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Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp (Read 20227 times)
Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #50 - 04/26/11 at 14:51:53
 
No, I have had for over three years the previous Sony ES Flagship, the BPD-S2000ES. It sometimes acts funky with Blu-Rays, and it's now in my second system where I mainly use it for cd playback (sounds pretty damned good with redbook cd, and makes DVDs look fantastic, I'm happy with it except when it won't play a Blu-Ray for some reason. It also has 7.1 discrete outputs and is built like a tank. I bought a Marantz 7034 at a price that was hard to say no to when this Sony started acting up, but it's actually inferior to the Sonys in all aspects: build, picture, sound. It's my backup BDP for both systems at the moment.
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« Last Edit: 04/26/11 at 14:52:55 by Lon »  

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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #51 - 04/26/11 at 15:52:01
 
Gotcha. I still have access to a Sony at a good price and am still debating.

The hardest thing for me to assess is whether I will really get my money's worth in use out of it. Almost all of my listening is from ripped files on external RAID arrays attached to dedicated computers. I am continuing to work with a Synology NAS on my network at home, but am still not satisfied that the network performance is as good as standalone. I will shortly test a drive attached directly to the Oppo. I am hopeful on that. Having the Oppo for a front end and as a controller for my files would be nice.

So far, the Oppo is great for BluRay discs, SACD, and surround discs. Just not sure if a second player will deliver the right ROI. Decisions, decisions.
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #52 - 04/26/11 at 16:33:10
 
Decision is easy for me because I have ZERO interest in using musical files, computer as a source, etc. So many discs on hand, and I like the physical product.s. So. . . easy to lust for the machines.

And the Decware amplification, cabling and speakers mean you really have to have a great quality front end.  

So. . .in your shoes I can definitely understand standing pat with what you got. In my shoes, the Sony is a smart move I've been congratulating myself with. Smiley
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lovethemusic
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #53 - 04/27/11 at 01:28:07
 
Lon, I think the Sony blu ray player your talking about is killer, as is the SACD player you have. I wish I had them both, as far as build quality it is a luxury to get audio gear with some heft to it. How does that Blu ray stack up against the SACD 5400 by the way sound wise on for CD play back comparison. I'm interested. I saw the 5400 for sale for around 1100.
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #54 - 04/27/11 at 02:13:45
 
LTM,

I'm in love with the Sony SCD-XA5400ES. You know how it is with Decware systems, they show you so much of your source. I just couldn't relax into the music with the ZCD, the NAD T585 I had seemed better but I felt there was something missing, and then I took a chance on the SCD-XA5400ES and even before break-in I knew there was magic in this machine.

I'm not really sure what specifically it is, I think it's a combination of a few things. . . the build quality (it makes the Decware TEAC seem liek a toy), the DACs (they have to be good), the fact that apparently Redbook is sort of turned into DSD (not sure how that happens but from my reading that is sort of what happens), or the fact that strangely it appears there's no capacitor in the signal path, but the Redbook cd sound on this is outstanding. It's very detailed, but not fatiguing, and I can listen to the many recordings I have that are of lesser quality without obsessing about the sound, I can just relax into it. But when I listen to the reference stuff I have (mostly cds I've listened to on many systems and also recordings I made myself of bands I was in recorded in my then garage apartment) it's not as if they're smoothed over, everything is there. I can't speak more highly of this player.  Even the Redbook cd sound from the ZDAC-1, which is VERY VERY GOOD, doesn''t best it in my opinion.

The BDP-S5000ES Blu-Ray player has very good sound for DVDs and Blu-Rays. On Redbook cd it just frankly does not have the magic that the SCD-XA5400ES has, I wish it does. It sounds VERY, VERY GOOD, similar (yet a bit more "rounded") sounding to the ZDAC-1. Which is a compliment. Really, it's sounding quite good for cds, but not quite like it's "twin" (their cases and faces are identical) the SCD-XA5400ES. I sound like a broken record because I gush whenever anyone asks me about the SCD-XA5400ES---I put it right up there with my Torii Mk III and CSP2 and IT Radials as components that I just can't imagine living without. Just the ticket for me and my desire to "set it and forget it."

If you can audition one, do so.  Especially if you can get one that is pretty seasoned, or audition one for three or four hundred hours.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #55 - 04/27/11 at 02:15:46
 
Lon, you are absolutely right that having the Decware signal path requires a good front end. Getting the Taboo and the ZStage into my system made me appreciate the decision to rip uncompressed, bit perfect files, and a quality DAC.
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #56 - 04/27/11 at 02:30:55
 
Yes, that's definitely not the route I've taken, nor going to take, but I'm glad you agree that the best source really pays off in dividends with these systems.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #57 - 04/27/11 at 14:04:53
 
Steve has written more than once that you really cannot "over-upgrade" your system once you have a Decware amp in it. I don't think he put it in quite those terms, but the amps just keep revealing more as other flaws or shortcomings are revealed or rectified. On a computer based system, that means addressing file integrity, the DAC, clock/jitter, etc., and with the Decware signal path, it's all worthwhile.
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Lon
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #58 - 04/27/11 at 14:32:40
 
Well, from my outlook and experience, I think way too much has been made of the "bit perfect cd" possible by computer to DAC route, if you were implying that route was somehow superior. I've heard a few implementations that are impressive but I'm still just as impressed with my sources. And I know that hi-res recordings can be amazing, but I'm just not going to obsess about the very best individual sounds, it's like tube-rolling, an addiction/obsession I just don't want to invite.

None-the-less I know that if were younger, and if I did not have 15.000 plus recordings on hand I'd be investing in that route. Still for me it makes little sense. If I were really going to pursue "the perfect sound" I'd pedal back to vinyl and phono pre-amplification. The problem for me is that I just can't find on vinyl the amount of music I want to listen to and many many specific titles, and I don't' love "the hunt" or "listening only to the very best recordings" mindsets enough to begin to develop them at this state of my life.

So until my ship comes in and I can invest in something like a Meitner or DCS front end, my current sources have enough magic to make me enjoy even lousy recordings and relax into the music. Mission accomplished for me.  I respect anyone who has found the same satisfaction and accomplishment via other routes.
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« Last Edit: 04/27/11 at 14:51:39 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #59 - 04/29/11 at 00:55:40
 
Seems to me that bringing in the Sony Player bargain and benefits fits quite well with both a primary intent of the Ultra, but also in the context of forums being tools for learning from, and helping one another...in this case, letting us know about a good multichannel player at a great price. Computer versus transport....hmmmm, maybe off the thread, but interesting. So I propose we work that over in its own thread. A few comments first, and then a link to a new thread for this discussion....Please join in!

No matter what circuits or transport mechanism we use to decode and convey CD data, in the beginning, it is just that....data. CD Players, a combined transport and DAC in a one box, are one of our options to get the data into music. But transports bring with them the issues of error correction and jitter, issues inherent to transports and the CDs themselves. So a big part of its job is extracting the data with as little error and jitter as possible, and then the DAC section removes or masks what remains, while converting the data into analog music.

Properly done, with a good computer and a good setup, errors and jitter are for the most part solved. Technically, in this, I think we have as good a beginning as is presently possible to get the CD data ready for the data-to-music conversion. Regardless of other circuit decisions, I can't conceive of any question as to the efficacy of eliminating the errors and jitter from the start.

With either method, choosing circuits and circuit paths to the end of what we like brings a designers preferred tonal attributes to the stuff that shows up at the output jacks.

Then, the fun part....the preferences of us listeners . It seems to me that this is really where the questions of personal tastes come in, and that this is separate from the questions of the technology. How satisfied are we with how the data became music within a given system?

My take right now anyway.....and I find this area fascinating.

Here is a link to a more fleshed out thought process if you are interested.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1304032802/0#0
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« Last Edit: 04/29/11 at 00:57:16 by will »  

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 »  

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3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
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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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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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3: PSA DirectStream |KGHVSS | Stax SR-007
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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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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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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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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 »  

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #75 - 05/14/11 at 20:54:21
 
Will, thanks much for the rec. Picked up the last 4 with "imperfect" test scores. I have been wanting to try some Telefunkens, but confess to being somewhat bewildered by the array of choices, and the varying opinions and "web voodoo" on them.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #76 - 05/14/11 at 21:47:16
 
Pale,

This is a quote from tubemonger from when i asked them about using imperfect test score tubes as inputs on the Torii.

"For critical gain stages, it is not a good idea to use tubes with imperfect scores."

I asked because they are cheap and I don't even know what imperfect scores are. So I am still ignorant, just passing on the tubemonger view. You seem to know a lot, but just in case, there is time to change if you feel inclined and the tubemonger folks are very efficient and accommodating in my experience. Wink
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #77 - 05/14/11 at 21:56:49
 
Indeed, they are cheaper by 1/3. But, like you, I am still unclear on what it means to have an imperfect score.. I suspect it is, among other things, a tube that does not test out perfectly as new. Just as I suspect some of my formerly new NOS tubes would now test. This seems to me a good reason to fire up my new-to-me B&K 707 tester!

Just the same, I will write them and point them to my intended use in the Ultra and/or Toriis.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #78 - 05/15/11 at 02:42:52
 
Well, they were very responsive, but I got a similar "not familiar with your amplifier circuit, but may not be suitable for critical application" sort of response. So, I upgraded to the quad matched set. Will see how they sound. And you were right about Tubemonger being efficient. They were ready to ship in less than two hours. I barely got the order changed in time.
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« Last Edit: 05/15/11 at 02:48:40 by Pale Rider »  

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #79 - 05/15/11 at 06:23:03
 
Yeah, who knows. I guess you were probably right that the imperfects would be fine, but I sure would like to know that before buying a bunch. I bet it is just some matching standards they use....like the triodes being off by 15%, or one of the triodes being under some standard.

I can say that I can hear the usual stuff like cables and different tubes with this amp...probably like your Taboo and your coming Ultra, but slightly imperfect tubes....got me. Hope the tubes suit you. Mine took a while to settle in. Looking forward to your impressions of them and your Toriis and Ultra. Man, you have got some exciting explorations coming! Cool
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #80 - 05/16/11 at 03:15:56
 
At the end of the day, saving $14 per tube just isn't worth the uncertainty. Granted, that price differential is almost the price for what Decware charges for a 6922 or 6N1P, but still.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #81 - 05/16/11 at 05:12:54
 
I think the stock tubes sound great, and for reasonable prices. But after getting a taste for a nice variety of NOS tubes and their potential for amazing synergy, even having tried a couple varieties of cryo'd NOS 6N1Ps, I just can't use them. Had I not gotten into tubes though....I would have been very happy with stock. Tube play just opens bigger and deeper doorways when I get the right ones working together.

I had not tried a Telefunken either....too mythical and precious. But these 7DJ8s are a relatively inexpensive and welcome taste of them, and I understand the attraction now!
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #82 - 05/16/11 at 17:34:05
 
I suppose we could be trying these:

https://www.tubeworld.com/el34metal.htm

Only $1150 for a matched pair. Sheesh. I think I will stick with my Hazen Grid devices and more reasonable tubes.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #83 - 05/16/11 at 18:03:16
 
Ouch!
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #84 - 05/16/11 at 23:56:27
 
My guess is he'll sell them -- probably to some banker bailed out with TARP funds.

(With semi-sincere appologies to any bankers on this forum).
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #85 - 05/17/11 at 01:35:32
 
...And with another set of apologies to Brash who started this thread, until we get more information on the Zen Ultra, I am afraid this thread will continue to drift...

Wink

First, I don't know that I have ever seen amps and associated equipment mounted vertically, but it certainly seems Steve has flipped his equipment over on its side.


Also, I can't quite make out everything in the photo.  The Zen Ultra is at the top.  I don't recognize the piece of equipment with the gauges -- is that one of the earlier Toriis?  And below that, what, Zstages?  And then cometh the Zen CD player?
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #86 - 05/17/11 at 14:16:56
 
Hey mac5u, yes, a little thread drift might be unavoidable, but commenting on a picture from the Ultra page is probably topical. Wink

Anyway, I wondered about those gauges as well, and about the associated equipment, too.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #87 - 05/17/11 at 14:25:32
 
I think the gauges are just further proof that Steve IS a mad scientist.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #88 - 05/20/11 at 04:43:23
 
Ah, the good old fine line between madness and genius!

But seeing the pic again reminds me that I have to find a proper stand that will permit access to the Ultra and Toriis, and even show them off, along with other components I care less about seeing, and also leaving room for center channel speakers that are likely to be ERRs.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #89 - 05/20/11 at 14:08:05
 
Pale Rider-
Have you checked out the Z-Rack by Decware? It has adjustable shelves and can have the same type of wood as your ERR's.
Just a thought
Mike
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #90 - 05/20/11 at 14:21:41
 
Mike, thanks. In fact, the Zrack is on my list. I am considering two.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #91 - 05/20/11 at 14:28:58
 
I'd also consider the Mapleshade Samson rack. I've had one for a long time now, and it's never going to be replaced. Makes everything sound great.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #92 - 05/20/11 at 14:47:19
 
Thanks Lon. Will check it out. Which Samson do you have?
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #93 - 05/20/11 at 14:58:50
 
I have a three shelf V. 1. with 2" shelves. At the time I wish I could have afforded 4" shelves. Smiley

http://shop.mapleshadestore.com/SAMSON-V1/departments/17/

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #94 - 05/20/11 at 16:55:29
 
Thanks Lon. Those are beauties indeed.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #95 - 05/22/11 at 18:09:03
 
I am beginning to feel like Brash was when he started this thread -- ready for some news!  (Wish I had a crickets chirping emoticon).

Dear Steve -- any word on the paint issue and a possible date for production  Thank you.

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #96 - 06/04/11 at 17:42:23
 
Crickets chirping indeed. I am almost afraid to ask. Anyway, Lon said it well when he advised hunkering down for the long wait. On the other hand, I did not heed his very sound advice to order the Ultra with tubes. And it is sound advice. But.......... I kept my order tubeless and ordered a full cryo'ed set of these National NOS tubes. And of course, a variety of 0A3s and alternatives, a Mullard GZ37 and some other rectifier alternatives, to go along with some very nice NOS Sylvania, Mullard, and SED Winged C I already have. See, this is how I am keeping myself from gnawing off any more extremities in anticipation. Wink I will build a little worksheet of tube combinations to start with for the Ultra and the Toriis, break them in, make notes, and then attempt to exercise some self-discipline as I listen, live with each combo for a while, and record impressions.

I also ended up getting two ZRACKs of the taller size that Steve recommended.
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #97 - 06/05/11 at 00:33:24
 
That spreadsheet idea is a good one, Greg.  Keep us updated with your impressions.  There are some great posts here about tube combinations.  I am almost tempted to copy and paste all the posts (with the authors' permissions, of course), into one thread.
Smiley
Maintaining it becomes another matter...

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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #98 - 06/05/11 at 01:16:22
 
Michael, that is a great idea!
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Re: Decware Zen ULTRA  six channel preamp
Reply #99 - 06/06/11 at 23:31:18
 
Just heard from Sarah that build is starting this week on my ULTRA. The team is apparently still waiting on the stepped attenuator, but this is encouraging!
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