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Cafad

Myryad Z and M Series

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I thought I might do a write up on the Myryad Z series since I liked the Z142 amp so much I went and bought the Z114 cd player. It has been burning in since friday afternoon and I have just had a preliminary listening session. My conslusion is a bit out there so I'll take it slow and work up to it.

Anyone who has been keeping track of my "addicts guide" thread knows that the Z142 amp and I are friends for life. It is an amp that has surpassed all integrateds I have heard before, some others have come close but none are quite as much fun to listen to as the Myryad and it does this with only 40 odd watts, 2 transistors per channel and 10,000uf of capacitance per channel. Only the Denon AE1510 had less capacitance and it ran a proprietry "high current circuitry" design that gave it very high levels of punch and bass. When you look under the case the quality is there to see, toshiba transistors, all rubicon capacitors (except for the 2 big ones, which are Nichicon) and no op amps in sight (ok, one, but it operates the servo that controls the remote volume control so it is out of the music loop). And yes, as claimed by Myryad there are seven separate voltage regulators, two each in the power amp circuitry sections, one each in the preamp sections and one on the power board (Myryad kindly label the different sections of the circuitboard, very handy for curious souls like me).

The Myryads main claim to fame is its speed, it is so fluid in the mid range that the music just dances out of it in a flurry of sonic joy. It has nice bass that is fast, tight and deep and very well controlled and smooth highs that elate rather than grate on the the senses.

In short, I love it!

So, what about the cd player?

Again it is very well built, rubicon capacitors throughout and seven voltage regulators, all well and good and similar to the amp. But!!!

Audio companies like Myryad develope these components with the intent of them operating together, yes? So if there is any one cd player that the Z142 should sound absolutely awesome with it should be the Z114, or at least that is what I thought. As it turns out they sound pretty average when used together.

That fluidity and speed are not utilized at all, the bass deepens and fills out but at the loss of the speed and control the amp displays with my test cd player. And the sound gains that "upsampled to the nth degree" aspect, it softens to the point where it can't annoy but can't truly elate either. Together the Z's sound alright, not terrible or anything, but they sound so full and bass heavy and completely unlike the sound I get from my consonance cd120 feeding the Z142.

I think this is the sound that Myryad is aiming for, very inoffensive but very processed, smooth and bass heavy and, in my opinion, dull! Together they have no life, they sound like an old married couple who are going through the motions but are just tired of being together.

I will try the Z114 player with a few different amps and see if I can get more of a feel for what will work better with it later. Right now I want to put forward an opinion on the Z142 amp.

How (or why) does a company make an amp that is this good, has this much potential, and then partner it with a player that drags it down rather than makes the most of its abilities? Is the amp a mistake? It can't have been designed this well by accident, can it? It is my opinion, and this is somewhat ironic since I bought both brands from the same place, that the Myryad separates should be partnered with dryer sounding equipment. Gear with less bass and more air and snap. I think a rotel cd player would work rather well with the Z142 amp, and the Z114 player would work better with a RA1520 amp.

I certainly would not use both Myryads together, unless I had very fast, punchy bookshelf speakers that needed a little extra bass.

I'll continue this thread once I've tried the Z114 with a few other amps.

Cheers!

Edited by Cafad

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Interesting comments there Jeff. The design team must of exhausted all their efforts in the amp.

Perhaps try a good silver IC between the cd and amp. I can send you my Audiquest Sky for you to try.

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I've been using Little Blue Penguin's IC's, which are copper I believe. I can swap them for an Osborn silverlink IC if you think it might make a difference.

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I am quite sure it will make a difference. Just depends if it is worthwhile or not.

Let us know how the Osborn IC goes.

On the subject of your thread I am thinking of combinations of amp and cd player that have either worked or not from the main players...

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That is interesting - I often have to fight my urge to match, it goes to show you do need to audition where at all possible. It will be interesting if you find a combo that suits the cd player.

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Actually Damo, my results are even more interesting than we could have expected. On Victors suggestion I swapped IC's to osborn silverlinks and the change was massive. The bass bloat was gone and the highs and mids were much easier to listen to. Since I was claiming to be a cable skeptic until about 2 hours ago this is big news to me. So I set out to see what else I could hear.

The cd120 with Little Blue Penguins IC's sounds very similar to the Myryad with osborn silverlinks, but what about other ICs? The osborns are over $200 a pair, not exactly a budget cable! So I tried a redgum audio pipeline IC and it was very similar to the osborn silverlink, personally I think the silverlink sounds slightly faster but there is very little in it. The redgum IC is about $25, the osborn $220 and on this player they sound very similar.

But!

Having obtained the results above I tried the same on the cd120 and I can honestly say that the cd120 sound changes very little no matter which of the 3 IC's are connected to it. I think I prefer the Little Blue Penguin cable but I'm not sure I could pick it in a blind test.

The final result here is that the Myryad seems to be very sensitive to the cables used to connect it to the amp, (whereas the consonance just does its thing no matter what cables you plug into it) and I happen to have chosen to use the one cable that makes it sound its worst. On a new direct comparison (using redgum cables) the myryad Z114 is very close in performance to the consonance cd120, I personally think the consonance sounds slightly snappier and quicker but then the myryad is still new so it will only improve with use.

So unhindered by a poor choice of interconnect cables the Myryad Z114 is a very capable player, just be mindful that if you don't like a certain aspect of the sound you may be able to fine tune it by trying different ICs.

At $1399 RRP (and $850 on ebay) you can't exactly call the Myryad components cheap, but I can assure any potential customers that these little pieces of gear punch well above their price range, for under $2k you get over $3.5k of musical quality and that is what the hobby is all about.

For people who are quite happy mixing and matching I can certainly recommend a Myryad Z142 amp partnered with a cd120 player, great music!

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MMM- Ok - even more interesting –

“for under $2k you get over $3.5k of musical quality and that is what the hobby is all about.â€

It certainly what I am all about :thumb:

Personally I would always go for a player that was more versatile with the I/C - as there are savings to be made. I happy to mix and match for better sound, I just have to resist the urge to match. Spending hard earned on I/C's makes me cough - :lol:

Brio R + Apollo R V Myryad + cd 120 ?? Killer combos under 1K for components = lots of value for money IMO.

Also the Myryad + Apollo R could result in a killer combo.

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I left the Myryad to run in during the week and now it is neck and neck with the consonance cd120 (with both using the redgum IC's by the way). The Myryad has a slightly softer and smoother presentation while the consonance has a little more edge to the sounds that should be edgy, electric guitar being the main requirement here (of course). The Myryad is a bit more laid back while the cd120 is a little more energetic but I could live with either of them they are definitely in the same league.

Next week an instrument tech friend of mine is going to remove the OPA2604 opamps from the Myryad and solder in a couple of press in sockets so that I can try different opamp chips and see what sort of effect "rolling" them can have so there will be more on the Myryad in a fortnight or so.

Cheers!

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I've just changed the name of this thread since I've got my paws on a Myryad MI120 and a MXI2080 as well as the Z series amp and cd player. The MI120 is a great amp, it sounds rich and strong and while it is not as quick in the mid range as the Z142 it feels a little faster throughout the frequency range, I can certainly see why Myryad are proud of their first amps. If you can find an MI series product second hand I can thoroughly recommend them. An interesting aspect of having three amps built by the same company over a series of time is that you can chart their sonic performance and, to a certain extent, their design evolution.

post-130663-0-71827200-1349082905_thumb.

With the MI120 you can see a nicely laid out PCB. Myryad like the idea of using lots of voltage stabilizers and frequently mention this in their documentation. A strong amp, 60 watts is listed on the manual but I read a bench test that rated one at 84 watts. It also comes with an MM phono stage (not sure if this was standard or not though)

post-130663-0-70905500-1349082933_thumb.

With the Z142 you can see a PCB that is very similar indeed to the MI120, it is a little hard to see in the photo but there are two voltage stabilizers under the red speaker wire and another two mirrored for the other channel. Basically a slightly reworked version of the MI120 with a smaller torroidal transformer, but the same amount of filtering capacitance. Many of the capacitors in use seem to be similar sized and of similar pedigree to those in the MI120. I think that the dynamic power of this amp would measure much higher than the claimed 50 watts. Comes standard with a MM phono stage as standard.

post-130663-0-11929600-1349082967_thumb.

And the MXI2080, a completely different design in that it is a separate pre/power within the same chassis. Certainly more powerful than the MI120, 80 watts claimed and I would estimate 100 or so real world watts. I can't really get a good pic of the power stages but they both feature at least 2 voltage stabilizers smack bang in the middle of the PCB. Another point worthy of note is that this amp uses the same toshiba transistors, and only a single pair per channel. The more some things change the more others stay the same. Does not come with a phono stage and I can't see where there would be room to fit one. In fact there doesn't seem to be a phono stage available on the MXI preamp either, I wonder if there is a story that goes with that?

Check out my Addicts thread for a review of the MXI2080 over the next few days.

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I had the opportunity to purchase the Myryad Z114 CD Player earlier this year from a local dealer on sale. Denis White in Adelaide, a good reasonably priced retailer who cares about hifi. It replaced a Sony X555ES that I had, however I have also had various other "vintage" CDPs such as Yamaha, Denon, Philips. It easily beat all of the old models for detail, speed, soundstage and musicality, straight out of the box. But it took a fair time to burn in and was quite bright and forward at first. I also had the chance to compare it to a Cambridge Audio Azur 640Cv2, which in comparison was a dirtier and more forward player (I wasn't impressed with the CA460C and moved it on quite quickly). I prefer the Myryad openness and more spacious sound.

The Myryad however does require better power cables than stock and responds well to them. The Belden 19364 cable asylum design as a minimum made the sound less veiled and more detailed, but a bit too forward and slightly gritty for my liking. I also tried with an Eichmann Express AC Enhancing Cable which cleaned things up considerably and improved resolution, reduced haze and better depth of sound stage. A nice analog and spacious sound, however still a bit veiled. And then I moved onto Acrolink 7N P4030-II cable that was purchased from JJ Acoustics. And wow I had such improved macro and micro dynamics, bottom end weight, treble extension and vastly improved stereo image and soundstage.

So with the upgraded power cable the Myryad Z114 is the best digital source I have heard in my system. At the dealer I felt it way exceeded similar priced models by NAD and Cambridge Audio, and was similar to the Audiolab 8200CD.

I hope my thoughts are helpful to someone out there!

Edited by Mr Thorens

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Hi Mr Thorens, thanks for the opinions and extra info above.  I have heard similar opinions regarding the Cambridge players but I've yet to hear one myself.

 

What amp/speaker combo were you using for this comparison please mate?  I'm after a little more context to the situation if possible because I recently did a quick comparison between my consonance cd120 and the myryad Z114 (using the Burson Conductor/Timekeeper pre/pwr combo feeding my S2Rs) and found the Myryad to sound quite a bit deeper and darker than the cd120.  Which was not the case on the Osborn Eclipse speakers I was using last year, on those the players sounded so close that it was extremely difficult to tell them apart (I can't remember the amp I was using at the time right now, but I'm sure it'll come to me later).

 

I am really temped to pull out the opamps and replace them with Burson discrete jobbies but I'm just not sure that I'm a good enough solderer yet to give it a go.

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Hi Cafad, I'm glad my reply sparked some interest. I feel the Z114 is a much underrated CDP.

In the inside it uses Burr Brown OPA2604 op amps which do have a reputation of being slightly dark and yet smooth, but what's interesting is the absence of electrolytic capacitors in the signal path. It seems to be DC servo coupled (a good thing) and is surrounded by Wima MKT capacitors for the filtering circuitry. The power caps are standard Rubycon, nothing special but good enough for the job. And it does have the 7 separate PS circuits, albeit driven by a single Toroidal transformer. But a reasonably decent design and solid quality components. In comparison the CA640C I has used Chinese caps (yuk) and NE5532 op amps (which themselves are OK).

I have done the op amp mods to various CDPs over time, from experiences to date the LM4562 seems to be the fastest and most detailed I've heard however depending on the rest of the circuit it can be too much of a good thing. The BB ones tend to be darker and I wasn't really impressed by the OPA 2134 which I found to be forward, bass heavy and lacked separation. Only my own findings of course.

The Burson discretes would indeed be interesting, I haven't tried them.

I guess what I'm saying, it the op amp mods can be a bit of a lottery, since the Myryad CDP is quite a good design to begin with I feel it has limited internal upgrade potential and was probably meant to sound the way it is.

With the Myryad I haven't really tinkered on the inside much. I did try to improve the 100uF power supply filter caps adjacent to the OPA2604 op amps and the DAC with Nichicon PW and also Nichicon Fine Gold. I didn't think this achieved much and the sound went backwards, less detail and space. So I went back to the standard caps.

What really made a difference was the power cable. With the Acrolink 7N it really opened up, and that's where I am now. The PC isn't that cheap (JJ Acoustics sells them with the good Furutech AU plug and IEC) for around $350 for a metre. But the difference was so substantial for me I am using that PC on my amp and CDP. JJ seems to be a very good person the deal with and has a passion for good PCs.

If on a budget, the Belden 19364 recipe is outstanding value. I found it a significant improvement to computer IEC cable. But them I got on the cable upgrade path and landed where I am.

I do have vinyl to compare to. I'm running a Thorens TD321/ Jelco SA750D arm and Ortofon Rondo Bronze MC cart, electrocompaniet ECP-1 phono stage. The vinyl usually wins against digital quite easily, with extra bass weight, space and top end sparkle. However the Myryad Z114 CDP is listenable and side by side on some decent CD pressings it gets pretty close to the vinyl. So I'm happy with it, for now.

This is what I'm using it with.

Electrocompaniet ECI-3 integrated amp.

Epos Epic 5 speakers

Eichmann Express 6 interconnects with silver bullet plugs

Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables

Acrolink 7N P4030II power cable with Furutech F-11 IEC gold and Furutech FI-AU3112G Gold power connector

Overall I feel the system is reasonably well balanced, the electro amp has a hint of lushness and warmth and bloom, that has been largely offset by use of the Acrolink PC which has made the setup on the slightly warm side of neutral.

I hope this is helpful,

Chris

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Very interesting Chris, thanks mate.  I may have to go and swap in my Z114 and have a play with power cables now.  I don't have a great variety on tap but I do have 3 very different cables so we'll just see what we can hear.

 

The comparison I mention above was just with a standard cord, it probably came with an amp at some point and didn't manage to pull away from the ever increasing gravity well of my cable hanging section.  I've got a power cord made by Little Blue Penguin as well (sorry LBP, can't remember the name!) and an absolute weapon of over-engineering built by my mate ellrotts in Mackay.

 

Ellrotts has a similar opinion to myself when it comes to power cables, doesn't really think that they make a major difference but just in case he's wrong he has built a monster that, by virtue of massive over-construction, could not possibly be thought of as a limiting factor.  You have to love that sort of approach to an issue.  "No, I don't believe in it!  (but just in case....) "

 

I'll tie this in with the running in of the Audio GD Precision 1 that I'm also working on at the moment.  That should work without too much trouble.

 

I'll be back to compare notes again soon.

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Great to hear you getting interested in power cables, I used to be a non believer. When system resolution can pick it, it becomes more obvious. I think that the shielded ones make a real difference to source equipment so long as they have sufficient gauge ( at least 14AWG) as the shielding takes it ground EMI interference instead of having it spraying around with the interconnects.

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And also, I forgot to mention, I was finding different IEC plugs on the cables made a difference. On a Belden 19364 cable the difference between a decent Schurter 4781 (quite good) Furutech F-11 (really really good) and Martin Kaiser silver plated (ordinary) was quite obvious. (I realise this might open up a can of worms, just purely my own findings, but it was real for me).

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Oooh, that's interesting, check out post #168 in this thread:

http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/55082-new-audio-gd-precision-1-2-x-90w-integrated-amplifier/page-4#entry950167

 

And all because I swapped cd players. 

 

Thanks Chris, you seem to have managed to get me to solve one mystery while chasing another, well done mate!  It's not too often that that happens.

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