Ultimate sounded ZEN (Var I) vs good sounded used Aleph 5 - diyAudio
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Old 11th March 2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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Default Ultimate sounded ZEN (Var I) vs good sounded used Aleph 5

A customer of me had buy used Aleph 5 for 1500 euros and compare it to a diy ZEN from an other guy - a diy project, supervised by me 10 years ago - go to
ZEN include active crossover without additional OP AMP for ultimate sounding PHL1230

For the aim of compare by the Aleph 5 user the integrated MFB high pass unit of ZEN was removed
(see schematic).
The loudspeaker of the user with Aleph 5 are fullrange versions (FOSTEX "FE 103E" inside in diy vented box from the old French magazine 'l Audiophile)

Compare to high end AB amps like Accuphase the Aleph 5 sounds clearly better at low and mid level. But the ZEN again provides a spectacular increase of sonic quality in all respects compare to the Aleph 5 (see attachement of schematic and photos of this ZEN amp - unfortunately without pics of power supply - only similar transformers)

What could be the reason?

I guess, the reason could be the internal power supply and transformer by Aleph 5 and the not exist large bypass polyprophylene caps of 200 uF from Arcotronics in parallel to the present smoothing capacitors. Additional the enhanced filter characteristics through the highly oversized halogen transformers.

If my estimate right, I am planning an outdoor power supply for the Aleph 5 in the same quality than that one of the ZEN with very large halogen transformers (redesign for lower voltage isn't a problem for me).

Is my estimate wrong, the user must perform the same diy project of ZEN (much more expensive than external power supply for Aleph 5).

What are your suggestions, what I should do ? The clone of the exist ZEN or an outdoor unit (power supply) for Aleph 5?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Decker ZEN front low res.jpg (118.8 KB, 715 views)
File Type: jpg Decker ZEN left low res.jpg (125.0 KB, 697 views)
File Type: jpg Decker ZEN top low res.jpg (146.7 KB, 691 views)
File Type: jpg ZEN Halogen transformer 400VA instead 120VA.jpg (125.4 KB, 679 views)
File Type: jpg ZEN Halogen transformer + cover.jpg (92.3 KB, 656 views)
File Type: jpg aleph5_inside.jpg (45.4 KB, 286 views)
File Type: jpg Aleph 5. jpg.jpg (36.3 KB, 269 views)
File Type: jpg FE-103.JPG (14.1 KB, 157 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Zen Decker without high pass MFB network.ckt.pdf (16.7 KB, 131 views)

Last edited by tiefbassuebertr; 11th March 2010 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 11th March 2010, 08:06 PM   #2
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With full-range, I would think the zen is better suited. My many zen projects included one that was biased @ 4 amps/ch, powered by 1500VA 45V trafo with 350,000uF capacitance, it completely blew my diy Aleph 5 away with similar power supply, on my speakers anyway. 8m PS cabling sounds a bit like a hassle, if not detrimental. Over-build the PS on the zen, increase voltage and bias, done and done!!

-john
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Old 11th March 2010, 08:44 PM   #3
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Interesting. Thank you for your advices. From which brand are your 1500 VA transformer and the 350.000 uF caps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEGA-amp View Post
8m PS cabling sounds a bit like a hassle, if not detrimental. -john
This was done causes certainly space conditions. The suited power supply of the mentioned ZEN are behind the bookcase cabinet on the opposite wall (far away from the audio components).
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Old 12th March 2010, 05:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
which brand are your 1500 VA transformer and the 350.000 uF caps?
trans is Plitron, caps are a mixture of Sprague and Mallory...not really important IMHO. As long as the PS is built 3-4x bigger than what it will ever see...it'll be more than proper.
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Old 13th March 2010, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEGA-amp View Post
trans is Plitron, caps are a mixture of Sprague and Mallory...not really important IMHO.
The quality of the caps is important; if you use such with scew terminal, Sprague and Mallory are a good choice. Not so important is the capacity value itself (in opposite to the values for ESR).
By a newer ZEN project I use 4 pieces 47000uF/63V (3pc for power supply and 1 pc couple capacitor between amp + speakers) from this series:
http://www.ftcap.de/downloads/elektr...009/GW2009.PDF
one of the best exist caps for such projects
I recommend still the 63V versions, even if only max 27V is present.
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Old 13th March 2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiefbassuebertr View Post
The quality of the caps is important; if you use such with scew terminal, Sprague and Mallory are a good choice. Not so important is the capacity value itself (in opposite to the values for ESR).
By a newer ZEN project I use 4 pieces 47000uF/63V (3pc for power supply and 1 pc couple capacitor between amp + speakers) from this series:
http://www.ftcap.de/downloads/elektr...009/GW2009.PDF
one of the best exist caps for such projects
I recommend still the 63V versions, even if only max 27V is present.
You really gotta get a grip.

The Aleph has no place with a single high eff. FR driver. On the contrary, the old Zen sure has, for obvious reasons.

Sure it's easier to keep talking nonsense, than actually dealing with the facts.

Magura
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Old 13th March 2010, 12:06 PM   #7
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I don't understand this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magura View Post
The Aleph has no place with a single high eff. FR driver. On the contrary, the old Zen sure has, for obvious reasons.
Why has Aleph no place at full range drivers?
And what means "obvious reasons" in your mind?

by the way - you will note by study of the data sheet, that the FE103E driver isn't a high efficiency version.

Last edited by tiefbassuebertr; 13th March 2010 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 13th March 2010, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiefbassuebertr View Post
I don't understand this:
The re-read John's explanation, and the articles regarding the topic, published by Nelson Pass.

Trouble is that you tend to insist looking for reason in religion.
You're not going to find it there.
No amount of fancy caps, resistors, or power switches, is going to change the topology signaure.

Magura
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Old 13th March 2010, 01:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magura View Post
The re-read John's explanation, and the articles regarding the topic, published by Nelson Pass.

Trouble is that you tend to insist looking for reason in religion.
You're not going to find it there.
No amount of fancy caps, resistors, or power switches, is going to change the topology signaure. Magura
Most amp developers claim also, that a well-designed circuit topology no need excessive demands on the quality of components like caps, transformers and other stuff (I suppose, you also think so).

But my (and some other) practical experiences contradict mostly these statements clearly. This means for me at the same time, that only ultimate quality by certainly devices (and necessary also perfect wiring management) may sound differences audible expose between different circuit topologies.
If someone broke this rule (unfortunately, most often the case), nobody can say about sonic advantages and disadvantages by different circuit topologies.

I don't looking for reason in religion. Only clear facts count for me.

By the way - you recommend papers without precise references.
Nelson Pass have a lot articles there
http://www.passdiy.com/articles.htm
Pass Labs: Articles
And who is John? John Curl or John Linsley Hood ? and which paper?
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Old 16th March 2010, 03:43 AM   #10
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This is getting interesting, we need more information .
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