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$4K System? (Read 7344 times)
nsj
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$4K System?
12/02/09 at 16:24:28
 
Hello All,

I am a new member here, and new to tube hifi as well, so bear with me. I sent Steve this question via email and I received a response from him. I would like to hear from Decware fans on this subject as well:

Steve,

My wife and I have decided to give each other a new hifi system for Christmas. In searching the www, I happened upon your website and I like what I see. I like the idea of buying something built in the US instead of Cayin, Prima Luna etc. Your lifetime warranty is icing on the cake.

Here are the particulars of our situation. We have a budget of $4k max, including cables, CD source, pre-amp/amp or integrated, speakers and shipping. Our living room is 20' x 20' with an 11' sloped ceiling. It is also open to the rest of the house (another 1600 square feet). The room has a wood ceiling, wood floor, one glass wall, 2 sheet rock walls and a 4th wall of brick fireplace.

In terms of music, we are eclectic in our tastes: 50% straight-ahead jazz (Coltrane, Miles, Parker etc) and 50% rock, everything from female vocalists to heavy metal. I do occasionally like to CRANK my Black Sabath! In the future, I plan to add a turn table, so a phono pre-stage is also desired...

Given all of these parameters, what system would give us the biggest bang for our buck of the myriad products that you produce?

Many thanks!
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Lon
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Posts: 7696
Re: $4K System?
Reply #1 - 12/02/09 at 16:58:32
 
Let me suggest the ERRs, the Torii Mark III, the fully-modded ZCD (or a similar source, I love my Sony ES 5400 SACD player better), and a CSP2 for pre-amplification. and source switching (if you are going to run Blu-Ray, etc.) The ERRs and the Torii are a killer combination.  The CSP2 adds icing to the cake.

This may be a bit over your budget, but you'll be happy about it.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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
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nsj
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #2 - 12/02/09 at 17:07:22
 
Lon, LOL, I'm sure that I WOULD be happy, but, my wife would NOT be happy! That would be a great cost no object choice, but, what would you do if you only had $4K including cables, shipping etc?

nsj
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Lon
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #3 - 12/02/09 at 17:13:09
 
Knowing what I know now, I'd do this. . . somehow.

If I had to scrimp I'd drop the CSP2 (though it's all better with it) and move to the Integrated (a fine amp, but the ERRs will love the Torii more especially on Sabbath; I'd really like to go for the new III but I have a II and can't afford a III), and look for a really nice used cd player somewhere, like a NAD universal player, etc. that will come in cheaper than the ZCD.  Get Decware cables and interconnects, might as well get those right the first time.
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« Last Edit: 12/02/09 at 17:14:37 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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
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nsj
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Posts: 80
Re: $4K System?
Reply #4 - 12/02/09 at 17:20:53
 
OK,

So the Model SE34I.2+ Integrated, ERR's, cables etc, would almost allow for the ZCD within budget I believe...

I wonder what shipping would be?

Does the integrated have a Phono Stage, or, would I need to add one later?
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Lon
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"Love without
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Posts: 7696
Re: $4K System?
Reply #5 - 12/02/09 at 17:22:12
 
You'll need to add one later. No Decware amplification includes a phono stage.  

Start saving a few more thousand for your vinyl. Cheesy  I personally have resisted the urge for several decades now.

Shipping would probably be . . . 140 maybe?  Sarah or Steve can give you a good idea.

If you can . . . get all the mods on the ZCD. They made a difference on mine, getting it almost up there as my best source.
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« Last Edit: 12/02/09 at 17:23:38 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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
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nsj
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #6 - 12/02/09 at 17:32:38
 
Lon,

Many thanks for your expertise on all of this. Would you take the SE34I.2+ over the Mini Torii, and if so, why?

I have lots of vinyl from my youth that I would like to get back into...

Regarding the phono stage, I can either add a ZP3 or get a turntable with a built-in ps such as the Pro-Ject Debut USB Turntable, I guess.
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Lon
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #7 - 12/02/09 at 17:42:44
 
I don't have any experience with a min-Torii, and I have an Integrated in my bedroom system that I use every day, and used in the main system before I got the Torii Mark II, so I KNOW the Integrated and know how wonderful an amp it is.  The Mini-Torii looks like a great amp for a compact system and looks like a tube-roller's dream, but tube rolling is really something that drove me crazy in the past and I'm steering clear of lately. Also, I love the EL34 tube in guitar and audio amps and the Integrated uses these to great effect.

To me analog and vinyl are two different beasts and I find that if I great a system to one, it doesn't fare as well with the other.  One day I may set up a vinyl system but I haven't felt the need with 12000 plus cds, and most of my vinyl also in cd form.

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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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
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nsj
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Posts: 80
Re: $4K System?
Reply #8 - 12/02/09 at 18:27:48
 
Lon,

Thanks! So far we have 3 different combinations: mine, Steve's and yours. This is very interesting; I hope that other forum members chime in...

nsj
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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: $4K System?
Reply #9 - 12/02/09 at 20:06:38
 
OK here goes!
njs, I have a pair of MG944's set up with a 1st generation Decware Integrated running on a single set of EL34's only about 3.5 watts.
Read this thread first.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1258399932

I also have a pair of what has become known as "IT" Radials or the "retail" version of a Decware radial. That is what Lon has as well. That speaker has a front firing midbass driver like on the MG944, the same tweeter and with a radial driver on top. These are "unobtainium" at least for the short term. The ERR is a very similar speaker and is a bit more laid back than the MG944 or My radials, however it does do the same spacious imaging that the Decware radials are known for, and given your room size which we do not know yet, the ERR would not NEED the TORII MkIII power necessarily. The current Integrated is 6 watts and so is the Mini TORII. I have a Mini TORII coming in a week or two.

At this point I'd ask you what type of sound you like. More laid back and relaxed in the mid range and highs or more forward?

The MG is not a forward speaker but it is not as relaxed as the ERR.
Auditioning both at Decware the Mini TORII SEX had a magic with all the speakers that was undeniable. With the MG944's it was super good. With the ERR radials it was laid back however the big room at Decware with it's high ceilings offer a different load to the speaker. Here at home radial speakers with 8.5 foot ceilings are loading the room with plenty of bass and the imaging is to die for. The MG944 does not present as large of an image but the speaker projects into the room better and bass is different. Better? Not sure. Placement is everything. I've already said I'd like to try a set of ERR's. Just too many other things to do.

My advice is get the amp that makes the best of all the subtleties, yet has the some diversity power wise. The MkIII is a great amp I'm sure. I heard the Mini TORII with MG944, various sets of Radials, the HDT's and other non-Decware speakers. I told Steve I wanted one on the spot. It is coming soon! can't wait. Second choice would be The SE34I.2 Integrated. A little less complex than the Mini but still 6 watts.

Now back to my Integrated running at 3.5 watts per (single) output tube. VERY MUCH like the current Integrated. Steve informed me yesterday they would sound very much alike. Well with the MG944's I've not hard clipped it at ALL. Loud sweet and BIG sounding. Detailed and imaging that is precise. I have no doubts about MG944 speakers. They are entry level price but they are not entry level sound. Pricing also reflects complexity of build and parts cost so naturally the ERR is more expensive. My vote is you go simple and get your feet wet first.

MG944,
Mini TORII SEX
or
SE34I.2
ZCD (the NEW one Wink if you need a CD player
CSP 2 Preamp
or
ZenHead if you have an iPod

Don't laugh iPod is blowing me away. Why ??? Just is.

Get an iPod touch if you have enough left.

Which you Should.

Before I posted I had the iPod on the CSP2 with my integrated (remember 3.5 watts only for mine) on the MG944's and had Pink Floyd "Sheep", Ten Years After "I'd love to change the world", Floyd again from The Wall "One Of My Turns", Steve Miller Band "Take the Money and Run" playing one after the other on Pandora Radio.
Not one bit of stress or strain on the Integrated. Loud, big, beautiful!!!
I have every reason to expect same out of Mini TORII.

The got on the "Stan Getz & Luiz Bonfa" channel for a little saxophone and bossa nova. Ike Quebec "Favela" came on. Whoa! Right away a live 3d sound. Will it do Coltrane, Miles, Parker? Amen bro.

It is more forward than the radials but that room has more hard surface the room the Radials are in, here on the other side of the house in a much more cluttered living room.

The MG944 has almost no crossover. Louder than my particular Radials (not much) with all else being equal (amp and such)
The CSP2 ads weight and dynamics. And Gain control pushes the amp just that much harder but with so much control.

I'd bet that just a Mini TORII and MG944's alone would be a good start.

I'll know first hand in a week or two!!!! Count down to Mini Cheesy

Hope this helps nsj!

Decware (Steve) has never let me down. His stuff sound "right", real and your doing yourself a favor getting any of his amps. You got to hear it for yourself.





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Hi-Fi Gear: More than I need! Not as much as I want!
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DirtDawg
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #10 - 12/02/09 at 20:24:50
 
Quoting CK for the inherent truth of his statement:



"Decware (Steve) has never let me down. His stuff sound "right", real and your doing yourself a favor getting any of his amps. You got to hear it for yourself."



I only own two early designed amps (SE84C, used in dual mono for my two channel system) from Steve's massive array of desirables (so, I am possibly not one of the best from whom to take advice, but I have read and fully conceived of his entire set of white papers, "totally" referring to myself as "onboard with his ideas"  and fully aligned with his earthbound sets of common sense ideals) and I have personally hand-built several of his speaker enclosure designs, all of which gave even more satisfaction in use than than my elevated expectation had promised.

I have never been let down, one iota.

Honestly, I bought my first amp sight, unseen, then acquired another as soon as one came available, due to how fully satisfied I was with the first Two Watt amp.  I was so beside myself with how versatile and comforting the design was, that all my other older fancy-ish sandgear was set aside. If I had four thousand dollars to spend on audio gear today, I would only make one phone call and it would be to Steve.

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« Last Edit: 12/02/09 at 20:46:31 by DirtDawg »  
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nsj
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #11 - 12/02/09 at 20:45:35
 
Chris and DD,

Wow, this is great information; exactly the type that I was hoping for. Chris, if you missed it, my living room, which has a lot of modern furniture which is non-negotiable in terms of placement is:

20' x 20' with an 11' sloped ceiling. It is also open to the rest of the house (another 1600 square feet). The room has a wood ceiling, wood floor, one glass wall, 2 sheet rock walls and a 4th wall of brick fireplace.

My initial thought was that the ERR might do a better, and less placement-determined, job given the space - any thoughts?

I am not going to tell you guys what system Steve suggested until I make a final decision...let's just say that Chris is on to something!

In terms of sound, I believe that I would probably fall into the "laid back" category. And yes, the $4K is to cover a CD source, speakers, amp, cables, shipping etc. (the whole shooting match).

I do have an ipod, but, I was hoping that Steve might someday come out with a Decware version of the Tascam CD-200I, which has a built-in ipod dock. Does anyone know whether this might happen?
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: $4K System?
Reply #12 - 12/02/09 at 20:45:51
 
CK,

I suggested the Torii for several reasons one of which I think he could use the headroom.

nsj says:

Here are the particulars of our situation. We have a budget of $4k max, including cables, CD source, pre-amp/amp or integrated, speakers and shipping. Our living room is 20' x 20' with an 11' sloped ceiling. It is also open to the rest of the house (another 1600 square feet). The room has a wood ceiling, wood floor, one glass wall, 2 sheet rock walls and a 4th wall of brick fireplace.

I think with that size room that he needs the power. Also both the Torii and the Integrated have the sort of forgiving nature (as opposed to say the Select) that his jazz source material could use to help him enjoy the music and not always be thking of the equipment.

Anyway, he has lots of options! I'd be interested to hear what Steve's advice is.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
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
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Chris K
Seasoned Member
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My owner only hears
to 16K WELL I can
hear to 60K!

Posts: 273
Re: $4K System?
Reply #13 - 12/02/09 at 23:35:21
 
Duhhh! Embarrassed
Sorry missed the room size. See I'm so stoked up I'm like a kid in a candy store!
Whoa all hard surfaces. Can you say echo?
Obviously Steve's recommendation is considering this so I'm gonna defer.

Here is one of my rooms with adjoining open space. I have carpet in all but kitchen.
All 8' 4" ceilings. Lots of open space for bass energy to escape.
I need treatments for midrange in both rooms. I think you will to NSJ!

The other living room has different layout but is open to kitchen on both sides as well and the dining area is not to the side but to the back so it is like a very long room.
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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: $4K System?
Reply #14 - 12/02/09 at 23:39:27
 
Lon, yes I understand and indeed the Big TORII is a real good choice.
$1,000 more than the Mini TORII so its a big step. Grin
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« Last Edit: 12/02/09 at 23:39:55 by Chris K »  

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