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Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp (Read 26995 times)
Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #60 - 04/29/11 at 15:57:25
 
Guilty as charged. I contributed to the thread drift, er, capsize. Anyway, back to the Ultra. Man oh man, this is going to be fun. Every time I re-read the info, it amazes me how Steve has solved the problems of audio and HT.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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mac5u
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #61 - 05/02/11 at 19:52:35
 
For analog, maybe.  It certainly would be great to see the UltraZen compared alongside some other good multi-channel pre-amps such as from Parasound, Classe, McCormack, Mac, or CJ.  

Whether Steve has solved the problems of audio and HT, I don't see how that can be unless you have taken care of the room and don't need much in the way of bass management and room EQ, especially with multi-channel music, or don't care about such things.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #62 - 05/04/11 at 01:29:39
 
macSu, I don't see that part as "Steve's job." Sure, room treatment is a significant issue, but that is already within the control—or the power of control—of the end user. I care about such things, but I can address them now. And Steve provides tools and tactics for solving that issue.

I am not sure I understand your distinction about "analog." As opposed to what? "Digital"? Sure, but I don't think the Ultra was intended to solve anything other than the Hobson's choice that previously existed for audiophiles who also wanted HT in the same room, and in the same system. And for the preamp part of the equation, as well as the ability to configure for both 2-channel quality sound and 6-channel quality sound, the Ultra does exactly that. It solves the problem of having audiophile quality 2-channel and 5.1 channel operation in a single electronics chain.

Perhaps you and I see this quite differently. In any case, some of my friends who are also both 2-channel and HT enthusiasts, certainly had no trouble understanding what a breakthrough this preamp is.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #63 - 05/04/11 at 02:00:39
 
I agree Pale Rider, I've showed the page to a few friends and they see how versatile and clever the Ultra is. Knowing Steve's skill at designing pre-amplifying circuitry I know how good this will sound. And the ways that you can set this up with so many inputs and mix them together, wow, that makes this nearly unique in the market and a real tool to dial in a system.

The minute I saw the announcement and initial information I thought this product had a mass appeal and popular application, perhsps more than any other Decware product.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),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 IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #64 - 05/04/11 at 02:44:56
 
Lon, I don't want to sound like the poster child for the Ultra, especially since I have yet to hear it, but it does seem to me to solve some problems that previously were not solved in the market. As macSu noted, there are very good multi-channel preamps out there, but I don't think they solve for both 2-channel and 5.1 equally well.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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mac5u
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #65 - 05/04/11 at 22:42:15
 
Pale Rider,

After reading your last two posts, I am sure I probably over-interpreted your comment as to "how Steve has solved the problems of audio and HT."  And made an assumption or two that, after re-reading the thread, probably weren't supported by your prior statements.    

I realize I am on a Forum that champions, among other ideas, analog, and until very recently, two-channel stereo only.  My focus of late has been on addressing room issues, and since [extensively] treating a room the way some do is pretty much out of the question, I am left with trying to fix certain problem in the digital domain.  

Once I get that done, I will upgrade equipment and try and develop a well-implemented multi-channel music system and HT.

Most DVD / Blu-Ray players have been quite limited in the bass management and channel-leveling tools they offered.  Even setting speaker distances was fairly basic on many players.  Oppo has recently added more sophisticated tools to its newest generation of players but it still pales by comparison to what one can do with a modern pre-pro.  HDMI has its issues to be certain but Room EQ and bass management can't be properly addressed via analog.  At least that is what I think and was the point I meant to make.

I need to re-read the information on the Ultra again, but I am curious (genuinely, not sarcastically) as to which problem or problems in particular the Ultra is solving for two channel and 5.1 HT that other multi-channel pre-amps as mentioned above have not solved?
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« Last Edit: 05/04/11 at 22:49:00 by mac5u »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #66 - 05/04/11 at 23:33:42
 
macSu, just to be clear, I didn't take anything you wrote as sarcastic or negative. I just wanted to make sure I understood you. For me, the Ultra lets you do all the things you might want: full on home theater, pure two-channel, mixed three-channel "stereo," up mixing and down mixing, individualized volume adjustments, plus master volume, center/sub alignment, bi-amp/tri-amp. etc. When I read the description page (can't wait to read the manual), my reaction was: "all problems solved."
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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mac5u
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #67 - 05/06/11 at 00:09:17
 
Greg,

OK, I see what your point.  From my own perspective, if one has any need for general DSP, room correction, and bass and channel management, (and I do and I suspect many others do as well), HDMI is the better choice since it optimizes those options.  

If Steve could somehow clone the magic he does (OK, I don't own any Decware equipment yet but I am accepting what ya'all are writing at face value for now) with his amps inside a modern pre/pro, my guess is the Decware world as you know it would change radically. And for those of us who have decided to go digital, there would not be any need for a separate two-channel pre for those times when we want to enjoy the music via analog.  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #68 - 05/06/11 at 00:28:50
 
macSu, although I have been generally satisfied with HDMI in my HT setup, what I have heard so far does not appear to be of audiophile quality. This is not necessarily a black & white—or what we might call a binary  ;) —assessment, but it does seem to me that there are some limitations thus far in HDMI. Just so we are clear, I like the convenience of HDMI myself, and for certain DRM matters, it is unavoidable. But in audio, that is not the case. Someone on Computer Audiophile referred this link over, and while it is focused on video, it is worth a read:

http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/34579/122868.html

I have read a number of comments and articles that suggest HDMI's evolution as a "standard" is a bit of a work in progress, and some have even called it a mess. My Oppo BDP-95 manual makes this comment about HDMI for audio:
Quote:
HDMI is a single cable that can transport both audio AND video from your player to your display. Be aware, however, that HDMI is an evolving standard, and there could be compatibility issues. A receiver that supports audio input over HDMI is required. Some receivers offer HDMI ports solely for video switching. If your receiver does not have audio input capability, please read the following sections regarding other connection methods.
In order to play multi-channel audio for all formats, the receiver must support HDMI v1.1 or later. For Blu-ray Disc, a receiver that supports HDMI v1.3 with decoding capability for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio is preferred. Please check the specifications of your receiver to ensure that it meets the requirements.
The HDMI outputs on the BDP-95 are HDMI v1.4, which is compatible with HDMI v1.3 and earlier versions.


On my Denon Receiver, it all seems to work reasonably well, but I am looking forward to the Ultra and a return to something more audio focused.

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« Last Edit: 05/06/11 at 00:29:25 by Pale Rider »  

Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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mac5u
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #69 - 05/06/11 at 01:43:17
 
Greg,

Kal Rubinson said it best:  “HDMI is the invention of the Devil.”  While he was writing pointedly about how “the connector can be easily displaced from or misaligned with the chassis connector”, my guess is a lot of people think HDMI is invention of the Devil.  Period.
Wink


In audio matters alone, I am not ready to make the argument that in a well-treated room, HDMI will sound better.  Not at all, it is just that with the compromises I have to make, analog can't help, and I see no reason why I can't get a multi-channel system and HT set-up to sound sublime.  It will just take work.

About three years ago, I almost pulled the trigger and bought a CJ Met-1 but could not quite bring myself to buy it.  Looking over the feature set of the Zen Ultra now vs. the Met-1, I am thrilled to see something like the Zen Ultra hit the market.  The versatility of this thing is amazing.  And, I can't say I quite understand yet the import of it all.  

So, Pale Rider, are you number 1 in the queue?  Any updates from Steve?  It was almost a month ago that Steve announced at least a 30-day delay due to a paint problem on the chassis.
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« Last Edit: 05/06/11 at 01:46:47 by mac5u »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #70 - 05/06/11 at 14:13:58
 
I hear you. And I agree: you definitely ought to be able to do exactly that.

I don't know where I am in the queue. I believe I am early in line.  ;)
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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mac5u
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #71 - 05/08/11 at 21:35:40
 
Maybe it has been like this since the page was first put up by Steve, but has the link to the Owner's Manual always not worked?
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #72 - 05/08/11 at 22:09:00
 
I don't think that link has ever been active.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #73 - 05/14/11 at 19:28:48
 
I decided to keep my order "tubeless" and so began assembling my tube complement. For the 6922 signal tubes, it came down to a choice between the NOS Ediswan here:

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/tubes/6922/edi-cv2492.html

Or the NOS National here:

http://www.upscaleaudio.com/tubes/6922/mat-7dj8.html

I chose the National based on the review of the same by a fellow Decware owner who wrote about it in his Torii Mk III:

Quote:
National 7DJ8 betters Russian 6N1P and 6N23 Review by Datman
Rating (5stars)
I purchased a pair of these on Kevin's recommendation for the input/driver tubes for my Decware Torii MK III. These improve on this amp's already superb imaging and transparancy by fleshing out the bottom end and reproducing highs with crystal clarity and NO PAIN. The "crunchy" quality of the Russian tubes is now officially a thing of the past.


I have no doubt I will eventually try the Ediswans as well, but this seemed like a good place to start. And with the Toriis also on he way, I can try both in them as well.

I also have several different rectifiers to try, including a Mullard GZ33, a Winged "C" (SED) 5U4-G Black Plate, and the original 5U4 that came with my Taboo, and a couple others.

For the VR, I have some NOS RCA and Raytheon 0A3 tubes, that I picked up along with lots of 0B3, 0C3, and 0D3 tubes for the Toriis. Funny, when I was younger, I "tired" of tube issues with my Dyna ST-70 and PAS-3X, and now, almost 4 decades later, I am wallowing in tube fun. I like to call it Valve Drunk.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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will
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #74 - 05/14/11 at 20:30:04
 
Pale, Very exciting news... the Ultra AND Toriis on the way!

Sounds like you have what it takes for some fun tube tuning.  I recently ordered some of those National 7DJ8s for my Torii after really enjoying some Telefunken 7DJ8's in it.

http://www.tubemonger.com/Telefunken_PCC88_Bundeswehr_Falcon_Diamond_Bottom_p/65...

I like the Telefunkens. They seem to nicely bridge the open clarity I love with good 6DJ8s with a nice body and depth. They have really nice dynamics too. So I am interested in more 7DJ8s as these are a nice addition. I am guessing the Nationals will be really nice!

Have fun!
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« Last Edit: 05/14/11 at 20:35:24 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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