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Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs
Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs
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Old 21st January 2019, 02:14 AM   #1
Diogenio is offline Diogenio  United States
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Default Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs

Group:

I'm FINALLY retired, and now have the time to get back to my beloved DIY audio hobby. Many years ago, I bought the PCBs and parts for a Pass Zen V9 - and set the box away for years. I was too busy making a living to build it. Since that time, I see there have been a lot more DIY circuits from Nelson, the F1 - F5 Series, various Alephs, the BA, M2 and SIT.

Before I get started building the ZV9, I'd like to know if the sound quality from the newer designs is significantly better than the Zen? One major topology upgrade I see in the newer designs is direct-coupling of the output stages to speaker vs. the use of a large coupling cap on the Zens.

I'm not opposed to bypassing my ZV9 project for a different design, if the DIY state of the art has advanced significantly. I'd like to build just one Pass amplifier design and from there, move onto other projects in the tube amp, preamp and loudspeaker realms.

Can I please get your opinions as to whether I should proceed with building the Zen...or move onto something more recent that might provide me better sonic quality?

Thanks much!
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Old 21st January 2019, 02:16 AM   #2
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs
room ,speakers , SPL preferences ,even prefered type of music?
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Old 21st January 2019, 02:22 AM   #3
Diogenio is offline Diogenio  United States
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Room fairly small, 11' x 12' x 10' ceilings but a dedicated listening room with carpeting and wall treatments. I prefer single-driver speakers either in horn or OB configuration with powered subs on bottom.

Love all kinds of music, no particularly STRONG preference but acoustic jazz, classic rock, vocal are the norm. Occasional symphony/opera.
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Old 21st January 2019, 02:44 AM   #4
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs
considering that majority of expenses is in harware - meaning Iron , Al and caps ...... and that pretty much all FW amps (there including majority of Zen amps) are in same category of heat/energy format ....... changing to another small Papamp can't be issue of big money

personally , I'm finding M2 Swiss Knife of all Papamps - covering demands of broadest range of speakers , it's sound organicity being most prominent quality

not exactly erring on heavier 2nd THD spectra character , but if that ends as missing , easily corrected with sissy tube preamp or any of newest Papa's sound sweeteners (H2 or Korg toy)

you living in States , everything locally available

and yes , Mighty Moi still being Worlds Greatest M2 advocate
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Old 21st January 2019, 03:22 AM   #5
Diogenio is offline Diogenio  United States
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ZM...Have you ever built or listened to the Zen V9?
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Old 21st January 2019, 06:46 AM   #6
Zen Mod is offline Zen Mod  Serbia
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Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs
yup
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Old 21st January 2019, 07:44 AM   #7
mcgillroy is offline mcgillroy
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Korg Toy...
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Old 21st January 2019, 01:48 PM   #8
mpmarino is offline mpmarino  United States
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I've never built/heard the ZV9. If I had the parts laying around I'd build it.

+1 for ZM's comment on the M2. The problem with the M2 is that if you build one, you might not want to bother building another amp Sometimes I lust for more power, but... whatever.

(IMHO)
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Old 21st January 2019, 02:02 PM   #9
Dennis Hui is offline Dennis Hui  Canada
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Need Opinion: Comparative Sound of Pass Cap-Coupled (Zen) vs. Direct-Coupled Designs
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpmarino View Post
The problem with the M2 is that if you build one, you might not want to bother building another amp
You can work to overcome that.
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Old 21st January 2019, 02:29 PM   #10
qwertyl is offline qwertyl  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpmarino View Post
The problem with the M2 is that if you build one, you might not want to bother building another amp
+1 Couldn't agree more
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