Is the Berning ZH270 revalatory?

I have been listening to a Berning ZH270 (supplied by the inimitable Allan Bhagan) and I wonder if others who have lived with it longer than I continue to find it to be as extraordinary as I do. I have listened to SETs, powerful leading edge SS, and much in between. In my estimation the modest Berning outdoes them all. Am I being excessive in my initial zeal?
Hi Mew,
No, you are not being excessive. ZH270 will keep on amazing you. It does to me. If I may add, constant upgrade offer from Allan gives addtional "wow" each time. Depending on your speakers, I don't think there are many more out there which will make me replace. Enjoy! Ken
I assume Allan Bhagan is the retailer for Davids otl hybrids. Positive Feedback and Harvey " Gizmo' use to rave about his designs. What is the contact info? Anyone know?
I have nothing negative - nothing at all, in fact - to say about the Berning amp, being as I haven't heard it. I'm just posting, as is my custom when circumstances dictate, to note for the record that our thread-head Mew has no other threads or responses on Audiogon's forum: this thread is his/her sole contribution. From the way it's written, and the fact that it pretends to ask a question but is obviously really a troll, I am forced to suspect that it's merely a shill - no matter how 'revalatory' the product may be (although the possibility is distinct that what's actually being pimped here is the dealer). It would be reassuring, and would reduce the risk of our conscious membership's taking offense at attempted manipulation, if the dealer and manufacturer in question would come onto this thread and expressly disavow being "Mew", or putting Mew up to posting this. I like to think the membership of this forum is too intelligent and aware for that kind of tactic not to backfire should there prove to be any direct but concealed involvement in this sort of hi-jinx on the part of any of the principles.
Zaikesman, I respect you and like your posts. And man, do I ever love healthy skepticism. I've gotta say though, troll or not, the Berning ZH270 is the finest piece of equipment I've ever listened to. I've heard them biamped with Merlins and Salons. It does everything a solid state amp should do at the SOTA level and provides the magic that is inherent in tubes. I would fly from Idaho to Tennessee to listen to Tom's Holy Grail. Catagorize me as trolling for an invitation. ;)
i found the website
Patrick, as I said, my post is not intended to comment one way or the other on the Berning product. It's just that as a regular member of the discussion forum, I resent it when our Audiogon gets infiltrated with the kind of postings this one appears could be on its face.

So: When are you getting your Bernings? :-) Y'know, I happen to live within 20 minutes' drive of Mr. Berning's location...If I was any kind of audiophile at all, I'd probably go over and give them a listen - they certainly seem interesting enough - but I'm really not constituted that way (most of the time - never say never)...
I look at this and see a simple question, a question that can have many answers, good and bad, why would I or Physicist David Berning or Dr "Mew", dean of faculty from a east coast university, plan something like this?
Please do answer this question, remember, motive.

You have made an accusation which is nothing short of silly and since there are hundreds of threads like this, what makes this one different to you.

Strange enough if one were to check Mew's listings, one would see that he has his current amps for sale, maybe just maybe you are wrong, dead wrong.

I am quite sure if you did not know Patrick you would also have accused him of being in on the conspiracy.

Sorry, no Trolls, Shills, spies or lies here but maybe ulterior motives, if a person were to look in the right place.
Zaikesman is asking a fair question. I find his posts to be thoughtful and well reasoned. It's understandable that some Berning fans would take offense. They, (we) love the ZH270.

No hype, no shilling, no blowing smoke!! The Berning is a wonderful product and lives up to all of the good things said about it. At the risk of sounding like a sales pitch, this is a component you should try in your system. I had several long conversations with Allan before I decided to listen to it with return privallages. Frankly, I just thought it would be fun to listen--I never thought I would keep it.

I could go on and on about it, but I think it's strengths have been well chronicled on many threads in this forum. It would be great for Zaikesman to try it in his system and give us a full report. thanks
Hi Mew

I for one have gone ga ga in my enthusiasm of this amp since I first acquired it almost 2 years ago and no, it hasn't waned. My only criticism on an absolute level is that it still doesn't sound like live music :).

I do understand your initial skepticism Zaikesman but I can assure you that there is a demand for the amps that exceeds supply. Allan is an extremely honorable man in my personal dealings with him. He wouldn't have to go to this extreme to get his product noticed, he doesn't have to since this is a word of mouth product. I will say that his enthusiasm for th ZH270 is at least on a par with other users as evidenced by his continual tweaking to enhance its performance.

The only amp I have personally heard that I feel is equally good but different, better or should I say preferable to me in some ways and less so in others is the Joule Electra. Neither of these amps would fall into the tube characterization of euphonic, dark or mushy. The transient attack of SS with the dynamic realism of the best tube designs.
Dear 84audio, Zaikesman is not asking a question, his post is clearly insinuating.

Mew asked a question, a question to other Berning owners, a question that can only be answered by other Berning owners, so this thread is for current and past Berning owners, people who have already bought Berning amps, How can this be anything else?
I re-read my post and wish to emphasize that Zaikesman is a top flight member and I appreciate his suspicions. We do need to look out for one another. Thanks Zaikesman. To answer your question about when I'm getting mine: probably never. It's a money thing but also the realization that when one buys such a product everything else in the system would necessarily need to match it's level of performance and that's where the outlay gets huge. The Micro ZOTL may find a home with me though but actually the Holy Grail would be the best fit. I doubt if many of the posters here will agree with me on my reasoning but I will try to explain myself. I love music. While I can hear the improvements of "cubic dollar" components I also hear the shortcomings of the software more than on a lesser system. I'm not going to own a system that makes 90% of my library unlistenable and reduces all of my listening to the critical level. Color me a non-audiophile but I don't find critical listening to be any fun at all.
Hi Lugnut

While I find it generally true that ultra resolving gear often exposes poorer than average recordings in a less than favorable light, I would think that this amp would be less critical than many in highlighting this so long as the cabling, and speaker/amp interface are satisfactorily addressed. It has a natural warmth and clarity.

My experience is that compressed poorly recorded rock and pop music sounds better with inexpensive less than revealing components. Who really wants to listen critically to what a horrendous job that was done on many of these tracks? I never want more than that when listening to for instance Steppenwolf or Motown, oh how it hurts so bad, unlistenable. Just my opinion but I do hear where you are coming from.
Allan, you are correct sir. After re-reading this post it is clear I did not answer Mew's question. Mew is right on target with his initial zeal--the amp really is that good! My guess would be that Mew will be even more pumped after a few weeks.

I am with TG on both Allan and the amp. Allan is a very honorable guy, and does exactly what he says he will do. He has given me outstanding customer service, and I appreciate how he is always striving to make the amp better. I trust his word absolutely!!

Zaikesman is right to wonder about the shilling on this forum. I have noticed more of it lately myself, and like Zaikesman, I am skeptical of many of the claims and questions that I read here. I appreciate his effort to keep this under control.

The Berning does not need a shill. The ZH270s are ordered faster than David Berning can make them. He builds and tests each amp himself.. He couldn't handle tons of orders because it's not that kind of product.

I was serious about Zaikesman, or anyone else trying the amp if they are skeptical. I would encourage anyone to try the ZH270 and draw your own conclusions. I'm not shilling, I'm just confident.

Hi Mew. I've had the 270 for almost two years now, (actually I have two running as monoblocks). I also have had/heard other traditional OTL's of roughly equal nominal power output, well-regarded (for the time) traditional tube amps, and higher-powered SET's. I've either sold or am planning to sell all of others to keep just the 270's. For my system, and my listening preferences, the 270's are the best fit. Even wthout the mods and tweaks available for them, they outperform amps (in my system) costing several times as much. With the mods and tweaks, they are impressive to say the least.
To this date, the Berning 270 amplifier remains at the very top of my most wanted list. It is without a doubt the finest sounding amplifer I have heard thus far.
84Audio: Thanks for your thoughtful words. I want to reiterate that was never, and am not, in any way skeptical about the quality or performance of the Berning amps. I have absolutely no reason to be, and plenty of Audiogon commentary from members whose judgements I respect indicates exactly the opposite. (And I would agree that the Berning company probably has no need of subterfuge to promote its wares.) What I was skeptical about was only the post itself, but I was ready to accept at face value any reassurances offered by those who might stand to benefit from this thread's influence, or from its author, who I would still glady hear from again.

Allanbhagan: Thanks for coming on this thread to respond. If you are stating that there is no intentional or directed shilling going on here - which is the question I invited your input about - then that's good enough for me. I was being 100% sincere in soliciting a denial of any undue involvement on the part of yourself or Mr. Berning, because I truly did not expect that there was any. Please consider that my way of affording you the opportunity to clear the air of any possible suspicions which may have been raised in readers' minds based solely on the post's *appearance*.

I disagree that there are "hundreds of threads like this" on Audiogon. This one may simply have been worded in such a way that it caused my eyebrows to rise, without any devious intent on the part of the original poster, and I recognized that possibility, but posts worded like this are actually quite rare here in my experience. It *reads* as if it might be disingenuous, and that combined with the fact that I had never seen this poster's username before is what prompted me check his forum history. Like I said, although it's relatively rare, this is not the first time I have noticed a post having this sort of tone being offered by someone with no previous forum contributions, and it's not the first time I've questioned one that does. The possibility of abuse in an anonymous web environment is not a fictional concern. If no wrong has been done, then please accept that no insult was intended. I have no agenda beyond the integrity of this forum.

Carry on with the Berning love-fest...
To answer Mew's question, yes, without a doubt, this amp is in a special class that has very few members. My modded monoblock ZH270s are the first amp/amps that made my power hungry Salons sound like I thought they should. I was ready to sell the Salons until I tried them powered by the ZH270s. I recently brought my Merlins back into the room. The bass delivered by the VSMs is amazing. The Berning/Merlin combo is dynamic, articulate and musical. They have PRAT in spades. They will blast your face with air on some bass drum passages. I am sure the Bernings are not everyone's cup of tea but they have become the foundation of my system, period. I think they will drive just about any speaker with ease.
I will also add that everything Allan has said would happen sound wise has turned out to be fact.
I have just checked back in to see whether my inquiry received any replies and at first was pleased to see that it had and then dismayed to see that I had generated some unintentional discord. I take full responsibility for mentioning the name of the person from whom I acquired the amp. My zeal for the amp extends to the person who built it and the person who sold it to me. Neither suggested to me that I query other users about their long-term satisfaction. All of us in this hobby like to verify their judgments against the discernment of others, and I derive further pleasure from acknowledging the decency of the many people for whom the hobby is both passion and profession.
But again, if I breached the protocol of this forum, mea culpa.
Question for Allan and ZH270 owners.

What are the mods for the Berning that are referred to in this thread?

And I think I recall that tube rolling with NOS tubes can produce terrific results with the 270. Could someone elaborate.

The reason I asked these questions is it seems that I remember reading somewhere that the Berning in stock form can sound a little analytical, but with tube rolling this characteristic can be changed to a slightly warmer "tubier" sound.

Thanks in advance.
You have not breached any protocol, this is exactly what the forums were intended for, you used it to find other owners and generate discussion, I actually applaud you Sir.
Allan is right, no protocol has been breached. Enjoy the amp. It's as good as everyone says it is.
I don't post very often since I'm still in "learning mode" compared to many of the folks here and there experience but, I thought I'd toss my $.02 worth. Received my Berning ZH270 last week, which I bought thru Allan. First, let me say that what Allan told me about this amp is definitely true. In fairness I can only compare it to the amp I've been living with, ML#23 since I don't live close to any high-end shops anymore. See my system, General Disarray under the Virtual Systems, Ever Evolving, and some nice pics of the amp.

I made some comments after I replaced the input tubes and switched to medium feedback. This made a tremendous change, just as Allan and other owners have said. An analogy would be like the change after I "chipped" the computer in my turbo Audi. Went from good performance to spooled up scary fast...

The amp has maybe 50 hours on it since I've been listening to it almost non-stop. I have to say the Tandberg 3001 tuner sounds absolutely fabulous compared to the CAL CD player. I don't have my analog rig set up yet so I'm at a disadvantage to what the amp really sounds like but after the tube changes and feedback fiddling it's really great.

If you own a ZH270 this is probably a boring post, you already know this, sorry. If you're shopping for an amp you really need to do yourself a favor and seek out a friend with one. I'm in NY, come on over and test drive it. I’m sure there are better amps made but you’re more than likely going to be spending more than $4500 for it, maybe double or triple and you definitely won’t be buying the technology that’s in this amp. This thing operates more like an FM transmitter. I’ve been around electronics my entire working career, (started out on IBM 370 mainframes) this is as complex and sophisticated piece of hardware as I’ve ever seen. Pretty cool actually, that’s why the first thing I did was take the cover off and takes pictures and post in my system. Since only 24 are made every year you might want to think about getting one while David is still making them. Kind of like Blue Note LP’s, these won’t be made forever….
Hi Fiddler

The mods include selected and matched cryoed 6jn6 output tubes. The input driver tubes should be procured through Andy of Vintage Audio who has the correct electrical characteristics per the manufacturer. ERS "stealth" covers which minimizes the effect of RFI interference and covers the impedance converters and is also added on several locations inside and on the bottom cover of the amp. Upgraded coupling caps which are also cryoed treated.

Saving the best for last or should I say pulling it all together and taking the amp to a greater level of performance than I could believe was possible is the hybrid silver wire for the inputs and power cables inside the amp. I had this mod done almost 3 weeks ago. I heard the improvement immediately but true to his word, Allan told me to wait about 2 weeks to realize the significance of this mod. I must say that I really heard it last night to the degree I expect he was referring to.

To owners of this amp that have had the other mods done, each has brought something different to the performance of the amp. The wire, which should be saved for last is easily the most significant. The sense of ease and greater inner resolution is readily apparent. Instruments and textures are better delineated and much more realistic, closer to the performance. I have never heard such transparency from an audio component. I had the opportunity to listen to this mod in my system through Fourproof's mono amps. I can certainly attest to Vetterone's comments concerning the bass performance of 2 of these amps on the Merlins. It was almost too much. But on material with low bass information, there was a sense of ease and power that one amp couldn't match. I was continually bombarded by puffs of air coming from the ports of the Merlins at 9' away, this at quite moderate listening levels.
Oops, Sorry John, I meant Oneproof.
First let me say congratulations Mew, for taking the leap and purchasing a Berning. In reference to your question I think that you will find Berning owners to be quite a tight knit group of audiophiles who are quite fond/fanatical of the product. I would be willing to bet that if you were to look up some of the posters/berning owners you will find similar threads expressing the very same "zeal" you talk about. That is the very core of the fanaticism of the product. It has been revalatory for all of us in certain ways. Though we may all have different musical tastes it is still able to cater to all in a most remarkable fashion. That IS the revalation. You get out what you put in. What also sets the Berning apart is that the "revalation" continues through certain upgrades. Keeping in mind NONE of the upgrades are changes in circuitry design. They are simply changes in component quality. This is the hallmark on a truly exceptional product. It is more than the sum of its parts. So, Mew, sit back and enjoy your music like never before. For anyone interested in upgrades contact Allan Bhagan. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word, and a pleasure do do business with. Allans overriding principle it to see that you are satisfied with the product, by offering service rarely seen today.

I agree with most of what has been said here and will not repeat what has been stated, The Berning ZH 270, JE LA 150, Cardas GR, Merlin VSM combo has brought so much listening pleasure to my Rig that I long for nothing else.

The past 18 months have been a pleassure and a special thanks to Tubegroover for steering me in the direction, Bobby@Merlin for his system building approach advice and Allan for his dedication and committment to tweaking the ultimate sound from the 270.

In a hobby that is built around constant search for bigger and hopefuly better sound (not always the deal however, just check the "For Sales" here) the ZH 270 with mods and careful system "building" will surely bring hour upon hour of listening enjoyment.

Allan's latest mods has brought new levels of resoultion to my Rig. I find myself totally engrossed in the emotion of the performance and no longer a hyper-critical listener but rather a music lover. Big words for a hobby that has lots of very very unhappy folks on the treadmill of constant upgrading in search ofthe "Absolute Sound".

Mew, your in for a treat!
Mew: I am glad to read your response to my concerns, and to be assured that they were groundless. Just to be clear, I'm in complete agreement with Allanbhagan and 84audio that no forum protocol is broken by putting in a good word for a dealer if such applies, though you may often find that in particularly lauditory posts, members will state for the record that they have no affiliation with the manufacturers or dealers in question. You may also find that threads specifically promulgating the virtues of particular pieces of gear typically reside in the "Reviews" section and are framed as comprehensive statements of personal experience, rather than in the topical catagories, framed as 'leading' questions (at least as such distinctions apply to thread-starters, as opposed to responses). But as I've said, I was intrigued enough to post my cautionary remarks not due just to the wording of your thread (i.e., coming across as possibly being a 'troll') in isolation, but only in conjunction with your being a new forum contributor as well. On ocassion threads resembling this one have popped up appearing to promote a certain product, and then the new 'member' who originally posted is seemingly never heard from again. If I needn't have worried in your case, then I look foward to reading your future forum participation (and considering the weight of consensus in this thread, maybe even breaking down and going to have a listen to the Berning amplifier for myself...)
Zaikesman: As it was my first post to an audiogon forum, I can only claim innocence regarding its conventions. I am all for maintaining the integrity of the exchange, so I appreciate your concern and did not in the least mind being asked for clarification of my status or intent. I do heartily recommend to you that you seek out a Berning. I would be curious to see whether you too become a Berning zealot.
If you like the push-pull ZOTL like the ZH270 and MicroZOTL, then you'll love the SET ZOTL like the Siegfried or my "Holy Grail" 45 SET ZOTL. A whole 'nuther level, for those with efficient speakers which can be driven by a few watts of output power. Totally awesome, and beyond anything that I've ever put ears to.
In the truest definition of the term "troll" I expect that Mew could be considered one but in the context of trolling for responses from other users. So by that definition, trolling isn't always a bad thing, is it? I have posted several "trolls" myself for similar affirmations, nothing wrong with that me thinks. The lesson learned here might be that it is best to get the facts of a concern by doing it quietly (a personal e-mail to Mew or Allan maybe?) rather than yelling fire before the smoke is evident.

Zaikesman, I generally hold your opinions in very high regard for both your forthrightness and content but I expect you assumed too much too soon in this case. If I were in the position of Allan Bhagan I would be more than a bit offended.

I ordinarily wouldn't comment any further on this matter but it isn't the first time I've seen exactly the same thing happen to a dealer unjustifiably. While there wasn't a direct accusation there was very strong inuendo that this thread was initiated to promote the amp to the benefit of the dealer. We are all interested in maintaining a site where the users are not being snowed by a bunch of self serving dealers Zaikesman. I think Audiogon and the members have by and large done a very good job of maintaining this site away from that end. In kind, we must do are part to be responsible before making remarks that could tarnish the reputation of folks that make a living from our hobby.
Tubegroover: I likewise respect your thoughts on this and other matters, and appreciate that you make the distinction between accusing without evidence, and raising a concerned question for clarification. IMO, an unbiased reading (meaning by those of us who don't own the company in question's products) of the original post (with its perhaps somewhat unintended tone of, This is the best thing I've ever heard! Could I be dreaming, or is this for real?), combined with the circumstances under which it was posted (by a contributor with no previous history), would almost have to lead one to wonder whether there *could be* an unstated agenda at work. In a couple of similar cases where I've posted more gingerly in the past, the thread-head never returned to respond, so now I just lay out my case in order that others may know what there is to be discovered - and maybe inferred - and draw their own conclusions. If the original poster does return and satisfactorily clarify, as is the case here, then there should be no further cause for suspicion. It's a bit like the idea behind campaign finance reform efforts: Even the mere *appearance* of simply the *possibility* for corruption to exist deriving from the undue influence of money - as opposed to hard evidence of *actual* corruption or a quid pro quo - can be equally harmful to the pursuit of a true democracy. But just as in that example, nothing can really be 'proven' one way or the other, so you have to take some things on faith and your good judgement, while remaining ever-vigilant.

[Just as a related aside on a personal note, I have now delayed for weeks posting a review of a product I fully intended to write an article about on this forum. A large part of the reason why is that I received a manufacturer's discount on the product - not to review the product positively per se (neither was it a formal 'accomodation price' - traditionally offered *after* a product has been positively reviewed - and of course I am not a formal 'pro' reviewer), but because I was making other purchases in conjunction with this one, and the product was so brand-new that I was the very first customer, in effect a beta-tester. But there *was* an understanding that I intended post a review, although that review - it was equally well-understood - could be positive, negative, or inconclusive: whatever I found to be the case. But now that I'm really down to it, and have a positive opinion of the product, I find I am too uncomfortable with the situation to post the review at all. Of course I could state in the review that I received XYZ discount, but that wouldn't really do anything to alleviate suspicion, and would probably create trouble for the manufacturer. As I see it at this point, all I can do is either withhold the review, or make up the difference to full retail price before posting. It is entirely possible that this dilemma of mine may make me extra-sensitive right now to any whiff of potentially unsavory boosterism that might cross my path.]
Zaikesman, I have been at audiogon since it's conception, The only reason that this thread did not turn into a feeding frenzy of paranoid thread bashers, were due to both reputation of product and self.

Your concerns are justified, however your method of identifying and implication are flawed, I am afraid to say that there are many shills but their sophistication is at this time, beyond normal recognition.

The results are simple, You will only alienate the truthful and honest, as they have the most to lose, all you will end up with is the liars, cheats and Shills, as they will have the time to learn to deceive.

That said, I do understand very well the situation in audio today, buyer beware, readers,.. grain of salt, this is however what some want, a murky confused situation to thrive in, when you attack honest people with honest products you simply make the waters murkier.
And if I may add, your continued reasoning for justify what you did is again silly, not only are you trying to stop free speech but you are trying to make it into what you want to perceive as right, a dangerous thing and the complete wording of your responses might just be unconstitutional.

I am afraid it's better to have shills now than to continue attacking the innocent, as you want to protect audiogon viewers from Shills, is as I now want to protect the innocent that has been and will be attacked.

In your own words
"(by a contributor with no previous history), would almost have to lead one to wonder whether there *could be* an unstated agenda at work. In a couple of similar cases where I've posted more gingerly in the past, the thread-head never returned to respond"

This is like saying, tie their hands and feet, throw them into the lake, if they drown and go to the bottom they were not witches.

There is no provision in free society to attack the innocent to weed out the guilty.
I suppose our approach is different Zaikesman. “Could be” raises a question in ones mind and obviously it did in yours and maybe others as well. Everyone that makes a living through sales or peddling of a product or service attempts to influence in the direction they want us to go, whether it be lobbyists giving sums of money to political campaigns for future favors or at the very least future considerations towards their interests or audio dealers to “Beta testers” for their respected opinion with if not expressed then certainly implied understanding that it will be favorable.

The issue at hand relative to this thread might be, How does one raise the question without sounding accusatory without any evidence? My whole point is that if there is a suspicion on your part or anyone for that matter, it should be explored behind the scenes before it is raised for all to see. Suspicion by many in our society is viewed as guilty until proven innocent which can be very difficult to overcome once it is associated with an individual, the examples are countless. In our little world it could spread like wildfire. My father drilled into from the time I was a young child that personal honor is the most important asset you have, don’t lose it. I say in turn that it is equally important to protect each other and gather facts as quietly as possible before raising a question for the public to see about the personal integrity and motivations of an individual. This is an important point to keep in mind and while I appreciate your coherent response I feel the essence of what I was attempting to point out in my last post was skirted over. The “process” of getting to the bottom of the issue, not the suspicion itself. True democracy, of by and for the people is a utopian ideal that can only be realized when people are truly equal and viewed by each other as such which is to say mutually respected.

Zaikesman you are being too hard on yourself in your quest for integrity. We can only be true to ourselves and let the chips fall where they will so long as we don't unduly step on anyone in the process. You should post the review based on your assessment of the product on its own merits. The fact that you received a discount is irrelevant so long as that doesn't interfere with your honest assessment of it on its own terms and there is no local dealer who is unaware of the arrangement.

You may want to keep in mind that retail price and wholesale are completely different. Since you purchased directly from the manufacturer often times you will get a substantial discount, 30-40% is not uncommon. I don't think anyone would hold it against you but the concensus of your positive review better be on your side :)
From the beginning of this thread I thought that Zaikesman's initial post was severe and presumptuous. I agree that his subsequent attempts to justify or explain his initial post fall short of what really is called for--a simple apology. However, Zaikesman is not stifling "free speech" or doing anything else "unconstitutional": this is an audio forum; Zaikesman was expressing his opinion as a member, from no position of official authority. Nor were his reasons for not assuming innocence unreasonable, even though there was no need for the accusatory tone and tact. If folks on all sides in the audio world could chill, it would be a better, nicer place.
Allanbhagan: I regret it if I made you feel personally attacked; I myself don't think I did attack you, although it was my intent to encourage a response from you on this thread. I note for the record that Mew says he did not construe my words as an attack, and I accept that statement at face value, as I hope you would mine.

I must agree with Lmack's assessment of your claims regarding abridgement of freedom of speech and unconstitutionallity. Even so, I'll also take his advice and say I'm sorry if my words caused anyone hurt. While I believe a careful rereading of what I wrote won't reveal any 'accusations' or alleging of facts not in evidence, Tubegroover's point about first trying to get in touch directly with the original poster regarding my initial concerns is not without merit.

The way I see the situation now, the original post, while strongly resembling a particular sort of classic 'troll', probably appeared that way simply out of inexperience on the part of the thread-head. But my reaction to it makes clear that I am every bit as jaded and skeptical as Mew seems to be naive and well-intentioned. Is that a good or a bad thing for one to be on the web? I'm not sure I know, but I do know I'm not proud of having become that.
Zaikesman, apology more than accepted, I see that you are doing some inner searching and truly now understand what reaction that this could have caused, Sir I do now have much respect for you.
Gee. This has turned out to be a more provocative exchange than I had anticipated. I can't say that I regret having generated it, particularly because it has served to raise interesting philosophical questions well beyond the immediate issue of the quality of a piece of audio gear. With regard to my original post, I would like to note again that had I left out the parenthetical reference to the seller (the parentheses truly were an attempt to background rather than foreground this information, but I do recognize that that very gesture was itself subject to misconstrual) then no one would have taken issue with my inquiry. That inquiry was based upon my own sad experience of having been too often infatuated with a piece of equipment only to experience disappointment over the long haul. I really was looking for some reassurance that that would not be the case with the Berning.
My conclusions are twofold: one, that the Berning is as good as it initially appears to be; and two, that this exchange has ended up by bringing out the best in all who participated in it.
Mew when I first got the Berning prior to making a committment to purchasing it, I did exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason. I was so taken back by its performance that I had to question that what I was hearing was maybe too good to be true? This was posted on Audio Asylum for anyone interested in reading the comments from other listeners. One compared a Berning to Atma-sphere system with a comparatively favorable result, equally good but different. After reading the kudos from several owners, all were happy, I purchased the amp and have been thrilled ever since. Of course its performance is much better now with the upgrades. Based on what I have heard and this includes among the best Lamm ML-1's, Tenor, Joule Electra, BAT, Conrad Johnson, Audio Research and a few SS amps including Halcro albeit in different systems and audio show conditions, the intrinsic virtues of the Berning is there. While I would hesitate to say it is at the top tier until I listened to all the contenders in familiar systems, I am confident enough that it will provide long term musical satisfaction to all but those that can and are willing to pay considerably more without the itch rearing its ugly head as is often the case in this hobby.

For the record, the only reason I replaced my previous amp, a Transcendent T-8 LN 25 watt OTL was the power issue. I was quite satisfied otherwise. Not only did the Berning give me more power but freed up space, lowered the heat in the room and proved a major improvement in every area of performance.
Has anyone tried this amp with Proac 3.8s? I'd like to try one but am not sure if it has enough power. The impedance of the 3.8 hardly falls below 8 ohms, so I am thinking an OTL might work well.
Greetings all,

Although this might not be my first post - I can't remember if I ever posted - it certainly is one of only a few. Generally speaking, I watch from the sidelines on these matters. I enjoy the passion that we bring to this hobby, and occasionally, the wisdom from our experience. I'm compelled to post a response because I've owned a ZH270 for almost a full year. My amp is currently receiving the full wire cap upgrade, provided by Allan Bhagan. It also sports Allan's ERS kit, cryo'd output tubes, and Stillpoints. This amp drives a pair of Merlin VSM-M with single ended BAM. All cables are Cardas Golden Reference. My source is a DPS/Schroeder 2/Dynavector XV-1s. Preamps are by Tom Evans (Vibe/Pulse and Groove Plus).

This is basically my first serious system. I don't have lots of experience with other equipment. My only benchmark for my system are those deeper memories from both the recent past and long ago when a record or the radio or a live instrument struck me as so fundamentally important and true that everything before and after that moment faded out of space and time. And the only thing that matter was the music. You don't have to believe me, but this system hits the mark frequently. At least, for me. I think the most important aspect of this hobby for me has been knowing my objective for the system. Without that, I have no means of evaluating the effectiveness of the system. And I could easily see myself being swept away -- along with my money - from one revelatory product to the next.

So, yes, the Berning ZH270 is "revelatory." But the caveat is, "revelatory" for me when weighed against my objective/benchmark.


Thanks for starting this thread. I am now among the believers having aquired a ZH270. I went through an agonizing decision to replace my Air Tight amps with the Berning, but in the end am keeping the ZH270 mated with the First Sound Deluxe MK2 preamp and Genesis 500 speakers. My next step is cable & interconnect upgrades. Cardas is mentioned in the above posts, and Allen suggests Audience. Any other recomendations? And how do the Cryo tubes upgrade the sound??

I agree that there are many shills in A'gon, but they are recognized and ignored.

Zaikesman - post the review without hesitation. It is important that A'gon continue to be the Forum for honest reviews ( and critisism ).
Noble110: I have actually never thought there were "many" shills around here, just a few possibles/probables (not talking about this thread now, for come-lately's - see above), but who knows, you may have a clearer assessment than I seem to.