Zen TABOO Review

Re: Zen Taboo Amplifier Beta Test Circle
Reply #182 on: 03/26/05 at 4:34pm

Some final thoughts after going back and listening again to same cuts on the CS + CSP. At my place with 999ES and FE206EM drivers in OB's.
I do hear more of a "bloom" to the sound with the CS than with the TABOO.  The TABOO seems to have some more detail, perhaps because of the less bloom sorta clouding things up (is this that "euphonic" thing people attribute mostly to Triode mode amps?)
I'm sure there will be some people who think the TABOO sounds "dryer" than the CS, lacking this extra bloom, and/or that the TABOO doesn't sound as smooth as the CS.  I think the TABOO sounds smooth and detailed without sounding dry. Others may prefer to not have the CS+CSP bloom since it can be thought of as inaccurate and can obscure some imaging and low level details. Btw, I'm not talking about the kind of bloom most 300B amps have. The CS+CSP slight bloom is a lesser degree than what I remember of 300B amps.    
To me, I sorta got the feeling the TABOO sounded more "live like", like I was listening to a direct mic feed or a live performance as apposed to just a REALLY good sound system.  Also for some reason I caught myself tapping my foot to the rythm/bass more on the TABOO.  Is this what they call PRAT?  It could be the extra power of the TABOO.
In a nutshell, I think the TABOO does pretty much everything that CS can do and more - in the microdynamics,PRAT, and "live like" areas. The only thing the TABOO does less is the "bloom factor".  Which you prefer, the CS+CSP or TABOO+CSP will be a matter of taste and speakers, which is always the case, isn't it?
Given I and Paul couldn't hear the difference in changing the TABOO feedback controls, it may require a higher resolution system combined with a better listening room to really hear what the TABOO is capable of and if there are bigger differences between the CS vs TABOO than what I could discern.  
My 10 cents. Looking forward to others' impressions.


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Sony 999ES, SE84CSP, TABOO (on order), HDT's




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