LTA - MZ2 Driving solid state amps.


Hello All,

I want to get a new pre and I have narrowed it down to the LTA  MZ2 and ps audio bhk, with the mz2'being the one I probably will try.Both of these have built in headphone amps which I would occasionally like.

I would like any feedback on both preamps related to the pairing with solid state amps of any kind.

Kenny.
kdude66
Teajay gave me this answer in another thread,even though I would probably use tubes with either pre. I still would like more info.

As far as Kenny's question regarding how the Micro-ZOTL sounds like driving SS amps is it brings its virtues to the overall sound when I used it with great SS pieces like Accuphase, Pass Labs, and Perla Audio.

I'm leaning more  towards the MZ2 at this point sounds like a incredibly good preamp.

Anybody want to comment.


Kenny.
I'm sure the BHK is good from what I've heard but I haven't heard it. I have two of the MZ2's and they are spectacular. I also have a Benchmak AHB2 on the way to me so I can let you know next week how it sounds with SS.
Lance,

Sounds very good,I'm anxious to hear about the outcome.

I haven't heard the ahb2,It has been on my shortlist since it came out,I hear I'ts a very clean machine might put class d to shame paired with the right Pre. and you might have the perfect combo.

Keep is updated,


Kenny.
I ordered my MZ2 today and should have it in about 3 weeks,I can't wait to try it.

I have a extensive collection of 6sn7 tubes already that I have bought and used over the years but I will try my favorite one first and that is a current production tube the Shuguang Treasure CV181-Z.


Kenny.
@kdude66 In my MZ2 I like the NOS Tung Sol 6SN7 and the NOS Sylvania Chrome Dome better than the CV181-Z. I'm curious what you think.
Lance,

Are you using 2 of the MZ2's in the same system or do you have 2 systems?

The Tung Sol black glass from the 40's is a very good tube,I have 3 pairs of them,they are extremely expensive now and I most definitely will be comparing.

Kenny.
@kdude66 I have two different systems with MZ's. I'm actually using Tung Sol NOS black glass 12SN7's. They are less expensive if you can find them. Recently started using NOS Tung Sol VT99 6F8G with adaptors and this might be a little better than the 12SN7.

Lance
Lance,

I know in past preamps I have had very good results with the Tung sol black glass 6sn7,Slyvania chrome domes and 3 hole bad boys,treasure cv-181-z and the new production Sophia electric 6sn7's but had terrible results with the new production Tung sol 6sn7's.

The MZ2 is probably a tube rollers delight,sounds like it responds very well to diff. tube combos.

I still have my Valvet soul shine that was a Little better than a modwright Ls-100 that I sold,both very respectful pre's though.

I see some guys are having very good luck finding and using the 12sn7's It's a nice feature that the MZ2 can use both.

Kenny.
In the first couple of hours of listening to the new Benchmark AHB2 with the MZ2, I can hear good things already, very promising but need a little break in time.
Kenny,

If you can from memory, how do you think the LTA betters the MW LS100, I have the latter so interested in any insights you can impart. Txs

Frank
Facten,

I won't get my MZ2 for a couple of weeks.

I sold the mw ls-100 to a friend in our local audio club and I will be borrowing it back for a direct comparison in the future.

I still have my soul shine for now and will be comparing also.


Kenny.
Lance,

Good to hear your liking the AHB2,keep us informed.

Do you think it betters the Job in your system and could you tell us the rest of your system.

What kind of cables are you using between the MZ and the AHB2,knowing the AHB2 has xlr input only.

Best,
Kenny.
Kenny,

I'm not sure how much it betters the Job since it's not entirely broken in yet. So far the AHB2 is more detailed, more clarity and neutral. The Job is a tad warmer and has better control of the bass. Both are excellent amps with the Job being the better bargain at almost half of the price. My current setup:

My Listening Room (spare bedroom) 14.5 x 14.5 x 11' high:
Janszen zA2.1
JL Audio E110's (pair)
LTA ZOTL40 (NOS Mullard EL38's)
LTA MZ2-S (NOS Tung Sol 12SN7's)
PS Audio DS DAC
PS Audio P10
Technics SL1200GAE
Parasound JC1+
Teo GC interconnects
Cerious Tech Graphene Extreme PC's and SC's
Mapleshade brass and maple

Living Room:
Decware ERRx Radials
Modwright Oppo Sonica DAC/Streamer
LTA Micro ZOTL
Benchmark AHB2
PS Audio P5
Cerious Tech Graphene Extreme interconnects
Audioquest type 4 SC's

Basement HT/ 2 channel:
Monitor Audio Gold GX300 & center channel
Emotiva XPA Gen 3
Oppo 105
PS Audio P10
Triode Wire Labs PC's
Black Sands PC's
Cerious Tech Graphene Extreme interconnects and SC's

All rooms connected by Cat 5e Ethernet cable running to a loft with a dedicated Dell desk top with 8 TB full of music.

Lance
Just a note regarding the MZ2, it is very sensitive to power cords. My point is that It is fun to try a few. I was enjoying the MZ2 and one day thought I should try different power cords to see if it changed in character and I was amazed. Using a DIY ribbon type power cord that someone gave me in a previous audio transaction, the sound was far more detailed and the imaging was far more distinct. Nothing much changed when I used isolation stands under the unit. Have fun because it is an amazing audio bargain. 
baranyi,

Did you get the linear power supply with your MZ2?
Just as the MZ2 is sensitive to power cords (I use the Graphene Extreme red with good results) it is also very sensitive to tube rolling. There is a lot to play with here.
Lance,

Thank's for sharing your system info looks like you have 3 very good systems.

Baranyi,

I'm glad you mentioned about PC's making a diff. with the pwr supply.
I definitely have had good results using better cords on other gear.


The solid state amps. that I'm going to try with my MZ2,

First watt diy push pull sit,courtesy of Nelson's gracious nature
Modwright KWA-100SE
Red Dragon S-500
Bel Canto Ref600m's
Nuprime St-10
Yamamoto A09s

I will be mostly using my Tekton Double Impacts and will trying my Zu audio def 4's from my 2nd system as well.

This should be a lot of fun,I can't wait to get my MZ2.

Kenny.
Oops I forgot to mention the sources,

Ps audio Direct stream dac
Wilson Bensch Circle turntable
Zyx airy 3 cartridge
Soundsmith Scp-2 phono preamp


Kenny.

Kenny,

the Bencemark AHB2 is sounding great, a very good SS amp. It sounds good with the MZ2 but yes you do have to use adaptors since there is only XLR inputs.

Lance
Lance,

Thank's for the update,I still have the AHB2 on my short list.
Would you put the AHB2 as being neutral or on the slightly warm side of neutral driven by the MZ2 in your system of course.

I ordered my MZ2 with the linear pwr supply and it looks like that is the most popular.I haven't heard of anybody getting the switch mode.Kinda interesting.

Enjoy the music,

Kenny.
Kenny,

The AHB is extremely neutral but can be warmed up with a tube preamp but only slightly warmer with the MZ2 in the chain. I wouldn't exactly call the MZ2 warm but tube rolling definitlty can change things. Today I'm took the MZ2 out and used balanced cables direct from the Modwright Sonica. With the Sonica's tube stage it seems to smooth things out and sound very good this way as well.

i originally got the basic switching power supply and the new linear power supply is definitly superior. There is a big difference between the cheap wall wart switching PS and the extremely complicated switching PS that's in the ZOTL40, this Type of PS is better than the best Linear PS. David Berning is the master of designing switching power supplies.
Lance, for clarification for others, I assume that was a typo and your phono stage is a Parasound JC-3+.  I doubt a pair of JC-1s would be needed in that set up.
@pryso - Thanks Tim and Yes that should have been a Parasound JC3+ phono stage.
Lance,
That's a interesting comparison,may just want to stick with the volume control on the Sonica unless this system needs more than 1 input.

I'll need a preamp with 3 inputs in my main system,I have used the volume control on my direct stream and It's a good one though.

I do know that sometimes we do tend to over complicate our systems and sometimes simpler maybe better and on the other hand if we didn't try multiple combo's we would never know or experience changes for the better.Just a part of the hobby.

Kenny.
Kenny,
i did get my MZ2 with 3 inputs and gave up the speaker terminals for a second set of outputs in case I wanted to connect powered subs. My Micro ZOTL already has speaker terminals anyway.

update on the AHB2: I ran it in all weekend and I now after some critical listening I think it is superior to the Job 225 in almost every way and the bass is every bit as good or better. I'm hearing more on recordings in this system than I've heard before, micro details are being revealed. I guess it's the low noise floor.
Lance,

I didn't know LTA could configure their MZ2 with 2 sets of preamp outputs instead of speaker output terminals,I'm sure there is not very much room on the back the unit is only 9 inches wide.

The AHB2 has such astonishing low noise and or distortion specs. I would suspect none the less on micro detail retrieval and probably convey's the nature warmth and nuances on each individual recording without adding much of anything other than gain.
It's good to hear that the bass,with some breakin time has equaled or is better than the Job,I thought the Job had really good bass when I used one.

Just proves once again that most components need some time on them to settle in and really show their true character.

Kenny.
Another feature of the MZ2 is the ability to change the output tubes heater voltage from either  6volt to 12volt,so either 12sn7 or 6sn7 tubes can be used.

I already have a good collection of nos and new production 6sn7's to try but I see the prices on some of the best tubes are very expensive,they must be getting more scarce then I thought.I haven't bought any tubes in 6 or 7 yrs I haven't had a need to.

Has anybody had good luck finding really good 12sn7's and where did you buy them.

I know Lance mentioned he is using 1940's Tung Sol ovals,black glass.

Kenny.
Kenny,

Question - what's your opinion on the Nuprime ST-10.  I ordered the  MZ2 earlier this week and am considering the Nuprime.  My speakers will be the Spatial M3 which I just ordered this week as well.

I attended the LA Audio Show this past weekend specifically to listen to the Double Impacts and the Spatials.

The room and the equipment used to demo the Double Impacts did not do them any justice and I could not pull the trigger based on my listening experience.  The room was hosted by Positive Feedback and they were showcasing low cost, high value systems so there were multiple speakers and components.  For the Double Impacts, they were using  a Schiit Freya preamp and a Schiit pre-production amp. 

 Very unfortunate as I really wanted to like the Double Impacts.   I was able to sit in the designated sweet spot while listening.  In a dedicated Tekton room with different components, they  would probably sound great.  I just couldn't get past the way they sounded in that room.

Sorry for the long discourse!

Thanks,

Nick
Nick,

You might check out the thread titled,
https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/initial-impression-of-the-nuprime-st-10-amp

Both the St-10 and the S-500 are really good examples of modern class d amps without breaking the bank.

That's a bummer to hear about the la show,I don't go to them anymore they are just not enjoyable to me.

I seriously considered the spatials and the pure audio project with the voxative full range driver but in our new smaller house I really don't have the correct room for them or panel speakers either.
But that's ok I really like my DI's.

When do you think you will get your MZ2,mine is supposed to be shipped by the end of next week.
I can't wait.

Best,

Kenny.


Thanks for the link Kenny.  I'll add the S-500 to review too.  I expect to receive my MZ2 by June 23rd.   Should be getting the speakers about the same time.  Can't wait!

Nick
Facten, I did get the Linear power supply.
Hello all,

Finally a MZ2 has arrived in my system,I'm using the tubes that were shipped with it for now,RCA 12sn7 and Ge 6201's.

This is most definitely going to be a game changer for me,I really don't want to turn it off and change tubes,maybe tomorrow.

I'm using the speaker outputs to pwr my 95db Tekton DI's.
Kdude66,
                I completely understand.  I hated to give up the demo I was using prior to getting my MZ2.  Wait until you put in NOS tubes! Remember that the power cord also makes a big difference!
Bob
Baranyi,

Mine came with average nos tubes,but I definitely will be changing them in the next day or 2.

I'm using a spare audience pwr cable for now I didn't even try the stock cord at all.

The MZ2 and the LPS really do have some first class workmanship on the inside,you can tell that both units are well thought out and implemented and of course great sound.