MicroZOTL 2.0 Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by purr1n, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

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    I'd be up for a listen and I could bring my Torpedo 3 so we can do a comparo.
     
  2. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    @brencho @foo_me @steve @drfindley (anyone else?)

    PM me with availability. I can host in an office conference room in Mountain View on a week night. And we have free food here. :). Tuesdays and Thursdays are out, though.
     
  3. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    Where in Mountain View?!?!
     
  4. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    I could do this if someone could pick me up from train station...or I could drive that day. Friday would be best for me.
     
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  5. No_One411

    No_One411 Fired by Jude

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    I work in Sunnyvale.

    Would be down for mini-meet.
     
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  6. velvetx

    velvetx Gear Master West/Vendor Spotlight Moderator

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    Can't miss the epicness of this. let me know the date.
     
  7. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    I can pick people up from the train station if needed, since I"ll be driving over from Palo Alto.
     
  8. steve

    steve Rando

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    Anyone happen to drive from San Jose, could use an extra hand if you guys are interested in my simaudio supernova ;)
     
  9. No_One411

    No_One411 Fired by Jude

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    @CEE TEE I have no problem picking you up from Mountain View Caltrain. It's like around 10-15 minutes away from where I work, assuming worst traffic.
     
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  10. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    LOL, how did the MicroZOTL post turn into a Bay Area mini-meet with friends post! Carry on.
     
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  12. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

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    I'm pretty sick so I'm relying on my wife for first impressions. I let it warm up for 2 hours last night in my living room. I moved the Sunfire CRM-2s I use for my fronts to the microzotl2. The fronts are crossed over at 100Hz so the bass deficiencies shouldn't come into play. I'm using two elemental designs e12As as subs.

    I let my wife listen to Ella and Louis without telling her what I did. She immediately complained and asked if I was messing with the speakers again. She had me switch back to the crown and declared immediately that it was better. I even had her listen to the speakers powered straight from our crappy Marantz NR1602 receiver and she strongly preferred it.

    I'll do some headphone listening when I'm well.
     
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  13. msommers

    msommers High on Epipens

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    @Marvey thanks for the reivew! I came upon this after reading about recommendations for the latest iteration of this for preamp duty. Mark at LTA even told me one of his customers replaced his Pass Labs XP30 with their latest design. I'm hoping to hear from this person in the future. Another had a Decware Zen preamp and mentioned the newest LTA was "in another league." These might be cherry-picking examples but maybe something drastic has changed for listeners. The review unit here appears to be the first design and according to LTA has since been updated in many ways. Other reviews in the wild have had some niggles about some design aspects and it seemed they listened (power button for example). Their naming nomenclature is rather confusing but in their FAQ:

    "Please explain the relationship between the "MicroZOTL2.0", "MZ2", and "MZ2-S"

    Our first product was a re-introduction of David Berning's MicroZOTL; our MicroZOTL2.0. Since then we've made many small and several larger changes to the case and components we use, but we have always used and continue to use Berning's original circuit. When we added an improved power supply, that product eventually took on the name "MicroZOTL2.0 Deluxe". When we decided to use NOS 12SN7 tubes and manually alter the circuit to allow this, we created the "MZ2-S" around this, with a further upgraded power supply and some other improvements. Eventually we replaced the manually altered circuit boards with jumpered boards, which negated the need for completely separate products and we decided to discontinue certain aspects of the MicroZOTL2.0, like the locking headphone jack and the color scheme, while making other features that the MZ2-S had introduced available as options for any order. The "S" went from denoting these upgrades to essentially meaning the same thing that "Deluxe" had before it; an amp with an upgraded power supply. The "MZ2" therefore took the place of the "MicroZOTL2.0", as our amps were now markedly changed from what the MicroZOTL2.0 had until then been. To make all of this more confusing, most people still refer to any model as a MicroZOTL. The most important thing is that we'll make sure you get the features you want regardless of what it's called in the process."

    Given their zero-penalty return policy, perhaps it may be possible for an updated review if time allows?
     
  14. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    @bazelio had an entire complement of good old stock tubes and the upgraded power supply with the original. Not sure if this is worth pursuing.
     
  15. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    My $0.02 - not worth pursuing. Even the hot rodded mz2 where the Mojo Audio guy ripped out all the "extra" wiring, replaced the circuit and connectors with boutique parts, and powered it with his megabuck LPS more or less retained the character of the original.
     
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  16. willsw

    willsw Friend

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    Most sales of the MZ2 these days seem to be to people who intend to use it as a preamp, if also as a headphone amp. There was one detailed review of it as a preamp here which was not positive, and some returns remark that they just didn't like it as much in their system. Since the majority of this thread, we have made significant wiring improvements, we use better stock tubes, we use better circuit boards, we are better at manufacturing, it is a better amp, and we get fewer returns than we ever have, but it does retain its core character, however you define that.
     
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