OLDER DECWARE GEAR SUPPORT >> SE34I >> Differences between the original and current model

Message started by Steve Deckert on 12/01/09 at 22:23:42

Title: Differences between the original and current model
Post by Steve Deckert on 12/01/09 at 22:23:42


I'm slowly but surely getting into tubes, and I recently bought some Klipsch Forte II speakers (99 dB efficient, for $300) and then upgraded the crossover and switched the tweeter diaphragm to titanium.  Eventually I'm thinking I'll end up with full range driver backhorn speakers, similar to the Horn Shoppe horn speakers, but perhaps with your DFR8 drivers and a speaker cabinets of my own design and build.

But for now my next step is a tube integrated amp, and your SE34I.2+ caught my eye.  I'm a tweaker and I love not only the whole philosophy behind it, and that so many love the sound of it, but that your SE34I is so configurable and adjustable.  The configurable to different sounds really appeals to me.

Can you answer a few questions for me?

1. What is the difference between the SE34I used in the TNT review, and the current SE34I.2+?  What was improved, and how much difference does it make?
2. Is the current version as adjustable as the one described in the TNT review?
3. I would also like a headphone amp.  Is it a reasonable (technically not that hard, and not that expensive) to add a headphone jack to the SE34I.2+, so that when the headphones are plugged in, the speaker outputs are disabled?  This isn't a deal breaker for me, but it would be very nice
4. I'm also looking at what seems like what I think would be a nice little 300B/2A3 amp as a possible purchase, but I'm reading that a lot of people feel your non-300B/2A3 amps sounds better.  Can you shed a little light on the possible differences why people seem to like yours better?  
5. Do you have any demo SE34I.2+ amps or specials, that might be less expensive?



Hi Gary,

The original SE34I used in the TNT review had 4 output tubes and 4 output transformers that could be run in series, parallel, or you could run a single tube on each channel - which is what most people ended up doing.  Configuring the outputs was complicated for about 1/2 the people who purchased one.  

The new model is a single tube per channel and the solid state rectification was replaced with tube rectification.  The result was better transparency, and more power.  Also simpler to use.  The adjustability hasn't left either.  It still has the bias switch to go from British dry bass, to Rich and full sounding.  The new amp is also compatible with EL34, KT77, 6550, KT88 output tubes while the older one was limited to EL34 and KT77.

There's no practical way to accomplish the headphone jack and speaker switching without really dragging down the fidelity and increasing the costs by a lot.    I have one set up here in my room where I simply add the direct outputs to the SE34I.2 and use them to feed my ZenHead ZH1 headphone amp.  That way I can listen to either one, or both at the same time.  Sometimes I find it nice to have the speakers on but at a very very low level while I have the headphone on.  In any case, that would be the most cost effective solution with by far the best fidelity.

The reason people like our amps better than their 300B/2A3 amps is because they are neutral.  They don't possess the dark signature of the 300B or the overly lush somewhat soft signature of the 2A3.  And in many cases it comes down to who builds the most transparent, best imaging amplifiers, regardless of tubes.

As far as demos, I don't have any here.  We might get one a year is all.  I just never get them back on the 30 day trial, otherwise I could discount one as used.  

If you want the same fidelity in a smaller amp, I can recommend the SE84C+ as a no compromise alternative with a bit less power.

- Steve Deckert

Title: Re: Differences between the original and current model
Post by rmt on 12/31/09 at 23:46:25


Is it possible to change a SE34.1 to SE34.2?  Tube regulated single speaker outputs with the same power as the new one.  Hazen modded as well.

Title: Re: Differences between the original and current model
Post by Hajj on 02/08/10 at 17:47:56

Hi Steve,
I just bought a used SE34-I, and acting on your advice of always having spare tubes on hand, i am also going to buy a set or two of Signal tubes (the amp comes with a spare set of Mullard EL34).
So i was wondering if the first gen SE34-I is compatible with the same signal tubes as the latest gen SE34I.2+...
If my question comes across as a newbie's, it's because i am one

Title: Re: Differences between the original and current model
Post by Steve Deckert on 02/10/10 at 00:05:16


It's possible, but involves a complete rebuild, different internal layout - runs around $700


Yes, both amps are using the same tubes.


Title: Re: Differences between the original and current model
Post by don pettit on 12/07/10 at 20:44:15

hi steve,  what sort of fee would i be looking at to switch an se 34.1 to tube rectification?  this unit already has the cce mod installed....also i would want the unit looked at with an eye to reactifying the long range warranty.  out of pocket?  thanks, steve.  don pettit

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