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Decware Select + CSP2 = smile on my face (Read 1129 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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Decware Select + CSP2 = smile on my face
08/07/07 at 16:16:47
 
This thread should probably be in the "Decware Reviews" forum, but I'm sure Steve will move it if he feels the need .....  :-/

A few years ago, I purchased a pair of highly modified Heath W-5 monoblocks that were rebuilt by a long time vacuum tube guru who lives in the Dayton, Ohio area.  The stock KT66 power tubes were replaced by some insanely built military spec 6L6GC derivative called the Bendix JAN CEA 6384.  These amps have some massive iron and put out about 30 watts per channel.  I had sold them to a friend whose wife resisted having "ugly" audio equipment in her "living space" ..... so I recently ended up buying them back to keep them from wasting away in his closet .....  :(

After taking possession of them, I had a local tube equipment repairman check them out.  He replaced a couple of underspec'ed resistors and I replaced the Sprague Vitamin Q coupling caps with some Hovland caps of the same value ..... since one of the Spragues was "drooling" a little .....  :P



The amps have 4 ohm taps, so I couldn't resist trying them out in the big rig to see how they would work with the Parker Audio Behemoths.  As one might imagine, the CSP2 will drive these amps to some healthy levels with the 95 or so db efficient Parkers.  Power is addicting ..... and this combo puts out a BIG sound without working very hard at all.  Since my new listening position is about 16' from the speakers, the effect was pretty interesting and not hard to listen to.  With a healthy 30 watts per side, the bass is especially impressive ..... even without the SO Imperials or a subwoofer.

After living with this setup for a couple of weeks, I decided it was time to switch back to the modified Decware Select.  Truthfully, I was a little apprehensive ..... going from 30 watts to 1 1/2.  I had gotten used to the extra power and headroom and was afraid that I would quickly push the "little" Select into audible clipping and/or miss the "ease" and muscular bass of the bigger amplifiers.

After making the switch and sitting through the initial 4 hour listening session, to say the least I was stunned.  Not only was I able to get more than adequate volume, but the bass was much better than I had remembered it.  I adjusted the volume until the vocalists and instruments were "life sized" and the bass could be felt as well as heard.  The Heath W-5s are by no means slouches sonically, but the Select has an air and three dimensionality that the bigger amps cannot match.  I am still amazed at the focus and  presence of lead vocalists on the vast majority of the disks that I have been playing.

More than anything, I am still surprised at the amount of bass produced by the Select/CSP2 combo ..... even without the SO Imperials hooked up ..... as well as the ability to produce some very satisfying SPLs with no audible clipping or compression.  The Select and CSP2 are a team ..... and I feel pretty strongly that owners of the Select have not really heard what this little monster is capable of until they hear it with the CSP2.  It took Steve several years to convince me to try one of his preamps and I finally did ..... to my great pleasure.

I love this hobby .....  8-)

Randy
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« Last Edit: 08/07/07 at 16:20:17 by Randy in Caintuck »  

CEC TL-2 belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
Decware Model SE84C+ amplifier
Greenvalve Audio Type 10 amplifier
Parker Audio Troll Magnus speakers
"Mini Me" OBs - with Hawthorne Augies, Wild Burro Betsy drivers and Heil AMTs
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MikeW
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Re: Decware Select + CSP2 = smile on my face
Reply #1 - 08/07/07 at 16:41:57
 
I know I do not have the latest incarnation of the CSP2 but I can safely say the listening experience is enhanced with the preamp in place.
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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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Andy831
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Re: Decware Select + CSP2 = smile on my face
Reply #2 - 08/07/07 at 20:27:29
 
Yep thats been my experience too. had firstly one select, then a pair strapped into mono, and now fronted by a CSP the amps have really bloomed.
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Nottingham Analogue Spacedeck with Spacearm with Denon DL301mk 2 Cart.
Decware ZP2
Sony CDP X-3000 ES
Decware CSP Pre amp
Two Decware SE84CS strapped in parallel
Tannoy Grf Memory Speakers
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charlieboy
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Re: Decware Select + CSP2 = smile on my face
Reply #3 - 08/08/07 at 06:17:52
 
The only thing that has stopped me from getting the csp2 is my cary slp98p has a phono stage. Man I'm close to puling the trigger. Good to hear he reviews.
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STUFF!!!!
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MikeW
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Late great James
Jamerson

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Re: Decware Select + CSP2 = smile on my face
Reply #4 - 08/08/07 at 14:33:45
 
I have not heard the Cary you have Charlie but my experience with other products associated with them is they are more warm and lush sounding than Decware gear. (That is my take on it...maybe not everyone else's). That is not a bad thing IMO since I prefer my gear to err towards the lush side as opposed to what I call analytical. The CSP/Select combo is not analytical however it is very accurate.

I do believe there is a synergy with Decware preamps and amps that makes for a good listening experience. My basis for that statement is the CSP mates best with the Select when compared to the other amps I have.
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« Last Edit: 08/08/07 at 14:35:00 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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