DATE: SEP 1998


I'll keep this short, you'll find this very interesting. Since receiving the ZEN I've had the pleasure of developing a friendship with a local designer tube-guru. He's sold to local buffs several preamps, re-built CD players, and SE amps of various configurations. After following your instructions to make my ZEN EL84 happy, unsuccessful I took the ZEN into his repair shop. My ZEN with 6N1P/SV83's measured 1.4 watts into the dummy load presented to it for testing and with no clipping.

Knowing he and his big $$ hifi friends were coming to my home in a few days to hear my sound system, (it is quite the talk locally) he lent me his 8 watt SE pentode. The zen is hooked up now will be playing when they come in the door, It's presentation is luxurious by comparison. In all fairness, his ($600 entry level amp) pentode had textures and shapes I'd never heard before, an awesome amp in its own right. However it was too forward a sound for my big horns. No ZEN-like bias switch either. Don can't wait to rip the ZEN apart and improve it. I promised you a review and you'll get it,

I'll keep it simple- no need to bring up unimportant issues that a potential ZEN buyer does not need to know. I've retubed- a 7025 made the amp knock on the magic kingdoms door. All output tubes sound great with the 7025, tele's are my first choice. Bias switch is in the back position. I've significantly less gain with the 7025/EL84 than the factory tubes, 30%-50% of 1.4 watts?? glad my babies are 115 db!! At the measured 1.4 watt SV83's I could not push clipping, it's easy now with these tubes, and it is a problem. These guys have modern day 604's, 15" single-point-source 2-ways in V-E-R-Y tweaked 250 lb boxes.

My speaker system with your ZEN will clean their clock, the evening here is one you would enjoy.

- Boyd




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