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Message started by stone_of_tone on 08/22/14 at 17:45:10

Title: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/22/14 at 17:45:10

I know we have the Decware blog. However, I am wondering if their are any other developments Steve would care to share or give us a hint of?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/27/14 at 17:31:50

I know what I would like next from Steve/Decware.
Larry's Wish List.

Tung-Sol KT150 dual mono/single chassis design ....RUN in TRIODE at 16 to 20 watts/channel (single tube per channel).

Class A ~ no negative feedback
Steve's custom Jupiter Caps...an Topology
6N23, 6N1P or 6922 pre tube
0A3 Tube Regulation with Power Supply Topology of ZMA...with Rectification as done in the ZMA too. ...no Chokes, if possible.

It would fit well into his line of Amps. Plus, like each one of his Amplifiers...it would be special...tackling the 16 to 20 watt/ch in Triode range.
It would express the dynamics of the KT150 thru 16+ watts of Triode operation, into Speakers I like of 91db.

I would buy it!


The KT150 can be used in single-ended, ultralinear and triode
designs. I want it in Triode!

....and done in a way that I know, Steve could only do it!

Of course, LR would get #0000, and I would get #0001  ::) ...hehehe.

So why this Amp? I love my CKC, SE84CS, CSP3 & ZMA. So, why not I say?!  Different flavors man....different flavors. I've come to favor my CSP3/ZMA combo. Maybe I would favor this new creation.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/27/14 at 19:11:58

Maybe this has been posted elsewhere on the Forum an I missed it. However, I'll post it here as well for more coverage.

http://jupitercondenser.com/

Steve' on it.  Cool.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 08/27/14 at 19:27:37


Stone, that KT150 thing...seriously, sometimes you and I are so much on the same wavelength!

Also, that Jupiter thing...nice! Dr Z and Bogner and Steve all on the same page! I love Dr Z's stuff, he really knows how to make a chimey guitar amp that cuts through the mix without biting. Great stuff!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/27/14 at 19:32:42

Cool LR.

Yeah, I just was thinking about something on those Caps. I go to the page an yeah, there is Steve. How cool.

Do you think we can get Steve to build us two of them?!    8-)

Ask politely maybe. I'm not above begging.  :D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 08/27/14 at 19:48:47


If Steve was any other builder, they'd just churn them out if there was profit to be made. But Steve wouldn't even start it, let alone sell it, unless he could voice it appropriately. And that's where I believe Steve spends the majority of his time on a build, is voicing it.

Being able to do something, doesn't mean you should. :)


I've not heard any KT150 amp yet...well, maybe I did at Axpona, but I wouldn't be able to tell if I did or not. I have no idea what the character of a KT150 is, and if it would be suitable for a Super-Rachel type build. I think it's such a good idea, that if I knew enough about amp building, I'd seriously try to build it myself...but I'm more of a paint by numbers guy. I could clone an amp, but not design one.  :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/27/14 at 20:31:44

Good question LR, is the KT150 suitable for a Super Rachel type build? If it is....I sure would like to hear Steve's voicing of it. I speculate their is some nice dynamics an musical detail to exploit out of this Tube in SE only of course. Now, whether it has all that lit from within triode goodness of SV83 Svetlana's....with more headroom is also a good question?

Or, can it land somewhere between my beloved SV83 Svetlana tube an the Rachel's EL34 run in Triode or better (with awesome headroom afforded by the 16 - 20 watts in triode)? Also, with that beautiful compression to clipping (in triode) you can't hear...until you really go there with to much volume! With this power of 16 to 20 watts in triode...you should maintain the glory of triode musicality/listening while getting loud with it...especially with 91db efficient Speakers like I prefer (with no real crazy compression of dynamics).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/27/14 at 21:44:02

I decided to sell my Gallo 3.1 Speakers. Even though they are crossed over at 500hrtz...they are not efficient enough for the jump factor dynamics I like an the scale I prefer an need. They are better suited for Solid State.

I love my Classic sounding an dynamic Polk SDA1 Speakers. I use them in Stereo....so one tweeter an driver below that tweeter, are not used on each Speaker.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Polk+SDA1&id=E3E676694FE118C17C9A3742E036994D88791859&FORM=IQFRBA#view=detail&id=282C92379487133613FB17478F9831DAC86F09AD&selectedIndex=22

They are just under 90 pounds each on provided base stands. They have the sound of monitors but with full range sound (of course). I've had four pair of Speakers in this past year, including Zu's. The SDA1's win.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 08/27/14 at 22:23:42

Any Decware dual mono (or mono blocks) single ended triode @ 16 watts would be a dream amp for me.  My speakers at 95dB are efficient enough for the 2 watts Super Zen and the 6 watt Taboo (with a preamp) probably 95% of the time, however there are times that I just want to have a little more headroom when watching movies.  Those extra watts would come in handy as I really want to go to the Omega Alnico drivers which is going to drop my efficiency to 93dB.

While we're at it ... here is my dream Decware Preamp with the following:

1. 4 inputs (with the option for 2 balanced).
2. 4 Outputs (with the option of 2 balanced).
3. Remote for volume and input switching.
4. Volume and Input knobs on the front of the chassis.

Make these optional (a) simple phono stage, and (b) headphone amp (since Steve already has 2 great headphone amps I just don't see the need for another one as a standard feature.)

Put it into a standard audio/video width chassis, but keep it simple with a type writer finish (the same as the other amps) and perhaps an optional wooden case that it could be slid into to match the other Decware components (sort of like how the old mac preamps and tuners have the wooden cases).

Sort of like this:


This is actually my Decware dream system (Preamp with the options above and SET @ 16 watts) and I have always been thinking of this in Steve's lineup.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 08/28/14 at 01:58:13

IMHO, the ZMA sounds better than the SET and has more power.  If I could have a more powerful ZMA without losing any transparency, etc...I am game (e.g. 100 watts RMS....ZMA already does 100 watt peaks).  I always feel like I want more power.  Is it a disease?

Stone said...I decided to sell my Gallo 3.1 Speakers.

Stone...did you return the Sonus Faber speakers too?  If so, what's left in the stable?  Are the Polk's still your favorite with the ZMA and CKC?

I have been throughly enjoying the ZMA with my 944's.  There is something special about this combination, for me, in my room.  I am actually hesitant to change anything at the moment because it's sounding so good.

That said, the below would be on my short list to evaluate with the ZMA:

Acoustic Zen Adagios:  The Crescendos sounded amazing at Axpona, and in a crappy room.  The Adagios are the smaller brother, and after speaking with Robert, will sound similar to the Crescendos and furthermore would be the recommended option for a smaller room.   Interestingly, the configuration is very similar to the 944's (MTM, ribbon tweeter, transmission line), but with underhung drivers, a crossover, and slightly less efficiency.  The slightly lower efficiency does hold me back a little because I like the headroom 94 dB provides for normal listening, and I like to crank it every once in a while.  The tone/timbre of these speakers was spot on, and they are known for being tube friendly (low reactance?).  

Zu Audio Druids or Soul Supreme:  The Druids sounded very dynamic, had great clarity and tone (and were being driven by a Peachtree Integrated, which is obviously no ZMA).   The latest nano tech drivers and Radian tweeter seem to be something special.  I would argue nothing like the Unions(?) you had in for a demo.  If these speakers play well with the ZMA, one would get the added benefit of 101dB efficiency, which for me would be even better than 94dB.  Actually, I know the ZMA plays well with speakers w/o crossovers b/c my 944's are crossover less, aside from the capacitor on the ribbon tweeter.  101dB is really, really tempting.

Decware Monoliths:  Weren't these the fan favorites at Decfest with the ZMA...and Steve's favorite too?  Enough said.  94dB.

OK...so after writing all of that from a speaker standpoint (and trying to stay on point with this thread), I would like 101dB speakers from Decware...no crossover on midrange driver, underhung drivers, ribbon or Radian tweeter for highs/air, transmission line or maybe an active sub in each speaker for bass down to 15 Hz.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 08/28/14 at 06:46:00

If this is a thread for suggesting what we might like in the way of a next power amp, I think I might like single end pentode.  But instead of the Taboo Amp built on EL84 - Sv83, base it on one of the Kinkless Tetrodes; probably KT-77, but maybe KT-66 or 88, whichever sounds most like music when run in the SEP mode.  Use the Mystery amp ripple filter, but perhaps instead of a single 2200 micro farad cap, a battery of four 500s could parallel to minimise their resistances.  I don't know what the drive tube ought to be; something to exploit the lively exaggerated dynamics of single end pentode operation to help make the music come alive.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/28/14 at 15:16:58

Beowulf, yes, Steve making a single ended triode @ 16 watts/ch would be added to my Decware Stable in a heartbeat.

Dave, I did return the Sonus Faber's. I agree too, I can an do, live happily with my ZMA an it equals my SETS (CKC & SE84CS) with more power. But, like I said above...I would like to see where Steve could take a tube like the 120 or 150 in SET. It could be something really special coming from him.

My Fav Speakers are Polk SDA1 (in Stereo) with my Listening Room Rig. Very musical, deep, extended, powerful, clean & detailed an textured. Yet, also very nuanced at lower volumes too. I am content going into the fall an winter enjoying my three Systems... .

Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers (in Stereo)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
All four units plugged into Adcom AC-Enhancer 515

Living Room System:
Sony XBR 55" 850B 4K TV (Passive 3D)
Panasonic Blu-Ray
Kimber Hero IC out of Blu-Ray
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon III w/Pro-ject Phono Box II
Audioquest Diamondback IC out of Phono Box
Dish Network DVR (if I can't be in the Listening Room...I'm playing Records or Serius Sat Radio via Dish is playing)
Kimber KCAG IC out of DVR
Rotel 1062 Preamplifier
Pangea AC-9SE Power Cord to Rotel 1062 Pre (nice P Cord for the Rotel)
Kimber Timbre IC out of Preamp to...
Emotiva XPA-2
Kimber PK10 Palladian Power Cord to XPA-2 (takes this 300 watt/ch beast of an Amp to a whole other positive level/or at least the first usable watts...I found this P Cord used for 65% off)!
http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/cables/messages/11/115546.html
Kimber 8TC Speaker Cables to...
Vintage Polk SRS SDA 1.2 (using Stereo Dimensional Array=SDA)
HSU MID-BASS 12" with Bash Amp (behind Couch)

Sony as a CD Transport to Anedio D2 DAC/w/Remote Volume...directly run to XPA-2....when the Polk 1.2's need to be ROCKED!
http://www.polkaudio.com/products/sdasrs12tl
....which reminds me: I need to get XLR's to run out of the Anedio D2 to the XLR inputs of my XPA-2!

Bedroom System:
Pioneer as Transport
Illuminati D-60 Digital
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro 32 (20 bit Dither)
Prophecy Audio Cryo Silver i2s
Audio Alchemy 3.0 Dac with Remote Wand
Kimber Silver Streak IC RCA
Decware SE84CS or Super Zen CKC
Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk LS90 Speakers

Other than wanting a 16 watt SET from Steve, I'm a very happy camper.

Plus, always remember, Solid State is just to be tolerated for convenience. So, thus the reason why I won't spend more on SS/Emo an Rotel will do.....Decware does ruin you!
TUBES RULE (via Decware) ....for Music Listening Bliss... .






Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 08/28/14 at 15:33:43



Quote:
Other than wanting a 16 watt SET from Steve, I'm a very happy camper.


Now that you've brought it up, I think we all want a 16 watt SET from Steve. LOL

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 08/28/14 at 22:37:01


Lonely Raven wrote on 08/28/14 at 15:33:43:
Now that you've brought it up, I think we all want a 16 watt SET from Steve. LOL

Nah, not me. I love the Torii Mk III, it's perfect for my needs.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/28/14 at 23:14:37

A few are out there...spinning them out of China. Hey, but checked out in the UK before offing to the Distributor? Steve would destroy them with his voicing and quality of build.  I want one from Decware.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/01/14 at 16:11:01

Cool, in the Decfest 2014 Thread, Steve mentions he is working on a new Preamp an Single Ended Triode. Awesome! Not available at the Fest, but coming in 2015. ....count me in.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 09/01/14 at 16:13:51

Maybe beowulf will get the preamp he wants them to offer! :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/01/14 at 16:14:59

...that is what I'm thinking too.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 09/01/14 at 21:53:56

EL156 is an interesting tube.  It is a true pentode, so it is like having a 50W EL34.  The discontinued Telefunken originals were 10 pin socket, but the Chinese modern production are octal.  
For comparison to the 50W plate dissipation, KT88 has 35W.  I think EL34 is 25W.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 09/01/14 at 23:56:17

@ Lon and Stone - It's been on my wish list for at least 4 years since I've first heard about Decware.  I think it's the only "real" hole in Steve's lineup ... yes there are other things that would be cool such as that 15 watt SET we've been talking about that could fit in pricewise between the Rachel and Torii MKIV, but I think that Preamp would be kickass!  

I can imagine a balanced Pre into a balanced, ZMA, SE84CKCS or 15 watt SET! 8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 09/02/14 at 00:51:56

Well, we'll see.

Or as one of my favorite artists, Fats Waller, would say "One never knows, do one?"


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/02/14 at 14:17:18

Yeah Beowulf an Lon, I think I want the potential new Pre for my 2.1.1 channel TV, Phono an DVD/Blu-ray listening an viewing...via remote volume too.

Anyway, theCableCo is having free shipping for their loaner cable trials in the month of September. I have my new pair of Kimber KS1030 IC's .75 meter out for delivery today! This will complete my analog domain circuit of 1030 from QuteHD DAC to CSP3, then .5 meter of 1030 to ZMA, to KS3035 Speaker Cable. My bliss in the Listening Room! ....just something about Kimber's best IC solid core Silver that gets things so right with their 3035 Speaker Cable.

...an so good to audition/loan-in your System first....
http://www.thecableco.com/newsletter-detail.aspx?iid=5903

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 09/02/14 at 15:04:40

The Cable Company is a good company. I've not really been bowled over by the Kimber I've heard, at least not for the price, but I have completed my system with VooDoo Cable Ultralinear and Evolution interconnects that I just love, most from the Cable Company or their sister company, UsedCables.com. Good people!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 09/02/14 at 21:57:29

I mostly hear good things about the Cable Co. (thus the reason I tried them) but I just did not have a good experience with them.  Initially I did when I first bought, but when I expressed an interest in exchanging a power cord for another cord, I never heard back from them.  I tried multiple times.

I ended up buying used PS Audio instead.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 09/02/14 at 22:09:26

Sorry, and surprised to hear that as they have always been very responsive with me.

But hey, you ended up with a great cord!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/03/14 at 01:46:49

I'm waiting on Cable Co. to get back to me on a USB and XLR cable recommendations. We'll see what happens.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lord Soth on 09/13/14 at 02:57:31

I look forward to the new SET from Steve.

I can picture how glorius sounding one of those units would be with a pair of new production Takatsuki 300Bs in it.
Online reviews have placed it on par or better than the famous Western Electric 300Bs.

Cheers!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/14/14 at 15:23:00

At $800 a piece for Takatsuki's?
Nope, I'll stick with Steve's Pentode's or Tetrode's....RUN in Triode.

KT150:
"The manufacturers who are developing amplifiers to use this tube have reported that the Tung-Sol KT150 sounds great in all power amplifier configurations including single-ended, triode connected and ultra-linear".

I want a 16 to 20 watt per channel SET from Steve using KT66, KT88, Tung-Sol KT120 and/or Tung-Sol KT150.


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers (in Stereo)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
All four units plugged into Adcom AC-Enhancer 515

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 09/15/14 at 12:18:00

LR...did you ever hear back from The Cable Co?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/15/14 at 15:57:57


No, and I meant to call them on Friday and talk to them about some cables...but other stuff came up that took my limited funds away. So I've put it on hold a bit.

I also want to buy a fuse to see if the P10 or ZMA has any improvement with a good fuse.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/16/14 at 03:01:58

You got to admit, getting someone to pay $90 for something that you're supposed to blow up is pretty impressive. For the same money as a couple of audiophile fuses, you could get a fire extinguisher and hardwire your amp without a fuse. It's a pretty impressive difference compared to a stock fuse, I can tell ya, so it stands to reason if someone figured out a way to get somewhere in the middle of the two, it would be a success.  I wonder if the quantum chips or the blowmeum is the real secret?  

[smiley=beer.gif]



 

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/16/14 at 03:03:37

As far as the single ended amp, I can tell you it will be with a superior tube to the 300B.  Superior because it's built better, sounds better, lasts longer, and costs a fraction as much.  The 6C33C is the tube that I am working with for the new single ended amp. I have decided on this tube after listening to it for three years behind the scenes.  It is my current favorite.

Here's a picture of the 6C33C in it's intended application:



Shown here as the guidance tube in a Russian Nuclear Intercontinental ballistic missile.  Also used in the Mig fighter jets as a guidance tube.

Just think... after world war III has launched the first magnet pulse bombs and the entire power grid collapses you'll be able to hook 10 car batteries up to your Decware and play it for over a year off the grid!

Not only that, but it will heat your room the entire time you use it, so nuclear winter will even be more tolerable than ever!

All good engineers work in worse case scenarios, it's part of good design.   [smiley=happy.gif]

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/16/14 at 03:12:55

Here is what the 6C33 tubes look like in a more audiophile light...



I'm not sure how long they last yet... still trying to wear out my first set.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 09/16/14 at 03:30:51

You don't even have to plug 6C33 tubes in and they glow!  That's one impressive tube.  Can't wait to hear it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by deucekazoo on 09/16/14 at 03:57:11

That is cool. I can see the conversation now, wow nice tube amp, what is that tube? Oh nothing special just one that is used in a Russian Nuclear Intercontinental ballistic missile.  :D
Can't wait to see this amp and hear it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/16/14 at 03:57:24


Steve, I'd like to get in line for the new amp *now*!

I friggen LOVE those tubes! Especially after hearing what they can do in the OTL amp.

I agree with you on fuses...but so many people swear by them, it makes me curious...and a curious Eric likes to experiment and listen.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/16/14 at 04:14:15

Damnit, I still can't embed videos.

http://youtu.be/wS7dMd74YHI



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/16/14 at 04:54:35

LR, now wait a damn minute!

You got the #0000 last time. I want it this time....an you take the #0001!  Heheehehe  ;D.

Steve, sweet Tube. I can't wait to hear your design an voicing of it.

As Steve mentioned...missile's an aircraft. I got a kick out of the copy at The Tube Store about the Tube.
"So your MiG fighter jet's radar scope just isn't picking up bogeys like it used to? Time to re-tube the 6C33! This Russian Military 6C33C-B also works great in home stereos".
http://www.thetubestore.com/Tubes/Big-Power-Tubes/6C33C-B

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lord Soth on 09/16/14 at 07:19:40

With those Russian tubes in place, just for laughs, I can picture myself using the same American Bendix 6106 rectifier as used in American Nike ICBMs.

Such an explosive tube combo would be quite a good conversation starter at parties! ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 09/16/14 at 08:14:13


Steve Deckert wrote on 09/16/14 at 03:03:37:
As far as the single ended amp, I can tell you it will be with a superior tube to the 300B.  Superior because it's built better, sounds better, lasts longer, and costs a fraction as much.  The 6C33C is the tube that I am working with for the new single ended amp. I have decided on this tube after listening to it for three years behind the scenes.  It is my current favorite.


Hi Steve, sounds freakin' awesome!  Is it too early to tell how many watts and where do you see this fitting into your price structure?  I was hoping somewhere between the cost of a Zen Select and Torii MKIV???

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/16/14 at 13:54:06


I've seen single ended amps using this tube say between 8watts and 20 watts. I'm not sure why the wide variable - I never really looked into them, and I've not built any amps in many years. I really should find a tutor to teach me some basic amp building and set me loose with my own ideas.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 09/16/14 at 13:57:20

After seeing Steve's post about the new...to me...Russian tube, I did a search and found people already using it in SETs.  One was in Mono Block form with 20 watts per channel...others were rated at 18 wpc.  Seems that this would be competing with the Torri MK IV at about 25 wpc.  It'd be interesting to hear Steve speak to how they compare sonically and otherwise with the Torii and the current Decware version SETs.  Mark.

http://www.tubeguru.eu/poweramps/6c33c-se-mono/  this one's a beauty!

PS...I now see LR gave you the youtube clip with this builders work. The music's nice too.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/16/14 at 14:24:38


Yeah, his parts and build quality look like they are built for durability - I wonder how much goes into voicing them.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/16/14 at 16:19:21

Great Tube mark58. As witnessed by the fact that BAT http://balanced.com/products
has been using it for years....PP run.  

I considered buying the VK-55SE when considering the ZMA. I would have started off running it with my Balanced Outputs from my Anedio D2. I made the right choice buying the CSP3w/Jupiter Caps an the ZMA.

I look forward to Steve's further words an development in due time. SET from him with 6C33C is going to be Special.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 09/16/14 at 16:29:45

My official opinion. MEH. :) I love my Torii Mk IIIs, I feel as if I'm good for life, or at least another decade or more. Just astonishingly great sounding and flexible amps. Bass controls! All those tubes to roll! Heaven!

If I were to move to something else I think it woud be the DNA horns with built in amps as my second system hearbeat. But I'm far from close to considering something like that.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/16/14 at 16:30:28

http://balanced.com/p-vk-55se

Wow, what a beast! I don't see any pricing on the page - is it comparable to a ZMA? Or a ZMA plus CSP3?

I'm biased against circuit boards, but it looks like a solid machine.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/16/14 at 16:37:21

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-4537-bat-vk-55-se-tube-power-amp.aspx

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/16/14 at 16:58:32

Ditto, I'm not a circuit board fan either. Or, auto-bias via circuit board fan.

I had a PrimaLuna Dialogue 5 in-house.

"You Senator (PrimaLuna), are NO John F. Kennedy (ZMA)".  

Granted BAT probably does it better. But, the Transparency/Musicality of the CSP3 an ZMA combo.......please..... .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/16/14 at 17:17:16


Quote:
Granted BAT probably does it better. But, the Transparency/Musicality of the CSP3 an ZMA combo.......please..... .


Yeah, that's why I've really not looked at anything else lately. I just love to see what other shops are doing for ideas...or at least to understand their design concepts. Why they chose the path they did - or are they just cribbing off others work, etc.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 09/16/14 at 23:02:22

LR,  here's the Stereophile review for the BAT Amp...a Monster at 55wpc. He likes it! Mark.

http://www.stereophile.com/tubepoweramps/balanced_audio_technology_vk-55se_power_amplifier/index.html


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/25/14 at 23:50:59

Woohoo!  The production sample of the long awaited magic black box #001 has just been completed.  
+/- 3dB from 1/4hz ~ 100kHz. This is our balanced XLR to single-ended RCA transformer with adjustable output level.   Features a fully decoupled ground path that turns the case into a shield from your source and the volume control gets all it's grounds from the connected component. This makes the volume control work as a gain control for any amplifier that does not have one. For amplifiers that do have gain controls, this becomes a variable output used to adjust dynamics and transparency on the fly. No ground loops can occur between connected components.

Zen Balanced Input Transformer.  AKA  ZBIT.





After the fest I'll get it up on the site.  

Steve 8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 09/26/14 at 01:24:48

Great news!

Title: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by Steve Deckert on 10/28/14 at 03:37:29

We have a unique perspective for this years fest pics, from lakesidecamera.com!

Here are three galleries:

http://www.decware.com/newsite/images/2014FESTA/

http://www.decware.com/newsite/images/2014FESTB/

http://www.decware.com/newsite/images/2014FESTC/

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by Steve Deckert on 10/28/14 at 03:49:24

If anyone else took pics that they would like to add to these galleries, please send them our way!

-Steve

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by EL Capitan on 10/28/14 at 14:41:55

Thanks for posting these pics, Steve.  Sorry I missed it.

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by Palomino on 10/28/14 at 17:53:44

Good fest this year.  Sorry I couldn't stay longer.

The back of my head and my boombox made the picture gallery!

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/28/14 at 19:01:33


I managed to dodge all but one photo - and Brianne is nowhere to be seen! I think we did well this year.  :)

Lots of interesting stuff at Steve's shop; I'm glad someone took the time to be curious and photograph so much stuff.

I may have some photos - but I left the Nikon in the car, so all mine would be camera phone photos, mostly to help me remember stuff.

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by Auguie on 10/28/14 at 23:05:22

Looks like I missed all the fun on Friday.  NEXT YEAR FOR SURE!!!

Dan

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by beowulf on 10/29/14 at 00:23:56

So what's the deal with the OTL?  Was it a big enough hit for people to place many orders or can we start focusing on a more traditional and less expensive 10-15 watt SET?

aka ... one that I can actually afford ;D

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by Palomino on 10/29/14 at 00:53:18

I typed up this extended review of the OTL and somehow lost it on my twitchy laptop and I am too angry to re-type it.

In summary:

So is it the real deal? - yes.  Richer sound than I have ever heard. So rich in fact that I found myself unsure if I would listen to it every day.

Will it be affordable?  - Not likely.

Would I buy one?  Not in the foreseeable future.  Other financial priorities right now.

Did enough people feel that it was good enough to commit to buy?  I am not sure but it was a hit.

Do I hope Steve produces it and Raven buys it so I can listen to it occasionally?  Oh yeah ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 10/29/14 at 01:33:34

I've decided after much thought that I will not manufacture the OTL amp due to it's impracticality and the 6C33C tubes themselves.  Since there is no real way to test these unique tubes without making a custom tube tester they are not available in matched quads, which is what you ideally want in the OTL.  Customers would never be able to find them, and I would have to buy hundreds just to get 10 matched quads if I'm lucky.  

In addition, the tubes have to be pre-baked for 24 hours before being fired for the first time. This is done by wiring both the plate and grid to the heater and running only the heaters with no high voltage present. Again, not going to happen in the real world unless customers buy tubes only from us.

Tube life is another issue. The tubes must be at the correct temperature before being turned up past 1/2 power. This takes around 45 minutes, but it my OTL, which is fan cooled, it takes 2.5 hours. Again, not going to happen in the real world.

And then there is cost, and frankly as good as it is, when compared against the ZMA (Zen Mystery Amp) there are many who would prefer the later.

WHAT WE NEED is a design that uses only 1 6C33C tube and forgiving enough that it doesn't give a shit what mood the tube is in. A pair of monos so that the tubes don't have to match, which they never will, and gain controls so you can perfectly match the volume from each amp. Something that needs no fan, so you guessed it, I am prototyping a single ended triode mono block with a single 6C33C and we'll see what happens. Be an all winter experiment I'm sure. The tube is just too cool to ignore. Word is wired with only one cathode vs. the two that is has, the sonics destroy a WE300B which is saying quite a lot.  We'll find out.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 10/29/14 at 01:34:30

Btw am I the only one who thought Steve's room sounded the best it ever has this year?

Oh and my otl comments were based on the otl into the el caminos.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 10/29/14 at 01:53:02

Sounds like a really good idea Steve. Looking forward to the story!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/29/14 at 06:04:33


Quote:
WHAT WE NEED is a design that uses only 1 6C33C tube and forgiving enough that it doesn't give a shit what mood the tube is in. A pair of monos so that the tubes don't have to match, which they never will, and gain controls so you can perfectly match the volume from each amp. Something that needs no fan, so you guessed it, I am prototyping a single ended triode mono block with a single 6C33C and we'll see what happens. Be an all winter experiment I'm sure. The tube is just too cool to ignore. Word is wired with only one cathode vs. the two that is has, the sonics destroy a WE300B which is saying quite a lot.  We'll find out.


I had a suspicion this is what would happen - the big amp is just too quirky for all but the most dedicated listeners. And having to support something like that sounds like you'd have to hire an extra person just for tube processing!

Too bad, because that amp really is something. But I'm perfectly fine with a pair of mono 6C33C amps - assuming I could afford them. I'd love to come by and be another set of ears when you get something built, Steve. I promise I wont (intentionally) blow them up!   :-[

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 10/29/14 at 06:31:06


Steve Deckert wrote on 10/29/14 at 01:33:34:
I've decided after much thought that I will not manufacture the OTL amp due to it's impracticality and the 6C33C tubes themselves.  Since there is no real way to test these unique tubes without making a custom tube tester they are not available in matched quads, which is what you ideally want in the OTL.  Customers would never be able to find them, and I would have to buy hundreds just to get 10 matched quads if I'm lucky.  

In addition, the tubes have to be pre-baked for 24 hours before being fired for the first time. This is done by wiring both the plate and grid to the heater and running only the heaters with no high voltage present. Again, not going to happen in the real world unless customers buy tubes only from us.

Tube life is another issue. The tubes must be at the correct temperature before being turned up past 1/2 power. This takes around 45 minutes, but it my OTL, which is fan cooled, it takes 2.5 hours. Again, not going to happen in the real world.

And then there is cost, and frankly as good as it is, when compared against the ZMA (Zen Mystery Amp) there are many who would prefer the later.

WHAT WE NEED is a design that uses only 1 6C33C tube and forgiving enough that it doesn't give a shit what mood the tube is in. A pair of monos so that the tubes don't have to match, which they never will, and gain controls so you can perfectly match the volume from each amp. Something that needs no fan, so you guessed it, I am prototyping a single ended triode mono block with a single 6C33C and we'll see what happens. Be an all winter experiment I'm sure. The tube is just too cool to ignore. Word is wired with only one cathode vs. the two that is has, the sonics destroy a WE300B which is saying quite a lot.  We'll find out.

Steve


Wow, Steve that sounds exciting!  I hope you keep a design journal/thread on the forums like you did with the ZMA as I loved reading about the ZMA coming into fruition.


Lonely Raven wrote on 10/29/14 at 06:04:33:
But I'm perfectly fine with a pair of mono 6C33C amps - assuming I could afford them.


Assuming I can afford them too I want 000 or 001 this time! ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by TubeNube on 10/29/14 at 06:48:20

Amen, Beowulf, on a design thread for the new 6C33C monoblocks. I hope Steve is listening. I really enjoyed following the progress on the ZMA. A lot of it goes over my head, but it's interesting nonetheless, and whets my appetite for more delicious Decware gear.

Title: Re: DECFEST 2014 PICS
Post by beowulf on 10/29/14 at 07:32:05


Palomino wrote on 10/29/14 at 00:53:18:
I typed up this extended review of the OTL and somehow lost it on my twitchy laptop and I am too angry to re-type it.

In summary:

So is it the real deal? - yes.  Richer sound than I have ever heard. So rich in fact that I found myself unsure if I would listen to it every day.

Will it be affordable?  - Not likely.

Would I buy one?  Not in the foreseeable future.  Other financial priorities right now.

Did enough people feel that it was good enough to commit to buy?  I am not sure but it was a hit.

Do I hope Steve produces it and Raven buys it so I can listen to it occasionally?  Oh yeah ;)


Thanks for the overview, I bet the first one you wrote was even better! ;)

It sounds like a great amp and I'd like to hear it one day, but it's not on my wish list though (not that I could afford it anyways), but it's already close to November and it was only this week that we are now comfortable enough to turn off our A/C and open our windows here in Chula Vista ... even this afternoon I had to remind myself how expensive our bill was last month to prevent myself from turning it back on. ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 10/29/14 at 13:29:21

Cool Steve! I hope you post a thread like you did for the ZMA too. I look forward to hearing them sometime in 2015 (road trip). 20 wpc mono's?

Good opportunity Steve, to thank you once again for such great Amplifiers that make music. Thanks! The ZMA with CSP3; I could not foresee ever replacing. Making room to add the 6C33C Mono's though = yes.

Well, we "fall back", this weekend (time change). The warm glow of Decware Tubes...........gets me to the other side of April. Cheers, an happy designing this winter, Steve.

Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC ---~or~
Audio Alchemy front-end/Prophecy Silver Cryo i2s
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
ACOUSTIC ZEN ADAGIO Speakers
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant

SE84CS (w/Svetlana SV83's/Original NOS) & Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Decware SET 6C33C Mono-blocks........ Pending.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 10/29/14 at 14:13:59

Steve wrote:

I've decided after much thought that I will not manufacture the OTL amp due to it's impracticality and the 6C33C tubes themselves.  Since there is no real way to test these unique tubes without making a custom tube tester they are not available in matched quads, which is what you ideally want in the OTL.  Customers would never be able to find them, and I would have to buy hundreds just to get 10 matched quads if I'm lucky.  

In addition, the tubes have to be pre-baked for 24 hours before being fired for the first time. This is done by wiring both the plate and grid to the heater and running only the heaters with no high voltage present. Again, not going to happen in the real world unless customers buy tubes only from us.

Tube life is another issue. The tubes must be at the correct temperature before being turned up past 1/2 power. This takes around 45 minutes, but it my OTL, which is fan cooled, it takes 2.5 hours. Again, not going to happen in the real world.

And then there is cost, and frankly as good as it is, when compared against the ZMA (Zen Mystery Amp) there are many who would prefer the later.

WHAT WE NEED is a design that uses only 1 6C33C tube and forgiving enough that it doesn't give a shit what mood the tube is in. A pair of monos so that the tubes don't have to match, which they never will, and gain controls so you can perfectly match the volume from each amp. Something that needs no fan, so you guessed it, I am prototyping a single ended triode mono block with a single 6C33C and we'll see what happens. Be an all winter experiment I'm sure. The tube is just too cool to ignore. Word is wired with only one cathode vs. the two that is has, the sonics destroy a WE300B which is saying quite a lot.  We'll find out.


Wow, with those type of issues it's no wonder that you are not considering building a stereo amp!

I love the sound of my Torii Mk IIIs after years of tube rolling and isolation and cabling and. . . I'm not interested in any other amp, that's just the plain truth. I have what works for me, and I'm not trading in for a new model, trophy wife etc. -- not that kind of guy! Not chasing the perfect sound, just the right sound for my collection and I. But glad that others have the bug, and understand Steve's need to keep exploring possibilities for the line and unique products.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/02/14 at 01:02:36


Quote:
Wow, with those type of issues it's no wonder that you are not considering building a stereo amp!

I love the sound of my Torii Mk IIIs after years of tube rolling and isolation and cabling and. . . I'm not interested in any other amp, that's just the plain truth.


That is my goal and my wish for every amplifier that I sell.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/02/14 at 14:35:58


Quote:
That is my goal and my wish for every amplifier that I sell.


What's this you say!? You mean you don't build audio components that break down/fail after 3-5 years, and costs so much to repair that buying a replacement is the only solution...so the consumer must *consume* moar, therefor increasing your profits!? That's madness!  ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/02/14 at 16:28:22

Well, I am interested in other Amps.

Other than the fuse issue I had when I first got the ZMA an noise on the ground? Both issues were worth fixing myself, because the ZMA is the Amp to beat. I am having the Rogue 100 in. I will probably keep it as well.
http://www.rogueaudio.com/Products_100.htm

I like great Speakers too. I will report back in January about my Acoustic Zen Adagio's. My new P3 is burning in nicely. It is great for my front end components an CSP3. ZMA, has no need to be on it.

Peace an Cheers, Stone.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/02/14 at 16:35:24

Steve wrote:
That is my goal and my wish for every amplifier that I sell.


You hit that goal with me with the Mk III, especially the second one you built me, with the bass controls. The other amps I'd bought from you showed me the way to this one and it has the power the others didn't, just the right amount, and the most flexibility of all of them, which helps me to enjoy my collection.

I'm so glad I found the website in '96.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/20/14 at 15:15:53

Well, with much deliberation... . I don't want Pass or Rogue or Audio Research. I want another Decware creation.

Do I need anything to replace my ZMA? Heck no-not ever an could live happily ever after. Would I sell any of my Amps? No. However, with the track record Steve has for going 4 for 4 for me (SE84CS, Super Zen CKC, Zen Mystery Amplifier an CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps); I have to sit down with the 6C33C SET Mono-blocks he has in the works, in my System in my Room.

Keep us posted Steve.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/20/14 at 15:50:41


Quote:
I have to sit down with the 6C33C SET Mono-blocks he has in the works, in my System in my Room


So does this mean I can get ahead of you in line for them?  :)


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/20/14 at 16:57:46

Of course it does LR!  To funny!  ;D

#0000 an #0001 again!  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/20/14 at 19:52:24


I'm really too broke for any new purchases. And if I did, it should be speakers and room treatment, not amps. I do have the ZMA after all.

That said, let's see what Steve comes up with!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 11/21/14 at 14:33:54

I'm not in the market for a new amp really.  I am enamored with what I am hearing with Raven's Zen, but I'm not ready to buy yet.

Would I buy OTL monos?  Not likely.  At least not anytime soon.  

But I have to say it was great fun sitting in that room hearing that amp.  I've been to a few high end audio dealers and attended Axpona twice now and still, I haven't busted the kind of grin I did when I heard the OTL.

So if Steve builds it and I like it (pretty good odds), I'll support the Decware R&D engine by talking about it to anyone who will listen.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/21/14 at 15:32:50


Steve's already said he's *not* doing an OTL like what we listened to at this years Decfest - but he will try out another amp using that tube.

I'm hoping it's something along the Zen amp, but in the teens wattage, using the MIG Tube. I would seriously consider one. And I think it would be a great upper-end starter amp for those looking to get into tube amps if the price is right.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/21/14 at 17:01:52

Exactly LR. ....in the vein of the SE84ZSM Mono-blocks Steve made for awhile with Tube Regulation (0A3). As you stated, with watts/ch in the high teens.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1215205416

Steve wrote (Reply #60):
"The tube is just too cool to ignore (6C33C). Word is wired with only one cathode vs. the two that is has, the sonics destroy a WE300B which is saying quite a lot.  We'll find out".

I'm also thinking...since it's not the OTL...the price point is more inline of what I'm thinking too.... .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 11/21/14 at 22:14:50


stone_of_tone wrote on 11/21/14 at 17:01:52:
Exactly LR. ....in the vein of the SE84ZSM Mono-blocks Steve made for awhile with Tube Regulation (0A3). As you stated, with watts/ch in the high teens.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1215205416

Steve wrote (Reply #60):
"The tube is just too cool to ignore (6C33C). Word is wired with only one cathode vs. the two that is has, the sonics destroy a WE300B which is saying quite a lot.  We'll find out".

I'm also thinking...since it's not the OTL...the price point is more inline of what I'm thinking too.... .


Those are cool, I wonder why he doesn't make them or offer them on his website anymore. :-?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 11/22/14 at 14:17:28

I know this might sound a little crazy, but in my room, I don't think I would go any lower in power (40 watt ZMA) with my 94 dB speakers.  In fact, I either want more power or higher efficiency.  The ZMA isn't going anywhere, so I think the next purchase for me will be speakers.  For a smaller room, I would definitely consider a SET with power in the teens.  

If these new Zu Omen Def's sound equal or better than the 944's, that might just be my ticket (to be clear, I don't think it's going to be easy to best the 944's b/c those speakers are fantastic, especially with the ZMA)  BTW the new Zu OD's can be upgraded with the Radian 850 tweeter that comes in the Druid and Definition speakers.  I think the upgrade is $1000.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/22/14 at 16:18:41


Quote:
If these new Zu Omen Def's sound equal or better than the 944's, that might just be my ticket (to be clear, I don't think it's going to be easy to best the 944's b/c those speakers are fantastic, especially with the ZMA)  BTW the new Zu OD's can be upgraded with the Radian 850 tweeter that comes in the Druid and Definition speakers.  I think the upgrade is $1000.


I'm with you on both parts actually. With the detail and smoothness I have, I kinda find myself cranking it up a bit. The Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 I have next to my MG944 are great...different, but not better then the 944. Zu are on my short list to try out here. Last year about this time, there were all sorts of used Zu on AudiogoN and eBay, and now they seem very few and far between. I really want to run a pair through here.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/23/14 at 15:56:44

Dave, I understand you would not go any lower in power in your room.

Those of us here that Listen with Martin Logans, Monitor Audio, Polk SDA1, Janzen's an Acoustic Zen Adagio's (coming along nicely an opening up).......in smaller Rooms.....I can use 2 watts or 38 per channel. Especially, in a well treated room...but not overly damped like an Anechoic chamber.

I can appreciate the differences between my SE84CS, CKC an my ZMA with an without my CSP3. SET magic from Steve, I revere (as I revere an would not part with his ZMA designed Amp either). So, for me...the SET Mono-blocks he is working on...are on my radar. I do believe the Mono's could do what a LineMagnetic LM219IA can do, without the complexity an the total cost.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 11/23/14 at 18:50:08

Stone...as you stated, my needs are specific to my main room.  I would definitely consider the SET mono-blocks for a smaller room, or with more efficient speakers.

Glad to hear the Adagio's are breaking in nicely.  How many hours do you have on them now?  Have you tried driving them with anything other than the ZMA (aside from your SS rig for break-in)?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/24/14 at 20:51:24

I have 150+ hours on them now. They had me worried. However, I've been told they need 300. Where they are now though, I'm not worried anymore. I still need to get them to 300 hours though, before bringing them back into my Listening Room.

So, where they are at right now...no more clinical sounding. More open an relaxed. This is with SS. They make you stop an take notice at any volume! However, still SS...but I hear the improvements.

I did hook them up briefly to my SE84CS. It drove them pretty darn well. But, they clearly need the ZMA with CSP3.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/26/14 at 17:51:11

Okay, I have been really laying into the Adagio's 24/7, the last couple of days/racking further hours up on them.

I am using (for burn in purposes for the Adagio's):
Pioneer DV-563A as my Transport
Illuminati D-60 Coax
Anedio D2 DAC
Kimber Silver Streak IC RCA
Emotiva UPA-1 Mono-blocks (200 watts per channel)
Kimber Select 3033 Speaker Cable
Acoustic Zen Adagio Speakers

Listening to Odd Order Harmonics with Negative Feedback is not my thing obviously for Two Channel Music Listening (thus, I own Decware for Even Order Harmonics and no Negative Feedback-via Steve's awesome Voicing an Topology).
However, I can discern, the Adagio's are opening up! I will wait awhile yet still, to grunt an carry them back to my Decware/Listening Room. However, I like what I'm hearing.

Importantly, I am impressed with what I'm hearing from these driver's an Tweeter's...it has to be the lowering of slight colorations/distortions that is helping even with this bedroom Solid State setup/it sounds good. Not great/but good.

My only reservation is: Do they lack the inner detail an midrange presence that my SDA1's have in Spades? Time will tell.

Good news is/the Crossovers can be Mod'ed! If I chose to do so... .
http://www.stereotimes.com/post/adagio-extreme-modification-by-response-audio

Excerpts:
"Bill Baker’s goal with the Adagio EXtreme modifications is to bring more of the Adagio's sonic potential to the surface and provide a new sense of voicing. He wanted greater resolution, more inner detail retrieval, enhanced dynamic extension, and more air up top and greater slam in the lower frequencies. In regard to voicing, he was after more liveliness and realism in the midrange without sacrificing the other aspects as mentioned previously".

"As I mentioned in my previous review of the stock Adagios, the ribbon tweeters already have a very flat impedance curve and overall the Adagios have a linear frequency response. The flat impedance curves means it is an exceptional speaker to mate with tube amplifiers and the modification according to Bill Baker didn’t change any of these characteristics".

I could avoid shipping an have my guys do it here at Midwest Speaker. Also, for half the price. Still not cheap...but done just as well.
Like I mentioned, these Driver's an Tweeter's with this design are exceptional...and are screaming: "Work with me to reach my full potential"!  


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC ---~or~
Audio Alchemy front-end/Remote Volume Wand/Revelation Audio Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (Acoustic Zen Adagio Speakers/burning in)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/01/14 at 17:53:54

The Adagio's are staying. No mod needed. I have them in my bedroom office with my SE84CS = HEAVEN at 78db SPL peaks. I can roll back an lean back in my chair and wow! Yes, running them with 2 watts per channel. Probably less than that with the heat loss in the crossover. I seriously don't know what I would keep, if I could only keep one Decware Amplifier. Of course, the weight and headroom of the ZMA in my Listening Room is great. However, SET is SET man! Nothing however, has come close to the SET sound, other than Steve's Zen Mystery Amplifier IMO.

Okay, enough about that. Fortunately, I can have more than one Decware Amplifier. Lets get back to the OP (Decware Developments). I found the Almarro A318A and A318B recently. However, I will hold out for Steve's design. Fun however, to read/learn about this build in the Reviews an here at the site.
http://www.almarro.com/products.html

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/02/15 at 17:11:42

Happy New Year

I'm excited for new Decware designs for 2015!

See replies: #3, 4, 5 an mine at #6 in the "Christmas" thread (here in the General Forum).

A big tranny on the Bench(?)  I'm thinking the 6C33C Mono's or Preamplifier with Remote(?) is happening (or both).


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/02/15 at 22:34:22

Yeah, Steve, any word on what's going on? Or do I need to swing by on Tuesday and ask in person?  :)


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/02/15 at 22:52:37

Steve is finally building a 300B amp!













Just kidding.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by ski bum on 01/03/15 at 00:31:42

A zen style amp using 6C33C tubes would be similar to or slightly above what you can squeeze out of a 300b, at least power wise.  A few old solder slingers I know mentioned this tube, and I'm now very curious to see what Steve does with it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/03/15 at 00:36:56

I was just funning because Steve used to mention 300B amps. I wish him luck whatever he designs,but I'm set with amps, love the ones I have and intend to stick with them for a LOOOOOOONG time!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/03/15 at 04:40:27

I'm still considering a Line Magnetic 219ia with 300B and 845 Tube Magic!

Cost of the better Tubes though.... .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/03/15 at 19:44:11

No for me on the Line Magnetic.

My Zen Mystery Amplifier is so good with my CSP3-only another creation from Steve will do.

My Telefunken E88CC/6922 (A12 & B12 positions in my ZMA) arrive from Upscale Jan 8/Th...just in time for the long cold weekend of warm inside Music enjoyment.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 01/11/15 at 23:45:27

Hi guys
I have read this topic a few times, and I'm really keen to learn what Steve is cooking. When do you guys think there will be some actual news, and what can we expect?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/12/15 at 18:26:09

Hard to say really.  It probably depends on how much time Steve had over the holidays and how successful he was (i.e. liked what he heard).  He had something on the bench when I was there in late December.  I asked and he said, yes, that's it.

You could look to the Mystery Amp thread to see what date he started it and when he said he had something he liked.  That might give you some clue.

Also, I have observed that he likes to have something new at Decfest, but that is not till October.

I would love another Mystery Amp type thread on this amp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/12/15 at 21:44:55

I'm in Peoria today and heading home tomorrow. I'll call him tomorrow (Monday is nose to the grindstone day at Decware so I don't bother him on Mondays), and see if I can pop by for a casual visit.  :)

I wish Steve's E-mails *ever* made it to me. I can send him an E-mail and he sees it, but I never see any of his personal responses. All the Decware general E-mails with News and Coupons make it to me (like the one today about the ZMA), just no personal responses.

So I'll call tomorrow and see if anything's brewing and report back (if I'm not sworn to secrecy)

Edit to add: DAMNIT! I forgot to bring the old Zen amp down to have Steve take a look at it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/14/15 at 19:03:49

Any news to report Raven?

I did find this earlier in the thread:

I am prototyping a single ended triode mono block with a single 6C33C and we'll see what happens. Be an all winter experiment I'm sure.

Given how much I like Rachael, a pair of these could be just right for me.  Still working with the Torii though...

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 01/14/15 at 19:43:25

Pal,  don't forget he also said they'd be about 10 grand a pair...If I remember correctly.  I'm happy with my Torii and Signature Monoblocks.  I won't be tempted, although I was by the Mystery Amp but when Steve described who would want it versus the Torii MK IV, I knew the Torii was all I needed.  All I play is Vinyl and Redbook...Well,  Vinyl has pretty much taken over the Listening Cave.  Redbook in the Den.  Mark.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/14/15 at 20:26:34

I thought that $10k thing was about OTL amps, not single ended monos.

I was imaginting more like the Zen Select monoblocks, except using the Russian fighterplane tubes.

I'm totally guessing, but I would figure something like that would be $1200-$1500 each.

A bit rich for my blood, but those tubes could output 15 watts, plus or minus a little. So imagine single ended 15 watt monoblocks!!

Now imagine those driving Elcaminos!!


yeah, i was too busy with work to call Steve yesterday, and certainly didn't have time to swing by. Maybe next week I can call and/or visit.
I still need to have him look at my little Zen amp, which has developed a bit of a buzz. I'm hoping it's just a flaky tube, but I'm worried it's something more. I want to start using it with the Zu Omens to get a low watt feel for the speakers.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 01/14/15 at 20:42:57

LR,  you're right...the 10K was for the OTL Amp.  On the speculated price for the new 15 WPC Monoblocks.  Steve sold the  2 WPC Zen Signature Monoblocks for $2300 a pair without options back when mine were made in 2008.  In their life they've had a few mods including bees wax caps.  Anyway,  I would think Steve's new creation would sell for much more than you think.  But if there's a relative bargain price at introduction, I might pick up a pair.  My Omega Alincos at 93dB and 8 ohms could benefit from just a bit more juice...not that I'm complaining about them when paired with the 2 wpc  SE84ZSMs.  Mark.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/monos.htm



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/15/15 at 04:38:17

Ouch, yeah, that makes me think these will be closer to the $1500 each range. More then I'd want to pay, but I know I like those tubes. And if it has the SET magic Steve is known for...it would be a great crossover product.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 01/15/15 at 06:18:17

Maybe wishful thinking on my part as well, but Steve's amps tend to go higher per wattage.  There seems to be a hole in his lineup price and wattage wise between the Mini Torii @ $1795 and Torii @ $3499 (before options of course).  If they cost more than a Torii I won't be able to swing them so I'm keeping my finger crossed.  

These are probably the perfect fit for those who have efficient speakers (but not horn efficient), such as 93db and higher and use them for more than listening to music (I use mine for music and movies) and as an example my Taboo can do music to neighbor complaining volume levels but for movies it runs out of steam a little too early for my tastes (especially quiet dialog scenes for some reason), so these are already my dream amps and I haven't even heard them yet. ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 01/15/15 at 12:08:31

There's definitely a need for a teen-watt powered Triode SET amp, not only because of the evident amp lineup gap, but also because the speaker lineup is lacking choices on the 95-100 dB sensitivity range. A higher powered SET amp would take advantage of the otherwise excellent borderline high sensitivity speakers in Decware's offering.

The price must be consistent with this niche, of course, but I assume a scaling up (with different tubes and trannies, but same topology) of the Super Zen, may be quite affordable (i.e., just under USD 1,500).

Edit: Think of it, I underestimated the big jump from 2.3 watts and, say, 13 watts on the potential new SET. Therefore, trannies are going to be significantly larger than the original, probably pushing final price closer to USD 2,000.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/15/15 at 12:16:41

My guess is the cost will be about 2500 for a stereo amp or pair of monoblocks. We'll see! I can see a place for it in the lineup, but it's not tempting me.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Luis on 01/16/15 at 13:08:25

I´d love to see a ZMA version of the SE34!! A SET mystery amp or so... not so sure I could pay it though  :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/16/15 at 22:28:34

I reread the thread and I don't think you will see a SET like Rachael with these MIG tubes.  Steve said earlier that there is not way to measure the tubes without building a custom contraption so matching tubes would be difficult.  Thus the monos.

The box I saw on the bench was wider than the traditional Zen monos.  Not because of the capacitors and PTP wiring necessarily.  It has a massive toroidal transformer.

I am not sure that Steve gives too much weight to how it fits into his product line based on what I have heard him say and also heard from others.  He's going to build it and if its good enough he'll release it and price it to have a margin and let the product line chips fall where they may.

As long as we are guessing, I'm going with $3K per pair.  I hope for less, but think $3K will be practical (agreeing with Fireblades comment about transformer).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/17/15 at 00:27:00


There's been threads in several forums about making a tube tester for these tubes. If Steve got serious, I'm sure he's got the skill to build a tube tester/burner for the 6C33C.  It would cost as much, or more then building a big amp though.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/tubes-valves/185857-6c33c-b-tube-tester.html


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/17/15 at 00:31:45

Amplitrex has a tube tester that has a 6C33C adapter, but it's an expensive unit, and I'm unsure if it burns in and tests like Steve would need. I know he's super thorough with his tube testing.

http://www.amplitrex.com/adapters.html


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/19/15 at 00:58:04

I'm ordering the pair, the day they become available.

By no means, would I sell my:  CKC, SE84CS, CSP3 an ZMA. My children can sell them when I am deceased. If, they don't keep them for themselves.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 02/05/15 at 05:30:06

Hi everyone,

Just an update...  I've been balls deep in development of several new things... and the light at the end of this tunnel is getting very bright!

I'm working on the 6C33C mono's having prototyped the first working model and now building the mate to it.  No, let me rephrase that.  Having prototyped the first 16 working models and doing relentless A/B testing I have found a sound that's getting me off pretty hard with just one channel.  Within a week or so I'll be listening to a matched pair to see if this is likely to become a product or not.

Right now I'm listening to the Torii MK5.  I found it impossible to improve the MK4 any further so I had to do something extreme.  The result so far is so positive I'm not sure where it puts the ZMA or the new Mono's...  it's definitely not the same old Torii!  Out of everything this is what I'm probably the most excited about because it was long overdue and pretty much unexpected.  The test equipment and tools in my lab have gotten so good that I feel empowered.  Treat your lab well and it will return the favor.

Admittedly it is also exciting to know that with the new ZDSD player/ recorder, all who purchase one will hear what a Decware amplifier is suppose to sound like.  I know this because I'm getting forgetful and have developed a bad habit of leaving my personal SD cards in the machines when I ship them out ;)

Also, I have done a winter's worth of R&D on the Decware Sound Mats that you will see soon on the site. An affordable floor bounce mat that makes a big difference in midrange quality.  Even and especially on carpet.

We've also prototyped a monoblock that weights 47 lbs and uses a single  KT150 tube as an adversary via our in house amp wars with the 6C33C mono.

It's all really quite a lot better than drugs... this hobby is :)


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 02/05/15 at 09:14:19

Forum updates from Steve are like drugs.. . Give a little tease and you all know we will come back for more. I thought I might be reaching for a pair of monos, but then, a new Torii..hmm this might be a difficult choice. Im calling my employer right now asking for a pay raise, i need more money to pay for my nocturnal habits

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/05/15 at 11:13:44

I'm beginning to have an adverse reaction to them! I love what I have and can't afford to upgrade and the temptations can be unsettling. Really, as much as this forum seems to be about computer audio, high efficiency speakers and rock music more and more. . . I'm less and less its target reader as I'm less interested in these things than most. When time crunches (as it will soon for me) I may be here less, which will help with the unsettling feeling I get from all of Steve's new products.

It's great that Steve is learning and growing the product line and I'm sure the sounds are amazing! I'm just glad that I have the amazing level of sound I have and know that I have to stop the carousel and enjoy the music.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/05/15 at 14:30:42

I'm booking the Hampton Inn early, to be at Decfest this year.

Torii MK5
6C33C Mono's
47lb KT150 vs. 6C33C
Sound Mats


Thanks for posting Steve. Please, do leave one of your SD cards in my ZDSD player. :)  I so look forward to hooking it up direct to my ZMA via Transport/CD/Up-sampling/your Output Stage. Then, enlightening myself to its other capabilities in due time.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by DBC on 02/05/15 at 15:01:13

I had written a while back about my very positive experience using Arualex isolation platforms to decouple my subs & mains from the listening room floor. I'm not sure if the Decware Floor Mat Steve mentions is similar in concept or something different ???

In any event I thought this video was a very effective demonstration of the effect of speaker isolation / decoupling:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvOjMbrJwDY

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 02/05/15 at 16:19:57

I think that I'm with Lon on this.  Although Steve is both an audio and marketing genius, there is a fine line between making someone want more and making them feel dissatisfied with what they already have.  If new and better is too frequent then why get anything new when the next new will be better?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/05/15 at 16:26:40

I thought the mat was going to be more like a "magic rug for audiophiles." :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/05/15 at 16:29:04

I thought the mat was going to be more like a "magic rug for audiophiles." :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 02/05/15 at 16:31:57

Or a prayer rug to kneel on while we pray to our audio idols!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/05/15 at 16:48:58


Damnit Steve! And - Awesome!

I may have to swing by next week and see what's going on!  :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/05/15 at 17:04:37

Don't be bogarting on my #0001 LR!  heheee.........

Archie & Lon, guys, I could happily live with my System below to my end of days. However, it looks pretty certain the Torii MK5 is going to happen an will see if Steve puts the 6C33C Mono-blocks out or KT150 Mono's instead. Nothing in my below System will be departing....but, one of these three will be coming in!  Sweet! Part of my rotation with my ZMA, yaaa....don't ya know... .

First, my ZDSD my friends........ .  I'm flying the friendly sky's to a warmer clim' for some time'.....so I'll report back on the ZDSD at the end of February. I won't have it in here till after the 22nd.... .


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922 / E88CC for input tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Decware New SET Mono's pending, either 6C33C's or KT150's
Decware Torii MK5 pending too........ .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/05/15 at 17:34:34

I'm glad you can do that Larr. I can't afford to any longer, and I'm overjoyed with what I have now. Just like I don't like to rotate people in and out of my life, I don't like rotating amps in and out of a system, or speakers, I find what I like and sit back and enjoy. (Just like tonight I'm going to sit back and enjoy being with Lucy!)

Enjoy the warmer weather!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/05/15 at 19:59:15

Fortunately Lon, I have a few things to sell (not my Decware). Even though I might part with my CKC only. Other than the ZDSD and one of the three Amps Steve has pending....I'm out of the market for a long time. If I can't enjoy and be grateful for what I have...then shame on me.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/05/15 at 21:19:24


Yeah, I too don't have the money for any further upgrades. Unless Steve takes me up on sweeping floors or teaches me how to wire up his amps (I'm good with a soldering iron actually). I suppose I could sell another hobby to further fund this one, but I'm quite happy with the ZMA. The MK V would have to be one groundbreaking amp to lure me away.

Funny about the KT150 - I was talking with Dave L about helping me build an amp based on the KT150. I really wanted to try something like a Zen or Zen Mono with that tube.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 02/05/15 at 23:08:02

Don't forget guys like me who can't afford the latest and greatest, but I feed the chain by buying your used amps and giving you a down-payment on the new stuff.

I applaud new releases.  Can't wait for Decfest.  Loving my MK III right now, but when a used ZMA comes up in a year or so, I'm on it.

It's the way of the Decware eco-system.  It's great that there are ready buyers out there wanting to join.

The only problem I have is I bought a new-used MK III, but can't emotionally let go of my Rachael.  I think I need counseling.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by marky on 02/05/15 at 23:33:19

Dr. Marky here Pal.
   Introduce Rachael to the Mk 3. Both amps hooked up via a Decware switchbox.

Steve must be due a holiday in the sun somewhere. Up to his balls is right. Did he say 16 prototypes ?
Bounce mat lol, great name. I`m getting a pair.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Stefan on 02/06/15 at 05:47:29

Bummer, and I just got my new Torii IV...
It only got 20hrs on it yet, but I'm surprised how good the B&W 805 can actually sound! Will be interesting to hear the comparison to the ERRx I have on order.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 02/06/15 at 11:57:38

Exciting stuff! I still think an integrated SET with wattage in the teens would make waves in this community.  Same magic sound, more affordable and flexible device ... The Decware philosophy of yesterday?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 02/06/15 at 14:18:35

I actually have two Rachael's Marky.

I legitimately "need" one for a second system.  Its the other than starts to place me in the hording camp.

I do like the idea of a switchbox for comparo

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/06/15 at 14:37:40


And here all I have is an "old" ZMA.  :)

I'm looking forward to hearing your tweaked system Palo.

Which speakers are you using? The El Camino that I broke in for you? :)

I think it's also time you come over for a listen on the Blue Zu.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 02/06/15 at 17:35:21

I think you need to trade up to one of Steve's new wunder-amps  ;)

El Caminos will be tonight now that I am done fiddlin'

I do want to hear the Blue Zu.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 02/07/15 at 19:35:27


Quote:
there is a fine line between making someone want more and making them feel dissatisfied with what they already have.


I'd like to speak to this...  there is a VERY fine line between making someone want more and making them feel dissatisfied with what they already have. Any time there is a new product or update for an existing product I feel lots of stress knowing this is going to be the common interpretation.

Believe it or not, updates are never planned. They are accidental discoveries that happen as a result of continual probing and wonderment.  

It's important to understand I have never once updated one of our products because I wanted to make it sound better! If I thought it could sound better, I would have never released it in the first place.

Let me use the TORII as an example...

Original TORII (blue) was updated because the original design was flawed.  It required output transformers that were matched out past 100KHz to work properly (it took two on each side) and there is no way to measure an output transformer accurately that high in frequency.  On average I had to build and test three amps just to get one that I could sell.  It wasn't worth it.

Torii MKII (black with the back lit Decware logo) solved these problems by going to a conventional transformer design, and an enlarged chassis that made it possible to improve the layout and reduce heat.

Torii MK III(white) Another few hundred amps down the road and enough was learned to further improve the amp by simplifying the ground buss which dropped the noise floor, made building it a smoother experience and made it more UPS proof by increasing the impact G load to 70G's before part leads would bend or move.

Torii MK IV(black) Was motivated by the desire to change the whole line from white (that showed scratches) to black finishes that don't scratch. Any time you make a new chassis little things are bumped around to improve spacings and accommodate any mods or features you've been wishing for like increasing the impact tolerance to 90 G's.

Of course with each revision we tried to make the sound a little better, but really the correct term is "a little faster". This is largely determined by choice of coupling caps, and since good sounding DAC's have become more affordable each year, it made it possible to increase the speed of the amps in small increments. This is of course risky because the amp can become too revealing or put another way, less forgiving risking a loss of musicality.  Slightly slower is always safer.

Our original Zen amp was upgraded a year or so into the game (1999) because so many people who purchased one were putting faster caps in it and doing other mods that frankly ruined the signature of the amp...  Something that took me over 3 years to perfect.  So I decided if they want a modded zen amp, I'll offer a modded zen amp that is done correctly, and we did.  It was called the "Select".  Was it better than the original amp which we continued to sell, no.  It was faster.  To a guy with an expensive source and cables, it was better.  To a guy with a typical mid-fi CD player it was worse.

So you see, "making someone want more" has never been the motivation for any updates. And thinking that each new model sounds so much better than the previous that you have to get one would be in error.  My advise is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

The TORII has always been a very unique amplifier. It attempts to make a non-linear pentode linear without the two requirements needed to accomplish that - which are ultra-linear output transformers or negative feedback. The penalty with this is that current follows impedance and some speakers are less compatible than others. Granted it's only about 1 in 30 pair but having built a worse case scenario speaker for the TORII as a test device I am reminded every day that the amp could be better by being compatible with more speakers.

That really means that anyone owning a TORII who has speakers that the amp likes, will see little to no benefit from updating, and would be going from a well seasoned amplifier to a brand new one that has to be burned in again.  

The TORII MKIV was tweaked as far as it could be meaning that there was nothing left I could do to make it sound any better.  It's peaked out, as we like to say.

So what was the reason to come out with a MKIV?  

The TORII has always been a little tweaky. The adjustments it has are placed there to deal with the tweaky nature of the amp relative to the speakers you paired it with. The adjustments simply make the amp more compatible with a wider range of speakers.

Having owned the ZMA for a couple years, an amp with not one adjustment to change the sound, I have noticed that I've never wanted to adjust the sound! It just sounds right all the time. Reason for this is because the ZMA is far less picky about the speakers you pair with it.

Quite by accident, which is usually the case, I discovered a way to make the TORII less picky about speakers without changing the output design of the amplifier - which is what defines it as a TORII. It's one of those things that as a designer you've been wishing you could do since the amp's inception.

To see how well the MK IV fairs in this test I currently have no adjustments of any kind on the amp and am rolling tubes to see how it behaves with each. This is as far as I've gotten with it, so no point in starting a barrage of questions about it. Let me spend some time with it to make sure it's right. I don't want a TORII MK 6!

If anyone who has received a TORII MKIV recently feels anxiety about the MKV just drop me an email and we'll see what we can work out.

Steve




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 02/07/15 at 22:08:56

Steve,

Thanks for that clarification.  As always, I need to take a few deep breaths and gain some perspective.  For my system, at this point anyway, my room is the weak link.  I'm sure that I don't speak only for myself when I say that I am grateful that you continue to tweak and innovate!  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 02/08/15 at 00:54:14

Steve, you're the best! Keep up with your great work and correct attitude, we welcome both!

My Mini Torii keeps amazing me, and is the only component I'm sure will always be with me. That does not rule out a Torii MK'X' some day, as a more powerful alternating companion to the Mini in my setup.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 02/08/15 at 05:27:47

I am blown away by my MKIV. Part of this is that the whole system is tweaked and easily tweak able, but here the MKIV controls work great, so I don't need the amp to be more polite with speakers. And judging from the MKIII to MKIV improvements in my system, I bet you have a few other MKV tricks up the sleeve Steve!

;)

EDIt: But it was the MKIII that made me have to learn to manage excess bass in my system/room :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Greg12 on 02/08/15 at 06:48:47

Steve,  once the Mark V is finalized, do you see being able to upgrade a MKIII to a V?

Thanks,
Greg

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Kboe on 02/08/15 at 13:44:59

My SE84B is already the fastest amp I own. Ill be sending it in soon for upgrades and a checkover so I cant imagine a faster sound, should be interesting.  So many cool things going on here.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by hdrider on 02/08/15 at 16:17:47

I love reading Steve's posts about his making revised or upgraded product because it actually is better, not that it has a new faceplate on it. It has taken me almost 10 years since I got my first Zen SE84CS (still have it) to my new Rachael and ZP3. I got SO tired of the merry go round of components, the lusting after something better. I now have better. I have  ads posted for my speakers and other odd & ends to fund new Decware speakers and a new DAC but have spend the last four months just enjoying my Decware amp and phonostage. I like Decware progress but love opening my closet door in the morning, turning on Rachael and ZP3 and trying to find what I want to listen to. Keep up the hard work Steve and I keep up the happy listening. Best to all, Chris.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Acetone on 02/11/15 at 16:59:51

hrider,  I second that !

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/13/15 at 15:26:08

Hd, I hear that. It took me 11.5 years to buy another Decware Amp. I too, was so happy with my SE84CS. I still am happy with it. The last 3 years I've expanded with more Decware. However, the spicket needs to be shut off soon and continue the enjoyment (only).

...after the ZDSD, I should have next week and maybe a KT150 design from Steve.....if he releases it.  

If not, I might pick up a Dennis Had (retired/Inspire) KT150. However, it looks a little weak....so maybe not.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 02/13/15 at 20:54:31


Quote:
Steve,  once the Mark V is finalized, do you see being able to upgrade a MKIII to a V?

Thanks,
Greg


Yes any MKIII or MKIV will be able to be updated to a MKV when it comes out.

Thanks,

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/13/15 at 22:50:37


Paging Palomino! Come in Palomino!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 02/13/15 at 23:01:35

I am here enabler extraordinare.  

I am enjoying my MKIII for the moment.  I find it to be an extraordinary amp even though I'm a generation or two behind.

The only thought entering my mind is replacing the VCAPS with beeswax.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 02/14/15 at 01:27:08

This makes a hard choice ... the new SET monos with all it's SET qualities, but which only a handful of speakers are efficient enough for them or the new Torii which is closing the performance gap between it and the ZMA and which opens up a more broader speaker selection and also gives some over head power wise.

Considering that the Torii only lost out for the Tone Audio Amp Of The Year to its big brother the ZMA makes the choice even harder if the new Torii has really kicked it up a couple notches or more.

Either way it's good to have choices and be a part of a great audio company such as Decware!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 02/14/15 at 01:48:43

Speaking as one who owns both a Torii MK IV and a 2008 pair of Modified 2.3 WPC Zen Signature Monoblocks,  Go for the Torii, if you can only have one.  Like you said, with the Torii you can choose from probably a hundred speakers and with the 2 WPC SET there probably aren't more than ten companies that make compatible speakers...probably more like a half dozen.  But why choose...get both!  But if the new SET monos have 15 WPC or so...the decision becomes tougher, doesn't it.  Mark.

If I were ordering a Torii again, I'd get dual gain/volume controls.  Of course if you know you'll use a preamp, these would not be necessary.  I find being able to adjust each channel differently a value on some recordings in my room.  So I have to use a CSP3...not that this is a hardship.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by maddog07 on 02/14/15 at 05:44:41

10 roger on the being able to adjust right/left levels.  I too use a preamp just for that reason... and also, just as important, so I can control the volume with a wireless remote and not by getting up & down out of my chair every 3-4 minutes when the music selection changes and the volume needs to be adjusted to get it "just right".
I went thru about an 18 month process of trying to find a preamp that I liked sonically and had the features I demanded.  Well... I never exactly found one - exactly!  So now I have three preamps.  Two SS and one all tube unit.  The interesting thing I learned during this journey, was the discovery that, by swapping tubes around in my Torii, based on which preamp I was using, I could basically arrive at the same sonic destination.  So.. I need to settle on one preamp and sell the other two.  Problem is, I have trouble parting with equipment "I like", regardless of whether or not I'm actually using it, nor if I need it!  Audiophile nervosa is terminal!  Lord help me.....

I believe I have read the Steve is working on a new preamp.  Please, please, please Steve... build it with remote control of the volume.  I don't need any other functions available on the remote, but I demand remote control of the volume.  If you want to sell a boat-load of Decware preamps - make remote volume at least an option...  I'll be the first one to "pre-order" your new preamp if it has remote volume control.

fellow Decwarians...lets stand together - perhaps we should start a thread for the new preamp and see if we can get Steve to accept our input.  What do you say?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 02/14/15 at 09:32:49


maddog07 wrote on 02/14/15 at 05:44:41:
I believe I have read the Steve is working on a new preamp.  Please, please, please Steve... build it with remote control of the volume.  I don't need any other functions available on the remote, but I demand remote control of the volume.  If you want to sell a boat-load of Decware preamps - make remote volume at least an option...  I'll be the first one to "pre-order" your new preamp if it has remote volume control.

fellow Decwarians...lets stand together - perhaps we should start a thread for the new preamp and see if we can get Steve to accept our input.  What do you say?


I'm with ya ... I have been waiting for a more flexible preamp than the CSPs to come out and remote volume is most important but source switching would be cool as well.  I would also like to see a real balanced option since Steve has been offering it on his amps, with at least 4 sources and an entry level phono stage option as well while I'm wishing. ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 02/14/15 at 12:52:12

I can see a balanced option but adding a remote and combining  a phono stage and preamp in the same box, seems like it would be counter to the whole Zen Culture where simple is better, that Steve espouses.  Mark.

PS...But I do love my remote for the Jolida 100 CD Player  ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by darrwood on 02/15/15 at 06:26:14

Beowoulf I used to be with you on the more affordable phono pre. but after springing for my ZP3 I cant imagine using another one along with my music hall 7.1 its amazing I am spoiled in 3D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 02/16/15 at 03:12:45

@ darrwood, yes I understand that the option of a phono stage would not compete with something of the ZP3's performance.  I see that option as a selling point for those who need a preamp and don't have the budget for both a preamp and separate phono stage of the ZP3's caliber.  They could always add a ZP3 at a later date, but an internal option would get them covered until their budget replenishes.

When I chose a preamp I wanted 3 main things (other than of course to be as transparent as possible)  ... (1) enough inputs for at least 4 components, (2) a phono stage that could get me by and (3) remote for volume and input switching.  The preamp I currently have excels in all these areas and I'm lucky enough that the phono stage is excellent and on par with some external phono stages that I've heard.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by darrwood on 02/16/15 at 03:53:25

Beowulf I use a Dynaco sca35 which has a phono pre amp integrated. I used the pre amp for a number of years until I was able to upgrade to the ZP3. I am still using the Dynaco as my amp, its been worked on a few times to upgrade and keep it going. I would love to move up to a Rachael or something but you know about budgets.  I am so blessed to be where I am with My favorite toy. I would love to spend less to replace my Dynaco, looks like I will likely use it as long as it functions.  I agree that an integrated preamp unit as you describe would be Great.

Title: TORII MK5
Post by Steve Deckert on 02/19/15 at 03:51:08

I wrote a paper on the differences between the MK4 and the new MK5 which will carry us over until a new MK5 owner's manual is written and the web page is updated.  

http://www.decware.com/newsite/MK5GUIDE.pdf

Steve

Note this paper was modified 30 days later so reading it will be like jumping ahead in this thread 30 days.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 02/19/15 at 04:19:58

In the Triode\Pentode section you mention KT88 tubes - is that a typo?

It's a very interesting read - I'm looking forward to hearing this soon!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/19/15 at 21:09:08

Ah, did I mention I wanted KT150 or 6C33C? Ah, scratch that. The Torii 5, ZMA, CSP3 an SE84CS will do. My CKC is a wonderful Amp. However, I prefer my SE84CS over the Hazen Grid mod, etc.... .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 02/19/15 at 23:09:25

With the new Torii being Triode or Pentode capable, I'm wondering if there is actually a need for another SET amp in higher wattages? (unless Steve still wants to create an amp using that MiG tube)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/19/15 at 23:15:13

My sentiments exactly.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/23/15 at 05:29:43

As soon as Steve is ready to start, I'm sending in my V-capped/Jupiter capped Mark III/IV, to be converted to the Mark V.  

I'm up for it.  

I've had a I, II, and the III and IV, may as well keep climbing  up the evolutionary ladder.

Wonderin' though, how he's going to fit the 5U4G Rectifiers in the area formerly occupied by the OA3's?  Unless he redrills the two  holes for the OA3 tube sockets,   it looks to be a very tight fit for big bottle type Rectifiers.

Any thoughts on that?

Mike in Seattle area


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lLance on 02/23/15 at 14:04:17

Has Steve mentioned yet the price to convert an MK3 to an MK5?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/23/15 at 16:39:19

No mention of a price yet...

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/27/15 at 14:08:18

Look forward to seeing it tgarden. It does look tight for the 5U4's... . I like the new design.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/27/15 at 17:17:20

I just tried one of my 1940's Tung Sol top getter 5U4G's, in the OA3 position, and it fit just fine, about 1/4" away from the transformer.

So, no issue with that part of the conversion

Also, I talked with Steve this morning, and sometime in the near future, I am sending my Mark III/IV conversion to Decware, to be the customer test subject for the Mark V conversion.

The price? Who knows at this point. Whatever it is, I'll pay it anyway. Steve is always fair.  

It would ne nice to have a brand new Mark V,  but I've got over 5000 hours on my original V-Capped Mark  III;  and maybe 2000 hours on the Jupiter-capped Mark IV conversion that was done to it.  I love the effect of the V-Caps and the Jupiters working together, so this amp is a keeper.

I'm getting pretty excited about this Mark V conversion.

As soon as I hear anything from Steve, I'll update here.

Mike in Seattle area


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 02/27/15 at 17:35:19

For sure keep us posted tgarden! Good news on the 5U4G's. Figures Steve had that covered for a fit. Upgrading your burned in IV is the way to do it for sure.  Cool.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/27/15 at 18:30:39

Hi stone_of_tone,  Yeah, For anyone who has a burned in III or IV,  upgrading seems like the way to go.

I'll keep everyone posted. I'm curious to hear how much of an upgrade the V really is.  Now they'll be another pair of tubes to roll, which can  add new flavors to the Torii amp's sonic signature

Mike in Seattle area

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/27/15 at 19:11:04

I had missed Steve's paper on the V before, just read it today.

Intriguing changes and I'd send one of my IIIs in for upgrading for use in one osf my of my systems except. . .the loss of treble and bass controls. There is not one Decware amp used in any of the six rooms I've used Decware amps since '97 that I haven't needed or wanted treble adjustment, and the one amp with the bass controls i love the most for that flexibility. Yes, one can adjust the tone in some ways by tube rolling, but from my experience this is not at all sufficient for my needs. These controls were the biggest innovation of the Decware line for me and are excellent listening tools.

I may have different hearing than others, but I need those controls and wouldn't wan tto have to buy another component and cabling to add them into the mix.

With these controls, and the flexibility of the Decware speakers in my system, my IIIs let me listen to all my many recordings comfortably, which is my goal. So I can see how this would benefit others who hear differently, but. . . they can have my place in the queue. :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 02/27/15 at 19:45:56

Lon, just curious, do you experience treble sensitivity with live music?  I guess non-amplified to take the amps out of that mix.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/27/15 at 19:55:26

For me it's different.  Once I had my treble control dialed in to where it sounded fine (on my MK III/IV conversion), I never touched it.

Well, actually I did revisit it, but always kept going back to the same setting.

Could it be since I only listen to analog, mainly jazz  & classical recordings?

I don't know.  I've only got about ninety hours on my new Rega RP10 with Clearaudio Maestro V2 ebony cartridge;  but 98% of what I've listened to, sounds very good to fabulous. Most of my Rock/Pop records even sound very good.   And some of the pop stuff that's not exactly a sonic blockbuster? I can always play it on my old Rega P25, that's now in a bedroom system.

I'm willing to live without the treble controls for whatever benefits the MK V conversion is supposed to offer.  Time will tell.

Mike in Seattle area

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 02/27/15 at 19:57:47

Lon,  I read Steve's paper when it came out and it sounds exciting and I would definitely buy one if I didn't already have the MK IV but I wouldn't want to go through another break in and all the adjustments...tube rolling etc again when I'm so close to having my main system dialed in.  It'd be starting over for me and as you've heard me say before..."The Enemy of Good is Better" or another good saying..."A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush".  I'm with you Lon, I'll read with interest about the Torii MK V but won't be getting the mod.

And on another note...Ron at cyoset not having the Tubes I ordered might be a blessing in disguise....might save me from many painful hours of break in with the new tubes.  This weekend I'll think about what to do.

Lon,  how long did the new issue 6L6 tubes you bought take to break in?  Mark.

PS...here's a question for Steve D.  or anyone else who knows.  Would I harm the Torii if I put 4 poorly matched power tubes in it.  The Russian tubes I wanted in unmatched condition are what I'm thinking of just to get an idea of what they're like.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/27/15 at 20:04:22

Mike, I don't fiddle with my controls much at all, but almost always the treble is turned down 3/4 and the bass up 1/2 to 3/4 or so, and this with high resistors in the speakers. Something may be different with my hearing. I've had it tested three times in the last seven years and I hear high into the range, by some miracle I haven't lost much high frequency range. But I don't like a lot of what comes through even on these the best amps I've ever heard at home. My doctor says there is a form of tinnitus where high frequency sounds are unpleasant and start ringing. I don't the ringing though, just the big brightness so he's not sure I have it.

It is better were I to listen to only analog but I can't, won't. I just know from past experiences with Decware amps (and sources) without controls that I need them. Too bad because the innovations in the V are certainly intriguing. Ah well, I'm happy with my IIIs!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/27/15 at 20:07:28

Mark, I don't remember specifically but probably about 100 hours for all the frequencies to stabilize.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/27/15 at 20:47:28

Lon,  About twenty-five years ago, I had tinnitus, and it took several years to go away.  It was no walk in the park, believe me; it was 24/7.

Now, once in a great while, everything sounds bright and ringy. When that happens, I don't listen to music, except as background.

I meditate almost daily and my treble sensitivity seems fine.

My treble control is turned to the 1/2 (neutral?) position

Mike

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/27/15 at 21:14:23

Well, I hope the lack of the control on the V works well for you. It would give me pause if mine were set and half. But we're all different.

I'm happy to get off the upgrade wagon for a while! My turn table will be next, at one point I'm going to add the Groovetracer Reference subplatter.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by maddog07 on 02/27/15 at 23:10:53

as someone pointed out earlier, Steve's link to a document on the mk.V... mentioned KT-88 output tubes as possible variants to use in the mk.V.  Did anybody ever find out from Steve if that was a typo or if the V really will be able to use KT-88's?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 02/28/15 at 00:02:48

Lon,  I'm sure you'll like the Groovetracer Reference subplatter upgrade.
I did that to my Rega 25 a few years back, and it made a big difference.
It's an easy install, and it's nice to have a brand new high tolerance bearing.

Mike

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/28/15 at 00:07:41

I'm sure I will. Will get around to that soon, have a lot on my plate right now, getting ready to move, finding another place for my Dad, etc. And very little listening time!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by TubeNube on 02/28/15 at 03:55:49

Hey Lon, and others with treble sensitivity,

Have any of you looked at speakers with active (or semi-active) crossovers? I have some VMPS speakers with l-pots on the treble and mids. Normally I haven't needed to move them much, but I bought a set of Transparent Audio speaker cables recently, and they seem to accentuate the bass by quite a bit. I found myself needing to turn the treble and the mids both up to compensate. (I had them turned down when I was using Steve's silver cables, as they were a little hot). VMPS isn't around any more, as Brian Cheney died a couple of years ago, but you can still find used 626s, RM30s, RM40s around. Killer midrange, I have to say. There may be other speakers with similar setups that I don't know about. It would allow you to use amps w/o treble/bass cuts. Anyway, just a thought.

Randy

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 02/28/15 at 10:55:49

I'm using Decware speakers (and can't see myself moving away from these quality speakers) that have treble adjustment via resistors and also amazing midrange and bass performance. .. so I think I'm covered as far as that goes. And I STILL need the treble cut circuit in the amps, won't be able to do without them.

It's not really a problem because my Torii Mk IIIs have the flexibility i need. I'm just not able to go beyond these in the world of Decware amps should I need to as the next models don't feature the same or any controls. And that's cool now.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by TubeNube on 03/02/15 at 04:22:23

Hey Lon, I thought that that would be your response - you seem to have your system so dialed in, now. I'm still experimenting a little bit, but I'm coming up to a time where I will have to make some hard choices, as I simply have too much audio gear. Gotta start the "thinning out" process. Hard to do, though.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 03/02/15 at 10:55:52

It sure is hard to do. I have four systems, and some stuff in the closet. When I move this summer I'll no longer need one system at all, but I bet I just find a bigger closet. ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/15/15 at 00:05:09

UPDATE!

There will be no TORII MK V as scheduled.  To find out why you can read the now updated Design Notes as I've taken what was there and labeled it Part 1, and added an entire Part 2 explaining what happened and why the amp was shelved.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/MK5GUIDE.pdf

-Steve [smiley=tunes57.gif]

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tgarden on 03/15/15 at 00:45:03

Steve,  At least you attempted to improve the Mark IV.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'm glad you tried.

Too bad about that 19K spent on R & D, though.

Mike in Seattle area

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 03/15/15 at 01:28:40

It would have been nice to see a Decware offering that used the 6SN7 tube.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 03/15/15 at 02:56:21

Sorry Steve...but I am guessing a lot of what is useful from this exploration will one day show up in another outrageous amp for our listening pleasure!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JD on 03/15/15 at 12:36:06

Steve,

It is really refreshing to hear someone who is so talented, dedicated and experienced admit when something doesn't work out.  One of the reasons I spend my hard earned money on Decware.  I'm sure this experience will pay dividends in the long run.

JD

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 03/15/15 at 17:39:37

Thanks Steve for sharing the details of this. It makes me appreciate all the work you do. Are you still continuing the Amp wars of the KT150 Mono's against 6C33C Mono's with maybe, 6SN7's?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Stefan on 03/16/15 at 05:26:11

Thanks Steve for letting us take part in your journey of finding an improved Torii and for being willing to not just ship a product until it is perfect in all regards, not just sounding better. Since I'm using my Torii in a small room in CA I'm really grateful that the current version does not get that hot.
I hope that someday you'll find a way to bring triode mode to the Torii without any sacrifices in other areas.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 03/16/15 at 13:08:03

Steve, there's no merit in making something the easy way. Pushing the limits of the field makes you a pioneer, not without drawbacks, of course, but someone who leaves a legacy behind. You have proven this yourself several times already, so this is just another step in that perpetual up-stair climbing journey to perfection.

BTW, what about a Torii with watts in the teens, whether PP or Triode/Pentode configuration? A scaled down version of the excellent Torii MKIV would fill a nice niche in Decware's product range, for price and convenience (i.e., smaller listening rooms). The excellent Mini Torii and Rachael are just a bit too short on power for many applications and the available range of speaker sensitivities on offer at reasonable prices.

Thanks for your great contributions, Steve.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Luis on 03/16/15 at 16:55:07

I think this kind of thing is what makes Decware so great. Thanks Steve! Luis

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/16/15 at 17:31:28

I appreciate all the kind words and support...  the audio Gods work in mysterious ways, but after twenty years I've learned that extraordinary dues must be paid to achieve anything exceptional so now I wait to see what that might be. Meanwhile I will go back to my 6C33 mono's and see if there is any promise there, as well as work on my new preamp that I am the most excited about.  Hope to have it ready by October.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 04/20/15 at 00:54:05

Hi guys
Anyone familiar with any development with the new monoblock SET amplifiers? I know Steve will announce big news in the forums, but some of you guys seems to have some inside information.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 04/20/15 at 08:35:06


jorgen wrote on 04/20/15 at 00:54:05:
Hi guys
Anyone familiar with any development with the new monoblock SET amplifiers? I know Steve will announce big news in the forums, but some of you guys seems to have some inside information.


Steve made a mention of the new mono SETs in the UFO mod thread page 4 and there was also a picture of the prototypes posted by Lonely Raven.



Other than that, I haven't seen anything else.  I think Steve is particularly interested and focusing on getting the UFO mods and Preamp out first.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 04/20/15 at 21:02:48

Beowolf
Hi and thanks, not sure how I missed that post, but seems like great news. Looks exciting. Might be a noob question, but a pair of monoblocks will require a preamp?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 04/20/15 at 21:47:25

Unless they will have RCA or Balanced line level inputs than yes.  A perfect match for the up and coming preamp Steve is working on. 8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/03/15 at 01:47:49

Well after a weekend long session with these I have made great progress.  The power supply was too large (670mA, 2000uf) and the bias supply was too crude.  After getting the power supply bypassed properly everything locked into place.  I've been listening to these daily now for over a week and once a few more NOS EF86 show up I'll be doing some more serious comparisons.  Right now they're like listening to giant zen amps... go figure.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by ProggRob on 05/03/15 at 06:50:24

Thanks Steve for the update.  I've had a couple of nice days listening to my Zen as well, making it harder to consider any topology other than Single Ended Triode.  Power is nice, but transparency and accuracy is better (for me).  I'll have my eye on these with 4x Zen power, however, the requisite preamp will need to survive the bypass test.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/03/15 at 15:38:58

Cool, thanks Steve for the update on these!  

NOS EF86, researching those right now.....cool.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 05/04/15 at 19:18:38

I'm torn between a Super Zen with the UFO Mod and Beeswax Caps and the higher powered Torii (or eventually the Ultralinear if the transparency specs hold). I really thing power is more than enough with my current Mini Torii, and I also prefer transparency, speed and high resolution over mere power.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by DBC on 05/04/15 at 21:01:51


Quote:
Fireblade wrote:

I also prefer transparency, speed and high resolution over mere power.


I had a Zen Select and went to Decfest a few years ago convinced I needed a Rachael (6 watts/channel). Came back and ordered the Super Zen and have never looked back. Listened to the Rachael & Super Zen on the Decware HDT's. To my ear the Super Zen played just as loud as the Rachael but the Rachael did not seem have quite the same Transparency & Resolution.

IMO the Super Zen is the Transparency/Speed/Resolution Champ compared to the other Decware amps which are all fine amps. The Super Zen with Omega 6 Monitors are a great combo. If you like Rock then add the Very Musical DeepOmega 8 or 12 for bottom end attack.

There are quite a few good speakers available today at reasonable prices that can Rock with 2 watts. My guess is that the Super Zen often gets passed over because it's only two watts.

My Super Zen / Omega Monitor / Sub combo Rock just as hard as my 220 watt Peachtree. The Peachtree can play Louder but quite frankly the Super Zen plays right on the edge of Too Loud.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 05/04/15 at 22:00:49

Great, DBC, thanks for the feedback.

I have Tekton Lore 2.0's @ 98 dB and 8 Ohm. The Impedance spec is my only concern with the Super Zen: The ideal for the Zen would be 4 Ohms (contrary to the Mini Torii, which prefers 8 Ohms). So, I'm not sure if the combination would work volume wise as it does with my Mini Torii. But, given your experience with the Super Zen, I'm guessing I'll have the same results.

The added advantage now is the new Zen will bring UFO Mods and Beeswax Caps, which improve on the already great little guy. This and a new Super Dupper balanced DAC plus the ZBIT may even improve things further ...

Now, what would happen if I were to beef up my Mini Torii with said mods? mmmmhh!!




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by DBC on 05/04/15 at 23:41:13

Fireblade,

You realize you have the option to specify 4 or 8 ohm output transformers when you order the Super Zen?

I've seen comments where supposedly the 4 ohm output transformers sound better than the 8 ohm on the Super Zen. I used my Zen Select (4 ohm transformers) to drive a pair of Klipsch RF-7's (102db, 8 ohm). I purchased the Super Zen with the 8 ohm transformers and right out of the box it sounded better and played louder than the Select on these speakers. Based on this I would think the Super Zen with 8 ohm transformers would do very well with your Lore's.

I'm currently driving my Omega 6 Monitors (93db, 8 ohm) with the Super Zen and it is really amazing how loud the combo plays. On most CD's it is capable of playing louder than you would need or want. I listen to a lot of Classic Rock.

The only weakness of the Super Zen is that it's 2 watts can leave you wanting for a bit more Bass Slam on some recordings (Classic Rock for example). This can be fully rectified by adding a very musical sub like the DeepOmega 8 or 12 from Omega. The beauty of this sub is that it can play cleanly up to about 150hz to provide substantial Mid Bass reinforcement.

I use the Hsu Mid Bass Module which is basically a poor mans DeepOmega 12. Unfortunately Hsu has discontinued production of the Mid Bass Module. I hope to upgrade to the DeepOmega 12 at some point in the future.




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/05/15 at 03:19:25

Steve, you mentioned they sound like giant Zens. What kind of output range are you ranging for on the new Mono's?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 05/05/15 at 12:28:48

I was not aware of that transformer option, DBC. Thanks for the heads up!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/05/15 at 15:34:11

Steve, I am definitely interested in purchasing these Mono's. Actually, before the new Pre. However, the new Pre probably won't follow far behind (Remote Volume).

I have my CSP3 so dialed in with my ZMA-I don't want to change anything other than the 6C33C TRIODE Tube Mono's coming in, with your Topology an Voicing! The ZMA is a masterpiece, it will be going nowhere.
Having the choice of ZDSD to CSP3, or ZDSD direct to ZMA, 6C33C Mono's or SE84CS-will be as good as it can get.

Keep the info coming. I will gladly purchase a pair when you feel they are ready.

Steve, you mentioned they sound like giant Zens. What kind of output range are you ranging for on the new Mono's? Just like the CS at 2 watts/ch......the new Mono's can sound giant @ 15, 18 or 20/ch with the 6C33C. I believe it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/14/15 at 18:44:49

Steve, any luck with the additional NOS EF86 you were getting in?





Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8.....in A12 an B12 Input Tube positions)
Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable

***Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) ...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Pending: Decware SE TRIODE 6C33C Mono-blocks




***Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-on Tweets/4.5 cross
(Gutted: 3rd order Linkwitz/Riley's....with all crappy parts = gone).

[Mr. Lee's custom - w/less distortion under-hung neodymium shielded woofer's designed to his specifications in Germany & his in-house designed and made tweeter's.....Floor Spiked/78lb's each and at 48 inches tall.....can cause a Quake in the Room through these Transmission Lines when desired. Bass: deep - tight & musical at any Volume level with tonal balance].

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/15/15 at 17:42:03

UFO Transformers in the new Mono's too?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 05/15/15 at 20:15:14

I think the UFO transformers are the standard going forward. So, yes.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/16/15 at 16:41:07

Makes sense, from what I read too. After he exhausts the inventory of the Tranny's.....the UFO will be standard implement.

I just sold my 3035's.....puts me just under 5k in the kitty.

Bring on the SE Triode 6C33C Mono-blocks!

Toys.....got to have toys!  I just wish they were not so damn expensive.  ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 05/16/15 at 23:35:02


Quote:
Stone said,
Toys.....got to have toys!  I just wish they were not so damn expensive.


Tell me about it!  A pair os sets capable of putting out watts into the teens are my dream amps ... I just hope that they aren't going to be so expensive as to keep me out of the market for them. :-/

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 05/17/15 at 00:17:45

I guess I'm living the dream. I can't believe how great everything sounds these days. Figures I'll have to dismantle the whole system in two months!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 05/17/15 at 01:00:13

@ Lon - you've been at this for a long time, quite the pioneer for sure.  I bet your system sounds absolutely amazing and really dialed in!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 05/17/15 at 01:09:52

I don't know about that. . . I do know that its sound reflects how I want my playback to sound. . . but I do realize over time reading this forum and Hoffman board. . . how I want things to sound is not necessarily how others do!

But yeah, I've been tinkering with this for a few decades and I've depleted both my resources and my patience for more radical change. I'm trying to just sit pretty and listen. If I get a windfall, I'll order Steve's Zen Monos and his new preamp and be done, again. If he can squeeze a treble cut circuit in there somewhere ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/17/15 at 15:16:36

Well, obviously I'm living the Dream. Look at my System in reply #203.
I am quite proud of it (as stated). 35 years in the making, since I started caring about how good music playback/involvement should be at age 16.

However, I so enjoy Steve's Amps....I still have my SE84CS with NOS Svetlana SV83's (purchased May/2001, #76 in Signature below). I owned and sold the Torii III & Super Zen CKC.

All six Decware Products purchased new. Two sold as stated. Three pending new purchase, starting with the new Mono's.....then the new Pre & ERRx.

I have been to Decfest in 2005 & 2008. If I could go every year.....I would be there every time!

My Modified Acoustic Zen Adagio's are so good....I canceled my ERRx order. I wanted them too, but a concussion and a Appendectomy out of pocket/portion expenses, set me back. However, I'm back on track with things I've sold to get the new Mono's.

I also have to add, I have my Jones on for the new Magnepan .7. Having them in my Room on the 4 ohm taps an switching to the 8 as well. Steve's a Maggie fan too. I think it is time I own a pair again as well.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/03/15 at 16:24:20

~Bump~

Having the choice of ZDSD to CSP3, or ZDSD direct to ZMA, 6C33C Mono's or SE84CS-will be as good as it can get (for me).

(+ my Yggdrasil coming in).

Realizing Steve, you're very busy with the UFO Mod's and Torii Junior release.....I wanted to express my continued interest and I'm sure others interest, in the Decware 6C33C Mono-blocks.





Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/03/15 at 20:37:04


I hate to say it, but those monoblocks are at the top of my list as well...even if I'm sweeping floors for Steve to pay for them.  :)

If he can pull of the Zen amp transparency, but with power in the teens.

SOLD!!


I need to invite myself over to his place and see how things are going.  :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/03/15 at 21:32:11

I asked Steve about the new Ultralinear: He said he's voicing it yet and there may be specs and prices in 30 days. I still think the Monos are going to be way pricey ... The ultralinear, if really resolving, may be the ticket for more affordable higher power, although I still have concerns about its transparency relative to the Torii, Rachael and even ZMA.

LR, I think you need to ask Steve over a couple beers for a ballpark date on those mono's and a hint at the ballpark price, too. It may be worth the wait in my case ... or not!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/03/15 at 21:57:03


Unless he scraps it like the Torii V project, I think it will be worth the wait (and cost).  Everything about the design sounds awesome.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 06/03/15 at 22:59:57

Hi all

Just wanted to add support to fireblades' suggestion. Read someplace he was enjoying his organic beer, a couple of those, and find out if this monos will be an option for us waiting. I am contemplating if I should go for a Zen select or wait to know if the monos will be an alternative

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/04/15 at 12:44:00

I'm worried too, that the 6C33C's could get scraped, like the Torii V did.
Hoping they don't and the price of admission.....certainly wondering about as well?

6C33C Mono's, interest me like no other. I have what I need from my ZMA. I could walk away and never look back with this incredible Amp.
I have what I need from my SE84CS with NOS Svetlana SV83's.

Steve, giving me SE Triode with a Triode?!  .......should be heaven. Given his track record of SE Pentodes run in Triode.......I'm in.




Yggy coming!  (Schiit Yggdrasil)


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8.....in A12 an B12 Input Tube positions)
Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable

***Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) ...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!




***Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-on Tweets/4.5 cross
(Gutted: 3rd order Linkwitz/Riley's....with all crappy parts = gone).

[Mr. Lee's custom - w/less distortion under-hung neodymium shielded woofer's designed to his specifications in Germany & his in-house designed and made tweeter's.....Floor Spiked/78lb's each and at 48 inches tall.....can cause a Quake in the Room through these Transmission Lines when desired. Bass: deep - tight & musical at any Volume level with tonal balance].

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/04/15 at 12:50:50

LR,

Well, it looks like you have been sent on an official forum mission, so don't forget to pick up those special brews from Wisconsin  ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/04/15 at 13:36:05

Yeah, jorgen?! I should drive down to Peoria (only 7.5 hours from me), and bring some of my favorite to Steve!

http://www.summitbrewing.com/brews/hopvale-organic-ale

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/04/15 at 13:59:49

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk2Ot2YiLKc

Always fun to dig up whats out there........ .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 06/05/15 at 07:39:49

Well wasn't aware of the distance, but one for the team?? :-?

And you are way closer to Peoria than I am.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/05/15 at 12:47:25

Jorgen,

I know you have a Mini Torii version 2. Could you give us some feedback on the 'Feedback adjustment' feature? Would you say it is worth having this mod performed on version 1 due to its sound benefits? Or do you think the benefits are really not improved sound quality but tone adjustment?

Thanks for any thoughts.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 06/06/15 at 10:35:39

Hi
I find this feature useful, and I would prefer to have that opportunity when I get my next amp, if possible. It have to be said though that I use streaming as source, that might increase the need to be able to adjust. I will get my TT soon, and maybe that changes things a little. I find Quality to be difficult to measure, but I like the variation offered by this feature, depending on recording, I can adjust presence of some qualities in each recording, depending on what I like, or what fits me ears.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/06/15 at 17:19:31

Jorgen,

I'll consider this decision some more, although I'm somewhat of a Purist when it comes to sound signal manipulation, meaning I prefer to open up the tone through the right tube complement choice rather than accepting the sound tradeoffs involved in reducing feedback from the original voicing. I may of course be wrong, and maybe I can get advantages out of this mod. I also stream my music from a Laptop via an external DAC.

Thanks so much for your valid points.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 06/06/15 at 19:23:04

I can understand your motivation for keeping the signal as pure as possible. That's why I am curious what a turntable will offer. With a ZP3 there will be a whole lot less bits and pieces from source to driver.

I don't know if the feedback circuit will be in the signal path when not in use.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/06/15 at 22:09:43

With a TT you bypass all digital processing, so any distortions would be stemming only from the analog realm. The hard part is the hardware has to be really good to get good sound, which makes it much more expensive than digital, IMHO.

The feedback is fixed by the designer's voicing decision. The feedback adjustment overrides this decision and reduces it from about 6% (fixed by design in the Mini Torii) to anywhere between that and 0% feedback. The fixed design feedback is determined through voicing to obtain the best sound compromise, as the feedback trades off dynamics vs THD.

Consequently, I'm conceptually not inclined to any overriding of the optimal (fixed) feedback value, regardless of the enhancements in some of the sound characteristics, since it is actually creating higher levels of distortion.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/07/15 at 20:34:45

I have an update regarding the 6C33C amplifiers.  

After listening to 14 different front end circuits, 9 different bias supply circuits, 2 different power supplies, a dozen different 6C33, EF86 tube combinations and literally melting a 150mA choke I have found what I was looking for...

To go into production the amp requires a sound that not only equals the fidelity of my other amps, but brings something unique to the sound that only it can offer.  It's a tall order, but I'm pleased to report that it's looking like it's going to happen.

Now I just continue listening to the final prototypes and see if the urge to change anything rears it's ugly head.  If not, and during the process of listening I'll start dreaming of the chassis design until I'm ready to draw it.



The amp uses a 650mA power supply per channel with separate heater supply and bias supply.  It consists of an EF86 wired in triode driving a triode wired SV83 (6P15P-EB) which drives the 6C33C finishing into a 600 ohm SE output transformer.  12WRMS into 8 ohm resistor, 22WRMS into 7 ohm speaker.

In the end, after everything was dialed in as perfect as was possible, it was still only equal in fidelity to our other amplifiers - the ZMA  and the UFO Zen Amp being the two reference points - However when you wire the 6C33C with only one of the two heaters and create a conjoined plate that runs both hot and cool on each respective side.  The result is high electron emission on the hot side which fades or graduates to low emission on the cool side.  The effect on the sound is fundamental and non-duplicatable with other tubes.  The price for this technique was 3WRMS into 8 ohm resistor - a cheep ticket to the moon.

So, there you have it.  Price will be largely determined by chassis design, but I'm seeing the pair come in around the ZMA price point or higher.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/08/15 at 12:35:47

Excellent work as usual, Steve, congrats! Unfortunately, it will not be for me, given its high but I'm sure very fair price. I'll be on the fence for the Ultralinear, as this remains my only other choice before deciding to beef up my Mini Torii. Thanks!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/08/15 at 15:54:08

Thanks Steve. I'm going to spend the rest of 2015 with my ZDSD and PCM Recordings. Plus, the Schiit Yggy......thru CSP3 & ZMA.

6C33C Mono's are definitely on my radar, 16 months from now, in Fall of 2016. Happy designing to you indeed!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/08/15 at 17:03:13


On my radar as well. I just have some other items to pay off first!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 06/08/15 at 21:45:15

Even at that price I bet they are some of the best bang for the buck amplification out there.  But unfortunately I don't think I could pull off anything in the 4K range or higher as even Torii price range is a stretch for me ...

I'm bummed out, but at the same time happy to see them come into fruition and I know they will be awesome sounding! 8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 06/09/15 at 04:02:52

Hmm
My thinking at the moment: I can order a Select today if I want, for my second system in a smaller room upstairs. Or: Use my MT upstairs, it will be a very good system.. and save up for a while and have these monos in my living where I will keep playing music most of the time. It will be a pretty big stretch to afford them, and I guess a preamp is needed aswell ?..
Its very seldom i feel a need for more power, but you know, every now and then.., also the Select with my (ordered) custom alnico from Omega is getting rave reviews and probably I will never look back and regret buying that amp.

Find the monos very tempting though, and I can wait, I have music playing everyday through speakers and/or LCDs

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/09/15 at 12:55:00

Ha! Same predicaments here! I've thought about getting the Super Zen just for its incredible fidelity and resolution, but worry about lack of power. My Mini Torii is enough power for me and my listening conditions, but just enough. I was able to get some dynamic reserves by increasing the speakers' sensitivity and their impedance to 8 Ohms. Before that, the performance was kind of at the limits in terms of power and dynamics, especially with some passages in classical music.

So, I'm considering the upcoming Ultralinear's specs in about 1 month's time. In the meantime, I'll send the Mini Tori for mods anyway, I think, as it is a keeper and I want it to be its best.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/10/15 at 19:10:16

So I stopped by Decware on my way home from Peoria yesterday. Spent some time chatting with Steve, and gave a bit of a listen.

Steve was working on a JR. I really like the symmetry here.




And while we spoke, I heard good music coming from the other room. Nice, room filling music.





After a while, I sat down and Steve queued up some tapes. Which sounded good as always




So, I'm sure you're all wondering what I thought. :)

I have to preface this by saying the amp isn't done yet. Steve is letting it simmer - just using it, and seeing what happens, how he feels about it over time. He admits, that over time, the monos are really sinking teeth into him.

Also keep in mind, Steve builds these prototypes with "common parts" I'd call them. So this doesn't have UFO transformers, it doesn't have the choice caps, and I'm sure there are other little details that a production amp would have that a prototype wouldn't. Steve's thinking here is that if he can squeeze the best sound possible by really working the circuit, till it can go no further; then the UFO transformers and best Jupiter caps and even better layout would only elevate the amp.

Ok, so first things first. As Steve mentioned, the amp is just into the low 20 watts on an 8 ohm speaker. He has it playing through his white HR-1. And flat out, it does not sound like a little SET amp. It was big, and room filling, and had BIG bass. And this was at a casual listening level that you had to raise your voice to be heard over.  (We also eventually moved to the Monolith speakers)

As the listening progressed, he kept turning the dials up a little here and there (with me following behind and by ear adjusting the left/right levels!). We listened to several tapes, from modern blues, to Hendrix, to Madonna. I found absolutely nothing wrong with the amps.

But I also didn't hear a ZMA killer.

I told Steve this flat out. That's when he reminded me that it doesn't yet have the UFO or Jupiter caps and whatever else. Plus he pointed out the amps honesty. As we went from tape to tape, the true nature of each recording came through. No, I'm not talking super-micro-resolution or absolute transparency - just an honest reproduction of what it was given. Basically, this amp (to me) some of the ZMA's "just turn it on and don't worry about it" reliability of what was going to come out. This makes sense, because like I said...I found absolutely *nothing* wrong with these amps. I didn't feel like they were running out of steam, I didn't feel like they were lacking bass, or blurring mids, or damping high end...they just *were*.  I also noticed that they didn't sound like Zen amp. Or a typical Decware amp in general. You know how everything from the Zen to the Rachel to the Torii has some of the same DNA in them; they are Decware amps at heart.  I didn't hear that lineage with the monos - the tube and the circuit are different enough, that they are far off cousins. They do everything you expect from a Decware amp, but they don't have the core sound.  But they also aren't weird aliens from planet OTL either!

I told Steve - that to me, these amps need to keep everything he's got going on right now: the big (not boomie) bass, the SET sound that doesn't run out of steam, and the honesty that I absolutely hear in this amp....but he needs to have that transparency and resolution of the Zen amp. To this Steve nodded sagely, and turned to me with his impish grin and said "you'll have to come back in another month or so and give it another listen - we'll see if the circuit stays the same"


So there it is right now - IMHO, it's not a ZMA killer, but it's something special and right up there at the ZMA caliber. I really hope Steve has (at least) UFO  transformers  dropped in the next time I stop by. If that pulls that last bit of resolution that I was hoping to hear...DONE!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 06/10/15 at 19:25:55

Cool. Thanks for sharing. I'm actually encouraged that it doesn't sound like other Decware amps. If I were to drop that kind of money on another amp, I'd want it to sound distinctly different.

Glad Steve seems to be happy with the results so far.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/10/15 at 20:25:10

Thanks Eric, great impression. Look forward to what you think in another month or so. Maybe, with UFO and/or Jupiter Caps, etc.... .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/10/15 at 21:18:55

Nice summary, LR. Did you have a chance to learn anything about the Torii Junior (Ultralinear)? That would be my affordable (hopefully) other alternative and I'm sure one that will probably fit into many more budgets. Thanks!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/10/15 at 21:46:56


Quote:
Nice summary, LR. Did you have a chance to learn anything about the Torii Junior (Ultralinear)? That would be my affordable (hopefully) other alternative and I'm sure one that will probably fit into many more budgets. Thanks!


Unfortunately no - that one in the first photo was the one I was hoping was built and ready for me to listen to. But it obviously wasn't that far built yet. I'll stop by in another month or six weeks or something, and see if Steve has made any changes to the Monos, and hopefully spend some time with JR.

After our last CDApS meet, where we had a nice lineup of Decware amps that we went through; I have a little better understanding (and appreciation) of what each amp does. And each one *does* something different or better than the others. I said this to Steve as well. I still love my Zen, but I keep running it out of steam (ProggRob's CKCS as well). If I could get that sound, scaled up in the high teens or early twenties - I'd be a very happy man, and that would rival, but not replace the ZMA. Steve  was pretty much like  well that's what I'm trying to do here with the monos.

I think Steve would agree - the ZMA is still the one to beat.

That said....

He has this old Zen on the wall in the shop - literally bolted to the wall, that he uses for testing or something. He kept saying "that turd on the wall there". LOL It was a Zen that just didn't sound right or something, a kick-around beater. Well, it has the new UFO transformers in it, and he flat out said "that turd on the wall there, is my new reference - right now I don't know what sounds better, that turd or the monos".

Boiled down - Steve is really happy with these UFO transformers. Changing his mindset has allowed him to take these amps up to another level.

Which of course brought me to asking if he could then do it for my ZMA - especially me being the detail freak that I am. And he said that he's not sure the guy who winds these (custom spec'd transformers) can even wind something that big!  Well Crap.  But then he alluded to that if the UFO uplifts everything he puts it into, he'd simply have to consider an upgraded spec transformer for the ZMA.

So, food for thought.  All I see are great amps all around, and I really like the idea of him being able to so easily make them better across the board.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/10/15 at 23:24:56

Thanks LR, very insightful.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Fireblade on 06/11/15 at 00:03:54

LR,

Thanks for your inputs. It's all very exciting!

I'm personally amazed at how Steve can come up with designs that challenge all these preconceptions about true Triode tube SET's with Triode wiring, Push-Pull and now even Ultralinear designs that can compete at the same level. This, to me, is testament to his extraordinary design and prototyping skills.

Of course each amp has its own personality stemming from tube characteristics and how these are enhanced by clever, synergistic circuit design tweaks to accommodate the peculiar traits of the tube complements. This is part of the fun, I guess, both for Steve and us, possible in part due to all his technical knowledge, but mostly due to his great set of ears, experience and his willingness to voice things to the limit.

I'm hoping for an affordable Ultralinear design so I may be able to have two excellent flavors in my modest stable. I'm positive about beefing up the Mini, so that is a fact. I just want to wait a bit for  Ultralinear news and decide which one comes first. Steve spoke about 30 days down the road, so I can afford that wait while Yggy and the rest of the stuff gets here.

Toys, toys ...

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/11/15 at 04:03:15

It is exciting.

My SE84CS continues to deliver at 78db SPL. Pure magic.

It will be interesting to see if in a year from now the ZMA merits the UFO MOD, decided by Steve.

If the Mono's pan out to Steve's ideal; I will arrange a date to visit and bring my Speakers and Cables to hear them. Steve has my CSP3, ZMA and ZDSD on hand of course. I will bring my Transport, PS Audio P3 and Power Cables too. Probably, bring the Schiit "Yggy" Yggdrasil too....if it passes muster with me this July.

This would facilitate a few things. I get to hear his Reel to Reel. I would get to hear a "seasoned in Pair" of 6C33C Mono-blocks, with a whole lot more hours on them than I could put, with a 30 day audition with purchase. Plus, the gas and a two day stay at the Hampton Inn, would be half the cost of restocking + freight to and from (and a whole lot more fun to visit)!

An a big furthermore, I get to compare my modified Adagio's to a few pair of his Speaker's and hear the new Preamp with Volume Control. Love my CSP3, now so seasoned......hard to beat.

However, as LR wrote:
"I said this to Steve as well. I still love my Zen, but I keep running it out of steam (ProggRob's CKCS as well). If I could get that sound, scaled up in the high teens or early twenties - I'd be a very happy man, and that would rival, but not replace the ZMA. Steve  was pretty much like  well that's what I'm trying to do here with the monos".

If this does not happen.....and Steve does not release them. All is fine, when I have the Masterpiece, that is the Zen Mystery Amplifier. I too, will not be purchasing the potential 6C33C Mono's to replace my ZMA.   







Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

*************************************************
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Yggy coming! (Schiit Yggdrasil)
*************************************************

Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/E88CC .....for Input Tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8.....in A12 an B12 Input Tube positions)
Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)

Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3rd order Linkwitz/Riley's....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)


Decware SE84CS (NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) ...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 03/07/16 at 08:51:16

Does anybody know if anything is happening with these monoblocks?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/10/16 at 04:56:01

I know what is happening with them...   [smiley=happy.gif]

I am still in active R&D mode with them. The voicing is complete, the amps are spectacular sounding, competing with and depending on your taste besting everything in the Decware Line.  I am now working on a nixi tube bias meter that will show the bias of the output tubes in real time so I can see it clear across the room, and from even farther as they will change color and even blink when or if the bias drifts out of range. It's been quite a project and is about 50% complete with the circuit boards prototyped and the software written. Testing will begin late next week and the tweaking the software for however long it takes to feel natural and makes sense, a quality that completely escapes modern day young engineers.



The telling thing is that I have already decided I will have a pair for myself that are production models, vs. the ugly prototypes I presently listen to. So I have been working on the chassis design at the same time as this nixi tube current meter hoping everything could come together by fall of 2016. We'll see. I really don't care how long it takes, and I figure once I've built a pair for myself, if anyone wants a pair I'll be in a position to exactly duplicate them. Exact duplication is everything.

So yes things are progressing and if I get the chassis and the bias meters to work the way I want them to, I'll be able to offer them to the adventurous because you won't be able to buy them if you're a newbie to tubes. You'll have to have owned at least one Decware amplifier and have read and completely understood the owner's manual before you'll be allowed to buy a pair.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/10/16 at 05:14:41

Here's a sketch of a possible chassis layout.  No guarantee it will stay this way... too soon to commit.  This particular design uses a glass chimney around the output tube with forced air flowing up and around the tube to keep the chassis at room temperature.  Presently the prototype is accomplishing this goal without a fan which is the ultimate goal.



So I'll keep you posted as always.

Cheers,

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 03/11/16 at 01:25:43

Wow Steve, this is quickly becoming my dream amp!  Is it using the UFO type transformers like the ones on the Torii Jr., etc.?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Donnie on 03/11/16 at 01:50:34

Give me the hole size for the tubes and I'll knock the plate out tomorrow morning! Will a water jetted cut give you a good enough finish? Lol

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by TubeNube on 03/11/16 at 07:52:57

YOWZA!! I need another amp (or another pair of monoblocks) like I need another hole in my...well, you know...but these are mighty tempting. I'm afraid that when Steve quotes the price, I'll start trying to justify it.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 03/11/16 at 09:08:12

Thanks to Steve for answering so quickly and with a lot of info. I guess i will want this amp aswell, and I have one amp from earlier, so i hope i will be allowed to buy one, if i find the money that is.. Im afraid it will be expensive. The good thing is the fact that i have the time to save up...


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 07/10/16 at 23:18:10

What new projects are beings worked on (if any)?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/12/16 at 04:33:26

I guess it's a good time to post another update... and again let me qualify what follows by stating that this is not a race to release a new product design but rather a real time view of what goes into a Decware amplifier before it's even considered for market.  As with all of our amps, they start out life as something I want to build and do build for myself. If you're new to the forums and this kind of thing sounds interesting, a similar thread can be found on the Zen Mystery Amp which gives a real time look into the process from concept to completion.

So, on with the update:

Have been listening to the Mono's against the other amps non-stop since my last post in an effort to gain perspective on the signature and gain confidence in the functionality and reliability.  All is going well.

I have done more design work on the chassis which can be seen in the pics below:





As you can see it is morphing into the same steel chassis design that I used in the ZTPRE.  A rather huge upgrade visually and it solved my cooling problem allowing the amp to remain fan-less.

What you're looking at from front to back is:  Analog bias meter, nixi-tube bias meter, EF86 triode wired, 6P15P aka SV83, and then the 6C33C inside the glass chimney followed by the output transformer.  I'd like to complete the chassis design this winter.  






Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by TubeNube on 07/13/16 at 20:05:16

Hey Steve,

I'm not seeing volume control on the new monoblocks. Is that part of the design, or are you still working on that?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 07/13/16 at 21:55:16

Thanks for sharing Steve!  I really dig the look and the match with the ZTPRE chassis is spot on and sexy! 8-)  

Couple questions ...

1. Are these going to have UFO's or custom wound transformers (like the ZMA)?

2. Are these going to have volume controls or additional inputs or are these strictly amps at this point?

3. How much heat are we talking about?  I live in San Diego and have to sleep with my windows open even in winter time, I'm just wondering if I'm going to have to be running my AC year around ... ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Martindfletcher on 04/08/17 at 15:59:42

Any update on the status release of the 6C33C blocks?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 04/08/17 at 20:50:06

I believe these were shown at last year's Decfest though I don't think they were the finished product.  I really like where Steve has gone with the chassis design, at least on paper and IMO it's by far the best looking amp chassis he has designed and a perfect match to the already awesome looking ZTPRE.  

LOL ... I know it's what on the inside that counts, but Steve really stepped it up a lot of notches with the design of the ZTPRE and IMO it's the nicest looking piece of Decware kit that has ever come out IMO.  I'd like to see all his amps use that type of chassis.  

Other than the price :D, the only thing that scares me a little about these is the heat that big tube puts out.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 04/09/17 at 01:05:55

I agree the ZTPRE is a nice design, but I love the classical look of the other amps with walnut bases. Funny the personal aesthetics thing...but to me the ZTPRE is not up to the old school beauties.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lin on 04/09/17 at 01:43:48

I agree Will.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 04/09/17 at 02:40:01

Agree that its just an aesthetics thing ... or not actually as the ZTPRE was designed that way for a reason and in my understanding so are the 6C33C mono chassis.  

What I also like about the new ZTPRE design is that it is pretty exclusive, I've never seen another chassis quiet like it with the "W" indentations, etc. and (IMO course) it just screams custom made and high-end and it reminds me of classic hi-fi chassis like something McIntosh would have came out with in the 60's.  Whereas (again IMO) the other Decware chassis looks similar to brands such as Bottlehead and a handful of other designer's stuff that's basically a wooden box with a metal top and holes cut into it.  

Either way I have 2 Decware amps with the classic wooden chassis and I still love 'em regardless.  But I do think the new chassis are a step up aesthetically speaking and probably better in heat dispersion performance.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Martindfletcher on 04/09/17 at 03:01:42

I have a Rachel on order and thinking about switching to current 2x  mono blocks se84ufo3, or serial bridge 2x se84ufo2, or maybe just buy 1x se84ufo2 and wait for these new monos as 1 won't be a big financial drain if I want replace it.  I have druids 16 ohm 101 db speakers, a zp3 stage and sut also on order from decware.  

Any thoughts or advice?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 04/09/17 at 12:48:28

Martin, those speakers are screaming for a Torii MK III or IV with 16 ohm taps....trust me.  But even a pair of the 2.7 WPC Monoblocks would get it done.  I'm not sure what the new transformers on the monos are set for though...better check.  

I use a set of 99dB, 8 ohm Zu Audio "Soul" Speakers with my 2.3 WPC 2008 version of the Monoblocks and they are a great match. I also have a Torii MK IV paired with HR-1s but as I recall, the "Souls" work well too.  There have been several people here that own 16 ohm Zu's and love them paired with a Torii.  My two cents, Mark.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/10/17 at 05:21:13

Hi everyone!  

I saw this thread come up to the surface and took it as a reminder to update you on the progress of some of the back burner items.

The 6C33C amps are after a couple years (at least that seams about right) are still extraordinary amps to listen to. I'm listening to them now in fact as I write this. They are still using a pair of tubes from early last year and showing no signs of degradation. Although I will have to roll  a handful of new 6C33's into the amps to know for sure. I'm noticing that things are getting warmer and smoother which is usually a sign of a well worn tube. Nevertheless, if there is any issues I'm not hearing them beyond the amps amazing fullness which it has always had.  Although it is only about 15 watts the way I prefer to run it, it still competes with the ZMA in apparent power somehow...  

Interesting discussion about the chassis... I agree with all of it. ;) However, I am going to try to create a competing amp just as I did 25 years ago when first developing the Zen. Get the amp as good as you can, which takes about a year, and then design a new one to try to improve upon it.

I suspect that transformers more along the lines of our UFO's could do it... I have a pair of prototype 600 ohm transformers here that will hopefully impress.  I also have ideas about a different coupling caps that would better compliment the 6C33 output stage.  

Last week I started tossing around a flat plate chassis design like our amplifiers in a sincere hope to keep the price down to where someone who was dead serious about a holy grail amp could somehow make it happen.  In a ZTPRE chassis the sticker shock will stunt sales which somewhat if not entirely defeats the whole reason for making it in the first place...

So in summary there has been continual rotation with all of our other amps and serious listening sessions on a regular basis since my last post and still no urge to change anything, just a mild curiosity to see if more resolution is possible without ruining it.

The Taboo Mk4 is now on the web site and selling well.  I figured out how to make Lucid mode variable which makes it possible to tune it for any impedance headphone. I'm excited about that because Lucid mode on better recordings can be nothing short of mind blowing.

The ZROCK has so far been a hit. Soon I will be changing to a higher voltage power supply for the ZBOX, ZSTAGE and now ZROCK products.  At that time each will be re-voiced and the ZROCK I will experiment with seeing if I can make the effect variable without ruining the signature or phase angles... which are of course heavily interlinked.

I just made a ZSB (Zen Switch Box) variation with a remote control Alps volume control that is working rather well...  

Have prototyped a simple Tube Tester that will work with the tubes used in Decware amps, and it is coming along nicely.

Will be doing a 25th anniversary edition Zen Amp at some future point based on the prototype I made for Lonely Raven. The only thing I'm still working on is the actual look and style of the chassis.  

I listen to the ZTPRE every day in both balanced and unbalanced modes and haven't even rolled tubes in it nor had the urge and that's after daily listening that probably spans a year now.  Of course when I do I might kick myself for not doing it sooner but that's not the point... when a person tube rolls to improve things it's because he or she is not fully satisfied with the sound.  

I had an usually interesting experience the other night as I explored new music and six pack of IPA and the new ZMF headphones. I used DEEZER.com which is 1144 bps CD quality for 10 bucks a month. I targeted the best ROCK hits from 2016 and actually found 20 that were really good. Interestingly, about half way through the 6 pack when I got the balls to turn things up to what would probably be a live concert level (117~120dB) I almost crapped my pants. The experience made me start to contemplate the Millennial generation's music as being mixed for headphones/earbuds/high SPL because that is the way it sounded best.  I tried to recreate the experience on a variety of our loudspeakers and with more than one amp and couldn't do it.

I am not fully convinced that a headphone rig of this quality wouldn't make more sense than a second room system.  Think about it.













Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JD on 04/10/17 at 12:17:16

Would love to hear more about the tube tester, I've been in the market for a while and they are absurdly expensive, there is a definite niche in the marketplace.

JD

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/10/17 at 16:59:54

I have not forgot about the 6C33C mono's, that is for sure.

However, budget wise:

1) The ZROCK I'll put on order in September. Great to read Steve, about even further improvements to a higher voltage power supply and possibly making the effect variable without ruining the signature or phase angles.

2) 25th anniversary edition of the Zen Amp. Certainly got my attention when LR/Eric posted your and his impressions of upgrading his C to UFO and other DISCOVERY tweaks. New chassis to commemorate the 25th would be cool too.
(I owned and used damn near every day, for 12.8 years.....my SE84CS (ONLY replaced by my ZMA). Why I keep my original signature from May of 2001 below ~ homage).
.....so a done deal on this purchase....when you release it 2020/21.
.....your pentode in triode again.....yes. + ZMA

PS - totally digging the Silver PILLS in my downstairs Rig.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 04/10/17 at 20:09:30

Yes, I second the tube tester for tube types used in Decware amps and their variants. Something with a digital read out that is in units commonly used. Ease of use is paramount for a non-techy like me.  Mark.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/12/17 at 01:51:43

Sorry, I accidentally deleted a couple posts moving the messages about the zen motor to a new thread... : (

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/12/17 at 01:53:51


Quote:
Steve,

A flat plate, improved version of the 6C33 mono's which will be a "holy grail" mono amp and affordable?  Have I got that right?

Only have to wait 2 - 3yrs?

Put me down for one pair.  I'm sort of used to waiting by now.

Thanks


I'm going to give it a go and see what happens... less than 1 year most likely.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/12/17 at 04:26:22

Cool. Dual triode inside of that glass envelope. With your topology (something simple is not that simple=your voicing) and it being the most powerful Triode you will have ever made. I can see where its 15 watts/ch, can sound mighty powerful with perceived headroom. Hell, I should know. I ran those Polks below for years with about 1.8 watts per ch, after losing a little per ch thru the x-over. It freaked my friends out how good it sounded at 78db SPL.

1 year (or less maybe, you mentioned) is fair enough to see where you can take it and whittle some of the cost with flat plate in walnut, and etc.....  .

Wish your topology OTL was feasible for production. However, I can live with your ZMA and 6C33C Mono-blocks and not look back.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Hekowee on 04/12/17 at 16:55:55

Thanks for the DEEZER.com tip Steve. I just dropped my Tidal subscription, and with the $180.00 a year savings, I plan to buy some of the PAC-S PILLs... and, and, and...

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Hekowee on 04/19/17 at 12:45:58

Oooops, Deezer only streams at 320 kbps on their Premium + service. The 1,411 kbps is only available in the U.S. via Elite subscription which requires a Sonos device, so it's back to Tidal for now  :'(

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/21/17 at 04:16:19

I forgot to mention that I am working on a new DAC mod based on the TEAC NT-503 by TASCAM.  It's a sleeper USB DAC on so many levels.  We are going to replace the balanced XLR outputs and single-ended RCA outputs with our transformer coupled output stage driving a pair of RCA jacks, just as we have with the ZDSD.  

A few high points of this machine...

It's based on a pair of VERITA AK4490 DACs, designed by Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation.  Brand New Stuff.  And well done if I may say so,  coming from a die hard Burr Brown guy.

Uses FPGA (programmable IC) with an exclusive Fluency up-conversion algorithm that up samples everything to 4X DSD / 12.2 Mhz.

Has adjustable PCM and DSD filters that let you select the most pleasing by ear.

Has built-in Volume control with full function remote that can be used to control volume and everything else.

Has smartphone and tablet application to scroll through your music library.

Has Bluetooth.

Will play from USB memory sticks

Will stream directly from Deezer, spotify, slacker, DNLA.

High Res playback from PC via USB cable.

Streams radio stations directly off the internet.

Has extensive dual mono architecture and voicing that make it a more than a solid foundation for our output stage resulting in another giant killer. An 8K sound for around 2K... as usual.

Also it should be noted that like our ZDSD and ZCD240, you can optionally decide to purchase these units yourself and order the Decware ZBIT which is simply our transformer driven output stage in a stand alone box.  In some cases this is more flexible because the ZBIT will work with ANY balanced source and being a passive device will never wear out or fail.  CD Players as an example have a limited lifespan because the laser wears out over time.  Things like this DAC with no moving parts and over built power supplies are likely to last many times the lifespan of a CD player.

20 years ago I was in a panic (ask anyone) because it took over 20 grand minimum and more like 38K to get a digital system to sound this good.  Asynchronous USB with super great clocks in the DAC make the 18K transport and 3K digital IC cable obsolete.  

Exciting times for digital on a budget.  20 years ago if you wanted sound this good for 2K you would have to set up a turntable with a modest cartridge and tonearm and pair it with a fairly good phono stage.  Basically you'd have to buy everything used to get the quality you needed for less than half price so that when you spend 2K you get a 4/5K rig.

Of course the fidelity argument is one thing but having your entire hard drive, and the entire internet at your fingertips to stream your hi-res wav and flac files from the couch and a remote volume control it gets pretty nice.  

I'll let you know more about it's progress in a month or two.

Steve



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 04/21/17 at 06:46:33

Steve,

That sounds pretty dang neat!  I am loving my ZDSD immensely.  I am using it purely as a DAC and hardware digital file playback device.  I have not used it for what it was primarily designed as, a digital recorder.  

So, to have all of the other features, that I would use frequently, coupled with great DAC hardware and your transformer coupled output?  Sounds like I will be keeping a close eye on the progress.

When comfortable offering it, I would like to get your opinion on the capabilities of it as top notch DAC, and only that - and how it compares to the ZDSD as a DAC, and only that.  While all of the other features are nice/convenient, whichever performs best as a DAC is the one I will have to go with.  

Would you mind moving your last post to a new thread so it is easier to track?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/21/17 at 14:23:20

My pinpoint questions exactly, Jeff.

http://www.teac.com/product/nt-503/
What has my attention:

The NT-503 up-converts 16-bit/44.1kHz data from a conventional CD into 11.2MHz DSD.

PCM/DSD Filters Provide a Multifaceted Personality from a Single Unit. In addition to four types of PCM digital filters and an OFF mode, the unit has two types of DSD digital filters.

+, you can read about the Preamp section at the bottom of the Link/or, click the tab/main features. It is running in the analog domain coming from the D/A, a fully-balanced circuit design from the output of the D/A Converters and Volume Amplifier section.

BIG QUESTION FOR ME: How transparent/fluid is this Preamp (being direcly in the unit bodes well)? However, running it in fixed output mode/bypassing the Pre is fine too...long as it can be done. However, I would love to have the remote volume control.....even though I have gone all purest with no Pre as of late.

Returning the Tekton's (the Monoliths are kicking arse), affords me to order one from Crutchfield and wait on receiving a ZBIT. I will wait and see how it all fleshes out from Steve.......first. Maybe, I'll stick with his all in one unit, as I did with my ZDSD Tranny outputed.










Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew


Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)
Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC


Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD
{Extremely Significant}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder ++
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the Curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)



WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter



Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 20% to 30-40% max ~ from 0 Gain



***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Kimber 8TC new/white & clear jacket/to remind me of how fluid/timbre correct and good the KS6063 are!



Decware DM947 Monoliths (Midrange modification/Wave Guide)
w/PX Clarity Caps ......Duelund, StealthCap or Mundorf MCap Supremes possibly pending.....

Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....from 8ohm Taps.







Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)

++ ZDSD DAC, kicked to the Curb: Auralic Vega, PS Audio PWT & PWD, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Chord Qute, NAD M51 (twice) & Schiit Yggdrasil.


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/23/17 at 01:29:55



Quote:
Would you mind moving your last post to a new thread so it is easier to track?


No worries, I'll be starting a new thread about the DAC when the time comes.  You won't miss it.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/30/17 at 13:38:29

I'm in.

With my fortunate circumstances of getting the DM947 Monoliths (sticking with the Clarity Caps for now/nice match), returned the Tekton Impact Speakers and selling my Adagio's..... . I'm ordering the ZBIT and will time its arrival with an Teac NT-503.

I'm to intrigued with this new FPGA + Chip and Upsampling my Redbook collection to DSD......need to hear it. With Steve's ZBIT = no brainier. I so enjoy his output on my ZDSD. Plus volume from the 503 and gain adjustment from the higher output/balanced input/ZBIT to RCA. I'll end up streaming too..... If all goes to my liking.....someone is going get a deal on my ZDSD too.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 04/30/17 at 15:23:29

It is not clear to me, if I can input the 503, via coax digital from transport and upsample to PCM (352.8) 384kHz and/or (11.2) 12.2MHz DSD?

Or, do I need to do USB input of lossless WAV, FLAC to achieve it? I read all inputs....then I read something conflicting....which makes me ask this question.

Anyway, I already have the great output trannies/ZDSD/16/192, in which, I like better than a whole lot of DACS, I have had in here....but to get into streaming, etc....would be cool.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 05/01/17 at 00:38:07

I'm probably not that much help as I have not read the manual (;D), but once the data gets into the DAC it may be able to up-sample and output to almost anything the DAC chip is capable of.  For instance ~ on my McIntosh DAC I can set the output to the highest level it's capable of no matter the incoming data signal, so perhaps the TEAC does this as well.  

Though to be honest, I have not had consistent results up-sampling and it's been kind of hit and miss for me.  Sometimes it sounds better, sometimes not ...

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/01/17 at 04:36:04

Steve says everything in his initial post and the manual says the same pretty much. I just want to make sure.  8-)

Anyway, I'm going to play around with my OB Sub this week and give Steve a call or an email. I'm thinking the ZBIT Outboard to have adjustable gain to ride there with the volume control gain of the NT503. Of course, my ZMA too. The ultimate 3 gains to ride to my satisfaction.

Yes, Upsampling is what it is and why I don't loose any sleep running 16/192 with Steve's output Tranny's.....I've had the best through here and like Steve's best. However, because I want the Internet at my finger tips with the 503...it will be fun to hear if any subjective pleasure comes from this unit upsampled and/ or the different setting choices.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 05/11/17 at 17:45:33


Quote:
I forgot to mention that I am working on a new DAC mod based on the TEAC NT-503 by TASCAM.  It's a sleeper USB DAC on so many levels.  We are going to replace the balanced XLR outputs and single-ended RCA outputs with our transformer coupled output stage driving a pair of RCA jacks, just as we have with the ZDSD.  


I totally missed this about this DAC. It's exactly what I've been waiting for as a second system to pair up with my one-off Zen UFO. I'm *really* excited about this!!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 05/12/17 at 08:12:07


Lonely Raven wrote on 05/11/17 at 17:45:33:
I totally missed this about this DAC. It's exactly what I've been waiting for as a second system to pair up with my one-off Zen UFO. I'm *really* excited about this!!


Solves the USB issue as well, I have never considered the ZDSD since it omits this very important (at least for me) input.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 05/12/17 at 14:43:16

Yeah, I wish I could buy one of these B-stock ones I found online, like, right now! But I'm on a spending freeze till about this time next year. Hell, I'm selling guitars and gear just to pay down medical bills right now. Maybe by this time next year it will be sub-$500 for this DAC or one like it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/13/17 at 01:06:53

More developments are manifesting themselves.  There's a pretty creative vibe around here as of late...  Some of the very best of Decware is about to come together in a way no one could anticipate and in a way that will be noticed world wide because it's that unique.  It's about time to show everyone what an FRX driver sounds like in an enclosure.  Brace yourselves.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 05/13/17 at 04:36:08

Uh oh ... can't wait to hear more Steve! 8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/15/17 at 13:22:48

Cool. I have certainly heard the light in the DM's....you have my attention.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by metropolis7 on 05/17/17 at 20:13:50


Any updates on the tube tester?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/18/17 at 00:22:28


Quote:
Cool. I have certainly heard the light in the DM's....you have my attention.


I am pleased to hear you say that...  they are one of my all time favorite speakers.  It's a speaker you have to live with and use regularly to really appreciate its diversity.

Steve




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/18/17 at 00:28:02


Quote:
Any updates on the tube tester?


Still experiencing the prototype and trying to decide if I should leave it as is, or measure transconductance as well.  Usually the answer to questions like that come over time with use, so that's where it's at.  Once I figure that out and any other changes I can do a chassis and put it in production.

I would say probably sometime this winter.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/18/17 at 03:54:52


Quote:
Uh oh ... can't wait to hear more Steve!


It's going better than expected.  As though something else is creating it... which is usually the case.

I can safely say two things so far... possibly three.

1) I have discovered the perfect sacred geometric shape to transmit sound into an enclosed space (box) and it's not a platonic solid nor is it a sphere or a flat plane.  I have also figured out how to make it transmit sound into the room.  It's a legionary discovery for me, and so far as I know a first in the audio industry.  

2) I'm pretty sure it's the best imaging I've ever heard.  

Lastly this will have to remain top secret for some time while I figure out the details.  I've been paging the Audio Gods for some time now and this is a beyond obvious reply.

Happy listening!

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Martindfletcher on 05/18/17 at 04:03:52

Make sure you patent it and be real careful what you disclose in the interim if it's this big.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Tripwr1964 on 05/18/17 at 04:08:32

Is that what i was looking at in the listening room today when i picked up my ufo2?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by 4krow on 05/18/17 at 05:10:10

Well there we go folks, the FRX2 drivers have potential beyond what seemed possible. NOW, is anyone taking up the offer to buy that used set in the classified section? Good timing if you do.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/18/17 at 14:48:40

Steve, I can't believe I missed this from your Reply #260.

You wrote:
"I just made a ZSB (Zen Switch Box) variation with a remote control Alps volume control that is working rather well..."

http://decware.com/newsite/ZSB.html
"The Zen Switch-Box features 4 inputs and 2 outputs using silver contact switching combined with silver wire to give even the most picky audiophile a source selector that won't degrade his investment in hi-end interconnects."
............................ = me.


Please tell me, you're going to make this ZSB/Remote Control Alps Volume, Beeswax Caps and with Two Inputs and One Output option...... . (For me actually, one input and one output.....and transparent with volume control....as only you can do-the Zen way).


Please tell me this is happening?!

My additional Kimber 1030 IC, is begging to come out of my ZDSD (with built in ZBIT), to your ZSB/Remote Control Alps Volume, then to my other Kimber Select 1030..........to my Zen Mystery Amplifier!




Stone's Reality List:

Mundorf MCap Supremes put in DM947 Monoliths (June/2017)

ZSB/Remote Control Alps Volume ( " /2017)
.....if Steve deems it viable and produces it.

25th Anniversary SE84C(S) UFO
or Rachel UFO
( " /20**) ~ tricked out hot rod discoveries in Lonely Raven's modified Amp.....



Future possibilities:

FRX driver's/Speakers.....in enclosures

6C33C Mono-blocks
ZROCK
ZDSD NT-503 (or NT-503 stand alone and get a ZBIT)




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/09/17 at 06:30:50

So an update on the secret omni speakers.... I have been listening to them for 30 days now breaking in the new FRX drivers, and I am not anxious to switch them out for anything else, which is a great sign.  Soon I will begin to experiment with levitating the egg to see how much mechanical energy vs. wave guide is effecting the nearly perfect sound stage.

Keep in mind this is early work. Perhaps  a year away from any possible product, I'm just using this thread to bring people into the creative fold behind the scenes, and it gives me an opportunity to share what's going on with someone other than my cat.





The egg removes the sound from the driver location and transmutes it into to the surface of the egg and then radiates it into the room from that surface. The result is a life size height to the sound stage and simply insane imaging that is truly in 360 degree 3D space. I've never experienced anything quite like it nor has anyone else ; )

BTW, the experience has given me a completely new respect for the FRX2 drivers. I thought they were limited to about 8 watts. I was wrong. I wasn't sure how low the bass would go but no problems there either. Im hearing them in a good cabinet for the very first time and am constantly amazed at the linearity and overall performance. This is like having 960 1/4 inch diameter tweeters facing every direction possible... it's the "anti-beam" and more impressively comes from a single voice coil. Such a Zen thing... singularities... eggs...  

I have thrown the whole force of a ZMA at it, wound up to 100% with about 8 volts on the inputs and the speakers just do it without any compression. This actually makes more sense as I have always been somewhat puzzled by the FRX compression on larger amps, but I realize the only large amp I ever ran on the FRX was the TORII MK3 and MK4. That amp always embellished the bass in an open baffle application but apparently didn't actually care for the load much, as it turns out it only put out about 8 or 10 watts before compressing. I thought it was the speaker and it was the amp... So I have heard the FRX2 now in a cabinet with real power and I have to say it's way more driver than I thought!  

Side note, and I probably mentioned this earlier somewhere, but when putting the FRX2 in this cabinet design, I rebooted it from the beginning and revisited the transformers used to make an FRX2.  I quickly found out that there is no other transformer ratio that will work. I tried some that were lower and it completely sucked.  I mention this because people have been doing DIY FRX drivers and I suspect without knowing the ratio most have not accidentally hit it and therefor have not heard it work properly.  

The egg raises the sound stage to ear height and then expands it vertically down to the floor and up to the ceiling and does the same horizontally from left to right. I'm just stunned after 25 years of playing with the radial design that this works so well.

Fun stuff.  By the way, don't frikin touch one because that might make it hatch like in the movie Aliens and if you think the wife acceptance factor is low with your current speakers...





Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/09/17 at 15:33:56

Funny, the WAF factor.  ;D

Fun stuff is right!  

Look forward to the Omni Speaker reports over the next year, + 6C33C Mono's & ZSB/remote ALPS volume.

I so enjoyed the creative process posts for the ZMA. From what I just read....the Omni's, (Mono's & ZSB too), will be no less intriguing.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/12/17 at 21:03:20



Quote:
Fun stuff.  By the way, don't frikin touch one because that might make it hatch like in the movie Aliens and if you think the wife acceptance factor is low with your current speakers...


LOL, that's pretty much what I thought as well.

I'm going to have to come by and see what all the fuss is about. I've not been by since picking up the modified Zen amp. I don't want my next visit to be Decfest!

As long as the Pere Marquette hotel is still a Marriott, I'm still coming down here to work.  :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/05/17 at 02:58:20


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/05/17 at 03:36:03

That looks too busy to be a tube tester - is that a big monoblock? Maybe you made progress on some Russian airplane parts?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/05/17 at 15:50:02

Hmm, what is that?  Cool teaser.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Tommy Freefall on 07/06/17 at 17:17:46

I have no idea what that is, but I think I want it anyway.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/07/17 at 02:55:01

Everyone will want it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/07/17 at 03:08:13

BTW:  AutoCad, which I have owned since 1984 has become about how much money they can rape people for instead of how their cad can help people.

To create the drawing in the picture I had to use new software. That's because my old software, Adobe has been putting my crap in a cloud, charging some $800 a year or more and extra for support and like last week, your files just won't open because your subscription has run out.

They take your work hostage until you pay ransom.

Just another day at Decware where another entity gets told to bite me.  [smiley=tunes57.gif]

Proof that standing up for yourself always presents alternatives that were not there until you did. The new software is quite a bit better and costs nothing.


Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/07/17 at 13:55:59

Kudos on your new software and not being held hostage.

The Cad pic is: Hybrid Mono-block with balanced and unbalanced inputs?

Direct RCA Inputs up front there..... .

Cap storage too......hmmmm.


I want a pair.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/07/17 at 14:19:27


You're seeing what I'm seeing Stone.  Those tube cutouts look large - so hopefully it's what you've been waiting for!  (technically I've been waiting for too, but I can't fathom being able to afford anything for a long while)


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/07/17 at 14:37:37

Roger that....on affording it, LR.

I really don't want to sell any of the things I'm letting go here in the Classifieds, then USaudiomart and/or AudiogoN. .....ebay, for my Audio Alchemy DAC's, two DTI - Pro's and four power supplies.
I'll know in a month or two, if I will part with my ARC Line Stage, 4 to 8 other Sovtek 6922's and an additional Kimber KS1030.  

But, my Audio booty cash stash, needs to be there.....to swing it.

But hey, the glass is more than half full, right?. I'm grateful for the great Decware System I have. I'll work hard, save....and this time next year....if I can justify rewarding myself with one of Steve's new Amp(s)....I will do just that.

In the meantime: I look forward to the development of this particular Cad Amp(s) and the other things Steve has going on/participate and continue to enjoy the Journey.

..........the ZMA Development thread was sweet!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/16/17 at 01:35:08

It's killing me Steve. Throw us another bone about that CAD/CAM shot?!

......as I bask, listening with my ZMA this evening. .....you can never have enough Decware.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/16/17 at 02:26:17

Ain't that the truth Stone. And this is coming from a guy with a lot of Decware!! Still have a spare Torii MKIV and Rachel with an itch to build a second system. Oh yeah...  I have no room  :(

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/16/17 at 16:04:34

Holy Hanna! Nine of Decware for you.

I'm only at four: ZDSD, ZMA, DM947 Monoliths & PAC-S (all new, except DM's).

I have also owned (new), Torii MK lll, SE84CS & SuperZen CKC.

I will need to get this new Amp(s)....to start my catch up path with you Jeff.  ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/16/17 at 18:16:26


stone_of_tone wrote on 07/16/17 at 16:04:34:
Holy Hanna! Nine of Decware for you.

I'm only at four: ZDSD, ZMA, DM947 Monoliths & PAC-S (all new, except DM's).

I have also owned (new), Torii MK lll, SE84CS & SuperZen CKC.

I will need to get this new Amp(s)....to start my catch up path with you Jeff.  ;D

I've got you both beat. ;)

modded C amp
CSP2
CSP2+ x 2
ZP3
Torii Mk III x 2
Torii Mk II
Taboo Mk III
Taboo Mk IV
ZBIT
ZBOX
HR-1 x 2
ERR

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/16/17 at 18:22:40

LOL!  Well technically we are tied since my Torii and 2nd Rachel (non-UFO) are not in my signature block - nor is my Zen Switch Box  ;)  12 total for me.  

UPDATE:  Lon, you have two sets of HR-1's which puts you at 13, actually.  You still win!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 07/16/17 at 18:24:24

I just had to count.  Not including several pairs of DSR Interconnects, power cords and a switch box, none of which are in use...I have eight pieces of Gear and one pair of speakers from Decware.  Of course, I'm counting each monoblock as one piece :). Mark.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/16/17 at 18:36:17


Jeff of Arabica wrote on 07/16/17 at 18:22:40:
LOL!  Well technically we are tied since my Torii and 2nd Rachel (non-UFO) are not in my signature block - nor is my Zen Switch Box  ;)  12 total for me.  

UPDATE:  Lon, you have two sets of HR-1's which puts you at 13, actually.  You still win!

Actually I have 15. Two CSP2+ and two Torii Mk IIIs.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/16/17 at 18:37:24

Wow!  Totally missed that.  Winner by several lengths!   ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 07/16/17 at 18:39:20

I feel so inadequate!   ;) ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/16/17 at 18:45:22


Jeff of Arabica wrote on 07/16/17 at 18:37:24:
Wow!  Totally missed that.  Winner by several lengths!   ;D

We're all winners. We have such excellent gear.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/16/17 at 18:47:58

Most certainly!  Does this mean we all get free entry tickets to Decfest 2017?   ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/16/17 at 18:59:35

Totally dropped the ball, on my part. Lon is King. Not only in gear......Lon would have like, 30 thousand + informative posts, when including the Original Forum. I have been a Forum member since 2001. Lon probably 1998 or 99?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/16/17 at 19:29:57

By 1998 . . . definitely. I had Zen Amp #27 for a spell by then. Wow. I had been enjoying my EICO HF81 for a while before that but the Decware gave me CLARITY and started a long journey.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/16/17 at 20:37:38

Lon, you define a Decware "OG"  

I have had the pleasure of reading and learning from your posts since my inception as a Decware owner a short time ago.  Thank you sir!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/16/17 at 21:02:37

Ha! I'm so glad we managed to wrangle you into this herd of cats Jeff!

Listening to some Jobim from my Denon DVD-A1UDCI to my ZBIT into my Taboo Mk III to my Peatchtree Audio bookshelf speakers upstairs and enjoying the sound. Life is good.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/17/17 at 00:47:32


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/21/17 at 20:59:17

Okay, back on topic. Besides the rest of the story about the CAD Steve posted; I'm hoping he brings to market his Zen Switch Box with ALPS remote control volume. This ZSB-RCV, could send my ARC Line Stage to the AgoN.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/24/17 at 19:06:07

I know ALPS has remote volume pots, but I've not seen remote switch pots. Are you sure that's even an option?

Or were you thinking manual switch with remote volume?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/25/17 at 14:10:53

Oh yeah LR, stay with silver contact manual switches for sure. Give us the remote control volume. I want just two inputs and the purity of one output.

Steve, from his, in this Thread/Reply #260:
"I just made a ZSB (Zen Switch Box) variation with a remote control Alps volume control that is working rather well...  "

.....and knowing Steve's "variation".....sure it's a pretty damn close to the holy grail of straight wire with gain. The original ZSB, when you read the details is touting a passive volume control, caps and stepped volume, if you want it........ . Now lets go stealth active/remote control volume....... .  .....and keep this gem, dragon slaying, arse kicking and affordable.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/25/17 at 15:52:01

If I can find time, I'll be working on my XLR to RCA adapter box this week. I was looking at the Alps remote for it, but since I'm so broke, I opted for no volume at all. If that winds up overdriving the input of my modded Zen amp, I'll add a volume later.

Edit to Add: Yes I know it's an attenuator and not a real volume - just clarifying for those pedantics.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/25/17 at 16:14:45

I doubt that the full output from the XLR of the DirectStream will overload the ZMA inputs. I've tried it with two Taboos, my Torii and a modded C amp with no distortion at all. I don't think the ZMA input section is that different.  . . .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/25/17 at 17:03:50

I doubt LR your DIY ZBIT would need the expense of an ALPS via remote input gain attenuation and running it straight thru without any attenuation is probably the way to go as you are doing. As Lon eluded too and if you read his journey Thread with his ZBIT, he is running it pretty much wide open anyway (if I recall correctly and others).  


....okay, time to box up my DM's and arrange for FedEx to come get um' for Acetone!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/25/17 at 17:21:24

I was actually using it as the volume for all my sources via the DirectStream and was running it generally 60 to 85 percent or so, but I have run it without any attenuation with no problem, I just liked it best in that range when using the DirectStream and Torii fully turned up in my system which gave me the best sound.

Though I took it out of the system a few weeks ago and am using a CSP2+ right now and getting amazing sound--working with the preamp in my second system got me understanding its setup better and this CSP2+ has two stereo outputs which lets me run one to the Torii and one to the Taboo Mk IV, and I confess I'm getting the best sound yet this way. The ZBIT is now used with my Denon DVD-AU1CDI player feeding the Taboo Mk III in my second system

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/25/17 at 23:20:46

I will always love Steve's onboard ZBIT best, from my ZDSD direct to my ZMA.

But, my ARC Stereo Line Amplifier will be rotated in for its perspective that I'm enjoying.

I am sticking with these two scenarios for the foreseeable future.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by maddog07 on 07/26/17 at 18:05:27

given the Zen Masters recent discoveries with transformers - It would not surprise me to see transformer/autoformer volume controls appear in future Decware products.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/27/17 at 04:19:15

I was thinking exactly. UFO me a Stereo Line Amplifier.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/27/17 at 22:51:15

The ZROCK2 is finished.  You can find some info on it in this thread:

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1501188791/0#0

Also the ZROCK web page has been re-written to accommodate the changes.

While I couldn't be more pleased with the final sound, from an engineering standpoint it is the operation that I am most pleased with.  It took a long time to create the EQ control and get the tapers exactly right to work the way I wanted.  I had to custom make a ganged pot with both an audio taper and a linear taper and on top of that had to make it so when you turn one up the other turns down an equal amount. It was quite the Zen puzzle for about a month.

I recommend reading the owner's manual linked to in the other thread to see how this unique control actually works.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/28/17 at 20:11:29

Nice, very nice Steve. I read the owners manual and nice refinements. Oh, I'm so tempted.

Looking forward to your other developments in the pipeline when you are ready to divulge over the coming months. Have a great weekend (summer goes by to quick).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/28/17 at 20:45:55

.....and I must add to my post above, I'm kicking my ARC Line Stage down to my other Rig. I am so spoiled/ruined by your ZDSD run direct to ZMA.....only another CSP3 or what you might have new cooking/Line Stage, with remote volume will do for me. Oh, and I'm not opposed to what that CAD you teased us with is.....? ......rotate my ZMA with.


.......all in good time, I know.

PS-6C33C Mono's, have not been forgotten.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/01/17 at 03:08:05

The cad is a flat plate version of the 6C33C amplifier that I will be hopefully listening to over the Christmas holidays : )

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 08/01/17 at 15:22:11


Yeah!!

Hopefully I can listen too once you get to that point?? Although, maybe not. LOL  

Happy Birthday by the way! Thanks for almost 20 years of making my life happier and more musical.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by waveydavey on 08/01/17 at 22:35:17

Something  I think would be a nice addition is to have an option for a remote control volume on the amps. Many like the convenience of being able to adjust the volume from their listening chair nowadays, instead of getting up all the time etc.

I like the purest easiest way to hook things up, and adding a pre or a Dac with a remote volume just adds more to the signal. It would be cool if a simple remote controlled volume could be an option to add to the amps, as they already have a volume pot to begin with.  Even if it takes a little bit of the sq, I'm sure it would be a welcome compromise for many. Dunno? What do people think?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 08/02/17 at 00:56:00

Here's my two cents: I think remote volume control is better suited to a DAC or a preamp than a power amp.

I used to believe that the purest path was the best path. . . but I've actually discovered along my audio journey that if it's a quality and appropriate component it can add so much. For example . . . the Decware preamps--they offer so much with gain and flexibility. The top of the line includes the option of a remote control and that is a good place for a remote control if not in a DAC in my opinion.

I'm a person who doesn't use a remote much and it seems to me that Decware embodies the old-time spirit of manual volume control . . . that they are not incorporated into the amps is a good thing for me, and keeps the sound quality up and the pricing down.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 08/02/17 at 15:53:12

I "up" your Yeah to Oh Yeah, LR. Thanks Steve for the update.

At 15 watts of pure Steve/Decware Triode per channel......they will run my modified Adagio's.....no worries.

Now, to come up with the sheckles to afford it/them.....come April/May? I'm working hard on it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 08/19/17 at 06:52:41

So I've been making great progress with the secret egg speakers...  progress on two fronts; 1) wrapping my head around them and 2) positioning them in the room.

The progress has been in my head not any changes to the physical speakers so far.  

These are so different from regular speakers.  With regular speakers you have toe-in which determines frequency response which in turn dictates sound stage width and sound stage depth. A tool every audiophile uses to great length to "dial it in for his or her own head". These speakers have no toe in, and no way to create such a thing.

The other thing they have is no comb filter effect from the floor.

What they do have is 360 degree horizontal dispersion across the entire frequency range and 270 degree vertical dispersion again across the entire frequency range.

What I have learned is that even with diffusion, these speakers like to be far away from the walls. Also the distance from the rear wall and side wall should be approximately the same. This is going to put them closer together than regular speakers which is counter intuitive to a wide sound stage, yet that is what happens.  

In my room placing them in the normal perfect location for our HR-1's they were good, but problematic with respect to the head-vise thing.

Too close to the side walls and they become a hard core head-vise speaker, the tightest I've ever heard. It's incredible when your head is in the vise, but move even a half inch and everything jumps. Properly positioned the opposite happens, literally.

So far with this new found knowledge resulting in the proper setup, it is the best imaging speaker I've heard in my room. The grand masters of the grand illusion. The longer you listen to them the more you respect them. That said, it's also the hardest speaker to place I've ever had since everything about it is counter intuitive.

I have noticed that they magnify the differences in everything meaning placement and how the recording is mixed which again is disarming until you realize what's going on and then it becomes almost the key feature that makes the speakers special I think.

Right now it's just past midnight and the speakers are being fed by the 6C33C monoblocks, the ZP3 and the silver fidelity research cartridge/arm combo and the sound is transcendiary.

In fact if you want something that will complexly destroy your brain, put on side one track one of "Caverna Magica" by Andreas Vollenweider.  The imaging is just sick with this combo right now!




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by SonicSeeker on 08/19/17 at 07:47:23

Must be incredible Steve.
I love Andreas Vollenweider, I was turned on to him in the early 80's and as a matter of fact I found a like new record album of Behind the gardens behind the wall under the tree at a thrift store for 50 cents a few months ago and it is one of the records I play whenever I make any system changes.
I have not heard that album ( Caverna Magica) I will have to look for it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by SonicSeeker on 08/19/17 at 08:03:25

Boy my memory is bad. I looked up that album and I indeed used to have that and white winds many years ago. I unfortunately had my vinyl collection misplaced while moving in 1989 and they were among them. I am back up to around 900 albums now and a lot more to go it seems.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/01/17 at 06:51:30

After an additional layer of room treatment for this years fest, I find myself listening to the Egg speakers and am still taken aback at how much my original instincts in the begging were right.

It was a good choice to stop the radial wavefront where I did and transition to a point source. Reason being that a true full range radial such as this is going to dramatically magnify the boundary effects of the listening space.  

Placement is absolutely critical and should be only even considered in rooms that are both symmetrical and without coincident dimensions. This is almost the opposite of our ERRx and all of our radial speakers which can be placed almost anywhere in almost any space and pull off a well focused sound stage with unusual depth and width.

These eggs are hard core. Like tuning a carburetor for the race track on a given day... sun on the track,  temperature, humidity... if you get it right it's memorable.

The distances between the side walls and the rear walls are critical to the point where I use a tape measure and adjust it to within 1/4 inch. This done, and placed about 4 feet from the side walls and 6 feet from the front wall, they are creating an unbelievably holographic soundstage. I am using a SE84UFO2 to drive them, and turned up as loud as it will go with plenty of headroom left, I find it no different than the ZMA. The bass is just as big and just as dense. It feels like a real accomplishment for 2 watts.

I would love to glue these to the floor and  make the entire fest about listening to them only. There would be many advantages in doing so, and many disadvantages as the boundless variety seems so be some of the attraction of the fest.  Still, I would love to spend a month in prep getting a single system dialed in perfectly and well seasoned so that for three days people could trip on how good it can actually get.

So I guess the take away is that if a speaker puts my mind in this direction it must be special, and it is, however it would only be able to be sold to people who are willing to go that extra distance to get the room and speaker placement right, and have the right room to begin with because a non-symmetrical room is not going to work, it's just a fact of life you have to live with and accept.

It is nonetheless a thrill to hear the 2 watt Zen amp on such a precise and holographic speaker finally set up correctly.  The combo while not loud, is very BIG and very DEEP and very WIDE and very FOCUSED and very TIGHT and very DENSE and very LIQUID and very RIGHTEOUS.  

Strong comments I know but this what you get from extended weeks of listening and you digest all of your recordings from such a capable perspective.  Over and over I have had to continually remind myself that I'm not listening to the ZMA, I'm listening to the 2 watt Zen Triode.  

I really love my job.  


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 09/01/17 at 14:53:39

Steve,
I had to chime in regarding your comments about the SE84UFO2.  Mine is driving a pair of  S3HOXRS which have 150 hours on them and still burning in.  I've posted an ongoing review of the combination.

I believe that to some degree I am experiencing what you have described with the Egg speakers and I attribute a lot of what I'm experiencing to the SE84UFO2.  How close or far apart the two systems are is not the point.  Rather the the experience I've had often defies logic, what I thought I knew and I find that I have to force myself to believe not just my ears but all my senses.

I read a lot about the ZMA and the other Decware amplifiers and for good reason.  In fact those comments gave me confidence to buy Decware components.  I'm sure that all the Decware amps have their place, but I do feel that they may lead some to think that it is necessary to "go the distance" to get the Decware experience.

I'd like to say that give the SE84UFO2 (any 2W Zen Amp) the right accompanying components and you will get far more than you expect and likely more than one will ever feel that they need.  



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/01/17 at 16:13:19


Quote:
Placement is absolutely critical and should be only even considered in rooms that are both symmetrical and without coincident dimensions. This is almost the opposite of our ERRx and all of our radial speakers which can be placed almost anywhere in almost any space and pull off a well focused sound stage with unusual depth and width.


Steve, in my mind this makes sense with what I felt and heard when I listened to these speakers earlier this month. Since I'm so attuned to spatial cues, they just sounded disjointed to me. I'm betting now that you've got them dialed in, I'm going to hear what you hear.  Now I'm really excited to come to Decfest this year! I still feel bad that I didn't hear what you heard in these speakers, but I'm glad I said something because it sounds like you figured it out!

I'm super excited about Decfest - I'll probably be down Friday instead of Saturday to get some quality time with the setup. :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/01/17 at 16:40:00

Cool. Look forward to the impressions. I went from 13 pairs of Speaker's to just 2 pair now. Still, looking for the pair that is worthy of rotating with my Adagio's in my Listening Room. These could be it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/01/17 at 17:06:37

Keeping in mind:
"extra distance to get the room and speaker placement right, and have the right room to begin with because a non-symmetrical room is not going to work...."

....and the other placement parameter's mentioned......

...my Room would work and improving my acoustic treatments for the better....would be welcomed too.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 09/01/17 at 20:42:14


I'm always happy to design some diffusers for you if you have someone that can build them.

Or follow the decware design for a good, small, lightweight diffuser that will definitely add air and sharpen your imaging.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/01/17 at 22:35:22

Yes, the Decware designs. I've had Treatment for 21 years now. Yes, since 1996, when my father-in-law sheet rocked me a room in our first house basement. My Treatments are done right, just ain't that pretty. Someday, some Decware's. Function and form.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/04/17 at 05:25:53



More design notes about the creative process behind the eggs...

The EGGS Hatched today and I didn't even know they were alive!  

Tonight I was guided to act on repetitive visions of what I thought would be a bandaid on a promising but imperfect design... my "egg" speakers... While more than enticed by them I've had a nagging feeling something was missing, or clearly that they weren't finished.

In fact the feeling from the onset made me think something else was needed and that it was going to be A) visual and B) functional as a wave guide. I pictured dozens of trick compliments to the simple stick holding the egg.

So I now know that if I wouldn't have tried to figure it out with my mind (ego) I would have simply seen the done speaker in the future. We are our own worst enemies in this regard. Anyway, despite my distorted visions of the end speaker... the truth became more and more aggressive as if getting exasperated by my blindness.

So tonight I finally tuned into the right channel and the answer, albeit bizarre, was revealed. I went for it because it has never been wrong in 25 years and Decware is proof of it's wisdom.

Turns out the joke's been on me. The missing component wasn't a bandaid to fix an imperfect design... because the design turns out to have been imperfect due to the missing component.

This was the completion of the design, and now having implemented it I'm just trying to take it all in.  

I'm tempted at this point having heard it, to say "holy shit"...

So it turns out I have been stubbornly working with an unfinished design for months now. All these little signs... all these little urges.  Then things started appearing that I would need to finish the design, things I thought I had purchased for other projects...  you see, that is how it works.

The creative process is one of the most humbling experiences a man can have because he has to go outside himself to something so much larger... something with all knowledge - including whether or not to waste time giving it to you.

(So in the final hours as is the tradition, the Audio Gods, pleased that when teased he didn't fold, released the final piece of the puzzle and left him speechless and tickled shitless.)

I now believe I am experiencing the finished design for the first time.

So to take it all in, we have a speaker that could take a ZMA turned all the way up on disco music without distortion and completely "wreck the room", but yet is efficient enough to enjoy indefinitely with something as simple as the SE84UFO 2 watt amplifier.

The 2 watt thing is a big one on my list of accomplishments for any loudspeaker design.

We have a single-driver, crossover-less full-range speaker with no tweeters, no bass augmentation and perfect frequency balance even with 2 watts no one who can hear would even consider adding a subwoofer.  

And all this in a full range omni. Nothing else like it (as is the tradition from inspired designs) and frankly and literally a dream come true. I would have never thought it was possible to accomplish anything like this in a true radial point source.  

When I added the final component to the speakers (which I'll point out later after photos of the finished speakers surface in this thread), it only took 3 hours to initiate a patent application and it's the first time I've ever done that... but I've heard most of the Omni's at the audio shows, and am well aware of what has been done.

These speakers have a completely haunting sound.

for 30 years... since my very first serious speaker design (HDT MK2) I have from an imaging standpoint always been frustrated that some of my favorite speakers sound (image) better when the listener is standing up (short people under 6 foot) vs. sitting down.  The EGGS were one of those, and I was so hoping they would be the one to break that curse.  

The curse has been broken.


Retrovision is a form of clarity.  I now see looking back on the sequence of events that the Audio Gods were waiting for me to throw them a bone. Wanting a better sounding speaker was the wrong motivation therefor no answer was delivered. Making the room sound better was the correct approach. Once I did this of my own accord without contract, it has taken less than 72 hours for the answer to arrive.  I can see it now... "Why should we bother with something this good if he's going to handicap it in an unfinished room. Clearly he doesn't get it.


-Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 09/04/17 at 13:33:02

Congratulations Steve.  Your many equipment design journeys, while challenging, are truly inspiring.  I for one appreciate the end result, truly great sound from all your creations.

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by hdrider on 09/04/17 at 17:01:05

All- Truly a great read!! Sitting behind the lines, listening to our ZP3/Rachael, I have to say that if Steve has researched the 6C33C and played with it for years, I know the amp will be a major piece of work. I look forward to reading about the birth of this new baby. Thank you all for a great forum and happy listening, Chris.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/04/17 at 18:14:56

"When I added the final component to the speakers (which I'll point out later after photos of the finished speakers surface in this thread), it only took 3 hours to initiate a patent application and it's the first time I've ever done that... but I've heard most of the Omni's at the audio shows, and am well aware of what has been done."

"So to take it all in, we have a speaker that could take a ZMA turned all the way up on disco music without distortion and completely "wreck the room", but yet is efficient enough to enjoy indefinitely with something as simple as the SE84UFO 2 watt amplifier."

......PLUS, the fine tuning/addition to your room treatment you mention.

YOU HAVE MY FULL ATTENTION.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by fred on 09/04/17 at 18:23:35

now i am wondering if you should get the HR-1s or wait for the Eggs :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 09/04/17 at 18:53:27


Quote:
now i am wondering if you should get the HR-1s or wait for the Eggs


I wondered the same thing.  I have the HR1s but my room is far from "ideal."  Didn't Steve say that the Eggs need a carefully treated and symmetrical room to bloom?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 09/05/17 at 03:24:55

The eggs are currently prototypes.  The first production unit could be as far as a year away assuming we choose to put it in production.  Room compatibility, cost to make, and how well people like them will all be determining factors, so a little soon to starting putting yourselves on the list ; )

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 09/05/17 at 03:53:21

Steve, I LOVE that post about communing with the Gods to get the last piece of the puzzle on the Egg speaker!  Great stuff.

Brian

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 09/05/17 at 19:21:21

The Egg's and the 6C33C's, will be fun to follow the next 6 months to a year (and if you decide it's feasible, to bring to market the Egg's).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/17/18 at 02:45:41


I have split this thread into two topics, this one, and then one specifically for the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier.  Once I announced it in this thread, the entire thing has been about the new amp so I gave it it's own thread.

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1510887200

I'll continue on with this thread as more developments come down the pike.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by pursuitofnow on 03/31/18 at 02:56:15

Any update on the horns with 8" drivers? Will they be available in the near future?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 03/31/18 at 18:10:22


Yes, these will be called the DNA2. As soon as I get the first production pair in the listening room, we'll shoot pics and get them on the site. Price not to exceed 4K for the pair.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 03/31/18 at 18:38:32

Great news! Joe heard these and was knocked off his feet. I may even save up for a set of these. . . .

I'm eager to see photos.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 03/31/18 at 18:42:36

Will the DNA2s also be available as plans only?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by davisoly on 04/07/18 at 04:22:25

I, too, would be interested in a set of plans for building the projected 8" driver horns.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/08/18 at 02:42:41


I have every intension on producing a turn key pair of DNA2's for $4K or less.  Hopefully have the first production pair late this Spring at which point I can put them on the site and start taking orders. There is a serious synergy with these speakers and the 2 watt Zen Triode amplifiers. It's ironic because the DNA2 has a pressure centric bass response which is to say the louder you play the speaker, the deeper and louder the low bass gets.  This creates a real sense of excitement. The 2 watt amp gets the speaker just to the leading edge of this effect which makes the effect a very satisfying tease if there is such a thing.

Regarding plans, we literally just scaled up the DNA horn to fit an 8 inch driver. The only modification was to increase the length of the port from the thickness of the panel, to a length of 2 inches. The end result was a cabinet 16D x 9W x 38H - approximately.  We sell the plans for the original DNA horn with the 5 inch driver.

If you're familiar with the bass performance of the DNA cabinet with a 5 inch driver you can only imagine what happens when double the size! On something like a TORII JR or larger, the speakers performance gets unreal. Sadly you'll never know they could crack the kitchen ceiling if you only hear them with the two watt amps, but ironically these speakers make the two watt amp sound better than anything else we've tried so far.  HDT, ZOB, NFX, DM947, DM945, BETSY all coming in a close second.  

The combination of the Zen Triode Amplifiers on the DNA2's is exactly enough when turned up to max without clipping that you would think you listening to a Zen Mystery Amp (ZMA) witch is 40 watts!  It just communicates that sense of weight and control of the big amps, and since that is actually the true sound of a Zen Triode it pleases me to finally have a speaker other than my corner horns that demonstrates what the amp can actually do.

There is no substitute for efficiency with extremely healthy bass response and a tight wet midrange. No subwoofer, the entire crossover is a single high quality poly film capacitor.  The imaging is just sick.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/08/18 at 04:16:39


The CSP3 Anniversary Mod.

Driven by the insane sound from the new soon-to-be released SE84UFO25 (25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier), we were able to duplicate the technology behind the SE84UFO25 in our most popular preamp, the CSP3.

The technology is two fold.  First, the entire high voltage supply that feeds all the tubs must come from the cathode of the voltage regulator tube, which is as close to a high voltage battery as you can get, but with the advantage of better constancy.  Second, the entire power supply filter design has to be updated and then bypassed with the same beeswax caps used for coupling.

Since the CSP3 is made up of six triodes, three per channel, the high voltage node that previously fed all six triodes was split into two nodes by installing the SG5B tubes plates together at the node and then sending the filtered high voltage to each channel from the respective cathodes of each regulator tube. Once there, we collect the clean power and store it in a cap that matches the speed and size of the coupling cap.  In this case that's a .47uf which proved to be ideal as a coupling cap to ensure the proper bandwidth, but too slow for a power supply bypass in an anniversary series, so the .47 beeswax bypass caps were themselves bypassed with .022 beeswax caps, each channel separately.

On the other side of the regulator tubes, the main supply caps must also be bypassed to be fast enough to supply the other bypass caps through the VR tube.

Also the headphone output caps had to be bypassed in order to let you hear everything in front of them so that when you use headphones you get a similar sound to the line outputs.

I have paired this with the SE84UFO25 which is like an electron microscope on the signal path, and it not only passed, but made the damn thing sound enough better that I now can't live without it.



Can you find the tubes in this beeswax forrest?

Parts and labor on this mod is 570.00.  It is of course assuming your CSP3 already has the Beeswax caps option.  If not, you will need four more .47 beeswax caps which adds another 350.00 to job. We also change the input tube from a 6N1P to a 6N5P although you can still run any of the compatible input tubes you have in the past.

The specs of the unit remain the same with 30 volts max output, and 0.7% distortion at full output.

Fun stuff!  Ear Candy that ruins you.

Steve








Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by funch on 04/08/18 at 04:43:01

Just took delivery of my CSP in January. I only use headphones. Would this
mod be worthwhile for me?

The big question is can I be without it while it's upgraded? Nuts!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by funch on 04/08/18 at 04:48:41

BTW, I've been following the 25th thread. Sounds exciting.

Thanks, Steve, for turning me on to Boris Blank. Love it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/08/18 at 05:03:47


If you only listen in headphones then the mod is probably even more beneficial since headphones themselves are magnifying glasses on the music.

Yes, Borris has an ear and records like I wish everyone would.  His stuff sounds gigantic, and rich and dense to the point of outdoing everyone else so you would think the recordings would be highly compressed.  They are not.  In fact he leaves about 6dB on average so he too has mastered density and in his world density multiples gain.

Happy listening!

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/08/18 at 08:02:18



Quote:
Question: would this mod be likely to be able to be adapted to a CSP2 with beeswax caps?


I should think so yes.  The internal layout is a little different so I'm not sure what if anything I will run into in the way of extra costs.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 04/08/18 at 12:24:41

Dammit Steve!  Just when I thought it was safe to lurk about the forums again you come up with a 25th Anniversary modification for the CSP3. DAMMIT!

Well, I am boxing up my CSP3+ (w/ beeswax caps) today and plan to ship it tomorrow after talking with Sarah about the details. And just when I thought my wallet was safe, at least for a little while... thankfully this mod is within my budget.

Time to put my old trusty Eastern Electric preamp back into temporary service until the MASTER has his way with my CSP3. Just DAMMIT...   ;D

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/08/18 at 14:30:07

I feel your pain HK! :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 04/08/18 at 15:47:57

Lon,

How long did it take for your mono 25th anniversary mods? I need to prepare myself mentally for the wait.

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/08/18 at 16:04:30

I ordered February 9 and will receive April 9. Not that bad at all!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Tripwr1964 on 04/08/18 at 17:34:01

ive been able to resist the urge for the SE84UFO25 25th... but this CSP3?  what are you trying to do to us????

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/08/18 at 17:56:33

Serendipitously, I sent my CSP3 in for service a week or two ago and it will be coming back soon, SUPERCHARGED!   8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/08/18 at 18:50:43

Ha, well played!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/08/18 at 19:23:20

It's better to be lucky than smart!  I didn't understand everything Steve told me about the mod but he did say that it makes the CSP3 super fast -- which is an advantage for analogue.  In general, if Steve likes and recommends something, I don't ask too many questions.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 04/19/18 at 07:42:59


Several people have been asking about the DNA2 speakers that I've been using since October.  We are going to be manufacturing them, one pair at a time, and they look identical to the the smaller DNA horn.  These are an exactly scaled up version for an 8 inch driver.  After some testing the cabinet design offers tons of possibilities, but we chose the driver compliment used in our DM946/947 model.  The results have been dumfounding because the drivers sound nothing like they have in any other cabinet.  

Anyway, since tonight is my last night with a favorite amplifier, I thought I would demo the DNA2 horns with it on video so everyone can get a sense of what I'm hearing from these speakers...

Here is a link to the 13 minute video of the DNA2 horn speakers...

https://decware.wistia.com/medias/jnc8h53a7d#

Enjoy!

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 04/19/18 at 14:10:37

Very nice Steve.  Hopefully I will get an invite to listen to the OTL again once it has reached the new owner.  I remember hearing it two years ago at the fest and it was indeed special.  DNA2s sound pretty sweet as well.  I have those Boris tracks so I can get a pretty good idea of how they sound in person.

Having built the DNA with the original tang band and knowing (and liking) the driver compliment of the DNA2's, I may build some.  I have to dig around to find the DNA plans and can scale them up.

One question though, how do you increase the length of the port to 2"?  Are you using an actual port tube or increasing the thickness of the top chamber panel (and reducing the size of the chamber)?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 04/19/18 at 16:59:41


I'll have to watch that video when I get home!

Tom, I'd love to see you build the DNA2 speakers!  Ping me if my tablesaw and I can help!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 04/19/18 at 17:00:59

With your saw it would be significantly easier, let me tell you.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/20/18 at 16:47:14


Quote:
Serendipitously, I sent my CSP3 in for service a week or two ago and it will be coming back soon, SUPERCHARGED!


I got my CSP3 with the Anniversary modification (CSP3A ?) back a couple days ago and I've been listening with the idea of reporting on the modification.  Unfortunately, Steve didn't pick the best guinea pig for his first CSP3 mod in that I don't do well with articulating what I hear.

I had the CSP3 out of my chain for a couple weeks or more and I was getting most of what I thought the CSP3 offered with just my ZROCK2.  It turns out that either I was mistaken or the CSP3A+ is in fact a big improvement.  As expected, I have to dial back the ZROCK considerably with the CSP3A back in (I have it before the ZROCK2) as I did with the CSP3.  What I seem to be hearing though is a more complex soundstage, such as I have in my environment.  I also seem to have an increase in detail.  As always, female vocals are especially sweet.  There may be a lot more going on but without the original CSP3 and the CSP3A+ side by side, I can't remember well enough to discuss it.

One coincidental (?) event was that after about 20 minutes with the CSP3A, I had a strong hum in my left channel.  I was eventually able to track it down to a bad 6N5P in the front position.  That was the same tube I had been running pre-modification so whether it failed at this particular time or if it had a fault that the CSP3A uncovered, I don't know.  One other artifact of the modification is that now I get popping on warm up and cooldown from my speakers.  It sounds like OA3 popping I sometimes get from my ZP3 or ZMA.  I'm assuming it's from the two hardwired OC2s Steve uses in the modification.

Anyway, I'm glad Steve did the modification and I think it was money well spent, especially considering he had the CSP3 for service anyway.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/20/18 at 18:02:27

Interesting Archie! Keep us posted as you play around with this. I'm using a CSP3 with the Jupiter caps in my second system right now to both feed a Torii Mk III and for heapdhones. . . . I don't plan on sending it back for mods but you never know. . . ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/20/18 at 23:21:00

Lon, my guess is that I am getting a taste of what your mono blocks are giving you.  

I would suspect that the CSP3 modification effectiveness might play in with the system synergy but with the ZMA, I find things better with the CSP3 (and/or CSP3A) in front than without.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/21/18 at 00:24:41

I'm sure you're getting similar sound changes with the modded CSP3. I had a love/hate affair with the CSP2+ in use with the Torii Mk III . . . I felt that the ZBIT did more for my source than the CSP2+ and that the ZBIT and the CSP2+ was a bit too much. But the ZTPRE is different, I love what it brings even though I'm hard-pressed to describe what that is. . . It improves things but doesn't call attention to itself. (And with my two other sources besides the DSD DAC it significantly provides sonic improvement). I can imagine the mods both helping and also taking away the invisible nature of the ZTPRE I like so much. Luckily Steve hasn't mentioned any moved towards anniversary mods for the ZTPRE yet (and looking at the innards I'm not sure that there's room). :D

With the Taboo Mk III and Mk IV and the 25th  Anniversary SE84UFO3 Monoblocks there's no doubt that a preamp improves things--these amps love to have a lot gain coming in, they take on a new full-bodied flavor.

Keep posting impressions, I know I'm not alone in wanting to hear more. . . .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/21/18 at 01:07:48

Steve's amps seem to like higher voltage input for sure.  I don't know if the CSP3 puts a veil on things but what it does positively more than makes up for it in my case.  My guess is the modification reduces any negatives that the CSP3 might add.  Steve mentioned the total harmonic distortion at 30 volts is now much lower with the modifications.  I'm sure I'm well under 30 volts too.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 04/21/18 at 02:33:39

Thanks for your repot regarding the CSP3 A-Mod Archie.  Mines going in next week.  Hate being without it but I’ think I’ll find it interesting to see what I can do with the ZDSD gain stage + ZR-2 + UFO2.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/21/18 at 17:22:07

I'll be interested in how you like it with the ZDSD.  I know Stone thought the CSP3 was good between the ZDSD and ZMA but ultimately put a veil over things.  If you have even a sense of a veil (not saying you do) the mod might eliminate it.

I did okay with just the ZR2 so with your ZDSD and ZR2 you may not miss the CSP3 as much as I did.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 04/21/18 at 23:40:38

Sent my CSP3 preamp in for the 25th Anniversary modification a couple weeks ago, so I'm hoping maybe sometime next month for the return and burn in.

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 04/22/18 at 01:57:37

I’ve noted the comments regarding the CSP3 putting a sort of “veil” over things.  I can’t say that in my system it does or that it doesn’t but I’ve done a fair bit of tube rolling and I’ve found that some tubes seem to put a “veil” over certain things, specifically details.  That’s why I ended up with the tube complement that I have in bothe my CSP3 and UFO2.  Like Lon I’ve found the tube rolling to be very educational.

The interesting thing is that when I installed the ZR2 it seemed to have lifted a veil.  That’s why I felt that it transformed the system. With the ZR2 the effect was that the system became a little “darker or blacker?”  with greater density but not “heavy”, is the only way I can put it.  Personally I do not care for systems that are “dark”.  But I liked what the ZR2 was doing and that slight “darkening” served to reveal details that prior to were “veiled” quite significantly.

One disc that I’m very familiar with is the Cowboy Junkies - Trinity Sessions, recorded live in a church.  On cut two there is a low level accompaniment by a banjo, I believe.  Prior to the ZR2 I did not notice it to the degree that I could identify it as a banjo or something similar.  Prior to the ZR2 it was a brief sound from a stringed instrument.  With the ZR2 it was now obvious, melodic with a decay that even at low level could be clearly identified, - unveiled.  This effect happened with all discs and as for the improvement of the vocals the difference (unveiling) was such that it might as well been a different system.

This slightly “darker/blacker” (as I call it) presentation also gave the sound more of a 3D effect with more evident layering, more unveiling. So yes I am curious to see what the A-update in the CSP3 will do.  If it is a further unveiling I will be extremely pleased.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/22/18 at 18:49:17

JOMAN, I concur with pretty much all you said.  If my CSP3 had a veil, it wasn't much and seems to be lifted with the Anniversary mod.  I'm assuming the bump the ZR2 gives in the lower end is responsible in that those details just aren't audible without the ZR2.  While it's a fairly broad adjustment curve, it's not like a full spectrum equalizer.  I wonder what one of those would do for a Decware amp?  I too hear a darker presentation with the ZR2 but every time I go to bypass, I prefer what the ZR2 does.

Yesterday I was getting grindingly low bass out of my HR1s thanks to the ZR2.  The HR1s spec a very low end but with bass rolloff, I never really heard them until the ZR2 came home!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 04/25/18 at 00:00:15

Wow, my CSP3 25th Anniversary mods are done and the preamp is being packed up.  That was a fast turnaround by Steve and crew. ;)

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/25/18 at 00:37:50


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by metropolis7 on 04/25/18 at 01:06:18


For me, the veil (and there does seem to be one), is a *good* thing. In my system that is....

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/28/18 at 18:44:54

I'm posting this in this thread since the idea of a CSP3 "veil" came up.  I'm not saying I hear one but I made a change in my component order that seems to have opened things up.  

In a ZROCK2 post, Stone talked about having issues with a ZR2 after his ZDSD at higher ZDSD gain settings.  I had my ZR2 after my CSP3 since I wanted to take advantage of the ZR2 for both components I have feeding my CSP3 (Phono and CDs).  I too struggled occasionally with overdriving my ZR2.  I decided to swap things around and feed my ZP3 into the ZR2 and then into my CSP3 (now with the Anniversary mod).  WOW!  It seemed that clarity jumped way up in the new configuration.  I also noticed that I can push my ZR2 setting much higher without getting the muddy bass I had with the ZR2 after the CSP3.  Additionally, in a couple post there was talk of a "dark" sound with the ZR2 that I too had.  I think the darkness has also lifted.

So, if any other ZR2/CSP3 users can chime in as to how they have things set up and what they've experience, I'd be very interested.  I'll listen more in this configuration but I don't see going back the other way, especially since I rarely listen to CDs and can swap cables if I do.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/28/18 at 19:18:49

Interesting results! I'm using the ZTPRE so positioning the ZROCK2 before the preamp doesn't really work for me as I'm running balanced sources. . . but yeah, I can see that positioning of the two gain stages could lead to interesting differences.

Have you listened to the CSP3 with headphones? I might send in one of my CSP2+ (which I assume, I'd have to check first, could get the 25th Anniversary mods) to be modded if there was an interesting improvement with headphone listening. . . would be interesting to see how that compared to the Taboo Mk IV as a headphone amp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/28/18 at 19:29:04

I'm not a good judge with headphones as I generally don't use them and mine have very low impedance making them a poor match in general.

I think the differences between the CSP3 and CSP2+ are the headphone calibration pots and possibly, internal topology.  I bet they can me modified.

If I ran a higher voltage source into the CSP3 then ZR2 I might have had better luck.  One of my MC carts is relatively low output and I really need to crank up the CSP3's voltage.  At best, I only put 1 volt out of my ZP3 and maybe 2/3 volt at worst.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/28/18 at 19:34:33

Thanks. Yeah, I can feed about 4 volts from my DAC and even more from my tuner and Oppo UDP-205 and have gain adjustment on the ZTPRE and the ZBIT to play with. But running single-ended I would definitely try the ZROCK2 before the CSP2+. . . why not.

Yes, the differences between the two are slight enough that I am pretty sure that the mods would be applicable to the CSP2+ but I'd need to ask Steve. I have one that already has beeswax caps and one without.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/28/18 at 23:55:04

I think he needs to change any non-beeswax caps, which adds to the price.  So that may factor in, one way or the other.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 04/29/18 at 01:04:28

My 25th Anniversary modified CSP3 is back in my system.  First impression - Steve's mods have turned my Omega speakers into electrostats. Can you say fast?  I'll provide additional comments after +100 hours of burning in the new caps. :)

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 07:59:15


Archie wrote on 04/28/18 at 23:55:04:
I think he needs to change any non-beeswax caps, which adds to the price.  So that may factor in, one way or the other.

Yes, that's how I read it. In my case it's just a matter of deciding which to send in if and when. . . . Probably the one that does not yet have beeswax caps. Considerably more expense, but that gives me better sound for my second system should the modded CSP2+ take the place of the Taboo Mk IV in my main system.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 13:05:49

Oh boy. I have been thinking of the CSP2+ and CSP3 25th anniversary version and woke up this morning and ordered a CSP3 with the 25th Anniversary mods. As I know what a profound effect the mods have on the amplifiers enjoying my Monoblocks so much I got to thinking how this would benefit my headphone listening and perhaps help my speaker listening as well if pre-amping the Monoblocks. If I were to pop it in place of the Taboo Mk IV in my system it should be another step up for both modes of listening. (I'm no longer surprised that there are steps up! Steve is climbing Jacob's ladder for us).

Now all I have to do is keep selling things to finance this. . . .Easier said than done, but I've got to tag along on the climb. . . it may be a sickness but I don't yet want to be cured.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 04/29/18 at 15:59:26

You are on fire Lon!  I love it!  Congratulations. I am sure this pre in front of those monoblocks will be divine!  


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by alper_yilmaz on 04/29/18 at 16:02:02

Lon,

Stop it, man!  You keep on promoting ultimate GAS here!  Congrats on the purchase, I am sure it will sound like heaven!

Cheers,

Alper

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 16:13:34

Thanks Jeff and Alper! That makes me feel a little bit better making a possibly incorrect decision!

I'm wondering whether sources to ZTPRE to ZBIT to ZROCK2 to CSP3 and then to the Monoblocks is "one step too far" or whether it will be awesome. I don't want to abandon the ZTPRE which is an amazing component (both as a piece of equipment and as a part of the "magic") in my system. . . My gut tells me this will work and be worth it. We'll see. If not then the new CSP3 can be the heartbeat of my second system or be the headphone amp only in my main system, so it won't go to waste. . . .

In my opinion this 21st year of my journey with Decware is a pinnacle, and full of musical enjoyment.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 04/29/18 at 16:22:22

Lon, no reason to think your experience will be any different to Steve's writing about the combination at his place! I may be just a tad envious!! You WILL love it, no doubt. Joe

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 16:54:06

Thanks Joe. I'll feel easier when I've managed to pay for it and actually afford it, but that will happen. I am doing my part to support Decware's growth, as many of us are. And dang I KNOW it will be a good sounding unit.

I could have saved by sending in one of my CSP2+ (if they can be modded) but they are white tops and gold knobbed and black top with ebony knob will match my Monoblocks. Hopefully the CSP2+ will help someone else's system if I sell them.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/29/18 at 18:57:09

That's what I figured you'd do.  No sense missing a chance to bring the "lowest" component up to snuff.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 19:34:41

Well, the CSP2+ hasn't been in the main system since I got the ZTPFRE so it's more like adding another component than correcting the lowest denominator. And it won't cost me any other cabling or force me to come up with another rack space if it replaces the Taboo Mk IV as a headphone amp.

I hope I'm doing the right thing and that it works out that I can feed the ZBIT with my three sources through the ZTPRE and then use the ZROCK2 to feed the CSP3 with mods and use that to feed my Monoblocks. If it "works" it should yield even better sound from the CSP3 mods, AND improved headphone sound as well, a real win.

If it doesn't work. . . well then it doesn't work and I'll have probably fixed the lowest denominator component in my very infrequently used second system. . . .

I just got over a wait. . . and here comes another.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 04/29/18 at 19:43:46

I didn't realize you wanted to put it in with the ZTPRE too.  I just thought you wouldn't want any weak links in the stable.   :)

I'm sure you'll run all combinations and come up the the optimum.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 19:46:35

Yes, I did mention using the ZTPRE several times! ;)  I'll find the optimum. . . but if the optimum is the ZTPRE out of the system I have a problem as I need the ZTPRE for the balanced inputs, all three of them. . . . And if I have to choose then I think the CSP3 will have to be in the second system (and I use that so infrequently I might as well not have it, so no use throwing money at it). Ah well. . . I'll work it out. First world problems!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 04/29/18 at 20:35:28

Lon, like Steve says, the ZTPRE is vvirtually without a sound signature of it's own, so no reason to think you will not have the same success as he did with the CSP3  He did not take his ZTPRE out when listening with the CSP3 so do not stress. It will all be good! Joe

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 04/29/18 at 20:40:47

Isn't the ZTPre a CSP3 on steroids? If so, why not get the anniversary mods done to the ZTPre instead? That would be the place within the chain that I would think about most.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 04/29/18 at 20:58:27

No mods have been announced for the ZTPRE unless I missed it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 21:04:51


lazb wrote on 04/29/18 at 20:35:28:
Lon, like Steve says, the ZTPRE is vvirtually without a sound signature of it's own, so no reason to think you will not have the same success as he did with the CSP3  He did not take his ZTPRE out when listening with the CSP3 so do not stress. It will all be good! Joe

Awesome Joe, that's what I wasn't sure of reading the report from that night's listening. I'm not going to stress, I'm going to have great sound either way this pans out. .. I am pretty sure the headphone sound alone will be worth it if that ends up being the only use and the Taboo Mk IV will kick ass as a headphone amp upstairs in the second system. Thanks!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 04/29/18 at 21:09:13

As Juan says no mods are announced for the ZTPRE. Looking at the layout I am hard-pressed to imagine where the mods would fit but Steve probably can and maybe will do so. I agree that would be a great place for the anniversary mods, and if he announces it I may well consider it in the future. But I shudder to think of packaging and sending this back and being without it. . . .Nor will I be able to just purchase a second one and leave the original in place as I did with the ZBIT last year and in a sense am doing with the CSP3--the ZTPRE is very expensive (but worth it).  At least if I do that in the future I'll then have the modded CSP3 to use in its place for a spell.

I do feel that the ZTPRE and the CSP3 are a bit of different animals. . . the torroidal power transformers and the dual mono balanced configuration do cause a different feel and sound. Adding this difference may well be a good thing for the overall system sound.

Anyway, I'll be trying out dropping a modded CSP3 into the system and we'll see.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 05/19/18 at 15:16:44

I received confirmation from Steve that a CSP2+ can be modded with the 25th Anniversary changes for an additional 100 dollars of the cost for the changes to the CSP3. That's good news for CSP2+ owners.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by RLB on 05/22/18 at 13:06:58

Steve, I don't know where to post these questions about the DNA2, but since this is the original string where you revealed details about it, I will proceed.

First let me admit, I have yet to hear any very-high efficiency speaker designs; I have only read about them. I am also completely new to the low-power amp scene and intrigued enough by the revelations you are reporting with your new 25th Anniversary Zen amp to think of putting-in an order. I would want much different speakers, however, from the ones I presently own (not to say also a different preamp).

Furthermore, Decware is a good 800 miles away from me, so an audition is not something that I would easily and willy-nilly choose to do, at least not in advance of trying to absorb a lot more information.

So in trying to get a better handle on what I could expect from the type of speaker that the DNA2 is I have tried to find (without luck) reviews on the DNA. Do you anticipate anyone doing an official review of the DNA2 when it  finally debuts? And how does the rest of its sound spectrum compare to the significant improvements you tell us you are hearing in the low end (over what the DNA is able to produce)? To try to flesh-out better what the DNA2 might sound like in advance of any audition, I read your elaborations here about a month ago that you had arrived at the same driver complement for the DNA2 as the DM947. So I tried to find out what those are and came up with another zip.

Maybe I am jumping the gun with all these questions on this new speaker and you will be revealing all in due course?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/22/18 at 17:26:23

If you can put your hand on a pair of headphones, you can listen to the DNA2's from my listening chair by clicking on the video at the top of the forum titled DNA2 Speaker Demo.

What makes our high-efficiency speakers different from typical hifi speakers is the lack of a crossover and low moving mass brings a far more linear response with better dynamics.  Side-by-side the typical hifi speaker sounds congested and lifeless.

You won't find many reviews of our speakers because we have never shipped a pair out for review a likely never will because it costs too much, the speakers will get trashed by UPS, I won't see them again for about a year, and after the glowing review the only people who will buy them are a tiny fraction of those who read it, and despite what reviewers would like to think, not very many people actually read their reviews.  In fact I have tracked the traffic and looked at google anylitics for every review we've had over the years and these reviews are lucky to get a thousand hits in the first week and even luckier to get a 100 more over the next year.

If we were going to get into the review game, we would have to double the cost of our speakers so we could afford to send review samples to the entire review circuit and at the same time do the audio shows so that people when they see the review would recognize the speaker and want to read about it.

Steve

 

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by RLB on 05/23/18 at 14:25:27

I checked out that video demo of yours with headphones, Steve, but personally for me it wasn't useful. Which leads to the next question. I notice your 30-day trial-period policy on purchases. But it comes with a 10% restocking fee if one elects to return anything. A whole new system with your 25th Anniversary editions (2 amps and preamp) and a pair of DNA2's becomes a 5-figure proposition. And my only experience so far with Decware anything is a 19-year-old SE84C that I newly acquired a few weeks ago and so far have played with less-than-ideal preamp and speakers. If I were to take the leap and buy what I am thinking of buying here, then discover during the trial period that any part of the new system is not for me, the minimum restocking fee becomes onerous. Do you anticipate the same 10% prevailing for restocking for the DNA2's and various Anniversary editions?

Or maybe you would be willing to help subsidize a 1600-mile round-trip visit to East Peoria for an audition? ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 05/23/18 at 16:09:49

I appreciate your dilemma but eventually it comes down to trusting and taking the plunge or not.  There are ample examples of satisfied Decware plungers (me too)!   :D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Tripwr1964 on 05/23/18 at 17:01:16

@ RLB

I understand your concerns too.  I am lucky enough to live 20mins from Decware and have opportunity to listen to Steve's latest on each visit.

Maybe go slow and in small steps till you get comfortable with spending more, and more $$$.

I listened to the DNA2's with new 25yr amp and it is very very lovely!!
I've always liked the original DNA (prob my fav of steves speakers), but these DNA2's are crazy good.

Having just had my CSP3 upgraded, I am guessing that 1/2 or more of the magic is coming from that 25yr amp.  it a beautiful sounding pre amp and amp!!

just my 2cents.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 05/23/18 at 19:56:34

Me too!
I am going from zero Decware to SE84UFO25, DNA2, ZBIT and ZROCK2 all at one time! I attended DECFEST last year and heard the DECWARE sound first hand, went home and sold my system, traveled back(an eight hour drive one way) to verify that what I had heard was what I was going to buy but, as soon as I heard the 25th Anni. amp and DNA2 speakers play, it was "game over" for me! Now I am in line and waiting for production.
Come on in, the water is excellent!!!!!!!!!!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/23/18 at 22:13:08

Trip, I did not know you live that close to Decware.

Yeah, I know, I say I'm not looking back and staying with my ZMA only.

Ha! Whom am I kidding.
I enjoyed my SE84CS, for 13 years. I'm no stranger to Steve's Pentode in Triode.

To satisfy my curiosities thirst, I will by appointment go to Peoria for a visit. I've been a couple times and had a great time.

Whether it is late summer, late fall or even this winter or next Spring. I am only 442 miles away/door to door.

The Mono UFO3/25th's vs. ZMA enhanced (when Steve has it done and seasoned in to his liking). The gap might be really narrowed with an ZMA bypass enhancement; as he eluded to in the 25th Anni Thread (stock ZMA vs. Mono 25th's). However, hearing for myself will do it.

....I might be leaving my ZMA with him to enhance and ship back. Or, am I putting in an order for the Mono's and my ZMA will need to wait?!

Pack and carry:

(Modified) Acoustic Zen Adagio's
ZMA (in Pelican case~leaving Amp with Steve if I'm doing the enhancement/ship back)
KS6063 Speaker Cable
KS1030 IC
Sony transport
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata digital p-cord for his ZDSD on tap
XLO p-cord I use to ZMA
My favorite full tube compliment(s).

Definitely need to hear the new DNA Speaker's too.

So, to say again, the only way to satisfy my curiosities thirst, is to go into the belly of the beast and LISTEN with all well seasoned in Gear and at my 16/192 via/CD's of my collection. Will need to hear some hi-res too though.  8-)

Best laid plans of mice & men, right?  It has been to long since my last visit.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/24/18 at 02:21:48


Visit the mother ship!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/24/18 at 02:23:15

RLB, you fly out here and I'll deduct the price of the hotel if you buy the amp : )

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Acetone on 05/24/18 at 02:42:06

He might not need a hotel if you guys spend 12+ hours in listening bliss !!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 05/24/18 at 14:36:55

I'd take Steve up on the lodging deal RLB.

I'm fortunately 884 miles round trip. I don't know if I want to change my ZMA? I love the cadence as it is and I'm in my 5th year with this great Amplifier.

I need to go and hear it all with a two night hotel stay. Steve, does such great work....I'll be leaving with something enhanced (leave my Pelican boxed ZMA with Steve) or something ordered (25th, Mono 25th or Speaker's) as I mentioned above.

I also, will continue to keep an open mind about higher sensitivity speaker's. An must hear for me vs. my modified Adagio's. One does not make the other right or wrong. Just, thus far, I prefer the 90 to 92.5db @ 1 watt/1 meter ~ camp.
+, if my KS1030 + KS6063's got dethroned along with my modified Adagio's.....so far, that has not happened.
stone_of_tone/Texture
.....I will come home and sell, if my ear brain connection is moved to do so.

With your precognitive dissonance RLB? I think you should go and alleviate any post cognitive dissonance.  
.....Obviously, I have my pre/post issues too. Plus, my curiosities thirst to visit...since it has been an decade for me (2005 & 2008 visits).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Stefan on 05/26/18 at 03:29:15

Hi Steve,
will there be an "official" CSP3-25 version in the future, or will it be an option like now that has the mods only internally?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 05/27/18 at 02:50:38


Hi Stefan,

I am seriously considering it, yes.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Stefan on 05/27/18 at 05:54:44

Please do Steve, would like nice to have a 25th anniversary pre-amp matching the 25th anniversary amp!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 05/27/18 at 16:33:28

I second that Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/13/18 at 04:31:05


Meanwhile, the Anniversary mods for CSP3 are going great.  I've done enough to get good at it, and have fine-tuned the mod for both Type I and Type II beeswax caps.  




The mod is an option now in the shopping cart for anyone who wants to purchase a new unit built this way.  It can be found in the shopping cart under the signal-cap section where you choose what type of signal-caps to have your CSP3 built with.

The one pictured is a CSP3 built with copper foil (type II) beeswax caps and then updated further with the Anniversary mod.  There are a total of 12 Jupiter Cryo-Treated beeswax caps in this modded unit, several poly film caps and two miniature solder-into-place voltage regulator tubes that will last the life of the preamp if they're not shorted.  

The headphone section is also bypassed with the copper foil beeswax caps.  

All of this takes a preamp / otl headphone amp that already sounds better than all of it's competition and punches it through the stratosphere.  



For the techies that want to know what is different, while we have a picture to look at... the standard CSP3 is built with a novel power supply design.  It features a simple pie filter using two caps and one resistor.  Very Zen. To negate the need for a choke, regulation, or anything else the power supply transformer is rated at 170 mA while the circuit draws only 30 mA.  The other novel part is that it is a signal node supply, meaning that all the B+ comes from a single point for all three tubes.  No attempt to segregate whatsoever.  This kept the timing the same for all three tubes which promotes cohesiveness.

The Anniversary mod takes the 10K 6.5 watt dale resistor in the pie filter and adds another 10K to it, dropping the value in half and doubling the wattage rating.  Heat drops in half.  Voltage increases.  Then it is sent through an added 1K 6.5watt resistor to a pair of miniature VR tubes which drop the voltage back down to the original value but without heat, and segregate the voltage between the two channels, so each VR tube serves 1-1/2 audio tubes.

Once the voltage gets through the VR tube, which acts like a miracle filter being in series with the supply, it then is accumulated in the cryo treated beeswax caps using a .47uf for each channel because it is big and has to supply 1-1/2 tubes.  Then we bypass that with another cryo beeswax cap at .022uf to balance out the speed for high frequencies.  These caps then feed the plate resistors of each tube.

The main filter caps also have to be bypassed with film caps, and the same applies.  There are two bypass caps for each filter cap to maintain a balance of speed to properly feed the VR tubes.

The performance went up, the distortion went down (it was already super low) and the noise floor that was also super low dropped even further.  The VR tubes can offer in some cases ten times the ripple reduction as an equivalent resistor with the same voltage drop and do it with no heat... so this mod is basically like running your CSP3 off high voltage batteries with bottomless current.  It doesn't get any better than this... but it's not cheep unless you put it in the perspective that nothing retail is available that does this, and a power re-generator for 6 grand or more isn't going to be half as good.

Steve





Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/13/18 at 05:22:21


UPDATE:  The DNA2 loudspeakers production model 001 and 002 have arrived and look simply stunning!  They sound BETTER than good right out of the box!  Just amazing.  Another Ziegler masterpiece. Pics coming soon!!!  Web page to order from coming soon as well!

I am listening to them now... Love Comes in Colors (acoustic mix) live with Arjonas, Chris Jones.  My couch has levitated to the ideal position in front of the stage about 35 feet back and centered with the stage.  The couch is floating just above everyones heads giving me a clear, spectacular view of the performance and the sound is expansive.  I can see the stars as this is an outdoor concert in the summertime at night. So once again you thought you were going to listen to speakers and you became part of the experience.  A consistent fault of Decware gear ;)

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/15/18 at 01:18:18


I've been listening to the ZMA for the past week on the DNA2 loudspeakers having come off a 6 month exclusive pairing between these speakers and the UFO25 anniversary amps.

Tonight I went ahead an implemented the upgrade which only took 8 beeswax caps.  There is nothing else that can be done to this amp without replacing original parts.  Of those, the only one that stands a chance of being obvious is the large 3 x 6 inch caps.  The 47uf F&T caps are wonderful on their own and now bypassed with beeswax caps, both a .47uf and a .1uf I don't see a cost justification to go with more expensive caps that probably don't last as long. So the large KEMET caps in the amp now are already twice as good of specs as the fancy Mundorfs, but specs don't always tell the whole story.  I have been researching possible candidates for a replacement that might best the KEMETs in the amp now and will start that process after the bypass caps have burned-in. This way I can hear what the bypass caps did, and then when I change the large caps I can hear if that was an improvement that justifies the price or not.  I'm not convinced the Mundorf is the answer, as it's longevity rating is so short (16,000 hours) vs. the 40,000 hours of the KEMET.

Believe it or not I suspect the winner will be the new production version of the "RED CAPS" that I sold the first ten amps with, or the Nichicons which both weigh in a 2.39 pounds ea.  Twice the weight of the KEMET.

So I guess the point of all this is to let you know the  ZMA mods are under way, and the bypass caps moved the amp a huge step in the right direction.  I can really listen to it now.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 06/15/18 at 01:36:40

That's great news Steve!  So, the original big reds are good?  Speaking for myself, going to the trouble and expense of sending in my ZMA for the upgrades will be 90% of the battle.  If you find original parts that could/should be upgraded, I'd probably go that route.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 06/15/18 at 03:06:55

Steve,
With regard to the specifications on the large Mundorf caps, which model are you referring to?  

Jeff

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by bandrade on 06/15/18 at 22:07:03

Steve,
If you discount longitity ("longevity rating is so short (16,000 hours) vs. the 40,000 hours of the KEMET") and only discuss performance would Mundorf caps be better in your opinion.

BonnyA

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/16/18 at 06:08:07


My guess its the Mundorfs with their cathode coatings and foils should be the best sounding, but the tradeoff appears to be longevity compared to the industrial caps we've been looking at.  When I try the Mundorfs I will be attempting to get the larger size so that the physical size does not change over the original caps.  That will put the specs closer to what we currently have but with around twice the microfarads so certainly this should be audible.  The cost however is $300 or so per cap.  I am hoping these will be so good we don't care about the price, but they will have stiff competition in the coming months between the Nichicon, United Chem, and Mallary industrial caps.  The original red caps we shipped the first 10 amps were NOS Mallary made for nuclear power plants.

I am expecting in the end that the beeswax bypass will have far more effect than upgrading the electrolytics, but the spirit of the anniversary mods is that if the sound can keep up with the price we don't care how much it costs... so we will see.

Steve  


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by bandrade on 06/18/18 at 21:22:22

Steve,

Thanks for your musings on the intended path for the 25th anniversary ZMA “cost no bar, performance centric” upgrades.
Given that this mod is easily reversible I went ahead and installed the same MUNDORF MLYTIC MLSC HP+ 4700µf 500VDC caps that Jeff did on his ZMA. In my case -as was his- they replaced the upgrade option red Mallary caps that came with the amp.
Improvements were palpable right away. Best description is that the flow of music is more relaxed, more effortless, this with only 10 hours of burn in. I felt the difference soon after installation. Understandably the first 10 minutes were awful but it picked up at an exponential rate thereafter.
These Mundorf Mlytic’s capacitors have 4 leads while the originals had 2 leads. I installed the Mundorf’s both ways: as a 2 pole (drop in fit) and then after about 4 of running re-installed them using the 4 leads. Even installing as a 2 pole cap the improvement was obvious. But when I switched to make it work as a 4 pole cap there was a step jump in performance. My experience is that the additional benefit as a 4 pole cap is the LRC filtering provided by this arrangement is not just theory.
To install them as a 4 pole cap I had to de-solder (separate) the 3 red wires connected to the +ve terminal of the original red Mallary caps since the input and output needed to be separately connected to the Mundorfs. I connected the one red wire coming from the full wave rectifier (downstream of the diodes) to “IN” +ve of the cap and the other two outgoing wires -one to the anode of OA3 regulator tube and other that goes to the primary of the output transformer to the “OUT” +ve lead on the cap. Similarly the “IN” -ve to the inner 100mA meter -ve lead green wire and the wire to the copper return bus to the “OUT” -ve of the Mundorf cap. This arrangement brought the best out of the amp. I feel the background is blacker. It seems the KT66 and 6922 tubes have more of a glow now. Having experienced this I am coming to believe that only 4 pole caps should be used for this purpose – power reservoir and filtering.
I do not mind that the Mundorf Caps have about half the life span of the original caps. Once the wiring changes are made replacing them with new caps is very easy – becomes almost a drop in fit.

Next I would like experiment by connecting the Red Mallary caps in parallel with the Mundorfs via leads that I can easily bring out side the amp though the gap created by the Mundorfs (they are about 2mm smaller in diameter). The capacitance then would double to 9400 uF. Do you have any thoughts/concerns on this. Would the power supply be able to handle the initial startup current to charge the increased capacitance?

BonnyA

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 06/19/18 at 01:25:50

I received my 25th Anniversary CSP3 and am listening to the very first disc with it. I'm using the stock 6N1Ps and 6N5P and a Sophia Electric Aqua 274B rectifier. Listening to the Audeze LCD-2 at the moment.

It arrived just as I was halfway through dinner and just as my wife arrived home, and so I stared at the box through dinner, then washed the dishes, walked little Fiona and finally was able to unbox and set up the amp. It was on my mind all afternoon waiting for UPS!

The sound I heard immediately was involving and vivid. This is certainly more detailed sounding than the CSP2+ that I have (with Type 1 beeswax caps and stepped attenuator). At the moment a bit brighter as well, but I believe that will not last long. Soundstage is wider and as Trip mentions in a post started today about these preamps there are "layers" to the sound that are very discernible. Thes presentation is not entirely different from that of the Taboo Mk IV but different, a "bigger" sound, a crisper sound right now with comparable dynamics.

I'm going to enjoy listening to this preamp, no question! Later this week I'll connect it to the Monoblocks. . . .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 06/19/18 at 02:35:55

LOL!!! Lon, it may in fact be later this week when you put it with the monoblocks but I will wager that it will not be MUCH later! I think the sound of it will force you to hear it with the monoblocks.  ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 06/19/18 at 02:56:28

LOL. I do plan on getting some "burn in" on the preamp with headphones, and a handle on "what it's doing" before putting it into the chain in front of the Monoblocks. And I have a few non-audio tasks to perform mid-week so perhaps I'll initiate that on Friday.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/19/18 at 03:16:10



Quote:
Next I would like experiment by connecting the Red Mallary caps in parallel with the Mundorfs via leads that I can easily bring out side the amp though the gap created by the Mundorfs (they are about 2mm smaller in diameter). The capacitance then would double to 9400 uF. Do you have any thoughts/concerns on this. Would the power supply be able to handle the initial startup current to charge the increased capacitance?


Thanks for excellent feedback on the Mundorf caps.  In application I doubt the life-rating of the cap will have any real bearing on how long it will last in a ZMA since we are not running them at anywhere near the high temperatures (85'C) that those ratings refer to.

As for increasing the value...  4700 is already over the stock 2200 which is larger than the original red mallory caps that were around 2000. As you increase the value the voltage will increase throughout the amplifier and this will change how it sounds. 4700 should be the limit.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/19/18 at 03:32:32

POWER CONDITIONER from DECWARE?

Also, just a heads up that I am working on a design for a power conditioner and I getting pretty stoked about it. It will have 6 independent fully balanced outlets fed by a large TOROIDAL transformer sized to handle most entire systems. With it we will eliminate ground loops and noise problems while getting you 100% de-coupled from the power grid. I'll keep you posted in the coming months when chassis and parts begin to roll in. Meanwhile if you are contemplating getting a power conditioner, by this Fall you will have a Decware offering to add to your list of choices.

-Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by bandrade on 06/19/18 at 03:56:43

Thank you Steve. I'll drop the idea of paralleling the Mundorf caps with the Mallorys. It's also the law of diminishing returns.

The amp is sounding better and better with every listening session - 16 hours put in thus far. I am driving 89db (91db anechoic chamber) PSB T3 speakers. This mod has improved their drivability. What amazes me with this hobby is there is always more that one can do never reaching the end. I am glad I did this mod and must credit Jeff o A for providing the inspiration and taking the brave first steps.

BonnyA

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 06/19/18 at 05:49:01

BonnyA,
I’m just glad you aren’t cursing my name here - pissed off that I steered you wrong.   ;D

In all seriousness, when it comes to topics related to large expenditures, I am extra cautious about what I broadcast.  I would hate to influence anyone into betting on the wrong horse.  So, I am incredibly pleased that these Mundorf Mlytic caps lived up to your expectations.  And to piggy back on Steve’s comment about the ZMA’s normal temps not reaching 85C and therefore likely to sustain longer than 16,000 hours, when I estimate my yearly listening hours, it would be unlikely that these caps will need replacement any sooner than 10 years.  Maybe its 8, maybe its 12, regardless, I am happy to sacrifice longevity for ultimate sound quality.  But this may not be the case for others, so I don’t want to criticize anyone for choosing longevity first, as these retail for $500 a pair!  

I like that Mundorf is audio first, as this is an audio application and not a mission-critical laser, or robotic surgical apparatus, or Department of Defense super secret alien weapon technology.  They chose the construction and material for a reason and I don’t believe their reason was to create a shorter living cap.  I do believe their reason was to create a superior cap with regard to sound quality/performance.  At least that notion supports what I (and you) have experienced with the Mlytics in our beloved ZMAs.  


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 06/19/18 at 08:04:56

Wow, a power conditioner!  That's something that's been on my list for a while now.  I currently have an older Monster Power Center and it's decent, but looking to improve.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Vooraphile on 06/19/18 at 10:05:36

Steve,

Put me in that list for the power conditioner.

I have one currently and it's being refurbished.. and hunting for a new unit.

This is such a good timing..!!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by ScottNC on 06/19/18 at 13:10:39

New DNA2’s, Power Conditioners, Cap Mods, Anniversary PreAmps...I guess I’m needing a bigger “Paper Route” real soon 😏😉

Best,
Scott

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by bandrade on 06/19/18 at 21:54:10

Steve,
Would you consider adding a DC offset removal in the new power conditioner or building a stand alone one ? I have been looking for a DC offset built in power conditioner but could find none.
I found one or two amp manufactures that include DC offser removal directly in built in their power supply of their amplifiers. Maybe also some thing to consider to clean the power supply of the ZMA and other further. Would help minimizing transformer buzz as most grid power now a days has DC offset in their supply to a larger or smaller extent (also change with time of the day).

BonnyA

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by deucekazoo on 06/19/18 at 22:36:45

bandrade,
I had DC on my lines a while back also. I have a SS amp running my subs and it was buzzing like crazy. I tracked it down to a bad fan speed controller. You might want to look at all the stuff you have plugged in. I had a hard time finding one also but found this one. https://emotiva.com/collections/accessories/products/cmx-2
This is the one I got and it worked perfectly. Seems they are sold out but should be back in stock soon.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Donnie on 06/19/18 at 23:08:48

I don't know why I just thought of this, but whatever happened to the Decware vibration isolation "stand" that was shown at the last "fest?
It was pretty and Steve said that it was the only one that really worked properly.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 06/20/18 at 01:07:30

Steve mentioned this month I think that these are being developed for each model.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/20/18 at 02:47:47


I am in the process of installing the Nichicon 4700uf 450V caps in the ZMA since they are here and I am still waiting for the Mundorfs.  Haven't listened to them yet, getting ready to now, but something amazing did happen.

My old trusty 200 ohm 10 watt wire wound resistor that I use to discharge caps took on a new life today.  Usually if you discharge a cap by accident or with too small a resistor relative to the size of the cap, you get a sharp if not violent SNAP when the resistor leads contact it and then the charge drains down through the resistor and you feel a little heat.

This is basically how it has always been with the 2200 uf 500V caps in the ZMA and even the 2000 uf red Mallory caps used in the first 10.

Today I brought the new Nichicon caps up to speed on a variable AC transformer to form the caps a little bit before tubing up the amp and putting it into use.  After a couple hours I decided to do some other work on the amp and needed the caps to be discharged.  I didn't want to wait for the bleeder resistors at 1 volt per second to drain the 450 volts from the caps so I got the trusty 200 ohm resistor and started to discharge the caps and instead of a bright white SNAP as the lead makes contact, there was controlled plasma arc which stayed there exactly like a welder.  I would have watched it for the duration but the resistor instantly got too hot to hold.

I checked the cap and had only drained less than 100 volts off it, so it ended up taking about 5 more times to get the cap fully drained and each and every time it stuck a highly controlled plasma arc until the resistor got too hot to hold.

I have never seen this happen before, but it's pretty damn impressive demonstration of how different the this cap is from stock.  Can't wait to see if the Mundorf does this.  I'll probably have to make a video of this.

I know I wouldn't want to go any bigger than this, because I'll be honest with you, as a man who sticks his fingers into high voltage on a monthly basis... the stock ZMA caps might kill you, but these Nichicons will kill you.  It's just too much energy.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/20/18 at 02:57:25


Isolation platforms - Yes, I have been enjoying the prototypes for both the large and the small amps since last year.  It takes a lot of time to know if what you have developed is really as good as you think it is.  Sure it can all be measured with lab grade piezoelectric sensors but how does it make the stuff sound... how easy is is to use properly... how long can you use it before you wish it was just a little different so it would...  

We're at that point now, where I've used them for almost a year under a variety of conditions and do not want to change anything so I'll be submitting drawings to Bob Ziegler soon with the specs for the types of wood, and general shapes so we can hopefully get them on the site sometime this winter.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/20/18 at 03:45:15


So now while my mind is on ZMA caps, I have to say these Nichicons look menacing as hell installed in the amp. You'll see when I snap some pictures. But as you know they weigh double what the stock caps weigh and when you tap on them it's like a solid concrete block, just completely dead. The stock caps have a resonance.  I think this mechanical resonance or lack thereof is absolutely crucial.

I thought the red Mallory caps from the surplus Nuclear Power Plant was impressive, and it is but this is taking it a giant step farther, rated at 85C instead of 65C and with over twice the capacitance it starting making me wonder how the two caps would have compared on the fateful night a few years ago when we blew one up!

Yes, believe it or not we actually blew up one of those giant red caps in a ZMA during testing! No it wasn't intentional, but it was a testament to how TUFF these red caps were and why you would want one in a nuclear power plant.

What happened was somehow a cap rated at 350V instead of 500V was mixed into the inventory of caps and other than the markings, looked identical. This cap got installed in a Mystery Amp on a Thursday and went into the test rack at the end of the bench in the build room where it played 24/7 on the radio until late Sunday night...

I remember it well, about 8:30 P.M.  I'm alone in the shop at my desk upstairs working on my computer when suddenly I felt the air pressure in the building suddenly change with a pfoomph sound followed by an eery silence that seemed to last forever while I tried to figure out in my mind what in the possible hell could that have been????  Then a loud crash... something with a lot of weight just crashed... not only was it loud but you could feel that too.  While time slowed down in reality it was only 2 seconds before the loud crash.

Now I realize that if someone didn't just drive a car into the building one of those damn UFO's have just scraped the roof off, either way I now have to get up from the desk and go investigate.

I ran into the build room (funny how I knew to run in there) with fire extinguisher in hand and whipped open the door to see what looked like a volcano had erupted and filled the room with ash.  There was so much smoke I couldn't see, so I opened the door and put on a fan.

I then saw that the Mystery amp that was on the end of the test bench was no longer in it's wood base!  One of the caps exploded and lifted this 40 pound amplifier out of the wood base and at least 30 inches up in the air (the 2 seconds) and then dropped it back down about 6 inches off to the left.

If you ever want to completely destroy a piece of property, this is the way to go.

Can you imagine this cap ran at 100 volts higher than it was rated for nearly 4 days before it melted-down and exploded. Then the energy it takes to throw a ZMA three feet into the air...  and some people probably think when they read the web page on the ZMA that the lightning bolt illustration was just hyperbole...  I wish a lightning bolt would have came out of it, because what did come out of it was a million times worse.

I found myself thinking about this while installing these Nichicons that just created a plasma welder out of my bleed-down resistor, and now completely understand I wouldn't have heard a "pfoomph" had a Nichicon been in there and rated at the same 350 volts, instead I would have head an explosion that would have probably made me deaf and God only knows how high the amp would have been tossed, I can see it getting embedded into the roof and being removed with a prybar...

Makes one realize how much trouble a person has to go to to get 40 watts to sound as good as 2... and how much easier it would be for all of us if people would just own high efficiency speakers.

Steve



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/20/18 at 19:08:50

Been away for a few days, my son graduated from SU on Sunday!

Love visiting northern California. Had to have my muscles at Hog Island Oyster Co./San Francisco, in the Ferry Building! Hanging in town/Palo Alto & Mountain View...fun too.
But, good to be home in Mpls/St. Paul.

Great STUFF....over the last few days: ZMA Enhancment talk w/Steve, bandrade & Jeff! Plus, an Decware Power Conditioner, ah YEAH?!! + the Isolation Platforms....good to be caught up here..... .

Wow! The Plasma ARC. Lars here, will not be going under the hood/and has not. What I don't know will kill me.
YES! Picks of the Plasma Arc and the menacing Nichicons. Please.

Steve said:
"Makes one realize how much trouble a person has to go to to get 40 watts to sound as good as 2... and how much easier it would be for all of us if people would just own high efficiency speakers."

I remember when you blew up the Red Mallory! These Nichicons, wow!
Much respect to you Steve. ...designing for us 87 to 91db @ 1 watt/1 meter Speaker guys!
(Single cap, of course, in each Speaker. X-over's gutted).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 06/20/18 at 19:24:32

Was just there last week Stone.  Always stop in when I am in SF.

Love the cap talk.  Educational.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/20/18 at 19:28:33

Love SF Pal & HIO.

Look forward to sending my ZMA to Steve if I can't squeeze out the road trip for delivery of... .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 06/21/18 at 04:56:07

Wow! What a Bitchin' story [Cheech & Chong taught me to say that] about the capacitor explosion.  
I am glad you do such an extensive burn in before selling your products.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 06/23/18 at 06:13:00


UPDATE:  ZMA Anniversary Mods...

I have been listening to the amp for a few days now with the Nichicon caps (still waiting for the Mundorfs) and the effect was so drastic it simply isn't the same amplifier...  at least that's the overwhelming sensation I've been having.  I believe the stock amp is "liquid honesty", and honestly all week as this thing breaks in it has been a little over the top, somewhat pressing, somewhat invasive liquid honesty.  The best way I can describe it is that the sound is so real it feels like real people are in your private space, literally.  Suddenly the dynamic of your listening experience changes.

Don't worry, a lot of this most people would piss their pants the first time they heard it... it's that compelling.  Problem is the ease went away and it became the recording, not your stereo.  So it is a win, but also like coming home to a different wife...  so how do we get our loved one back... with this super deep look into the recordings...

Change to the 4 ohm tap, makes a big change. Before the mod, the 4 ohm tap on these same DNA2 speakers was never as good... that tells you something right there.

Then I decided to treat myself to a master tape copy of Supertramp and coming directly off the playback head into the ZP3 (with tape option) and then into the ZTPRE turned all the way up to compensate for the low output from the tape head, then into the listening room on a balanced line into the ZBIT also turned all the way up into the ZMA and suddenly we were getting somewhere.  The sound was at that level beyond a good LP, because the dynamic range has not been compressed for LP.  

Now I'm getting excited, for the first time since the mod, things are starting to break-in and I begging to love my amplifier again.  Then I am left with the realization that the recording is coming off a bit dry and a touch flat compared to the fantasy I have in my mind of what it could sound like...

I knew right away... if I put a ZROCK2 in the chain I might just see God.  Well, with that incentive the little magic box was connected between the ZBIT and the amplifier and as conformation that the tape was a bit dry, the ZROCK2 had to be turned up a 1/4 turn higher than normal but then holly crap!!!

Yes, it for the first time made me forget about the UFO25 which up until this moment had rewired my brain so bad nothing else I could stand to listen to, even the stock ZMA could no longer get my attention.  Now, I'm having an experience that I would find hard to believe could be reproduced on the 2 watt amplifier.  It feels so completely live.  Majestic SLAMB comes to mind... Bottomless power and bottomless headroom come to mind,  with the signal feeding the amplifier about as good as God will allow, the sound coming out of these speakers is insane.

This is very encouraging since a few hours ago I didn't know if I was ever going to like the ZMA mods.  I listened to this tape on the ZMA when I first got it so I have a reference.  i was frankly a somewhat disappointing sounding tape.  Now with the correct gain structure and the bionic upgrades to the amplifier, it's the best sounding  - well it's frustrating when there aren't words.  GOD BLESS THE ZROCK2.  Before I hooked it up I would have sold the $250 tape for $75 because that's all I heard out of it. Now you couldn't pry it out of my cold dead hands.  

I realize there are multiple points here, but the conclusion is that the ZMA mods are probably going to be legendary when it's all over.  Trust me.  And EVERYONE needs a ZROCK2.  You just do.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 06/23/18 at 17:28:40


Quote:
I realize there are multiple points here, but the conclusion is that the ZMA mods are probably going to be legendary when it's all over.  Trust me.  And EVERYONE needs a ZROCK2.  You just do.


This is great news and I 100% concur about the ZROCK2!  Best addition by far.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/23/18 at 17:46:17

Why I need to visit and dial in the input & output of the ZDSD with the ZROCK2.
Plus, if "the ease went away", most definitely need to visit.

I will be the first to report what worked and didn't for my ears.
Gladly come home and sell a thing or two on Audiogon, if need be. Will see and hear?

I can't bring my treated Listening space/Room. However, we can dial in nine tenths of the law in Steve's great treated space. Some Listening, just outside nearfield, etc... . (Read: I have a small room treated to sound like a big space. I could be in my big space downstairs/with high efficency speaker's...Stone no like. I'm in a small room by design.....).




Road trip to the mother ship!

...by appointment.
(When Steve has the enhancement done to his satisfaction/ZMA).

Audition:

UFO25th     Single
UFO25th     Strapped Pair
UFO3/25th  Mono's
ZMA           Enhanced
CSP3/25th
DNA2's!




Pack and carry:

(Modified) Acoustic Zen Adagio's
The only heavy items at 78lbs. each...but, still no bother to carry really and they fit perfectly in the back seat, with grills face to face/wrapped in a blanket.....Spikes on off with ease

ZMA (in Pelican case~leaving Amp with Steve if I'm doing the enhancement/ship back)
Kimber KS6063 Speaker Cable
Kimber KS1030 IC
My additional KS1030 IC (for CSP3/25th audition)
Sony transport
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata digital p-cord for his ZDSD on tap
XLO p-cord I use to ZMA
My favorite full tube compliment(s)

...use Steve's power conditioner (when done).....so, I won't bring my P3
...use my simple isolation devices, first...
...then Steve's platforms....

Might be a lot to cover in two 8 hour Listening sessions (one night hotel stay)?! I'm up for the task and a lot can be learned....and decided.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Stefan on 06/23/18 at 18:01:06

Hi Steve,
any chance of making the ZROCKs filter an option on the CSP3? Would be nice to have it all in one package!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 06/23/18 at 18:09:32

I'm reminded, to reiterate what Steve mentioned "the ease went away", and what that entails/he describes... .
Do I want to change my ZMA when I've enjoyed its beauty and power for 4 years and five months and counting. Careful what you wish for..... .

Further point being: Maybe I'm coming home to sell things and I just purchased (on order to be shipped to me) the UFO25th & DNA2's. I have no problem with that...or, maybe other Gear variations of..... .

I continue to be open minded about taking a 180 to a UFO25th with DNA2's. I have owned an SE84CS for 13 years and have experience owned: ZU Speakers, Tekton & Decware Monoliths. However, I'm so spoiled by the ZMA thru the best cabling and my modified Adagio's....I have the live sound...direct from ZDSD.

Or, I could see myself with an CSP3/25th on order to drive my ZMA, after the visit..... .

A road trip to the mothership is the only way!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by bandrade on 06/25/18 at 22:20:21

Steve,
I am following your ZMA 25th anniversary mods with interest and am sure to learn from you as you journey along. My own view is that the amp is well designed in and by itself. A parts upgrade might be all that is required to make it even more liquid worthy of the title of 25th anniversary ZMA.
Can't wait for your thoughts on MUNDORF MLYTIC's once they arrive at your workshop and how they compare to the 4700 uF Nichicon caps and the original red Mallory’s.
As for me I can reiterate that my ZMA since the Mundorf mod has been worth it. The step jump in performance bought a smile knowing that the effort, time and price was not in vein.  It could be that my experience was more profound because my speakers, PSB T3’s, @ 90 dB efficiency benefited from the improved charge/discharge speed of the Mlytics. The T3s comparatively heavier mass drivers (5 drivers per speaker) I would imagine draw down deeper on the power supply and the faster charge/discharge rates of the Mundorf Mlytics helps in maintaining the required circuit voltage while more readily supplying downstream circuit and equipment. Higher ESR/ESL capacitors would get bogged down under the same high demand periods . I would think if one has high efficiency speakers this mod while still an improvement may not be as significant.
Thanks

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/07/18 at 06:05:13


I have concluded the following regarding the main filter caps in the ZMA, and that is that the Nichicon is the best fit with the mods I'm doing to the amplifier.  Keep in mind that the large cap doesn't really need to be fast, as it is a ripple soak.  The speed comes from the paralleled 47+47 uf / 500v bypass caps.  By replacing these caps with Mundorf, indeed all the above were speeded up and that would indeed have improved the amplifier.  I am however, bypassing the 47uf caps with a series of beeswax caps which is where I want the speed to come from because these are film caps that match the coupling caps.  For that reason I found the Mundorf too fast for my application and about half the current of the Nichicon.  Current is like torque, and regardless of horsepower, you can never have too much torque.  

So the final analysis is that the original red caps had a nice weight about them and were a bit slower than the black production caps we build the amp with now.  The black production caps gave the amp a touch dryer and more agile signature... an acceptable trade-off.  The Nichicon's I am experimenting with now have noticeably more weight than the red caps and more speed than the black caps.  The Mundorf's were more clinical and less compatible with my bypass scheme and other mods which you have to remember is the context for this analysis.

I am also happy to report that for the first time since starting this project, I am thrilled with what I am hearing from the ZMA!  Today I had another "urge" if you will, that came from the realization that everything I've done so far has increased the resolution/speed of the amplifier but it was only making it more apparent that it wasn't the SE84UFO25 which was frankly quite bothersome.  I figured the local feedback in the output stage that naturally results from ultra-linear operation is the obstacle that I can't get past.  I then thought why not reduce it, eliminate any parasitic osculations that might be manifesting as a result of all this speed, and drop the screen grid voltage a touch to relax the amplifier a bit.  

The solution is a 500 ohm non-inductive wire wound 6.5W DALE resistor soldered in series with the ultra-linear tap of each output tube.  It's the magic bullet that made EVERYTHING come together.  Like the conductor of an orchestra it told everyone to quit screwing off and get tuned to each other so we can have some real music please...

I have also installed glass resistors in various places along the way, and have to say that right now the sound is on par with the SE84UFO25... believe it or not!  I knew I would have it when I could no longer decide which amp was actually better... didn't know it would ever actually happen though...  Apparently the Audio Gods overheard my phone conversation yesterday where I stated that a stone-cold, never played before, SE84UFO25 right off the bench, sounded better than the ZMA.  Up until tonight, even with all the mods it was a true statement.  Now with the magic bullet this has turned into a "holy-shit" amplifier!!!  Couldn't be more happy, and frankly never stop being amazed at how the tiniest things can make such big changes!

This amplifier is now I would say twice as good as a stock ZMA.  My plan will be to start building the amplifiers this way stock, and raise the price.  

As I listen to the amp right now, the tone is just out of this world!  The textures and the bottomless dynamics are scary.  The amplifier has retained all of it's original liquidity, honesty and musicality in an even balance, just multiplied.

It's such a Zen thing to add one part and end up with less which then equals more.  I love this hobby!  When I'm sure I'm done I'll come up with a price for the mods to existing ZMA probably in August.

Right now I'm jumping on the bed sort of speak... slamming the room with some electronic big hard hit music.  The amp has just the right amount of flex.  It's like getting a mattress that's finally just right... and how fun is it to jump on the bed!  That's what it feels like when you flex this new ZMA into a pair of DNA2's at midnight and start hitting live SPL's.

Going to be a good weekend!



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 07/07/18 at 11:54:10

Great news! A great amp made greater. That's the recent Decware way!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 07/07/18 at 12:17:50

Congratulations Steve!  Now to decide between 25th Anniversary modifications to my ZMA or picking up a new SE84UFO25 Zen. Well, just might have to head out to Peoria this Fall for Decfest for a head to head listening session between the two.

Look forward to your continued listening and additional information on the modifications.  Choices, choices, choices.  I don't think I could go wrong either way.

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Mark on 07/07/18 at 14:39:57


Steve: Don't ever 'finish' this amplifier... You know what the Chinese say:
" Man finish amplifier, man die..."

So, as long as you keep it a work in progress, you'll be around to tell everyone about it...  (m.)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/07/18 at 23:06:29

The whole of what you have written Steve in your latest post for the ZMA.....has alleviated my fears about losing my ZMA.

I look forward to your pricing in August and affording it by November (is my plan).

Thank you for taking it to where only you can.

I OPEN a SURLY Heat Slayer at this moment in your honor, on this fine Saturday evening in the Twin Cities.
CHEERS to you SIR!!!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/08/18 at 06:27:18

Great update Steve!  After installing the tantalum resistors on the grid and plates of the input and inverters, as well as the control grid on the output tubes, I couldn't agree more ------->


Quote:
Couldn't be more happy, and frankly never stop being amazed at how the tiniest things can make such big changes!


I am curious to experiment with the screen grid resistor on pin 4 of the output tubes as you have suggested on my modded amp.  While I didn't bypass my current 47uF caps, I believe my amp - with the speed gained by the low ESR/ESL Mundorf Mlytics (4-Pole wired specifically) along with the ultra fast Munforf TubeCaps (film) - could benefit from this 500 ohm wirewound screen grid resistors.  Ill give it a shot as there really is only one way to truly know, and it's a cheap and easy project.  

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing in your journey.  My impatience, coupled with your success speeding up the 2-watt Zen amp motivated me to experiment with the power chain caps and I appreciate the details you shared with your approach to the upgrade/modification of the ZMA.  

I am curious... what resistors did you replace with the glass ones you referenced in your post?

I wholeheartedly believe this amp with the upgrades deserves the ZMA2 designation!

Congrats on the success of your ZMA improvements.  It's gotta feel great knowing there are current and future ZMA owners that have no idea the greatness to come, but soon will!!


 

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/08/18 at 07:16:40


I've thought about it... I loved the ZMA the way it was.  I began to modify it and saw big performance gains but the musicality struggled. Compared to the UFO25, I really stopped enjoying the amp despite all the fancy caps and resistor upgrades.  I would say I enjoyed it better without any of the mods.  Then when I installed the 500 ohm resistors on the ultra-linear taps of each output tube the amplifier changed into a different amplifier.  It's like a ZMA that's ascended to a higher place.

Please do the mod to your amp and tell me what happened to it...  

I have been collecting different values and type of the precision resistors like the ones I talked about in the 25th Anniversary amp launch.  A glass or ceramic envelope with sealed gas envelope, just like a vacuum tube.

So you see, despite the $1000 of additional fancy caps and the resistor upgrades the sound got better, a lot better.... yet you just could easily walk away from it like so many amplifiers...  So it's not fancy parts that do it... it's the right parts in the right place that make it happen.  I've been trying to go to bed for several hours and it has me locked in my listening chair.  It's just not the same amp, but it is the same amp.  

ZMA2 is definitely a justifiable designation...  in the 40 watt world, which competes in the 400 watt world of solid state, this amp is going to be a complete slayer.  I don't see much of anything sounding better that is similarly powered...  of course I would say that, but if you know me by now you know I only say it when I'm sure I'm right.

So, attempt number one, the first amp I couldn't stand to listen to after the UFO25... success... now so much better it is again much harder to decide between the two.  I wonder which amp will be next?

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 07/08/18 at 13:21:11

Good question...”Which amp will be next?”

As you were developing the ZMA2 I did not think that it would be possible to take an ultra linear design and bring it to the UFO25 level of performance.  As I considered that it left me somewhat uneasy.  The 2 watt ZEN is more than enough for me and I ordered one, but not having the same “level” of performance in other Decware amps leaves others out of the progressing Decware ”experience” and that would be a real shame.  So I’m glad you succeeded and I’m somewhat more at ease.

I say somewhat because as you consider which one is next, I think you should consider if all the various amps that are currently in the line up are necessary.  The answer to that will become appearent as you work through the amps in the line up and you are the best one to determine that.  Maybe they are, maybe they are not and IF all are not necessary then choosing which to buy is made unnecessarily harder.

You may be able to make choosing which amp to buy easier.  In todays audiophile market people are conditioned to think that high power is necessary. Getting around that idea is hard enough.  Even 40 watts is really not high power comparatively speaking, let alone 2 watts.  Once one begins to accept that mega power amps are really not necessary but really is not fully there yet, one is then faced with which one to choose.  Can it be made easier to choose by streamlining the offering should it become obvious to do so?

After all, you did take an ultra linear design to the UFO25 level, so the rest should be easy? Right? 8-)  
   




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by mark58 on 07/08/18 at 14:43:41

Steve, all these mods sound like great improvements.  I'm a little afraid to hear them though, fearing they'll ruin me for my current stable of Decware Gear... :).

What I'd really like to see is a simple Tube tester for dummies. One that would test the tubes used in both the EL-34 and EL-84 based Amps.  I am very bad about writing down test data given when I buy tubes so I'm often faced with tubes I know nothing about except for their markings. What ballpark would such a tester cost to buy.  Just adding to the "Wish List".

Also what testers available would you recommend for a non-technical guy. Thanks, Mark.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 15:06:43

Steve/previous post:
"I would say I enjoyed it better without any of the mods (ZMA).  Then when I installed the 500 ohm resistors on the ultra-linear taps of each output tube the amplifier changed into a different amplifier.

So it's not fancy parts that do it... it's the right parts in the right place that make it happen.

I don't see much of anything sounding better that is similarly powered...  of course I would say that, but if you know me by now you know I only say it when I'm sure I'm right."


I know wholeheartedly, if the ZMA did not take the leap with the 500 ohm resistor in conjunction with the rest of the bypass, et al, (GOLDILOCKS Zone of the Nichicon's) . ....you would have told me/us, to enjoy as is....because it is an great Amp as is!
However, you did make it something more.....look forward to hearing it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Showme on 07/08/18 at 15:12:28

Steve, will there at least be an option to have a top plate and base to match the 25th Aniv amp in the CPS3. I have the amp on order and would like to also have a matching CPS3-25

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 07/08/18 at 18:39:28


Quote:
Then when I installed the 500 ohm resistors on the ultra-linear taps of each output tube the amplifier changed into a different amplifier.  It's like a ZMA that's ascended to a higher place.


So, is it worth investigating the changes in reverse order?  Is it possible that the ZMA doesn't need all of the fancy cap changes?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 07/08/18 at 18:44:38

Wondering that same thing Arch...I was just going to ask...and you did. But, keep the Nichicon's?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/08/18 at 19:09:29

I'm not speaking for Steve here, but from my personal experience with the cap changes without the screen grid resistors at the ultra-linear taps (which I will be adding).

You definitely want to modify the caps!  Part of me is hesitant to touch my amp right now.  It is that good with the modification of the caps and resistors that I have recently added to my ZMA.  It doesn't sound ordinary and I have been so captivated by the sound, I have been glued to my listening seat.  But my mods are different than what Steve did.  Unfortunately, I am the only one that can hear my amp right now, but based on my experience with these upgraded caps, and what Steve has written about the cap changes he has made, I couldn't imagine this amp without the speed improvements that these cap modifications bring about.  Huge soundstage, 3-D, and micro detail improvements!! Absolutely stunning.   I also experienced a significant step improvement from key resistor changes.  I did this after the cap modifications and the improvements were not subtle.  Fortunately, the tantalum resistors I used are cheap ($3-$4 ea), relatively speaking.

The question is...  Are there parasitic oscillations with the stock ZMA topology?  Or is it the capacitor upgrades that created changes in the amp that then resulted in the oscillations?  If the answer to the former is "No," then perhaps no need for the screen grid resistor as there would be no improvement to be had.  This is Steve's territory to confirm.  

Fun stuff!!   :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/12/18 at 03:57:02



Quote:
The question is...  Are there parasitic oscillations with the stock ZMA topology?  Or is it the capacitor upgrades that created changes in the amp that then resulted in the oscillations?  If the answer to the former is "No," then perhaps no need for the screen grid resistor as there would be no improvement to be had.  This is Steve's territory to confirm.


The stock ZMA topology has never been found or even suspected of it no...  And we're very sure about that because we look for it. I wouldn't have even mentioned it, except for the fact that it would be possible with the speed increase to invite new unforeseen results.  I am still somewhat puzzled by how the musicality suffered as the detail and performance increased.  It was incredibly good, but as I mentioned something unnatural about it.  You have to wonder if perhaps there was a parasitic oscillation behind it?  

I'm happy to report that with the last mod to the ultra linear taps (which would make the oscillations impossible) the amp transformed back into the INCREDIBLY musical high performance masterpiece it used to be but is now just a better sounding amplifier from top to bottom and imaging is significantly enhanced as well.  Couldn't be happier with the result. It's just such a great sounding, well balanced amplifier!

I realize I said all this a few posts back, but I keep waiting to wake up from a dream all pissed off that it was a dream... and every time I turn it on -- and on any source -- and at any volume, there it is... that sound.

Today I had a guest from Texas who wanted to hear the speakers louder than we could achieve with the 2 watt amplifiers and I already knew louder than all the other amplifiers as well, with the possible exception of the ZMA or TORII MONO's.  We switched over to the ZMA and rotated the dial to needle dancing level on a pair of the DNA2 speakers and it was loud!  Louder than crap in fact, but never got ugly or compressed or smeared.  

When asked to hear some Hendrix I decided to play my master tape of Hendrix working on Voodoo Child with his band.  It was recorded live two-track with a pair of microphones directly into the tape machine as was often the practice with session tapes like this.  Anyway, it was memorable played about 4 or 5 dB louder than usual and just amazed us both!

This amp is a real ass kicker with sound that is closer to the UFO25 than any of us thought possible.  I know what will happen... people who hear this, or have a ZMA and get it modded will listen to it and say "the UFO25 is better than this? Impossible..." so you can see what that will start.




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/12/18 at 05:10:47

Thanks for the clarification Steve on that particular question.  I am actually installing the four 500 Ohm wirewound resistors at this very moment.  I just took a short break.  Can't wait to finish and fire it up and give it a listen!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/12/18 at 21:24:39



So....should I be looking to drop off my ZMA on Monday??

~Eric~

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 07/14/18 at 01:12:45

As I indicated a couple days ago, I installed the screen grid wirewound resistors per Steve’s recommendation.  I was buying other supplies from HiFi Collective in the UK so threw in an order for these resistors.  They had Mills MRA-12 wirewound resistors in 470 Ohm so I grabbed a set of four.  These are highly regarded in the audiophile DIY commmunity so I felt comfortable with the substitution.  I am no solder slinger by any means but I can handle the iron.  I emabarked on this journey solo.   I get them all placed with relative ease.  

When I first fired up the amp two nights ago, right after the install, I damn near had a panic attack.  It sounded awful!  Anemic, lifeless.  A complete opposite of what it sounded like prior to the UL screen grid mod.  I listened for 4 hours that night, shutting the ZMA off at 2:30 in hopes I was just having a bad dream.  Went to sleep on it scratching my head as to what could have gone wrong.  

After a long day and night at work last night, I fired it up at 11:30pm and listened for a couple hours.  I will admit, I was starting to perceive signs of life.  I reset my reference playback lineup and started over.  I felt much better after I shutdown last night.  This morning, riding off last night’s momentum, I powered the ZMA back up and spent 3 hours in complete, uninterrupted isolation.  The rate of rise in improvement, starting last night and continuing through the morning was something that took me aback.  I have experienced burn-in and what time can do for new components.  However, this was the most dramatic change from “sounding like s$!t” to “holy shit” that I have ever experienced with any of my equipment.  Steve, I am not sure if you experienced the same with the wirewounds you used.  Fast forward to now, the system has completely opened up.  The soundstage came back in amazing fashion!  The detail returned.  When I upgraded the caps and the resistors, the detail was so shockingly clear and real.  That fell apart a couple nights ago, but it returned, thank <Audio> God!  

It was such a trip to experience the collapse and rise. I have a new found respect for burn-in.  Not that I didn’t believe in it, but this experience would have made even the most extreme skeptics believers.  

Steve, I know exactly what your were describing with the changes these resistors bring.  Thank you for the discovery and motivation to apply it to my ZMA2.  I simply am astonished by the improvements this, the signal path and plate resistors and power capacitor modifications have brought.  Kudos on a stellar amp as it was - and what it can become.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 07/14/18 at 02:58:13


Jeff, that's great news!  Keep us posted as I'm sure you will!

Have a great weekend!

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 07/19/18 at 19:40:22


Is the screen grid mod something that can be done by itself, or are other mods required before the screen grid mod?


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