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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 11/17/17 at 02:53:19

OK, I have an update.

Back Story:  The Zen in Decware is like surfing a wave where the wave is in charge, not the surfer.  

I have decided that this years Christmas design fest where I unplug for a couple weeks and dive back into new Decware amp designs, is going to be something different than intended.

I have decided to go with something other than the 6C33 mono's.  As great as they are, even in a simple chassis they are going to be expensive, similar to the TORII MONO's and while a hand full of us would love them, the majority of people would just be bummed due to the price.

Instead I am going to come out with our 25th Anniversary Zen amp. (Keep in mind that the Zen Amp pre-dates Decware's going on line by several years.)

So far the prototype of this amp concept is owned by Lonely Raven. This is hopefully going to smoke that. Achievements are seldom higher than the goal, so set the goals high.

If it works, it will be so good as to be a game changer.

There is also going to be some new offerings in 2018 in the ZKIT department we're looking forward to that everyone will love!

So those holding out for the 6C33 mono's can have another year to save up for them, you would have needed it anyway.

Happy Holidays!

Steve



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/17/17 at 12:42:47

Wow, Eric has gushed about the sound of his Zen amp "all revved up" and I know the 25th anniversary amp will really be something! I know I'm not alone in wanting to see this product appear and in details along the way.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 11/17/17 at 15:31:32

I very much like Eric's amp.  

Maybe this is the reason I just couldn't pull the trigger on a Zen amp purchase despite wanting one for several years.  I didn't know it but I was waiting for the Zen wave to arrive.  The cosmos are tricky.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/18/17 at 01:07:12

My ZMA and the 25th Anniversary Zen Amplifier, will be all I ever need.

Steve, I'm excited to read about it as you take what you developed in Eric's.....to new heights!

.....consider my order placed.....I like serial #0001 (just like it's listed under my Zen Mystery Amplifier).  8-)

Thirteen (13) years of beautiful music produced with my Zen Select #76.....driven by my voltage adjustable output AA Gear... .
Yes, I have been adjusting voltage output into Amps since 1994..... And came the SE84CS into .... My Listening Room (May/2001)....the rest is history....as I scrapped my jaw off the floor....albeit moderate to loud listening levels....but you get the picture.

Time to Coda back....and with a ZBIT (no longer use the AA) if necessary. All in good time of discovery. I look forward to this.

Steve QUESTION: Will you be sticking with the 6922 tube variant for input or switching to the 12AU7, for the Anniversary Edition?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 11/18/17 at 17:49:05

Not that you are taking suggestions, but I would like to see meters and tube regulation in stereo 2W Zen if it works out. This would be unique to the 25th Anniversary amp. How about Cardas copper speaker binding posts and better RCA inputs in an effort to further differentiate this amp?

Regardless, I look forward to hearing about it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/19/17 at 00:50:50

Yeah, I was thinking those things too buster.....SuperZen UFO2 ....all that and the upgrades .... EricLR prototype + more

......there lies the intrigue of speculation.

.....now I'm also thinking ....why not mirror along side the Anniversary development ....Rachel? ....now I know the special magic of the SE84CS (13 years)...but to hedge for more headroom.....maybe I want/need for Steve's topology mojo upgrades in the Rachel UFO............ .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/19/17 at 01:07:56

.....and to the Lurkers/Learners out there about these great Amps....don't be bashful....sign up and ask questions please! .... Great people here.

.....www's too. .....so, not to lose site of all this .... Why would I want the Anniversary Amp, when I have a Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier? Are you kidding!? .....Steve's topology Pentode's run in Triode genius  .... And his next incarnation of this......yeah, I'm in...... .

.....and NO....my ZMA is not ever for sale. I just need Decware/Triode, when I want it. My well deserving Stanford grad son......gets my ZMA if my Stent and my favorite craft beers get the better of me  :D

PR for the Marathon is 2:40:41. Hereditary factors for the Heart are a cruel mistress. My son was an All Conference champion in Cross Country.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/19/17 at 03:44:03


Quote:
Steve QUESTION: Will you be sticking with the 6922 tube variant for input or switching to the 12AU7, for the Anniversary Edition?


It wouldn't be a Zen Triode Amplifier if not for the original tube compliment, so the tubes will not change.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 11/19/17 at 05:35:50

I'm sure it will be great, but a fourth iteration of the "2 watt zen amp" in the lineup? Why not trick out a Rachel or even better, create a non-bridged pair of 12 watt Rachel mono blocks (SET + watts for a little more headroom)? The whole reason I was interested in the 6c33c monos was because it was SET and headroom.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/19/17 at 05:39:59

......as I asked/stated in my Reply #361...Beowulf....good reiteration...asking? ....will see what Steve says...... .

.....thanks Steve about my question....makes sense....and I love my 6922 tube variants/bought and paid for....to apply.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 11/19/17 at 11:21:38

What can be done in the Zen triode amp that isn’t already implemented in the mono version available? I asked if possible to add meters in my pair, but because of design Steve could not fix that at the time. Some talk about V-caps that isn’t on the option list, but is an upgrade, may be an option here? Two inputs maybe? But keep the pass-thru option as well. Of course, one chassis... I was under the impression that the mono is pretty much maxed out

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 11/19/17 at 11:53:11


Quote:
What can be done in the Zen triode amp that isn’t already implemented in the mono version available?


This is the interesting part of the process by stepping back from a particular design and trying again without any assumptions. I envision a lot of trial and error.

Is there a better cap or a boutique resistor at 2x price that sound better?

Will a small OC2 fit in the UFO2 chassis in place of XLR?

A second chassis for power supply, large ZMA cap, or dual rectifiers?

A Zen without a tube rectifier?

How about a slightly larger chassis footprint with wood base and optional retro tube cage with Decware logo?


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 11/19/17 at 12:06:50


Quote:
I'm sure it will be great, but a fourth iteration of the "2 watt zen amp" in the lineup? Why not trick out a Rachel or even better, create a non-bridged pair of 12 watt Rachel mono blocks (SET + watts for a little more headroom)? The whole reason I was interested in the 6c33c monos was because it was SET and headroom.


I would like to see an improved Rachael. A single chassis 12 watt SET would be nice. I often wonder what could be done with this amp if there were biasing options like the ZMA or if it could use the KT120 or K150 tubes.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/19/17 at 13:51:04

Yeah, I have to admit my interest in the 6C33C's was the more headroom in triode output. I would want the Rachel or Rachel's at 12 watts per channel, with the Upgrades.

.....and yes, the biasing and don't forget the balancing option I have with my ZMA. I'm spoiled by this.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 11/19/17 at 20:31:53

@ stone - agree, I was not really interested in the 6c33c mono's for the tube compliment, but rather the wattage/headroom and SET circuit.

Living here in the dry hot San Diego climate, I don't think I would ever be interested in the 6c33c mono's anyways due to the heat of that tube.  it's already mid November and we just turned our A/C off last week and opened our windows ... but a couple of days ago it got so hot I was almost tempted to turn it back on.  I live in a place where we keep our windows open pretty much all winter then close them back up late June to early July and run the A/C pretty much until late October all the way up to mid November when we can open the windows back up again.  I've read those 6c33c tubes are like mini space heaters and don't think they would bode well for my area.

@ busterfree and stone - a hot rod'ed 10-12 watt Rachel (in either single or mono chassis) that could come in between the price of a Torii Jr and Torii would really fit the bill for me.  Not only would that be my dream amp, but it would fill a gap in the lineup as far as wattage goes as well.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 11/21/17 at 16:33:57


Quote:
So far the prototype of this amp concept is owned by Lonely Raven. This is hopefully going to smoke that. Achievements are seldom higher than the goal, so set the goals high.



Quote:
Wow, Eric has gushed about the sound of his Zen amp "all revved up" and I know the 25th anniversary amp will really be something! I know I'm not alone in wanting to see this product appear and in details along the way.



When I brought my little Zen amp to Steve, it was kind of tough for me to do because it's an early serial number, and completely unmolested. He genuinely gave me grief about it, pointing out that of the early Zen amps, not a single one has come back for mod or repairs; they they were overbuilt in order for him to have that lifetime warranty that his amps are known for.

But Steve also taught me to trust my gut; if something doesn't sound right, or feel right, or just off and/or I think it can sound better, do something or say something about it! And I really felt that my old Zen amp didn't keep up with the newer zen amps - it still had the transparency it's known for, and still does it better than the ZMA....but I felt like all the newer Decware amps were making the little Zen amp feel slow and old. So I pressed on and told Steve I wanted the UFO mod that he kept suggesting was absolutely worth the cost "and whatever else you  think it needs - I think you know what I like in an amp"

That last part turned into a $700 ouch! Remind me not to tell Steve to do whatever again unless I win the lottery!  ;D

So when I showed up to pick up the amp, Steve had this mischievous grin from ear to ear - I like when I see that, it means the audio gods have whispered something to him and something clicked. And Steve started in with his you'll be blown away, it will melt your brain (etc) and I'm like yeah, yeah, I've heard this before and I'm a picky bastard so to me it's rare something is as good as someone thinks it is. Well I'll be damned, this amp just blew me away!

I've heard the UFO Zens and tweaked out Selects and whatnot and ProgRobs always stood out as being pretty amazing to me - and I honestly felt this surpassed that one. My little Zen had the transparency and honesty it's known for, but it's faster and slicker and appeared to sound at least twice as loud! I easily fill my 25' x 15' x8' home theater with the little Zen and my MG-944 or my Omega SuperHemps. For about a two months after getting the little Zen back I honestly had zero interest in listening to the ZMA - and that's saying a lot because that's like saying I didn't need to eat or drink two months, LOL.

Can I run it out of Steam? Yeah, that's really the limitation of the little amp - there are times I miss the grunt and horsepower of the ZMA, but the little Zen now feels like it does so much more that the ZMA hints at but can't do. Steve mentioned some of his tweaks to me, and I won't steal his thunder, but it boils down to being able to voice not only the tone of the amp, but the speed and honesty. Add to that he's got some great build quality tweaks to eek out a little bit more, so I'm expecting the 25th Anniversary Zen to surpass mine (and be totally worth it).

I'm bummed about the 6c33c amps - not that I could afford them, but to me, they were probably the only thing that could bridge that gap between the honesty of the Zen and the Horsepower of the ZMA. But if it's a $10k amp, 99% of us will want to hear it at DecFest and otherwise just shrug it off...like seeing a $100,000 supercar roll by; yeah it's great, but if I have to choose between a house and a supercar, well...
Even if the 6c33c monos can be brought down to the $6000 range it would be out of reach for most of us, but that's getting it closer to the ZMA territory which even I was able to afford (after selling a car and a rare guitar! LOL)

I wonder if there is space in the lineup for a 6c33c Zen amp. I know a few of you guys that posted don't seem to care about the tube, but more about the headroom, and I get that (seeing as how I run my little Zen out of steam, I do get that!). But like how Steve pioneered the SV83 tube because there is something special about it, I think the 6c33c tube has something special about it as well, even given it's quirks and expense - there is something there. I think I could get by with a 6c33c 25th anniversary Zen amp! LOL

Sorry for the Will level of long post, but it's rare that something exceeds my expectations, and this refreshing of the Zen amp is one of those times. For those of you in the market for this kind of flea watt purity, I wholeheartedly say go for it!


P.S. I like to think me trusting my gut is one of those ways that the audio gods nudge Steve.    ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/22/17 at 15:15:56

Yeah, I'm out of the running for the 6C33C's. As you stated LR, I too, am fortunate to have afforded my ZMA at the time and Cabling (+ my Adagio's). .....NOS Tubes too...... .

Far as the 2 and 6 watt Zen's go?  I have faced the facts.....I'm addicted to my ZMA.....right through its Cabling to my modified Adagio's. I can't go back.

DECWARE BLACK FRIDAY!
My Christmas and Birthday present to me? I am ordering the ZROCK2, Friday 11/24. A good 20% of my Redbook collection (read/Rock)....should benefit from this beauty.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by ginny on 11/22/17 at 18:22:34

Is there a Black Friday special???
If so, what is it?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/22/17 at 18:27:27

Received in an email:

Nov 20 at 6:23 PM
To      
Lon Armstrong
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Note:  If you presently have something on order and are thinking; "Damn, I wish I would have waited..." We are sorry you missed this sale but would like to reward you by allowing you to use this coupon for 24 days, rather than 24 hours. This way you have until Christmas if you want to purchase some additional gear with this discount.

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Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 11/22/17 at 21:37:41

@ LR - cool story dude and I'm sure its a fine amp!

Pardon my being underwhelmed with this latest amp in development ... it's just that I already have a Zen Select and I'll go out on a limb and say that a majority of Decware owners already have and/or have had an iteration of this 2 watt amp in their kits at one point.  There's already 3 iterations of this amp in the lineup as well, so I just don't see any reason for a fourth one when there's other areas of untapped potential that people have been waiting for ... i.e. a SET with a little more headroom.  

If the 6c33c's are going to be too expensive I understand that Steve may not want to continue with the development of them, but putting the breaks on the development of the 6c33c's to make yet another iteration of the Zen Triode 2 watt amp when people were hoping for a SET amp that had the potential of 18 watts is kind of a let down (for me at least).

Anyways, no offense Steve I'm sure it will be a fine amp for whomever may want to purchase it.

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to all ... heading to Vegas to spend the holiday with mom, big sis and family!!!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/22/17 at 22:04:52



Quote:
Pardon my being underwhelmed with this latest amp in development ... it's just that I already have a Zen Select and I'll go out on a limb and say that a majority of Decware owners already have and/or have had an iteration of this 2 watt amp in their kits at one point.  There's already 3 iterations of this amp in the lineup as well, so I just don't see any reason for a fourth one when there's other areas of untapped potential that people have been waiting for ... i.e. a SET with a little more headroom.  


You make a fantastic argument, and don't worry I plan to continue with the 6C33 amps, just not right now, because as I said, the ROI will be too slow at least for this year.  

As for a fourth iteration of the Zen amp, the 2 watt Zen Triode is the legacy of Decware and I can make it appreciably better than anyone has ever heard one, so I have to do it.  

For those wanting more SET power than the 6 watts, firstly understand that the 6C33 amps are all about the tube and I would pusue them even if they only made 2 watts.

If you want a 12 watt SET amp, you simply bridge a pair of SE34I.5's.  There is no way to get to 12 watts any cheaper and maintain the Decware sound.   People don't realize that SET costs a LOT more to build than push pull.  The power supplies have to be twice as big, and if you use directly heated triodes to keep the hum down the power supply becomes twice as complicated.

To that point, the 6C33 mono's that I prototyped are in fact the 2 watt Zen Triode Amp built with 6C33 tube as cost effectively as possible.  The result is at least 6 or 7 times the price and the weight and the heat.

Beer is here -  more later.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/22/17 at 22:48:51

What I think will be interesting with this Anniversary amp will be the sound and signature of a mono'd pair. They would probably have grunt and sparkle and be all many systems would need.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/23/17 at 02:14:49

Many people don't realize that a Decware SET amp is fundamentally different when bridged than I would say probably most if not all retail tube gear. That difference is in the output stage where in a Decware amp it floats. Specifically there is no connection from the negative speaker binding post to ground like there is in virtually everything else.

Because the outputs float, and the transformers run a non-standard ratio they function rather well in series as opposed to in parallel into most speaker loads. Being in series means that the two tubes are in series as well. When the transformers and or tubes are in series, they become one. They do not have to match. Their differences compliment the whole. In contrast when output stages or tubes are in parallel, the differences fight each other causing an audible smear or veil over the music.

This is why you can bridge a Decware SET amp into mono without any obvious penalty. The 12 watts you're all wanting is a pair of SE34I.5 for around $3K. I can not build a 12 watt stereo SET that sounds better for less than that or even for 50% more than that.  Sure I could set up a KT120 or KT150 and advertise it as wonderful, but so far I fail to be impressed. I have listened to both single ended and they don't have it. Not surprising, but had to try it.  

If 12 watts won't do it, then you need to move into the push pulls. Your speakers aren't fast enough to discern the difference when you compare the two in the Decware line. Other companies, yes, the difference is painfully obvious even on your inefficient speakers. Not so here.

It's been my opinion since the beginning that people should put there money into the speakers and run a 2 watt Zen amp (The super serious ones anyway). It's a big commitment to run large speakers that are around 100dB with response down in the low 20's in a room that can support it and it's not cheap. Instead everyone goes the other direction, bigger amps, smaller or inefficient speakers.

I've done the best I can within the window of opportunity, which is to say the window that defines the fidelity vs. power curve (2w ~ 40W) since anything outside that window can not compete.

Precious few people have actually followed this advise and own a pair of SE34I.5 strapped into mono, so consequently it remains a well kept secret.

As for making the SE34I.5 better with tube regulation, I might do that, it just depends.  Voltage regulator tubes are not in current production anywhere, and are not all that easy to find in any real quantity, so I have to plan wisely what amps would use them, and that is done with price.

So that's where I'm coming from. That said, as mentioned I have every intension on building myself a pair of 6C33 mono's that look good. Likely in the original sketches I submitted that match the ZTPRE. Once I have done that, it really won't be a problem to make more, since I can buy 1 pair of chassis for 90% the cost of 10 pair of chassis, I will own 10 pair of chassis just to build my own pair. I'm going to go to the trouble because the tube has something special that I appreciate and is non-user friendly which also appeals to me on a personal level. ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve









Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/23/17 at 02:26:44

It's true what Lon says, as everything I just talked about applies to the 2 watt Zen's as well.  In fact it is only a 3dB difference in level between the 6 watts of a bridged 2 watt ZEN and the 12 watts of a bridged 6 watt Zen so by far the biggest bang for the buck is a pair of SE84UFO or UFO2 bridged into mono.

Many have discovered that 6 watts is enough in large spaces with speaks that are 94dB or higher. The assumption is of course that there will be no bass compared to say a 60 watt amp. False. Same bass., Usually better.  Why?  Because a 60 watt amp is paired with 86 dB speakers that have a moving mass of 80 grams and the 6 watt amp is paired with a speaker that has a moving mass of 20~40 grams making the later two to four times faster. Faster bass is always better bass. How low it goes is only a function of the cabinet size and tuning, not the amplifier.

If my true interest was in profit, I would present you all with a nice 300B amp for the same price as a TORII, but it wouldn't sound as good. You would never know that because you would never own both.  

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 11/24/17 at 03:27:44

Well, as I stated, I'm firmly in what Steve mentioned of his fidelity vs. power curve/window. I'm a firm believer. You will not find me running a Class A/B Amp (in my Listening Room).

I'm at the higher watt rate of 38 and peak power (AB1) of 114 per channel when I push my ZMA.....which is often.....with my higher moving mass of x grams modified Speakers.....that absolutely has crushed all contenders that have entered.

......I will leave it here.  8-)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 11/28/17 at 11:25:07


Quote:
It's been my opinion since the beginning that people should put there money into the speakers and run a 2 watt Zen amp (The super serious ones anyway). It's a big commitment to run large speakers that are around 100dB with response down in the low 20's in a room that can support it and it's not cheap. Instead everyone goes the other direction, bigger amps, smaller or inefficient speakers.


What speakers would make the short list?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 11/29/17 at 01:20:18

Actually it can be done with 94dB or higher.  The trick is the cabinets bass response and extension.  I have had a pair of Imperial Horn cabinets at 28 cubic feet per side that were never less than 100dB regardless of the numerous combinations I played with, and a 2 watt Zen amp would just crush you.  While the 94dB won't crush you, they are more than enough for musical satisfaction.  I find the trick is when you find yourself listening to a 2 watt zen amp and you forget your not listening to a 40 watt amp because the bass and punch is the same. Then you know you have a great speaker. The speaker's sensitivity is such that with either amplifier, your listening level is easily reached with one watt. In that world, the smaller amp can often have the advantage and come out victorious in a head to head shoot out.

Back in the 1970's radio shack designed a nice poly woofer sold for the diy crowd to "improve bass response".  It was a high Q driver with an fs of 33Hz or so, and could be in either an infinite baffle or a 5.29 cubic foot ported box. By infinite  baffle, they meant a wall in your house. Cut a hole in the wall and install the driver.  It was only 89dB.  It marked a point in the audio timeline where efficiency was no longer a big priority because solid state was the new thing and power was cheap but still we were all used to large boxes. It took several more years for speaker box sizes to shrink.

Today, if you put a single 8 inch driver in a nearly 6 cubic foot cabinet you'd be laughed out of the room. Most manufactures can cram at least 5 drivers or more in that amount of space ;)

I have found over the years that the biggest reason not to have too big a speaker in a small room is imaging. Typically the large speakers are hard to make disappear. The Zen amp is however so good at making giant speakers invisible that it works more often than not.

In our line, the HDT and the DM947 are best we offer pre-built that are efficient enough and have the bandwidth to sound like a big amp is driving them with only 2 watts. We do have plans for the Imperials online and also our corner horns as well as our Imperial SO (Sub only) which can be used horizontally across the front of a room and paired with smaller open baffles to create a completely realistic experience on 2 watts.

Horn speakers, good ones, sound heavenly on single ended triodes. The two go well together. Use anything else and you will not like the horn for very long.

Back in the 50's it wasn't that uncommon to find stereo systems built into the house. High Fidelity was a novelty and celebrated. Today it is taken for granted, and compressed and downsized to fit in you pocket.  How special.  It's up to you and me to save it!!!



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 11/29/17 at 10:43:12

I have to be careful about what I say in response to the comments regarding a 25th Aniversary Zen Amp because I ‘m afraid that after experiencing the 2 watt based system that I have I may not be able to be all that objective.  You see I’ve become a Zen Snob and make no apologies for it.

I have followed followed the “philosophy” and continued to work with it in order to achieve it’s full potential.  The results have led me to the conclusion that a lot more is possible with with a 2 watt Zen Amp.  That the fidelity that is possible is completely disproportionate to the power.

Yes, I understand that certain speakers require more power, but IMO, that does not mean that it will result in higher fidelity, just in the ability to drive speakers of lower efficiency.  The two are not necessarily related.

At one time I would excuse the prescence of “ungainly” components as being a necessary evil, not so anymore.  In fact I now acknowledge that such components have become repulsive to me.  No offence intended here, just a statement of how I feel, after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there’s no accounting for taste, including mine.

So, in conclusion; A 25th anniversary Zen Amp? - It’s about time to ramp it up to the next level!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/29/17 at 13:22:09


JOMAN wrote on 11/29/17 at 10:43:12:
So, in conclusion; A 25th anniversary Zen Amp? - It’s about time to ramp it up to the next level!

Agreed! I think a bridged pair of these upcoming amps may be the ultimate amplification for my audio/visual system, and I will definitely consider that in the future.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by ginny on 11/29/17 at 15:01:30

I have read a recent post by Steve regarding a pair of 2 watt Zen Amps..."by far the biggest bang for the buck is a pair of SE84UFO or UFO2 bridged into mono.".

Please pardon me if i missed it, but when is the release date of the 25th Anniversary Zen Amp?  I am considering the possibility of buying 2 of these to drive a pair of 95db Tekton Pendragons in a 2.0 ch music/HT system.

Which amp to buy has been the hardest decision to make.  Having read alot about the SET made me consider the Zen & Rachael, then worrying that there would not be enough power, the Torii Jr and MKIV became likely candidates and preferably the MKIV because of it's bass and treble adjustments.

I just can't get my mind off of the SET amps, and now hearing about the upcoming Zen amp mod, AND Steve's mention about a pair of 2 watt Zens is series:  "Many have discovered that 6 watts is enough in large spaces with speaks that are 94dB or higher."


Using an iphone db meter app (and i know it's probably not the most acurate), i have determined that we listen to music at an average of 85db and a peak of 98db at 6'.  If a pair of 2 watt Zens would accommodate those levels with music and also provide enough power for DVD...consider me in!  Source will be an Oppo Sonica and Oppo UDP-203 for DVD transport.

An intervention from the audiophile gods on amp and interconnect cables would certainly be welcome because i'm banging my head against the wall here.

I also want to say "Thank You" to Lon, Will & Lin for previous advice.

FWIW, Christmas present to self will be seeing my name on the Decware Amplifier waiting list.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/29/17 at 15:41:29

Ginny, at the present the 25th Anniversary Zen Amp is something that Steve will work on with the idea of possibly debuting it next October at the 2018 DecFest. So. . . some time to go before it's a new model on the website if it becomes so, maybe a year.

The truth is that matched with an appropriate speaker any of the Decware amps will give amazing music. I've gone through quite a few and have some gathering dust because it's so hard to part with them! So you can't go wrong. . . and it's a hard decision to make.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by alper_yilmaz on 11/29/17 at 20:43:58

Hi Ginny,

I would definitely start with one, rather than two SE84UFOs.  Your speakers are efficient enough to be driven by one amp.  I would invest in a high-output buffer/preamp, though, in order to run the SE84 to its limits.  That is what I do and I have been very happy with the results even though I am using much less efficient speakers than yours (91dB, 2.5-way speakers with relatively more complex crossovers).

In a later stage, you can still invest in a second one, if the first does not satisfy you volume-wise.

Best,

Alper

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 11/29/17 at 22:24:19

I've read some comments in more than one thread on this forum that running bridged pairs always take away some of the magic. Hence my not ever wanting to buy a second Zen amp and run them bridged.  I would also assume that this would not effect the Zen mono's.

Knowing that I have heard about the reduced magic (when bridging them) a few times on this forum was why I was suggesting Steve to build a pair of non bridged Rachels, but after hearing his explanation on why he doesn't want to I understand that it is too costly ~ so it doesn't make sense as very few could afford them.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/29/17 at 22:50:32

Wouldn't affect the Monos as they aren't bridged, but one chassis per channel.

I'm sure there's a little loss in bridging but there's also a gain. Life is full of losses and gains and balance. . . .

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 11/30/17 at 03:06:38


Lon wrote on 11/29/17 at 22:50:32:
Wouldn't affect the Monos as they aren't bridged, but one chassis per channel.

I'm sure there's a little loss in bridging but there's also a gain. Life is full of losses and gains and balance. . . .


Yes, but the question should be ... Is any loss in fidelity more important than 3dB or so louder volume?

Maybe it's just splitting hairs as I've never heard them in such a configuration, but I've talked with enough people that it would have me believe that it does make a difference in sound quality and to me the loss doesn't seem worth 3dB gain in volume.  IMO it would be better to have a real set of mono blocks in the wattage you need to drive your speakers with the authority that you want.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/30/17 at 12:01:43

Without experiencing it ourselves it's hard to tell either way. To be honest I react from reading the opposite, that the extra gain made the amps more appealing with someone's loved speakers with a tiny loss of magic. No use having a bit more magic if you really can't hear it at the right volumes. To me it really does boil down to the magic of the amps suiting the speakers. I've fallen in love with speakers that have more magic than others for me, and 3 more DB may keep that magic even if the amp loses a touch of its magic.

Jeez, we're talking about magic! I think I'd welcome an opinion from Steve about this. I think in my case, in love with my HR-1s and used to the different magic of the Toriis I might well be able to enjoy the Zen amp magic with a bridge pair, especially of what I imagine a bridged pair of Anniversaries would deliver. Steve is the best judge, and we have time to find out.

There are many ways to skin a cat, and the interesting part of my experience of the last few years is that my "purist" ideas are turning if not on their head, on their side. With my there Z Amigos (ZTPRE, ZBIT, and ZROCK2) everything gets better. . .with three additional components, three more interconnects and two more power cords. You'd think there's magic lost. . . but there's so much that has been gained.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 11/30/17 at 12:22:21

I think that the answer is in what Lon concluded with... Balance.

If we were to state that no loss is acceptable then that would apply to the entire system from the electrical plug in the wall to the room.  Sometimes we can demand the ultimate in one component and get it only to find that it makes matters worse because it shows where the imbalance is.

My system delivers what I want in fidelity and I continue to try to wring out  more, only to find out that some very poor recordings sound much worse and better recordings sound much better.  For me that’s OK, that’s what I want.

I believe that there always will be some compromise and that at some point we will go round and round until reality forces us to accept some sort of compromise.  A compromise that is acceptable to each one of us individually and what that compromise will be will vary from individual to individual.

Perhaps then, for some monos will be it, but for others bridged amps will be more than sufficient.  It depends on the whole system right down to the room.

I don’t know if there is one clear cut answer for anything in this hobby, that’s what makes it both interesting :) and at the same time frustrating :'(.



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 11/30/17 at 12:37:25

Actually Lon, I found that the same has happened with my “purist” ideas (damn it!).  Now I get to rethink everything and reorganize everything (damn it!).  But I like the result and so I keep at it (DAMN IT!) ;).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 11/30/17 at 12:40:22

Yes, DAMNIT. :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by alper_yilmaz on 11/30/17 at 16:33:28

For me, it is difficult to figure out if there is a significant sonic difference between one amp versus two amps bridged in themselves.  One of the reasons is the difference in volume.  Without volume matching, one should not get into comparing the two systems.

Back in the day, when I was having difficulty with driving my speakers with one SE84 (I think it was the C+ version), I went for the second one and used the two bridged for a few years.  It definitely reduced the clipping issue and I do not remember noticing a significant sonic difference.  However, even with the bridged amps, the system was struggling with operatic voice or forte piano passages.  So, when we switched to a TORII mkII, it was like a difference between day and night.  

So, again, I would start with only one SE84UFO.  Please note that the most recent version of the SE84 is a total beast in comparison to the earlier versions.  Because of all the changes in the design over years (Hazen Grid mod, UFO outputs, etc.), the amp has reached another level and with the same set of speakers, I am much happier with it.  

If you are looking for crazy volume levels, I would rather go for a TORII or ZMA, but they are different beasts.  With the Pendragons, I have a feeling that one SE84 would suffice, if it is fed with a high-output source...

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JOMAN on 11/30/17 at 16:51:51

I think Alper is spot on (for what it’s worth)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 12/02/17 at 15:51:39

When it comes to the UFO version of the SE84, (which will be true for the Anniversary edition as well--I'm sure they will have UFO transformers) Steve has in fact weighed in on the matter on the Zen SE84UFO page:


Worried about 2 huger than life SET watts not being enough power?

The SE84UFO employs a unique floating output transformer scheme where the negative speaker wire is not tied to chassis ground. That means when the amp is bridged, both channels may either be series or parallel wired. In series, both channels work as one and transparency is preserved.

So with no sonic drawbacks to running the amps in mono, you can expect 6 dB of additional power rather then the expected 3dB. This is thanks to the power increase the amp has when it sees half the speaker load from being series bridged.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 12/07/17 at 02:48:19


A note about the purist approach:

It's easy to think of transparency as the result of fewer parts, but the reality is transparency is about the transparency of the parts.

Think of transparency as crystal clear water, and a lack of transparency as cloudy water. If you start with somewhat cloudy water in a cup it may be hard to tell it is cloudy because there is so little water in the cup. It's not until you add more cloudy water that you begin to notice it's loosing clarity.

If you start with water that is crystal clear in your cup, you can add many layers of water on top of that until the cup is full and it can still be clear.

The reason this has caught many of you by surprise is because most audio gear is not this transparent. There is precious little hand made point to point tube gear available with this price/performance ratio.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Martindfletcher on 12/07/17 at 03:27:42

I can say I have no issues with transparency (my perspective at least) with bridged ufo2's.  With zu druid v's spec'd at 16 ohms and if you look at the curve they are closer to 19 in good portion of the spectrum.  I needed the extra power as steve advised.  FYI I start getting distortion around ~95db/meter. Somewhat dependent on source. They are spec'd at 101, most reviews question that number.    Normally listen at 70-80.  So it's enough.  I doubt with those speakers a single se84 with my room size and un ideal acoustic environment would have been enough in my case, but it sounds magical.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 12/07/17 at 03:44:30

ANNIVERSARY 2 WATT ZEN AMP will HAPPEN!

Well, something wonderful is happening here behind the scenes with the Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier development not to mention something completely unique! Even better it is something that is only possible in a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier - which is to say that it can't be duplicated in any other amplifier. It is something I have been wanting to do for years on any amplifier and for some reason a dead pocket of brain cells was brought back to life recently and I realized I could have done it all along... go figure.

This is just a teaser, so I'm not going to tell you what I did, or anything else at this point except to say a working prototype exists and things are going better than well.  

Stone cold off the bench in it's first breath it is already more liquid and more dimensional than anything I've ever heard. Yup, this is going to be some good stuff.  It's so extreme and so good, I don't know if I should be happy or disappointed that it took me 20 years to figure this out.

Hehe.. maybe I'll call it the SE84UFOHC for "Holy Crap".

Save your questions, I'll tease you with it more as it develops.

BTW, I know... overly exuberant statements that seem hard to believe and thus diminish everything else I've said over the years, but take it seriously because I have always been able to put my money where my mouth is and if I say no one has ever heard a Zen this good you can be completely certain of it.

-Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Martindfletcher on 12/07/17 at 03:59:20

Nice tease, hope I can upgrade the UFO2's!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Martindfletcher on 12/07/17 at 04:19:41

Steve,

Alpine brewery out here in San Diego named their epiphany beer HFS.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 12/09/17 at 03:06:24

The most exciting write-up since Torri Jr. I am eager.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/09/17 at 04:41:03


Quote:
ANNIVERSARY 2 WATT ZEN AMP will HAPPEN!

Well, something wonderful is happening here behind the scenes with the Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier development not to mention something completely unique! Even better it is something that is only possible in a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier - which is to say that it can't be duplicated in any other amplifier. It is something I have been wanting to do for years on any amplifier and for some reason a dead pocket of brain cells was brought back to life recently and I realized I could have done it all along... go figure.

This is just a teaser, so I'm not going to tell you what I did, or anything else at this point except to say a working prototype exists and things are going better than well.  

Stone cold off the bench in it's first breath it is already more liquid and more dimensional than anything I've ever heard. Yup, this is going to be some good stuff.  It's so extreme and so good, I don't know if I should be happy or disappointed that it took me 20 years to figure this out.

Hehe.. maybe I'll call it the SE84UFOHC for "Holy Crap".


So...Steve, does this mean I should bring mine back for whatever this magic update is?  I'm in town again on Monday.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 12/09/17 at 18:29:29


Sorry, this new Zen requires a scratch built chassis and as a result it will be impossible to upgrade any prior amps.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by alper_yilmaz on 12/09/17 at 18:38:38

So, when is the expected release date, Steve?  I cannot believe there can and will be anything better than the SE84UFO in the price range (plus, say, 50%); but I will take your word for it!  :)

And of course, looking forward...

Cheers,

Alper

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 12/09/17 at 19:13:11

Oh boy, this is going to be A HELLUVAN amp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by alper_yilmaz on 12/09/17 at 20:02:19

So, maybe it should be named HELLUVAN84 then!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 12/09/17 at 20:04:46

Yes! LOL.

I'm going to try to save up for a bridged pair, and hopefully Steve can leave space in there for a treble cut circuit. . . ..

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 12/09/17 at 21:48:22

25th Anniversary Amp🤔🤔🤔🤔
Of course you have to get one.

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/09/17 at 21:55:49

Just one?  ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Donnie on 12/09/17 at 22:34:57

The word on the street around here is that Steve is working on some 1500 watt solid state monoblock amps and some really cool 80 Db efficient speakers.
The street around here is usually right.... ::)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 12/11/17 at 04:28:43


Well the Audio Gods have blessed the new Anniversary Zen amplifier design... which is important.

This time the sine they left was and is simply unmistakeable. The amp has been on for days continuously playing music and the power transformer is just warm (110 degrees F). The normal temperature of every Zen ever built since 1996 ranges between 129 ~ 139 degrees F. I am using the same power transformer and the current draw is exactly the same as it's always been.

I am wrestling my way through the burn-in process of VCAPS which I have chosen for this amp to raise both the gain and the dynamics. As always with any cap, there is a window of 30 minutes to a few hours during the initial cold off the bench listening test where you can hear exactly what the cap will sound like once it is burned it. Then it goes away not to return for several hundred hours.  

Another note regarding burning in stubborn caps that I've learned since 1996... what you play when you burn in the cap is important. I learned early burn in is about memory. The cap is learning.

Sine waves, Pink Noise, warble tones, and all the other electronic crap found on Burn-In CD's makes the cap really good at reproducing those noises and as a consequence music reproduction also improves a tiny bit. However, let the cap learn good music, real music, and it will be far better at playing it while as a consequence it will also be better at reproducing the noise of a Burn-in CD.

I say real music meaning non-electronic, non-processed recordings of real instruments that are properly tuned to themselves - is the ideal thing to use when training the caps. Things with complex harmonics are best, such as you will find in classical music. I have found that the most complex harmonics I have found seems to come from 18th century Tibetan Singing Bowls which is an ideal thing to use when training the caps so long as the recordings contain many different bowls.

If you're going to try Singing bowl recordings to burn in new caps, you will also need well recorded music to alternate it with. That said the bowls will cut the burn in time in half.

Anyway back to the temperature thing. There is no SPICE models I am aware of that could predict this sudden temperature reduction, or explain it. The cool thing (excuse the pun) is that everyone who owns one of these will be able to experience for themselves the sign every time they feel the disarmingly cool power transformer.

As a final unrelated thought, I spent most of the week exploring the voicing and trying to wrap my head around how the most subtle things can simply discombobulate the sound. It's like painting a portrait in Oils and you had the face nearly perfect but you just had to see what would happen if you add a little paint here and take a little away from there and presto... it's all F'd up! Now you spend the next couple days working backwards to fix it. In this case what I am referring to is the voicing the power supplies and getting them to the correct speed so that the timbre is correct and the dimensionality doesn't compress. All of this can come from seeming nothing and just as easily return to nothing because just using the wrong brand of bypass cap or the wrong value or both anywhere in the entire amp can wreck it.

The Voicing of my amps, especially this one, is sacred. It's a real bitch to get it there and it comes from unexpected places, so assuming a particular brand or type of cap can be replaced with something that cost more money and positive results will come is foolish. Your job is what's on the outside of the amp, i.e. the tubes, cables and power cords, speakers, room, sources. I juggle all of these during the voicing process to keep from getting an amp that only sounds good in one system.

So that's my update, and truly of the hundreds of sines I've gotten over 25 years, this one is hallmark.  I'll probably spend the next 25 years trying to figure out how it is happening ; )

Steve





Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 12/11/17 at 05:47:50

(Eric is frantically going through music library to see if there is any Tibetan Singing Bowl music - oddly, find 3 albums)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/11/17 at 06:18:51

Since it's running so cool, does that mean you could bore it out, port and polish the heads, throw a high lift cam in it and get it to 10 WPC without it over-heating?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 12/11/17 at 11:28:39

Maybe Singing bowls with Ohm speakers?  Ohmmmmm.


HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/11/17 at 16:54:19

Steve, thanks for your comprehensive last post, to remind me of what you do to make music so convincing and enjoyable in my Listening Room.

You stated (among everything you said and I appreciate):
"Your job is what's on the outside of the amp, i.e. the tubes, cables and power cords, speakers, room, sources. I juggle all of these during the voicing process to keep from getting an amp that only sounds good in one system."

....not an easy task  

Furthermore/you're:
".....wrestling my way through the burn-in process of VCAPS which I have chosen for this amp to raise both the gain and the dynamics."

........and with the raise in gain and dynamics you're providing.....oh yeah.


I'm back in. My modified Adagio's Tweeter's and Driver's, I can't be without...can be driven by the Anniversary Amp. My SE84CS, really had no problem. With the VCAPS, the living hell, as described to burn them in.....will be worth it, to BE BACK IN THE COMPANY OF YOUR PENTODES RUN IN TRIODE ~ 2ND TO NONE.

I look forward to reading more.  


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 12/11/17 at 17:12:26

"If you start with water that is crystal clear in your cup, you can add many layers of water on top of that until the cup is full and it can still be clear."

Lower temp on the power transformer, due to what you stated in your post/reply #398?

....can the new layer of the right clear parts affect this lower temp back?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/03/18 at 14:28:02

OK, here is my summary of what makes the 25AZPT special.  It's really in the attack of the notes.  So notes have an attack, a body and a decay. The 25AZPT is especially fast and really lends great definition to the attack part of the note.  That draws you into the music more, keeps the music moving and involves you.

Not that the body or decay is lacking.  Quite the opposite, but its the attack that makes this the most engaging Decware amp I have listened to.  I put it in and it didn't come out until the CDApS meeting because I just didn't want to.  I put the Rachael back in because I wanted everyone to hear the difference when the Zen went back in.

In contrast, I find that he ZMA gets the body of the note really well and squeezes out the definition.  Its no slouch of course on the other aspects, but it is not a fast as the 25AZPT.

Soundstage on this Zen and imaging are also first class, but again its the attack that I think really separates it from other Decware amps.

I did have to make an adjustment to my bass amps for the Zen and turn them up a few clicks to keep the bass at the same level as Rachael, but otherwise if Steve can keep the attack going in the production model, this will be a really great amp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/04/18 at 01:32:20

Regarding the temperature, the amp has been on 24/7 since I first mentioned it and the temp simply won't rise.   Consider this, it is the same 170mA transformer we have always used in most of our amplifiers. The Zens only draw around 50 mA on average from that 170mA power supply.  Some are built with a resistor, some are built with chokes, and none have run this cool.  In fact the original zen ran hot.

The only explanation I can offer is that both the resistor(s) and or the choke reflect something backwards back into the transformer through the bridge rectifier which causes friction/heat that isn't necessarily tied to load.

In any case with it running so cool I have no qualms about leaving it on 24 hours a day and it makes sense that without the chaos of this friction, the sound would have insane liquidity - almost disarming.

The reason there is none of this is because I have eliminated the resistors and the choke and am using the vacuum gap of the OA3 tube in place of it to feed high voltage to the plate of each output tube. This has never been done before, only the grids of the output tubes, or the high voltage for the input tubes has ever been done in the past. In this amp all the high voltage for everything is resistor-less and has no chokes, just the vacuum gaps of three separate vacuum regulator tubes, one for each output tube and one for the input tube.

Of course this can not be done with any other amplifier because all other amplifiers use larger output tubes, and we're at the limit of the current capacity of the Voltage Regulator tube with the Zen's 6P15P-EB / EL84 output tube. So something this graceful can only be done on a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/04/18 at 01:49:10

Wow, that's an amazing design. Can't wait to see more of this amp!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/04/18 at 03:02:40

Steve, your thoughts on bridging a pair of these into mono?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/04/18 at 18:12:16


To clarify Palomino's post (quoted here); I loaned him my little Zen amp that is the prototype for the 25th Anniversary amp, and he had about two weeks of playtime with it. He said he wasn't giving it back. I agree with his assessment - the speed and honesty of this amp is very engaging - we just kept running out of steam when we wanted a little grunt, or with quiet recordings.


Quote:
OK, here is my summary of what makes the 25AZPT special.  It's really in the attack of the notes.  So notes have an attack, a body and a decay. The 25AZPT is especially fast and really lends great definition to the attack part of the note.  That draws you into the music more, keeps the music moving and involves you.

Not that the body or decay is lacking.  Quite the opposite, but its the attack that makes this the most engaging Decware amp I have listened to.  I put it in and it didn't come out until the CDApS meeting because I just didn't want to.  I put the Rachael back in because I wanted everyone to hear the difference when the Zen went back in.

In contrast, I find that he ZMA gets the body of the note really well and squeezes out the definition.  Its no slouch of course on the other aspects, but it is not a fast as the 25AZPT.

Soundstage on this Zen and imaging are also first class, but again its the attack that I think really separates it from other Decware amps.

I did have to make an adjustment to my bass amps for the Zen and turn them up a few clicks to keep the bass at the same level as Rachael, but otherwise if Steve can keep the attack going in the production model, this will be a really great amp.


Oddly enough Steve, using the regulator tubes on the Zen amp is exactly what I imagined you were doing - somehow I just *knew* that was the next step in purity for the little Zen. With all the other details you're putting into it, I'm seriously thinking I may have to have a 25th Anniversary Zen myself!!



Quote:
Regarding the temperature, the amp has been on 24/7 since I first mentioned it and the temp simply won't rise.   Consider this, it is the same 170mA transformer we have always used in most of our amplifiers. The Zens only draw around 50 mA on average from that 170mA power supply.  Some are built with a resistor, some are built with chokes, and none have run this cool.  In fact the original zen ran hot.

The only explanation I can offer is that both the resistor(s) and or the choke reflect something backwards back into the transformer through the bridge rectifier which causes friction/heat that isn't necessarily tied to load.

In any case with it running so cool I have no qualms about leaving it on 24 hours a day and it makes sense that without the chaos of this friction, the sound would have insane liquidity - almost disarming.

The reason there is none of this is because I have eliminated the resistors and the choke and am using the vacuum gap of the OA3 tube in place of it to feed high voltage to the plate of each output tube. This has never been done before, only the grids of the output tubes, or the high voltage for the input tubes has ever been done in the past. In this amp all the high voltage for everything is resistor-less and has no chokes, just the vacuum gaps of three separate vacuum regulator tubes, one for each output tube and one for the input tube.

Of course this can not be done with any other amplifier because all other amplifiers use larger output tubes, and we're at the limit of the current capacity of the Voltage Regulator tube with the Zen's 6P15P-EB / EL84 output tube. So something this graceful can only be done on a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 01/05/18 at 01:30:15

"In this amp all the high voltage for everything is resistor-less and has no chokes, just the vacuum gaps of three separate vacuum regulator tubes, one for each output tube and one for the input tube."  - Steve

This sounds so exciting! I hope I get to hear one of these. Of all your amps, I think this is the one I would like best.
Brian

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/05/18 at 14:22:35

It also makes me wonder if maybe there is some obscure regulator tube out there that might be able to handle bigger output tubes...

It would be fun if there was a big stash of some unwanted Russian submarine tubes that Steve could use to develop bigger amps with this.  ;)

Just daydreaming.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/05/18 at 15:14:34

Yup, I try to walk away....and then get sucked right back in with your answer to my temp inquiry.....and pull me back in with tube regulation.
;D

Okay, hook or crook.....I'm buying one in Oct/November.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 05:19:46


It comes at a price, adding the OA3 regulation for each output tube that is...  Rather than the two capacitors used in the power supplies of the SE84UFO and SE84UFO2, this uses a few more. The first cap comes off the rectifier tube just like the other amps but then the power supply is split into three separate filters, one for each tube.  This adds 7 additional caps and nine additional poly film bypass caps. There was no option other than to spit it into three separate supplies due to the 30mA limit of the OA3 tube. And because the large gap beautifully slows things down, all of the caps have to be carefully bypassed to speed things back up. This stretch between speeds expands the transient playground to a very large window giving a more immersive sense of depth and complexity. The slow side of it's personality creates unbelievable liquidity. The fast side of it's personality reveals stuff you had no idea was there, and that Zen duality creates an infinitely variable speed power supply that fills in the middle.  

It's not real practical, but it is something you do when you're trying to not be practical, and voyage well beyond that point of diminishing returns, through the neutral zone and into heavy waves of total realism... something I think the little Zen deserves after being such a trooper for so many years!!

Who would have thought 25 years ago when Eric Barbor of Svetlana contacted me to see if I had any interest in an EL84 substitute called the SV83, such incredible effort would have ended up going into the amps for it.  25 Years ago it was a $4.00 tube.  Who would have thought a $4.00 tube would justify a $2500 wholesale price pair of amps (and counting). The bizarreness of it from this perspective just makes it even more desirable to do, just to see how much further can we push the resolution of this amazing output tube, which is actually a Russian 6P15P-EB.

We've always known that EL84's are faster than virtually all 8 pin output tubes, be it pentode or triode wired, but the 6P15P-EB was nearly twice the bandwidth and subsequent speed and as a result nearly perfectly neutral.  So there is no reason not to see how fast the tube actually is... just know it's expensive aka painful, but worth it. I predict it's going to hurt fairly bad until the moment it arrives. Most of the pain will go away in the first hour. I would say 90% of it. By the third week you will begin to understand that the amp is easily worth twice what you paid for it, and it's limited production ensures that it will always hold it's value and you will then become forever pain free.


Steve



Here's a picture of the prototype... don't worry I was just having some fun with the finish.  The actual model will be done in a beautiful textured powder coat resembling a green patina with silver jacks, and white silkscreening for a really vintage upscale look and backlit meters.



The current tube compliment is presently a globe 80 rectifier tube with adapter, a pair of OA3's for the output tubes, an OD3a for the input tube which is a 7DJ8. So far the input stage is working out as a wonderful opportunity to voice your own amplifier. With 3 voltage regulator tubes ranging from VR75 to VR150, you can make any input tube sound three different ways. Powerful tool. The input tubes used and liked are 6N1P-EB, 6N23P, 6N11, 6922, 6DJ8, 7DJ8, 6N5P.  I'm presently torn between the 7DJ8 and the 6N5P with the OD3A on both as to which should be the stock tube compliment... but that could change with more time.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 06:07:44

I am sure this question is looming in the minds of many, but thus far with this amp as you have described, how would you summarize the strengths and weaknesses in comparison to a Torii MKIV or a ZMA.

I am very intrigued by the notion of running a pair of these bridged mono.  My Omega's are 97db efficient and I am running everything through my Ultra preamp.

What do you think?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 06:29:40

On second thought...  I don't care.  Just know I'll be the first to order a pair of these when they come out.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 06:36:29

Speed.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 06:45:52


Submarine tubes,...  that does sound exciting.  How about if we take my tired Carbon Dioxide Laser tube and use it to superheat a titanium diaphragm while simultaneously cooling the other size with liquified gas.  That should get down to at least a few hundred hertz.  Stereo systems always sound better when they could accidentally kill you.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by busterfree on 01/07/18 at 07:01:21

What type of change (not sound characteristics) if any can be expected when compared to a SuperZen.

Still two watts?
Still stable to 1 ohm?
Noise level?
Bias switch?
Dual volume controls only?
One input only?
How limited is production if decided (100, 1000, etc)?
Pushing output tube harder?

Not that the answers will change anything. I like your 2 watt amps.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 07:07:35


Whatever you do, don't listen to Takla Makan at 1:00 in the morning on this thing!  You won't be the same.  

Based on what I'm hearing this means the middle of the night bloom is not all about power, as expected. This proves it's the suns effect on the Ether and much as the state of the power grid. It's also almost disturbing that I'm listening to digital... seems impossible to sound like this.  




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 07:13:46


Quote:
Still two watts?
Still stable to 1 ohm?
Noise level?
Bias switch?
Dual volume controls only?
One input only?
How limited is production if decided (100, 1000, etc)?
Pushing output tube harder?

Not that the answers will change anything. I like your 2 watt amps.


Yes, same, same, yes, yes, don't know, no, the audio circuit remains identical.  It's just that a well kept secret in audio design is that the power supply has more effect on the sound than the audio circuit itself... and is by far the most expensive part.  The Zen has for 25 years used a 170ma power supply for a circuit that draws less than 50ma., so at the price points we're at getting more extreme than that is well past the point of diminishing returns.

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/07/18 at 07:17:17


Steve Deckert wrote on 01/07/18 at 07:07:35:

It's also almost disturbing that I'm listening to digital... seems impossible to sound like this.


ZROCK2 in the chain?  If not, say it isn't so!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/07/18 at 15:21:45

Oh my!  That is beautiful. I like the red. I'm sure the green patina with silver jacks, and white silkscreening for a really vintage upscale look and backlit meters....will be just as stunning.

Oh, I'm trying to hear it in my head....ZROCK2 in play. Not, all about power as you stated and any of us that have owned your 2 watts knows.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Acetone on 01/07/18 at 15:36:15

Nice!!  Question is!  Do I build 2nd system around it, or sell my SE84CKC to finance this?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/18 at 17:27:46

Was listening to Borris Blank Tidal Masters on the ZDAC2 feeding the ZTPRE... no ZROCK this time.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Donnie on 01/07/18 at 18:22:12

I just want to say that RED amplifiers always sound better. It is a scientifically proven fact.
I learned that in my advanced studies at MIT. (Mississippi Institute of Truckin')

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/08/18 at 04:23:32

I have settled on the stock tube compliment.  OD3a with a N.O.S. 7DJ8.

I say this because this weekend I put all the exotic bypass caps in the power supply, 9 in total, and up until now, the amp was slower than the Lonely Raven Prototype. More musical possibly but lacked the surprise factor that makes music sound real.  I had to see where the amplifier landed without the full bypass, which has taken all this time.  

Now with the bypass in place the OA3 and OD3 work as intended and HOLY CRAP is the amp fast. I just heard it do things tonight that I have never experienced before. It is like a black hole. And it's going to get better still as the bypass caps break in.  

Literally tonight I listened to something extremely well engineered and recorded, digitally, and walked out of the listening room shaking my head in complete disbelief because honestly, I have never heard anything sound that good.
It was the whole package, weight, power, scale, dynamics, insane, repeat insane imaging, and absolute liquidity with spooky presence. The sound stage was a 270 degree arc and about 50 feet wide, 20 feet tall and 70 feet deep and you could hear around each image. This is personally thrilling to me because I thought I've had better rooms in the past 20 years, but now I know that isn't probably as true as I thought. The thing is, the amplifier was able to literally say -censored- the room, and just force it's will to happen regardless. Talk about making speakers disappear...  it's just sick.- I thought the speakers were really pretty good, but I just heard what they can really do... it's bitter sweet of course because only Decware customers have any idea what I'm talking about.

Happy listening... it's only 9:45 P.M. and it already sounds like 1:30 A.M... some of you know what I'm talking about. Imagine if this damn thing can actually stretch the golden hours of which there are never more than 3 into a number more like 6 or even 9.

My only advise is don't handicap this amplifier with anything less than an honest 94dB 1/w 1/m because it deserves at least that. Also, the bigger the speakers the better.  It will make anything disappear, so don't be afraid of larger full range speakers, the amp will love you for it. At 94dB I can reach the same density and pressure that I do with the larger amplifiers using the same speakers... so I catch myself forgetting I'm not listening to the larger amplifiers, but tonight I have to say that letting the speed out of the box has made it pretty easy to hear your not listening to the larger amps... which makes sense, but look, this is what it actually took... a zen amp that might well be the same price as the TORII MKIV... I'm not counting at this stage, just excavating for that treasure that will pay for all the excavation. ; )

It's just counterintuitive because I always use digital for amplifier design since that is what the world listens to, and it's a worse case scenario in many instances as a source. This is making digital sound better than I've ever heard it.  My only theory is it must be the "stretch" between slow and fast that we talked about with the power supply design.  The amp is slowing it down and speeding it up to the point where 88kHz up sampled is sounding better than native DSD used to. I may have stumbled into something here. It just sounds so real.  Definitely have some new respect for ZDAC2. I can now hear it is better than my favorite, the ZDSD, for streaming from the computer.  It gets along well with TIDAL when set to use the DAC directly as the only output device, ignoring the computer's operating system.

I can already say it was the right decision to postpone the 6C33C's because the original prototypes were not this good. I realize that it is now 10:20 and I still haven't hit the save button. I have never heard an amplifier this good before. I'm sorry, but it's true.  

Anyway, I don't have time to post, because the black hole effect is sucking my ass to the sweet spot.  

Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/08/18 at 04:29:29

I can say that before the evening really gets going, I have been completely humiliated by my own amplifier.  I literally thought I knew what was possible and built products to take us all there, and I did.  Tonight I hear that I didn't know shit.

[smiley=tunes57.gif]

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/08/18 at 05:07:35

Well, it sounds like my 97db Omega SAHO's are a perfect match.  I had a feeling the ZMA was an overkill in a sense for such high efficiency speakers when I purchased them. But after my ZMA went back to the mothership for meter repair and upgrades, when I put my 2 watt SuperZen into duty powering the SAHOs, it became obvious that these particular speakers didn't "need" the ZMA.  I must clarify, need.  My ZMA crushes it with these speakers and of the all the Decware amps I have in my possession (Super Zen, Torii MKIV, Rachel, ZMA), the ZMA would be the last amp standing.  

However, since I do have such an ideal foundation to create the magic with these 25th Anniversary amps, I cannot NOT get them.  Yes, them.  Price of a Torii MKIV, or not, put me down for a pair to run as mono blocks.  

Steve, how does serial #1 and #2 sound?   ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/08/18 at 05:19:15

So a little more real time documentation.

I'm still listening of course and all I can say is it's just SICK. I almost can't understand how it can take control like that. Believe you me, it's in charge, and it's conscious. It's freaking me out... the audio gods have spoken and if I make it through the night without pissing my pants I'll be really impressed.

I've just never heard anything do this before!!!!  This is probably going to really be bad for business... or change everything.

This is proof that if you're a slow learner but have the staying power to spend 80,000 hours chasing audio nirvana some higher vibrational being will eventually feel sorry for you and toss you a bone.  This one is hard to comprehend... I guess be careful what you ask for because I'm just getting shredded here... it's so humbling it's embarrassing.

Haha... I get it... game of the weakest link that I've been preaching for 20 years just.... and ironically, or paradoxically right when I didn't think the Decware line had any weak links worth exploiting.  

The sound is so different. It's real.  It's having it's way with physics that defy logic. It's having it's way with the speakers and the room and me all at the same time and the more I notice it, the more it does it, proving consciousness.  

I recognize this kind of power... it used to manifest when we jammed in the studio in Peoria.  The music would become conscious and take over your body and make you play well outside your abilities.  It's happening now with this amplifier. The music has taken over the amplifier.  It seems to be playing WAY OUTSIDE it's capabilities... Not missing the bigger amps ? ! ?  No, because the presentation has the same forcefulness with higher resolution.

OK, I get it again... l am just now hearing the UFO output transformers... what they are actually capable of. Solid state amplifiers sound like turds compared to this. Even the chip amps which are artificially fast are slow.  

See this is what happens when you find the weak link in your system, you get to hear everything for the first time and it greatly exceeds what you thought was possible. See it still happens even to me, so it will happen to you as well!

It is literally a black hole.  So captivating that it is impossible to sit on the side lines and enjoy from afar.  It's conscious and you don't want to insult it.  Unbelievable...  I'm actually scared to listen to my Vinyl Rig, and then some master tapes. There's is no way I would try that tonight.,,, I'm on the edge of my sanity now.

Thank GOD I haven't hooked up the EGGS because this is making tower speakers image better than the EGGS did, which we all know is impossible. When things sound like this, the last thing you want to do is start screwing with it.  It's just too good to touch.









Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/08/18 at 05:31:37

Well Steve, we "don't know what we don't know."  So, to read of this audio epiphany is not surprising to me.  The difference between those who wallow in content to the point of complacency and guys like you, is unwavering curiosity fueled by a "no compromise mindset."  It is inevitable that progress and innovation will ensue, even if it takes 25 years!  Hey, if all of this stuff was quick and easy, everyone would be doing it and you know what, it would be boring as hell!  It is the pursuit of perfection where the thrills lay.  You never want to get there, because then the chase is over.  

I am already anticipating the Decware 35th Anniversary amplifier and all of the incredible mysteries it will possess.  I know you have a few more tricks up your sleeve, even if you have no idea what they are at this moment in time.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/08/18 at 06:08:29

I have to continue documenting this because sadly I'm getting that age where by the time I recall it to write it down to make some point, well you know.

I am experiencing sound right now in a new way. It feels like water. I can feel it. I can swim in it. I can touch it. I can taste it. I can become it. It is so completely immerse and 3D that it reaches from 30 feet behind the speakers right up to your chest and you swim in it. It has so much mass it feels like water.

Things like distortion, fatigue, flatness, boredom, or being teased are alien concepts in this reality. The music is in charge and it literally feels like the stereo system / by the fact that it hits a certain harmonic purity / becomes an antenna for consciousness and then you suddenly have a one million dollar stereo because nothing on earth could sound better than this, even the artist has only heard this in his or her minds eye, never from speakers... this is surreal.

What I am hearing I would have thought was impossible until tonight. Wow did I under estimate speed. I knew our amps were so firkin fast already that I best protect us all... obviously a big mistake or else the universe is just using me for a practical joke and none of this is happening.  

Nice try... it's happening.

Holy Crap, the textures are so complex it just stops time. That would actually explain some of the sensation I'm having. If you haven't read my recent article about "what is sound" I beg of you to do it now, because what I am hearing is directly linked to what's in that article.  http://www.decware.com/newsite/DECWARESOUND.pdf

I feel like I'm hearing music in an alternate universe where the sound is so lucid that you swim in it, and so complex that the species never wasted their time with speech because it was just too slow to communicate complex ideas.

The fact that this is happening with only 2 watts, is the thing that is really freaking me out.  It sounds like 40 watts, which I know and love in the ZMA. It's just projecting so much energy into the space and everything in it that the sweet spot is levitating.  

I'm going to have to make some videos of this, because the energy will come through the video and let you hear this happening.  I feel like I have to ask it permission first...  

This is so humbling... I just listen to  what's coming out of my speakers and it's like the first time I've ever heard hi-end audio. Had it the whole time and didn't know it. It just goes to show that the magic in technology is knowing exactly how to do something. There can be no guessing and no chance. It only works like this and I was so close I drove the audio gods mad to the point where they just knocked me up with it pushing my ability to comprehend it.  

Thank God I'm a good listener because I heard the little voices that said "Do this" and "Do this" and I did it. I can't wait for this to be heard by others!  I guarantee you'll either jump out of the listening chair 25 times and pace around in circles, or you'll turn to stone in the listening chair.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/08/18 at 06:18:29

Yea, I've never heard an amplifier this good.  I'm not even sure I've heard anything even close.  I'm really not.  I have to think about that for awhile.  I'm going to pull the plug now before get sucked into an all nighter. Lots to think about, be hard enough so sleep after having my ass handed to me like this. Tomorrow is a new universe of what is possible with the Zen Triode.


Steve

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 01/08/18 at 06:55:37

So nice! Thanks.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/08/18 at 13:34:58

Very exciting news. I think with this news this should not be a "limited edition!"

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/08/18 at 13:45:48

There is nothing quite like an excited Steve Deckert.  Looking forward to the new 25th Anniversary "Mighty Zen" amplifier.

HK

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 01/08/18 at 14:43:17

Steve, reading your reactions certainly makes one wish to participate! Which of your speakers are you using for these sensations?

Joe

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/08/18 at 17:38:09


Steve,

You're probably pretty bushed after last nights session - but I'm in town today and can swing by if the magic is still in the air?


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/08/18 at 17:59:30

Sorry, too busy today, didn't sleep much last night and got lots to do.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/08/18 at 18:39:19

Steve,
Considering the current state of the prototype, and your feelings toward it, do you have a new time estimate - ballpark even - as to when you hope to get this amp to market?  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/08/18 at 22:31:02

I'm in the 91, 92 or maybe they are 93 now with single caps @ 1w/1meter camp. Before my single cap mod, my Adagio's were 91 @ 1w/1meter....with all the kludgy x-over in them.  I might still have a shot at driving them with the Anniversary Amp? If not I will have to muddle on with my ZMA an ZR2.  8-)

Good question Jeff on window of release and I agree Lon ....this certainly should not be an limited release.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by metropolis7 on 01/08/18 at 23:19:34


This is very exciting news. Time to start saving up duckets.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Brian on 01/09/18 at 02:03:52

After reading those descriptions, I don't have anything useful to say!  
But I wanted to say thank you for designing this amp. And congratulations on the accomplishment!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by metropolis7 on 01/09/18 at 02:05:48


So this new Zen will be happy with some 94db 2 ohm speakers with no crossover?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/09/18 at 02:19:28

Happy with 94dB speakers between 2 and 16 ohms.  

Will not be a limited build, other than by what we can hand produce.

Should be ready by this summer.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/09/18 at 03:18:06

Steve, your enthusiasm for this Amp is infectious. I'm glad I waited to add/get back to your Triode design. I'm working for one come Christmas. If I can't run my mod Adagio's to my satisfaction(?) I will need to revisit a little higher sensitivity.

My ZMA System is a lock and goes nowhere. It is just time to climb back into your Triode, in addition.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/09/18 at 20:31:37

Reading again your last half dozen posts.....absolutely exciting! Spot on ballpark $ of the Torii MkIV....makes total sense to me. I know I should run it with an honest 94db sensitivity.....but, I'm still going to give it a shot first....because I have a shot with my love for my mod' Adagio's.

I can't wait to read more development finalization, as you come to your potential release this summer.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 04:04:02

Still digesting this new sound...  the speed of this amp changes perceived physics. It makes the amp sound like is has a lot more power. The music in fact sounds louder. You can feel it in the concrete floor where you stand, in fact everything is energized. This is fascinating to me since it's actually no louder and has no more measured power.  

I have a visualization that will help to explain the ideal power supply filter.

First for reference picture an 8000 gallon above ground swimming pool, and that will be our capacitor. It's an endless supply of current but sadly it's a slow process to get that current where it needs to go.

Where does it need to go?  Each note in music has a frequency, or speed and will draw energy from the power supply the correlates with that frequency. For example, let's say there were only 88 notes in music that would ever be played because the only instrument on the entire planet was the piano. The ideal capacitor would be 88 smaller barrels instead of the large pool.

The total volume of water of the pool is divided into 88 parts, one for each musical note. The lower notes would draw from larger barrels and the higher notes would draw off smaller barrels. Each barrel is exactly the amount of water the note needs to play at full power. It's not more water so that we need to figure out what to do with the extra, and it's not less water so that we have to compromise the power of the note. This allows each note to play with perfect speed, i.e. no lag and at full power.  

Trying to suck water from the large pool for each note is by comparison a complete cluster -censored- that prevents each note from playing at it's full power and thereby cuts the power of the amplifier as a whole. Of course power is your least concern because the resolution that comes from having the correct size barrels to draw from is the real prize here.

Now this is nothing new, we've been doing power supplies like this for many many years, but on Zen Amplifiers where the transparency is so high, if it's not done right it will make the amplifier sound way worse. Also, it takes a LOT more room inside the amp, and a LOT more money, and because of the resolution I always feared people would shoot the messenger. Decware amps were already faster than just about everything and pushing the envelope for detail about as far as I was comfortable with, but now after hearing this I have to accept that digital has come a long way on the playback side and has never been a problem on the recording side of things.  

What is ODD is that with this amplifier, the bypass is not making power supply grain part of the experience like it would in any other amplifier. (Remember this amp filters the CD between a cathode and an anode for every tube.) Therefor it must have been the grain being featured over the top of the recording that made me think so many recordings weren't good. I am now finding that the things I dislike about digital when it isn't sounding perfect are actually less on this ultra resolution amplifier, not more. This is the very reason why I would not have bothered to go here on my own. It was my desire for a 25th anniversary Zen Amp to be better than anything ever done here before that got the Audio Gods involved to make this happen because if I had any intention on making a Zen amp faster, I would have by now.  

The power supply temperature was the first sine they were heavily involved (Thank God) and the fact that I liked it better than anything else while it was still technically broken gave me the time and the space to listen to the amplifier and finish the voicing of the power supply.  All of the bypass caps were chosen based on their sound as coupling caps in the signal path. I think I used 4 different types which I am certain has a great deal to do with the synergy that is taking place. A) it only took 24 hours to go from questionable to incredible and most power supply mods like that would take a week or more. B) the way it is sculpting out space from nothing is like the expanding universe. There is a tonality to the signature that reminds me of playing mismatched but like minded speakers together and hearing what happens to resulting frequency balance. (Always way better). I recognize that in the sound and I know it's from the cap recipe.

I'm a little disappointed I didn't explore this, (as in I had to be lead by the hand to the answer like a completely lost cause) sooner and on my own. As I nurse my ego back to health which isn't ever going to happen because it's impossible while I listen to the amp, and I can't stop listening to the amp. I have an entire music library to revisit, and a dozen pair of speakers to hear for the first time, so I've got no chance of a recovery.

Interestingly I am working on two things simultaneously... one is this 25th anniversary Zen, and the other is a prototype for a lower price zen that maintains the same price/performance ratio to get more people hooked into this side of the wonderful hobby we call audio. As a result of this experience with power supply design, I am already clear on what to do and how on the other prototype.  I'll give up more on that later, but I want an entry level amp that is below the price point of our current SE84UFO amplifier.

Back to the amplifier sound... one thing I noticed since my last ramblings is that I caught it sounding like an amplifier usually does after 10:00 p.m. at 1:30 in the afternoon which really just never happens.

Right now I'm listening to bells, triangles, chimes, and things that always have been hard to get right in a digital system, and are so easy in an analogue rig. Tonight on this amp they sound right, at least 97% what I would consider perfect. Keep in mind I haven't listened to analog on this amp yet, because I'm a little scared of it ; )  But I will.


Steve








Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by flargosa on 01/10/18 at 04:48:27

Will the RCA input location of the final product be the same as the current prototype?  Towards the front of the amp?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 05:41:54

Some observations from tonight:

I am noticing a different curve that plots the difference between good recordings and great ones. Before the a great recording was about twice as good as a good recording suggesting a somewhat linear curve. Now bounding between all these same recordings the difference is so far up to between 3 and 4 times better suggesting an exponential curve.

I feel like my ears and hearing in general feel 30 years younger.  

I just can get over the tone. The tonal colors are so overwhelming your mind spills the excess off to your sense of smell and taste.  You can taste the sound.

Dynamics are non-existent as a topic or descriptor. The music just is. There is no dragging it down or hyping it up. When I say it just is, I should specify that it sounds and feels real. You sit there and marvel at it like a kid who just saw Santa Clause for the first time!

Bass & Drum Intro Niles Lofgren Band: Drum and Bass solos are spellbinding and absolutely huge. This is the part that would completely short out someone who has never heard what genetically evolved two watt amplifier can do.

Saitensprung Friedemann: The music has such density and is so tangible that I feel like I could walk on it. Again it just sounds completely real. This exceeds my reference (Acoustat monitor 4 with servo charge tube amps) and it's on cone speakers.

The Bridge Boris Blank: Ha! Surround sound has got nothing on this. Literally. It's just about hard to believe. Also if it wasn't this good, it would be easy to drive by without every pulling over. Glad I stopped.

Tears Run Dry Malia, Boris Blank: An example of a perfect recording in every way. It's a 12 out of 10. Sounds completely real now.

Yesterdays (Rudy Van... Paul Chambers: Just the most fulfilling stand up bass you've ever heard. This is a timbre and texture and tone demonstration as well as being completely 3D and there in front of you. The definition of the bow and strings is too real to have your eyes open because your brain starts to short out when you see nothing there. It's like your sensitivity is increased massively as I would imagine happens to a blind man. I still feel like my ears are getting fresher with every hour I log on this amp.

Have You Heard (feat... King Curtis, Nat Adderly, Wynto...:  It just sounds completely real. Big band music, exquisitely recorded in a big and old music hall.  This is one of those 70 feet wide stages that is 20 feet away from you and 30 feet deep. Horns sound delightful and and the cymbals on the drum kit just sound real.

Holy Crap!... I just had a thought. I hope I'm not dead!! That would explain why everything sounds so bleeping good!

I can imagine the sound I'm hearing is very similar to what you might hear with a 4 chassis fully battery operated directly heated triode amplifier designed by someone who knew what they were doing. It exists, just not for people with more brains than money.

Afro Dite Friedemann: This lights up your soundstage like a Christmas tree, and then like an entire forrest.

Midnight Procession Borris Blank:  A great piece for late night listening. So real, so Big, so layered, just as always really impressive engineering on these recordings. If all recordings were done so well we would all be addicted to our stereos and unable to go to work!

Of course once you go here, it's time to have a beer and and just visit for awhile. 30,000 Days Yello

Yea, the whole album is good.  

I noticed that a couple times when the music put on the breaks, I slid forward off the couch and almost face planted on the floor.  This is the kind of realism I'm talking about... seems to mess with all your other senses. Your level of tactical involvement with the music is super peaked.

The more I listen to this amplifier the more clarity everything I know seems to have. It's like reading from the book of knowledge as you start to connect the dots. A deeper understanding of musics ability to use mans simple oscillator as a carrier to modulate its will.

Certainly there is a greater understanding for the recording process since you can now hear 4 times deeper into the mix.  

Another interesting observation is that all those nagging room acoustic issues that you would like to get to are suddenly some distorted rubbish of your own imagination because clearly when you hear this amps sound, there is no need for improvement.  It's like the room just fixed itself.  Or like the music just phased your room into another dimension where it would have no effect on the music.

Going to man up and try some analog here in a minute.  Been nice chatting with ya.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 05:57:35

Imagine the shock you would feel if you realized that the music you hear is actually conscious and when given the right vibration it will manifest in your space.  It's not just air molecules colliding into repeating patterns of frequency generated by your speaker cone like we're all comfortable thinking, in fact the stereo steps back out of the way when the music takes over.

Again, I've experienced this when playing live music on those rare occasions when everyone was in the same mindset and it started sounded WAY TO GOOD!!!  But, I've never experienced it with electronic gear such as an amplifier.  Somewhat humbling, because it means the music doesn't give a crap weather it's you sitting on the drum kit playing live, or a recording of someone who knows how to play from 20 years ago coming out of your stereo, once it starts to sound that good, it just simply manifests.  Where music exists there is no such thing as time yet time is what makes music possible. It's a paradox.

On that note, have a great night and don't worry some of this technology will find it's way into all Decware amplifiers in do time.  Even yours.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 06:18:54

Cat's are great listening buddies as many audiophiles know. A cats ears never lie. You can learn a lot about your room and speakers by watching the cats ears triangulate the sound sources.  

Tonight the cat is hearing things behind the speakers that aren't really there from the speakers, but as I pointed out earlier, are actually there.  I hear it, the cat hears it.

Going to finish off the night with Live in Berlin, Yello.  I chickened out on the analog.  Even though I have a lot of Yello on LP until the DAC quits amazing me like it is, I just have to put off analog.  This is the first time in my life that I have ever loved digital.  Why ruin it right?

I'll let myself continue for another day without spoiling it.




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/10/18 at 06:32:40


Steve Deckert wrote on 01/10/18 at 04:04:02:
Interestingly I am working on two things simultaneously... one is this 25th anniversary Zen, and the other is a prototype for a lower price zen that maintains the same price/performance ratio to get more people hooked into this side of the wonderful hobby we call audio.


Bravo!!!  And lets face it, the largest consumer base in America are the Millennials. Like it or not.  As was the case with all other preceding  generations, age and money directly correlate.  Think back to our 20's.  Most would not have been in position to purchase the equipment we all own. But if this industry is to succeed and stand the test of time, it must have a greater reach and price is a major factor.  But it's not the only factor.  There is plenty of low price gear marketed/hyped as quality.  We can all see through B.S. based on our experience.  That is not true for those who have not travelled the roads we all have.  Making this hobby more approachable will have a broad reaching benefit to us all, regardless of age or income level.  The future of quality-based  audio (notice I didn't use the term "high end audio") will rely on designers and manufacturers realizing the importance of being inclusive, rather than elitist.  

Creating such a "gateway" amplifier for those who are curious/interested, for the greater good, is one of the most refreshing, forward thinking ideas to come from Steve, in my opinion.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 06:38:24


Something pretty amazing is happening...  a few beers into the wind now. Some of you are familiar with the 1dB per beer rule. We're three beers in, thus 3dB louder than when we started. I'm listening to Live in Berlin by Yello on tidal, the Master series version of the album.  I shit you not, I am attending a live Borris Blank concert in Berlin in my listening room on a 2 watt amp.

It's impossible with 94dB speakers.  A 104 dB speaker, perhaps... Yet it's happening. I don't want to hear it any louder or any softer.  It's at the magic level... the ZMA level even though we know that's impossible.  So this is the power of micro speed in an amplifier. Simply insane to be pulling this off on a 2 watt amplifier and having it sound so real, so big, so deep, so dense, like a live concert sounds?!?  

It's got me completely involved in the concert and experiencing it live. Boy you could really mess with someone's mind if you blindfolded them and turned this on. See what happens when they discover there are only two speakers in the room.

Music like this pushes the performance boundaries of the amplifier which is always of great interest to the designer, and it's so different it's just a nice escape.

Jeff, kind words for sure, but yes, been wanting to do it for a long time, and then decided I am going to do it because I'm tired of wanting to do it.  Also going to be adding some more DIY amplifier kits here very soon, and we all know that how many of us got hooked into the hobby.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/10/18 at 06:51:54

Ha! Ive been having a blast just following your playlist from these last posts tonight.  Been a big fan of Boris Blank and you are spot on with those track disruptions.  The other stuff was also fun to explore on the ZMA and Hegeman combination.

Thanks for the interesting, provocative, and entertaining posts these past couple nights.  Im a night owl so it has certainly provided for some great reading & listening.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 06:55:18

Yea, I can relate to the night owl... that's when things get clear and accomplished.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 06:59:09

This amplifier is healing my ears.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/10/18 at 07:08:05

The concert is over and this is a trip... the clapping and cheering at the end was the best part!!!  So real.  SO REAL.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/10/18 at 07:38:11


Quote:
Afro Dite Friedemann: This lights up your soundstage like a Christmas tree, and then like an entire forrest.


Not a 25th Anniversary, just a ZMA, but criminy!!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/10/18 at 13:21:16

Fascinating reports Steve. I'm not familiar with the music you are listening to, nor am I a beer or alcohol drinker, but know that the sound must be delicious. I know there are many who have their appetite to experience sound like this thoroughly whetted now!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 15:13:09

I am so enjoying this Steve. Settling in with your ZR2 creation and then this Amp, is more than I could have hoped for in 2018/Audio!
The first paragraph in reply#461   ......has me secure, for my Speaker's...1 5/8" round ribbon; Midrange/Woofer 2, 6.5" underhung voice coil drivers, 4.5 cross...single capped.

Yes Jeff, Steve's decision to make one more affordable was not lost on me. My son of 22, would be hooked..... .

Funny, the db increase/beer effect! I love when that happens!

Surprised Lon, you mentioned you're not familiar with the music? Paul Chamber's started playing in my head....soon as I read Paul & Rudy (Van Gelder)....Steve mentioned....it does not need to be an specific one of Paul's.
Furthermore, as I have stated before....alcohol not needed too.....love my listening sessions with coffee as well.....but love my beer!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/10/18 at 15:49:41


Well I hope I can come hear this amp soon!  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/10/18 at 15:59:39

Oh I knew the Paul Chambers piece and the piece with King Curtis but not the other pieces, which is okay. Steve's description gave me an idea of how glorious the sound is.

For those who love alcohol fine. I've seen it ruin the lives of too many friends and coworkers nd members of my first wife's family. . . I don't enjoy it or being around it. That's just me.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 16:04:06

I checked out some of Steve's tracks on Tidal.  Nice recordings.  May not be everyone's cup of beer, but I really like the Yello Live in Berlin.

I may have missed this in an earlier post, but Stone mentioned this amp being in the price range of a Mk IV.  Is that the current estimate?

I'd have to sell more stuff.  I appreciate some of the technology trickling down to lower price amps, but I'd like to figure out a way to buy this amp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 16:10:26

Nope LR. You are not allowed to hear it!



..........I'm just jealous, you travel with work through the area and get to stop in.  :D


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/10/18 at 16:17:53

I hear ya. I'd like to buy two of them! (I'd need to mono block them). I'd need to sell a lot too. I just might.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 16:19:30

Alcohol:
".....and maybe, too, as a new study suggests, a more creative one."

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/drinking-alcohol-wine-booze-beer-work/story?id=16150294

....and not to be insensitive to your mention of its destruction Lon. I respect that. I don't want you to think I ignored what you stated and is so true, by posting this. I just know from my own experience, the creative standpoint to be true at times under the influence and as we all know alcohol is a double edged sword.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 16:27:25

Palomino, Steve stated in reply#440:

"a zen amp that might well be the same price as the TORII MKIV... I'm not counting at this stage, just excavating for that treasure that will pay for all the excavation. ; )"

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/10/18 at 16:29:24


Quote:
I hear ya. I'd like to buy two of them! (I'd need to mono block them). I'd need to sell a lot too. I just might.


I right there with you Lon.  That is my plan to run a pair to my Omegas.  I have an extra Torii MKIV and non-UFO Rachel I will be listing in the near future.

I will keep my ZMA to power the Hegemans and alternate between my fully restored HK Citation II.  No way I am parting with my ZMA in its current state.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/10/18 at 16:35:07

Studies, shmudies. I have seen what I have seen with my own eyes, and I've had my own experiences, and I don't at this point in my life like to drink nor be around those who do. Which is neither here nor there. It's not required to enjoy music, and in fact in my days of making music it got in the way of good music more often than not.

I only mentioned it in this thread in that the "third beer" rule of things getting higher in volume and somehow "deeper in listening" (a fallacy) is not in my repertoire

Enjoy what you enjoy. I'm drinking sparking mineral water, milk and coffee as my staples. I'm not judging, just saying how it is with me.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 16:35:35

It's only 429 miles/6.5 hours drive from Oakdale to E. Peoria. By appt. come Spring~Road Trip!

Holy shaaat! It has been 10 years. I was at Decfest 2005 & 2008.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/10/18 at 16:36:44

Ha!  Just a hop skip Stone!  ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by deucekazoo on 01/10/18 at 16:39:54

"Well I hope I can come hear this amp soon!"

Me too! My ears are not as finely tuned as LR's and Steve's but I would love to hear this amp. I have been running my CS amp this hole time so would love to hear the difference between them and this new one.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 16:40:17

No doubt Jeff! If I was in 3 hour range...I would become the unwelcome house guest.  ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 16:53:08

Thanks Stone.  From what I have heard of Eric's amp and now recognizing this is a completely different (and better) beast I think its a strong value proposition, to be sure.

Jeff, it may be a good time for others to upgrade/join the legion of Decware owners soon.  That's how I bought my Torii - when the ZMA came out.

I have two amps, two different power plants and a spare DAC or two that could be on the block.  I'd hate to see any of them go, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/10/18 at 17:11:19


Quote:
Nope LR. You are not allowed to hear it!

..........I'm just jealous, you travel with work through the area and get to stop in.  :D


I wouldn't be surprised if Steve kept me at bay for a bit...the past two visits when checking out something Steve was excited about I was like:




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 17:19:50

Pal, what you reported on of Eric's Amp...will be interesting if the "entry level amp that is below the price point of our current SE84UFO amplifier." .....Steve stated (possibly) he wants to come in at $....matches Eric's?

As Steve states below....I can imagine these two Amps on the bench side by side as he manages to work on the slow down and speed up he describes with the power supply, caps and regulator tubes, et al, ....beyond my laymen brain.  Fascinating ART!

Furthermore, the entry level not to cannibalize the Annv. Zen Amp.


"Interestingly I am working on two things simultaneously... one is this 25th anniversary Zen, and the other is a prototype for a lower price zen that maintains the same price/performance ratio to get more people hooked into this side of the wonderful hobby we call audio. As a result of this experience with power supply design, I am already clear on what to do and how on the other prototype.  I'll give up more on that later, but I want an entry level amp that is below the price point of our current SE84UFO amplifier."

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 17:20:58

HA! Ren & Stimpy!

Yes, understandable, Steve is not ready to have anyone in yet.


Not that he is worried whether you Like or not.

He, is just not ready to have anyone in-at this development spot/position in time-common sense to me.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 01/10/18 at 17:33:46

I'd like to throw a bit of water on the fire.  I believe every word Steve wrote about his listening experiences.  That said, I remember (pushing 40 years now!) the first time I got stoned and listened to music.  My stereo was nothing to brag about but I was inside the music and it was a three dimensional space that I could touch.

Conditions of the mind, accessible through concentration, drugs, suggestion, or whatever, are powerful and "real."  I'm only mentioning this because no matter how good Steve's amps are, I know that I will NEVER hear them the way Steve does (or some, but by no means all, listeners).  Steve's listening abilities are developed to a super-human extent, as they need to be to do what he does.

The reason I bring this up is that I've been an observer to a few of Steve's newer amp design threads and the buzz always makes me want to sell everything I own and buy his latest creation.  This isn't "sour grapes," just my attempt at keeping perspective.   ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/10/18 at 19:24:16

Archie, understood and well-expressed. I do know that my "listening" has really improved over the last two decades, especially the last, but none of us can hear into these amps the way Steve, creator and student/master of the electrical interface with music can and does.

I listen to my system and am very happy. But I do know that Steve creates improvements by "blood, sweat and beers" as Richard Rawlins says, and they ARE exciting to hear. And it's hard not to want that improvement, even as we listen in contentment to the blessings he has helped us attain in the past. But it's wise to keep things in perspective. Wise, and a struggle to do so.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 19:26:15

Valid point Archie, but having listened to what Steve came up with for Raven I tend to buy into his enthusiasm here.

Even though I still have it, I won't put it back into my system because my Rachael pales in comparison.  I don't want to be spoiled and then have it taken away.

And here is how Steve described the latest iteration to me in a separate email back in mid-December:

Imagine Eric's amp running on pure DC battery power and that's pretty much what it sounds like.  Sorry the PS Audio power plant does not compare.

Raven's amp is like #100 or something and it still has the same transformer and permanent power chord.  The RCAs are upgraded and I think maybe the speaker taps, but I kept thinking "what if I could get an old Zen and have Steve work this magic but upgrade some more of the hardware??"

He's done that and added the power mods with this new amp.  This is going to be a good.  After I first heard it months ago, I told people to just buy it.  It can only be better in the latest itereation.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/10/18 at 19:28:56


I totally get that, I'm a skeptic at heart; when I go in, I go in with as neutral of a mindset as I can, or an "OK, Impress Me" attitude like a producer seeing yet another starlet that wants to make it big.

It's rare that something really Wows me fully. DirectStream did (and has with *most* of the OS updates), ZMA did right off the bat. Steve's old listening room in the early days of the Zen amp definitely did. And the prototype for the 25th that Palomino is borrowing. Not really much else has.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 19:31:02

And when Raven told me he was listening to the Zen instead of his ZMA, that was additional confirmation for me.

Bring on the hype.  Bring on the amp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/10/18 at 19:32:37


Quote:
Raven's amp is like #100 or something and it still has the same transformer and permanent power chord.  The RCAs are upgraded and I think maybe the speaker taps, but I kept thinking "what if I could get an old Zen and have Steve work this magic but upgrade some more of the hardware??"


Damnit, if you aren't listening to it I'll just come and get it then!

I think it's serial # 47 or 49

I'll let Jeff get serial #1 and #2 of the 25th anniversary, and I bet Stone will get #3, then change his mind, then change his mind again, then change it back.   ;D  I'd be in line for the 25th, but I don't see me being able to afford it anytime soon. Maybe if Steve kept it under $1500.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 19:34:18

All this talk has me reconsidering that decision to keep it out of my system ;D

I may seek out your services to help sell some of my equipment.  You know how to move the merch

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/10/18 at 19:36:40

Bugger - I'm going to do donuts in your lawn with my truck.  :P

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 20:03:43

To funny LR!  

I will be in the 10+ serial number range.
I can't do the summer release initial order/launch.
It will be Oct/November for me.

I am so glad it won't be a limited release.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 20:13:47

It will be interesting (as I mentioned in my reply#490):

Entry level Zen (like Eric's little Zen hot rod/presumably or better)

vs.

Anniversary Zen (whole other league).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 20:21:54

I have my ZROCK2 coming to keep me busy + my NOS Input Tube collection growth/addiction....continues.

Decware 2018.......sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 20:24:02

The mods to Eric's amp were *not* inexpensive.  

If Steve can bring some of this to a Zen and keep it in the ballpark of a Rachael, that would be great.  Using the same caps I don't know how he would do it, but he is Steve and I am, well, not Steve :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by metropolis7 on 01/10/18 at 20:59:33


I believe that the planets are aligning in my favor. Been deliberating over a SE84UFO for a while and I suppose my reticence paid off. Ready to dive in headfirst when this beast is brought to market!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 01/10/18 at 21:26:37

[quoteValid point Archie, but having listened to what Steve came up with for Raven I tend to buy into his enthusiasm here.

Even though I still have it, I won't put it back into my system because my Rachael pales in comparison.  I don't want to be spoiled and then have it taken away.][/quote]

This, and what follows in other posts is NOT helping me keep perspective!!!!   ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/10/18 at 21:30:02

Give up Archie.  The cosmos are aligning and Steve is channeling their power.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/10/18 at 22:13:42

ZROCK2 is packed and ready to ship. I will have to call Sarah tomorrow and pay for it.  Oops, wrong Thread. :)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Tommy Freefall on 01/10/18 at 23:40:26

Beer is of course an excellent accompaniment, but Tequila is an awesome pairing with Steve’s amps!
(just make sure it’s 100% blue agave)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by JD on 01/11/18 at 01:12:42

I just think it's damn cool that a designer and a great one at that lets people in on the process.

JD

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/11/18 at 02:32:08

No doubt JD. I still marvel at my ZMA and enjoyed the process thread back in 2013. I good read to revisit or for others whom have never read it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by beowulf on 01/11/18 at 02:42:30


Lonely Raven wrote on 01/10/18 at 19:32:37:
I'd be in line for the 25th, but I don't see me being able to afford it anytime soon. Maybe if Steve kept it under $1500.


Yeah I doubt I could swing a pair of mono's (I don't feel one would be enough for my setup) as I thought he mentioned they will come in at the price of a Torii MK IV.  That would make a pair of mono's close to $7,000.00.  Making them the most expensive amp (per watt) in his lineup ... $1750 per watt! :-?

That makes the 60 watt Torii Mono's, which in comparison @ $93.26 per watt, sound like the deal of the century! ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/11/18 at 04:49:43


Quote:
That makes the 60 watt Torii Mono's, which in comparison @ $93.26 per watt, sound like the deal of the century! Grin


Ha, that made me laugh.



Quote:
The mods to Eric's amp were *not* inexpensive.


Um yeah, the mod to my old Zen A was $700 by itself!

Steve would have to go back to a simple box, stripped down design, same power transformer, but do the caps like mine to get the speed right. If he could bring it back down to the original $499 price that my Zen was back in '98....now that would be something!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/11/18 at 15:15:55

At the risk of being labeled a passenger who is spending a little too much time on the SS Fanboy, I’ll write one more post on this amp.

Given that Raven *will* someday take his amp back, I decided to do an A/B last night – Rachael vs Zen -- using Steve’s Tidal playlist.  I went into it knowing which I would like better, but I thought I might be able to jot down some differences that others may find useful.  Both amps were run plugged into my PS Audio P5 with PS Audio AC10 Power Cord to the wall, Cryo’d Hubbel outlets and dedicated 15A circuit.

Steve has selected a nice playlist here and that was clear with Rachael.  My notes include nice big soundstage, interesting positioning of instruments, nice ambient content by Boris Blank, maybe a little sibilance on the female vocal on Tears Run Dry.  

Some of the tracks were a little in my face but I was able to back the volume off a bit and they were fine.  Nils Lofgren sounded like it always does.  On several of them I thought these are neat, creative artists and I like their music.  Overall clear and accurate picture with a fair level of engagement.

I put in the Zen and let it warm up.  I find that it takes about twice as long for the Zen to get to its happy place than it does Rachael.

Then I sat down determined to analyze the differences.  

You’ve heard this one before, but I ended up pretty much just sitting there, feeling immersed in the music.  I listened to the playlist, then I listened to it again, then I went out on Tidal to listen to more tracks by the same artists, then I listened to the playlist again.  Nearly three hours.  Poof.  Up in smoke.  No notes.  I felt that satisfaction you get after watching a really emotionally engaging movie.

This morning I got up early and went down for another listen with the intent of jotting down at least some notes and managed to do so.  In addition to what I have said in earlier posts about this amp being quick and getting the attack right (which engages you), it also draws you in with how lush the soundstage is.  Its enveloping to a higher degree than Rachael and its cozier there.  

As mentioned before, I do have to turn up the Crowns a bit to get the bass to the right level, but I love the timbre of the bass from this amp.  That alone makes this a more enjoyable amp.  It has rich timbre on other instruments as well, but I am a sucker for good bass.

The most immersive songs were Tears Run Dry and The Bridge and I can relate to some of Steve's comments although I don't think I am getting the full experience he is.

I had to keep reminding myself that I am getting this level of engagement out of a little gray box with red and black plastic speaker taps and a power cord thinner than the one that came with my kid’s new computer.  

I get the $$ per watt analysis.  But in fairness to the big picture, try doing that analysis with one of those tube amps vendors that show up at the audio shows.
 
So, I would put a different spin on the analysis.  $$ per level of engagement.  Hard to measure and relay to others, but I think we are all looking for that value.  

If the production model (or its shared DNA siblings) are anything like this amp, I think Steve will deliver a very high $$ per level of engagement.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/11/18 at 16:50:42

$700 upgrade ~ is inexpensive in the scheme of things.

Here is how it lays down:

Steve stated he wants to bring the Entry Level Amp in under the 995.00/UFO ZEN.
I think it can be done....if it goes a little over (2, 300 or to $1495)/no one would fault him....It will be, LR/Eric's equivalent Zen or better.

Then we have the 25th Anniversary Amp...with Tube Reg' + all the other Steve's/expertise (please read his last dozen posts).....and a whole other ball game.....and will justify its ticket for entry.

Hope this helped.

NUMBER ONE FAN BOY HERE!   ;D ;D ;D ;D
.....AND WHY I CREATED THIS THREAD: 08/22/14 at 17:45:10.  8-)

Hey, I did not cancel my ZROCK2!  (tool(s)) :P
Oh, when I have canceled...I've order an other product...for example; my PAC-S's.....and I've OWNED/PURCHASED NEW: SE84CS, Torii III, SuperZen, CSPreamplifier3/with Jupiter Caps & Styx Speaker Cable.  

Love my ZDSD & ZMA.....more purchased by me from Decware, than the Tool types......... .


I look forward to J of A getting his hands on a pair....and reviewing come late summer!


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 01/11/18 at 17:34:37

I may have misread Steve's post about the "entry Zen," but I thought he wanted to get something for sale at a more attractive price point for newbies and not necessarily something up to the modified Zen level.  1K for his lowest price amp is shocking when you come in cold.  It needs to be a "gateway" amp that leads to the harder stuff!   ;D

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/11/18 at 17:40:14

PS Audio did this with the Sprout.  Not sure how well that product has done for them.  But I see the wisdom in it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/11/18 at 17:53:12


Quote:
I may have misread Steve's post about the "entry Zen," but I thought he wanted to get something for sale at a more attractive price point for newbies and not necessarily something up to the modified Zen level.  1K for his lowest price amp is shocking when you come in cold.  It needs to be a "gateway" amp that leads to the harder stuff!


That's how I saw it as well. That's why I mentioned it would be amazing if he could do my Zen for that classic $499 price. The V-Caps would immediately put it out of that price range, but if he could keep the power supply speed, UFO transformers, classic power supply at that $499 or thereabouts. Wow.  Maybe to get it into that range, base model (classic power supply transformer with my PS caps), at $499, then do a $200 UFO option, and $200 VCAP option. The key would be to have it at that price to pull people away from the $300 Chinese tube amps that people think are actual tube amps.  ;D  But then give them an option for the real Zen magic.


Quote:
So, I would put a different spin on the analysis.  $$ per level of engagement.  Hard to measure and relay to others, but I think we are all looking for that value.  

If the production model (or its shared DNA siblings) are anything like this amp, I think Steve will deliver a very high $$ per level of engagement.


I agree with this wholeheartedly. That's part of what made the ZMA a Duh! purchase for me. Horsepower and engagement. The little Zen certainly is a whole nother level of engagement.




Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/11/18 at 18:57:42

Obviously, it is speculation on my part....I'm a good speculator.

I think it can be done (match LR prototype) under or at $995 Archie, as I mentioned.

However, working on them side by side on the bench (25th Ann)...if the temptation to add a little more to the Entry Level.....?....could justify bringing up the EL a notch/$ (or, have option upgrades for the Entry Level). Still, very approachable in price.

Fun, to speculate! Intrigue!





Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/11/18 at 19:25:00

I don't think you will ever see a Zen amp for $500.  

I priced out a build a couple years ago with basic components the circuit board and it was more than $350.  Add in skilled labor, etc. and you are over $500 easy.  Granted Steve gets better pricing on components, but I don't see any positive margin there even with lower prices on materials.

Loss leader is probably not a strategy that is often employed by small businesses.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/11/18 at 20:11:14


That's exactly what I was thinking as well - back when Steve was hand building these himself, he didn't have the overhead he has now with a proper shop.  Loss leader doesn't make sense as well.

Granted, he could always hire me to sling solder for him - I'm cheap, and good at following ready made examples.   ;)

Have solder, will work for watts.



Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/11/18 at 21:21:52

Certainly no loss leader need be done. But, as I said, their might be a reading comprehension problem here....but, here it goes.... As I said, with the base entry model....option upgrades/offered at the time of entry level amp purchase....or later send it back for upgrade. .....Steve making them side by side on the bench right now like I said, you need to wrap your brain around that..... .

Side by side = Annv Amp and Entry Level Amp.

Enough on this matter.....probably will be lost in translation again.


Heck, my ZROCK2 is coming and with my ZDSD, ZMA, Kabling and Speakers....I might have to poke out climbing back into Steve's Anv Triode until Fall of 2019.  8-)

That is Twen-ty Nine-teen. ....F A L L

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Syd on 01/11/18 at 21:46:11

Bring on the vinyl review....hope Steves anchored down.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by tybee on 01/11/18 at 22:43:46

I have been watching this thread with great interest, but can anyone share what speaker Steve is using for his tests?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/11/18 at 22:57:32

Good question!  Steve will hopefully let us know.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by hifiguy on 01/12/18 at 00:30:34

Hi Everyone... I too have started saving-up for a Zen Anniversary. Very exciting. How much fun is doing high-end audio with 2 watts?! I'm going to be using a floor-standing version of the Omega CAM.

Also, I was wondering what the Zen Anniversary would sound like on a high-end headphone? Any chance of a headphone-output option on the new Zen amplifier(s)... please!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/12/18 at 02:11:02


Quote:
I have been watching this thread with great interest, but can anyone share what speaker Steve is using for his tests?


I was about to ask the same question.  If I was to guess, the Monoliths!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by DB2 on 01/12/18 at 02:26:10

"You’ve heard this one before, but I ended up pretty much just sitting there, feeling immersed in the music.  I listened to the playlist, then I listened to it again, then I went out on Tidal to listen to more tracks by the same artists, then I listened to the playlist again.  Nearly three hours.  Poof.  Up in smoke."

Not at all. It was three hours immersed in the here and now.

Be here now!

Be here now!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/12/18 at 02:40:57

Hifiguy - welcome to the forum!

Any Zen Triode amplifier can be used to drive headphones including planar headphones by using a remote headphone jack that is wired to the speaker binding posts. The sensitivity of the headphones when exceptionally high will reveal the noise floor of the amplifier in which case a series resistor is used to drop the output below the noise floor. We can make these jacks for you and tune them to your specific headphone for about $200.


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/12/18 at 03:01:07

Actually, I have used the Monoliths (DM947's) but most of the time I have been using a new DNA horn we're experimenting with. It is simply a scaled up version of the current DNA horn on the site. Rather than using a 5 inch driver it uses an 8 inch driver. In fact it uses the same driver compliment as the DM946/DM947 which is the 8 inch crossover less silver flute wool cone driver and the isodynamic planar ribbon tweeter.  The signature of the speaker is very similar to the DM947.Monoliths but better. The cabinet is an inch and a half thick composite co-mass layer damped DNA horn that gives higher efficiency, tighter more articulate sound with more slam and because you can hear a couple dB increase in efficiency over the Monoliths it gets louder on the 2 watt Zen. This somewhat small difference is just enough to feel like I'm listening to the DM947's on the ZMA which is a favorite pairing of mine. The density and size are about the same, the ZMA having slightly better control and the new Zen having more resolution.

The speakers are proving to be something special with the 2 watt Zen, and being able to get this efficiency across such a wide bandwidth really makes you forget you're only using 2 watts, so that is a small part of my raving about this amplifier and since I really like what I'm hearing right now I don't want to scramble my brain with a bunch of new variables (like speakers) at this stage.

This weekend I'll either sabotage by new found fondness for digital by listening to analog, or who knows... anything can happen.  I just know I don't want to have to work the following day ; )

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/12/18 at 06:03:01

Stone,
It sounds like this new DNA may be the perfect (higher sensitivity) compliment to your modified Adagio's allowing you to exploit the 25th Anniversary for all its got.

Like you, I will not sell my ZMA. Just too good and has its strengths.  It can power speakers the 25th Anniversary cannot.  I don't want to lose that capability.  So, it will power my vintage/restored Hegeman Model 1a's which are about 92db efficient, similar to your Adagio's.  In the same room, I will create another amplifier/speaker compliment using a pair of 25th Anniversary amps with my 97db Omega SAHOs.  Best of both worlds.  Can I do it with one amp? Yes, I can.  I had great results with a single Super Zen powering these Omega SAHOs (with my Ultra pre-amp).  That being said, this new amp will be better enabled to drive like speakers than the standard 2-watt Zen amp, based on what Steve is reporting.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Dave1210 on 01/12/18 at 11:07:11

Definitely has been a fun read and I know this amp is going to be really special.  

The below also caught my attention...


Quote:
...some of this technology will find it's way into all Decware amplifiers in do time.  Even yours.


Steve...which amps could be upgraded and when do you think that might be possible?

Nothing like pestering the developer about his innovation pipeline before the initial innovation even launches.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/12/18 at 14:04:37

FWIW, the speakers I am listening to with the Zen have the Silver Flute driver.  Steve does some modifications and has his own waveguide but the sound is similar.  

Using the TEAC 503 as my DAC/pre it is big and produces more volume than I need.   My room is on the small side 16.5 X 12.5.  YMMV

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/12/18 at 15:24:26

Oh yes J of A, the scaled up version of the current DNA horn-I took notice.

It has been 10 years since I have seen Steve and DeVon. I plan, by appt., to stop in....if they are willing to put up with me for a few hours.

I plan to do this before I take off to TX, ....tend to my Folks and their Roses and Pineapple Palms.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/12/18 at 17:18:01


Sounds like Palomino and I might have a new speaker build to do soon! LOL


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 01/12/18 at 17:58:40

Sounds to me like if Steve and Ziggy do not put it into production you may have more than two of them to build!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Palomino on 01/12/18 at 19:06:41

I hope to do a comparison of the Dayton Audio AMT to the ribbon tweeter this weekend.  Just for fun.  

While the Silver Flute was never intended to be in an open baffle, I find it to be very good.  The wool cone has a nice organic sound to it.  I will also put the Tang Bands back in this weekend just to see which I like better.

I have built a DNA and my own version of the monoliths.  Raven and I later built the El Camino horns, but it was a flat pack from Zygi.  Night and day difference with the flat pack.

Believe me, this type of build is best left in the hands of professionals.

Anyhow, I can really imagine the sound Steve is getting and think a commercial version of the 947 DNA is a great idea.  

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/12/18 at 19:48:32


Quote:
Raven and I later built the El Camino horns, but it was a flat pack from Zygi.  Night and day difference with the flat pack.


Seriously - seeing the precision of Bob's work is very humbling.  Yeah, if I had to choose between making one from scratch, or paying extra for a flat-pack from him, I would absolutely get the flat-pack!

That said, I do have a really, really nice table saw now.   ;)


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/13/18 at 01:34:00


Quote:
Steve...which amps could be upgraded and when do you think that might be possible?


So far the only candidate is the SE84UFO3 monos because that is the only other 2 watt Zen amp with a tube voltage regulator. I have just completed the upgrade to a pair today in fact and will be evaluating the results shortly.  

As those with the monos know, there is only one OA3 tube in the design so the natural question is will we put a second one in and the answer is no. The monos only use one half of the input tube which does not draw enough current to fire a voltage regulator tube and keep it lit. At the same time since there is only one output tube instead of two the power supply generates a higher working voltage. This means we can drive both the input tube and the output tube with the same OA3 regulator. Presently the SE84UFO3 uses the OA3 to drive the input stage and shunts a bunch of current to ground to keep it lit. By removing the shunt and combining both stages we can actually benefit from a higher working voltage than before. The upgrade took 11 additional caps per amp, and a couple resistor changes and some basic rewiring.

Now completed I'm expecting similar results to those I've been writing about with the stereo amp. Also this particular pair were optioned out with type II beeswax caps and I left those installed rather than changing them to VCAP's and then updated the recipe accordingly by using more beeswax caps for some of the bypass work. This should be a very interesting comparison. VCAPS are more percussive while BEESWAX are more organic. The higher voltage on the SE84UFO3 will naturally make the signature more percussive anyway, so in those amps it is possible VCAPS might be a bit much and the Beeswax will actually make the amp sound more like the stereo version... which would be ideal.

In testing on the bench today I did notice the clipping character of the amps was improved and the distortion dropped a bit indicating they can be pushed a bit harder than before.  We'll see.

As for the other amplifiers in the Decware line I will be experimenting with various bypass recipes to see what improvements can be made and if their cost is justified.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/13/18 at 02:46:08

That's really interesting Steve. Those monos are beautiful. . . and if they have the potential to be as wonderful with the new tech. . . wow. And with Jupiter caps too.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/13/18 at 16:11:36

Eager to hear more about an "Anniversaried" pair of Zen Monoblocks. I have always sort of wished I had a pair of Monoblocks and I'd be tempted to get a pair of these if all the mojo of the 25th Anniversary Zen were there. And their 2.7 watts may just be enough for my audio and video needs with the ZTPRE as a pump to feed them. . . .

Exciting times for the Decware world.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/14/18 at 17:30:54

Sadly I found one of the tube sockets is chipped on one of the amps meaning it was built that way.  On tuesday the builder will replace input stage and socket. I'm not going to listen to these amps until that has happened, but have great expectations and will report back when I know something.

Steve


Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/14/18 at 17:49:43

Thanks Steve. Looking forward to your impressions.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/14/18 at 19:22:00

Nice to read about the SE84UFO3 monos with the Jupiter's instead of VCaps, as candidates. The different topology derived you mention, very nice as well...to achieve your goal of putting the 3 on par with the AN25th.....at the 3.5k ballpark for either, or.

What I would like to see...is an remote volume added to the ZSTAGE preamp? Looks like their is room to put it in. Bring that to us at $1295 (you won't be able to make them fast enough/here/on Facebook and get/purchase the mailing lists of the Hi-Fi mags...we/you know the ones-direct mail subscribers-about your ZSTAGE WITH remote), per my calculations with Jupiter caps. Then I'm set running ZSTAGE to ZROCK2 to ZMA and UFO3 mono's or AN25th. (Obviously, single input & output at $1295....additional cost for more inputs and another output).

I want the simplicity/transparency (as you wrote) found in the ZR2 of the single tube WITH that simplicity/transparency of the single tube in my remote volume ZSTAGE preamplifier.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/14/18 at 21:08:38

That would be cool if the ZSTAGE could be fitted with a remote volume control. . . I personally doubt that it's feasible.

I don't know Larry, I've had the ZSTAGE and I've had and have CSP2+ and I've the ZTPRE. I really preferred the CSP2+ to the ZSTAGE, so I think you may be better suited with your AR preamp if you prefer that to the CSP3 you used to use. Me, I'm good forever with the ZTPRE, I've never heard anything better and don't plan to stray. What I'd love to see is a ZROCK2 with either dual volume or another way to adjust balance. . . in my second system a ZROCK2 will be the icing on the cake, but because of room/positioning issues a little bit of balance control would be excellent and I don't have it in any of the other components.  I don't want to run a CSP2+ AND a ZROCK2 in that system . . . the only real complaint I have with the Peachtree Audio Grand Integrated Z1 I'm using there is that there's no balance control. . . otherwise it's working great as a pre, DAC, amp and headphone amp. And the ZROCK2 would allow me just that little bit of tailoring I sometimes want.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/14/18 at 21:48:45

It would be cool and I think it can be fitted. Steve was working on a switch box with remote volume he spoke of.

I'm not totally sure.... But I think Steve put the ZSTAGE up to 0 to 15 volts output and as you know the ZROCK2 handles larger input now. Your ZSTAGE might have been the 0 to 5 volts output.

Love my Audio Research single tube FET Hybrid Line Stage.... But would like to go all Decware. Probably keep my AR too.

Off topic, ....my girlfriend went to the Vikngs game with my ticket. I need to play it cool for my stress test tomorrow.  :'(  she is a bigger fan than me .... And I made sure she went.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/14/18 at 23:34:41

Okay. I still suspect you'd be disappointed with the ZSTAGE but the proof is in the pudding. I'd also still be surprised if Steve could put a remote volume control within it.

Hope your test goes well, best of luck.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/15/18 at 05:04:32

I prefer the ZMA direct from my ZDSD.  I look forward to only adding the ZR2. Their is a purity of tone from the ZMA I like.

However, I do like this particular Audio Research Line Stage signature pushing through the ZMA.....turns it into a beast of weight and definition.

Just curious about an enhanced ZSTAGE?

Thanks on the test....should go well.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/15/18 at 05:40:30

Wishing you the best Stone!  I'm sure it will all go well.

And very cool gesture to "punt" on the tickets and allow your girlfriend to have the experience of her life.  Well done amigo!

All of this is so very exciting.  You and me have some pretty killer gear.  Yet, we are at a point in time where we are presented with some very exciting/interesting information to chew on that may, or may not, catalyze some unexpected buying decisions.  But whether we pull the trigger or not, is immaterial.  We have subscribed to a philosophy in Decware that continues year in, and year out, to peak our interest and provoke thought.  Regardless of how we slice it, it is a win!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/15/18 at 17:17:41


stone_of_tone wrote on 01/15/18 at 05:04:32:
I prefer the ZMA direct from my ZDSD.  I look forward to only adding the ZR2. Their is a purity of tone from the ZMA I like.  

I preferred my source directly (through the ZBIT to get that extra voltage) as well. Until the ZTPRE came along. Blew that satisfaction away. . . now I can't imagine life without the ZTPRE. Didn't feel that way with the CSP preamps.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/15/18 at 17:19:59

Thanks Jeff....I think it will go well.

Sue, enjoyed the history making win last night, ....is an understatement.

Speaking of catalyzing (so true...what you just said above).......which are the inputs vs. outputs in the ZROCK2?

I assume nothing ......if they are not marked.....I am not hooking them up?!!!!  

Soooo, I'm sitting here with my Zrock......wondering!   ::) ::) ::) ::)

Nothing in the Manual....and nothing in the copy/website? Unless, I missed it.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/15/18 at 17:23:38

The outputs are those furthest from the IEC inlet, the inputs those closest to the IEC inlet.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by stone_of_tone on 01/15/18 at 17:28:16

Thanks Lon!

I had a 50/50 shot at it.  I'm left handed....so most things in life are difficult for me.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Archie on 01/15/18 at 17:29:41

Since Steve says that the ZTPRE is a pair of CSP3s in one chassis, is the difference due to the balanced in/out you think?

Ha ha, I asked that same question about the RCA position a couple weeks ago.   ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/15/18 at 17:42:44

For me. . . I think yes, it's the balanced in and out and also the increased range of gain that is output. Even when using a lower gain setting the sound seems to benefit. And it is dead silent in a way that no CSP preamp I've had ever has been. (Steve has a "no hum" circuit built in and you get NO HUM out of it, and the differential circuitry eliminates a lot of single-ended noise). This has four toroidal transformers as well, and I think this is a factor, as is the fact that solid state fixed rectification is used (the electrical setting is well-chose and there's no sag or degradation of a tube).

So a number of reasons potentially. And there's the remote control. . . which I didn't think I'd use much but I use all the time.

I didn't really "believe the hype" but I find it to be as Steve notes: a preamp that is not there but makes everything sound better. Even single-ended sources plugged in using a quality adaptor sound better than they do through a CSP preamp.

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/15/18 at 17:44:34


stone_of_tone wrote on 01/15/18 at 17:28:16:
Thanks Lon!

I had a 50/50 shot at it.  I'm left handed....so most things in life are difficult for me.

You're welcome. I think Steve has been consistent with this configuration with the products in these chassises. And it makes sense when I think "Inputs are furthest in, outputs are on the outer edge."

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lonely Raven on 01/16/18 at 06:42:39


So here's a thought - ZTPRE with regulator tubes?

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Lon on 01/16/18 at 11:53:16

Hmmm. . . not sure where they would fit in the chassis design. . . and not sure they are needed. (I think the ZTPRE sounds phenomenal as is and doesn't need that line of regulation, but I am using a P10 with it as well). (I love my ZTPRE, it has really taken my system up another level).

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/17/18 at 03:36:41

Time for an update on the Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier...  I was fortunate enough to have my good friend Randy of Caintuck Audio over yesterday, who's ears I completely trust, for some conformation.

The sound of this amplifier seems too good to be true and since I found out I'm not dead and it's still happening I better be sure I haven't just simply lost it.

The good news is that I haven't lost it. We sat down to listen to it around 5:00 P.M. and before we even realized what happened it was 2:00 A.M. and then I decided to do the unthinkable, I put on some analogue tape.

Couple things happened... we both found out at the same time, despite my doing it for years, what tape actually sounds like.  It ruined us both.  

Also after spinning a few tapes my cat tried his hand at operating the tape machine which didn't go well for the tape. And interestingly I could have cared less that an expensive tape was nearly destroyed because the high you get from this kind of sound is so strong that it takes a lot more than that to kill your buzz.

This morning after a nice breakfast, we sat down to listen for a bit and next thing you know it's around 3:00 P.M. So clearly I think this illustrates that time travel is possible.

I'll also make the following observation: At 10:00 A.M. when we sat down to listen the sound quality was virtually indistinguishable from the sound we got during the middle of the night.  And I've been noticing this happen for the last week now.

On a personal level, this is the biggest breakthrough I've had since I built my first tube amp and discovered the middle of the night bloom of which I've written some articles on. I say that because I've always dreamed of and tried to figure out a way to get THAT middle of the night sound during the daytime. In the 1990's, I listened only at night, and because of those middle of the night experiences I have never until today been able to do any serious listening during the day... This is going to be a serious game changer for me. Not only does this somehow recreate the middle of the night bloom, but it does it with easily more than twice the un-hyped up detail that I've ever heard.

Despite my earlier efforts and I think Randy will agree, there are not words to accurately describe what we heard, nor will there ever be. It's something you have to hear for yourself to believe it. Randy and I go all the way back to the first Zen Triodes and have been listening to them for all these years and this thing simply went were no amp has gone before.

I believe the amp had its way with Randy, just as it did with me last week when I posted about it... so now I feel like it's a real thing and not some weird spell I cast on myself that makes me hear things that aren't really there.

Steve





Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 01/17/18 at 06:44:26

Great update Steve!  And I have been around Randy long enough, and it only takes a New York Minute, to realize his ears are to be trusted.  

Keep the updates flowing....   I am sure there are many who are chomping at the bit over this amp.  

The only question is, who is getting serial #3?   ;)

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by will on 01/17/18 at 07:35:46

Exiting! I think I can imagine what you are hearing!

Since I started playing with bypasses on the power supplies of my Torii and CSP3, after eliminating caps I had that were not ideal for all types of music and tones, and finding ones that worked nicely together, I came to a combination that has remained pretty solid in the Torii. Though I still play around a little, I keep coming back to a similar place...six or seven pairs of bypasses (1 or 2, depending on the arrangement, bypassing bypasses), the combination of different synergistic cap values and types adding complexity that is really beautiful.

With connectors and the volume pot upgraded also, what you describe sounds similar to what I am hearing....lucid, fast, easier flow, deep, fine detail complexity in deeper space bringing out definition, textures, enhanced ambient and harmonic complexity, bass solidity, natural timbre, improved soundstage saturation and separation....

When I imagine VRs for each tube's power, UFOs, a super simple circuit, and quality bypasses on a more discrete power supply...it must be magnificent!

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by jorgen on 01/17/18 at 14:36:47

Great read in this thread. Got an extra smile on my face when i read about a possibility for an update on the mono amps- even if i dont exactly find them to come short in any way. Mine are fitted with upgraded caps already.  Looking forward to read the test With these updates, and curious to when it can be done and to what cost

Title: Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Post by lazb on 01/17/18 at 15:52:03

Were the euphoric listening sessions using the "new" 8" speaker horns or a combination of several speakers?

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