January
2020

Country of Origin

USA

ZOTL Ultralinear integrated

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, COS Engineering D1, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref,  AURALiC Vega, Jay's Audio CDT 2 MkII & DAC-2 SE
Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with WE 300B/VT52 or Elrog ER300B/50; Nagra Classic, Wyred4Sound STP-SE Stage II, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVT module); April Music Stello HP100 MkII
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos; FirstWatt SIT1 monos, SIT-3, F5, F6, F7; Goldmund/Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics NC500 monos; April Music Stello S100 MkII;  Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; SAG AIO; Bakoon AMP-13R
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Acelec Model On17NJe; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Kroma Audio Mimí; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & VI & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence; Fram Midi 150 & 120
Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL3000/5000 and Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps/sub, Puritan Audio Labs PSM156 & PS106-DC
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands 
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Review component retail: $7'650

Can I have some more?

It's the classic Dickensian line. Although it's been 150 years since the arguably greatest novelist of the Victorian age passed, the sentiment still holds. Two ways at that. Marketing manager Nicholas Tolson had enjoyed my review of their 10wpc Linear Tube Audio Z10 integrated/headphone amplifier. Three months later, he came back for more. "Hello and happy new year! It's 2020, the future. Speaking of the future, I am here to tell you that we have launched two new integrated amplifiers based on their power amp cousins. We now have integrated versions of all of our power amps. The new models are the Ultralinear based on our most detailed amp; and the Z40 based on our most powerful amp. Do you have any interest in reviewing one of these?" Having awarded the Z10, I was ready for more. Old Charles would have smiled into his mince pie.

Being peckish, I volunteered for the Z40. Then I more fully read their respective descriptions to reconnect with my feminine side. I changed my mind. Hindsight and the year 2020. Advertised as their "most detailed refined" amp, the ultralinear version really had my name on it. And the previous 10-watter, on our speakers and in our rooms, had proven beyond a doubt that twice as much already would be sinful. No need to be a pig and go after 40 watts just to look at exposed tube tops.

Should I trust that you refer to the Z10 review for the expanded company history and Zotl tech background so I needn't cut'n'paste it all from there?

Quartet of output tubes in the pure power-amp version of the Ultralinear.

Heck, I'm lazy. Let's.

Trust must and all that Jazz.