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What were your components used in the past (Read 6109 times)
Ex Member

What were your components used in the past
06/08/09 at 16:30:15
I thought it might be interesting what everyone use to own prior to finding out the ZEN SITE. I hear some very high end stuff have been sold when the 84 original ZEN was created. I use to own  several tube preamps. ARC SP6A,6B,SP8,Conrad Johnson pv-5,pv-8,
ARC D-110B A huge 110 pound solid state monster, ARC VT-60 tube push pull, Heavly moded Dynaco Mk3's. Thats just the power amps and preamps. I which I kept all this stuff I would have a mini museum. Smiley
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Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a

Posts: 616
Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #1 - 06/09/09 at 02:27:00
Howdy 76doublebass,

Yep ..... there is a huge number of current owners of Decware gear that traveled a long and winding road to finally end up here .....

Adcom 555, Conrad Johnson MV-50 and MV-75, Audio Research VT-100, modified Dynaco Stereo 70 and Heath W-5s, Wright Sound 2A3 mono blocks and a Jeff Korneff 45.

They were all nice (some very nice) in their own way ..... but there is something special about that little SV83 / EL84 giant killer that Steve has designed .....  

Best wishes,

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CEC TL5N belt drive CD transport
Camelot Uther / Anagram DAC
U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus turntable
AudioQuest DragonFly Red USB DAC / tablet
Decware Model SE84UFO amplifier
Caintuck Audio Betsy Open Baffles and Alpha bass baffles
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Posts: 14198
Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #2 - 06/09/09 at 02:58:05
Before my first Decware product (Zen amp #27) I had a few systems (I was poor, and I kept them for some time).

The first was a J. C. Penny system, speakers, integrated amp, tuner, tape deck, phonograph, that was made by Technics and was pretty good, late seventies stuff.

That was replaced by a Proton system, quite a nice one, preamp, "Power Envelope" amplifier (I still like to listen to this amp now and then) and several pairs of Bose speakers through a number of years.

About five years ago I inherited a Bang und Olefson system from my late wife's aunt that was a bedroom system for a while. Boy was that rich sounding. . . good for video.

My late wife worked for a bit at a high end audio store.  Heard lots of stuff. But Decware changed everything.

It's been Decware since 1997 or 1998.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Senior Member

Posts: 51
Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #3 - 06/09/09 at 07:19:30
Presently still using an ARC LS22 preamp but my amps are currently not in use. VTL MB450 tube monos & Bryston 7BSST monos. My new Torii is sounding better than either of the old amps.
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Posts: 247
Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #4 - 06/09/09 at 14:24:55
Lafayette, HH Scott, Kenwood, Sansui,  a couple of Technics.  All of these were receiver based units. The Scott had the most tube like qualities of any of the above by a large margin.  

Nad integrated, Harmon Kardon Integrated, DIY passive pre driving Stereo 70, Heathkit A-151(modded to amp only), couple of Adcoms, Acurus, Threshold.  

The above are a peppering of components used in the past.  I am sure I have missed more than a handful.

But in the end.............

All roads lead to Decware   Wink
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Stone Deaf
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Posts: 172
Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #5 - 06/11/09 at 05:32:44
I still have some of my old gear.
amps - McIntosh MC40 monos, Marantz 9b, Conrad Johnson MV75, Golden Tube Audio SE40, Antique Audio Wave 8, Tech-On SE 34i integrated, Audio Research D76, Crown D 150, SAE 100, Apt One, one Yamaha integrated, Nakamichi Stasis, I was an amp whore.

preamps - McIntosh C28, Marantz 7C, Conrad Johnson 12, Antique Audio ? the small one, Audio Research SP3, David Hafler, Apt, I loved the Apt and CJ.

Tuners - Yamaha, Marantz, McIntosh, Luxman, Right now I listen to an old Knight tube tuner with nice pecan case bought for $26 on ebay full of mullard tubes.

speakers - DCM time windows, Rogers LS3/5a, Spendor ?, Magnepans, Crown Electostatics, Quad ELS, JBL L100 & L3, Paradigm, JM Reynaud Twin II signatures, Visonic, M&K sub, Janis Sub, Velodyne sub, Definitive Technologies sub.

Turntables - Dual, Connoisseur, Techniques, Luxman, Linn, Basis, Mitchell, Project

It's making me sad thinking about some of those pieces I let go.
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My system: Decware Taboo, CSP2, ZP3, Pro-Ject RM 10 / Grado Reference Sonata, Adcom 700, ERR Radials, Lots of Mapleshade, Kimber and Herbie's stuff.
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Alan H
Ex Member

Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #6 - 07/18/09 at 11:04:47
Amps - in the order they were replaced, each more enjoyable than the last. (Speakers are another story). Interestingly the rated power output of each amp has reduced as it has been replaced: 50, 20, 6, 8, 1.8 (wpc)

Musical Fidelity X-A1 (sand, but a reputation for tube-smoothness)
Affordable Valve Company EL34 (20wpc Push-Pull)
The Original Sonic Impact (more of an eye-opener than a true replacement)
DIY Paradise Charlize (+Auricaps, as power amp with Promitheus TVC)
Decware Kit1 (CCE)

There is now a very strong feeling that "I've arrived", but - I've had that feeling before ... and the CCE mod just shows how what I thought was already incredibly good can still get better. My v-caps are in the post ...
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Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #7 - 07/18/09 at 18:31:44
I've never had a truely decent system by any stretch of my imagination. Many moons ago, I'd say the first system I had was a Technics integrated, it was the basement model, analog tuner dial. I was but a poor Jarhead back then. Speakers were a unnamed mini tower base-reflex design that I traded another guy for I think a carton of cigs while we were in the field lol. Since then mostly integrateds, Kenwood, Denon, definitely nothing to write home about. I like DIY because it enables me to hold onto more of my $ while getting decent sound. My first bonefied tube amp was a Bogen rescued from my first mother in law, retubed, replaced a volume pot, and caps and that was not bad. I built one of the K-502 11BM8 kits and thought that sounded good. Coupled with DIY Paradise Simple 5687 Pre and some Infiniti bookshelves life was good. I build a little "Mini-Blok" 13EM7 SET amp, that's my daily listener at work and the best sounding amp I had till finding Steve's site a couple years back, I was revisiting old bookmarks and what to my surprise zkits are a reality!! my CCE modded ZKIT1 is the best sounding amp I've heard in my life.
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SE84DIY w/cce mod, ZSP1, VSPS DIY phono stage w/separate psu, Sansui SR-525 Turntable, Nagaoka MP-100 mm cart, Tekton Design 8.1's 97db@1w, all cables and interconnects DIY. Now we're cookin Wink
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Ex Member

Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #8 - 07/22/09 at 09:21:03
before Decware I had an NAD 2200 amp & an NAD Preamp.
they worked well driving my Miller & Kriesel S1B satelites & V1B Sub.
lots of drive & rythym, but lacking finesse, & seduction.
I used to have some old tube gear (Fisher, Heathkit) & decided to
switch direction & go back to tubes,  was intrigued by Steve's
little zen amp,  But ultimately ended up with the
se34 integrated amp, which incidentally just had the new CCE mod
done to it to breath some new life into it.

main reason I went with the integrated is because I had my eye
on Ed's little Horns which I ended up getting,  & the integrated
ended up being an excellent match.

my ultimate goal is to have Ed's H3's (which are very high sensitivity)
AND a pair of the current Decware Monoblocks.

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ski bum
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Posts: 195
Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #9 - 07/23/09 at 21:56:53
Quite a few, most of which I still have laying around.  I sent my Decwares in for the CCE mod, and recently had the chance to listen to the old gear once again.

-Yamaha stereo integrateds (most recently a RX396)
-NAD 2100
-NAD C372 integrated
-Emotiva RPA1
-an old Crown pro amp usually used for shows or band practice, with something like 500w/rms and capable of over 2kw output!

They all sound pretty great, with only the puny Yamaha showing any weakness at all, and I think that is due to the crappy built-in pre- section.  With the others, they all gave the impression of effortless power, which I have to admit is fun.  When the zens came home, the difference was stark, as in going from a 'reasonable reproduction' to 'live at the show' experience.  These zens never cease to amaze me.
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Ex Member

Re: What were your components used in the past
Reply #10 - 08/03/09 at 21:07:10
At first I went for what represented an improvement over a Sony AV receiver:

- 125 w/ch Sonographe SA-120 SS power amp
- SUMO Athena SS pre
- N.E.A.R. 40 Me speakers (88 dB, 8 ohms)

The I bought the Zen, and the quest for efficient speakers began!

- twin 5.25" 1354 RS drivers (91 dB, 4 ohms)
- Eminence Alpha12 & Horn tweeter (95 dB, 8 ohms)
- audiodata Elance (90 dB, 4 ohms) & Soutien S12 sub

In the mix I've also had a Sonic Impact SuperT chip amp, and a Heathkit SA2 (EL84) amp, both claiming 15 w/ch.

For critical listening, the Zen & audiodata combo is the sweetest I've owned.
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