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New Zen owner - dazed and confused (Read 7294 times)
kdwhite
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #15 - 03/05/07 at 16:54:32
 
An Update

Forte tweeters were blown.  (Duh...)  Replaced diaphragms.

Of course, replaced old speaker cables w/ 10 gauge stranded copper.  

Replaced caps and resistor in crossovers.  Hovland in mid and hig, Solen electrolytic in bass.  Kept stock coils.

All new wiring in speaker cabinets.  Internal wiring is much like ZenRope now.

Everything is working as it should now.  Each repair/upgrade made a significant improvement.  The little SE84ZS amp is really starting to shine.

It's been a learning experience.  It was well worth the trip and the effort!
KD
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selmerdave
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #16 - 03/05/07 at 18:53:17
 
Glad to hear it KD, congrats.

Dave
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Altec 604E's in MLTL cabs biamped w/Rane AC-22
Zen Select on HF
Radio Craftsmen RC-2's on LF
Eico HF-85
VPI HW-19 Mk II, Sonus arm, Grado Gold
CAL Tercet mK IV
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kdwhite
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #17 - 03/09/07 at 17:41:46
 
Another update Smiley

I found my copy of Joe's Garage.  (When you have teenagers, you sometimes have to search for your CDs!)  I've been wanting hear that one since I've not listened to it in a loooong time.

With the crossover upgrade, the "higher bias" switch position sounds pretty good.  I've been listening in that mode most of the time since the crossover upgrade to Hovland caps.  I was surprised at the volume levels acheivable with that particular CD!  The ZEN amp rocks!

The SE84ZS can really drive the Fortes to considerable levels without clipping.  Anyone that doesn't believe that just hasn't experienced it.  It took me awhile to get things right and also the amp needed time to settle in.  Now I am just amazed.

I also tried some SACDs.  Yes, this format DOES make a difference.

I am very happy with my little ZEN amp, now.  It's time to just listen to the music and see how more hours on the amp (and the new crossovers) develops over time.

The next project is a dedicated listening room.  The wife has decided that the best solution is to build a studio out back.  Well... I guess I'll give in to that one. Wink
KD
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MikeW
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #18 - 03/09/07 at 17:51:51
 
Joe's Garage.......a masterpiece. Smiley
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One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
Zen Select
Zen CSP
Ah Njoe Tjoeb

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meprateek
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #19 - 03/15/07 at 08:03:19
 
Hi KdWhite,

I have a zen triode Se84C, and I was just wondering can I tweak it up to match up with your SE84ZS.  ;)
It would very kind, if you would mail in the schematics and other relevant information to me.

Much Thanks.
Prateek
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MikeW
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #20 - 03/15/07 at 14:32:14
 
Hi Prateek and welcome to the forum.

If you look at the master catalog on the Decware site you can find the upgrade kit that even includes the 5U4 rectifier for $78 dollars that will upgrade your SE84B or SE84C to the SE84CS which is the same amp as the ZS. The difference in the CS and ZS according to Decware is just the new chassis.

There is also a schematic that shows the differences in the SE84CS manual. If you send me an email address I can send you a PDF file of that manual.

Regards
MikeW
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« Last Edit: 03/15/07 at 14:32:55 by MikeW »  

One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
Zen Select
Zen CSP
Ah Njoe Tjoeb

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meprateek
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #21 - 03/15/07 at 14:41:47
 
Hi MikeW,

Thanks for the helping hand. My email is meprateek@rediffmail.com
This is indeed a nice way to welcome a nOOb.  :)

Cheers,
Prateek
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MikeW
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #22 - 03/15/07 at 19:01:36
 
Email sent Wink
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One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
Zen Select
Zen CSP
Ah Njoe Tjoeb

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meprateek
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #23 - 03/15/07 at 20:50:19
 
Some problems with my rediffmail account;  please resend it meprateek@gmail.com
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MikeW
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #24 - 03/15/07 at 21:46:51
 
ok....done
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One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people's minds.
Zen Select
Zen CSP
Ah Njoe Tjoeb

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meprateek
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #25 - 03/16/07 at 06:44:02
 
10q
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kdwhite
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #26 - 04/09/07 at 20:06:39
 
OK... I'm back.  Again.

The SE84ZS went belly-up recently.  The final event was a spectaculary screeching sound upon power up, with me scrambling to disconnect everything that wasn't permanently connected.  Then... silence.

Steve D helped me diagnos the problem.  A burned resistor pointed to a shorted output tube.  (1Kohm, 2W)  Yes, one of the 6N15NP tubes has a short between pins 2 and 9.  Steve tells me this is rare but does happen.  New tubes are being purchased from Decware and I hope to be back in business soon.  

Now I can't help but wonder how long has this impending tube failure existed and could it have effected the amp performance all along?

I've often heard defects in the mid range that a newbie, like myself, could have mistaken for clipping or other things?  Perhaps so.

The Zen amp, prior to this tube failure, has provided some stunning performance.  However, it has been intermixed with some frustrating times of mediocre performance.  Many of the problems were from the rest of my system... oxidized speaker cables, blown tweeters, etc.

I would like to hear from those with experience how a latent tube failure such as this could effect the overall performance.  Although, with new tubes on the way I suppose it is just a curiousity.

I will offer this much from my experience... If you have had troubles, or you are hesitant to get into tube gear or particulary Decware equipment, do not let my experience deter you!  My problems have been mostly from putting a very revealing amp (SE84ZS) into a mixture of very old and neglected equipment.  Combine that with my truly limited knowledge and things just take a while to sort out.  I've been chasing bugs in every direction!  Steve Deckert has been truly patient with me a extrememly helpful.

I'm looking forward to gettng back on track.  I've had enough of those magical moments with this little amp to understand that it is worth all the effort I have had to do!

KD in San Antonio
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selmerdave
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #27 - 04/09/07 at 20:20:31
 
kdwhite wrote on 04/09/07 at 20:06:39:
with me scrambling to disconnect everything that wasn't permanently connected.  Then... silence.


It is *definitely* better to shut the power down before doing any of the above (perhaps you did), and *definitely definitely* not a good idea to ever disconnect speakers from the amp if it is powered on or have the amp on without speakers connected.

Quote:
I would like to hear from those with experience how a latent tube failure such as this could effect the overall performance.  Although, with new tubes on the way I suppose it is just a curiousity.


It is certainly a better scenario than had the same thing happened to a transistor in a PCB-board sand amp.  The nice thing is you can just pop out the bad tube, pop in the good tube and you're back in business.  Whether anything else got damaged I wouldn't know and perhaps the technically informed can comment on likelihoods, but I think the main thing I would be concerned about would be if you disconnected the speaker wire with it on.  If you put in the new tube, and you get sound, you're okay on that count.

Best of luck and keep us posted.

Dave
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Altec 604E's in MLTL cabs biamped w/Rane AC-22
Zen Select on HF
Radio Craftsmen RC-2's on LF
Eico HF-85
VPI HW-19 Mk II, Sonus arm, Grado Gold
CAL Tercet mK IV
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kdwhite
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #28 - 04/09/07 at 20:27:39
 
Selmerdave,

Turned off power first.  Since the schreeching noise continued, I pulled inputs first, then speaker wires.  By the time I got the speaker terminals unscrewed, things had settled down.  A harrowing experience to say the least.

The resistor was the only thing damaged in the amp.  A simple job to replace.  It is likely that the tube failed first and then the resistor was overloaded and subsequently failed.

While I'm waiting for new tubes, I'm looking into a tweeter problem again.  One of them quit.  I'll be troubleshooting that tonight.  Since I built a new crossover, I might have a problem there.  I'll check the tweeter first and then look at the crossover.

Thanks for the encouragment!
KD

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kdwhite
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Re: New Zen owner - dazed and confused
Reply #29 - 04/09/07 at 20:34:45
 
p.s.:

It is possible, in my understanding, to power on a ZEN amp without speakers hooked up.  In fact, in the SE84C assembly instructions, Steve instructs to check voltages across resistors and there it says, "To test these voltages, you should have the volume pot turned all the way off, and no load hooked to the amplifier".  "No load" means no speakers hooked up to me.  I think the key is to have the volume post all the way off.

KD
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