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EQUIPMENT FORUMS >> SE84UFO >> Christmas present to self.
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Message started by Melvin on 12/24/17 at 11:38:38

Title: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/24/17 at 11:38:38

Hi guys .. new member here. I placed an order a couple of days ago and, of course, the wait begins. I've read about Decware amps for years and decided it was high time to hear one for myself. The amp will be paired with Omega's Super 3i Monitors. Source is a Bluesound Node 2 streaming Deezer HiFi and my own library of music (uncompressed flac). I'm hoping the UFO will be quite a step up from the little APPJ PA0901A integrated I'm using right now. I'm excited. Merry Christmas!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by HockessinKid on 12/24/17 at 12:14:06

Welcome Melvin.

HK

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by SonicSeeker on 12/24/17 at 16:21:15

Welcome Melvin, sounds like it will be a nice system, enjoy.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/25/17 at 11:30:27

Thanks guys, I appreciate the warm welcome.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Jeff of Arabica on 12/26/17 at 05:20:57

Melvin,
That Zen amp will be a beautiful pairing to your Omega speakers.  The synergy between these two brands is pretty exceptional.  You will find great joy in listening to your new amp through your Omegas.  

Bluesound Node 2 does a nice job with streaming and is also one of the few devices that fully unfold MQA files via Tidal.  

Welcome aboard!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/26/17 at 13:14:16

Thanks Jeff. I've read of the great synergy with Omega's speakers in general and the Super 3i's in particular. I'm very happy with my Omega's and, while I keep saying I'm off the merry-go-round, I just have to hear one of Steve's amps for myself. I've been intrigued with this approach for some time now and wish I had gone down this road earlier.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/27/17 at 12:44:50

So, after reading a bit more on these forums I see an anniversary edition of the SE84UFO has been in development. Seems my timing sucks. Should I cancel my order and wait for the new one to be released? What would you guys do?

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 12/27/17 at 12:57:28

Hey Melvin,

Could be about a year before the anniversary edition is available, and I suspect it will cost 1.5 to 2 times what the current model does. Though that gives you time to save. . . you could have an SE84UFO that sounds fantastic (by all reports) very soon rather than one quite  bit later.

Food for thought.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/27/17 at 14:20:57

Hi Lon .. thank you! You've helped put my mind at ease. I suppose I let a bit of disappointment set in thinking maybe I should have read more before ordering. I won't be cancelling.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 12/27/17 at 14:29:48

You could go either way, but this way, you'll have great sound sooner! ;) Glad you're here Melvin, and now begins  . . . the wait.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by JOMAN on 12/27/17 at 16:35:35

Hey Melvin and welcome,

Just wanted to add to Lon’s “great sound sooner” comment...

I have a SE84UFO2 paired with Omega S3HOXRS speakers (also a CSP3).  I also have read about the Anniversary Edition and am very happy to see it in the works but it has not caused me to have any regrets about purchasing the SE84UFO2.  

The problem that I am having is justifying the purchase of the Anniversary Edition because of the ‘great sound’ that I currently have, I don’t want to change anything.  But if you can take ‘great sound’ and make it ‘greater sound’ or possibly ‘greatest sound’ (if that’s possible) then, maybe????  But why when I can be very happy with what I have and want for nothing more.  I think you’ll understand my dilemma once you get your Zen amp.

It’s all part of the ‘fun’ of this hobby that I don’t think will ever change.
Cheers  

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by SonicSeeker on 12/27/17 at 16:40:03

I would agree with Lon and JOMAN, the current amp you ordered is an amazing piece and will let you experience the Decware sound and if you get the urge to try the new amp when it comes out than do so down the road. Many of us have started with one amp and tried others in the line because of curiosity and the love of the Decware sound. Some of us here also have many amps and can't part with any of them ;)

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/28/17 at 10:18:16

Thanks guys. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Something new is always just around the corner and is a chance we all take. Nonetheless, the SE84UFO has a great reputation and I expect to be very happy with my purchase. As Lon mentioned .. now the wait begins. A number of years ago I purchased a ZSB and the wait was about 3 months IIRC. I'm hoping it will be less this time around. Hey, a guy can dream, no?  :)

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Archie on 12/28/17 at 16:31:51

Judging from the build list you shouldn't have that long this time.  I'm hoping it's more like 4 to 5 weeks for my ZROCK2.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 12/28/17 at 23:21:35

Hey Archie .. that's encouraging! The list as of December 19th shows 37 new orders. Not bad at all. Anyone know how often the list gets updated? Of course, I realise it's the holiday season. Just curious is all.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by ginny on 12/31/17 at 18:31:45

Melvin,”The list as of December 19th shows 37 new orders”

.....and 2 of which (Dec 6th) are mine, an SE84UFO and a CSP3, for which I am excited to say I have recently changed to a Torii MKlV with a stepped attenuator, beeswax type ll caps and Tungsol KT66 output tubes.

From what I have seen, they have updated the amp order list about once a week, so I would expect you will see your order by next weeks end as they have been on a Holiday break for the week.

When I recently spoke to Steve, he said expect about an 8 week wait.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 01/01/18 at 01:00:55

Thank you ginny! I hope the time frame for mine will be similar. Best of luck with the new gear.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 02/19/18 at 13:31:40

Getting excited .. my amp entered the testing stage last week. Not much longer to go (I hope!).

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 02/19/18 at 23:26:46

Great news! Won't be long now!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/05/18 at 12:52:54

Hey guys .. my amp shipped and I should have it tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm excited.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 03/05/18 at 15:38:22

Great news! The fun begins soon, the long wait is ended!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/05/18 at 21:04:21

Well, my amp arrived a day earlier than expected! What a nice surprise AND it just so happens I'm not working today. The amp is now all hooked up and playing some beautiful music. BTW, can I mention the incredible packing job? Well done Decware! I now understand why it's in "packing and shipping" for as long as it is. Anyway, back to listening ...

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Acetone on 03/06/18 at 02:01:40

Melvin, it's only gonna get better as it seasons. My Superzen-CKC amp is now 3 years new and continues to amaze me!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/06/18 at 11:52:02

After the amp arrived I had a lengthy listening session, of course, and I'm beginning to understand the oft stated synergy between the SE84UFO and the Omega's. There were so many moments when I was simply transfixed with the sound being produced .. palpable, rich, beautiful tone. There were even a few spooky musicians-in-the-room moments. I sensed/noticed a positive change after 5 or 6 hours as well. Burn-in? I suspect it is and can only imagine the continued refinement I will hear.

Acetone .. it's comments exactly like yours that put Decware on my radar long ago.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 03/06/18 at 15:18:54

It just gets better. You have some amazing moments ahead of you as the amp seasons!

Even with a seasoned amp there are "WTH" moments. I power my Taboo Mk IV on about 7 a.m. and I notice in the mid-afternoon that the fidelity is a notch higher. Just letting the amp warm up and run for a day yields some great sonic benefits. These are excellent amps that keep bringing returns on investments!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/07/18 at 13:50:39

So often I've made a purchase only to be disappointed with the tiny (maybe) improvement in overall fidelity. NOT this time! I am just enamored with this amp so far .. and it's only been a couple of days. The synergy with the Super 3i's is fantastic and everything I had hoped for. BTW, how many hours burn-in does this amp need?

Here is the system now:

  • Bluesound Node 2 (analog out)
  • dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC
  • SE84UFO
  • Omega Super 3i
  • Ohm MicroSubwoofer 10 (pair)


I'm using the Node 2 as a basic preamp of sorts, utilizing the app for controlling volume, etc. The Node 2 also has a sub-out with a 80 Hz crossover which is just about perfect for the Super 3i's. I recently went back to Tidal for streaming and using the analog-out connection lets me hear MQA files in all their controversial glory. I have a couple of DACs in storage which could see some use in the future but I do like the simplicity without adding another box. KISS is a concept I like.

The Tranquility with it's USB-only input cannot be used with the Node 2. Connected directly to the amp, this obviously takes the subs out of the mix and provides an interesting contrast in sound quality to the Node 2. With less weight on the bottom the sound is still very, very enjoyable. This NOS DAC is known for its liquid midrange and natural sound. Source is either an iPhone 6 or iPad Air using the Tidal app or MusicStreamer (by Stratospherix) for local files.

Of course, I do have options for complete subwoofer integration but the simplicity goes out the window .. I have both a preamp and an electronic crossover in storage. More boxen. I suppose could use the high-level inputs on the subs but then I have to deal with the subs crossovers, which I've done, and is not my favorite method. Compromises, always compromises.

So, after just this short time with the amp I think this approach to gear results in what I've been seeking all along. I had a small taste of this with my APPJ amp but the SE84UFO is in another league altogether.

Did I mention being a happy little audiophile?





Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 03/07/18 at 13:57:17

Glad the amp has been so immediately captivating!

The short official answer to the "burn in" question is from Steve that five periods of five hours of use and at least five hours off gets you pretty much there, so 25 hours of use and matching time cooling down. The truth is that it keeps getting better, but after a few hundred hours you just get sucked in and may not realize how your musical world is slowly improving day by day.

Great amps. And when tube-rolling begins they reveal how chameleon like they can be. . . .

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/07/18 at 14:21:37

Thanks Lon! I should achieve full burn-in fairly soon then :).

Yeah, I almost hate to gush at this point but the amp already sounds so good. I suspect I'll turn into a complete fanboy and annoy everyone around me (on & offline).

I look forward to rolling me some tubes. While I've had a bit of experience I'm really a tube neophyte. No doubt I'll have questions. Speaking of tubes .. I suppose I should order a replacement set of just in case.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 03/07/18 at 14:37:34

Yes, you probably should but let that be your first entry into rolling. . . get some different back up tubes and get to know their sound. . . the original tubes may end up being the back up tubes in the long run. . . .But you can take your time, you're not likely to have tube failures soon.

The biggest rolling changes will come I think from the rectifier and input tube. So many variables and it's easy to find ones that match your system. For me that's 5Y3 and Type 80 rectifiers, and 6DJ or 7308 input tubes.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/07/18 at 18:16:40

Lon, funny you mention the rectifier and input tubes. Not long ago I re-tubed my APPJ amp with a matched pair of Mullard EL84's (and a Genalex Gold Lion 12AX7). Perhaps I will use those EL84's as backups as they should have plenty of life left and purchase just the rectifier and input tubes for now. I have a feeling as time goes on I will have a small collection like many tube aficionados.

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Lon on 03/07/18 at 18:34:03

That's probably an accurate prediction. Happens to many of us!

Title: Re: Christmas present to self.
Post by Melvin on 03/19/18 at 18:37:04

Speaking of detail .. just wanted to share an experience I had today. I was listening to the 2001 CD version of The Brad Mehldau Trio "Progression" - Art of the Trio, Volume 5, disc 1 which, if you're not familiar, is a live recording. During the 3rd song I heard a very faint but distinct phone ring. I hit pause .. silence. I backed up a bit and there it was again. Repeat and notate 2:57. I've owned this CD for years and never heard this. Nor have I heard such exquisite nuance from this recording. Even at low volume the detail extracted from this amp is something to behold.

The experience reminded me of this post by whoopycat and Steve's subsequent response about low level detail:

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1515904397/3




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