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Zana or Beta


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I've heard a few great Beta22s, but I'm not sure I've ever heard one approach the ZD in an optimal setup. Course as 'Reks said it may come down to your tube/ss preference and I tend to be in the tube group. And on the other end of the ss side you also have the more polite Luxman.

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I've heard a few great Beta22s, but I'm not sure I've ever heard one approach the ZD in an optimal setup. Course as 'Reks said it may come down to your tube/ss preference and I tend to be in the tube group. And on the other end of the ss side you also have the more polite Luxman.

Hi bx

What do you actually mean by saying you've heard a few great Betas? Does that mean you've heard some bad ones and some mediocre ones?

Have you heard the Luxman, and/or what have you heard about the Luxman?

USG

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Hi bx

What do you actually mean by saying you've heard a few great Betas? Does that mean you've heard some bad ones and some mediocre ones?

Have you heard the Luxman, and/or what have you heard about the Luxman?

USG

I haven't heard the ZD but I've heard a 2 betas and the luxman and I'd say that the luxman is a very "gentle" amp and has it's own flavor while a beta can be rather revealing of everything upstream.

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Hi bx

What do you actually mean by saying you've heard a few great Betas? Does that mean you've heard some bad ones and some mediocre ones?

Have you heard the Luxman, and/or what have you heard about the Luxman?

USG

I owned a Beta that I didn't think was up to others I've heard at meets. Afraid I never had very detailed specs on it, so difficult to recommend parts.

And the Luxman was loaned to Voltron from Todd and showed up to a Marin meet. Voltron would be good to get greater feedback on it (he's obviously caught in it's power as he's looking at buying). It was an addicting sound I've thought about often, but especially since the HD800 was annouced. Fast, but polite, somewhat like 'stats with the variety of phones at the meet (K701, CD3k and even HD650). If the Beta screams power, the Luxman is the opposite. Reserved. Maybe perfect. Would only know with more time.

Voltron would be a good source on the B22 variations also as he acquired one soon after hearing mine and commented on how much better it was.

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I haven't heard the ZD but I've heard a 2 betas and the luxman and I'd say that the luxman is a very "gentle" amp and has it's own flavor while a beta can be rather revealing of everything upstream.

Yep, I think that's why I'm loving mine, it's great being able to fully get what's good in your sources.

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USG:

Not sure what more I can add, although the Rockhopper Beta I own is a fantastic amp. It is similar to the other finest Beta I have heard, which was Naaman's Beta that Asr used to own. Either of those blew blessingx's former amp out of the water. Dreadhead has mentioned to me previously that he upgraded it and enjoyed much more as he says above. I have never heard a Nate Beta but I am sure that he also reaches the pinnacle of the form.

The hallmarks of a great Beta to my mind are power, neutrality and control. My amp has more power than could ever be needed for normal cans, and can drive K1000s to my understanding but not my personal experience because mine are wired with speaker connections only.

The Beta is also very neutral and true to the source. Although I do not find the Beta as "engaging" or "absorbing" as the Luxman, for example, that is not because it is sterile but just because it is so neutral. A warmer source would also get me more where I want to be, and is a consideration I have had while my Beta sits in the for sale category. (I want a more transportable solution and the one-box Luxman has that edge as well.) Strapping on my vintage RS-1s makes me reconsider selling the Beta because that combination is especially engaging, and the same goes for the PS-1s too. Oddly, the Ed. 9s did not have a great synergy with my Beta even though Sovkiller insists that they need SS power over tubes. Anyway, I digress. ..

The last factor I mentioned is control, which is related to why they are so accurate but worth mentioning on its own. The Beta has a real grip on headphone drivers. It makes them fast and accurate and deletes flab and overhang and all those things that lack of control connotes.

The amazing thing I found about the Luxman is that even with the more lush sound signature that takes it slightly out of the truly neutral category, it is very accurate, very detailed, very fast and still has a strong grip on the drivers. Even though I wish it were balanced, and that is another thing that makes me hesitate on selling the Beta in favor of the Luxman, it has such a compelling presentation that I am driven to try it out. Given the level of sales I have made on other items, I may just sit tight on the Beta, buy the Luxman and compare them head to head. Should be very interesting.

As for the Zana Deux, I really like that amp but I think it falls into the category of warmer, less controlled, less accurate and softer overall. People who are owners dispute this, and I have never had a ZD for an extended period outside of meet contexts. It is a great amp with a wonderful sound signature, but I always feel that is softness is both a virtue and a failing.

YMMV.

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that's a hard one, as both represent top of the line performance in their respective price ranges, for tube and solid state gear.
My thoughts almost exactly. I wouldqualify, though, that the best Beta22 represents top of the line, since there's more variance in Beta22 builds. I wouldn't get just any Beta22.
i would probably get the ZD. i love the ZD. i haven't heard a Beta22, but i'm a tube headphone kinda person.
I'd probably get the Zana Deux, too, even though I haven't heard it, just because it is so universally well regarded. And because I am unabashedly a tube-head.
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650s and 880s.... and very infrequently 701s

USG

If I did not care about balanced then I would go with the Zana, especially with the 880's and 701's. The 650 IMO is a toss up as to which one I prefer.

If on the other hand I wanted balanced then I might have to change my opinion. No one AFAIK has heard the balancing act, but there are plenty of balanced betas softly caressing the ears of their owners.

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I owned your beta IIRC :) After much upgrading (separating PS transformer, rewiring, clean up etc) it improved a whole lot.
Glad to hear. That B22 was the first I heard and it was only after hearing a couple others at meets much later, that I wondered about the diversity in options (besides the se/bal board choices). Though again I was relying on memory so couldn't be sure. Sounds like you found some of the differences. ;)
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I haven't heard the ZD but I've heard a 2 betas and the luxman and I'd say that the luxman is a very "gentle" amp and has it's own flavor while a beta can be rather revealing of everything upstream.

USG:

....The amazing thing I found about the Luxman is that even with the more lush sound signature that takes it slightly out of the truly neutral category, it is very accurate, very detailed, very fast and still has a strong grip on the drivers. Even though I wish it were balanced, and that is another thing that makes me hesitate on selling the Beta in favor of the Luxman, it has such a compelling presentation that I am driven to try it out....

YMMV.

Which Luxman are we taking about? The P1 or the P200?

USG

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I've just had limited time with the P1 at a meet and I found them a bit too warm and syrupy for my tastes.

I listened with a variety of headphones and thought it did best with the hd600/hd650s.

It wasn't horrible or anything like that, but I didn't think it controlled the senns as well as the Zana does.

I've always thought that hd600/650s and the Zana are a truly synergistic combo.

Not sure if it was the source (Oppo player i think) but would like to have tried the luxman something else source but didn't get the chance.

Did not like it at all with the RS1 or the L3K.

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Serendippity........

Do you guys trust Audio Cubes?

Link

USG

The only things that you may or may not think are relevant are: 1) the the fact that service for a P1 purchased through Audio Cubes will require you to send the unit back to Japan and I don't know if they effectively act as the purchaser to submit it to Luxman for service; and 2) the voltage is not user-switchable so they provide you with a shitty transformer box that converts to the proper voltage for the unit. If you buy from TTVJ you get a US voltage model that is serviced through the US distributor.

I'm not familar with the Onix. How does it compare to my Stello DA100?

I don't know those Stello units very well, but I would think that the Onix Ref. 1 has a better analog output than the Stello. I cannot compare them but the Onix when new was a $1200 CDP that was known for its analog output stage.

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