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PLATE WISH LIST (Read 55919 times)
Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

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PLATE WISH LIST
08/23/03 at 03:49:25
 
In response to the inevitable question: “what other plate products are on the back burner”  I thought we should just start a wish list.

To qualify, the circuit must fit on a  6 x 10 inch plate and probably draw less than 150ma.

What I presently have on the back burner still evolving and proving themselves, are a variety of different line stages all sounding different, a possible phono stage, a headphone amp, and a pair of little 30 watt monoblocks.  Possibly a variety of SET designs I did along the way to making the Zen Triode. Other than that, I plan to watch this thread and listen to everyone’s feedback as things progress.

Cheers,

Steve Deckert
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rgeorge
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #1 - 08/23/03 at 04:44:48
 
YES, please!! A phono stage! I have been wanting one of your ZP2.0s, but it remains outside my budget.  I have been looking at kits by other manufacturers to replace my less-than-satisfying SS phono stage... Tongue
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Joe Schlabotnick
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #2 - 08/23/03 at 04:51:44
 

How about Zen signature triode with 64 watts per channel from a a single SV83?  Please...
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chrisby
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #3 - 08/23/03 at 08:27:16
 
active tube XO / line drive
prettier volume control knobs!
larger power supply transformer  ;D
DAC
From what I can remember the Zen phono stage was very nice indeed, but a simpler kit would be a winner. Would 6N1P or 6922 provide enough gain for those of us happy with moving magnets?


parametric equalizer for Bose 901  ;D Grin Grin

special order wood bases in other species ( eg Cherry, Mahogany)

Lectraset lettering kit for "Custom made for (your name here)" vanity labels

I suspect you're gonna busy around Rancho Decca  mid Oct
to Xmas - thought about starting a gift registry for those wives and friends that just don't know what to buy anymore?

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sargeantbargearse
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #4 - 08/23/03 at 10:45:45
 

a cheap(er) swith for a few different inputs (just two or three inputs would be enough for most).  would be great to put this on the existing plate preamp.

craig
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Phil Wilson
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #5 - 08/23/03 at 13:24:30
 
This is definitely going to be my first DIY project (notwithstanding the warning on the site).  It looks like something I could do - plus I've got a couple of friends with a lot of solder-slinging experience who can help me out.

My wife requests a remote ???

It would also be cool if you could order the plate and the metal box to match the Select (probably more difficult to add holes to?)  Do you anticipate a "Select" version of the preamp plate in the future (like before Christmas?) Grin

Someday I'll probably be in the market for a phono stage, but that will be a while - Steve, I can't believe that you came out with this - have you been spying on my internet surfing?
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tubenube
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #6 - 08/23/03 at 14:00:21
 
I second the idea of offering a (matching) select base as an option.

And sa truly high quality yet affordable MM/MC phono stage would be a real winner!
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #7 - 08/23/03 at 20:51:14
 
1. A passive preamp, or kit, that uses the S&B TX102 TVC (Stevens and Billington TX102 Transformer Volume Control) assuming it is COMPLETELY transparent when properly implemented.  This passive must of course work better in some way with the SE84CS, SV83M/S, and other Zen amps than the current crop of pre's otherwise what's the point?  

In theory, this would be the ultimate in a preamp - no caps, tubes, or resistors in the signal path - just wire and switches... Very minimalistic Zen-like, no? Of course it must also WORK, which I have not had the opportunity to hear for myself.  What I have read, is that when it does work (sytem synergy) it works F A N T A S T I C.  But we know that opinions are cheap on the net... so the Decmaster (Steve) needs to give a listen Smiley .

The name? It's obvious...  the Zen TVC Preamp (ZTVC).

2. If a completely passive pre does not work well, then a active tubed preamp, or integrated amp/kit that utilizes the TX102 in order to (further) minimize the number of caps and resistors in the signal path.  I think?... they call this output transformer coupled instead of coupling caps?  Maybe this is cost prohibitive?

3. An amp that works well with the ZTVC if the present ones do not - if that's possible Cheesy

related links...

http://www.stevens-billington.co.uk/page102.htm
http://www.diyhifisupply.com/diy_kits/django.htm



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MikeS
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #8 - 08/24/03 at 04:54:09
 
A series of Plate kits. This is great news Steve!

My wish: An SP1 model with 3 or 4 inputs and a rotary input selector.
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chrisby
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #9 - 08/24/03 at 06:40:46
 
[quote author=sargeantbargearse  link=1061610565&amp/0#4 date=1061631945]

a cheap(er) swith for a few different inputs (just two or three inputs would be enough for most).  would be great to put this on the existing plate preamp.

craig
[/quote]

Sarge:  

I've found a very inexpensive series of selector switches at a local parts shop that I've been quite happy with.  Lorlin - $6 (canadian) for plastic body, sealed, silver plated contacts, from 1 - 4 poles, 12 to 3 positions, ( 3 pole would allow the signal grounds to be switched as well - some seem to think this could help reduce noise from "deselected" components)

This is a much better sounding switch than the open deck device included in the Foreplay.   To be fair, Doc makes no bones about using "cost effective" parts - if you build his kit correctly it will work; if you want to then use it as the backbone for your own experimentation and spend 10 times over on milspec, tweak approved boutique parts - knock yourself out - and post your findings.  That's what the brotherhood of DIY audio is supposedly about - not the self-aggrandizing BS and trolling  of which we've seen too much hereabouts lately.


Brad:  with all due respect, you've posted links to a couple of very high quality TVC ( the prices of either I've seen are higher than a single Select) .  No doubt there are more modestly priced TVC or other passive controls (including kits and DIY designs)  on the market or internet.

May we disagree on the merits of passives - I've heard only about 3, and found all of them lacking some ineffable quality.  
That's just my personal experience.

But I think what is  more germaine is that all of us who have listened at any length to Steve's products would agree that he has a talent for designing very musical active devices, with a common sonic signature and aethestic.  I'm not sure that we need another "black box"

If I  thought a passive would work for me, I'd probably take the lazy way out and buy the Creek OB12

http://www.creekaudio.com/products/obh/obh_10_12.asp


anyone want to borrow the soapbox now, I'm going for a beer.

cheers fellow solder slingers
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« Last Edit: 08/24/03 at 06:57:12 by chrisby »  
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Cosimo
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #10 - 08/24/03 at 06:53:40
 
How about a single EL34 putting out 3.6 watts in Zen Triode Mode?  And,  another single EL34 running in pentode for a few more watts.
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Lon
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #11 - 08/24/03 at 14:17:48
 
Thanks for bringing this up Cosimo.  I think I would very much like to see a Zen stereo amp with a pair of EL34s and TUBE rectification.  I wouldn't be able to BUILD it, but I'd like to have one available!
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StingRay
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #12 - 08/24/03 at 15:23:29
 
Lon,

You don't give yourself enough credit.  On numerous occassions, I've seen you post that "you can't DIY".  Based on the little I know about your preferences (through your posts), IMHO you would benefit greatly from a DIY project.  The plates are inexpensive enough to just give it a shot.

Of course, you may just not want to DIY which is different from can't.
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StingRay
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #13 - 08/24/03 at 15:30:25
 
I'd like to see a Zen Plate amplifier that complements the Zen Plate Preamp (soon).

I think the idea with the Zen Plates is to offer a solid kit foundation that is tweakable.  Rather than make a bunch of specific plates with varying features, it would make sense to offer the basic units and then create a tweakers library of possible modifications (contributions by Decware and kit builders).  

This allows Steve to keep the price down, it gives us a nicely researched basic DIY kit, and it facilitates all the tweaking we love to do.

I can really see this thing catching on.  For the money, it's a no brainer.  Once word of this begins to circulate, the ranks of the DecHeads will be swelling.

My 2 cents,

Jerry
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chrisby
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #14 - 08/24/03 at 18:12:04
 
Stingray - you've pretty much described the very successful formula that Doc and Paul have followed.  



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Lon
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #15 - 08/24/03 at 23:17:35
 
Jerry, nice of you to say, but trust me, I can build huge glass cutting tables, have replaced the transmission in a 70 Caddy (try THAT some time!) but not electronic items.  I tried a bit years ago and I suck badly at this, and don't have the time to wade through all my errors and inadequacies.
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UncleRobb
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #16 - 08/25/03 at 00:06:32
 
What about a phono stage with passive(!) RIAA equalization and tube rectification?
Robert
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #17 - 08/25/03 at 03:25:46
 
[quote author=chrisby  link=1061610565&amp/0#9 date=1061703646]

Brad:  with all due respect, you've posted links to a couple of very high quality TVC ( the prices of either I've seen are higher than a single Select) .  No doubt there are more modestly priced TVC or other passive controls (including kits and DIY designs)  on the market or internet.

May we disagree on the merits of passives - I've heard only about 3, and found all of them lacking some ineffable quality.  
That's just my personal experience.
[/quote]

Chris,  
 I think many people have pingeon holed all passive pre's together which is not accurate IMO - either design/technical wise or sound quality wise (from the reviews I have read).  I don't think you can say that it's a given that a tranformer based passive volume control would sound anything like the "normal" resistive ones.  They work using COMPLETELY different principles. I have not yet ready ANY review that describes a TVC based pre's as lacking dynamics - which is quite common with resistive (stepped attenuator) passive pre's.

 I'm not saying that they sound good, or better than a well designed tubed pre, just that it merits looking into, especially from the reports I have seen.  For exaple I saw one report from a guy saying that he like the Antique Sound Labs TVC passive unit better than ANY preamp he has ever used, and he listened to allot of "high-end" units.

And there is NO DOUBT that the stepped attenuators' resistors as well as output coupling capacitors, found even in the best preamps (like my ZTPRE Smiley ), add their own signature (coloration?) to the sound.  Of course, a TVC probably also has it's own signature as any transformer does, but it remains to be seen to what extent and how good it *may* be.
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« Last Edit: 08/26/03 at 19:39:05 by Brad »  
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chrisby
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #18 - 08/27/03 at 19:07:20
 

[quote author=UncleRobb  link=1061610565&amp/15#16 date=1061766392]
What about a phono stage with passive(!) RIAA equalization and tube rectification?
Robert

[/quote]

I second that emotion

Steve tends to voice his amps with 6N1P/6922 , would they have enought gain for this application?

I built  a DIY phono well over a year ago ( based on the RCA tube manual circuit, it specifies 12AX7 or your favorite flavor thereof ) it's probably time to revisit this project.
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rgeorge
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #19 - 08/28/03 at 00:35:14
 
[quote author=Lon  link=1061610565&amp/15#15 date=1061763455]...have replaced the transmission in a 70 Caddy (try THAT some time!)... [/quote]
Ow, Lon!! I feel your pain! I once switched out the trannie in a '68 Pontiac GTO.  It was a TurboHydro400 and I swear that it weighed about 500 pounds.  I thought it was going to crush the transmission jack!
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chud
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #20 - 08/28/03 at 02:01:38
 
Phono stage MM/MC   Cheesy
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Lon
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #21 - 08/28/03 at 11:01:54
 
Yeah Richard, and with the Caddy you had so much more to remove and then reinstall to get at the tranny!  A major pain!
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Brian
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #22 - 08/30/03 at 21:46:46
 
Hi Steve,  Your request for products to put on a 6x10" plate got me to thinking about something else I have been hoping for some time you might introduce.  That is a pair of open baffle speaker drivers.  I have started a new thread about them here: http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=General&action=display&num=10...
Basically a woofer and a wide range.
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Brian
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #23 - 08/30/03 at 21:51:55
 
You might consider a monophonic version of the SE84 kit with an output transformer optimized for subwoofer frequencies.  I believe that would fit on a 6x10" plate.  I don't know how much current it would draw.  It would be nice to have SET sound for our bass frequencies.  
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JLM
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #24 - 09/01/03 at 16:24:06
 
Sorry Steve, but every sound room I've had (even the dedicated "gentleman's office" I'm planning will have a telephone.  So I'm asking for a volume control with remote control because I can't turn down the music and answer the phone before callers give up or it goes to voicemail.  It could be by itself or part of a pre-amp, with input selector please.

I know, I'm bad, very bad.

jeff
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selmerdave
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #25 - 09/01/03 at 22:15:40
 
Phono stage please! (I'll settle for MM)
tube xo for biamping as well.

The price is right, and thanks (no surprise) for no PC boards.  Also thanks for the tube rectification.  I would love to hear one.

Dave
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morrisvet
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #26 - 09/03/03 at 06:46:29
 
As Jeff I wish a ( quality) motorized volume !

Filippo
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Jason_S
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #27 - 09/04/03 at 03:09:45
 
I can just see it now...  we take a medium quality receiver with a motorized volume, move the volume control over to the plate amp and string the control wires in between the two.

I guess there's always something useful that can be done with SS equipment.   Grin
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Corey
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #28 - 09/05/03 at 18:51:50
 
Sorry guys for posting this but I thought that Master Steve would probably check this thread from time to time and actually read it so here goes:

Steve, take the Fostex FE206E driver and design a Bass reflex enclosure for it that has the punchy, tight bass of the 1.3 but with more extended lows, close to the 2.5.  
Sorry, but if David at Classic audio is going to gouge people at $900 for a simple particle board box, then I guess you are more than welcome to take this awesome driver into your own hands and offer an enclosure at a tiny bit more reasonable price but with better sound. Include rectangular ports that are routed out to minimize turbulence and corked, flushed front baffle or something. Perhaps unfinished or kit.

I truly believe the sales of Zen amps would vastly improve if people could spend under a grand for an awesome speaker system that wouldn't require a sub, goes loud and sounds excellent with beautiful imaging and coherency.

Corey
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StingRay
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #29 - 09/05/03 at 21:37:23
 
I'm the last person to deflect criticism from Dave, but he offers the drivers at a very fair price (actually the lowest I've seen on the internet). He also offers the plans to build his boxes either cheap or free if you buy the drivers from him.
I don't see how providing options for the buyer can be construed as gouging.
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chrisby
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Re: Fostex BR
Reply #30 - 09/05/03 at 23:13:21
 
Corey, presumably Steve will be demoing the Fostex cabinets listed at the bottom of the speaker design page.

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chrisby
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #31 - 09/05/03 at 23:16:20
 

[quote author=morrisvet  link=1061610565&amp/15#26 date=1062567989]
As Jeff I wish a ( quality) motorized volume !

Filippo
[/quote]

since any remote controlled volume would require some degree of SS circuitry, perhaps the switching etc of the Creek OBH-12 wouldn't be too offensive?

http://www.creekaudio.com/products/obh/obh_10_12.asp
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StingRay
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #32 - 09/06/03 at 02:42:23
 
Chrisby,

If I'm not mistaken, the speakers at the bottom of Steve's speaker design page are David Dicks 1.3's.
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chrisby
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #33 - 09/06/03 at 05:46:10
 

[quote author=StingRay  link=1061610565&amp/30#32 date=1062812543]
Chrisby,

If I'm not mistaken, the speakers at the bottom of Steve's speaker design page are David Dicks 1.3's.
[/quote]

thanks for the tip - still worth a listen tho!

I seem to recall Steve mentioning in a phone conversation to watch for a reworked version of an old enclosure design of his -  of course timetables can get messed up, and he may even have changed his mind.  I assumed the Fostex system was what he meant.
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StingRay
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #34 - 09/06/03 at 14:19:37
 
Chrisby,

I recently talked to Steve, and he mentioned the same thing.
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morrisvet
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #35 - 09/07/03 at 08:02:39
 
Quote:
since any remote controlled volume would require some degree of SS circuitry, perhaps the switching etc of the Creek OBH-12 wouldn't be too offensive?


Chrisby, I own the OBH-10 and I bought it hoping to let work it externally, with a rubber band between both knobs but ......it didn't works Cry

Using it in usual mode it deteriorate a lot the signal to me !
....another useless buy  >:(

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Brian
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #36 - 09/07/03 at 22:44:44
 
I have been thinking about these requests for remote controlled volume.  This won't appeal to those of You who have Your systems in a living room but for those with dedicated listening rooms, have You considered a mechanical remote control?

You could lay a rod across the floor, connect one end to a bell crank on the side of your listening chair with a vertical handle (like the recliner handle on a foot rest chair) and connect the other end to a crank at the bottom of Your equipment rack with an arm running up to the volume control.  Pull the knob off and mount a short arm on the potentiometer shaft and connect it to the arm coming up from the floor.  
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« Last Edit: 09/07/03 at 22:47:06 by Brian »  
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morrisvet
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #37 - 09/08/03 at 07:44:26
 
Quote:
You could lay a rod across the floor, connect one end to a bell crank on the side of your listening chair with a vertical handle (like the recliner handle on a foot rest chair) and connect the other end to a crank at the bottom of Your equipment rack with an arm running up to the volume control.  Pull the knob off and mount a short arm on the potentiometer shaft and connect it to the arm coming up from the floor.  


Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked maybe  8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Brian
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #38 - 09/08/03 at 20:47:36
 
Grin Grin  :D
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ken_chuang
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #39 - 09/09/03 at 13:58:58
 
Hi Steve,

The Zen plate ZSP-1 looks like a fantastic kit to build.

I was thinking of a 2 plate approach

1 plate for power supply, have various versions like solid state or tube rectification power supply with A/C or D/C options for the tube heaters.

1 plate for line stage, there will be space for options such as plate choke load, output transformer coupled, para feed etc.

With 2 plates, power supply may be reused for different line stages to come, just need to change some resistors to drop the HT to a appropriate level for different line stages.

regards,
Ken Chuang
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brad
Ex Member



Re: TVC passive pre's and volume controls
Reply #40 - 09/09/03 at 21:24:25
 
This is the kind of comments I keep reading about TVC preamps...

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/DIYHiFi/messages/1703.html

"I've bought the Django a couple of weeks ago. Running now for almost 2 1/2 weeks with the Ladyday+. My experience is that I hear no 'signature' on the sound, just like there is no pre-amp. Dynamics are huge, massive sound stage and the tonal color is just what you get out of the power amps. I hear things on my CD's and SACD I've not heard before on my system it just let's the music flow.
I'm waiting for Brian to have the Cole MM/MC pre-amp ready so I can listen to my records again.
I assembled the Cole myself, easy. I ordered the unit with the silver/cotton hookup wire option. The combination of the Django and the Ladyday+ blew my previous amp (Copland CSA 14 hybrid integrated) completely away. You can also look at reviews of the Silver Rock TVC at www.enjoythemusic.com and the MFaudio TVC http://www.mfaudio.co.uk/passive_pre.htm . These are also TVC units and will give you an impression of what these units are capable of."
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« Last Edit: 09/09/03 at 21:27:14 by Brad »  
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brad
Ex Member



Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #41 - 09/09/03 at 21:31:46
 
here's another one


ASL Passive TI review...

"I've tried a variety of passive line stages over the years, most notably the Audio Synthesis Passion, Reference Line Pre-Eminence 2, and Promethean CD-director. I've always liked the neutral character of passive stages, albeit losing a little bit of the sonic fireworks that active stages are capable of. The Promethean has been my reference line stage for a couple years now. In waiting to try some lofty tube stages, I'd figure I'd give the inexpensive Antique Sound Lab Passive TI a try. For $399, not much to lose!

The Antique Sound Lab Passive TI is a unique design. Instead of a resistor "voltage divider" network used by almost all other passive stages, the volume is controlled via a multi-tapped audio-grade transformer, very similar to interstage transformers found in exotic tube stages. The taps and windings on the transformer control the volume gradations. This mundane unit has only three knobs- left volume, right volume, and source selector, plus a tape loop switch. Including tape deck, this unit can accommodate up to five sources. (This has been an issue- some stages offer only two or three.) The volume controls use 12-position selectors to the autoformer taps. Note the unit I ended up getting has the gold face. The silkscreen letter is rather light, which is common for early production units.

Now to the sound. The passive TI has a sonic signature as unique as its design. Macrodynamics and "immediacy" are its strong suits. For small-scale jazz and small-scale classical (acoustic music) sound almost as if the performers are in the room. There is a sense of "bloom" one would associate with "tube sound," even though there are no tubes. (My system at the moment has no tubes!) The bottom end isn't the most-extended, but on the other hand, the bottom was devoid of the congestion which seems to plague most passive and tube stages. Complex passages from well-recorded rock and large-scale classical works are also very convincing. With the natural large-scale dynamics rarely captured by most other stages, including stages five times the modest price of this unit. The sense of realism is eclipsed only by some of the best tube stages, and the bottom is eclipsed only by some of the best solid-state stages. Soundstage is also convincing, with *pinpoint* lateral placement and excellent depth. Not quite "layered" like the best however. The ASL Passive TI will end the notion that all passive stages compress dynamics. This passive stage maintains large-scale dynamics as well as the best active stages out there.

Weaknesses- Nope, the stage is not perfect. When I referred to the "bloom," on some recordings, especially those with a lot of upper midrange energy, this can result in a "mechanical" hardness in the sound. A slight loss of microdynamics. This is most-noticeable with hard rock on heavy-metal, and also classical works with a lot of percussion. Attacks and decays of cymbals, although better than most line stages, have a slight added "sheen." Although not amusical, timbres of instruments seem to possess a common set of overtones- this is not a stage that will make one distinguish a Strad from an Amati, or a Steinway from a Bosendorfer- yet still, in spite of that, the tone is still quite natural. I think the sonic signature is basically a euphonic one, and the best part is, for enjoying music, the ASL passive can be listened to for extended periods of time. Especially when mated with tubes and/or an analog front end. The stage could sound bright with inexpensive solid state and with lesser digital rigs. I would *not* consider this piece "forgiving," and it would mate best with gear that *is* "forgiving." I think in spite of its modest price, this stage will mate best with the expensive stuff. Hopefully, the snob-factor amongst those with lofty systems won't make them discount this killer line stage because of its price.

Overall, the Antique Sound Lab Passive TI is maybe one of the three of four-best stages I've ever tried. And when price is thrown into the equation, it will make a lot of people who blew over two grand on their line stages pull their hair out. Antique Sound Lab has put out one of the best bang-for-the-buck pieces I've encountered in quite some time in the Passive TI line stage. (And I'm not totally certain that the $3000 tube stage I will audition is going to beat it!!) Bravo Antique Sound Lab!! "
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #42 - 09/10/03 at 23:47:37
 
And some other responses to my query...

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/DIYHiFi/messages/1701.html
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Giorgino
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #43 - 09/12/03 at 16:23:18
 
I know that Steve has a legendary dislike for digital but it would be great to see what his interpretation of a worthy DAC may be. How to make a DAC that Steve likes!

I believe it would be as great a challenge as the original Zen of making a multi-thousand dollar sounding amp for less than 500 bucks.
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brad
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Re: more on TVC's
Reply #44 - 09/12/03 at 17:24:11
 
Here is a review by UltraAudio of an REAL expensive one, that uses the same S&B TVC's ...

"You would think that with a dCS Purcell/Delius source, the new BC24 hybrid amp from Blue Circle tricked out with rare Siemens tubes, and the monstrously expensive and advanced Acapella Violon speakers in my system, there would be nothing further to add. Nothing could be further from what happened when I plugged-in the Pasiphae. I'm talking about a quantum leap in speed, image definition, resolution, microdetail, dynamics, bass performance, and realism. It really works. I was so amazed I just sat there like an idiot. "

take note... this $10K passive just uses $200-300 S&B transformers and the rest is wires, switches, and (maybe) shielding!  :D
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« Last Edit: 09/12/03 at 17:26:41 by Brad »  
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StingRay
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #45 - 09/12/03 at 20:25:54
 
I like the idea for a ZenDac as well.  It could be designed for the optimal 2 volt output the Zen's prefer.
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matchstikman
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #46 - 09/15/03 at 19:22:05
 
How about a Zen Triode headphone amplifier?
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Jason_S
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #47 - 09/17/03 at 13:48:54
 
Brian touched on this, but how about a mono block subwoofer amp, specifically designed to mate with the WO32 or wicked one.  It could even be a EL34 based PP and probably sound good.
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chrisby
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #48 - 09/17/03 at 20:03:10
 
[quote author=Jason_S  link=1061610565&amp/45#47 date=1063802934]
Brian touched on this, but how about a mono block subwoofer amp, specifically designed to mate with the WO32 or wicked one.  It could even be a EL34 based PP and probably sound good.
[/quote]

I think it'd be a bit tricky to get the required iron on a single  6x10" plate and still have room for signal & pair of big bottled output tubes; SS rectification with appropriate snubbers, etc would probably be acceptable on a sub amp.  

Believe it or not, this is an application where the $99 Parts Express or similar SS plate amp works remarkably well.  Ed Shilling's Hornline bass extender utilizes such an amp, and I've heard it integrate quite well with a pair of his Horns and Paramour 2A3 amps.  To paraphrase our friend  guru Randy ; not at all hurtfull 
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« Last Edit: 09/17/03 at 20:09:40 by chrisby »  
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #49 - 09/17/03 at 21:20:59
 
Here's yet another one....
http://www.soniceuphoria.com

Are TVC's the real deal (and upcoming trend) or just another audio fad? ... time will tell...





I really need to turn this TVC stuff into a separate discussion thread.
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« Last Edit: 09/17/03 at 21:32:08 by Brad »  
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Brian
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #50 - 09/18/03 at 02:53:59
 
Thanks Chrisby,  I knew many people used SS sub amps with their Tube main amps but I had never heard whether it sounded good or bad.  I am glad to hear I was wrong to assume it must sound bad.  I always like to save money.  
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chrisby
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #51 - 09/18/03 at 05:22:21
 
Brian:  I'm sure lots of folks would argue against it, but my point was really that the power requirements for a sub amp usually dictate either large power supply transformer and substantial heat sinking with SS devices, and/or even larger iron and PP if tubed.  

Potential parts cost notwithstanding, there just isn't a lot of space in the 6x10x2 format of the plate series that Steve is proposing.  Of course the ZenMaster would be best to answer that question

Brad - that's a lot of wire, connectors and solder points for a
"purist" device.   Grin Grin  

But seriously, our friend Ed has recently got his-self excited all over again about the CG buffered passive "pre".  That might worth a serious listen - a whole lot less money than any TVC and just idiosyncratic enough to appeal to a lot of us.


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« Last Edit: 09/18/03 at 05:25:44 by chrisby »  
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #52 - 09/18/03 at 23:05:32
 
chrisby,
 The signal only passes through one wire at a time.  There are multiple wires because the transformer volume controls "autoformers" are basically just multi-tapped transformers - one wire per tap.  When adjusting the volume know you are basically just switching from one set of input taps to another.
The desing is quite simplistic, though building it looks not to be - that's allot of soldering!  

In total the signal passes through connectors, the volume switch, some wire, and from the input to output tap of the autoformer.  No resistors, no capacitors, no tubes.

Btw, besides S&B, Sowter seems like a mfg'er making good attenuation transformers (TVC's), though like S&B they are not cheap (~$150ea) ...

http://www.sowter.co.uk/attens.htm

... and another rave review thereof ...
http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/tubediy/messages/18762.html

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« Last Edit: 09/19/03 at 01:16:01 by Brad »  
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selmerdave
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #53 - 09/22/03 at 17:01:51
 
What about venturing into pro audio and offering Zen plate Mic preamps?  I'd love to be able to make a Zen recording someday.

Dave
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Terry
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #54 - 10/15/03 at 01:41:44
 

Ya know what I think would be really really cool for us tinkerers.  What if you made plates for various stages of an amp, say a input, a driver, then an output, and a separate power supply plate.  What a guy could do is sub values of resistors and caps for various tubes used, say you like a 6SN7 as an input tube better than the 6922, change a few components to make it work, and you have it mated to a SV83 SET output.  Or say you wanted a push pull output for more power, you could connect this to the existing stages and have a drop in output replacement.

Another plate amp I would like to see happen is a active crossover, of two and three way.

I have seen amps build to where you could change out tubes and set switches and your off, what I am proposing is more like a plate set where you switch out plates and hardware it together.  Like one chassic three plates.

One think I like about separate power supplies is that you can mod it to death and make it as beefy as you want.

TG Grin
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Harana
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #55 - 10/24/03 at 21:01:28
 
Hey steve. do you have plans for a 5 channel line stage pre. I think this will satisfy the 5 channel HT users out there. if you can, you can just build a 3 channel version, so we can purchase (1) 3 channel plus (1) 2 channel to fit our needs.
I for one believe that there is a sonic difference between just connecting your HT Pre amp directly to your Amp VERSUS putting in a line stage between pre and power. now, most of the HT users uses SS gear, this "add one" is a refreshing idea and may really improve the dynamics and impact of the system.
just my 02 cents
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #56 - 10/31/03 at 01:10:33
 
Found another source for DIY TVC's ... Wish I could pull all these TVC msg's to their own discussion thread.

http://www.audio-consulting.ch/DIYPot.htm



btw, forget the Antique Sound Labs Passive Ti (tvc based) preamp, at least for your MAIN system.  While it's good sounding for the money, and would be good for an intro or budget system or for a second/bedroom system, it DOES NOT sound better than the ZTPRE - which is probably no surprise. I've been listening to one I picked up on Audiogon with my Sony DVP-NS999ES SACD player and the SV83M amps.  

Hovever, I don't think the ASL Ti is necessarily indicative of the TVC idea/technology, and it's potential, on the whole.
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« Last Edit: 10/31/03 at 21:58:06 by Brad »  
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Brian
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #57 - 10/31/03 at 07:28:39
 
A vacuum tube audio amp for my television is what I would like next.  I believe it ought to be monophonic to avoid creating soundstage events off screen, disconnected from the picture.  A mono version of the SE84c may fit onto this new plate chassis, I don't know.  
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Rocket_Ronny
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #58 - 11/18/03 at 02:14:59
 
-How about amps using 845, 572, or 833A, tubes? Muscle madness.

-A tubed output stage for the the Behringer:
 -ULTRACURVE PRO DEQ2496  This would make the ultimate DAC, allowing digital room correction and e.q. I am buying one of these one day, tube output stage or no tube utput stage. Read about it here: http://www.behringer.ca/02_products/prodindex.cfm?id=DEQ2496&lang=eng
-ULTRADRIVE PRO DCX2496  For those who want to bi, or triamplify.
http://www.behringer.ca/02_products/prodindex.cfm?id=dcx2496&lang=eng
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Rocket_Ronny
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #59 - 11/23/03 at 17:05:28
 
Or how about a simple tubed DAC with AES/EBU and Digital coax imputs.  That way guys like me could use it on the Behringer stuff and others could add it to their favorite transport. The Art Audio DAC might be a good building block.

Thanks
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Terry
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #60 - 01/05/04 at 08:20:26
 
How about a simple Push Pull amp based on the SV83?  Or a SET amp using the Svetlana 6AS7?  I have often wondered what this tube would sound like in a SET amp, no one is using this tube like this that I am aware of.

TG Grin
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« Last Edit: 01/05/04 at 08:22:35 by Terry »  
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Harana
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #61 - 01/07/04 at 20:32:25
 
- i'd like to see a DAC w/ tube output stage, BUT the DAC having both OPTICAL and COAX based inputs. does anyone here seen one of this type around ?. Steve, maybe you are the first to offer this.
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slappomatt
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #62 - 01/30/04 at 23:50:42
 
Please Please build a kit for a headphone amp. or a version of the zsp1 that has a headphone out also. I would love to get some of that zen decware sound in my bedroom, (where there is no hope of decent sound with conventional speakers.)
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #63 - 02/24/04 at 18:03:29
 
Don't know why I didn't think of this before...

Please build a low cost power conditioner!
It will improve the sound of all components and the whole system.   I mean, what good is a world class headphone amp without clean power? ... you'll just hear more of the grundge! Smiley

Maybe make separate circuits for each component -
cdp, pre, amp - assuming the conditioning needs for
said components differ.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/04 at 18:06:28 by Brad »  
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Giorgino
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #64 - 02/27/04 at 17:57:47
 
Steve's principles on product development appears to be quite simple: He'll only market it if he thinks he has a chance of it being the best at that price point. It's a very reasonable and admirable one I guess and it's demonstrated by the absence of a Zen turntable. Another example is in the ZSLA1 instruction manual regarding line conditioners:

"To date the only line conditioners we know of that make a profound difference are made by PS Audio." My guess is that if he were to develop a line conditioner the PS Audio would be his performance aim point. My hope is that he'll be able to achieve that at half the price... Cheesy
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« Last Edit: 02/27/04 at 17:58:53 by giorgino »  
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slappomatt
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #65 - 03/06/04 at 15:40:32
 
what about a vacuum tube tuner? i dont know about the difficulty of making an affordable tuner, but i do know that affordable audiophile tuners are about as rare as four leaf clovers, esp. tubed ones. Roll Eyes
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nubz69
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #66 - 03/21/04 at 06:17:38
 
How about a tube amp that matches the zen but has a high dampening factor so it can be used on the woofer section in a biamp setup.
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selmerdave
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #67 - 03/21/04 at 17:30:59
 
With the right drivers the Zen should have no problem driving the woofers in a biamp setup.  Adding copious feedback to increase damping would take away a lot of the zen magic.

Dave
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nubz69
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #68 - 03/23/04 at 05:07:48
 
I am not so worried about the zen magic below 300hz.
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brad
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #69 - 03/30/04 at 01:23:25
 
A "hybrid" Zen amp with SV83 tube based channel for the mids/highs and a Tripath Technologies "chip amp" for the low end.  It would have a built in active crossover of course with the normal adjustments, phase, level, crossover, etc.
The objective is to get some slamming bass with good integration but not touching the sound of the Zen mids/highs

This comment is interesting even though we don't know the context of his opinion. Speakers, previously owned amps, etc....

"A good tube pre, feeding a Tripath amp gets everything right, musically correct,zero even order distortion, and the 12AU7 getting all the sonic goodies just right, while still retaining the magic,with no tube hassle. All of the good, none of the bad... Best combo I have yet owned."

http://java.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=amp&n=41679&highlight=griffin&sessio...

We've heard the "tubes are dead" cry before.  However, I would think its worth investigating.  You never know where those "Zen" discoveries will lead you. Smiley I hear you can get free chip samples from Tripath.
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« Last Edit: 03/31/04 at 02:02:13 by Brad »  
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Joe_C
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #70 - 09/20/04 at 21:14:05
 
A phono stage, a phono stage, and a phono stage Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy.  Not necessarily a plate kit but a kit none the less.
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barfind
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #71 - 10/17/04 at 10:35:45
 
A tUBED DAC ABLE TO PUT OUT ABOUT 3VOLTS

NIGEL
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veryoldcat
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #72 - 10/18/04 at 21:36:17
 
What about the no brainer phono stage? I've not forgotten.

(I second the idea of MM is fine)

Think, phono stage, phono stage, phono stage 8)

Karl
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veryoldcat
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #73 - 10/18/04 at 21:37:50
 
and while I'm at it, don't forget about the phono stage idea.

Thanks! Grin
Karl
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314159
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #74 - 01/02/05 at 17:57:18
 
Hello from Albuquerque NM....just joined and this is my first post.  I am anxiously waiting for my SE84C kits to arrive.  But, to the point of this thread, I vote for a 2 or 3 way crossover.

3141
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nubz69
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #75 - 01/05/05 at 03:05:59
 
So we are looking at these options

Headphone amp
phono preamp
sv83 PP amp
Sub amp
Mic preamp
line conditioner
tube dac

I may have missed one.  I personaly think the phono pre, headphone amp, or a DAC are the best ideas.  Mabey we should put it to a vote
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WEEZ
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #76 - 01/07/05 at 01:48:47
 
I'm new here, so maybe I'm off base, but a phono amp w/ standard mm 47k input; required gain (40db?- probably requires 12AX7's?); 2v output; optional volume control for those who want to drive an amp directly.

2nd choice (while I'm at it  ;D) a tube dac; 2v output; again- optional volume control for CD-only guys.

Make 'em look just like Plates (and/or CSP's).

3rd choice (hell, I'm on a roll here  :P) a line router with 4 inputs and 2 outputs (MAD has one). Imagine: Phono on input #1; Tuner on input#2; Tape Deck on input #3 (yeah, tape deck  :o); and CD (or dac) on input #4. Then on output #1: your Plate pre or CSP); and on output #2: your headphone amp or a line to your tape deck. (output switchable)

What about it?  

(this is fun..)

WEEZ
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314159
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #77 - 01/11/05 at 15:42:29
 
A nice adc would be great for those of us that like to record.  I'm still using my open reels....or was....they are all packed now...

Or...a nice tube mic preamp...

3141
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porchman
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #78 - 01/16/05 at 14:34:55
 
I wish the plate had not increased in price so much. $250 is much less of a DIY venture than $380.  But I guess good sound is for the well funded. I'm wondering what part(s) experienced that dramatic of an increase.
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314159
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #79 - 01/18/05 at 13:50:38
 
how about a balanced phono stage and/or line stage?

rt
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sargeantbargearse
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #80 - 03/01/05 at 17:19:25
 

A dac that accepts a usb input would be great.  Hook the computer straight to the dac and on to the radials.

craig
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infinity
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #81 - 03/25/05 at 23:05:38
 

[quote author=chrisby link=board=ZPLATE&num=1061610565&start=0#3 date=08/23/03 at 02:27:16]
active tube XO / line d

Chrisby, why would you want to have an active tube crossover. Would't "MORE PARTS IN THE SIGNAL PATH" muddy up the sound and "DESTROY DETAIL" ? Regards, Jerry
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veryoldcat
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #82 - 04/02/05 at 18:08:00
 
[quote author=WEEZ  link=1061610565/75#76 date=1105062527]I'm new here, so maybe I'm off base, but a phono amp w/ standard mm 47k input; required gain (40db?- probably requires 12AX7's?); 2v output; optional volume control for those who want to drive an amp directly.

WEEZ [/quote]

Weez,

At one point there was a "no brainer phono preamp" on the bleeding edge of release along the lines of your wish list, which is along the lines of my wish list, also. ˇYo quiero!

I'm not sure if it was a plate project or not, but the idea vanished, like a midsummer night's dream.

I hereby revive that dream.

Karl
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WEEZ
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #83 - 04/02/05 at 21:03:10
 
If a headphone amp fits on the same chassis as a CSP; one would think that a phono amp would fit also.

Maybe it's difficult from a noise standpoint?

WEEZ
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veryoldcat
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #84 - 04/06/05 at 05:59:00
 
Weez,

My understanding was that the "no brainer phono preamp" was very near release, but that there was a hum problem that plagued the final design.

Karl
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hellagood
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #85 - 11/15/05 at 02:53:08
 
A plate mount tube sub amp, as a few folks mentioned.
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dheming
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #86 - 02/07/06 at 20:26:40
 
I wish for a ZenMic pre kit.  Because of budget constraints many people who have project studios at home use one of the many cheap ($40-$200) micpre's that are out there.  A lot of these units that do have a tube in them often sound like crap when the gain is turned up or they add a bunch of noise (or both).  A single channel, balanced (XLR) ZenMic kit would be a big hit with both home and pro recordists.  Phantom power would be nice, a good VU meter would be useful, and a unity setting could be helpful for inserting into effects loops.  With such a huge market in the recording business I can see this unit easily becoming Decware's primary product if it is as high quality as everything else that you guys make.  I'm sure that once word got out professional studios would buy them up like hotcakes.  Such a product could put Decware on the radars of a lot more people out there.
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Harana
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #87 - 03/13/06 at 19:54:52
 
wish for  a 3 channel plate kit. need to "tube" a home theater rig  :)
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slappomatt
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #88 - 03/16/06 at 21:57:46
 
Hey, so WHAT ever DID happen to that no brainer phono pre? that was several months ago...  ???
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Mr Content
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #89 - 04/19/06 at 17:35:28
 
A 240volt Z box
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Rap
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #90 - 12/13/06 at 15:13:58
 
[quote author=slappomatt  link=1061610565/75#88 date=1142546266]Hey, so WHAT ever DID happen to that no brainer phono pre? that was several months ago...  ??? [/quote]

Ditto!
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veryoldcat
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Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #91 - 12/28/06 at 01:46:00
 
I bet the proposed *no-brainer phono-pre* was transmorgraphied into the new ZP3 phono stage. And, by the way, if the ZP3 is better than my older version ZP.1, then it's a heck of nice phono stage!

A nice plate project would be an active tube x-over for subs Wink

Karl
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Hasafraker
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Posts: 38
Re: PLATE WISH LIST
Reply #92 - 07/07/09 at 17:21:48
 
as I am currently wraping up my ZKIT1 I will probably move onto the ZSP1 so I have something to compare to my current setup.

I am seriously looking for a DAC, I don't care either way if it has a tube output stage or not as price would be the biggest concern. Inputs would need optical and digital, usb would be a bonus but not required as I rarely have a pc in my listening area. I've been digging through the DAC kits that I've found online and they are all over the place price wise, more research is needed I think.

Phono stage, I'm very interested in this, I've been looking at tables lately as the wife has a rather large collection that is just collecting dust in her parents attic. So this is almost definitely on the list most likely around the end of the year.

My ZKIT1 is finished an OMFG is it awesome, I've been thinking about it, ZSP1 is most likely next, but truth be told a ZSP1+ that had 1 aux input and a phono stage... I'd be through trying to decide if I will take the plunge. If That became a reality, you would have to sign me up.
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« Last Edit: 07/11/09 at 04:06:45 by Hasafraker »  

pwells~

SE84DIY w/cce mod, ZSP1, VSPS DIY phono stage w/separate psu, Sansui SR-525 Turntable, Nagaoka MP-100 mm cart, Tekton Design 8.1's 97db@1w, all cables and interconnects DIY. Now we're cookin Wink
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