AUDIO FORUMS >> General Discussion and Support >> the perfect match

Message started by jorgen on 12/06/13 at 01:52:49

Title: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/06/13 at 01:52:49

Well i guess there will be a lot of different answers to this, or at least i hope. Just ordered the mini tor11 and I have a question for everyone who wants to give their 5 cents, and helpfull with filling up the waiting time with something useful.
Source: CD (rega planet) or from PC/ipad with a decent DAC
Room; just short of 45 m2 8,5 x 4.5 meters, speakers to be placed from short wall.
Music; Everything from Beatles through tool, via Portishead and some jazz

Right now i have a pair of KEF reference 103/4.
Here is the question; what to expect soundwise and what would be your suggestion for pair of new speakers, or rather used i guess.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jsm71 on 12/06/13 at 18:16:12

I can't tell you what speaker sound characteristics you like but the Mini Torii at 4 watts/ch will benefit from a speaker more effecient than your 91 dB KEFs that you have today.  I'm sure it will play through those and I recommend you do that before jumping at new speakers, but aiming at a speaker rated at 93 dB or higher will allow more output.

Steve's ERR speaker is fabulous sounding and 93 dB.  They are also omni-directional in their soundstage and that is a matter of taste.  I hope other Mini Torii owners chime in.   I recommend you spend some time on that forum.

Good luck and congrats on the new order.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by busterfree on 12/07/13 at 01:48:28

I think you will enjoy the mini torii. I know that I do. With all the output tube choices, you can tailor the sound. This is not required of course.

I would also suggest using your current speakers for a while before making a move away from them. If I were looking for new speakers, I would also look for a slightly more efficient pair. I would also be looking for one with a less complicated crossover or a single driver.

I have no experience with those, and I would like to see what all the fuss is about. For example, I would look at Decware's ZOB or something from Omega Loudspeakers.

Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new purchase as well.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/07/13 at 08:44:52

Hey there
Thanks for input. First I got to say im kind of a newbie in this business, so i really appreciate good advice. im just starting to read up on different types of tubes, and im thinking about buying a couple of output tubes while I wait for amp to arrive. i really hope that even on the KEFs that i get a little oomph.
if i understand this correctly; mine are less effecient (91dB), im really not sure what crossover means. Just to make sure; the combo i got/bought will play sufficient for some good listening, and to some volume??

Relevant factors for me is (for speakers)  
#1 of course the way new speakers will sound, but:
I have budget, not to small but there is a budget (of course I can work a little more, earn a little more.. Maybe ballyard 2000$
#2 placementability (a word?)
#3 WAF
Got to say that living in norway makes everything a bit difficult, mainly because everything is really expensive here, import tax is 25%, so when i decide on speakers, i got to be pretty sure what i want and what i get

the Kef i got now plays quite nice for price, and i bought them partly because they play quite tight, but its years ago since they were build so I guess things have changed and developed quite a lot.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by busterfree on 12/08/13 at 01:54:13

It is good to have some spare tubes around. The product page lists a lot of options.

What amp are you using now? You might want to try biamping with the mini torii since it has another set of outputs. It might not make a difference. Your mini torii might be loud enough.

I have never listened to your speakers, but they seem complicated. Nothing wrong with that. Given that your speakers are already accepted by the wife, I would not rush to get something else.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by busterfree on 12/08/13 at 01:58:20

I'm in the USA, so I don't know much about foreign speaker brands. I did hear some Marten speakers at a show. Sounded great, but they are crazy expensive.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/08/13 at 18:29:22

Hi again
Today I have a classe cap 101, descent integrated amp.
I have been thinking about bi-amping, but decided less is more, but gotta admit I am not sure how it would work, neither how to or if it actually would be necessary considering how we use music, we are not typical party people...
We have recently been doing a whole lot of work at home and we want to keep things simple and classy,
Someone gave me a heads up about omega speakers and I have emailed Omega, asking if it is possible to make a 7" monitor (same as super 6). Is an active sub a way to oomph everything a bit? What's the downside?

Maybe not the typical audiophile approach, but I really think it will be both quite nice sounding and cool in my living room, sound isn't all that matters.
Waf; not really fond of the Kefs neither....but placement has made it work, out of sight is keyword here.. . Now I have told her (yeah right) how this will be, or rather what I'm thinking placement wise. If I find The right material, I think omega is a good option, but there are many products to choose between, and I have time.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 12/08/13 at 18:44:56

I think the 7" Omegas will work great with the Mini Torii.
Your room is big enough that you may not be satisfied with the low bass, so adding a subwoofer (or 2 or 3) could be a good solution.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/08/13 at 22:46:30

Just to be clear, you're thinking that I'm in no need of a bi-amp solution, but quite sensitive speakers and ad some extra bass with a sub?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/08/13 at 23:36:08

Also, I'm in a learning process here. So I hope you're a bit patient with me

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 12/09/13 at 01:23:31

I would try the KEFs first with the MT by itself and also biamped as suggested.
You mentioned Omega and since I have owned several models I felt that if the KEFs don't work out they would be a good match.

Do you have the KUBE 200?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/09/13 at 10:32:14

The ones I got now are 103/4, no sub. These are i believe 4 ohm, 91db, drivers are 2X6" mounted with a steelbar(?)working from oppsite direction
Considering some speaker thats more sensitive, Omega is one option, but no retailers in Norway of course, not in Europe at all I guess.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 12/09/13 at 22:42:53


The KUBE 200 is an equalizer for the 103/4.

"Model 103/4 was a floor standing loudspeaker system incorporating the most advanced acoustic techniques. A three-way system, the 103/4 employed four drive units, had a very high sensitivity, high output capability, and an outstanding power handling capacity. Its versatility and bass performance could be further enhanced by the use of the optional KUBE 200 active equaliser."

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/12/13 at 20:00:57

Made my decision today. Omega monitor speakers with 7" alnico driver. Yup I'm happy and excited

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 12/13/13 at 01:11:42

Omegas and a Mini Torii. 8-)
Hope you like the combination and remember the Omegas take some time to run in.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by beowulf on 12/13/13 at 06:51:03

Lin said,
Omegas and a Mini Torii.
Hope you like the combination and remember the Omegas take some time to run in.

+1 I have a feeling you will like! 8-)

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/13/13 at 12:08:36

Spoke with Louis, explaining what i want, need and stuff like that. When I told him i do not need the speakers until end of February he actually offered to burn them in a little before he shipped them. Actually that kind of service is what pushed me over the edge, thats really consumer friendly  I read some reviews on the internet about Omega, so i know they need maybe around 500 hours or so.
Also quit cool that Louis will build them with a 32 liter cabinet..

Seriously, I cant wait..

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/13/13 at 14:30:26

That's the kind of customer service (and word of mouth) that makes for repeat customers! Props to them!

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by seikosha on 12/13/13 at 17:34:42

Let us know how it turns out.  I run some Omega Super 3XRS's with both a Mini Torii and a SE84.  They both give two very different presentations.  The Mini is very warm while the SE84 is leaner with more detail.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/13/13 at 18:49:46

Got a q though, how to, in matters of how to warm this amp and speakers, info of 3 - 4 500 hours and still evolving, that's a few listening sessions " )
Is it unsafe to leave it playing while at work? Just to atleast get a good start.
Typical mistakes?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by beowulf on 12/14/13 at 05:33:35

It's probably safe, however I have never felt comfortable knowing there are glowing red tubes in my living room while I'm out ;D

I have some custom Omega's with Louis' 7F drivers and Super 3s cabinets using a Decware Taboo Mk II to drive them and I love this combo.  

We have a record store here in San Diego that also sells hi-fi equipment which IMO is pretty unique (at least to my area) and they have some pretty esoteric stuff such as DeVore, Line Magnetic, etc. (they can get pretty much anything) ...

Anyways, the guys are pretty cool and I usually go in there, buy a few vinyl records and ask one of the guys to set some stuff up for me to try it out on. I'm happy to say that I have never heard a better setup than my Decware/Omega combo for the same price.  You really have to jump up in price to get better performance, but by then ... if you spent the same amount and applied it towards Decware gear you would still have a better system with Decware.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 12/16/13 at 15:39:52

well waiting time has started.
anyone who wants to recommend some decent speaker cables? Havent found to many in classifeds neither. Figure i can go for used.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lon on 12/16/13 at 17:54:42

I really like the Zen Styx. Though after some years I hankered to try something new and tried the Mapleshade Double Helix PLUS which I prefer. Both take a long breakin to shine.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 12/31/13 at 23:11:16

Jorgen maybe we should move back here and leave Ron's hijacked thread. :)

I wouldn't recommend leaving a tube amp on when not around.

Louder volumes will help the speakers break in faster, some people wire the speakers out of phase and put them face to face with a heavy blanket over them.
Of course this should only be done when not listening for enjoyment. ;)

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 01/01/14 at 12:46:42

Since I'm such a newbie i also have been thinking that burning in the speakers is a learning experience, and maybe the changes during that time is interesting to explore.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jsm71 on 01/01/14 at 17:17:51

I know that many turn on equipment and speakers for break in purposes and play music unattended.  Personally, I have been seated listening for every hour of play for every component I've owned.

Some also walk away during the first hour of play each time they fire up their Decware amps.  Again, I love hearing the system come into its sweet spot.  On my system that is just about two sides of an LP with the one hour mark being just about perfect.  I can hear the channel separation widen and the transparency open up.  I love that.

I owned Maggie speakers for about two years prior to buying my current JansZens and those took a full six months for the mylar panels to fully relax.  I got a huge smile each time I actually heard improvement and many times thought they had finally reached their pinnacle only to hear further gains.  That is a lot of fun and I'm glad I got to experience the whole process.  If you can't wait however, let that break in occur behind the scenes.


Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lon on 01/01/14 at 18:31:34

Hey Scott, yeah, I used to enjoy every bit of progress toward break in and eventual seasoning. Now I have a life situation where I only have a few hours a day to listen and/or watch, and I really value each minute, and want them to be optimal. So major breakin I do in my second system before bringing the component into the main system.

If I had more time I'd sit through all the changes because it is interesting and instructive. . . .

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 01/02/14 at 09:03:59

One good thing is that all my gear will arrive at pretty much the same time, so when start regime of warming up amp, both speakers and cables will warm up at the same time. So the nuances of the different items will, I guess, be camoflagued by the others. Im pretty prepared that sound will be horribile (how horrible is it actually??) first days and the changes will happen fast in the beginning, then development will be more subtle after the first week or so, depends I guess. I have been thinking thought, since decware are shipping the amp in a month or so, maybe i should give Steve/Decware some extra money and just maybe ask if they can send me surprise compliment of tubes. I really dont have a clue which ones will do what, soundwise, and some spares is convinient no matter what.

The one and only optimal playlist is under serious development. I reaaly like my music and Im one of those people who enjoys listening to the same records over and over again. The treat: new gear, new sound, favorites rise again.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jsm71 on 01/02/14 at 15:26:56

Jorgen, regarding the sound of gear fresh out of the box, I would say they differ somewhat in how they are limited.  Speakers need to relax before full bass comes through.  In that regard they sound listenable except limited in lower bass.  Cone speakers need 50-100 hours.  Mylar panels can take longer.  In both cases pumping volume helps.  It is equivilent to stretching muscles before you become limber.  If you are not limber you can't reach as well.  Lower bass is where the reach is toughest out of the box.

Tube amps will sound a little constricted or closed in before channel separation and transparency emerges.  I find that even the most stubborn of gear is still listenable however right out of the box.  As to Decware gear, use the supplied tubes for a few months and let them break in before deciding if any change is warranted.  If you don't let them break in you won't correctly know what aspect may need to be altered.


Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 01/06/14 at 23:41:32

Yet another question.. Been reading up on dacs, even the r2r part, which i actually didn't totally understand, and that I can't afford and find to be a bit useless for everyday use. Anyhow, have anyone heard of hegel hd 11? Typical for reviews is that equipment almost always is solid state amps, whilst I expect that there are different needs if I'm using (will be soon at least) low power tube etc? Is that correct? If correct is there anything I should be really aware of?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 01/07/14 at 01:41:34

The MT needs 1 volt for full output so anything around 2 volts will work well.

HD 11
Output signal level: 2.5V RMS (at 0dBFS) both RCA and XLR

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 01/07/14 at 18:20:55

hi Lin
Well this part i get, and for as far as i can tell, every DAC i hve read about supplies more than 1 volt, sċ i will probably only have to turn volume to about 50% before i max out the volume. (i reckon that isnt my everyweek need, i listen usually at lower level)  But what im thinking is that every  dac have some characteristiscs that i want more or less of. Correct? and what is desireable for an amp like the MT. im open to the conclusion that this  is individual preferences, but i was thinking that there might be some typical do`or dont.
For instance if a tube amp is more warm sounding, maybe i should have a source that is more in the neutral end, otherwise it will be a little to warm and romantic sounding...and so forth.. but this is little out of my league of expertise.
Maybe im overthinking this and should wait for the amp to arive and figure out what i want and like. In the beginning i might just feed the amp with whatever i got for source and just take it from there.

Im also thinking that maybe i should invest in some upgrade option before they are ready to ship the beast, its almost utopia for me to ship it back in a year or two to upgrade anything, costs to much and will take to much time. Norway is my homecountry, most of you only knows its way up north somewhere... its far from Illinois..
Any recommondations? If to upgrade? ANd how much will i have to pay? I guess i cant do any possible update either.. havent exactly won the lottery. Cost benefit analysis anyone?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 01/08/14 at 00:49:51

"Maybe im over thinking this and should wait for the amp to arive and figure out what i want and like. In the beginning i might just feed the amp with whatever i got for source and just take it from there."

You just gave yourself good advice. ;)

If you use CDs don't assume a 1 volt out dac will drive your MT to full output, some CDs are recorded at lower levels.

I have a couple of amps that need 2 volts for full output and my 2 volt out CD player runs out of steam before the amp is all the way up, whereas my 1 volt in amps do fine.

Can't help you with the options, my needs and wants are different than yours. :'(

I know where Norway is, I've seen Wallander and he is next door, kinda like Indiana is to me in Illinois. :)

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 01/15/14 at 22:47:27

It s nice that Norway is getting more known around the world, us Norwegians have a kind of little brother complex with Sweden, now, close to the Olympics we are eager to beat them in cross country skiing. Sometimes it seems thats more important than everything else going on in the world... More seriously, if ever get an opportunity to visit here, do it, its well worth the cost, i can provide you with tips of what to do around here.

Status update: I have "discovered"  the Real Time build sheet service, now being on page 3 out of 5! Really cant wait! Making good progress at the moment, but to not drive myself crazy i gotta stop checking twice a day, maybe you all have gone down this road before?

Omega speakers, 7" alnico full range
Cambridge DAC (option is a Hegel HD 11) still pondering this one)
Isoda interconnects, old but i think they will do for now
Tara Labs speakercables (im borrowing with option to buy if any good)
Wimp Lossless through an IPAD as source (equal to Spotify etc) tapping digital signal through a Pure I 20 (or something)

Might not be the ultimate perfect match, but close enough considering budget and everything. Remember i started almost from scratch.. Im at the momentt buying/building bookshelfs and bringing down books from the loft, hoping that will treat the listningroom ok.

But of course any advise is much appriciated!

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by JD on 01/16/14 at 00:03:58


If you guys keep finding more oil in the north sea people will know a a lot about you guys soon.  I spent a couple summers in Denmark about 13 years ago and had some great times at Roskilde with many Norwegians.  I wouldn't worry about the Swedes. I met enough of them as well...ha ha.  
I've heard Norway has some of the best camping in the world.  On my short list.  The Decware wait may be long but you'll find it worth it.
Back to listening...

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 01/16/14 at 11:10:24

Hi there JD
I was at the Roskilde festival in 2000, unfortunately 9 people died at the Pearl Jam gig. Awful. Cant remember if Eddie Vedder performed Alive (ohh tasteless humour..) It was really bad.
Did you visit "freecity" Christiania in Copenhagen? Up in smoke..

You should really consider a trip to Norway, not because of all the money and oil, guess from just looking at infrastructure and stuff one wouldnt expect that our country is stinking rich, som many problems.

Everyone i ve ever met are really impressed by hiking in the mountains, the fjords and the air, once you get out of the capital.

The upside of the wait is that once everything is in place I probably will be really satisfied, and there is a value in waiting for something good. usually in this day of age, every need is covered immediatly. We dont have to save up, just use credit, shipping and delivery is very effective. Effiency, in my opinion, has a downside.
So in a way i truly believe that THE WAIT is somehow good.

By the way, comments on set-up?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 02/14/14 at 10:03:38

What a great week! Monday: Parts pulled. Tuesday: On bench
Wednesday: Testing. Thursday: Quality control passed! i guess this means that the amp will be shipped pretty soon if they have recieved my custom ordered wooden base. Then it will only be the last strech, I guess there will be a week or two (not more I hope??) after it ships before it arrives in Norway! In retrospect, when buying something and you have to wait +-3 months it will really be a fabulous feeling getting it-

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 03/04/14 at 23:19:35

Any news on the amp or speaker arrival dates?
Hopefully it won't be too much longer. :)

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 03/07/14 at 20:46:03

Well... There has been a huge change in my life that last week, up until last Thursday i had a daily routine with checking up on the Real time amplifier build sheet. Since then: daily updating tracking status with USPS. Last update;arrived at customs.... That's the amp.
Speakers; well Louis emailed me last week that he was going to ship the speakers this week, but I don't think he has had the chance just yet. Hopefully they will be on their way pretty soon....

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 03/10/14 at 14:29:33

Hi everyone.
First some really good news, for me atleast, earlier today I picked up my MT! Havent unpacked it yet.. (my employer wants me to work!!?) but i will do so in an hour. I have no speakers yet, but what i wanted to ask you guys, can I start the burn-in with headphones? (maybe thats just obvious, but wants to be sure!)
Should I do anything different than what I would I done if connected to speakers?

Edit; unpacked it  and connected it, it's a beautiful amp I gotta say!
I have a small worry, there is an absolute noticeable hum in the headset. Doesn't change when adjusting volume. It s constant. The headset is a Marshall major 32 ohm. Ok when connected to phone, but not for audiophile users.
The hum is also affected when I touch the center knob in the front, (not the volume knobs.. Any ideas?
The amp in itself is dead quiet.

I know I should wait until I can connect speakers, but will not be able to do so today.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 03/10/14 at 18:11:48

Is the hum present with nothing connected except the headphones?

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 03/10/14 at 20:37:45

Yes it is. Tried without source, with source. The same. But havent tried with speakers though

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by Lin on 03/10/14 at 22:04:30

I have an amp that has a hum in the left channel, it is annoying with headphones and barely noticeable with speakers.
I don't like using headphones, but I still might try and get it fixed someday. :-/

Hope everything works out. :)

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 03/10/14 at 22:36:35

these headphones has a 98 db sensitivty, could that be the reason?

i believe they are made for primarily use with phones and ipad etc

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by beowulf on 03/11/14 at 00:43:30

I would check with Steve right away and have him give you some tips to get it straightened out.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by jorgen on 06/08/14 at 00:28:07

Hi guys

I 're-read this thread tonight with a little smile. Thanks againn for answers and tips, sure I haven't done everything as suggested, but I sure have learnd a lot the last six months. I know by now, well actually knew before I asked as well, that there isn't a perfect match in this world of audio.
But as I am sitting in a perfectly nice chair in the sweetspot listening to a Anne Bisson recording late at night, no lights and a Glenlivet, well at least it is pretty perfect. The decware and omega combo is really really good, and I bought speaker cables from daves cables that fits very well.
Finally, this equipment have made me open my eyes to a lot new music;, Miles, Dust, Louis A, BB King..

So while I wait for an opportunity to get a full size Tori, the MT is my perfect choice

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by mark58 on 06/08/14 at 13:24:10

Yep.  you've got the Audio bug!  I can see myself in that chair...minus the drinking days are over. I drank enough for a 100 yo man by age 35.  I had been down to about half a dozen beers a year then I began taking a medication that "Might" cause headaches if combined with alcohol so I just quit completely.

Anyway, keep an eye out, there have been a lot of used Torii's on the market since Steve updated the line and added the Mystery Amp.  I've been tempted more than once to buy one but I've now got a Torii MK IV, a Taboo MK III and a newly acquired set of SE84ZSM Monoblocks.  Buying more would be a little insane, don't you think!  Look on ebay and audiogon.  There are some there now.  Asking too much in my opinion but all in life is negotiable.  Mark.

Title: Re: the perfect match
Post by beowulf on 06/08/14 at 22:12:46

I think it's time for a little tube rolling in the MT now 8-)

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