AUDIO FORUMS >> Home Theater >> Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater

Message started by mac5u on 03/06/11 at 22:56:03

Title: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by mac5u on 03/06/11 at 22:56:03

One of Steve's audio papers, IDEAS for TUBE based HOME THEATER, suggests using a stock DVD player feeding 3 ZBoxes via the 6 analog outputs which goes into 3 Zen amps, and 1 ZBox channel is left to feed a powered sub.

Has anybody tried this? What were the results?

Most DVD/Blu-ray players have limited bass management capabilities. Most rooms have issues and could either benefit from room treatments or a modern pre-pro such as the Marantz AV7005 could be used to good effect to correct the room nodes and assist with the bass management.

Has anyone successfully integrated either a pre-pro (or receiver and by-passed the amp section) and sub with their Decware 2-channel rigs?

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by Pale Rider on 05/07/11 at 18:29:06

Hey macSu. Your question is similar to one I have been wondering about. Right now, I have a cube sub with plate amplifier. Tolerable for casual listening, but I plan to replace it with a Wicked One, and as I move away from my Denon-centered system (with its system-tuning pre-pro capabilitiesnote, Steve is completely right that such capabilities are very limited, and tha on any given recording or movie, the likely are fairly inaccurate), I will have the same issues. In addition to bass management questions, I am also curious about center channel amplification. As you know from other threads, I plan to have my Oppo BDP-95 feed the Ultra preamplifier. Elsewhere, Steve has suggested the possible use of dual ERRs firing towards the wall as the center channel. That is probably not an option for me, as much as I would love it. Instead, I need to consider somethng that will be tonally similar to the ERR, probably driven by a mono block, perhaps the Zen Triode. While I think it will be easier to manage the center than the bass, and Steve describes some ways to do so on the Ultra page, I still expect a learning curve. And probably some room treatment. My wife is very supportive of my hobby, but I haven't said anything about room treatment. ;)

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by mac5u on 05/08/11 at 21:30:26

Pale Rider, you are getting 5 ERRs, right?  At least I thought you were.  Optimally, Steve suggested using two ERRs for the center but that may have also been for a specific application, I can't remember right off.  Anyway, you could do three as the LCR and probably achieve good results.  If, at a future date, you could add the 6th for the dual-center.  If/when you ever decide to sell, you could sell all six or in pairs.  Might easier than trying to sell just 5.  Maybe?  Finding something tonally similar might be tough.  I think someone asked ZYGI that once but not sure on that either.
I'd wonder if Steve would consider doing a multi-channel amp as a natural follow-up to the Ultra Zen?  It could be either three or 5.  

Every possible solution has its trade-offs, and until the Ultra Zen gets into production and until we get some real-world user comments, I am taking a wait-and-see posture.

I have to admit, I am not sure what I am looking forward to reading about more:  You getting the Ultra Zen or Outlaw finally releasing its next A/V Pre-pro.  Not that I am holding my breath on the latter -- anyone familiar with Outlaw will know what I mean.  I am living vicariously right now through all you guys until after Zen Fest.

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by Pale Rider on 05/09/11 at 00:28:27

mac5u (sorry, just realized I have been spelling your nickname wrong; my apologies!), at the end of the day, I will probably opt for 3 pairs of ERRs. Five would be the magic number, but I don't think Steve sells them that way, and buying three pair will force me to deal with the center channel issue the right way.

I was unaware of Outlaw Audio until you mentioned them. Interesting website. I like their approach, though I confess I cannot imagine returning to SS.

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by mac5u on 05/16/11 at 01:49:11

No worries, Pale Rider.

I read in another thread you have ordered your first pair of planned six ERRs. You also have, what, a pair of Zen Toriis, and the Ultra Zen in queue too?

Thanks for being, I think, the first regular forum member to go all in for HT with Decware equipment. I look forward to reading about your experiences. With the pair of Zen Torii, that covers four of the six channels which is your target. What are your amp plans for the dual center?

Outlaw made some great equipment but a number of other companies have pushed far ahead of them in introducing new products. They had planned on introducing a new Pre-pro some time ago using Trinnov for room correction but implementing that technology proved too difficult for their primary partner and time and resources were lost. Their forum members are a lot like the guys here: Loyal and enthusiastic, but they also a bit impatient for their new pre-pro.

I mentioned in the Ultra Zen thread my preference for solving some room issues in the digital domain using a modern pre-pro and HDMI rather than analog but Outlaw is coming out with an updated version ofthe ICBM, their six-channel bass management system. This still leaves me with looking for another solution for room correction but maybe a few judicious room treatments will be almost good enough?

The introduction of the Ultra Zen does make one wonder: Can a three or five channel Decware amp be far behind?

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by Pale Rider on 05/16/11 at 03:25:10

The introduction of the Ultra Zen does make one wonder: Can a three or five channel Decware amp be far behind?

You and me both. I am hoping for that, but as you can tell from my orders, I am not waiting to find out. ;-)

I suspect, before I am through, I will go with dual ERRs for my center channel. When I get there, if Steve hasn't announced a >2 channel amp, I will likely pick up a Zen that can be configured for mono.

At times, I wish I had the right room adjustments available in the digital domain. My current Denon's somewhat primitive capabilities are in some respects better than an uncompensated room.

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by mac5u on 05/16/11 at 23:52:33

That's alota tubes...

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by Pale Rider on 05/17/11 at 14:19:41

That's alota tubes...

No kidding! I fel like I have tubes coming out of my ears in anticipation of the Ultra and the Toriis. I asked this question elsewhere, but how do people store their tubes? I saw some nice cases at Tube Depot, but wondered what folks do.

Title: Re: Ideas for Tube-based Home Theater
Post by Lon on 05/17/11 at 14:38:17

I haven't done this, but I thought at one time (when I was really scratching the bite of the tube-rolling bug) of putting them on a spice rack. . . would be nice way to display.

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