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MZ2 / MZ3

The MZ3 is a 1-watt speaker amp... Will it work with my speakers?

The answer to this question all depends on how sensitive your speakers are, what kind of listening you plan to do, and how big your room is.

In any case, you will need speakers that are highly sensitive. Our speaker sensitivity recommendations for the MZ3 are:

  • Critical listening environments: 105db sensitivity and above

  • Smaller rooms / lower volume levels / non-critical listening: 97db sensitivity and above

Horn-loaded speakers, such as Klipschorns, are really your only option at the 105db level. We know from experience and through many customer testimonials, that the MZ3 and horn-loaded speakers make a wonderful combination.

If you have horn-loaded speakers, you owe it to yourself to audition an MZ3 or one of our other lower-wattage amps, such as the ZOTL10 Mk II power amplifier, Z10 Integrated amplifier, or even the ZOTL Ultralinear amplifier.

If you have questions about your specific speakers, chances are someone we know has tried them. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions about your specific setup.

Also, don’t forget we have a 14-day no-questions-asked return policy.


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microZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amp / Preamp / Integrated Amp

Small and mighty. The highest expression of the patented microZOTL technology as a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier, and integrated amplifier in a desktop-sized package.

microZOTL MZ2 Headphone Amp / Preamp / 1-watt Speaker Amp

The second generation of the product that started LTA. Built on the 6SN7 tube, the MZ2 remains the reference introduction to the unique ZOTL circuit.

Z10 Integrated Amplifier

For those who demand the best, but want to keep things simple. The Z10 Integrated amplifier delivers the magic, realism, and 3D soundstage of our patented ZOTL technology, all in one (gorgeous) box.

ZOTL Ultralinear Amplifier

The ZOTL Ultralinear is the latest amplifier design by David Berning: the first ultralinear amplifier not limited by traditional output transformers.


Related FAQs

Is the dedicated microZOTL Preamplifier a better preamp than the MZ3?

The preamplifier audio circuit in our reference microZOTL Preamplifier is identical to the one in our MZ3 headphone amp / preamp / integrated amp.

So, why would you buy the more expensive microZOTL Preamplifier over the MZ3?

The dedicated microZOTL Preamplifier has more inputs, a tape monitor section, balanced XLR inputs, and is in a standard rack-ready chassis.

Full disclosure: the headphone circuit in both the MZ3 and the microZOTL Preamplifier are identical as well.


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microZOTL Preamplifier

The ultimate expression of the microZOTL as a full-featured reference preamplifier and headphone amplifier.

microZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amp / Preamp / Integrated Amp

Small and mighty. The highest expression of the patented microZOTL technology as a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier, and integrated amplifier in a desktop-sized package.


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Will the MZ2 and MZ3 work with my "hard to drive" / "hard to pair" headphones? (Sennheiser HD650, HiFiMAN HE1000, HE-6, HD800)

In some cases, such as the HiFiMAN HE-6, which has notably low sensitivity and thus requires several watts to power adequately, the MZ2 and MZ3 probably will give you a satisfyingly loud and full listening experience. Since the unique circuit of LTA amps reacts very little to different impedances, it is mostly a matter of sensitivity when it comes to which headphones the MZ2 and MZ3 works well with.

Whether it can "drive my headphones" often just means "will I prefer how my headphones sound with this amp?" We've read many accounts of people thinking their HE1000 or HD650 has never sounded better than on a MZ2 or MZ3. I've also read one or two accounts of people saying the opposite.

We don't know what you like, but we do know that we've read far more mentions of the MZ2 and MZ3 sounding good with all kinds of headphones than not.


Related Products

microZOTL MZ2 Headphone Amp / Preamp / 1-watt Speaker Amp

The second generation of the product that started LTA. Built on the 6SN7 tube, the MZ2 remains the reference introduction to the unique ZOTL circuit.

microZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amp / Preamp / Integrated Amp

Small and mighty. The highest expression of the patented microZOTL technology as a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier, and integrated amplifier in a desktop-sized package.


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Will the MZ2 and MZ3 work with my low-impedance headphones? (Grados, Fostex TH-X00s, IEMs etc.)

Yes, the output impedance of the MZ2 and MZ3 (and all of our ZOTL amplifiers) is 2 ohms, which means that it should generally work well with any headphone or IEM above 16 ohms impedance, which is the majority of them.

LTA amps will also work silently, with no hum, with these headphones.

With especially sensitive IEMs, a slight hiss is apparent with no source input and the volume turned up, though if music were playing at that volume the drivers would probably be damaged and your ears definitely would be.


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microZOTL MZ2 Headphone Amp / Preamp / 1-watt Speaker Amp

The second generation of the product that started LTA. Built on the 6SN7 tube, the MZ2 remains the reference introduction to the unique ZOTL circuit.

microZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amp / Preamp / Integrated Amp

Small and mighty. The highest expression of the patented microZOTL technology as a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier, and integrated amplifier in a desktop-sized package.


Related FAQs

Please explain the relationship between the MicroZOTL2.0, MZ2, and MZ2-S

Our first product was a re-introduction of David Berning's MicroZOTL amplifier, which we named the MicroZOTL2.0.

Since then we've made many small and several larger changes to the case and components we use, but we have always used and continue to use Berning's original circuit. When we added an improved power supply, that product eventually took on the name "MicroZOTL2.0 Deluxe".

When we decided to use NOS 12SN7 tubes and manually alter the circuit to allow this, we created the "MZ2-S" around this, with a further upgraded power supply and some other improvements.

Eventually we replaced the manually altered circuit boards with jumpered boards, which negated the need for completely separate products, and we decided to discontinue certain aspects of the MicroZOTL2.0, like the locking headphone jack and the color scheme, while making other features that the MZ2-S had introduced available as options for any order. The "S" went from denoting these upgrades to essentially meaning the same thing that "Deluxe" had before it; an amp with an upgraded power supply.

The "MZ2" therefore took the place of the "MicroZOTL2.0", as our amps were now markedly changed from what the MicroZOTL2.0 had until then been.

To make all of this more confusing, many people still refer to any model as a MicroZOTL. The most important thing is that we'll make sure you get the features you want regardless of what it's called in the process. 

Today, we simply refer to the all of the above as the MZ2. The newer model upgrade is called the MZ3.


Related Products

microZOTL MZ2 Headphone Amp / Preamp / 1-watt Speaker Amp

The second generation of the product that started LTA. Built on the 6SN7 tube, the MZ2 remains the reference introduction to the unique ZOTL circuit.

microZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amp / Preamp / Integrated Amp

Small and mighty. The highest expression of the patented microZOTL technology as a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier, and integrated amplifier in a desktop-sized package.


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Do LTA amps have subwoofer outputs?

Most of our amps do not have dedicated preamp/subwoofer outputs. The good news is that you can still use the speaker outputs on any of our amps to connect to your subwoofer, and this is a common and recommended solution.

You will need a subwoofer with a "high-level" input, often called a "speaker-level" input, which again is pretty common. (If your amp doesn’t have this sort of input, the preamp outputs from the MZ2 and MZ3 will work for line-level subwoofer connections.)

This method of connecting a subwoofer is recommended over a dedicated subwoofer/preamp output because it ensures that your subwoofer and speakers are using the exact same signal.

Don’t take our word for it. REL, maker of some of the finest subwoofers in the world, recommends using this method for connecting their subwoofers to amps of all kinds:

Using the High Level input is always the best option. Using the High Level Input, instead of the Low Level Input, and connecting to the speaker output terminals of your amplifier is one of the unique secrets of REL’s success. When using the High Level input, your REL is fed the same signal that your main speakers are receiving. When connecting to the High Level input on the REL from the amplifier, you capture the sonic signature of your main system, including the tonal balance and timing cues of the entire electronics chain.

What’s the difference between the MZ2 and the MZ3?

The MZ2 is the amp that put us on the map. It is much-loved by customers and reviewers alike, garnering many rewards at audio shows worldwide. The MZ2 remains a fantastic choice for its price point. That’s why we continue to manufacture and sell the MZ2.

That said, the MZ3 is significantly better than the MZ2, as you would expect given its higher price. The MZ3 is an end-game headphone amp, reference-level preamplifier, and an integrated amp that will drive sensitive speakers to thundering levels in critical listening environments.

The MZ3 comes wrapped in a new low-resonance milled aluminum chassis, designed and made by award-winning industrial design firm, Fern & Roby.

Inside its new case, the MZ3 contains new circuit board material, new volume control technology, upgrades in wire, capacitors, and a set of curated, premium tubes. It also ships with our top of the line linear power supply, the LPS+.

Sonically, the MZ3 is the clearest, cleanest sounding microZOTL yet. It has a lower noise floor, which will be hard for some to believe given the pitch-black backgrounds of the MZ2, and it’s and more musical. A lot more.


Related Products

microZOTL MZ2 Headphone Amp / Preamp / 1-watt Speaker Amp

The second generation of the product that started LTA. Built on the 6SN7 tube, the MZ2 remains the reference introduction to the unique ZOTL circuit.

microZOTL MZ3 Headphone Amp / Preamp / Integrated Amp

Small and mighty. The highest expression of the patented microZOTL technology as a headphone amplifier, a preamplifier, and integrated amplifier in a desktop-sized package.


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