Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
04/21/14 at 03:26:05


Pages: 1 ... 24 25 26 
Send Topic Print
Mini Torii SE Amplifier (Read 60025 times)
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 6784
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #375 - 10/24/12 at 21:18:22
 
Good points. It makes a lot of sense if one can afford a really great front end these days to purchase one that is updatable/upgradable. That was a big attraction for me to my PS Audio gear; this company has the mindset that improvements can be made and offered to owners. I've already purchased one upgrade, and it has been important. It has actually highlighted what is really the heart of what has set this pair head and shoulders over others I've heard: the "digital bridge" incorporated within. PS Audio has plans to release a stand alone bridge and I sense this will be a great addition to almost any digital front end. It clearly has improved the sound to my ears.

Conversely, I'm not someone who likes to be constantly researching my front end needs and keeping up with Jones and the ever-changing technology. that's just not fun for me and has been a big reason I've kept from computer audio. And also contributes to my return to vinyl being so refreshing. My turntable really works, and I've been blessed with a very affordable excellent phono preamp, and this foundation was so enjoyable that I sprang for the ZP3 which I think will take my vinyl front end to a level which I won't really need to move from. There's not a shifting playing field in vinyl the way that there is in digital, and I see that as a good thing, very relaxing.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 10/24/12 at 21:44:40 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
  IP Logged
Les Lammers
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 138
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #376 - 10/25/12 at 13:03:49
 
Fireblade,

I don't know what your previous amplifer was but the transarency of the Mini *may* be showing you some faults with your front end. It may just need a little tweaking. Don't toss the baby with the bath water.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Fireblade
Seasoned Member
****


Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers.
A.L.Tennyson

Posts: 691
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #377 - 10/25/12 at 18:18:05
 
"Don't toss the baby with the bath water"   LOL  ;D

This is a moot point.  Whether you want to go about it tube-rolling, improving the front-end quality or simply fine-tunning it through cable and power cord manipulation and vibration controls, or more essentially, room conditioning, is difficult to prioritize.

What's the biggest bang for the buck?  That is the question.  Can't do it all at once, so where do you start?  :-?
Back to top
 
 

Laptop-Foobar2000-Wasapi Ev//WD 1.5Tb HDD//Audioquest Forest USB cbls//HRT MS II+ USB-DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish P. Cord
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1089
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #378 - 10/25/12 at 19:02:56
 
FB, You have a great amp and speakers, some nice interconnects, and OK USB and power cord....the latter could likely be improved, but they sound better than stock... right???? So it looks to me like gear-wise your DAC is likely your weakest link at this point......that is if your USB cable has isolated power from the audio...If not...hmmm, might find out if this matters with your DAC...does with mine!

Vibration control...have you gone there at all...to dip your toe in that water...a few things from Herbie's particularly, perhaps baby booties for your DAC and tenderfeet for the MT could be an inexpensive exploration.

But then room could easily be even more important than the DAC depending on issues there..... do you hear room problems? ...dead, deadened, or exaggerated parts of the frequency spectrum, poor sound stage, boom or muddle..... If not I would think your idea of investigating the JK DAC very thoroughly might be a good exploration.....actually, I bet you have done that...

Smiley
Back to top
 
 

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1089
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #379 - 10/25/12 at 19:39:21
 
Quote:
Vibration control...have you gone there at all...to dip your toe in that water...a few things from Herbie's particularly, perhaps baby booties for your DAC and tenderfeet for the MT could be an inexpensive exploration.


On second thought, and better yet...I would go for the gusto... @ about 30 each, I bet three iso-cups would be great with your amp. To me they sound way better than tenderfeet....may be due to better isolation, or just tone...can't say.
Back to top
 
 

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 6784
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #380 - 10/25/12 at 20:02:43
 
I agree, with tube amps the Iso-Cups are clearly (to my ears) superior to the Tender Feet (which aren't chopped liver).

On some other components they aren't always better to my ears, but for amps, they're the ones.

And the beauty of addressing isolation is. . . odds are the pieces will work with present and future systems.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 10/25/12 at 20:52:59 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
  IP Logged
Fireblade
Seasoned Member
****


Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers.
A.L.Tennyson

Posts: 691
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #381 - 10/25/12 at 21:01:58
 
Well, there's really nothing wrong with my gear, it sounds great.  Only once you see the potential, you want more!  I know my speakers and amp have a higher ceiling than everything else in the system, so naturally I want to try the next SQ improvement step.

Evidently, I have been questioning my USB/DAC, just by deduction, as I don't find a specific fault with it, except it's technology starts to be mainstream now.  Today it's still good, but could be better.  

There's also talk in this forum and other places about using tube-rolling to fine-tune the sound.  I'm assuming this would only mean making the sound 'flavor' closer to our subjective tastes/expectations, rather than an absolute (full consensus) sound improvement, correct?

In relation to the anti-vibration gadgets, we've had this discussion before and I agreed to get into it, and I certainly will.  For example, my wooden monitor stands are not perfectly squared at the bases' surface, so there's some play between these and the floor's hard surface (very minor but tangible).

In general, not having personal trial-and-error experience makes the situation more difficult to assess.  This is why I'm more comfortable with the theory behind USB/DACS than I am with the other avenues mentioned.  :)  With limited resources, I need to envision the step sequence involved before hand.

BTW, I don't hear or feel any sound resonance, degradation or disruption from the room itself.  I'm sure the room is way off from ideal, but I can't tell from the sound.  I just feel, in general, the need for somewhat more transparency, and a more hollographic soundstage, but it may be just fine the way it is ...  I do not have a reference.

Thanks, guys.  
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 10/25/12 at 21:07:26 by Fireblade »  

Laptop-Foobar2000-Wasapi Ev//WD 1.5Tb HDD//Audioquest Forest USB cbls//HRT MS II+ USB-DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish P. Cord
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1089
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #382 - 10/25/12 at 21:34:46
 
FB, If you rely on experience, then you are missing several areas of system refinement. For example...power separation from audio on your USB...If there is power noise from your computer that your DAC is not somehow isolating itself, and you eliminate it...this can definitely have a big impact on the refinement of sound. Your cable or DAC may already do this, but don't count on it. I would check this out.

Also vibration control. You could probably benefit greatly from something very simple, like grungebuster pieces under your stands and between the stands and speakers. A sheet of this is pretty cheap....but check with Steve at Herbie's. And as you said, you are planning to go here one day, so enough said.

And if you listen carefully to the sound spectrum and sound stage (should sound even, without particular funky places with extra hardness or bloat or edge or missing parts....and reflections can really hurt the sound stage...it should be well defined and saturated....and also wide and deep with well recorded stuff anyway.

Though stock tubes in my system sound pretty great, I would say it is way under what it is with better tube synergy for this room and my ears. I particularly think the rectifiers, inputs, and power VRs are great to roll in my MkIII...this of course could be different with the MT, but tubes are no small matter if you are craving a more refined sound to your tastes.

Remember that Decware can open sound doors others just can't hear, so our potential is rather huge, and what we can hear is often not present in many systems. Also, unless our Decware and room is sorted out and optimized, we can't hear its potential either...making some decware systems not reveal what they could. If it is not revealed, it can't be heard, so for that person, it does not exist. In my experience, it can ALL be heard, making subtle refinements rather big.

Finally you have to go the direction that makes sense to you according, not to the consensus, but from advisors you tend to believe...right??? If you listen to it all equally, it will be hard to do anything.

That said, since you are happy with your sound now, if it has no apparent problems, your sense of source as a next step is likely a respectable thought. How about emailing Darko and ask him if the JK would be a big upgrade from your DAC???
Back to top
 
 

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
  IP Logged
Fireblade
Seasoned Member
****


Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers.
A.L.Tennyson

Posts: 691
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #383 - 10/25/12 at 22:50:29
 
Excellent points, Will.  

I already received respective answers from both John Kenny and John Darko.  They tend to disagree on using and not using the USB S/PDIF conversion.  Darko thinks is better with it, Kenny has gone to the conclusion of avoiding this conversion altogether and go for the I2S directly to DAC.  Funny, as  he's been selling some of the best S/PDIF converters in the market.

But, Darko still likes the JKDAC32, only he would bearly prefer an Audiophilleo + Metrum Octave, for example.  Said he could live with either and both are 'superb,' and he thinks both would be a step up from my HRT.  Of couse, there's a premium to pay for the added Audiophilleo and the S/PDIF extra cable, plus the Metrum is more expensive than the JKDAC32.  I'm thus more inclined for the latter.

You make good points, and the tube-rolling issue is something I've been suggested by Les, for example, but I was not fully convinced.  For one thing, I thought it must be difficult to nail down the right tube set combination to your liking without a long trial-and-error experiment.  Also, I dismissed its importance assuming the designer has better ears than me.  But, now I understand it is both a subjective and conditions-dependent effect.

Power insulation within my Audioquest Forest is an unknown at this point, need to find out.  This is my USB cable:

http://www.listenup.com/AudioQuest+Forest+USB-p-Forest-USB-p-.html

and a Hi-Fi review on it (my cable is only 1 m long):

http://www.whathifi.com/review/audioquest-forest-usb-15

Need to think all this over and make a plan.  I have convincing arguments now.  Thanks so much for the valid advice.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 10/26/12 at 00:38:22 by Fireblade »  

Laptop-Foobar2000-Wasapi Ev//WD 1.5Tb HDD//Audioquest Forest USB cbls//HRT MS II+ USB-DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish P. Cord
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1089
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #384 - 10/26/12 at 02:37:06
 
FB, the Starlight http://www.tweekgeek.com/wireworld-ultraviolet-usb/ (mentioned as better than the Forest in the review link) is the cable I use with my V-Link async unit and ZDAC. I know it isolates the power and sounds good if you find the Forest is not quite there.

I understand the tube dilemma... another area of confusion from one view, but of excitement from another. I also believe in Steve's ears, but suspect he voices the amp with the best he can of tubes he can acquire for production....this may or may not mean that he thinks this is the absolute best tube sound one can get from the amp. And this is aside from personal preferences and tuning an amp to one's system/room.

One thing I have found is that having a range to work with can be good...Just changing one recommended tube can help if it fits the criteria you are after compared to the qualities of your present tube, but it may or may not fit your sense of beauty exactly...But then... it could have attributes that could really be awesome with another tube change.....So a range of decent variation from the stock tubes can really open some great opportunities. A pair of rectifiers, power tubes, input tubes, and power VRs for example, each fitting criteria you like, could really open a lot of interesting mixing and matching, and very refined fine-tuning possibilities!!!

...but finding the bargains that are great  tubes, I can't help much as my tubes are different...except I know the nature of power VRs. I am pretty sure the MT rollers could point you to several nice tubes to explore, or tube sale people who are reliable to talk with and that can compare what they have to your tubes.

Are there qualities you can imagine that would improve your sound....more open and spacious...more dense and bigger bass, more texture, more warmth....
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 10/26/12 at 02:38:56 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
  IP Logged
Fireblade
Seasoned Member
****


Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers.
A.L.Tennyson

Posts: 691
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #385 - 10/26/12 at 15:12:13
 
Hey Will,

Audioquest's own description of the Forest USB cable talks about their focus in avoiding power interferences, so hopefully they also take care of that.  On the DAC side, I'm not sure about what the HRT is doing to prevent those interferences either.  I may want to try the Starlight cable sometime.

Les Lammers kindly suggested the same thing about those specific tubes to try with the M-T, and he seems to have enough experience in tube-rolling in these kinds of amps.  He's already rolled several combinations in the M-T, so I'm going to learn from his experiences.

Regarding the descriptive nature of my current perceived sound limitations, it is difficult for me to define, as I'm not yet familiar with the semantics used in these cases.  

My system sounds great as it is, but I would not mind having more openness (space) or transparency (air) and more efficient frequency separation (texture?).  A more hollographic (palpable, better defined) soundstage would be nice also. This last attribute may depend more on my imperfect listening room conditions, and all of these on the quality of the source material.

Of course, as you pointed out, it is essential to know before hand what types/specs of tubes indeed correlate with the kinds of sound tweaking outcomes expected. I would not know where to start, as this is a job for people with the actual hands-on experience, like you, Les, Raduschka and others in this forum.  I can just hope to get the right tips.

BTW, what is the meaning of 'warmth' in this context? I have plenty of good bass, so I won't be needing any more.  That's about all I can think of.  Thanks again for the pointers.   Smiley
Back to top
 
 

Laptop-Foobar2000-Wasapi Ev//WD 1.5Tb HDD//Audioquest Forest USB cbls//HRT MS II+ USB-DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish P. Cord
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 6784
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #386 - 10/26/12 at 15:50:37
 
FB, Isolation products can help you with these issues, will help the soundstage develop, will help with instrumental separation, textural delinieation, etc.
Back to top
 
 

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
  IP Logged
will
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1089
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #387 - 10/26/12 at 16:34:28
 
FB,

Sounds pretty good on the cable from your research.

I agree with Lon on the isolation.

There are likely ways to do what you want with any of the tube types, that is unless one of them is already on the open, less dark/dense side of things. For a more open, transparent sound, and tighter/less bass, I would try a pair of OB3s, or for more of the same, some OC3s, and more yet, OD3. OA3s give a stronger, bigger, deeper, darker, bassier quality to the by pushing the output tubes more, and OD3 give the most open/spacious, least bass/density, with Bs and Cs in between. Also, each type and vintage have tonal qualities that vary...for example, Sylvania sound different than Raytheon.....This can confuse the waters...like an 80s Sylvania OA3 (tubeworld) that opens the sound with tight bass more than any other OA3 I have, but it still has the OA3 "push." Anyway regulators could be an inexpensive experiment that might accomplish all of your wishes...If the room or amp give darker/denser qualities to the sound, this can overwhelm the inner detail and spaciousness. So relaxing darkness and density will increase spaciousness and inner detail, helping to further define soundstage.

I think of warmth as a slight darkness (usually showing most in the mids and lower mids) that does not have a sense of "veiled," not sacrificing detail, while contributing to that lovely balance of detail that gives a sense of warm texture ...like a warm, soft, cozy, blanket...it can sweeten the feeling of the music without adding a sense of density or darkness. It can be a fine line between "warmth" and "dark," to me the distinction being the detail balance within the dark. Transparent would convey the same information, but with a cooler, more neutral quality...not bright, not dark...

I think of texture as all the subtle pieces of detailed information overlaid to make the sound as opposed to the sense of a sound having very defined body and edges.....a place to look for textural sounds might be hearing the bow string/resin with strings, then vibrating the woods of the string instrument, particularly noticeable with solo playing...or you can hear it in the reed sounds of a sax...or solo voices... it imparts a sweet, nuanced richness.

Hope this helps...the semantics are odd in describing sound nuance.

Check your PM
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 10/26/12 at 16:39:11 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
  IP Logged
Fireblade
Seasoned Member
****


Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers.
A.L.Tennyson

Posts: 691
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #388 - 10/26/12 at 21:19:02
 
Right, Will, thanks.  If you read my last post on the Mini-Torii threads, you will realize I'll be needing replacement tubes asap.  So, I'd probably profit to follow those guidelines when ordering the ones I'm currently urgently needing.

I'd been carefully studying the sound in my rig, and before it went off I came to the conclusion that it sounds more on the warm side than anything else.  That is, darker and more dense, bass-oriented.  That is why I was talking (unconsciously) earlier about openness and space as sound improvement objectives when tube-rolling.

OB3's or OC3's sound about right for what I sense I need, according to your description.  I'll look into the details.

Thanks again,
David.
Back to top
 
 

Laptop-Foobar2000-Wasapi Ev//WD 1.5Tb HDD//Audioquest Forest USB cbls//HRT MS II+ USB-DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish P. Cord
  IP Logged
Fireblade
Seasoned Member
****


Knowledge comes, but
wisdom lingers.
A.L.Tennyson

Posts: 691
Re: Mini Torii SE Amplifier
Reply #389 - 10/26/12 at 21:22:22
 
Lon, thanks for that input.  I get it.  I'll give that isolation issue some attention as soon as I settle my current rectifier problem.   Sad
Back to top
 
 

Laptop-Foobar2000-Wasapi Ev//WD 1.5Tb HDD//Audioquest Forest USB cbls//HRT MS II+ USB-DAC//Decware Silver Ref IC's//Decware Mini Torii SE//Kimber Kable spkr cbls//Decware DM945's//Velodyne DLS 3500//BJC SUB Cbls//Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf.//Jellyfish P. Cord
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 ... 24 25 26 
Send Topic Print