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DECFEST 2009 (Read 31726 times)
Randy in Caintuck
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Tube be ... or not
tube be ... it's a
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #30 - 10/05/09 at 18:26:23
 
Nope ..... just suffering from "automobile lag" .....  

Dave and I got back about 10:00 PM last night and I was too pooped to post.

Had a great time ..... many thanks to the Decware crew for the hospitality and especially to DeVon for her traditionally superb soup .....

I have had two opportunities to hear the Mini Torii amplifier over the past few weeks, once at the Mini-HornFest and again at the DecFest and it is one fine amplifier.  It works extremely well with all of the speakers at both events and has a truly unique and musical sound.

As for Steve's new DAC, it is a true wonder of versatility.  In addition to sounding very, very good ..... it has some wonderful features built in that allow an almost endless ability to tailor the sound to the associated equipment and /or recordings.

For anyone who thinks that good sound cannot be had from a USB input from a computer, I can now beg to differ.

If you can't get your system to sound good with this DAC, there is something seriously wrong in the rig ..... and it's not the DAC.

It was good to see some old friends and to make some new ones .....  

OK ..... I'm done for now ..... and I know there were others in attendance .....  

Let's hear it .....

Randy

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« Last Edit: 10/05/09 at 18:29:13 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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deucekazoo
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Posts: 233
Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #31 - 10/05/09 at 19:01:28
 
It was a fun time and I learned a lot talking to everyone. This was my first time attending. I second the Mini Torii. That amp had a sweet sound. My main purpose was to listen to all the speakers that Decware has. All I have to say is I was impressed. They all sounded great but I did have my favorite, well actually two. The ERRs sounded great and a beautiful looking speaker. But my favorite was the corner horns. I call it the wall of sound. Those speakers just fill the whole room. Huge sound, but what is amazing about them is the bass they produce from a 6" full range. The only way to describe it is quick and deep. I wish I had more time to spend there but other things got in the way. I would like to thank all the Decware folks for the hospitality.

John
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Lon
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #32 - 10/05/09 at 19:44:02
 
Thanks for weighing in guys!
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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dla405j
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #33 - 10/05/09 at 20:04:00
 
..another great time at Decfest!  Thanks to the Decware crew for their efforts and hospitality.  Again I learned much and was challenged by what I heard and again had to throw out some long held misconceptions about audio.  Steve has raised the bar again in digital sound...his new dac and cd player beats my tried and true vinyl by a substantial margin...back to the drawing board for me as I rethink the possibilities of digital ala decware!..I received a lot of wise counsel from Decware veterans and met/made some new friends...thanks everybody for a wonderful event..
Dave Atteberry
dla405j
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eagertrader
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #34 - 10/05/09 at 21:12:44
 
I am beyond sorry that I wasn't able to attend the fest. Since I am new to the site and a Decware customer in waiting on top of that, I am on the fence as to which direction to go (Mini or full Torii.) I would really appreciate some feedback from the attendees, as to the differences they were able to perceive between the Mini Torii-SEX and the Torii Mark-III. I have a pair of efficient (98db) back loaded horn towers. Listen primarily to classical music.
Thank you in advance for posting a reply.
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stevef
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #35 - 10/06/09 at 04:16:30
 
First let me say that Julie and i enjoyed getting together with old friends and making some new ones too.  The Deckert's are great hosts. Everybody feels like family. Really guys, you owe it to yourselves to attend a fest.

The highlight of the fest had nothing to do with audio! I saw Dave eat a hot pepper, turn red, and well... DeVon had something to do with that.

The audio highlights were interesting too.  I am super critical of loudspeakers.  I have auditioned a lot of them over the years.  I thought that the corner horns were smooth and natural.  If your room can accommodate them you really can't go wrong there.

THE special audio moment of the show was plugging the new Mini Tori into the system.  We were listening through the Radials at the time.  This diminutive amp is the best product of Decware's lineup.  Here's why.  After listening through a couple of older amps, I asked Steve to please put the new amp in a system.  As soon as it turned on, there was an improvement in dynamics and frequency range.  Then Steve said wait about twenty two minutes and the sound would improve.  He was wrong.  It took twenty three minutes.  I was turned around, away from the speakers.  All of a sudden the sound field floated above the Radials.  The sound was held tight "in a vise" with a three dimensional palatability I've only previously experienced with the best OTL amps, and a super expensive monster SET design.  This little amp is compatible with a wider range of speakers though.  I hope to visit again and bring two or three pairs of my designs and Ed Schilling's Horns to confirm what I heard.  This amp was loaded with a very neutral tube set.  I wouldn't change a thing.  You tube rollers could have a lot of fun trying different combinations.  Not me.  I hate tube rolling.  

This is Steve's best effort to date, and places him with some of the best designers out there.  I want one.  So go ahead and take a bow Steve, you've earned it.

Stevef
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juanitox
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #36 - 10/06/09 at 06:45:01
 
what a pleasure to hear that , i have just ordered a Mini , now i'feel more secure with my choice..
i will post a review in pair with my Avant-garde Horns in few weeks .. Wink
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« Last Edit: 10/06/09 at 11:04:45 by juanitox »  

moded mac mini / Audio NOTE 3.1
MiniTorii SEX
Avant-Garde Uno Nano
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Chris K
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My owner only hears
to 16K WELL I can
hear to 60K!

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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #37 - 10/06/09 at 14:21:13
 
Mini-TORII
Heard it last year was good! Heard it this year ordered it on the spot!
Steve & DeVon we love you guys! Thanks for the warm welcome and hospitality. I look forward to this every year and really enjoy all the fine and now can call "old" friends I've made in this "obsession" of hi-fi audio.

Randy & Dave two of my favorites, always a pleasure to see and talk with you guys. Thanks for the attenuator!

Jason G. great time meeting you! Folks here is a young fellow who "gets it" and is DIYing a pair of Decware Corner Horns. I'll be in touch!

Great to see  you Jason (morpheous85) and your new gal! I was tired on Sunday when you and your friend were there. We could have swapped more equipment in and out for you.

Dave Att, nice to chat (briefly as it were) with you again. Want a copy of the Orthodox Church choir? Send a PM.

DPC Paul Campbell, you were missed on Sat. and Sun. ???

Steve & Julie, always a pleasure and when will we hear Julie sing?

Rob S. Great time man!

Dan K you and your wife are a fixture here and always glad you came. I learn something from you every time I come to DecFest. Great Zen kit build, sounded tremendous.

Doug and Mary, thanks for coming, great talks!

Dean, you telling me that your adult children come home to visit and you have, music listening sessions with them. Well that is just so cool! DVD movies..... NAHHH... let's just sit down and listen to some tunes and sip on a fine beverage with the "old man". May I be blessed with those moments when my son is grown.

Wally, what can I say man? Separated at birth? We TALK TOO MUCH! But I loved it. Can you say positive attitude? This guy has it in spades! We'll be in touch. Take care.


Bob Z, as always thanks for building great Decware speakers. You and Steve have changed the face of hi-fi in some great or small way no matter what happens down the road.

Steve, continue to be "unorthodox" in your approach. IT WORKS. You already know that but affirm it anyhow.

Sarah your a breath of fresh air and your mom has a lot of confidence in you. Keep up the good work.

Sorry if I left anyone out! To all the rest, great to meet you.
I missed my family this weekend very much and I was tired this weekend so if I was off a little that was why.

Thanks again for a great time,
Chris
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Hi-Fi Gear: More than I need! Not as much as I want!
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Chris K
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My owner only hears
to 16K WELL I can
hear to 60K!

Posts: 273
Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #38 - 10/06/09 at 14:41:05
 
Oh forgot.
Father Murphy came several times. But he did not win out.
You scoundrel Angry
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Hi-Fi Gear: More than I need! Not as much as I want!
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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #39 - 10/06/09 at 18:01:58
 
As in "Murphy's Law" (different Murphy than "Father Murphy").

I'd love to hear details about the DAC if anyone has some to share including any pricing that may have been mentioned.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Chris K
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My owner only hears
to 16K WELL I can
hear to 60K!

Posts: 273
Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #40 - 10/07/09 at 01:44:18
 
Now about the Zen DAC.
The single word descriptions: detailed & smooth. No harshness from the equipment. If the recording was harsh the sound was faithfully conveyed by the DAC's conversion and the tube output gave a sweet rendition of that. If there were MP3 files that were played through FooBar I do not know. What I do know is that it was the smoothest, most dynamic and detailed digital reproduction at the Fest and I had many familiar tunes to choose from on Bob Z. computer. The ZCD player was no less good than before but the DAC was so much more refined. I can't say much about other DAC's since I have not heard many. Randy had a MHDT labs "Havana" DAC that did a great job while the ZenDAC recovered from a bout with "Murphy".
Suffice to say that I now understand that digital bitstream off a hard drive into a DAC is exactly what I expected and more.
The effort Steve put into this very complex but versatile dream box is astounding. I was afraid to touch any of the little switches (did not) and only messed with the gain knob to get the sound dialed in from time to time.

The DAC with Zigy's laptop on the Acoustat Monitor IV's I personally have never heard recorded music have such alive and present feeling and the detail in the midrange and real big fast deep bass from these monsters is really something. I'd tell you all to get a pair but from what was said to me about them (Acoustats) they are a commitment what with size and a healthy pair of the factory servo amps that drive them. I can see why Steve calls this his reference.

Overall the DAC is a success though I suspect there is a bit more tweaking before a production unit comes for sale. Price I heard some numbers tossed around but I'm not going there. I'll let the Zen Master give that out. I'd only hope for bitstream off iPod and toslink but we'll see.
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Hi-Fi Gear: More than I need! Not as much as I want!
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Chris K
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My owner only hears
to 16K WELL I can
hear to 60K!

Posts: 273
Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #41 - 10/07/09 at 02:03:03
 
More on the Mini TORII.
The little amp when swapped into the system on the west wall of the listening room made heads literally turn to see, including mine. Unfortunately this magic started to happen Sat. afternoon when some folks had already said their last goodbyes. We then proceeded to throw all the various speakers at the little guy and the thought that occurred to me was that this was the most robust and sweet sounding 4-5 watts ever heard. The amp got on well with all the speakers but was especially good with the radials and the MG944. This amp hooked to the HDT's later in the evening was the first time the HDT and my ears got along. HDT's had always been a problem for me. I wanted to like them but never could. Well the Mini TORII is so nice it just gave the HDT a liquid feel that used to be dry and sterile to my ears previously. No loss in detail just a "wetter" more musical sound from the HDT with the Mini TORII. I went to the FEST thinking TORII MkIII and now I've gone and ordered the Mini TORII. The thing just charmed me to no end. It's cute and ballsy at the same time. Another attendee remarked to me he though it was Steve's best amplifier effort ever! That just might be true. I'll tell you when I have it in the house for awhile. I'm almost certain it won't disappoint.
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« Last Edit: 10/07/09 at 02:07:26 by Chris K »  

Hi-Fi Gear: More than I need! Not as much as I want!
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DPC
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #42 - 10/07/09 at 11:26:56
 
Hey Chris, Illness prevented my participation Sat. and Sun.
If you PM me with your address, I'll send that CD we listened to.

I still have unfinished business with Randy, Dave and Bob Z.

It was really great to visit with old friends if only for one day.

dennis
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Nelson Bass
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #43 - 10/07/09 at 21:44:13
 
What about the Zen Open Baffle speaker?  :)
How well did they sound?
How are they compared to the HDT?  ;)
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davedutill
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Re: DECFEST 2009
Reply #44 - 10/08/09 at 04:51:03
 
A very big thanks goes out to Steve, Devon & Sarah!!!

Another great start to the fall season in East Peoria.  Was great seeing all the familiar friends and making some new ones!  

My taste buds have finally returned!!   Having seen/witnessed Sarah channel herself through Devon........a long story.......That was one HOT Pepper  :)  On a more serious note Devon, I would very much like to get the recipe for that soup.  It gets better every year.

Any folks in the market for a DAC this year should definately check Steves new unit out.  This unit has all the digital inputs most people would want and also has the capability to tailor the sound to your preference by the flip of any number of switches.  A must hear!!

Once again, a big thanks to the Decware crew for hosting a great event that gets better every year.

Dave
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