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Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp (Read 9046 times)
brashgordon
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Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
03/30/11 at 10:32:38
 
Please forgive me if I've hi-jacked newly posted information and started a new topic about which the ink is barely dry ...

BUT this should be in the Times ... or the Post ... and now it's in the Enquirer ...

I have a tremendous interest in this 6 channel pre-amp, presumably to compliment the DIY mono block amps you have recently begun offering... Wowzer !

Would love to have a HI FI surround sound system ...with a nice AV controller that supports HDMI 1.4 but doesn't get in the way ...

a dog that can take blood pressure and AC1 readings, bring me food they don't have to advertize on TV to get medicare to pay for,  (and even local wild life or visiting teenagers wont eat) ...

Shucks, watching stealth TV in 3D while listening to Jefferson Airplane singing  Crown of Creation ....what could be better ??

Again, please forgive my excitement and pushy post ... but I really love the possibilities these new products offer...

You can kill me ... but you can't eat me ... I've been told I'm toxic ...

Wink Wink Wink
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Donnie
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #1 - 03/30/11 at 22:48:20
 
I like the cut of your jib.
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Owner of the infamous RED TORII
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #2 - 03/31/11 at 01:52:55
 
The Zen Ultra sounds too good to be true. But it sounds like it addresses exactly what I was thinking of putting together with multiple ZSTAGEs feeding multiple amps for my HT system.
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
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brashgordon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #3 - 04/02/11 at 09:00:25
 
I waited until April 2nd and still no quick link.   Not that I'm impatient ... I did wait until the 2nd.

Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: 04/02/11 at 09:01:04 by brashgordon »  
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brashgordon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #4 - 04/05/11 at 06:46:32
 
Early morning, April 4 ...

actually missed that opportunity about 18 hours ago ...


Still waiting patiently for news.

Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #5 - 04/06/11 at 03:58:52
 
Sure hope this wasn't a ~4/1 joke.
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
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brashgordon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #6 - 04/06/11 at 04:23:36
 
I doubt it ... too much creedence, in the line and previous successes ...

Probably just sitting in a back room making power cords ...
ignoring those of us ... viewing this site ... no worry , no shame ...

Those new speakers manufacture them selves ... ya' know

huge market for cables, these days ...

A virtual monkey's ... gone to heaven  
room to believe... and room  ... to myself

Don't care... if I mumble ...

Was that inappropriate  ??

Huh Huh Huh
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #7 - 04/08/11 at 18:41:56
 
The Zen ULTRA is delayed by at least 30 days due to a paint problem with the initial batch of 50 chassis, which all have to be re-made.

However, I am making progress on the web page and about 1/2 done with the supporting article, so both will be online in the next week or three...

I'm super busy right now, so I'm not going to take questions on it, until after the web page is up and the article is in place.

But, just to be a tease, here is a couple pictures of the new Zen ULTRA, price still pending.









Cheers

Steve  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #8 - 04/09/11 at 02:47:18
 
Here is the completed paper on the Zen Ultra:

http://www.decware.com/newsite/paper120.html

May be a week or two before the web page is done.

Steve
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #9 - 04/09/11 at 04:18:52
 
Too cool. Put me on the list.
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #10 - 04/09/11 at 14:07:59
 
I've noticed that the excellent Sony BDP-S5000ES is being heavily discounted lately, available new between 400 and 500 dollars. I'd wager this would be an excellent model to use with this preamp; it has discrete outputs for all channels that are purported to sound really really good, close in quality to its sister ES SACD player, which I have and adore the sound of.. Picture quality is also reported to be excellent, especially DVD upscaled image. I'll have one here on Monday, though I only use 2 channel audio for video, and can't comment on the surround sound.




I sprang for this because it matches the looks (and shares important design characteristics) with my Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD player, and  I couldn't resist the price (this started out as a 2000 dollar player). I'll move my current Sony BDP-S2000ES into my bedroom system where I  know it will shine as both a cd and video source.

Just thought it would be a good price point for someone interested in quality audio with great picture, and not needing to stream movies, etc.
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« Last Edit: 04/09/11 at 14:14:27 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #11 - 04/09/11 at 18:47:13
 
Started a thread about the Ultra on the Steve Hoffman board to drum up some interest (and there IS some interest!)

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/showthread.php?t=247250
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« Last Edit: 04/09/11 at 18:47:38 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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seank
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #12 - 04/09/11 at 21:40:10
 
Lon, I saw your note about the Sony player.  Do you know of any Sony Authorized dealers selling at these prices?

I found some dealers on the Internet, but they are not Sony dealers and thus the 5 year ES warranty would not be honored.  All of the authorized Sony sites I visited say the product is discontinued.

I'm a little concerned about throwing $500.00 at a product that has no support.  What's your take on it?
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #13 - 04/10/11 at 00:10:21
 
Actually, if you hurry, it's more like 400 or less to risk:

http://shop.avscience.com/Sony-BDP-5000ES-Blu-ray-Player_p_216.html

Here's the deal with Sony: Early this year Sony discontinued selling their ES series from any dealer over the internet. It's all brick and mortar and maybe SonyStyle.com, which shows this model as discontinued. Yes it has been discontinued. I've been told that the warranty is good if its new and in the box and has a warranty card.

So yes, you're not going to get this price from a store if they have some in stock. To me the price is worth the risk. I've had my SACD player half way through the warranty period right now with not one lick of a problem, not even a hint. I expect the same with this player, I'm going to send off the warranty card and enjoy it.

Sony replaced this model in the ES series sort of with one half the price in a plastic case and reportedly with a much inferior analog output stage. There doesn't seem to be plans to put out a new one in a metal case, heavily built like this and with this sort of attention to quality playback. So I'm grabbing this model because in my opinion that's the way to go with players, and those type of players are generally more expensive even than the list price of these players.
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« Last Edit: 04/10/11 at 00:14:18 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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seank
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #14 - 04/10/11 at 04:24:17
 
Thanks Lon!

I just ordered one for $349 plus free shipping.

I think the Sony will work perfect with the Zen Ultra, because you'll need high quality analog outputs for the Ultra.

More and more DVD players are skipping 5.1 analog and just providing HDMI and 2.0 stereo outputs.


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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #15 - 04/10/11 at 05:04:33
 
Yes, and more and more are in small plastic cases and full of cheap crap. Glad you took advantage of that deal, I think it's going to be seen s as an "epic" one. Smiley
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #16 - 04/10/11 at 16:07:59
 
Agreed. I have to say I am very happy with the Oppo BDP-95 I recently installed. Solidly made, with a lot of attention to audio detail, including the ability to drive both 2-channel and 7.1 component audio and a reasonable quality DAC. How this will pair up with the Ultra remains to be seen, but I am jazzed about this possibility.
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
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3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #17 - 04/11/11 at 02:32:21
 
Well, boy web page creation can sure eat up some time...  Nevertheless I have the Zen ULTRA page  done and on the site.  I also bit the bullet on the pricing on this one, despite what it might look like.  Even though there is less IRON on this than there is on a TORII, there are 4 times as many internal parts which translates to more than twice as long to build and test.  It's a very labor intensive build.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ULTRA.html

-Steve  :)

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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #18 - 04/11/11 at 16:20:27
 
The effort is worth it Steve, always a fascinating read.

I think this product (though not on MY list) may prove to open a few new doors for Decware as there's really little that comes close to being like it out there and for some reason Smiley people love surround sound. Including people who don't yet know they're audiophiles and haven't yet encountered a need (so they think) for a Decware component.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #19 - 04/11/11 at 17:44:55
 
Quote:
Cool!!! So the 7.1 HD DTS Master will or won't be decodable? I ask because I set my HT system (when I had money) for 7.1 only to realize there was no material then and still isn't much. This makes me wonder if Blu Ray is a flash in the pan or not.  Only now after years and years I'm starting to see stuff, i.e. TRON, MONSTER's  made for 7.1. Yet my 7 dedicated channels cannot decode it. I thought I was decoding it by running the analog outputs via the OPPO 83SE into the analog inputs of the Meridian but nothing doing, they tried to tell me that in discrete mode its 7.1. Not the case, I ran the tests and its blending the sides and rears. End of story. Why aren't the extra two channels mixed in there discretely?


In the end how would I blend all 7 channels or would I even want to try if I keep all my equipment. I do have a very large room. Actually I always thought the 5.1 sounded pretty good anyway.

John

How many channels do you have hooked up?


John,

I have experimented with 7.1 from my Blu Ray player, set up the side channels per spec and was equally disappointed, which left me to wonder why they came up with 7.1 in the first place.  

My guess is that the typical home theater system with tiny little speakers leave so much to be desired from a dispersion standpoint that 7.1 was an effort to keep the sound from JUMPING from the front to the rear.  Adding that extra side speaker should make for a smoother transition.

If you set up good rear channels for wide dispersion, like I have, the system can create an image anywhere between the front and rear speakers making for a seamless sound field.  Example, a motorcycle sound as it drives can go between the right front and right rear speakers without disappearing in the middle.  

In my tests, 7.1 with the two extra speakers is a waste of time.

Steve
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #20 - 04/13/11 at 15:25:34
 
One word: ordered.
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #21 - 04/13/11 at 16:19:31
 
Gee, what a surprise! Smiley

Looks like a wonderful unit. I know you'll be happy. The waiting begins!
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Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #22 - 04/13/11 at 19:23:56
 
Yeah, I know, I am completely obtuse. Oh well.

But the way I figure it, this solves every one of my concerns about integrating stereo, home theater, and headphone listening. I shared the page with several friends and they all had the same reaction: this solves all the problems they had between excellent stereo and good HT.
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« Last Edit: 04/13/11 at 19:33:53 by Pale Rider »  

1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #23 - 04/13/11 at 20:02:57
 
Any thoughts on these Ediswans as the signal tubes in the Ultra: http://www.upscaleaudio.com/tubes/6922/edi-cv2492.html . I have found Russian rubes as cheap as a buck, but something tells me the Ultra will merit better.
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« Last Edit: 04/13/11 at 20:06:57 by Pale Rider »  

1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #24 - 04/14/11 at 14:16:14
 
I'd seriously recommend hunkering down for the long wait for the Ultra and listening to the stock tube complement for a month or two.  And then deciding what to do.

Tubes react differently in each circuit, so if I were to say "MAN THEY SOUND INCREDIBLE IN MY AMP!" doesn't mean they'll be the cats's meow in the Ultra.  In your shoes I'd get the Ultra, listen through break-in and then decide what you might want another tube set to accomplish, and then maybe ask Steve about tube choices, who is the one person on the planet who will have more experience with the Ultra than you. Smiley
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Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #25 - 04/14/11 at 19:48:12
 
Lon:

I think that is great advice.

Right now, my order for the Ultra is without tubes, bur maybe I will rethink that.

Greg
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
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mac5u
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #26 - 04/17/11 at 17:50:08
 
I agree with Lon.  It would be a good idea to establish a frame of reference using the tubes the designer voiced the amp around first.  Are you already familiar with the stock tubes and have identified a particular sound you know won't be achieved with these tubes?

About voicing, does anyone know why amp designers (it could be Steve or any other amp manufacturer for that matter) choose  a particular stock tube "configuration"?  Is it just to meet a price point?  Is it because the chosen configuration meets a minimum level of acceptable sound quality? Something else, maybe?
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #27 - 04/18/11 at 00:06:20
 
mac5u, as I noted in response to Lon, I think it is good advice to hear what Steve thinks sounds good in the Ultra. I did that with my Taboo. Having said that, it is also true Steve encourages tube rolling. So, I don't think there is any harm in the discussion.

As I said, I am rethinking ordering the Ultra with the stock set. I may love 'em, and in fact, I am confident I will. Steve's philosophy seems to be about superlative sound and good value. More than once, his design notes discuss achieving great results without requiring exotic tubes. Just the same, the prices of sweet NOS tubes just keeps going up, so no harm in thinking about options as I hunker down for the wait.

As for voicing, I have heard several designers offer differing explanations. Alex Cavalli, for example, a headphone amp designer and the maker of the Liquid Fire, which I ordered, says he did not voice to a particular tube or headphone. He says he designed it to met certain engineering goals. It so happens his amp allegedly sounds great with my favorite cans. We'll see. Personally, I like Steve's approach and how easy he makes it to roll your own.
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« Last Edit: 06/04/11 at 17:29:06 by Pale Rider »  

1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
NAS: Roon on RS2416+
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #28 - 04/18/11 at 01:25:19
 
Since you are one of the first, maybe even the first, to order an Ultra, I look forward to reading about your impressions once you get it.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #29 - 04/18/11 at 01:32:05
 
Since you are one of the first, maybe even the first, to order an Ultra, I look forward to reading about your impressions once you get it.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #30 - 04/19/11 at 16:04:30
 
Re: Sony BDP-S5000ES: my unit arrived a week ago and has been heavily in use. Incredible build quality, made in Japan. FANTASTIC picture. The best picture for DVD and Blu-Ray I've ever had before. The 2 channel analog out is excellent. Not as good for Redbook as my Sony SCD-XA5400ES, but really good. Coaxial out to the ZDAC-1 sounds excellent, movie playback is detailed and dynamic. For the price this was going for (400 or so) a solid steal of a bargain.

Weighs 22 pounds! Build quality (which is important to me, why do you think I love Decware?) is really something. I'm so glad I have one. I'm convinced it would be a great choice for use with the Ultra.
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« Last Edit: 04/19/11 at 16:04:52 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #31 - 04/23/11 at 17:38:39
 
Blu Ray players with analog outputs will smoke this sony player, OPPO sells one or three that I think are pretty good. I have a Arcam older DV-79 w/analog output that cost 1700 new now sell for 400 on audiogon that my OPPO BDP 83 SE kills despite what the dealer says and OPPO 95 slightly modified will stand up against big ticket Blu ray players. I think Steve mentioned that Blu Ray for Sound is far superior than DVD so why waste a dime on a DVD player when Blu Ray will be obsolete soon enough.

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #32 - 04/23/11 at 17:43:28
 
BTY, my new Torii Mk III is breaking in nicely:) and happily waiting for a brother, sister and ZEN ULTRA, dream system in the works. What would be a great set up with ZEN speaker's including subs, surrounds fronts and center, any idea's will be very appreciated. I already have a projector, big room and lots of long HQ speaker wire:)
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Philip K. D*ck

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #33 - 04/23/11 at 20:57:16
 
love the music, IT"S NOT A DVD PLAYER I'M TALKING ABOUT HERE: It's the last flagship Sony Blu-Ray player that I'm talking about, the BDP-S5000ES player.  I've heard a friend's Oppo BDP-93 and he's heard my Sony and we both agree the analog out is better on the Sony. And he also agrees the Sony is built way better than the Oppo as far as case and design. He's ordered one of the Sonys for his main system. And I've read whole pages of reviews of this player, many of them saying it has a better analog sound than Oppos. So I'm trusting my ears and making a recommendation based on my experience. I'm NOT talking about a DVD player here, but I will say that the DVD picture on this Blu-Ray player has freaked me out, it's so damned good. I am not impressed with the build quality of Oppos in comparison to this flagship Sony Blu-Ray player at its current discounted price. Anyway, I just think at 400 or 500 dollars it's a helluva deal, but I have no vested interest other than just spreading a little news about a great machine at a great price.

I'm glad that your Mk III is sounding great (how could it not?)  I love mine. From my cold dead hands.  . . . Wink  I can only imagine how an Ultra and a system based around it would sound. I'm not into surround sound, but for those that are, I'm sure it's the best option. If I were going to go the Ultra based system route I'd recommend another Torii and ERRs front and back. I'm not a fan of subs in a system, and with two pair of ERRs, I don't think you'd need subs. As for cabling: I always recommend Steve's interconnects, speaker cable, and power cords, they're incredible value for the money.
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« Last Edit: 04/23/11 at 22:22:47 by Lon »  

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #34 - 04/24/11 at 17:59:21
 
Lon, I am not at all surprised by the quality of that Sony unit. And at its price now—seriously? $400? Think about that!—it is a bargain.  And I agree its build qulity is better. I didn't get to "heft" it when I heard it, but it sure seemed well-built. But it ought to smoke the Oppo BDP-93, because it is better built, and each had a different target when released. Moreover, I believe its audio section got much more design attention. I have listened to that Sony, and it is very very good. I chose to stick with my decision to buy the Oppo BDP-95. I had already waited months, because I thought the 93's Achilles' heel was its audio. But in its price range, I don't think the same is true of the 95. When Steve announced the Ultra, I swear I thought the 95 was made for it.
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« Last Edit: 04/24/11 at 18:09:35 by Pale Rider »  

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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #35 - 04/24/11 at 18:12:15
 
I'm sure the 95 and the Ultra are going to be a great combo and hard to beat!

I'm just a luddite when it comes to component casing and stuff. I need cases to be strong and heavy. I gave away a Sony BDP-S350 a few weeks ago to a friend because I thought I could be happy with it in my second system where picture and audio quality isn't that big a deal for dvd and Blu-Ray, but. . . it was so flimsy I just couldn't bear it. Smiley The friend is happy! Smiley He was using a Panasonic that was even flimsier!  I really dislike this trend to make everything cheap and plastic.

Anyway, it looks as if the cheap Sony BDP-S5000ES units are drying up. . . I'm struggling against the urge to buy another one to leave in the box in a closet. It's insane to do so but. . . yeah, I've talked myself out of it successfully so far.
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« Last Edit: 04/24/11 at 18:14:47 by Lon »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #36 - 04/24/11 at 19:28:26
 
Lon, you and me both. I much prefer sturdiness to mere good looks. FWIW, the Oppo 95 Is in a closer weight class to the Sony. And the difference between the 93 and the 95 is almost all in the audio section. Flimsy it is not.

I also noticed that low prices on the Sony seem to be harder to find than just a few weeks ago. I only found one vendor today with a sub-$600 price.
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« Last Edit: 04/24/11 at 20:05:21 by Pale Rider »  

1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
4: Lumin A1 | Audez'e King | HeadAmp GS-X mk2 |Audez'e LCD-4 | Senn HD800
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lovethemusic
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #37 - 04/24/11 at 22:26:36
 
Lon, my bad on the DVD thing, I missed that the Sony was Blu Ray. I actually have an ARCAM that smokes the OPPO and it is a DVD player, only in sound not video, cost much much more, using that now due to selling my Ayre CD5xeMP. Yeah, I'd say the OPPO 95 with good power cord and interconnects all analog will handily beat the Sony but at triple the cost or so. I have an OPPO 83SE and it's really good stock, modified by Tweak Audio, Ric Schultz bring it to cost no object sound possibly but at a pretty penny, like at least 2K total but will smoke just about everything.OPPO's 95 is supposed to be 10% better than the 83SE which is a lot better. For the money the OPPO 95 has great performance, especially in the analog outputs, balanced two channel and the video is amazing for that price. I think you know that, fully modified takes it to a whole new level, but try selling the dam thing afterwards, not easy. The only problem with modifying gear its seems hard to sell.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #38 - 04/24/11 at 22:32:51
 
That may be true, Probably is. I don't have specifics because I just don't sell stuff. I should. I may, I have amps just sitting around. Among other things!

I'm watching a Blu-Ray on this Sony right now and am just blown away.So glad it's been available at this discounted price and I have it. I'm set if I were to ever go "Ultra Surround." Not bloody likely! Smiley I'm loving my sort of two channel surround with my Radials and Torii!

I'm glad you also have a great video source. That's the thing with the Decware line. . . it forces you eventually to seek out superior sources. You can't escape it!
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« Last Edit: 04/24/11 at 22:35:03 by Lon »  

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lovethemusic
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #39 - 04/24/11 at 22:36:15
 
I contradicted myself. My Arcam sounds better than the OPPO 83SE..For me to go all out and reduce two full blown systems down to one will be quite a project. I am not sure it works for me, I like my two channel situation and I do like my HT. Having a whole new HT by Decware may have to wait for a 5 channel ZEN Ultra AMP which may be NEXT...hint hint if it can be done.....I think Steve is capable of anything frankly.
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« Last Edit: 04/24/11 at 22:42:59 by lovethemusic »  
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #40 - 04/24/11 at 23:32:41
 
I'm sure he already has one. Smiley Making one to sell, well if the Ultra picks up new business as I think it will. . . there you go.

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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #41 - 04/25/11 at 16:56:28
 
That is indeed a tantalizing prospect.

I hear you lovethemusic. I went back and forth on this issue of integrating a two channel setup with the HT rig. At the end of the day, for me, it was just an issue of house logistics. I tried to set up two different systems, one for audio and one for HT, and the net result was tha neither got used! That wasn't so much a reflection on what was in each room, as that changed family circumstances made me realize there is only so much "entertainment" time and elasticity in my family situation. And my personal, "hi-res, quality listening" time is spent with headphones. So, having one system that lets me do 2.0 and 5.1/7.1 is probably my better approach.
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lovethemusic
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #42 - 04/25/11 at 18:24:52
 
Pale Rider, If I am not mistaken 7.1 is not going to happen affectively anytime soon. NO MOVIES hardly in 7.1 and it doesn't sound right. Steve and I concluded it thru quite a lot of trial and error. I thought I had a 7.1 Meridian system all along only to find out the sides were playing the same as the rears and only the latest greatest most expensive hardware via HDMI will play it and the sound I heard is not all that.  This left a whole lot of high ender HT guys like me wondering what the F, not to mention properly setting up a computer based surround processor is ridiculous.
Though, the prospect of and ALL IN ONE is very inviting to me. Its the amp thing I haven't figured out. I could use my Meridian amps, they are actually the best thing Meridian ever sold IMO. Great transistors if there is such a thing. Then all I need to do is sell of the Meridian Processor which I will lose 8K on and buy the Ultra and run the whole set up via the ULTRA thru the existing speakers, amps and cables, plus the sub and in the end keep my higher end goodies upstairs for late night listening and extra fun.......so's not to wake the three little one's

lovethemusic Grin Grin
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #43 - 04/26/11 at 04:18:17
 
Don't get me wrong, I don't worry about 7.1. I was only referencing the capabilities of the player. Interestingly, I have a Denon receiver somewhere that I picked up in 2006 that had 7.1 even then. At one point, I had it hooked up  with  a bunch of cheap HT speakers in a small room, but I never heard anything worth listening to.

But 5.1 is something else altogether, and between the BDP-95 and the Ultra, I expect to have something worth watching and listening to.
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1: Merging NADAC | Merrill Audio Veritas Amps | Legacy Audio Aeris
2: MSB Select II | Mjölnir Carbon Select | Stax SR-009
3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
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lovethemusic
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #44 - 04/26/11 at 07:05:45
 
Pale Rider, It's all good trying to get 7.I to sound good, I did and actually thought it sounded good until I learned it wasn't even true 7.I that's me. Live and learn. Audio sure is a tuff one to figure. All I know is Steve and Crew are genius's.

When is the 6 channel amp coming out to match the Ultra is my question. Maybe even a recommended set up by Steve replete with speakers  etc. A complete surround and two channel high end system to live with and love for a very long time, like my wife. She actually lovesthemusic too.
I'm a lucky guy I married a jazz lover. ok to much information there.
thanks for all the fun talk guys. It's all fun and innocent that's what I like, it's work but fun work.... I would like my job to be as fun...... I guess if it was my job it wouldn't be so fun maybe but I doubt it, the music takes up any slack.... cheers
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #45 - 04/26/11 at 07:50:36
 
Seems like this is what we've all been asking ...

for ... except ...

Now it's an OPPO / Sony shoot-out ....

C'mon ... old tired Dad's ... and young wanna-beezz ...

What would you do ... for a Klon-dyke bar ...

Shoot a Sony...or orally gratify ...  an  OPPO ...


Crap ... get back on topic....


Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue Tongue
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lovethemusic
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #46 - 04/26/11 at 08:10:55
 
Ok,  I did get a bit off track. OPPO hands down then, no contest. Stock SE version. Hope to get the 95 and mod it at Tweak Audio, it'll smoke just about anything. What's our deal, best for the least? agreed.

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #47 - 04/26/11 at 08:15:13
 
Oh so poetic, I forgot to mention hooking it up to the new ZEN ULTRA (the coolest piece of audio gear I have ever seen) with Three TORII MK III and 5 ZOB's and of course a OPPO 95 modded to hilt with VCAPS all around and last but not least attenuated volume controls, a must. Did I miss anything.
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #48 - 04/26/11 at 12:57:25
 
OK brash, I'm through talking about the Sony I was just alerting anyone who is interested in the Ultra to the great deal on the Sony which is a killer machine. And the trend for players is to move away from discrete analog outputs to multi-channel through HDMI, which won't help anyone with the Ultra.(Not to mention that most players are now built like a disposable piece of shit).  Sorry, I've never been impressed with Oppo but I'm willing to believe that the model especially built for audio is one to target.  

The Sony deal seems to be dried up so it's a moot point. So glad I have mine, I now have great Sony ES Blu-Ray sources for my two systems, and a Marantz as a back up. I'm good. I love Blu-Ray.
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« Last Edit: 04/26/11 at 14:53:46 by Lon »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #49 - 04/26/11 at 13:56:22
 
Lon, does that mean you caved and bought a second Sony?
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