AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> The Decware Community

Message started by Hipfan on 03/25/13 at 23:49:06

Title: The Decware Community
Post by Hipfan on 03/25/13 at 23:49:06

Well, I ended up selling my Torii. Decware makes a wonderful product, but it's the community of owners that makes it a wonderful experience. I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to help me out during my learning curve, especially Lon and will and others such as orangecrush. It's a fun hobby, but it wouldn't be near as fun, without the support and input of fellow owners.

Cheers, Tony

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Douger on 03/26/13 at 03:24:55

Hi Hipfan,
Why did you sell it? Are you replacing it, with what? Good will to you!

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Hipfan on 03/28/13 at 02:48:41

The Torii was a bit too clean/sterile, solid state sounding for my likes. I was looking for something Tubier, with better tone, texture and real intimacy and found that in the MasterSound Duetrenta S.E., plus I was blown away when I heard it driving a pair of Zu Soul Superfly speakers.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by will on 03/28/13 at 16:26:20


Sorry the Torii was not up to your needs and system, but really glad you found something that does it!

Impossible to say with room, cable and component variables, but the issue of not being rich/romantic enough...too sterile, comes up fairly regularly on boards relative to V-caps, yet for others, they are awesome. Also I believe in a few cases here on this forum, relative to the Torii with Zu's, more richness was wanted. But then there are the Zu owners who love the match with Decware.

In my room, with my components, cables and speakers, I would guess I spend more energy cleaning things than trying to richen them...I am guessing taste plays a part in this, but the combo of gear in a specific room can balance out in soooo many ways that it can be a little unnerving. Then there are tube sets...I can richen or clean up my sound with such a range in terms of the subtle influences on different areas of the "signature" it is wild....And  just with tube is amazing.

Anyway, I am really glad you found the combo that works for you in your room! That is the have a system that makes the music so beautifully presented that it is medicine!

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Lon on 03/28/13 at 16:48:16

I've just been reading on another thread how some passionate audiophiles steer clear of tube amps because they are colored, which always makes me wish I could let them hear my Toriis, it's very hard to make them sound "colored" in the ways that they are assuming they do.

It's true that I sometimes wish for a richer, warmer sound from the Toriis, because much of the material I listen to could benefit from the forgiving aspect of that sound, and I completely understand why someone would seek that signature as their main course. And there are amps that can do that very well.

Choices are wonderful things to have at one's fingertips!

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by JD on 03/28/13 at 17:07:34

Interesting and best of luck with your new endeavor.  I've found one of the reasons I'm so happy with my Torii is my ability to "change" the sound with various tubes, sources, interconnects, speaker placement and adding the CSP2+ etc. It is great that we all do things differently because it truly opens up the mind to new ideas (IMO).  I've heard those Zu speakers are unbelievable.  Thank goodness I live in a small place otherwise I think I'd be putting together a 2nd system like some here already have.


Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by orangecrush on 03/28/13 at 17:18:24

The MasterSound Duetrenta S.E (KT88) is their warmer sounding amp but of course trades transparency and detail, especially with vocals. The Dueviente is EL34 based like the Torii, and like the Torii is more transparent, detalied and intimate. Again, especially on vocals which brings more realism. The Duetrenta is very Macintosh sounding, slower but luxurious.

The transparency and speed of the Torii is what makes it so special, I don't think you could find a amp more intimate sounding. However, I can see how it might not be what everyone wants. I think if Hipfan heard the Torii with the Zu's he would have kept it.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by orangecrush on 03/28/13 at 17:20:48

If someone wants a more forgiving sound out of the Torii, simply using KT77 or KT88 would probably accomplish that.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by DBC on 03/28/13 at 18:04:28

Good points Lon,

My first Zen Select Hooked me on it's Clarity, Transparency and Dynamics coupled with high efficiency speakers. It's only weakness for me was always the somewhat lack of richness / warmth. For me it's strengths far outweighed the weaknesses. I was able to improve the richness & warmth somewhat using a sub.

I think some move up in power thinking they are going to find that richness / warmth. Just my opinion but I have come to believe that the richness & warmth of a given system is more about Frequency Balance. Increasing power alone with an amp having similar characteristics does not address or change the overall frequency balance of a given system.

If you want to improve the perceived richness & warmth of a system generally I would argue there are two approaches and both have to do with changing the frequency balance of a system. By that I mean either reduce the High frequencies or boost the Low frequencies to obtain an overall balance that sounds good to an individuals ear.

I think most would agree that using the treble cut available on some Decware amps can result in a warmer overall sound (to a limited extent). Rolling tubes, cables and room treatments can also have an impact in the upper frequency range to a limited extent. All of these things may alleviation to some degree the clean/sterile characteristic Hipfan refers to.

My theory here is that in a bright system, reducing the High frequencies simply allows the lower frequencies which are really the foundation for everything to be perceived as more prominent. Soup with too much salt will taste better with less salt. If however the soup itself is weak then it will simply be tastier weak soup.

This is why my tinkering with the HSU Mid Bass Module has been so interesting for me. I maintain all the Clarity, Transparency and Dynamics that the Super Zen can dish out while subtly boosting the lower frequencies. To my ear these lower frequencies seem to be where a lot of the rhythm and pace within music resides. The result is warmth & richness without giving up anything. Best part is you dial in exactly how rich you want your soup to be depending on taste.

I was thinking it's to bad stone_of_tone did not have his Mid Bass Module when he auditioned the Zu Unions. I think he might have been able to dial in a perfect frequency balance ???

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by will on 03/28/13 at 19:32:36

Good thoughts I think DPC, though from what you are saying, my guess is that the Torii and the good full range speakers alter this perspective, perhaps considerably. Not that this necessarily reflects on your observations with the Mid Bass Module... Because of your excellent posts in the weight and body thread you started, I am considering the Mid Bass unit you mention, sounding like a sensible potential solution for refining mid bass no matter where we start. But where we all start is apparently quite different, and this is part of what makes this forum so enlightening and stimulating to me.

A huge factor in this is what you and a lot of us have experienced, room is a major influence on our sound balance....sucking stuff out and enhancing stuff, or if we get lucky and/or work hard enough at it, positively revealing and enhancing a beautiful balance of frequencies and reflections.

Interestingly, where I start... with the combo of choices of components and room adjustments....With my MkIII and HR-1s, I can easily do what it sounds like you can do with the addition of your Mid Bass least in the context of your observations about adjusting low to high balance and how this impacts the overall tonal values of the whole.

I think most would agree that using the treble cut available on some Decware amps can result in a warmer overall sound (to a limited extent). Rolling tubes, cables and room treatments can also have an impact in the upper frequency range to a limited extent. All of these things may alleviation to some degree the clean/sterile characteristic Hipfan refers to.

For me, (also add the bass knob for the Torii MkIII) from within the Torii's amazing innate signature, the combination of the above can have a pretty huge impact on darkening and brightening, including more refined adjustments of low bass, mid bass, midrange, and highs.  I would not call this a limited extent in any way in my system/room. But I have a big tool box between all the Torii adjustments (including its 5 tube sets), the adjustments I have made on my speakers, and also the room, power, and a multitude of other various gadgets that I adjust with...not least of which the Pure Music player through a tweeked Mac Mini...having powerful refinement tools.

I suspect I am lucky with my combination of components, cables, feet, room, and tuning....I ended up in the middle, where I can easily adjust either way in a significant or subtle way depending on how I do it. Also, based on posts I read,  I must have an exceptionally revealing system/room, as ALL things I do to adjust the system are notable, whether a tube change, IC, power cable, or even foot placement under the a combination can create a strong shift throughout the frequency spectrum.

This brings up another major issue in figuring these matters out...if any part or lack of synergy between system/room parts truncates the sound spectrum (not least of which room), the whole system reflects this.... And this in turn alters the base "reality" in terms of analysis.

Then there is that thing that we finally look for...that indescribable beauty that is unexplainable...that sense of being swept into the music without many filters on....the joy of the music grabbing us fully in our own houses. What a luxury!

I don't know. I really enjoy how this sort of discussion develops in this so far, quite civilized forum. We learn so much when there are a bunch of us working to help refine the knowledge from the starting points of our incredibly varied system/rooms and our incredibly varied tastes and lives. I really appreciate this.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by DBC on 03/28/13 at 19:59:04


All good points. We are all attempting to "Skin The Cat" within our own (certainly mine) limited experiences and resources. I appreciate the learning opportunities this Forum offers to me personally.

There are times when I am reluctant to share my opinions based on the fact that more than a few times I have found that what I thought to be true was based on false assumptions.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Finch on 03/28/13 at 20:29:43

Hello all, I haven't posted much, but I read these threads and your opinions a lot. I have a fun but tough decision to make, I have just over 3,000 to spend on my system. It basically is coming down to a great deal on the PS Audio PWD MKII and not get anything else, or the Benchmark DAC2 HGC and get a lot of cool extras( maybe the mid bass module, DBC has been recommending), and I wont have to swap the inputs switching from Vinyl to digital on my Tori MKII as the DAC2 has preamp inputs. So the Benchmark would make life easier. I also have a set of AKG 701's that sit unused with my current system. I could also afford new tubes and cables and a program for the computer to handle the digital files. All of that would be very fun. But do you guys think I would be missing out if I pass up the PWD MKII, sound quality wise? It also comes with the bridge installed, and I am just getting in to HI-RES files. Right now I have the Apple Airport Express in to the Musical Fidelity V-DAC into the TORI II, out to my MG 944's through DH labs T14 cables. Any opinions would be welcome. Thanks guys

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by DBC on 03/28/13 at 21:12:26


Don't know if you ever looked at or considered the Oppo BDP-105 ??  It's network ready, handles FLAC, multi-Format, can be used as a DAC for your other sources. There are many reviews out there on it's fine analog output.

Although they call it a Blue Ray player it is so much more, a digital power house for the money. I have used external DAC's in the past. I now use the Oppo BDP-83SE with upgraded audio section and sold my $1,200.00 DAC. I hope to upgrade to the 105 in the future.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by will on 03/28/13 at 21:21:31


I for one am glad you are posting about your experience and opinions, and I have no doubt many others feel the same. Your posts are quite good and useful to me. I think the opportunity to explore this stuff as a group is pretty cool...who among us has a grasp on the picture except from within the bias from our own systems and experience...each of these being unique in the big picture. From this, when we interact thoughtfully, as individuals and as a group we refine and get smarter! Makes functional Forums pretty valuable!

I hang out here for the same reasons as learn personally. I like it a lot to put ideas out and get responses from different perspectives within the same quest.


I have not heard the PWD but Pale Ryder and Lon love theirs, and both have heard and explored a lot. Depending on the deal on the MkII, myself, I personally might be inclined to explore a different DAC, not sure which at this point, and apply the rest of the money to other game changers....but I am using a NOS DAC (and very satisfied), love to roll tubes, cables, and feet, and I love to to refine with various other tools.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Lon on 03/28/13 at 21:26:47

Finch, what a problem to have. :) I love my PWD Mk II, and it's the first time I've really not wanted to upgrade my front end, I feel it suits my tastes and needs so well. But they may not be yours exactly as well. I've heard good things about the Benchmark, and if it saves you from changing input cables that means something as well. I want to like OPPO players, I really do, but haven't been that impressed with those I've heard but it's only once been in my system, and then only briefly, brought over by someone to check out amp and speakers of mine.

So many options in this area that it can be bewildering but also so many ways you can get really good sound. . . . Keep reading here, you'll get lots of suggestions.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Finch on 03/28/13 at 21:40:40

Thanks all, Lon yeah I have read about your experience liking the PWD so much, That's why I just don't want to kick myself later for not getting it. It would be fun to get the DAC II and split the rest up great tubes and maybe try out the midbass module like you said DBC. If it wasn't for the great deal on the PWD, I wouldn't even question it. I would have already got the DAC2. Lon do you stream with your PWD or are you hardwired in. The bridge comes with the one I would be getting so that is a big factor too.

Also do you guys use any software fore digital like JRiver or Audirvana?

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Lon on 03/28/13 at 22:53:31

Mine does not have the Bridge, and I use it in conjunction with my PWT for Redbook and a few hi res files burned onto DVD-R in wav, I don't have  DVD burner and haven't been making my own, most of my music listening is Redbook or vinyl with some SACD used on occasion (via my Denon DCD-A100). The PWT uses one of the HDMI inputs, my Blu-ray player is connected via the coaxial input and my DVR is connected via the Optical. Great sound for all three sources, unbelievable sound actually compared to the sound in the past.

Despite trying and a lot of urging I haven't caught the computer audio bug at all. Just not something I see myself doing, so I bought my PWD without the Bridge, finally updated it to Mk II and I'm set. Sounds like you have a great deal on the PWD with Bridge.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by DBC on 03/28/13 at 22:56:23

I think it was 2 years ago over Christmas I went up to Decware to listen to some of Steve's gear. Just happened there was another fellow there with his Oppo BDP-83SE, same model as mine. This was Oppo's first unit with the Special Edition upgraded audio output.

Over 4 hours and I think we played every amp and speaker combination that Steve had. Just the three of us it was very interesting and a lot of fun. Steve is a great host.

I remember driving home late that night thinking the Oppo for the price really held it's own compared to the other front end equipment I listened to a Decware.

Title: Re: The Decware Community
Post by Lon on 03/28/13 at 22:59:22

Cool. When I heard the OPPOs I have heard I was using the Sony SACD-XA5400ES and I felt it had better sound than the OPPOs for Redbook and SACD; I already had an excellent Sony ES Blu-ray player, and I don't do digital files, so I wasn't impressed with OPPO along those lines and the sound was more "clinical" than I like on cd and SACD compared to the Sony.

My PWD bested the Sony and I eased into music in a way I hadn't before, so I'm happy and set.

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