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Torii Mk3 design notes? (Read 4166 times)
torsionbar
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Torii Mk3 design notes?
07/10/11 at 16:09:29
 
Hello all, I am giving serious thought to replacing my existing integrated tube amp (from another manufacturer) with a Torii Mk3.  In perusing the web site, I have found a very interesting Design Notes document for the Torii Mk2.  But nothing for the newer Mk3 model.  Is there such a document for the Mk3?  Or something that might tell me the differences between Mk2 and Mk3?

Thanks

Edit: It won't let me post links in my first post (even links to decware.com apparently) but the Torii Mk2 paper I mentioned is "Paper 68" dated Aug 2005.
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Lon
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #1 - 07/10/11 at 16:33:04
 
Welcome Torsionbar!

There was a previous product page (which I confess I preferred to the current one)for the Mk III that I think spelled out the differences between this amp and the Mk II amp. I can't seem to locate a designer's notes page.

The main differences are:

  • an extra (third) stage of tube regulation. This has a significant influence on the amp's sound, in my estimation primarily in detail and dynamics.
  • the "Christmas Comes Early" or Hazen Grid modification which is also a significant influence on the amp's sound, which in my estimation contributes to a refined tonal balance.
  • a different layout of the various components on the chassis which enabled some of these changes and makes the amp a bit more user friendly. (One drawback is the really nice lighted Decware cut out on the Mk II chassis top is no longer possible).
  • a tube biasing option from a sort of "British amp" signature to a more warm and slightly more forward one.
  • "Bass Trim Control" circuit and knobs. I don't have this on my Mk III and it chaps my hide a little. Smiley Allegedly this allows you to adjust the tightness of the bass output.


I believe those are the major differences. Hopefully Steve will chime in and make any additions and corrections to my overview.
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« Last Edit: 07/10/11 at 16:36:09 by Lon »  

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kana813
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #2 - 07/15/11 at 23:28:34
 
There are design notes at the end of the owners manual:

http://www.decware.com/newsite/TORIIMK3Manual.pdf

After reading the manual, I have two questions about switch positions.

The input switch selects either the inside and outside pair of input jacks. Since it's not labeled, when the switch is toward the front of the amp, which input jacks are selected?

Same thing for the impedance switch. If the amp is set up for 4/8 ohms, when the switch is toward the front of the amp, is set for 4 or 8 ohms?


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Lon
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #3 - 07/16/11 at 01:24:10
 
Front of the amp input: outside set of inputs.

Front of the amp ohmage: 4 ohms.

That's how it is on my machine.
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Lon
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #4 - 07/16/11 at 02:43:44
 
This one again. Just love Prince's guitar playing, and Larry Graham's bass work (and probably Prince's as well).

I know the religious lyrics and concepts shoo some away from this one, but I think it's one of Prince's best.



I've decided anytime Prince had Larry Graham plugged in with him is worth hearing, and vice versa. I've recently been playing Larry's GS2000 cd which is essentially a Prince record for Larry. Amazing bass playing! And fun spirit.


These discs really shine in my system!
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kana813
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #5 - 07/16/11 at 05:38:24
 
Lon,

Thanks for the info.

My TORII showed up today, unfortunately the tubes didn't.
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torsionbar
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #6 - 11/07/11 at 23:18:56
 
UPDATE

I pulled the trigger on a TORII MK3 a few months ago, and the friendly UPS man had a large heavy box for me today.   Grin

I've just got it hooked up and powered on and listening to my first CD through it.  

My source is a variety of digital sources (desktop computer, Arcam cd transport, and Apple Airport Express) going through a Genesis Digital Lens and then (via balanced aes/ebu connection) through Northstar Designs m192 Mk2 DAC.  

My speakers are Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference.

Interconnect and speaker cables are from Bluejeans Cable.

The Torii has been powered on here for less than 30 minutes (i.e. no where near broken in yet) and IMO already it bests my previous amp by a comfortable margin!  I'm a Torii believer!!   Cool

BTW, my old amp that this Torii replaced was a Cary SLI-80.  
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« Last Edit: 11/07/11 at 23:31:04 by torsionbar »  
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torsionbar
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #7 - 11/07/11 at 23:28:45
 
As for the physical aesthetics of the thing, my comments for Steve & Co. are that I really like the white powdercoat top panel, it really shows off all the components mounted on there.  If it were a dark color, like black, I'm convinced all those small switches and knobs would get lost (visually speaking).  

On the subject of switches, there's enough of them that it's confusing (for a newbie like me) and I really had to refer back to the owners manual several times to remember which ones do what.  I think I'm going to print some adhesive labels and stick them on there so I can tell at a glance what the switch functions and positions mean.  The amp ohmage switches I didn't see documented at all in the pdf manual (unless I missed it?), I had to search the forums here to find that front of amp = 4 ohms and rear of amp = 8 ohms.  It would be nice if the manual had a quick reference page for all the switches and what the positions mean, something similar to the page that illustrates all the tube names and positions.

Lastly, I really like the volume knob!  Wood with a small gold ring and an inlay in the center.  It's perfect, elegant yet unobtrusive.  What a nice touch, instead of using some cheap plastic knob.  Sometimes it's the little things!!
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« Last Edit: 11/07/11 at 23:31:55 by torsionbar »  
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will
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #8 - 11/08/11 at 00:03:38
 
Happy days Torsionbar! You will have the knobs down soon and glad the Torii is a shoe-in for you. Enjoy!

I think the ohm switch not being fully documented is useful for exploration...indicating that there is no really "correct" setting....as there are none for the bias switch, bass or treble knobs.

One thing that is cool is that the bass and treble knobs can be very useful for tuning the system in the room...you can fine tune the left/right tone and image with them! I find this particularly useful when changing to input tubes that are not perfectly balanced.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #9 - 11/08/11 at 01:37:14
 
So close, yet so far away. My new III is coming.

Torsionbar, bravo, you have yours and you are enjoying. In what ways do you like the III over your Cary?

Will, I do look forward to the Treble and Bass controls for tuning......... .

Stone of Tone
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« Last Edit: 11/08/11 at 01:38:39 by stone_of_tone »  

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torsionbar
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #10 - 11/08/11 at 02:54:41
 
Here's what surprised me about the Torii vs. the SLI 80.  Firstly is female vocals.  "Piercing" is the word that comes to mind.  It's as if there was something there before standing between me and the music, but now it's gone, no longer in the way.  Female vocals pierced through the air as if they were performing in front of me.  It really made me do a "double take" and take notice of this new aural sensation that I had not experienced before.

Don't get me wrong, the SLI 80 is a really nice amplifier.  I had the exact same feeling when I first bought it, having upgraded from a mid-range solid state amp.  Female vocals on the sli 80 gave me shivers down my spine.  Literally.  But the torii takes it a step further, another level better than the sli 80.  Just like the torii, the sli 80 is Made in USA, all point-to-point wiring, symmetric layout, tube voltage regulation, etc.  A fine product indeed.  But at least in my room, with my equipment, I am liking this torii better.  As an added bonus, the torii does not require manual bias adjustment of the output tubes like the sli 80 did.  One less maintenance item is always a good thing in my book!

The next thing that surprised me was the bass.  I'm no expert, but everyone says that KT88's are a more punchy bassy output tube than EL34's.  But this EL34 powered torii is hitting harder bass notes than my KT88 equipped sli 80.  A very pleasant surprise indeed.   Cool
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« Last Edit: 11/09/11 at 04:40:58 by torsionbar »  
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walt
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #11 - 11/09/11 at 06:14:49
 
 For all newer Torii owners I have good news and good news.  The Torii will sound wonderfull with some break in and after it does you will realize that somewhere around 6-7 months it has gotten even better.  don't be afraid to revisit adjusting the treble and bass cut positions.
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torsionbar
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #12 - 01/11/12 at 06:12:19
 
Just wanted to follow up now that I've had it a few months.  This torii is absolutely brilliant.  My amplifier "upgrade cycle" is over.  This is the one.  I'm done.  

FYI I have the bias switch and the two impedance switches to the rear, and the treble and bass knobs are centered.  I did replace the two 5U4G tubes with some NOS russian military tubes.  Other than that, as it shipped.  Did I mention I love this amp?   Cool
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Lon
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #13 - 01/11/12 at 11:24:13
 
Great to read torsionbar! fI too feel as if my amp quest has ended in happiness.
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will
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Re: Torii Mk3 design notes?
Reply #14 - 01/12/12 at 15:16:38
 
Happy days!
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