vocal or instrumental pieces. If not the 2.3SE will give you just as much value as the 700XE. The tester's simplest conclusion was clear: give us the 700XE!

At this points only a few qualified listening tests have been performed, since only one amplifier actually exists with the 700XE's. But it is my hope that in time many users of this forum will contribute with their own experiences.
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Old 1st August 2005, 10:08 PM   #2
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Why do you consider the Turtle Creek Chorale a "male choir"?

Jocko
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Old 1st August 2005, 10:48 PM   #3
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Ohh you are absolutely right Jocko. I know tc is a mixed choir, but as i forgot to write down the name of the actual choir and recording, i was more referring to the style of the music and sound in general.
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Old 2nd August 2005, 04:20 AM   #4
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Since you don't live in Dallas, I think you may have missed the joke. I'll tell you later.

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Old 2nd August 2005, 07:40 AM   #5
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jocko Homo
Since you don't live in Dallas, I think you may have missed the joke. I'll tell you later.

Jocko
I've lived in Fort Worth for a few years, but I don't get it either?
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Old 2nd August 2005, 08:36 AM   #6
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Jocko: Obviously i didn't do my homework on Turtle Creek Chorale. www.turtlecreek.org
! some of these guys really have high pitch'es

I think i will try to locate the actual CD that was used instead.
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Old 2nd August 2005, 02:58 PM   #7
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Now i know how i 'knew' Turtle Creek was a mixed choir.
The track i always use of Turtle Creek is no 5 found on Reference Recordings RR-905CD (The one supplied with a HDCD license from Pacific Microsonics - RIP)

It's Rutter: Lux Aeterna but as it turns out on this very track Turtle Creek Choir actually sings with the Dallas Women's Chorus. That's what confused me to think it was a mixed choir. Sorry
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Old 4th August 2005, 04:33 PM   #8
Rookie is offline Rookie  Serbia
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Hi!

Lars, can you tell me who is the manufacturer of that blue display on this picture ? I like it very much!

Dejan
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Old 6th August 2005, 11:02 AM   #9
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Listening tests are continuing, primarily using the higher regions of loudspeaker. We are talking price range of 10-20.000 US$ per box now. I am not participating in these listening tests myself, the amplifiers are rotating to the homes of independent testers around the country, and i get reports from them as things progress.

The word is that the better the CD player and loudspeakers you use, the cleaner 700XE is compared to 2.3SE (and most other amplifiers). Some of the testers are using Class A and Tube amplifiers in the same price range as the loudspeakers, and so far, they have not found any specific point of complaint of the sound from 700XE. The room and perspective of the 700XE is reported to be absolutely exceptional compared to any Class D amplifier tested so far.

So at this point i can't wait to get the new amplifier out.
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Old 7th August 2005, 07:55 AM   #10
KLe is offline KLe  Australia
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Lars, you wrote '... The room and perspective of the 700XE is reported to be absolutely exceptional compared to any Class D amplifier tested so far.'

Is that even compared to the Nuforce amps?
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