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NEW Decware Amplifier (Read 20691 times)
Steve Deckert
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NEW Decware Amplifier
06/05/06 at 21:55:54
 






Say hello to the new Select Zen Triode model SE84ZS!  It will be on the site within a week of this post. This amplifier has many improvements over the SE84CS it replaces. Cost is $875.00 with premium 6P15P-EV tubes included. Can still run EL84's as before. World voltage power supply is now standard.  Hardwood base is solid walnut, also available in other hardwoods, including exotics.

We will be selling the first 10 of these amplifiers for $799.00  !!!

Details will be available on the site soon.  A lot of work has gone into this amplifier and I hope everyone is as pleased with it as we are!

Happy listening


Steve Deckert

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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #1 - 06/05/06 at 22:11:08
 
Very pretty!  Bet it sounds wonderful.  Kudoes to Steve et al! Grin
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charlieboy
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #2 - 06/05/06 at 23:42:13
 
Looks good. Maybe it's me but it looks like a lower or sleeker profile. Maybe longer? Anyway looks good!!  ;D
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MikeS
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #3 - 06/06/06 at 00:07:40
 
Looks very nice, Steve.  Excellent sound has always been Decware's strong suit, but now fit and finish have caught up too.

Peace,
MikeS
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #4 - 06/06/06 at 01:59:30
 
[quote author=charlieboy  link=1149544554/0#2 date=1149547333]Looks good. Maybe it's me but it looks like a lower or sleeker profile. Maybe longer? Anyway looks good!!  ;D [/quote]

Thank you. The amp has been stretched yes. The plate dimension is 6.5 inches x 14 inches plus add another 3/4 inch for the wood chassis. This is significantly larger then the 6 x 10 footprint it once had. The rather sacred tube layout/spacing is unchanged.
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« Last Edit: 06/06/06 at 02:00:02 by Steve Deckert »  
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charlieboy
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #5 - 06/06/06 at 02:08:43
 
Steve,

I sent you a PM when you get a moment. Thanks.
Charlie
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Rap
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #6 - 06/06/06 at 13:02:38
 
Looks very nice Grin I like the colors, makes me think of quality in a non showy way. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 06/06/06 at 13:02:50 by Rap »  
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slappomatt
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #7 - 06/06/06 at 14:26:27
 
Will the production amplifier Have WBT binding post? thanks!  :)
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #8 - 06/06/06 at 18:21:10
 
This is the production model.  The binding posts are heavier then WBT as well as more attractive.
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DaveCan
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #9 - 06/06/06 at 18:45:29
 
Looks real nice, I'll take the wood look over a metal box anyday. The more I looked at it though I kept thinking somethings missing here then I figured it out there's no logo to be seen?  Dave Smiley
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gnat leader
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #10 - 06/06/06 at 19:11:38
 
How is the circuit different?  What are the topology and component changes if any from the previous version?
ie, still using Auricap caps, etc.?
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Pyewacket
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #11 - 06/06/06 at 19:25:29
 
Very nice indeed!  I really like this new look!!   Grin
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MAC -SteveH
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #12 - 06/06/06 at 20:22:09
 
I'm in & a NEW CSP

(HA HA - Go for it Grey!)
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Doorman
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #13 - 06/06/06 at 20:28:11
 
I'm more interested in how it sounds than how it looks Smiley
(though cosmetics can be the icing on the cake too!)
Steve: Any comments on the sonic differences between the above and a Select-Ex?
                                                          Don
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #14 - 06/07/06 at 00:04:36
 
The new Select SE84ZS is now online.  The Taboo will follow soon.

Steve
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #15 - 06/07/06 at 02:27:55
 
How very cool that after years of diyurselfers have sliced diced dissected upgraded redesigned deconstructed reconstructed the SE84CS, that the designer of it, who has doubtless tried most of these avenues, decides to upgrade it with a *slightly* different version of the same output tube and to beef up the chassis just a little.

I've listened to a scad of amplifiers, and there is always something to be said regarding the capabilities or drawbacks of any of them, but I think the SE48***  is an amp I may grow old with.

Really very cool Smiley Thanks for such a wonderful sounding piece of gear Smiley

Karl
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gnat leader
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #16 - 06/07/06 at 06:46:31
 
Yes, and I like the fact that there are two incarnations for very different tastes and speakers; 1) CS/ZS - Warm/lush sounding optimized for 4 ohms, and 2) Taboo/TS - transparent/live sounding optimized for 8 ohms.
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #17 - 06/07/06 at 14:12:33
 
Wow, the CS 'warm, lush sounding'?  Interesting; not my experience.
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #18 - 06/07/06 at 20:41:53
 
[quote author=Lon  link=1149544554/15#17 date=1149685953]Wow, the CS 'warm, lush sounding'?  Interesting; not my experience. [/quote]
Yeah, my Select is far from Warm and Lush. More like detailed and relentless.
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Doorman
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #19 - 06/07/06 at 20:51:48
 
You guys beat me to it!
IMHO, my Select is definitley not "warm and Lush"
(who you callin' a lush? Smiley)
                                                Don
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #20 - 06/08/06 at 00:09:35
 
I'd be willing to bet everyone who's just stated their Select's are not warm and lush but rather just the opposite are not using the 6N1P from the factory tube compliment.  Rather you got suckered into more detail and better focus of NOS 6922's and or 6DJ8's.  So basically your amps sound the way you made them sound.  ;)
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #21 - 06/08/06 at 02:07:10
 
Probably a lot of truth to that. . . .

Still when I had my Select and ran it with all the stock tubes, it was not "warm and lush."  It was sort of like Goldilock's porridge. . . just right.  ;)
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gnat leader
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #22 - 06/08/06 at 04:35:07
 
Lon,
 When I say "warm and lush" that's a positive way of my trying to express the effect of the slight "triode bloom" that the CS has in comparison to the TABOO.  I'll repeat that... compared to the TABOO.  If you have not heard the two amps next to each other as I have, you may not fully understand the difference in how they sound.  Both are lovely, just in different ways, and the speakers they are mated to makes a big difference of course.  And yes the tubes make a big difference.  The cryo treated mil-spec russian tubes gave my TABOO more bloom.  

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« Last Edit: 06/08/06 at 04:50:22 by Brad »  
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #23 - 06/08/06 at 10:51:37
 
Okay, if you say so, never have heard the Taboo.  I'm out of the amp tasting biz for a while, very happy with what I have, very unable to afford anything else.
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #24 - 06/08/06 at 12:03:09
 
Well when I say detailed and relentless, I said it in a good way. Itís not like Iím stuck with it that way. I have a bucket of tubes and can re-tube how I want.

Steve is right about focus and detail with the 6922. I tried a dozen different 6922/6DJ8ís in the Select and the current one I use is by far the most focused and had the best layering of instruments from back to front within the soundstage. The EV mods increased detail and speed more then anything else, but the input tube polishes the character.
The EL84ís is what my Select was modified for.  They added more weight and midbass then the SV83ís, the mods gave it back the added detail and speed it might have lost with the EL84ís and the 6922 brought it all into focus.

In comparison to the original tube assortment, my Select is more startling. It has more authority, dynamics a larger soundstage with ALL the detail and nuance you could want (although some want more for whatever reason) and a vocal smoothness that surpasses most amp Ė period!

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mullman
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #25 - 06/08/06 at 12:19:37
 
I concur with Mr. Deckert.

I have bought alot of expensive tubes only leaving my wallet thinner in the long run: †NOS Mullard EL84s, Bugle Boy 6DJ8s, NOS 6922s.

You know what sounds best to my ears and most others who have heard my amp (Hornfest '05 & '06 among other local gatherings): †The stock 6N1P and a matched pair of SV83s.

My amp is very warm...

FWIW I do not post too much anymore.
Why? †I'm happy and not looking to roll equipment.
Most recordings sound live on my system and that was my entire goal.

Smiley

Some may call is @ss kissing, but Decware was an awakening for me, hearing things and experiencing recordings like I never had before.  Let alone at a price one could call ridiculously low.

Couple this with a fine single driver setup and you're done.
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« Last Edit: 06/08/06 at 12:36:46 by mullman »  
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Pyewacket
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #26 - 06/08/06 at 14:45:32
 
Guys, this is really getting my motor going...  So with a few tubes, you can taylor the sound of your amp to suit your wants today.  How cool is that?

OK Steve, does the MKII react the same way?  And to the same degree?

T
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ado420
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #27 - 06/08/06 at 14:49:08
 
[quote author=Steve Deckert  link=1149544554/15#20 date=1149721775]I'd be willing to bet everyone who's just stated their Select's are not warm and lush but rather just the opposite are not using the 6N1P from the factory tube compliment.  Rather you got suckered into more detail and better focus of NOS 6922's and or 6DJ8's.  So basically your amps sound the way you made them sound.  ;) [/quote]

That's an interesting observation. Maybe it's the principal reason tube amps, or tube gear in general, are so liked: the fact that you can make them sound the way you 'want', means you are less likely to dismiss a product because it has more oppurtunity for change, for you at least.

I always wondered what solid state gear would've been like had you had an easy avenue for rolling transistors; I think I would enjoy certain products more if that was a possibility.

BTW, I like the look of your new chassis, they are more visually encapsulating now. Good job! Smiley
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #28 - 06/08/06 at 14:58:25
 
First off I hope you guys realize that when I make comments or statements like those in my last post, it is for the lurkers in the forum.  You know, say a guy finds Decware, happens into this thread, reads the select is relentless and just keeps walking.  

When I read a post I always imagine I am that guy.  It motivates many of my responses.  8)
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #29 - 06/08/06 at 15:02:12
 
[quote author=Pyewacket  link=1149544554/15#26 date=1149774332]Guys, this is really getting my motor going...  So with a few tubes, you can taylor the sound of your amp to suit your wants today.  How cool is that?

OK Steve, does the MKII react the same way?  And to the same degree?

T [/quote]


Indeed.  The MKII uses the same family of input tubes and I usually ship them with 6N1P's.  Of course the MK II can use a variety of output tubes, each with it's own charactor.  EL34's, 6550's, KT77's, KT88's.
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rayd
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #30 - 06/08/06 at 21:29:19
 
Steve, thanks for re-emphasizing the 61NP. This has been a "forgotten" tube in my rotation. I just got home from work and popped it in (a Sovtek). Man, you are right! This tube has warmed and lushed things up notch. I really like it so far. Amp is not even warmed up yet †:D

Thanks for the suggestion.

- Ray
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #31 - 06/08/06 at 21:32:37
 
Yes, I've been enjoying cryo'd 6N1Ps I got from Chazz for probably a year now.  For digital, this is the way to go for me.  Now for analog tape, I like me some 6922s in the EL34 Monoblocks.
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #32 - 06/08/06 at 23:17:52
 
Ok, so I blew an EL84 today. An old Mullard, got all distorted and raspy - sad.

So due to this thread I got out the stock assortment of tubes, Ruby rectifier, SV83ís and a Sovtek 6N1P.

Iíll listen like this for a while, few weeks maybe.

First impression is, itís more upfront in the midrange and has a sharp(er) edge.
Lush and warm? Thatís not what Iím hearing. The bass got lighter and/or thinner. And it got somewhat brighter. None of which is a bad thing. I like the change and like I said, Iíll listen like this for a while or for as long as I can.

I also put the stock tube back in my Scott Nixon too.

Hell, Maybe I should put the stock tubes back in my preamp too!


For reference: I was using a Mullard GZ32 rectifier, Mullard (Blackburn) EL84ís, Amprex 6922 PQ white label.  
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« Last Edit: 06/08/06 at 23:22:37 by bo »  
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charlieboy
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #33 - 06/08/06 at 23:37:13
 
[quote author=boead  link=1149544554/30#32 date=1149805072]


For reference: I was using a Mullard GZ32 rectifier, Mullard (Blackburn) EL84ís, Amprex 6922 PQ white label.  
[/quote]

That's a pretty nice lineup!
Grin
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rayd
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #34 - 06/08/06 at 23:56:37
 
[quote author=boead  link=1149544554/30#32 date=1149805072]
...
So due to this thread I got out the stock assortment of tubes, Ruby rectifier, SV83ís and a Sovtek 6N1P.
...

Iíll listen like this for a while, few weeks maybe.
First impression is, itís more upfront in the midrange and has a sharp(er) edge.
Lush and warm? Thatís not what Iím hearing. The bass got lighter and/or thinner.
[/quote]

Boead, my impression was similar on the bass - not so much lighter, but more like he stepped back a bit behind the band (or was buried deeper in the mix). On the plus side, imaging has improved and is more "locked" in and not "floaty" Smiley I'm using a cryoed NOS Raytheon "Uniline" 5U4GB.
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #35 - 06/09/06 at 01:19:08
 
[quote author=rayd  link=1149544554/30#34 date=1149807397]

Boead, my impression was similar on the bass - not so much lighter, but more like he stepped back a bit behind the band (or was buried deeper in the mix). On the plus side, imaging has improved and is more "locked" in and not "floaty" Smiley I'm using a cryoed NOS Raytheon "Uniline" 5U4GB. [/quote]
Its been just a couple of CDís and Iím not doing so well but in all fairness, Iíve been listening to my Select my way for along time and Iíve gotten use to it.
Rock benefits from the stock tubes, very lively!

I usually like my Jazz more laid back, but some instruments really do shine through. I may leave the SV83ís and 6N1P for a while but change the rectifier. Any suggestions or just grin and bear it?


I just went through my tube stash. Unlike others, I donít keep a ton of stuff. I sell what Iím not using and donít really want. About a year ago I sold off most of my tubes and just kept what I liked and what I though I might want. As well as lots of 'stock' tubes for gear I still have.

ē Ruby 5U4G (one unused from Steve about 2 years ago and the other the original one that came with the Select with the bass notched out)
ē RCA 5U4GB (orange lettering with black base, USA)
ē RCA 5V4G ST bottle (sm.), very nice looking with black base, USA.
ē RCA branded GZ32 made in Great Britain (R XXM1), sm. shoulder bottle.
ē Valve Electronics CV593 (GZ32 March 1967)
ē RCA 5U4G large ST bottle with black base, USA.

ē 6922 Ė pair of Amprex PQ white label, USA.
ē 6DJ8 Ė pair Amprex Bugle Boy, Holland (white)
ē 6DJ8 Ė Mullard, Blackburn short grey plates (classic white)
ē 6922 Ė Sovtek from a few years ago.
ē 6N1P - Sovtek from Steve two years ago.

ē EL84 Ė Mullard Blackburn classic 60ís. (I have 3 or 4 left)
ē EL84 EiElites (early 1990ís, pre war. (have 7 left)
ē SV83 Ė Svetlana, 2 are new from Steve two years ago. 4 are much older, two say 1994 on them.


I also have three awesome and rare Telefunken 12AX7ís, GAP/R computer long smooth plates. I really need to sell them.

I also have two Bugle Boy 12AX7ís with long ribbed grey plates which are maybe the best 12AX7 made in my opinion.

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« Last Edit: 06/09/06 at 02:27:34 by bo »  
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #36 - 06/09/06 at 02:49:14
 
Those of you who STILL haven't tried the military sv83 (6n15n-EB) are truly missing something special. They knock the socks off anything else in my CS, with the cryoed version being the topper. YMMV, of course.

I have an untried cryoed 6n1p to swap with the BB 6dj8 I've grown accustomed to in my CS. Will report soon.

Karl
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #37 - 06/09/06 at 12:18:54
 
[quote author=veryoldcat  link=1149544554/30#36 date=1149817754]Those of you who STILL haven't tried the military sv83 (6n15n-EB) are truly missing something special. They knock the socks off anything else in my CS, with the cryoed version being the topper. YMMV, of course.

I have an untried cryoed 6n1p to swap with the BB 6dj8 I've grown accustomed to in my CS. Will report soon.

Karl [/quote]

This site http://www.gstube.com has the 6n15n-EB for $5.50 each.
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #38 - 06/09/06 at 12:50:42
 
You're making me wish I had something to put it in! Wink
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #39 - 06/09/06 at 15:40:28
 
[quote author=Lon  link=1149544554/30#38 date=1149853842]You're making me wish I had something to put it in! Wink [/quote]

I don't have to tell you that's a loaded line  :)

Karl
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #40 - 06/09/06 at 16:15:17
 
Yes, as soon as I wrote it I realize how loaded that is. . . .

Wink
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #41 - 06/09/06 at 16:53:56
 
[quote author=boead  link=1149544554/30#37 date=1149851934]

This site http://www.gstube.com has the 6n15n-EB for $5.50 each.
[/quote]

Shipped direct from Russia, minimum order is $200.

Steve D., do you have these tubes?
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #42 - 06/09/06 at 17:32:32
 
Absolutely; the 6n15n-EB (the EB is seen as EV in the catalog, which is the same) are available from the Decware catalog. If I'm not mistaken, the newest CS amps ship with them.

If you can get a pair cryoed for comparison, the difference is completely surprising. Cryoed or uncryoed, it's an awesome tube, and is absolutely superior to the more lightly built "Svetlana" branded SV83 (imho).

Karl
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #43 - 06/09/06 at 18:21:11
 
[quote author=veryoldcat  link=1149544554/30#42 date=1149870752]Absolutely; the 6n15n-EB (the EB is seen as EV in the catalog, which is the same) are available from the Decware catalog. If I'm not mistaken, the newest CS amps ship with them.

If you can get a pair cryoed for comparison, the difference is completely surprising. Cryoed or uncryoed, it's an awesome tube, and is absolutely superior to the more lightly built "Svetlana" branded SV83 (imho).

Karl [/quote]


When seeing these tubes listed on a couple of different websites, there is an order number difference between the 6n15n-EB and the 6n15n-EV. Steve lists only the EV on his site and as replacement tubes for his components. They are not one in the same from what I gather.

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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #44 - 06/09/06 at 18:27:24
 
Iíve been working mostly at home these last few days. Good news has been being able to listen to hours upon hours of music without anyone home most of the day. I logged in a few dozen hours this week so far. Sweet Joy!

The stock tube assortment quickly grew on me. For Rock, Folk Rock, Pop or anything with a hard driving beat the tubes make the system nicely dynamic, fast(er) and a bit louder. Definitely not bright but certainly brighter then it was or at least more forward. NO shrill at all and not at all harsh or edgy. Clean, and transparent with a nice sparkle.
The Eddie Vaughn mods and Steveís final touches gave the amp a somewhat wider and deeper soundstage with more focus and micro detail, at least that was what the mods were intended to do. Eddie remembers the amp being very fast and detailed; he agreed that it was a good compliment to an all Mullard tube assortment which I used in the amp for some time after I got it back. It only went to Steve D. for a socket replacement which it desperately needed after bouts of mods and tube rolling.  He also made a few minor revisions to quiet it up a bit and calm it down a touch for me. It was on steroids and caffeine, poor thing. Steve gave it a couple of ludes and sent her on her way back home.

You really canít say anything bad about how it sounds wit the stock tubes. It does everything well, nicely refined and the price? Forgetaboutit! As usual, the Zen is worth many times its selling price and has the ability to alter its sound to taste with tube and cables rolls. Thatís key for any amp. Some designers make it a STRONG point to say that there circuit isn't susceptible to tube and cable rolls due to ultra low impedance and other techniques. To some extent thatís not such a good thing, means you are more forced with the sound you got and if you donít like it, you canít do much about it except sell the amp and try another one.

Of the tube rectifiers I have listed above, what sound most like the Ruby?
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« Last Edit: 06/09/06 at 19:43:50 by bo »  
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brettjm
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #45 - 06/09/06 at 18:31:08
 
Very classic looking, nice job Steve!
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #46 - 06/09/06 at 19:33:41
 
[quote author=boead  link=1149544554/30#43 date=1149873671]


When seeing these tubes listed on a couple of different websites, there is an order number difference between the 6n15n-EB and the 6n15n-EV. Steve lists only the EV on his site and as replacement tubes for his components. They are not one in the same from what I gather.

[/quote]


[quote author=Obi-Vaughn Kentubi  link=1130378877/0#4 date=1130477070]The two are different. The 6n15nEB (or EV) is the primo military type. The "standard" version that Svetlana (SED St. Petersburg) branded as the SV83 back when is the 6n15nM. The 6n14n (also can be labeled 6P14P) is a true EL84 type, and the same extra EV or EB suffixes mean the premium military version.

The 6n14n/6P14P has lower transconductance, slightly higher plate resistance, a higher screen grid rating (thicker screen grid wire), and has the suppressor grid wired internally to the cathode, whereas the 6n15nM's suppressor grid is externally accessible via pins 1 and 6.

This means that when you run an SV83 in your Decware amp, the suppressor grid is not being used. But when using an EL84, it is. The SV83 operates with less distortion and more like a "real" triode with the suppressor not connected. Besides the obvious differences in electrical characteristics, this is one of the reasons that SV83s and EL84s sound so completely different in Decware amps.

Linearity is another. The EL84 makes a highly linear strapped triode. The SV83 makes an insanely linear strapped triode. Add to that the absence of the suppressor grid operation and the excellent linearity of the 6N1P, and you get a SE amp that's very clean sounding without using global negative feedback.

Eddie Smiley [/quote]

I thought I'd repost an Eddie Vaughn comment concerning the EB vs. the EV designation, not to prove anyone right or wrong, but just because there seems to be quite a bit of general interest in these particular valves.

Maybe they're the same but come from different factories, or one of those deals? The group buy of military sv83's that "gnat leader" so graciously assisted with last year have the 6n15n "EB" designation.

Anyhow...

Karl
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« Last Edit: 06/09/06 at 19:54:52 by veryoldcat »  
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Rap
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #47 - 06/09/06 at 20:17:18
 
I have the Ebīs and gz32īs and am a Mister Content for now.
Wonderfull bass and seperation (though my new 650 sq fett room is prooving a bit problematic) So pip pip Ebīs all the way
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Yoda
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #48 - 06/09/06 at 20:45:02
 
Beautiful amp.  Am curious if there are PS differences between the Original CS and the ZS?

Consider me on board for a kit/plate CSP2 as soon as that is available.

Matt
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DukeJupiter
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #49 - 06/10/06 at 13:00:59
 
The new amp looks great.  I would guess that the plate layout is much easier to wire since the builder doesn't have to deal with the sides of the former box getting in the way.

It would be great to get a look inside to see how the layout changed (just curious).  Are the first 10 sold yet, because I'm nibbling on the hook of that $799 introductory price.

DUKE!
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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #50 - 06/10/06 at 17:10:26
 
[quote author=Yoda  link=1149544554/45#48 date=1149882302]Beautiful amp.  Am curious if there are PS differences between the Original CS and the ZS?

Consider me on board for a kit/plate CSP2 as soon as that is available.

Matt [/quote]


Thank you.  There are no power supply differences other then the power transformer itself is significantly larger to meet world voltage and C.E. specifications.

The plate does offer provisions for up to one choke per channel which would no doubt have interesting effects, but there is an art to power supply design and while appearing overly simple, the original power supply design is largely responsible for the signature and performance characteristics of the amp.  The SE84CS has a long and proven track record of being "just right" so it would be foolish to change it at this point.


BTW - The owners manual is now completed and online.  Here is a direct link to the manual.  It is in a .pdf format (875K)

http://www.decware.com/ZSmanual.pdf






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« Last Edit: 06/10/06 at 21:32:31 by Steve Deckert »  
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Pyewacket
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #51 - 06/12/06 at 13:57:14
 
Can the MK II have the same base as the new ZS?
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #52 - 06/13/06 at 02:01:50
 
You can the same base for the TORII Mk II, yes.

Steve
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primetime
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #53 - 06/19/06 at 14:11:14
 
New amp looks great.  Question - where is the bias switch?
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #54 - 06/22/06 at 02:37:55
 
In an effort to further improve the sonics the bias switch has been eliminated.  The tube is now biased exactly inbetween the two original settings of the prior model. So far I believe this was a wise decision, time will tell.
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primetime
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #55 - 06/22/06 at 19:37:50
 
[quote author=Steve Deckert  link=1150659727/45#54 date=1150940275]In an effort to further improve the sonics the bias switch has been eliminated. †The tube is now biased exactly inbetween the two original settings of the prior model. So far I believe this was a wise decision, time will tell. [/quote]

Good news - I always felt the laid back position was too laid back and the forward position was too forward and often wondered if the amp could be custom biased in the "middle".  For that reason alone, I may just sell the C I have buy the new amp just to get the "right" signature being the anal listener I am (we are).
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chrisby
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #56 - 06/22/06 at 22:12:57
 
[quote author=primetime  link=1150659727/45#55 date=1151001470]

Good news - I always felt the laid back position was too laid back and the forward position was too forward and often wondered if the amp could be custom biased in the "middle".  For that reason alone, I may just sell the C I have buy the new amp just to get the "right" signature being the anal listener I am (we are).
[/quote]


or just bypass (or repurpose) the switch and install the revised value cathode resistors
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lightmaster
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #57 - 06/25/06 at 21:03:38
 
what are the values of the 3 different bias resistors?
and is the effect linear or exponential so to say.

I also thought the forward position too aggressive and the back too recessed and always wished something 2/3 towards the forward position

(man this is an obsession, some of my friends think I am mental when I talk about some details I do care for in my system, but at least HERE I am in GOOD COMPANY I guess Smiley

f

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« Last Edit: 06/25/06 at 21:04:12 by lightmaster »  
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boead
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #58 - 07/01/06 at 18:25:06
 
[quote author=Steve Deckert  link=1150659727/15#20 date=1149721775]I'd be willing to bet everyone who's just stated their Select's are not warm and lush but rather just the opposite are not using the 6N1P from the factory tube compliment.  Rather you got suckered into more detail and better focus of NOS 6922's and or 6DJ8's.  So basically your amps sound the way you made them sound.  ;) [/quote]

You know I hate it when Steve D. is always right!

Iíve had my Select for a couple of years as it is now, somewhat modified.

I lived with the combination of a GZ32 rectifier, a pair of Mullard EL84ís and Amprex PQ white label 6922.  

I decided to live with all the stock tubes, which I did for a couple of weeks. I first tried replacing the Ruby, it has too much mechanical noise and besides all the other NOS rectifiers I tried sounded better, even just a little. For whatever reason the GZ32 (I have two) sounds a little more transparent and has a little more weight and bass that I like.

I then rolled through input tubes, slowly.
I tried a classic Bugle Boy 6DJ8, Amprex PQ 6922, Mullard (Blackburn) 6DJ8, Sovtek 6N1P.
The 6N1P is the overall best at compromise. Its sound is well balanced. It has nice weight and bass, not as tight as the Amprex tubes but fuller but not as full as the Mullard, although the Mullard can be a bit soft and mushy (like an Elephant), its rich and tubey. The 6N1Pís high end is clear and detailed but maybe a little dry (no grit or sharp edge when its sometimes needed) but still never too bright or raspy. The Amprexís top end is a little too edgy and doesnít quite extend as high as the 6N1P although its very transparent and has clearly has MORE detail then the 6N1P. The Mullard has the least amount of high end detail and at times is almost veiled, at times its pleasant and very musical but other times it obviously lacking detail.
The midrange/vocal range of the 6N1P is somewhat back, a little dark and quiet. Nicely transparent, good weight but is lacks tight focus in the sound stage, overall more forgiving. The Amprexís were both more upfront and more detailed, somewhat congested at times and overly revealing. Focus is very tight on the PQ and although the sound stage is tighter and more defined spatially the overall width and depth appears smaller then the 6N1P. Male vocalist have SO much detail and nuance itís very alluring. The Mullard has an almost creamy midrange, although lacking detail its so darn musical. Soundstage is big, wide and deep, and very transparent and a row or two back from the 6N1P.

The Mullard is by far the most musical and make nearly everything you play sound good! If youíre listening critically to well recorded music, itís not as detailed or as focused and could be considered bass heavy, classic tube sound.

The 6N1P is the best balanced and compromising. Not the best at anything but it might be the best tube for the amp. I keep going back to it, its musical, detailed and enjoyable to listen, especially when rolling through all different types of music.

The Amprex PQ is great but can be most critical of material. Lots and lots of detail, less full and abundant bass a pronounced midrange and high end thatís not bright. Very tight top to bottom but can be a little edgy, raspy and overly revealing.

The Amprex BBoy is much like the Amprex PQ but more relaxed with a brighter top end. Sometimes it comes across as the best compromise but I like the darkness in my system. I recently introduced a PS Audio Juice Bar which is no more then a good quality 6 outlet power strip with no protection or filtering at all. You can roll power cords to the bar that has a profound effect on the entire system. I gained a lot more detail and a more upfront presentation by eliminating the power conditioner for the preamp and all sources. The amp is always plugged directly into the all. Iím trying different power cords on the CD Player, one that has a cap inline and does some very basic and mild filtering (K-Works brand) that I like a lot so far.


Changing Rectifiers has its own effects but as Iíve said the GZ32 is really the only one I seem to like for any extended time.

Next Iíll roll through power tubes. Iím down to just the SV83ís, EiElite EL84ís and a pair of Blackburn Mullard EL84ís. Iím expecting to like the SV83ís best.


I have plenty of time on my hands, off of work till Wednesday and Iíve been working home since Tuesday.

Anyone hear about the floods in New York? My family (wife, kids, dogs) are in Delaware County on a vacation in a house we own in town. The town was completely flooded with over 3 feet of rain water that breached many of the local reservoirs. Our old house is built high so no water made it into the first floor but the town is devastated. National Guard are fixing sewer and water (fixed as of this morning), handing out water and food. Until today you couldnít get in or out of the area, most roads were too highly damaged.

My Van filled with water halfway up the seats and the soonest I can get a rental van is Monday!

So Iím home listening to music.


Itís amazing what a couple of Tanqueray and tonics will do to the sound stage.


Happy 4th

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Hotsauce
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #59 - 07/01/06 at 18:59:11
 
Yeah, flooding was bad in places.  I had my yellow submarine in some deep water, but not up past the bottom of the doors.

John C.
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #60 - 07/01/06 at 19:28:42
 
Sorry to hear about the flooding guys.

Yeah, I've been using cryo'd 6N1Ps I got from Chazz in the EL84 Monoblocks and they replaced Siemens 6DJ8s that are sweet but. . . the 6N1Ps are very balanced.  And give me better bass.

I don't know what they are. . .they aren't Sovteks and they aren't Svetlanas.
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selmerdave
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #61 - 07/01/06 at 22:02:43
 
I put my 6n1p back in my amp after Steve made that post, and I have to say it's not there now.  I left it for a good week or so, with a fair amount of use so there are no burn-in issues (it also was used for the first 6 mo. or so that I had the amp).  In a certain way it sounds sweet or something, but IMO not in a way that I like.  There is sweet and better like I got by putting the PIO coupling caps in my amp, and then there is just warm and foggy that I seem to get with the 6n1p.  It is in some respects very easy to listen to, but it seems to accomplish this by sucking the life out of the music and putting a thin veil over it.  I put a few different 6dj8's back in (Amperex Bugle Boy, Mullard, Siemens 6922) and they all sound warm and clear and detailed and pleasing.  No negatives with respect to the 6n1p and quite a few positives, the life is back in the music.

Just my opinion of course.

Dave

500 ft. from the high-point in Brooklyn
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« Last Edit: 07/01/06 at 22:03:12 by selmerdave »  
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #62 - 07/01/06 at 22:20:37
 
Dave,

Not all 6N1Ps are created equally.  I much prefer the sound of these I have from Chazz to the others I've tried.  I definitely preferred my Siemens to the Svetlana or Sovtek variety . . . . But then I'm using different amps to the Select as well.

Anyway, the beauty of the amps and tube tech in general is that you can find what you like by rolling.  Roll on. . . !
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selmerdave
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #63 - 07/01/06 at 22:35:43
 
I agree, and I'm not saying that others will necessarily prefer what I prefer.  But I guess I was making the comparison based on Steve's comment with regard to the 6n1p supplied stock with the Zen amp.

And I'm certainly not saying he's wrong, just that I'm one person that doesn't agree.

Dave
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #64 - 07/01/06 at 23:25:21
 
Ah Dave, I knew you weren't calling Steve a BIG FAT LIAR!

That is someone else's job! Wink
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sh1232
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #65 - 07/02/06 at 13:46:39
 
Sad I LOVE the laid back position of my C. †Admittedly, I have had decent rooms to put the system so far. †I will miss it, when my wife lets me upgrade.

SH

[quote author=Steve Deckert  link=1150659727/45#54 date=1150940275]In an effort to further improve the sonics the bias switch has been eliminated. †The tube is now biased exactly inbetween the two original settings of the prior model. So far I believe this was a wise decision, time will tell. [/quote]
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #66 - 07/02/06 at 15:41:00
 
Agreed:  Laid back is the best position on the Select that I loved for so many years. . . FOR ME.  I think I could live happily (and tube roll) with a position halfway towards aggressive, but not the forward/aggressive position.
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #67 - 07/02/06 at 17:15:27
 
I also almost never use the aggressive bias, but also prefer the laid back position. The rare occasion for using the high bias position has been when listening really really late at night, and everything is turned down to a vanishingly low volume. Extreme low volume listening can be a smidgen better in the high bias position once in a great while. It's still not a favorite sound, though, and wouldn't be missed.

If ordering the select in the newest chassis, I'd probably call and have the bias customized to the original laid back setting. For me it would be a speaker issue, as my 98's are already very live and up front enough as it is, and benefit from the current low bias position.

Back to the 6n1p for a driver in the select. I recently acquired a cryoed version of the military type 6n1p. Having used the exact same tube before cryoing, it seems a great deal better. It still surprises me this cryo thing would make such an obvious positive difference. It still doesn't quite beat the BB 6dj8, but I could live with it. Somehow, the 6dj8 has better mid range texture, especially with piano recordings, but going to keep the 6n1p in place to burn in for another week or two of evaluation.

Karl

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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #68 - 07/02/06 at 17:58:40
 
Hey Karl, I found MY cryo'd 6N1Ps to take a LONG time to burn in.  Seems weird, but yeah, give it some time and I think it will bloom. . . .
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veryoldcat
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #69 - 07/02/06 at 18:13:30
 
Thnx Lon,

On your advice it seems like a good idea to leave the 6n1p in for a bit longer without rolling, and see what happens after maybe a month or so. The cryoed 6n1p is certainly encouraging me to give it a try as it's a lot more vivid sounding. It sounds "basically" the same, but in its uncryoed state was definitely hazier; using the BB 6dj8 as reference. We'll see???

Karl
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rayd
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #70 - 07/03/06 at 12:24:10
 
Did you guys notice a drop in bass with the 6N1P? Mine was very noticeable - not only a drop in bass but it seemed it was pushed "back" in the mix as well. Weird... I left it in for awhile (a few weeks) but popped it out and went with a mid-70's JAN/Sylvania 6DJ8 I haven't listened to in quite some time. I'm liking this better. †:) Worth experimenting with it though.
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« Last Edit: 07/03/06 at 12:25:39 by rayd »  
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #71 - 07/03/06 at 12:35:26
 
To the contrary, I get the best bass with this 6N1P.  The Svetlana 6NiP was very light on the bass, the Sovtek had bass but the highs were rougher; this cryo'd military 6N1P is just right.  (For me and my monoblocks).
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selmerdave
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #72 - 07/03/06 at 14:34:27
 
Don't think I noticed any difference in the bass.

Dave
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #73 - 07/03/06 at 17:18:17
 
[quote author=Lon  link=1150659727/60#71 date=1151926526]To the contrary, I get the best bass with this 6N1P.  The Svetlana 6NiP was very light on the bass, the Sovtek had bass but the highs were rougher; this cryo'd military 6N1P is just right.  (For me and my monoblocks). [/quote]

I wrote an article on tubes that I'm still deciding if I will publish... probably will...  One of the points it tries to get accross is that we worry too much about brands without realizing the same brand tube can sound differernt from batch to batch.

ALL SV83/6P15P output tubes AND all 6N1P signal tubes that we find were made by a Factory in Russia called REFLEKTOR around 1986.

There were two basic flavors of the 6N1P, one was a milspec version with plated pins, one was not.  Both are good.  Sovtek, and Svetlana are marketing names painted on these tubes.  There is no difference between them.  In other words, they are the same tube.  We have been buying ours  directly from Russia so they carry no fancy name painted on the glass, only the original Reflektor logo.

So when you read that the exact same tube sounds different because one has Sovtek painted on the glass and the other has Svetlana you have to wonder how this is possible.  I mean if you need more bass just scrape off the paint that says Svetlana and replace it with paint that says Sovtek I guess...

No I'm not picking on Lon, I'm just setting things up for the article I plan to publish since it offers some possible explinations for just this type of thing.
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Mike W
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #74 - 07/03/06 at 17:57:42
 
Quote:
I mean if you need more bass just scrape off the paint that says Svetlana and replace it with paint that says Sovtek I guess...


If this works I will repaint all mine to say Mullard...... Smiley
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #75 - 07/03/06 at 19:21:40
 
I don't know Steve, I have three different tubes that sound different, decidedly so, in the same machine. †That's weird ass bad quality control if nothing else! †And the Svetlana and the Sovtek appear to me to be structurally different (there are a number of years between them in purchase length, maybe they were in fact different manufacture?)

(I can't go and physically compare them; I've been away from home for two months and will be away from home for a few more months.  It sucks.)

I'm not saying you're not right, I am saying. . .looks like big quality control problems to me then. †And a crap shoot as to what you're going to get.
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« Last Edit: 07/03/06 at 19:22:46 by Lon »  
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #76 - 07/04/06 at 16:04:26
 
Hey Lon and ALL!! Chazz is B-B-Baaaack - ack ack ack!
So nice to drop in after nearly a two year hiatus and find my name still remembered for my humble attempts to discover better input tube (the cryo'd 6N1P-EB, mil-spec) and of course you remember my dollar-per-foot (shipped) Belden cryo'd Cat6 in white/green only least twisted pair?

Anyway, a funny thing happened recently. †Two years ago I sold my highly modded Torii Amp to Chip in the great NW. †Well, he contacted me after all this time to say mixing hot tubes and babies good music don't make and he offered to sell me back my Torii and I bought it back -- just arrived and have still to fire it back up again. †I only sold it in the firstplace because I had bought all overbuilt parts to make the same amp again, but with valve rectification -- similar to what Steve now has in the Torii II -- wonder how Steve did away with the feedback??? †Must be the 0A3 regulator - lol.

Anyway, thought to post here on the mil-spec 6N1P-EV or EB.
Yup, I bought maybe 50 or so of these way back when from a university professor in Hungary, as I recall. Then had them cry'd here in the states. †Chip - who bought my Torii two years ago, said recently that he tried a bunch of other input tubes, but finally settled on these cryo'd 6N1P-EV tubes I sent him with the amp as best, overall. †I'm not surprised, as that was my take as well. †Maybe Steve is right about batch quality -- if that is so, I'll be keeping most of what I have left for myself †;D

I'd really like to finally make my bigger version of the Torii, but bought my old modded Torii back to enjoy until then.

Anyway, great to be back and hello again to one and all.

Steve, is that Torii II schematic proprietary? †I'm sure you remember I was the first (maybe only) guy to build a Torii from the box of parts and your hand-drawn schematic?

Thanks to all for a great forum Smiley.

Chas †
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« Last Edit: 07/04/06 at 16:17:14 by Chas »  
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #77 - 07/04/06 at 17:14:21
 
Chas!

GREAT to see you back!  

Ah. . .sigh of relief. . . old friends coming back. . . it's good! Grin
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Chas
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #78 - 07/04/06 at 19:55:52
 
Lon,

Thanks for the welcome back †;)

You know, I just noticed I registered for this forum exactly five years ago -- wow! how time flies. †And then I bought my first ever tube kit - the Zen Select, built it, and it fired-up just great on first plug-in.

Decware products have been the best investment of my life --along with my association with all here and especially Steve Deckert who helped me along the way in my projects.

Let me explain. †Though I hold an Extra Class Ham Radio license, I never built much of anything - until my Select kit.
Getting one of the first CS kits meant instructions were not really too optimized, so ..... I finally taught myself to read schematics and voila - great confidence ensued.

I then not only finished my Select amp nicely, but later ordered the first Torii kit, helped fine tune the schematic Steve drew just for me, experimented with various ss rectifiers, coupling caps, by-pass caps, power caps, chokes, resistor values, feedback options and ended-up with one heck of a good amp.

But the real reason this has been such a good investment is that what I learned directly translated into my being hired as a "self-taught" electrician to work in the GE Wind Power division and this led quickly to my being promoted to my present position as a Project Manager making very healthy coin.

Now, how's that for an investment that not only sounds good, but makes itself valuable in other ways, too!! † †:D
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #79 - 07/04/06 at 20:30:37
 
Chas!  That's great!  I bet you have fun, and wind power is a good thing!  Thanks for sharing, that's a great Decware story!
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Chas
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #80 - 07/06/06 at 02:02:25
 
Lon, †Speaking of my nice 6NiP-EB cryo'd tubes, which are overall the best I've heard in my Torii I amp, I've decided to take a tip from Steve in another post and bought a few 6H2N (Russian Spelling)/6N2P-EB vintage 1974 (the ones with the missile on the side and which read OTK7 for military use). †The EB version is less microphonic and generally better spec'd, built and with a much longer life of 5000 hours. †Steve says these 6N2P tubes have twice the gain (through two triode stages, overall gain, I think of a 6N1P, but he was speaking of a 12AX7, initially) and that may be interesting in my Torii which could use the extra gain as I did not build-in the extra pre-amp stage. †The pics on ebay showed it as very well built. † I am having my four cryo'd and will report back on this site if they are much to talk about. †;D
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« Last Edit: 07/06/06 at 02:05:24 by Chas »  
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Lon
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Re: NEW Decware Amplifier
Reply #81 - 07/06/06 at 02:21:40
 
Do report back.  I just love to get all envious of the great cryo'd tubes of  others.  >:(










Smiley

Sound like a good plan. Chas the adventurer, the "doer". . . he's BAAACK.
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