Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
07/28/14 at 07:18:33


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
Decware SE84G review (Read 4334 times)
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Decware SE84G review
08/05/09 at 20:48:27
 
..I've had the Decware SE84G (guitar amplifier) for about 1 year now.. so, I figure it's time to post a review.  ..just my $0.02.

First, a little background on me, and my gear..  I am not a professional musician.  ..just a regular guy who enjoys playing music, with friends or solo.  My guitar (the #1) is a self built “one-off” Esquire type.. I used mahogany wood from USA Custom Guitars and hardware from Bill Callaham Guitars.. with a low-output Lindy Fralin pickup in the bridge position. ..very solid rock 'n roller.  The other areas of my signal chain with the #1 and the SE84G is; George L’s Vintage instrument cable, Monster 500 series speaker cable, and a 1x12 cabinet loaded with a Weber 12A150 (8 Ohm).

My interest in the SE84G was due to Decware's emphasis on tone, instead of “bells and whistles”.  After being intrigued by this amp for a couple of years, I decided to try it.  ..have no doubt, the SE84G is exactly what Decware says it is.  12 watts of pure tone.. all ptp, with no circuit/tag boards.  And, it is “bulletproof” in more ways than one.  In addition to physical stamina, the SE84G operates gracefully with unmatched output tubes, or with only one output tube installed.  And it can drive any speaker load, 16 Ohms and downward.

I only use NOS tubes.. and the SE84G loves them.  There are lots of compatible tubes [any “12A” preamp type, any 5-pin rectifier, and any 6bq5/EL84 output type (and even some 6P15P output types)].  Currently, the set of tubes that work best for me is; preamp= 5751 (GE, triple mica), power amp= SV83 x2 (Russian Reflector, sold by Decware), rectifier= 5Y3GT (RCA, black-plate).  Yes, the SV83 tubes (6P15P type) are compatible with the SE84G and, to me at least, the output seams to be about the same as EL84’s.  I prefer the SV83 tubes because they are faster and tighter.. which results in a more ‘focused’, ‘linear’ sound.  I choose a 5Y3GT rectifier because it starves the power tubes a little, so they get ‘dirty’ earlier and more gradually.  I think a bigger rectifier like a 5AR4 sounds less ‘warm’ in the SE84G.  As for preamp tubes, I’ve tried a wide variety.  I just rolled tubes until the SE84G told me which level of gain worked best.. then I selected the least noisy tube that was near that level of gain.  A standard 12AX7 was very hot, so it sounded a little too ‘obnoxious’ to me.  The 12AU7 was not hot enough, so there was not enough ‘edge’ in the sound.  The 5751 works great.

Generally, as with any tube guitar amp that I’ve ever owned, the SE84G sounds ‘warmer’ and ‘fatter’ as the volume goes up.. but, there are a couple of “sweet spots”.  For full-tilt rock ‘n roll (with no limits on loudness), I set the volume at 3 o’clock and the tone at 1 o’clock.. this yields plenty of overdrive from the preamp and power amp.  The #1 is right-at-home with this setting.. easily reaching early ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, or even The Black Crowes.  If I need to keep the loudness a bit lower, I set the volume at 11 o’clock and the tone at 1 o’clock with the Presence switch engaged.. this tone is mainly ‘clean’, with the potential for ‘dirt’ using a harder pick attack.

I am very happy with the SE84G.  It’s my main guitar amp now.. ..by far the most user-friendly, toneful, low noise, and low maintenance tube guitar amp that I’ve ever owned.  Unless you need coliseum-level output, I highly recommend the Decware SE84G.

-Corey
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 7177
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #1 - 08/05/09 at 22:27:31
 
Corey,

Thanks for your review, I've long been intrigued by the possibiities of this amp.

Back to top
 
 

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,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:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
  IP Logged
veryoldcat
Seasoned Member
****


dam*ed if you do,
and dam*ed if you
don't

Posts: 372
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #2 - 08/06/09 at 03:10:21
 
There is a good possibility that the "CCE" mod would be worth trying, and be of some benefit when you run SV83's.

I was really really impressed with the benefit this tiny little mod had on the sound of the SV83's in my Decware hifi amp (SE84CS).

It's pretty cheap and easy to do, and it won't affect the amps ability to accept EL84's.

Cool to hear a bit about the guitar amp--thx!!

Karl
Back to top
 
 

SE84CS (vcapped), CSP, zbox, Dec685, ZP 1.0, Sota tt/Well-Tempered Arm/V15XMR, Parker 98's, Parker Audio *Power Chords*, cat 6 wires, OSX; a garage sale of other stuff...
  IP Logged
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #3 - 08/06/09 at 14:28:39
 
..I've spoken with Mr. Deckert about the CCE mod.. he hasn't tried the mod on a SE84G yet.. but, he said "in theory, it should work" [for the SE84G.]

I'll probably send the amp to him for the mod, sometime.. but, not for a while.. currently, I'm using the amp often.. can't part with it right now...

-Corey
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #4 - 08/18/09 at 15:19:35
 
..in my original post, I said "I think a bigger rectifier like a 5AR4 sounds less ‘warm’ in the SE84G."..  & "A standard 12AX7 was very hot, so it sounded a little too ‘obnoxious’ to me.  The 12AU7 was not hot enough, so there was not enough ‘edge’ in the sound."  ..well, just to clarify, the fore-mentioned rectifier and preamp types do have their 'place' with the SE84G.. but, they are not a part of my favorite set-up right now.

Although, I have been experimenting with them again.  Using a RCA 5R4GY (Brown base) and a GE 12AU7A (Grey plate), the SE84G is very 'full', and 'sweet' at low volume settings (9 o'clock'ish).. but, above 11 o'clock the 'sweetness' fades.  The tone gets nice again as the power tube overdrive becomes obvious (past 2 o'clock).

As for the 12AX7, I'm still not fond of it with any of my rectifier tubes.. but, that might change when I receive the Pete Cornish TB-83 that is currently in-transit between the UK and my door-step.  :)  ..I'm also pondering a Tone Tubby speaker cabinet, which could change things further.. ..I'll post any major discoveries on this thread.

-Corey
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #5 - 09/23/09 at 18:24:39
 
..well, my experiments with the Cornish TB-83 are complete.. in my opinion, the TB-83 is way too hot for the SE84G.. WOW.. full-clipping with the amp volume at 9 o'clock! ..I've tried different ways to make them compatible, but no success.. just my experience, not the 'gospel'.

I'm still liking the RCA 5R4GY and GE 12AU7A, with SV83 power.. very dynamic.. compared to my hotter tube compliments, it allows a little more 'clean' to 'dirt' range with the pick and guitar volume pot...

I'm picking up a new Tone Tubby 12" (Ceramic) speaker tonight.. I'll post my results here...

-Corey


11/06/2009 - Corrected a spelling error, only. -chp
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 11/06/09 at 20:21:13 by chptunes »  
  IP Logged
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #6 - 10/09/09 at 20:59:52
 
..well.. I liked the Ceramic Tone Tubby.. and I figured that an AlNiCo TT would be even better.. so, I took "the plunge".. ...

My new 2x12 [Pine] Tone Tubby AlNiCo cabinet (red/black) arrived a few days ago from South Valley Vintage Amps.. here are my thoughts...

First impression:  ..wow.. the quality of the parts and construction look great!.. ..and the sound.. ..I was expecting to be less impressed before ‘break-in’.. ..it gets even better than this?!!

After 20 minutes (connected with speakers in Series @ 16 Ohms):  ..man, what a sound!.. this tone has so much ‘warmth’ and ‘bloom’.. like the sound is ‘oozing’ instead of ‘projecting’.. ..'smoother' than I ever imagined… [think Carlos Santana (recent years)]

After 1 hour (now, connected with speakers in Parallel @ 4 Ohms):  ..wow.. this set-up is way flexible.. huge tone with lots of ‘snap’ and ‘crispness’.. seems that the pine is adding some audible ‘sweetness’, too.. ..so sweet…

Verdict:  The SE84G and I love the Tone Tubbys!  ..the Ceramic TT is nice, but the AlNiCo TT is 'sweeter' and 'rounder'.  Personally, I recommend AlNiCo speakers for the sweetest tones from an SE84G.

The SE84G has no trouble driving this cabinet with the speakers in Series (16 Ohms) or Parallel (4 Ohms).. and, the tone is quite different between the two.  The Parallel/4 Ohms route sounds louder and brighter, in my opinion.

-Corey
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #7 - 01/16/10 at 16:02:14
 
..another chapter.. lately, I've been enjoying the GE 12AU7A.. the amp does seem to thrive with low gain preamp tubes (IMO).. but, I wondered if I could get some more 'sweetness' from the preamp section.

Also, I've been wanting to obtain more headroom in the power section.. so...

I ordered a NOS Mullard 12AU7 and a pair of EL84 Groove Tubes with a "High" Performance Rating [their "High" rating equates to more headroom, where their "Low" rating equates to less headroom].

So, I received them this week.. and plugged in a Ruby 5AR4 Rectifier.. YES! ..super sweet tones.. very 'vibrant' and 'swirling' cleans, all the way to 3 o'clock with the volume [guitar volume rolled back some].  A very inspiring tone indeed.. the vintage Vox AC15 tone comes to mind.  Almost sounds like I've added a faint chorus effect in the chain, but I haven't.

This may be my favorite combination yet.  Now, I must try some different speaker loads.. this will change things too.

-Corey
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
chptunes
Verified Member
**




Posts: 7
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #8 - 01/18/10 at 20:20:21
 
..tried my old GE 5751 with the EL84 Groove Tubes last night.. awesome! ..really big 'glassy' sound.. the Tone Tubbys are really moving a lot of air with this combination.

Lovin' these high-headroom Groove Tubes.. they're opening lots of new doors for me and the SE84G.

-Corey
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
rmt
Seasoned Member
****


NIbbelin NFX

Posts: 231
Re: Decware SE84G review
Reply #9 - 01/19/10 at 21:28:28
 
Thank you for the updates.  I haved been wanting to hear reviews on the guitar amp for a long time.
Back to top
 
 

Select, CSP2 upgrade, Dec 685, DSRii, home built Nibbelin NFX w/DFR-8s, Klipsch RF-7, SE34.I, Zbox
WWW   IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print