AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4

Message started by ryandigital on 10/23/13 at 16:26:51

Title: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by ryandigital on 10/23/13 at 16:26:51

After a long wait, I got my Torii MK4 last friday

My first impression on the sound quality was very good...from the first song from the fresh Torii I was very sure it wins my previous one - Mcintosh MC275 reissue 50th anniversary...which was around double in price than the Torii Mk4 I paid for

the air, the depth, the resolution and the "music"... was simply unparalleled

I have a Supratek Cortese preamp with Linn Renew DS streamer to play songs from NAS...

I run-in the Torii and the sound keeps changing every day I listen to it  ... last night the highs very really sharp which was kinda unbearable... ::), no matter how i dial down the treble switch and tube rolling...I used the stock tubes...and rolled all NOS tubes for trial

I suspect it was not the edges from the highs but from the midrange

but it kinda mellows down tonight and become sweetness

I have prepared whole set of NOS tubes for the Torii
the NOS tubes I have include:
6dj8 amperex D getter
GEC KT66 grey glass
Brimar 5R4G rectifiers
RCA 5Z3 rectifiers (with converter to 5U4G)

but the difference of the NOS tubes from the stock tubes was smaller than I expected.. the quality of the stock tubes is not bad

The speaker that Torii is driving is Souns Faber Guarneri Homage bookshelf..which is only 86dB sensitive... before the arrival of Torii, I was a little worried about the bass that it will produce... but really the Torii control and produce the bass really well....with appropiate punches, good depths and layers ... that were unheard with my mcintosh

This combo suits my smallish listening area of around 100sq ft..

More burn in of the Torii to share more listening impression

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by ryandigital on 10/23/13 at 16:40:51

But a few "not so good features" of the Torii I would like Steve to consider for the future products

1) the speaker binding posts, the + and -, were very close together. I am a little worried that either connection would somehow loosen and become short with the other one... I put a cardboard paper in between to avoid the incidence from happening

2) the power switches, the treble dials, which a user would frequently use, were located at the back of the amp... I put the Torii in a rack and every time I have to reach my hands to the back through the tubes and transformer blocks (which could be sizzling hot with prolonged play times) when I need to switch on and off and made treble adjustment..
It would be nicer if these switches and dials are placed in more easily accessible locations

beside these, I have no complaint with the price, built quality and performance of the Torii MK4

I would highly recommend it to my friend if they look for tube amps for their stereo system

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by Lon on 10/23/13 at 17:07:59

I think the switches are in the back because of parts layout, they're situated so that no additional wire is needed to wire everything together and this provides a sonic benefit. I agree it can be difficult to use them.

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by will on 10/23/13 at 19:08:57

Thanks ryandigital for your thoughts on the MkIV. Please keep us informed as things progress.

Interesting that the NOS tubes are not that big an improvement at this point. Even though Steve's voicing is so good, he still needs to use the best tubes he can get in some level of bulk. I suspect the difference will develop more as things become more subtle...the caps, transformers, wire, connectors...all seasoning. My MkIII is burned in with 1000s of hours, and I usually hear pretty notable changes just with tubes from new to burnt in...especially power tubes can take a while.

I really enjoy those D getter Amperex a lot with some tube sets. Nice tubes you have for your amp.

Compared to Steve's explorations in voicing, and the Decfest talk, it is particularly interesting that the Tungsol EL34 to GEC KT66 does not make a more pronounced change.  

Are you doing that 5 hour on and 5 hour off thing Steve recommends for seating the caps and flexing the electronics?

Thanks again,


Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by jsm71 on 10/23/13 at 20:09:45

Ryan, thanks for sharing your beginning impressions.  I've got just a couple of weeks more on my MK IV.  I agree with your assessment of the ergonomic placement of controls along the back.  As Lon pointed out I know why it was done but it forces me to get down on my knees to turn it on and off.  My Torii sits on the bottom shelf of my rack.  The other controls once set won't be so frequenty changed.

I find it interesting that you are running 86db sensitive speakers.  How are you finding the volume levels?  My JansZen zA2.1 speakers are rated at 87db, but can be as much as 90dB if I crank up the tweeter and bass controls on the speakers to their highest settings.  I do keep the bass up but the tweeter controls are currently much lower.  Long story, but I just got all new upgraded woofers applied to my speakers and they haven't broken in yet so I have to keep the upper frequencies tamed, at least for now.   I am getting all the volume I need.

I have both the EL34s and some Tung Sol KT66s.  I seem to prefer the 66s.  You look like you have the 34s in with your pictures.  Do you prefer those?  I also tried some Phillips 5R4GYS rectifiers that were touted on Upscale Audio, but they also are adding too much treble so I went back to the stock set.  I know I'm tinkering too much as both the speakers and the amp are both breaking in, but it is fun.


Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by ryandigital on 10/25/13 at 01:15:33

My listening area is a small one, 10' x 9' x 10' W-D-H
The volume level achieved is more than what I desire

I dun really like the stock EL34 more than my GEC grey glass KT66...just use the EL34 to break in the Torii...
but the difference between the 2 power tubes are quite subtle ... I will place back the KT66 after a week of break in
But with the stock EL34 i am already enjoying it quite a lot

ps. I forget to say i also have NOS amperex EL34 XF2 tubes... 8-)
I specially bought them while waiting for the queue list and before steve announced the MK4 was designed for KT66...

More to share next week  :P

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/25/13 at 05:10:01

NOS amperex EL34 XF2

Those are some of my favorite tubes in the Trainwreck guitar amps!

(I wish this one were mine)

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by ryandigital on 11/03/13 at 09:35:44

around 80 hours of burn in so far, with on off cycles
it is getting better and better
I have to say the bass is breath taking (even with my 86dB sensitive bookself speaker) sounds more powerful than the 75w mcintosh...

I have settled with the Gec kt66 for now....

But just cannot imagine NOS OC2 tubes are hard to find now....
virtually non-exist on every online shop and ebay...
just managed to order 1 pair of RCA from my local tube seller...still waiting the pair to arrive.........

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by jameskk on 11/03/13 at 10:28:37

I have more than ill ever need if you need a pair .  they are Raytheons and got them for a song . on ebay . Did not  think he would ever sell out of them. Wrong!

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by Lord Soth on 11/03/13 at 10:38:31

Hi Ryandigital,

I got my NOS RCA OC2 ( only O getter avail) from and

My Torii Mk4 is starting to bloom sonically after my 3rd on off burn cycle.

BTW, I using same tubes as you, except for the Preamp position.

Brimar 5R4 rectifier
GEC gray glass KT66
Lorenz Stuttgart 3 Mica CCa

Title: Re: My first Decware amplifier: Torii MK4
Post by ryandigital on 11/03/13 at 10:40:46

The stock OC2 are already Raytheon..
I want to try different NOS OC2 on the Torii

Already tried 2 pairs of OB2...
CBS Hytron and France GE... I did not feel good with them...

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