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A Tale Of Two TABOOS (Read 3006 times)
Rivieraranch
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A Tale Of Two TABOOS
10/16/10 at 03:47:54
 
I recently sold the TABOO I bought new in 2008. It had seen service both at home and at the office; with and without a CSP2 preamplifier. My comments on the unit are found in various threads in this forum below. My first TABOO was a superlative piece of high fidelity equipment.

I teetered on the brink of buying a MINI TORII for the office but in the end I realized that it would not make sense merely to duplicate for the workplace what I have here at home.

I ordered a new TABOO with V-caps and 2 selectable inputs. I had been using a Radio Shack 2 input switch box for the tuner and CD inputs and was tired of it. It looked Mickey Mouse. The new TABOO arrived and I used it for 5 hours on one day before going on vacation for 6 business days. Then I came back to work and started really breaking it in.

This week was the first full week of breaking the TABOO in. Monday and Tuesday I began using a Mullard CV4024 in front, some old RCA 6BQ5's and a Tung Sol 5U4 rectifier. The unit sounded a little thin for the first couple of hours but quickly began mellowing.

Steve said that the V-caps help with the gain in the TABOO.  After a few days I began to notice this. With the volume wide open, the music was louder than it had been with the other unit. Although I do not need maximum volume for this is an office, not a home system. The speakers are directly in front of me.

Wednesday I brought some 6P15P-EV's in to see how the unit would sound with the vaunted grid modification. After a couple of hours these sounded very detailed with a lot of air. The bass was there in good detail but was a tad lighter than with a 6BQ5. This was a very interesting, accurate, engaging sound indeed. I used these for 2 days to burn the tubes in. I was skeptical at first about using this tube; the mod was not the reason why I got this unit; but after using the tube with the grid mod, I may even prefer it.  

Today I swapped the '15P's for a pair of 6P14P-EV, a stronger, meaner EL84 substitute. I immediately noticed the difference between these and the '15P's. The '14P's have heavier bass and a meatier presentation in the middle range. They were strong and authoritative, but without the extra detail of the 6P15P-EV. They are stronger than a standard 6BQ5. I imagine that these will sweeten with time.  Although after running them for 7 hours they were pretty well warmed up.

So far, the new TABOO is working out quite well. It will mellow and sweeten with time, like the old one did. However, with the 2 inputs, the grid mod and the V-caps, my new TABOO better meets my needs for the longer term.      

     
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Brian
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #1 - 10/18/10 at 17:01:25
 
That sounds like fun.
Does the current edition Taboo have the "Lucid Mode" switch? Which mode are You using?
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Juan Antonio
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #2 - 10/18/10 at 22:00:52
 
Yes, sounds interesting. Maybe soon (or for christmas) I will order a Taboo + Vcap for the ERR's, I think. I cannot go further for a Torii (two many tubes). The room is fairly big but I think 6watts will be enough.

RR, tell us the differences you find between the Mini and this Taboo.

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Rivieraranch
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #3 - 10/18/10 at 23:11:31
 
The current TABOO is the same as the other one, a current model with LUCID mode. I listen in LUCID most of the time because it takes the edges off of things. It often imparts in eerie lifelike quality, especially with live recordings.

The main difference between the TABOO and MINI TORII is the latter has so many infinite tube combinations that translates into a more versatile unit. The MINI can play louder with 6V6; 6L6 and 6Y6 than with 6K6, which is a more laid back power tube. The MINI plays louder than the TABOO with a given source because of the difference in input sensitivity. However when the TABOO is fed a source from a preamplifier it acquires a lot of weight and authority.  The main thing to remember is that they both sound GREAT; they just operate differently. A lot has to do with the source, the speakers, etc., and the desires of the operator.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Juan Antonio
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #4 - 10/19/10 at 18:43:13
 
Well, when I said the difference between the Mini and the Taboo, I was referring to the [CSP2 + Taboo] vs MiniTorii, of course. We know the Taboo is "incomplete" for itself.

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« Last Edit: 10/19/10 at 18:43:55 by Juan Antonio »  
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Rivieraranch
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #5 - 10/19/10 at 23:34:09
 
I would not agree that the TABOO is somehow incomplete without a preamplifier. It depends a lot on how you are going to use it. I could see that a TABOO paired with low efficiency speakers with a low voltage source will not get as loud as one connected to a higher voltage source and more efficient speakers. On the other hand, there is no distortion at full volume. This is why it is in my opinion the perfect amp for use at an office.

The TABOO with the CSP2 gives infinite flexibility in the gain. The TABOO sounds weightier with the preamplifier in front of it. Comparing that combination to the MINI TORII is difficult because the flexibility in the MINI lies in all the different tubes you can run through there. This goes more to voice than weight or volume.

The Mini Torii with a 6K6 power tube reminds me of the TABOO without a preamp using a 12AU7 input tube and EL84's. But then the Mini Torii does not have the LUCID MODE. With the Mini Torii you make up for the lack of LUCID by the ability to voice the signature sound of the amp to meet your desires.

The TABOO with the CSP2 sounds similar to the MINI TORII with 6L6GC tubes.

If somebody wanted to they could voice the 2 amps closely together by using these combinations noted above. I enjoy both for different uses. My TABOO does not have to play loud so there is no need to attach a CSP2 to it. The MINI TORII can play loud because it is at home, not in an office.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Juan Antonio
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #6 - 10/20/10 at 13:15:42
 
I also guess the Mini has better stereo isolation because of dual mono design. Have you done the headphone mod? Grado's seem to be a good match.

On the other hand. Is a Taboo EX? I say this because your MG's are 4 ohm and supposed to be a better match with "normal" transformers. Did you ask Steve for this?

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Rivieraranch
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #7 - 10/21/10 at 00:53:45
 
You are exactly right. The Mini Torii, being dual mono has incredible stereo separation. I forgot to mention that in the comparison.

Both the TABOO and MINI TORII have EX transformers and each works well the with MG944's. When the Mini Torii was conceived of, the first 2 were made with "normal" transformers and the third was made using the EX transformers. Steve said that the one with the EX transformers just sounded better. So that is why they are now making all of them with the EX transformers.  I bought this #3 unit, which was my first Mini Torii. I sold it and bought another one. Now I am the proud owner of MINI TORII #33.

I am not going to be doing that headphone modification because I prefer to use a CSP2. I don't want to get involved with a head unit retrofit on the Mini Torii that offers extremely limited choices of headphones.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Juan Antonio
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Posts: 77
Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #8 - 10/21/10 at 14:50:23
 
Interesting. Huh

So, as you say, the Mini sounds better with EX, no matter which speaker impedance. Is the same case with the Taboo? (I guess you don't know this).

On the other hand. In my side I would say my Grado's don't perform well with the CSP2 due to the low impedance. If I owned a Mini I would have the mod done. This means the CSP2 with high impedance headphones and the Mini with the rest.
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« Last Edit: 10/21/10 at 14:57:36 by Juan Antonio »  
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Rivieraranch
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #9 - 10/22/10 at 01:57:05
 
I am not aware of anybody outside of DECWARE actually using a MINI TORII with the regular transformers.  The EX transformers are good with speakers from 4-8 ohms.

My TABOO has always been used with an 8 OHM speaker, so I do not know how it would sound with a 4 ohm unit, probably great, I believe.

The CSP2 does fine with GRADOS. I have used my former CSP2 units with GRADOS without any problem. However the only headphones I own right now are Sennheiser 580's.

Personally I am not going to monkey around with my MINI TORII getting the headphone jack when I have the CSP2+ which I believe will handle any headphone.  
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« Last Edit: 10/22/10 at 03:31:33 by Rivieraranch »  

DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Juan Antonio
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Posts: 77
Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #10 - 10/22/10 at 13:30:18
 
"My TABOO has always been used with an 8 OHM speaker, so I do not know how it would sound with a 4 ohm unit, probably great, I believe."

Well, your MG's are 4 ohms. Haven't you ever tried the Taboo with them yet??? !!!! Shocked

"The CSP2 does fine with GRADOS. I have used my former CSP2 units with GRADOS without any problem. However the only headphones I own right now are Sennheiser 580's."

Currently, I'm using Sennheiser HD800's. They are.... well, you can imagine. If you are used like me to the level of HD600/650/580, this step forward is by far very noticeable. The soundstage is quite wider, but above all, the precision and speed is impressive. They are super fast. Maybe someday I will become an electrostatic (iso/ortho/planar magnetic) headphone enthusiast. The speed is specially one of the very important features of sound reproduction for me to care about by far.

Very dangerous for my wallet too.  Grin
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Rivieraranch
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Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #11 - 10/22/10 at 23:39:33
 
I got my first MINI TORII in May or June 2009 (when I had 8 OHM speakers) and at that point moved the TABOO to the office. I first got the MG944's (4 OHM ) in August, 2009.

Therefore, while I have run the MINI TORII with both 8 OHM and 4 OHM speakers, I have only used the TABOO with 8 OHM speakers. It is basically the same kind of transformer so I am sure the TABOO would sound equally as well with 4 OHM and 8 OHM speakers.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Juan Antonio
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Posts: 77
Re: A Tale Of Two TABOOS
Reply #12 - 10/26/10 at 11:39:21
 
"I am sure the TABOO would sound equally as well with 4 OHM and 8 OHM speakers."

mmm... Maybe so... or not. Anyway, before purchasing a Decware amp I will ask Steve, just in case.

Thanks for your replies.  ;)
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