C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

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C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby travisty » Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:49 pm

It is very quiet, with an excellent attenuator. The phono stage is also extremely quiet and detailed. After many months of use, I think it has no obvious failings (admittedly, I use the phono stage almost exclusively - most of the time matched with the H-Z1 headamp, which is also super-quiet.
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Re: This is a wonderful preamp

Postby Axel » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:32 am

Hello Travis !

Is the attenuator a 4-gang from ALPS or another one closer to Pioneer howebrew ?

The literature I could gather for the Z1s remains completely mute about this...

cheers

axel
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby theophile » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:28 pm

Trav,
How would you define the difference between the performance of the CZ-1 compared to some of the other preamps you have heard?
TT - Yamaha GT 2000
Cart - Soundsmith 'The Voice' Ebony
Phono - Moon LP 5.3
Pre - Hornshoppe The Truth
KRK Expose E8B Studio Monitors
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby trandangminhminh » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:52 am

travisty wrote:It is very quiet, with an excellent attenuator. The phono stage is also extremely quiet and detailed. After many months of use, I think it has no obvious failings (admittedly, I use the phono stage almost exclusively - most of the time matched with the H-Z1 headamp, which is also super-quiet.


Dear!

I've got MZ1 mono block amplifier, so, I've looked Cz-1 for along time ago!
May you whisper to me, where're the Cz1 did you buy?

Thank you!
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby Axel » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:26 am

trandangminhminh,

The easiest will be http://www.hifido.co.jp or the japanese Yahoo.
The M-Z1 and M-Z1a aren't as easily findable now than a few years back... but they are cheaper :)

You can also try http://www.topclassaudio.com in Hong Kong.
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby trandangminhminh » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:14 am

Dear Axel!

In Hifido, I often search day-by-day, I've looked for C-Z1 about ~2 years ago, and it had not got any item.

TopClass is for analogue (turntable, cartridge, stylus ...). There're only H-Z1 phono-preamplifier.

Thank you!
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby travisty » Sat Jan 01, 2011 9:38 am

Greetings,
I did not see this until quite late but could have sworn I responded. In any case, here it goes again...

Axel,
As far as I can tell, the attenuator is a homebrew. The copy of the service manual I have shows very little and only gives a part number. I have not opened it up.
It is quite transparent but it is not stepped - smooth instead.

Theophile,
I have not outright compared the preamp to other preamps in A/B comparisons. I have run it quite a bit of the time over the past year and have alternated recently with the Accuphase C-280. I have just gotten a hold of a C-240 as well. Both Accuphase preamps are, so far, superlative, though they tend to have an 'Accuphase smoothness' which one can view as slightly soporific or as 'lacking dynamics.' I am wondering why that is, but I'll get to looking into that after I finish playing around with them.

I have compared the phono stage of the C-Z1 with the ZYX Artisan. The C-Z1 with the H-Z1 headamp does not lose to the ZYX Artisan. The C-Z1 does not lose to my (unmodded) Jadis JP-80 MM in terms of noise level and detail. My JP80 does not have MC so I cannot compare.

A friend who uses an MM took delivery of my Hagerman Trumpet this autumn and compared it to a C-Z1. He said the Hagerman might be as good as the C-Z1 but he was not sure.

I can say that the Accuphase C-280 is a wonderful bargain. It has a great phono stage with great high-gain headamp with two phono inputs (relay switch), and a great line stage. It is truly excellent bang for buck. The C-240 is less expensive, and probably less well-developed (lots of buttons (almost 60) which give noisy clicks when they are pushed, and therefore a HUGE amount of flexibility) but has a lot more flexibility on the phono stage to change resistance and capacitance, to change turnover point, and a high frequency trim pot to reduce problems with resonant frequency on MMs, tone controls, considerable loudness control, and a fair bit of other control.

All told, the C-Z1 combined with the H-Z1 is better. But new it was 50+% more than the C-240, does not have dual inputs, and has no headphone amp. For MCs, the C-280 is excellent, but I think I prefer the C-Z1/H-Z1 combo.

I have yet to try my Audio Tekne with built-in MC headamp, or to really put the Hagerman Trumpet through its paces.

Trandangminhminh,
I will send you another follow-on email quite soon. There are currently zero C-Z1s for sale openly in Japan as far as I can tell but... see my email...

The H-Z1 which is at topclassaudio is a real treat of a headamp. I have used Japan's best headamps from Sony, Yamaha, Denon, and others; and have used the top (XF-1, not the custom AGT-5X) Fidelity Research, Entre, and Denon SUTs. The Pioneer H-Z1 outclasses them all to a significant extent. It is not close. The only SUT I have heard which comes even remotely close is a custom-done Bent Audio Mu with silver output cables and jacks which cost me more than the H-Z1 at topclassaudio. At the top level of analog playback, the H-Z1 deserves a place at the head of the table. It is a superlative headamp gain stage for MC carts. With this headamp and the phono stage I can understand why some people in the MM vs MC thread on Audiogon can believe MMs are top of the heap - it is because they don't have an H-Z1. With an H-Z1, it is very difficult to believe an MM could better a top-level MC.

Regards,
travis
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby JwFabrie » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:08 pm

A very good and thourough description!
I am very curious about the C-Z1 amp as well, Since I own all the other components from the series (M-Z1, H-Z1, PL-L1, CT-A1, P-D1 and PC-70mc cart) I really need to get me a C-Z1.. Just like you trandangminhminh, I am expierencing quite a bit of trouble in finding one.. If you can point me in any direction as well Travis; I would be very pleased ;)

The series 1 components are truelly some of the best build pioneer components I have ever seen!, comparable only with the eXclusive series. It's a pitty they never officialy exported any of these components to US or Europe, the folks over here really had to miss out on some serious equipment!

Have a great new year!

Willem.
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Re: C-Z1a : This is a wonderful preamp

Postby trandangminhminh » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:54 am

travisty wrote:Trandangminhminh,
I will send you another follow-on email quite soon. There are currently zero C-Z1s for sale openly in Japan as far as I can tell but... see my email...
Regards,
travis


Dear Travis!

I've been being waited for your email, but, I've not received any.
Please send to my email: trandangminhminh@gmail.com

Thank you very much!
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