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Mono operation (Read 6346 times)
Lord Grumble
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #15 - 09/01/12 at 05:25:23
 
You are quite right and I intend to do that.  It was a rhetorical question.

But I am also wondering how exactly I should use my second SE84C+ : each as a mono-block, which implies some manipulations, or bi-amping which implies more runs of speaker cables.  For some reason, I already have too much cable behind my system.  Adding more does not seem a good idea but changing a stereo amp into a mono block is not easy (at least for me, who have already difficulties with a screwdriver Smiley).

But I will try and find the solution that suits me best.

Thank you for the advice.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #16 - 09/01/12 at 06:17:16
 
If you have 8 ohm speakers, bridging the zen will make the amp see 4 ohms which it REALLY likes, hence you will have more weight and control.

The neat thing about bi-amping the speakers is that you can then use the volume control on each amp to effectively control the highs and lows.  If a song comes on that is too thin sounding, you turn down the amp on the highs or turn up the amp on the lows.  It's a nice way to respond to the different frequency balance in various recordings.

Triangle are a bit bright as I remember, but at 92dB or less they would probably sound the BEST if you simply mono'd the amp.

Using a simple radioshack Y-cable is fine for now.  It's so short it can't kill the deal completely and you'll still have good enough sound for a few months minimum until everything dials in at which point you can then explore better options...  One is to solder the two inputs together or have us do it.  The other is to have me make you a pair of silver/teflon Y-cables.    The output is easy to bridge with a simple piece of 16 gauge stranded copper wire hooked between the positive post of one channel to the negative post on the other channel.  The remaining two posts will power the loudspeaker.

Steve
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Lord Grumble
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #17 - 09/01/12 at 20:42:28
 
Thank you for the advice, Steve.

That is the next step in my discovery of your amps.  I have already bought the Y-cables (though not at Radio-Shack...).  

You suggest 16 gauge wire for the bridge.  Is it important to use the same gauge as the one I use to "power" my loudspeakers?  I went a little overboard with those cables and use 10 gauge wire.

Sorry if that sounds silly to you, but it's actually more of a hobby to me than a full time job.  I am kind of new to this (and I still find it fun)
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #18 - 09/03/12 at 02:28:18
 
16 gauge is the minimum thickness.
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Lord Grumble
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #19 - 09/06/12 at 02:24:47
 
OK I've obtained Y-connectors and I have actually bridged both my SE84C+ in mono and, guess what, it works...  up to a point.  The Y-connectors are so cheap that one of them is actually half-functionning.  I get half the sound... in one speaker.  I alternated Y-connectors, and it is really the connector that is at fault.  I'll get another one during the week-end.

Steve, you offered to build me a pair of silver/teflon Y-cables.  Would it be possible to have a pair of such cables about 2 and a half feet to 3 feet long, with two male RCA connectors at one end (the amplifier end) and one male RCA connector at the other end (the end of the pre-amp)?  And how much would that cost?  I cannot seem to find the info on the website.

Thank you for the suggestion.


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KobeeDog
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #20 - 09/01/13 at 15:49:53
 
I'm experimenting with using 2 SE84C+ amps as monoblocks and I'm noticing something interesting.

The two amps sound vastly different from eachother. They are both (I believe) the same revision - the white chassis. One was made in 2009 and one was made in 2011.

The biggest difference is the newer one has much more detail in the treble and just sounds clearer. It is also a bit louder. I have turn the older one up about 5% louder to some balance.

I tried swapping the power tubes between the amps, and the differences remain. I haven't tried swapping the driver tubes, this is my next experiment.

Is is possible that it is not the tubes, and these amps just plain sound different?

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Lon
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #21 - 09/01/13 at 15:57:18
 
I would not at all be surprised if there are some differences from model to model. And. . . one may have been modified even slightly by another owner. These amps are like works of art, hand-built one at a time, doesn't at all surprise me that there may be small differences.
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KobeeDog
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #22 - 09/01/13 at 17:50:05
 
Thanks for the reply Lon.

That's sort of what I figured.
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Lon
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #23 - 09/01/13 at 18:14:58
 
Do you know the history of them? I would guess one thing to do would be to send them back to the mothership to see if there's any way they can be made to sound closer to the same. .. but I know it's not easy to send things back (myself I suffer from separation anxiety!) Smiley
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KobeeDog
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #24 - 09/01/13 at 18:32:31
 
I know the history of one well, since I got it from a good friend of mine. The other one I bought from another Decware forum member, who seems like a good chap, so I'm sure getting the history of it would be quite easy.

Yes, sending them back to Decware to have them inspected and bought to closer spec would be the sensible thing to do, but like you, I don't want to live without my audio Smiley

I tried an experiment today. Instead of running them mono, I bi-amped my speakers with them. The newer amp driving the bass, the older one driving the high end.

This actually sounds much more balanced, and more like the spacious Zen sound I've come to love. The imaging and soundstage is back! But  at the cost of power and a bit of weight.

Sometimes I guess the audio game is all about trade offs.
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Lon
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #25 - 09/01/13 at 19:46:43
 
OH It is always about trade offs. Like most of life.

Bi-amping makes sense with that disparity of sound.

I now have the luxury of having at least one Decware amp as a back up amp. I know how fortunate that is. . . . I hate to come to this conclusion, but I think a trip to Peoria may be in order, but calling Steve is a good idea.
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KobeeDog
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #26 - 09/01/13 at 22:02:18
 
It does make sense in this case, but I can't help but think the solution is a bit convoluted. I have splitters, and IC's and speaker wires all over the place. Probably can't be conducive to purity of sound, right?

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Lon
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #27 - 09/01/13 at 23:22:20
 
Well, "purity of sound" is one of those things that sounds really good in practice, but the more I've gotten into this hobby I've realized that there are many ways to skin the "cat" and often what I had thought before is turned on its head.

I keep going back to two things that I have gotten from things that Duke Ellington said, one being basically any time you have a problem you have an opportunity, and the other is basically if it sounds good it IS good.

So you have an opportunity and anything that gets you into great sonic territory is okay. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 09/01/13 at 23:22:53 by Lon »  

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KobeeDog
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Re: Mono operation
Reply #28 - 09/01/13 at 23:36:35
 
"...  if it sounds good it IS good."

Yes, I have to agree with that.
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