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Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205 (Read 5507 times)
Jolojl
Ex Member



Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
08/28/06 at 12:12:48
 
Hi!

I'm currently using a NOS DAC (Derek Shek) with a T-Amp and a pair of original Snell K (90 db/w). Digital and analog cables are DH Labs and speaker cables are Anti-Cables. Listening room is about 15 X 12 feet. I rarely have the volume pot on the T-Amp at more than nine o'clock.

I'm planning on getting a used tube amp in exchange of the T-Amp. I want to keep soundstage, details, transparence and most importantly the PRaT (as the English say) and have a couple of options, the Decware Taboo, Triode and the Almarro A205. What I'm looking for in a tube amp is a sense of "reality" and "presence" in the delivery. Before deciding I need to know a bit more on the Decwares (and the Almarro). Please feel free to comment or give advice.

- Would the Triode be powerful enough for the Snells?
- Are there any sonic differences between the Taboo and the Triode or is it just a matter of power?
- I live in Sweden and we have 220V as standard voltage. There are more 110V Decwares available used than 220V. Can one use a 110V version with a transformer without affecting the sound quality of the amp?
- I've seen a Decware SE84 CS on Audiogon for sale but can't find any information on the site on this item. Is it a very old or a special issue of the Zen Triode?
- I suppose this is the wrong forum for this question but I put it anyway Smiley How do the two Decwares above compare with the Almarro A205 with regard to what I'm looking for (PRaT and presence, for instance)?

Please feel free to comment!
Jolojl
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msa
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #1 - 08/28/06 at 14:59:30
 
I've owned bot the Taboo and Almarro. They are very similar, but the tubed rectifier in the former makes it the winner for me since changing that rectifier can affect the sound and allows a bit of tuning. The Taboo is only 5 wpc. That may not be enough to drive your Snell's (90db) particularly for a tight bass, which I believe is a requirement for "prat". If you are going to keep those speakers, i would recommend an 845-based SET or a push-pull amp with at least 25wpc. Good luck.
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selmerdave
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #2 - 08/29/06 at 14:02:19
 
Hi Jololj,

I really don't think the Zen triode would be enough power for your Snells.  But then it might sound good enough to convince you to get different speakers.

The SE84CS is the "Select" version of Zen triode, it was offered for several years and I believe may have been most popular Decware amp.  It uses a different rectifier, better coupling caps and is biased slightly differently from the SE84C.  It also has a higher quality chassis.

I haven't heard a Taboo but from what I understand the sound is not the same as the triode amps.  The reports suggest it is a little more transparent sounding, and perhaps a bit more detailed.  It may have enough power for your Snells, but I would think it is close to the borderline.

Couldn't tell you about the Almarro, I haven't heard one, but they seem like well-made amps.  

What about the Torii II?

Dave
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Jolojl
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #3 - 08/29/06 at 19:58:03
 
Hi msa and Dave! Thanks for your feedback!

The tuning option on the Taboo is a very good reason for getting that amp instead of an Almarro! Hmm... A minimum of 25W makes the options a bit more expensive...

Sorry to hear that the Zen triode would not have enough power. I'm really fond of the Snells and will keep them in any case even thoigh I plan to get some kind of single driver speaker in the near future, more efficient than the Snells.

I'd like to try a Torii II but that's way out of my budget  (which is about 500 USD incl. shipping) Sad

Many things seems to point me towards trying a Taboo. Now I just need to find one. BTW, I got the response from an informed source that a step-down voltage transformer actually gives better power than normal power. That's good, I can now get any 110V version I want  :)

Thanks again for your comments and advice!
Jolojl
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Sam in USA
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #4 - 08/29/06 at 20:59:54
 
Hi jololj

If you don't listen to your music very loud, Taboo will drive the 90dB speakers fine. Before I had Decware RL3.0s, I drove 89dB Polk R30s with my Taboo without any problem.   Smiley

Sam
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Jolojl
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #5 - 08/30/06 at 15:14:46
 
Hi Sam!

I don't play my music extremly loud, even though I have some volume (usually the T-Amp is at nine o'clock, and that's enough to get the neighbours annoyed, unfortunately ...).

The Triode is still an option then, great!

Thanks for your feedback!
Jolojl
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selmerdave
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #6 - 08/30/06 at 15:32:30
 
Jolojl, the Taboo is not a triode, just trying to make sure you don't get confused.  The SE84 triode amps will not annoy the neighbors with 90db speakers, we're talking about 90db peaks being the top listening volume.  The Taboo is closer to 5 or 6 watts which should do better.

Dave
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Sam in USA
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #7 - 08/30/06 at 15:43:32
 
[quote author=Jolojl  link=1156767168/0#5 date=1156947286]Hi Sam!

The Triode is still an option then, great!

Thanks for your feedback!
Jolojl [/quote]

As Selmardave said, the Taboo is NOT a triode, it's a pentode. It has about 3 times more power than the triode  :)
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Jolojl
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #8 - 08/30/06 at 15:56:12
 
Hi selmerdave and Sam!

Sorry! And thanks  :)

Actually I wasn't confusing the Triode with the Taboo, I was misreading Sam's Taboo as a Triode.

So unfortunately I won't keep the Triode on the list while the Taboo will stay.

Jolojl
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Mike W
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #9 - 08/31/06 at 02:19:58
 
I have some 90db B&W matrix 803's. I tried the Zen triode and the Vaughn Carina (ultralinear at about 3.5 watts) and finally settled on a CJ push pull for the best sound with those speakers. The small amps were just not enough for the power hungry B&W's. From what I have read in reviews and such the Snell is a hard speaker to drive as well.

Just my 2 cents.....good luck. The Decware amps are very good but I do not believe you can hear what they can really do until mated with the right speaker which would be one that has high sensitivity (>94db) and with a simple or better yet no crossover.
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Jolojl
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #10 - 08/31/06 at 18:46:22
 
Hi Mike!

Thanks for your input! This is really difficult: I get different answers from different people. I've understood that the Triode won't be powerful enough but I still hoped the Taboo would. Now according to you (and others at other sites) neither the Taboo or the Almarro would be enough. But I'm not sure, my T-Amp works just fine with the Snells and I don't think that these are such a heavy load (it's the original Ks).

Also it seems difficult to find a used Taboo or A205. Maybe I'll have a look at some Jolida or Sophia Baby, or even a vintage Scott or Fisher. I just wished it was possible to audition the various units, but that's the bad part of this "hobby": never possible to audition enough of the gear you're looking at...

Best,
Jolojl
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DaveCan
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #11 - 08/31/06 at 19:18:05
 
 Hi Jolojl,

  I just recieved my new Aniversary Taboo this past weekend and have been held captive by it ever since. My cd player only puts out 2volts so the Taboo won't come up to full power, but still gets loud enough for my listening habit's.
  The thing with your Snells is that you will loose some rms power of whatever amp you use in the crossovers of your speakers
  I never got to try out the Taboo before I bought it, I just asked questions and researched it and made a decision to get one. I'm using 90db 1w1m single drivers no xovers and it's loud enough for me but YMMV. Sound quality wise I can whole heartily recommend this amp to anyone, it's very good and in a class by itself.  What are your speakers rated at and also your T-amp?
    Dave Smiley
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« Last Edit: 08/31/06 at 19:19:15 by DaveCan »  
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planet10
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #12 - 08/31/06 at 22:26:51
 
Dave

I think its time to get that listening session we've been threatening togther.

RH84 vrs Taboo. Pentode vrs Pentode. and i guess we should throw in the triode EL84 El Cheapo too.

and a chance to listen to the BIBs.

dave
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« Last Edit: 08/31/06 at 22:30:57 by planet10 »  
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planet10
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #13 - 08/31/06 at 22:29:55
 
Jolojl,

What T-Amp do you have?

dave
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Jolojl
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #14 - 09/01/06 at 11:29:32
 
Hi DaveCan and planet10!

I use a regular and unmoddified SI T-Amp. I think it's rated at 2 X 5 W at 8 ohm. My Snells are 90 db/w and 8 ohm (I think). As mentioned I have no volume problem, and when I changed to Anti-Cables bass response reappeared (along with better mids and highs, and soundstage, and imaging, and music, and ...   Smiley ).

I envy you a little bit DaveCan for your Taboo  :)

Planet10: the SI T-Amp is being changed and if I can't get hold of a Taboo or an Almarro I'll get a DIY Paradise Charlize.

All the best,
Jolojl
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DaveCan
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #15 - 09/01/06 at 15:04:31
 
[quote author=Jolojl . I think it's rated at 2 X 5 W at 8 ohm. My Snells are 90 db/w and 8 ohm (I think). As mentioned I have no volume problem, and when I changed to Anti-Cables bass response reappeared (along with better mids and highs, and soundstage, and imaging, and music, and ...   Smiley ).

I envy you a little bit DaveCan for your Taboo  :)

 Well it took me a long time to get one and alot of hard work to put the money aside. I wanted to build a system that I would feel comfortable with and not feel I needed to upgrade all the time ( money doesn't come easy for me). With the Taboo and my fe108 drivers I feel I've made good permanent choices. All I need now to do this combo justice is get a cd player thats worthy, and that is my next and hopefully final purchase.

  Sounds like you would have no problem with the 2x6w at 8ohm of the Taboo.
                                    Dave Smiley
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chrisby
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #16 - 09/01/06 at 16:48:45
 
[quote author=DaveCan  link=1156767168/15#15 date=1157119471][quote author=Jolojl . I think it's rated at 2 X 5 W at 8 ohm. My Snells are 90 db/w and 8 ohm (I think). As mentioned I have no volume problem, and when I changed to Anti-Cables bass response reappeared (along with better mids and highs, and soundstage, and imaging, and music, and ...   Smiley ).

I envy you a little bit DaveCan for your Taboo  :)

 Well it took me a long time to get one and alot of hard work to put the money aside. I wanted to build a system that I would feel comfortable with and not feel I needed to upgrade all the time ( money doesn't come easy for me). With the Taboo and my fe108 drivers I feel I've made good permanent choices. All I need now to do this combo justice is get a cd player thats worthy, and that is my next and hopefully final purchase.

  Sounds like you would have no problem with the 2x6w at 8ohm of the Taboo.

Dave Smiley [/quote]



Dave:  no argument from this quarter that any Zen amp / Fostex FR combination is a very good choice

but tubed audio, "permanent choices" ,  and "final purchase"  is  at the least improbable, if not an oxymoron   Kiss


hope to see ya this weekend at Daves

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« Last Edit: 09/01/06 at 16:49:22 by chrisby »  
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DaveCan
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #17 - 09/02/06 at 04:14:14
 
Your right chrisby, I'm already thinking the CSP2 along with a worthy cd player and a tuner would be what I want as a complete system  :'(   I need a better wallet in my back pocket mines all scrawny!!!     Dave Smiley
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stone_of_tone
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #18 - 09/12/06 at 12:17:06
 
Jolojl, I run Polk LS90's 90db 8ohm with a #76 Zen Select.  The key is/as with your Snells is an appropriate small room acoustically treated, you in the dialed in sweet spot, the speakers tweaked with tip toes and vibropods underneath them.  I listen at 74 to 78db SPL with these speakers which is plenty loud (in my room/size).  
What do they deliver over high efficiency?  For me, better timbre and resonance of instruments with an organic quality and of course great imaging is there and soundstage depth and width....and not just with my best recordings!  However, if you need a higher SPL and are in 24 by 17 room and can't treat the walls you need a little more power.  

Stone of Tone
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Jolojl
Ex Member



Re: Decware Taboo or Triode or Almarro A205
Reply #19 - 09/12/06 at 15:52:12
 
Hi stone_of_tone, DaveCan and chrisby for your comments!

I've had an ad out to buy a Taboo or an Almarro and when I didn't receive any answer I ordered a Charlize (I received one offer on an Almarro but then it was too late  :( ). Hopefully Charlize will arrive this week (with Black Gates instead of Elna Smiley ). I haven't given up on the Taboo (stone_of_tone: I think this is the integrated I will try, just to be on the safe side) or the Almarro, speciallly not now when I'm hoping to get hold of a pair of vintage Tannoy Monitor Gold 10''. But a tube amp has to wait for a month or two, at least. And maybe I will start looking at combining a tube pre with Charlize (if I fall in love with her, that is...). Any comments on adding a tube pre to the Charlize?  ???

Jolojl
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