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diy student 17th August 2001 06:59 PM

I'm considering building a Zen amp and pre-amp, and wondered what everyone thought of the origonal Zen and bride vs. the Son of Zen and it's bride? Which pair sounds better together? My only sources right now are a DVD and TV. Would building a passive pre-amp (instead of one of the brides) be a mistake? How do they compare to the Aleph 3 price and sound wise? What do I need to watch when trying to match them up with speakers? Thanks for your help.

ding 19th August 2001 10:14 PM

There have been many threads on the subject of comparisons between Pass Labs amps and preamps, I have initiated several myself. If you look back through the pages you will find a lot more about the ZEN series as there seems to be a bit of a lull in interest at present on this site.

I have to date built a 10 watt ZEN (original not revisited) and a ZEN/SOZ hybrid, basically a SOZ without split rails to increase efficiency (this one was only 4 watts). The difference in sound of the 2 is apparent but I still cannot pick a clear winner. I think this depends on your tastes and what speakers etc. you are using. Note that the SOZ is hugely inefficient and requires more than twice the heatsinking/power supply of an equivalently powered ZEN.

I have not built or heard either of the preamps but I believe popular opinion dictates that the BOSOZ is supperior (even Nelson Pass believes so).

Hope this helps


Tony D. 20th August 2001 02:25 AM

I just finished the Bride of Son of Zen and it is definatly better than the Bride of Zen (in my system). It sounds "realer" as a friend put it.

Less electronic sounding and more sense of space in the recording, I used IRF510's and much larger transformers than spec. and I have a very fine sounding pre-amp, dirt cheap. Highly recommended.

Tony D.

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