Hi Tyson, in your living room system how do you power your Zen Dac? Are you using a computer as a server to power it or did you buy a 5V power supply?
also, do you use the Zen volume control to drive amp?
I take the USB power off the Auralic Aries via an Audioquest carbon USB cable. The Aries is actually an ultra-clean power source. If I didn't have the Aries, I would definitely use an external linear 5v power supply for the Zen DAC. On the Zen DAC I bypass the volume pot and use it as a DAC only. I control volume from my Roon remote app. Before I had Roon I was using the Qobuz app. Both worked great.
Dumb question: is this amp sufficiently “old school” sounding? What I mean is that companies like PrimaLuna get reviews on having a “new” tube sound; ie leaning towards solid state - and I definitely don’t want that.
I have a bunch of amps that are SET, from a Type 45 to a 2a3 and 300b. This EL84 amp fits right in with them, sound wise.