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Torii MkIII review (Read 3537 times)
will
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Posts: 1264
Torii MkIII review
02/25/11 at 06:59:30
 
My system is mostly Decware at this point: TORII MkIII, ZDAC-1, ZSTAGE, Styx speaker cables, Reference ICs, and MG944 speakers. Also some MAC cables, VHAudio DIY power cords, and a Mac Mini playing uncompressed, error corrected AIFF files through a Wireworld Starlight USB cable. Power: Brickhouse surge/filter and a number of Alan Maher's cheaper power conditioning boxes. HerbiesAudioLab vibration absorption stuff….and lots of tubes. My room is not perfect, but fairly well treated and sounds really good to me. So though the TORII is at the core of the system, it does not stand alone in my comments.

My musical tastes are pretty broad, but I think there is the thread of my love for the the sound of the instruments and how that sound influences the players' music and expression, and finally me! As far as I can tell, the best players all interact with respect and love for the qualities their instruments impart. It is an ongoing interaction. At that point, is it the instrument, or is it the player we enjoy listening to? I think all the best art is a clear interplay between the artist and their medium. In music, the body of the artist follows the mind and heart pulling tones and phrases from their instrument. And as the tones and phrases present, the player responds to those tones and phrases with the next tones and phrases. It is no wonder Jazz became a genre.

Then the fun part for the listener is available….the recording. And for this, the Torii MkIII excels whether you enjoy hard rock, hip hop, folk traditions, trip hop, simple or complex classical, jazz... Like the great player interacts sympathetically with their instrument, so too does the Torii make it possible for the listener to interact sympathetically with the player's expression and performance.

Cool


I think this amp represents technology at its most refined, technology that disappears into a quintessential experience of music. The Torii's speed reveals pacing previously unnoticed....the sweet sense of the players reaching for heartfelt expression through their instruments becomes palpable. And the nuance! The reed like air from her body expressed in voice...the hammer pad as it strikes the piano string...the complexity of a bass as finger hits on ridged string causing the body of the instrument's wood to deliver a sound that you can feel as if you were playing yourself....the rich and vibrant tone of the guitar, horn, cymbal, tom, or bass drum, each taking on characteristics the instrument makers always wished we could hear…like actually hearing the skin of the drum. It can be breathtaking! Every day I am amazed and grateful to be experiencing this seductive and highly transporting vehicle to musical pleasure right here in my home! 

This amp is capable of an almost eerie sense of musical realism! It has the clarity, sweetness, and holographic imaging of great Single Ended Triode amps, but with some serious weight and power. If you thought bass was difficult with tubes, forget it. It resolves bass as brilliantly as it coaxes its lifelike midrange and natural, airy highs from recordings. And though the amp design is beautifully simple, it is very flexible. With the bias and output impedance switches, treble cut knobs, and five tube sets, tonal shifts from subtle to fairly intense are right there within reach. It is so revealing that you can hear quite notable differences even between regulator tubes of the same type, not to mention input, power tubes and rectifiers. 

Actually, the Torii MkIII is like an instrument itself. And Steve Deckert (and company) are the instrument's makers. And like all good makers and players, their personal expression is based in the refinement of their ever-developing preferences and skills. This is the nature of the artist. Thirst drives the discovery, and the discovery excites the need for further exploration. Not surprisingly, this sounds like a serious listener too!

Wink

Will Steve make a better amp one day. Most likely. In fact, since I bought my MkIII it looks like he has added a trim pot to adjust the mod my amp already has, which matches in real time the speaker coil to the amp's power output creating a strong tight bass. But mine is not user adjustable. This is the one thing I would have asked for on my amp and I suspect this refinement pushes the Torii into the range of impeccable!

Thanks to Decware I have a brilliant sound right here in my home that is so satisfying and engaging that I have no real desire to explore further other than continuing to refine what I have! The Torii MkIII is a big player in this satisfaction, but it is the disappearance of the gear and the wonder of the music reproduced at this level that I really appreciate. Every day it enhances my life!
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« Last Edit: 02/25/11 at 07:07:28 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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ZYGI
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HR-ONE

Posts: 644
Re: Torii MkIII review
Reply #1 - 02/25/11 at 12:56:37
 
WOW Will, that was well written....

    Have you ever thought about being a reviewer. Most of them write an entire article about everything from what they had for dinner before the review to what wine they drank while they were listening. Then they write one paragraph on what they actually heard.

When I first read  your review I was thinking it was for the MG944's Wink

ZYGI
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All Decware amps and sources, Turning Point Audio speakers
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will
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Posts: 1264
Re: Torii MkIII review
Reply #2 - 02/25/11 at 15:05:14
 
ZYGI....You are right....it is about the MG944s. Or is it? How do you describe a component when the sound you are describing is the system? You dig for the details the component contributes to the system, but the system is the sum of the parts including the room, and each part defines the system.

There is a problem describing the MG944s though. Conceptually they are as important to my sound as any other component. Some might say the most. It is hard to notice them though. They just sit there dismembered! The boxes are there in front of me doing nothing. Meanwhile the players are spread around in various positions in the room.... spaciously organized, and always some combination of: in front of, behind, or to the right and left of the speakers. Never does the sound come from the speakers. So maybe the MG944s are just a illusion?!?!?!

Roll Eyes

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« Last Edit: 02/25/11 at 16:41:56 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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mac5u
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Posts: 100
Re: Torii MkIII review
Reply #3 - 03/19/11 at 22:02:35
 
Nice review, Will.  Again.  You put your mind to it,  you could make reviewing a serious avocation.

I'd forgotten about the photo below, but ZYGI and I were talking last night and he mentioned something that brought this to mind. It is a screenshot taken from a review about Gallo Strada desktop speakers in the 6moon.com online mag.



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will
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Posts: 1264
Re: Torii MkIII review
Reply #4 - 03/20/11 at 21:29:44
 
Thanks Mac. It would be fun to do reviews for various gear...at least I think so.

Isn't that funny, a photo for a review on something else altogether with the Torii so prominently placed....stealth vote of appreciation for Decware?????? Wink
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« Last Edit: 03/20/11 at 21:31:14 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-6, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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