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Old 08-11-2015   #1
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Default Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

I cant really call this a review because I feel unlike speakers, amplifiers need proper test gear to really know the numbers. In amps numbers seem to rule all. RMS power, S/N ratio, dampening factor and so on and so forth. Well I dont have any of that equipment so I can only tell you what I hear and see. I have played with many amps from Zapco, JL, Rockford, Focal, Infinity, Quart, Soundtream, McIntosh and may others.
I keep hearing people say that all amps sound the same if they are properly designed and built. Well that has not ever been my experience. I have heard JLs replace MB Quarts where the Quarts were double the rated RMS power yet they couldn't compare to the JLs sheer output.


So this is just kinda my take on some very high end amps that not many get to play with. I have never even heard of Mosconi until a year and a half ago. I still had never seen or heard one in person. One thing I did notice is that there was never one bad thing said about the Zero line and that the only issues with the AS series is the finish on the bodies. Sub par paint or something.

Well I love my JLs (1000/1 and 450/4). Loved the looks and how clean they were and the power. Plus they are built like tanks. Thing is I have been running various JL amps for years now and was ready for something new. I don't really care for the HD JL amps as they don't seem to have any personality. I don't have any real quality time with them but every car I heard them in it was like the Alpine PDXs. Lots of power and sound good but not anything earth shattering and now real wow to them. I got some opinions on here and noticed how many winning cars and how many killer installs had Mosconi amps. I priced them and kinda threw the idea away. I knew the AS was great but they are still expensive. I really wanted the Zeros but they are very very expensive.
As luck would have it I have a friend that offered me his lightly used Zero 3 for an unbeatable price. I couldn't resist and had to get it. Bad thing is that meant I needed a matching Zero 4 and man those are very costly. Once again my good friend with the Zero 3 hooked me up with another friend that had a Zero 4 with under 30 minutes on it. Spoke to the guy and knew right away he was just a good dude and was legit. He offered me a deal that was just nuts on the Zero 4 so I had to buy it even though that ment no steaks or sushi for a month or so. Only downside is it had a broken RCA jack but not to worry as it was going back to Italy to be repaired under warranty and have it gone over to make sure it was 100%. Well it sure was because when it arrived it looked perfect. Even all the hardware was in the original sealed bags and the manual was dirt free. I was very excited.
Heck I even scored the remote gain card/knob for a great deal..... well had it been the right one but we will get to that latter.

On to the porn!









They are just the most beautiful things ever. The feel of them is excellent like when you touch a Mercedes and you can just feel the quality and craftsmanship. The ability to remove the covers easily to peek inside is very nice as well and they circuitry and controls are just spectacular. My only gripe is that the input/gain/crossover boxes should be better attached as they wiggle around in the amps casing and kinda cheapen the overall fell but after they are installed you would never notice them.

They took the JLs spots very well in the truck:




Having never owned or even seen a Mosconi before they did give me a minor heart attack when I powered them up the first time. I did not realize just how much red they had when powered on. LOL Red is usually bad so it took a moment to realize what was happening. I really like how these illuminate.




So the Zero 3 replaced the JL 1000/1 and is rated to have about 100 more watts. The Zero 4 replaced the JL 450/4 and is now 100 watts for the tweeters vs 75 and 210 for the midranges vs the 150 from the JL. I also installed the remote gain knob in the Zero 3 so I had easy access to changing sub level output depending on the music I was listening to. Turns out I bought the wrong one and it only worked to the half way point. On top of that is was really attenuating the sub amp even more and it also did something with the bass like it was cutting certain freequencies or had a subsonic filter I did not know this at first and just thought the knob was faulty and reached max output at the half way point. No big deal.

So I dail the system in and notice several things right off the bat. I should point out the Zero 4 is driving Sinfoni Maestoso T25 tweeters with the 100 watt channels, the 210 watt channels are feeding Sinfoni Maestoso T165Ws and the Zero 3 is running at 4 ohms mono to a pair of Stereo Integrity BM MK IV subs.
What I noticed right away with zero changes in the TA and EQ was that vocals were much clearer and midbass was now on the down right impressive side. The sparkle of the tweeters was much more prominent but the big thing was when very technical music was on that has solid impacts in the 100-300hz range it was also able to maintain great composure on the vocals coming from the same driver. I had a friend hop in and I asked if the stero sounded different and didnt tell him about the amp change. He instantly said the same thing, that it sounds so much clearer and that now he can really feel the door speaker move his pants leg. He also pointed out the same thing I noticed. The bass was louder and more defined but seemed to have lost some of that growl and thump you in the chest feeling. At the time I attributed it to the massive amount of sound deadening I added under the box and behind the firewall.
Well I was wrong and I will touch on that in a moment.

So now I was feeling confident enough to show the truck off at an actual event and was so happy to hear the top contenders listen to it and say so many positive things about it. Yes it needed a few hours of tuning time but set flat the system just sang to you and tonalitly was spot on.
I made some new and good friends that day and hope in the next week or two to get with one of them to finish dialing the system in. In the mean time I have been trying to correct the bass remote issue. I called up Orca and spoke to Jacob. Great guy and was really nice. He knows his stuff and instantly knew what the problem was. He said I have the wrong module and with the right one the amp will really become impressive. He said the amp will do better if I removed what I have so I hung up and ran outside and pulled the card and cord. I was blown away by the bass. I had to attenuate the subs by 18db from my P99. After I did that I noticed that the growling bass was back but far superior than before. The subs now had that punch you in the chest impact back again but also just with so much more. I played some bass music like I was a bass head and then dropped the windows because I know it growls a bit more. Mind you I have sepnt hours in my driveway jaming the system out before but this time I watched my mailbox vibrate right off the wall of my houe! LOL

So here are two amps that have about the same power as what was pulled which were also considered a high end amp at one point and they have much more output as well as superior sound. There were some songs that I thought the distorion I was hearing was the speakers limits so I would turn it down. With these amps I can go far past that level and the speakers have maintained perfect composure. I thought I had reached the limits of my subs abilities before considering they were rated at 450 watts and the JL fed each a rated 500. I am now sending a rated 550 watts to each but it has to be more because they are significantly louder and much much cleaner. Sub bass notes are just amazing and shake the truck like crazy and I have not heard them protest at all or make the sounds they once made when I thoght I was reaching xmax. What I was attributing to driver limitations was actually clipping of the old amps.
The mids and highs are just spectacular now too. Not only is it capeable of significantly higher SPL but the sound is just so much more refined and the ability to pick out details you never notice in songs usually you can really spot now. I have some tracks that made the midbass on the Sinfonis sound only okay. With the new amp they sound spectacular. Its like the JL had poor cone control for anything below 150 hz where as the Mosconi keeps it solid and fast with great detail.


I am sorry I can not give hard numbers to back any of this up so take it as you will but these are the single best amps I have ever installed in any vehicle ever. They are easy to install, give an excellent finished look with minimal work and they perform way beyond their numbers.

Speaking of numbers the S/N ratio and THD on the Mosconis is not nearly as good as what the JLs numbers are but with the JLs between tracks I could hear hiss in the tweeters. The Mosconis are 100% dead silent. I love it as its almost like an old school noise gate they are so quiet.

Another great thing about the Mosconi is its cooling fans. I have been on two hour drives with the system just absolutely blaring music the entire time and when I got to where I was going the hottest parts of the amps are 124* but most of the case is just 90-100* and this is in Texas on a 105* day. They keep themselves very cool. The fans are very well built too as the amps only sit under 3' from my head and with the AC off and the stereo paused I can not hear the fans at all. I have even leaned back in the seat to within a foot of the amps and I still can not hear the fans.

I cant wait to get the proper bass module as Jacob said I can expect a 3db bump just from that as it properly sets the amp up for mono configuration. Very cool.


So in summary these are just spectacular amps. Pretty, loud, robust, clear and have great features. Down side is even used they are quite expensive but much like Sinfoni or a P99 Pioneer deck, they are well worth the price of admission. I like to keep my rear seat folded down just so people can see them they are so pretty. Nobody has ever heard of the name Mosconi (outside of people on here) but when they look at them they always say the same thing "Those look really expensive!" LOL

I love these amps and they were one of my best car audio purchases ever.

Denali:Alpine X009GM, SI TM65MKIII, SI M25, SI BM MKV, Helix G One & G Four amps.
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Old 08-11-2015   #2
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Enjoyed the review - interesting and informative! Thank you for posting the review!
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Old 08-11-2015   #3
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

I'm with you on the JL hd and pdx amps don't have any personality, nice write up man

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Old 08-11-2015   #4
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Nice. Nothing like pride of ownership!
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Old 08-11-2015   #5
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Maybe you should let me borrow them sometime so I can compare to my PDX's.

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Old 08-11-2015   #6
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Sure thing. Send me those 18WUs so i can try them out.

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Old 08-11-2015   #7
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Great writeup! You'll have to write a story one day about how you started with a 1500 budget for your system... And then it went to 1500 per component.

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Old 08-11-2015   #8
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Well its a short story. I set a $1500 budget, bought $1500 in stuff, ran my head into a wall really hard, blacked out and then woke up with what I have. LOL

Denali:Alpine X009GM, SI TM65MKIII, SI M25, SI BM MKV, Helix G One & G Four amps.
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Nice review. I also started with a small budget. After months and months of reading. That budget has been thrown out the window. That is the great thing about this site. It helps people like me, who was out of car audio for quite some time. i started out wanted to go simple and inexpensive. Right now though i think mosconi amps will be my first part to the puzzle im settled on. They are beautiful amps and from what i hear has a sound signature to match. Which both are very important to me. Thanks again.
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Great review makes me even more gitty to get my One 120.4DSP. I know its not on the same level as the Zero's but I think I will be a nice step up for me.
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Old 08-12-2015   #11
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Nice write up. No it's not all the tech numbers, but it's the ear test, which to me is the most important part. It's interesting to see how different the 2 amps preform. I've always held a high opinion of JL, a good standard, but the newer stuff doesn't seem as good & I feel the cheap line is hurting their reputation slightly. I need to audition this Mosconi stuff!

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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

you have me considering a 100.4 and a 100.2 I know they are the babies of the as line but realistically what I "need"

but I love the tiny a/b foot print they have to offer

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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by low4ever View Post
Nice review. I also started with a small budget. After months and months of reading. That budget has been thrown out the window. That is the great thing about this site. It helps people like me, who was out of car audio for quite some time. i started out wanted to go simple and inexpensive. Right now though i think mosconi amps will be my first part to the puzzle im settled on. They are beautiful amps and from what i hear has a sound signature to match. Which both are very important to me. Thanks again.
This site has been invaluable to me. I too was an installer for over a decade and had lots of experience up to the early 2000's and then got out of it. Bought stuff from brands I once loved only to find they are now not so good. I have been fortunate enough to play with so many brands I never even heard of until this forum. I didn't know what Sinfoni, Stereo Integrity, Mosconi, HAT, Scan Speak, Dayton, ZED and Brax were. Now I have got to really play with all of them and it has opened up my world.
Lots of great info on here too. Cajuner when hes not trying to start a fight hes a great source, Electrodynamic is great, SouthSyde has been a huge help and is just a great guy, Jacob is very knowledgeable and helpful, Coppertone and Deepinkdiver do great in helping me spend all my money, SQ_TSX has been another great help as have so many others.
Its a great community to share your experiences with and help make more informed decisions before you drop a lot of hard earned cash on something that you have never even seen in person before. LOL
Quote:
Originally Posted by etroze View Post
Great review makes me even more gitty to get my One 120.4DSP. I know its not on the same level as the Zero's but I think I will be a nice step up for me.
Thanks you and I am sure you will love it. Much like Sinfoni, even their not as expensive stuff is still a cut above other companies high end versions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by juiceweazel View Post
Nice write up. No it's not all the tech numbers, but it's the ear test, which to me is the most important part. It's interesting to see how different the 2 amps preform. I've always held a high opinion of JL, a good standard, but the newer stuff doesn't seem as good & I feel the cheap line is hurting their reputation slightly. I need to audition this Mosconi stuff!
Thank you. I am right with you on the amps. I thought JP was just spectacular and really they are excellent amps. A used Slash series can be had for so cheap that there is no new amp that can perform as well dollar for dollar. You can get a 450/4 in nice shape for as little as $300!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_smith06 View Post
you have me considering a 100.4 and a 100.2 I know they are the babies of the as line but realistically what I "need"

but I love the tiny a/b foot print they have to offer
Tiny footprint amps have really allowed a lot of people to enjoy a nice full sound that they used to not be able to have due to no space available. Tech is a great thing.

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Old 08-12-2015   #14
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Good write up sir! So glad things have come together for you. This is a good dude here folks.
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Old 08-12-2015   #15
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_smith06 View Post
you have me considering a 100.4 and a 100.2 I know they are the babies of the as line but realistically what I "need"

but I love the tiny a/b foot print they have to offer
You can't go wrong with the AS 100 amps. Only difference between them and the zero is they have a unregulated power supply and the zero is regulated. Both are excellent amps. I use both in my system.

Nice review on the zero amps. Gotta love Mosconi

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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer1 View Post
You can't go wrong with the AS 100 amps. Only difference between them and the zero is they have a unregulated power supply and the zero is regulated. Both are excellent amps. I use both in my system.

Nice review on the zero amps. Gotta love Mosconi
That is not exactly the only difference but they are nice amps. The internals on the zero's are much more stout and biased more toward class A.
Zero and A class are a modest step up, I have had the pleasure of listening to systems with both of these amplifiers in them and even switching one system from AS to Zero and A class on the same speakers and there was a big step up in sound quality.

The AS amplifiers are no slouch though, they will kick the trash out of most other high end gear out there.
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Old 08-12-2015   #17
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

I was told that was the only difference between the two lines. I am sure the zeros have some beefed up internals though. And the A class is in a totally different animal. Would like to listen to a setup with the A class amps

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Old 08-13-2015   #18
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

I just installed an AS200.4 to essentially replace my Audison LRx5.1k. Now, that is about 200 watts less on the sub. The MOsconi absolutely blew it away and then some. SO MUCH more impact from the Ultimo and sounded possibly even better detailed. I say possibly because that was never a concern with me with the Audison. Impact tho; that's a much different story. Very well worth the cost to me. Strongly has me wishing I could find the cash to get an AS100.4 to match it. Absolutely love the top mount controls for one.

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Old 08-13-2015   #19
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by james2266 View Post
I just installed an AS200.4 to essentially replace my Audison LRx5.1k. Now, that is about 200 watts less on the sub. The MOsconi absolutely blew it away and then some. SO MUCH more impact from the Ultimo and sounded possibly even better detailed. I say possibly because that was never a concern with me with the Audison. Impact tho; that's a much different story. Very well worth the cost to me. Strongly has me wishing I could find the cash to get an AS100.4 to match it. Absolutely love the top mount controls for one.
Wow that's interesting regarding the lrx sub channel compared to the mosconis power. I really wanna try a 200.4

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Old 08-14-2015   #20
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

I have been contemplating a set of zero 4 for about 3 weeks now after hearing your truck... tonality was pretty good... don't know if it would replace my 4200s

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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

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Originally Posted by LaserSVT View Post
I cant really call this a ...
Thanks for the review. This is just what I was looking for.
Laser could you tell me if you've had a chance to listen to the competing Sinfoni Tempo series?

Locally the Sinfoni Allegro(tweeter) and Grave(midwoofer) models are available to me at a premium over a single Mosconi Zero 4 but I'm still not sure if the Mosconi is offering similar levels of SQ at a lower price or not. There is also a question of Mosconis relibility as I've been told they are not as robust/long lasting as Sinfoni but that could just be the dealer trying to push his sale.

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Old 08-14-2015   #22
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

IMO, and I have had several of the Mosconi amps, both AS and Zero lines and have never had an issue. I do treat my gear with respect also (headroom). I feel they are very robust and if I wasn't such a impulse buyer, they probably would be long lasting also.
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Old 08-14-2015   #23
 
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

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Originally Posted by #1BigMike View Post
and if I wasn't such a impulse buyer, they probably would be long lasting also.
Ha, and why this hobby is so expensive for most of us, always looking to try something new.

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Old 08-14-2015   #24
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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makky View Post
Thanks for the review. This is just what I was looking for.
Laser could you tell me if you've had a chance to listen to the competing Sinfoni Tempo series?

Locally the Sinfoni Allegro(tweeter) and Grave(midwoofer) models are available to me at a premium over a single Mosconi Zero 4 but I'm still not sure if the Mosconi is offering similar levels of SQ at a lower price or not. There is also a question of Mosconis relibility as I've been told they are not as robust/long lasting as Sinfoni but that could just be the dealer trying to push his sale.

Thanks!
I have not played with the Sinfoni amps yet but will next week. As for reliability, try and find a thread about a dead Zero series amp. I could not find one single complaint about them.

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Default Re: Average Joe Review : Mosconi Zero Amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaserSVT View Post
I have not played with the Sinfoni amps yet but will next week. As for reliability, try and find a thread about a dead Zero series amp. I could not find one single complaint about them.
Thanks.
Which Sinfoni amps are you checking out? and will you be posting a review thread like this on them as well? I hope so! : )

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