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TORII SQ (Read 8044 times)
kana813
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TORII SQ
07/17/11 at 07:00:43
 
Got my tubes today.

How many hours are needed before this amp starts to sound good?



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« Last Edit: 07/17/11 at 07:01:37 by kana813 »  
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Lon
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #1 - 07/17/11 at 13:46:52
 
Congratulations!

It should sound good right away. It should start sounding really good after about 200 hours is my best estimation, especially if you follow Steve's "five hours on, five or more hours off" advised process.
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Gopher
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #2 - 07/17/11 at 14:14:42
 
It took me sometime to dial in the bass and treble pots. Sounded very weird as I took Steves setup suggestions and started with them zeroed and slowly increased.  

Give yourself a week or two before being critical.
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kana813
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #3 - 07/17/11 at 17:19:37
 
Thanks for the feedback.

I'll try working wit the bass and treble contols.

Had to float the ground. Never had to do that with other amps in this system.

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will
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #4 - 07/17/11 at 18:15:28
 
My Torii, in my setup took a long time, but my system is so revealing that I am not satisfied until all the little ups and downs and quirks are ironed out...finally allowing me to more easily tune the amp to bring out the nuance of the system. But it is room/system dependent. If you have no problems (particularly bass), the amp will probably sound better faster. But if the amp pushes your system/room limits, it will take more time (and probably work) because things are on the edge.

With stock Caps, 30-40 hours of the 5hr/5hr cycles will likely get a you where the shifts will be less notable, and then 200 -300 and you might forget about burnin.

Also, the tubes may not suit you. Gopher, though he started with non-stock regs, OD3s, with a cleaner/leaner sound than the OA3s, took a while (and some Treasures and Nationals) to get the sweetness he liked in his room.

You probably don't need this, but to me, this amp is sort of like a thoroughbred horse but has a lot of ways to tune it in, so requires good balancing to give me the great sound it has potential to give. So maybe the following suggestions will help with initial setup.

I would simplify. Start with the the amp in toned down mode....the bias switch away from you (neutral) and with the impedance switches on the low-key setting.

Then I would briefly begin with the treble pots full clockwise so you can hear as much detail as possible, giving an easy basis to hear the other settings. Then with a moderately bassy recording, turn the bass pots full one way, and then full the other and compare. One way will be the least speaker cone movement, and the other the most. For the time being choose the full one way you like best.

Then I might tune the treble to tastes (mine stays pretty up). This puts you in a good place to explore the impedence switches and the bias, the impedance tending to stay in the same position for me once tastes are resolved, and bias, a recording dependent tool for me.

From there I think you have a good foundation to explore the bass knobs and finally refine the treble again if needed.

As to Ground.....do you have tube sets, particularly inputs, power, and rectifiers you can rotate in to see if the hum is tubes.

And how bad was it. Did floating the ground work?
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kana813
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #5 - 07/17/11 at 19:33:59
 
Will,

Thanks for your tips.

This isn't my first tube amp.

I don't have any problems with bass.

Floating the ground reduced most of the noise.

I started with the bias switch in the low position, the impedance switches on 4 ohms and bass and treble controls centered. The sound was lifeless. Swithching to 8 ohms and high bias is better.

I don't have any extra tubes to try. I'm not going to order any different tubes, unless I can get some decent sound with the stock tubes.



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« Last Edit: 07/17/11 at 19:34:52 by kana813 »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #6 - 07/17/11 at 20:00:08
 
Great suggestions Will. I didn't perceive Steve's suggestions on how to adjust the trim pots as necessarily counter-intuitive, but instead, simply one suggestion for how to start with them (which I think is how he phrases it). I like your suggestions, and plan to employ them when I start listening later this week.
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will
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #7 - 07/17/11 at 23:56:32
 
PR

Thanks Greg, I have not seen Steve's suggestions, but thought about it from my own experience. Though the settings are relatively straight forward, the bass setting and maybe the impedance (if you think you need to set it to match exactly your speaker impedance rating) are a bit obscure. So I tried to think what I would have like to have known with the amp new to me to help me isolate how the things work and how they work together.

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will
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #8 - 07/18/11 at 00:17:30
 
Kana,

I knew you were comparing a serious set of mono-blocks. And especially, since you are working with an amp that cost a minor fraction of those, I did not think it unreasonable to suggest tubes, settings (and accessories for that matter) might need some tuning to get the most from your amp for your setting and tastes. And it is possible your standards have surpassed the capabilities of this amp, but this would surprise me.

To try to get a sense of your experience, I put in stock tubes. Mine are OA3, OC2, Winged C EL34, Ruby 5U4G, 6N1Ps. Then i set the bass and treble to your half settings. I would say the sound is lifeless too. So we might define lifeless similarly. And I liked it better with the bias and impedance pushed, as you found.

I then turned up the trebles and it became more alive. Then I turned the bass knobs full to the open sound side....still better..... But finally, to me (as things are set up here, which with my amp all matters....feet, foot placement, cables etc.) still not near as alive as I have come to expect.

Then I put in some Amperex 6922s, similarly warm to the 6N1Ps, ....way better, and way louder. More texture, focus and definition, but I did not like the bias up and the high impedance at this point so changed back to neutral. Then I tried the 60s Siemens 6DJ8s I have been using lately....way more alive again, but still a little dull in the low mids, and a little undefined in the bass for me, leaving the sound unbalanced. So I turned the bass knobs to the tight side. Better, but the same problems, just less, pointing to the other tubes.

Finally, I put the tubes back to what I had in (OB3 [not OA3], OC2, Siemens 6DJ8, RFT El34, and the stock Ruby 5U4G) the sound was still a little off. So I put the tube dampers back on the front EL34s, 6DJ8s and Rectifiers, the treble still near topped out, the bass still on tightest, and impedance/bias neutral, and I have a sound I like a lot in this system/room. Textured, detailed, a little warm, good bass and alive top to bottom.

I can't recall exactly my initial Torii impressions exactly, but I had had a Decware SE34 so knew I liked the Decware sound. After it the Torii was too dense/bass weighted for me, so I started exploring with tubes I had, feet, cables, room etc. And this made me realize I could find a sound  liked, so kept the Torii and kept exploring. Long story short, though your amp will change a lot with burnin, depending on tastes and previous setup, and since your standards are high, it may take some pretty serious adjustments and work to get it to sound brilliant.

So I get the disconcerting feeling you have, and can't say if you can sort it out to your standards. And our standards are so based in taste and previous experience, and gear....utterly relative, but I was able to get great sound from mine, and found it well worth it.
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« Last Edit: 07/18/11 at 00:21:43 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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kana813
Ex Member



Re: TORII SQ
Reply #9 - 07/18/11 at 01:40:53
 
Will,

Thanks for taking the time to try your stock tubes again and describe the differences. Here what came with mine:

JJ E88CC/6922
JJ EL34
No name 5U4G made in China
No name OA3, straight bottle
Raytheon OC2

On the website  it says:

“This factory tube compliment is ideal for your evaluation and even though you can "roll" different tubes through it, you certainly won't feel like you need to!”

I'll play with the knobs and switches after a few more power cycles and report back.  
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Lon
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #10 - 07/18/11 at 02:52:36
 
Wow. If I had my treble cut circuit turned all the way up it would be so lively I couldn't be in the same room! That's true with almost any amp I've tried here, the tonal balance in this room is way too bright and lively I guess.

Plus we all hear things differently, have different tastes, etc.

I'm envious of those bass knobs!

K, I'm pretty sure that you'll hear a difference in the amp after another 100 hours or so. Keep it glowing through those five hour cycles and one day soon it will just bloom, you'll be sucked into the sound and stop analyzing. 99% sure this will happen this coming week.

Anyway, please keep us posted with your evolving impressions.
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will
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #11 - 07/18/11 at 06:57:25
 
Kana, Wow those stock tubes are a pretty different thing than mine. The Rectifier and OC2 sound the same, but a different OA3 (mine is RCA coke bottle shape), input tubes, and power tubes. The JJs I have tried, a GZ34/5AR4 took a fair bit of time to burn in though, so presumably your amp will open up in many ways.

I guess you are playing music on those power on cycles? And I look forward to your coming impressions too.

Lon, I would guess that my room might tend to bass, and yours to bright. And I don't want to suggest in any way that the settings I use are the best, only that no matter the base line, it seems that with really high-potential gear, exploration is important for fine tuning to a tube set, a new component, and/or a system/room to tastes.

And to me, the fine details allow the enchantment possibilities. The amazement and wonder that this sound is possible in my room and it is as engaging as any I have heard live or not.

In my system, I would not have gotten this with the stock tubes in my Torii. Or for that matter, without numerous other considerations to vibration, cables, foot sound and placement, minute speaker placement adjustments, source, room treatments and all.

For example, the feet under my Mac Mini....the best to date are a set of carbon/plastic cones (black diamond racing). These are feet I did not like under any of my other components. But under the mini, and cradled on the little metal floor protectors that came with my speaker spikes, and on top of some 2by pine stock I needed to raise the thing up for fitting in my cabinet, AND with a flat rock I found in the arroyo that weighs about 3 pounds on top of the computer, the sound is really good.

It is the combination of this setup that really sings bringing a very pleasant balance of natural warmth, detail, and focus. And this is just a computer that many still believe only produces sequences of 1s and 0s! I have not found anything that did not matter in this system, some things subtle and some more powerful, but I can say that the Mini feet are just as important as any other component feet in this system. Weird, but true....at least in this setup.
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« Last Edit: 07/18/11 at 07:03:30 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Lon
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #12 - 07/18/11 at 12:19:06
 
will wrote on 07/18/11 at 06:57:25:
Lon, I would guess that my room might tend to bass, and yours to bright. And I don't want to suggest in any way that the settings I use are the best, only that no matter the base line, it seems that with really high-potential gear, exploration is important for fine tuning to a tube set, a new component, and/or a system/room to tastes.




Oh will I KNOW how you are presenting your impressions and actions, very properly and informatively.

Everything matters in my system as well, and using a combination of stock and NOS tubes I've found the precious balance I need between detail and musicality to listen to the vast majority of my recordings, which are not "audiophile" at all. I've obsessed over isolation and power items to the point of crazed behavior. But my goal is as close to "set it and forget it" as I can come and still have the wonderful sound of the Decware system. I'm always getting very close to that goal.

And I guess as someone who owns five bass guitars and a full-size contrabass violin. . . I like the natural full sound of bass on recordings and that has been the hardest "nut to crack." Attention to clean power and power cabling has actually made more significant changes than rolling tubes, which surprises me but is the conclusion I've reached.

May we all find and follow our path to listening glory!

Kana, I actually have found that the JJ power tubes are a bit lackluster and a change there in the near future may move you towards that extra bit of something you're looking for.


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will
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #13 - 07/18/11 at 14:49:17
 
Lon, I see your point about power. I have not messed with it for a long time, but when I think back, I recall that it did make a notable difference across the spectrum. It made the stuff between the notes so empty while bringing out the note edges and harmonics along with more definition and focus in the body of a sound making it appear louder.

Power cables and interconnects too, amazed at the tonal tendencies they impart. Every so often I will move the cables around as an exploration and always find some interesting synergy.

But I can't say that these things do more than good tubes and good tube synergy for me, or more than room treatments, or anything else I suppose. When I have put in stock tube sets lately to see what they sound like now, to me the magic of my system goes into pretty notable decline. But my stock tubes were different than the current, so I can't comment.

The only JJs I have, I recall as pretty nice sounding tubes, but they were cryo'd 5AR4s and actually, I haven't used them for a long time.
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Lon
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Re: TORII SQ
Reply #14 - 07/18/11 at 15:08:39
 
Well, I have really bad house power. I first put in a better outlet, I bought one that made a difference, and then years later I swapped that out for the one that Steve was sending with a Decware power cord later, that was possibly a bit better. I had in the past used a PS Audio Power Plant 300, in fact the technology so intrigued me I pre-ordered that at a time when one thousand dollars was like a year's savings of mad money for me, and that was great for a while til it died. It wouldn't be powerful enough for my system now, but it really did set things right for me, and I feel it's a more significant change than tube rolling because it gave a level playing field of clean power to all components, source and amp. And allowed me to more accurately hear tube-rolling changes.

Then the 300 died and I bought a few isolation transformers and PS Audio Duet power centers and thought that was giving me all I needed. I see in retrospect that I wasn't as happy with the sound as time went by, even though I'd gotten better amplifiers and sources, something was a bit off that I was tube-rolling to fix etc. I had a pretty good balance going for most of my material so I just got myself content and quit fidgeting and enjoyed the music. When one of the Duets went dead (the MOV went out, and was pretty speedily replaced for free by PS Audio from just an email request) I got tempted by a B stock PS Audio Power Plant Premier and was able to see and hear how bad my power really was and the differences that it made to the system were profound, far more significant to my way of thinking than the tube-rolling. It made the tube-rolling that much more prominent and palpable. The canvas was perfectly set for the paint so to speak. And I was again able to find a really good balance for my system where most all recordings sound good even if they aren't good recordings; that's my target and when I find it I love my system, I can just put in recording after recording and not futz with things.

The Premier also showed me in even more detail how important power cords are. The Decware cords are very good, especially for source components, and that's where I have them. But I find the best of (and EXPENSIVE!) PS Audio cords really transform the amps and pre-amps and the ZDAC-1. I've had a PS Audio xStream Premier SC on the power amp for quite some time, an amazing cable, so open and dynamic does it make the amp sound. I managed to get this for about a quarter of the original price, so I was lucky there. The difference it made to a component was even more shockingly apparent to me after the Premier was installed. I had been using an earlier PS Audio xStream Statement cord for even longer on my Redbook source, but taking someone's advice I used that on the Premier and was astonished at the subtle but very favorable change that made. So I went on the hunt for more power cables and found really a reasonably priced xStream Plus SC that now fuels my CSP2 and another well-priced xStream Premier SC that is now on the ZDAC-1 and fueling my Redbook* and Blu-Ray sound. Wow. I mean, wow. The sound stage increase and the dynamic presentation are a distinct improvement. I can't afford any more cords right now, but the good news is that the system is now at a level I hadn't imagined it could reach in this room, and I'm again settling in to great sound and spinning recording after recording. Full, rich, mobile playback. This is what I have always wanted. In time I'll probably look for more Premier cords, though they're hard to find at prices I can afford (and there are a lot of fakes out there!)

Anyway, maybe if I were more inclined to tube-rolling and it didn't drive me a little crazy I'd see that the rolling is more important, but even so, it's more audibly so because of the bedrock the clean power situation provides. So I consider the power management as more important.


* Perhaps it's also because of long time "seasoning," but when I got the Premier and started playing around with power cords Redbook cd through the ZDAC-1 won out over analog out from my Sony SCD-XA5400ES. It's still very close, but with the best cords on either, and a day or two of play in both configurations, I decided the ZDAC-1 would be the Redbook source, which also thus allowed me to use the best cord on the ZDAC-1 and my Blu-Ray playback benefits as well.

So my current set up has Redbook and DVD/Blu-Ray from the ZDAC-1 and SACD from the Sony output, both into an input in the CSP2, and my DVR output run into the DAC in my Peachtree Audio Decco (pretty good DAC, designed by the builder of Benchmark DAC) and from there directly into an output of the Torii Mk III. Pretty darned good sound from all my sources. I'm happy as far as source component sound goes, very happy. And of course the CSP2 and the Torii make it happen.

The Peachtree Audio Decco has a preamp section using a 6N1P. I've found this tube type to be THE one for the preamp section of the Torii as well, I've tried nearly all the other types, and this is the one that works best for me; I've got some nicely cryo'd military versions to use. I stopped rolling input tubes and stuck with these as best "all around" and allowing me to just set it and forget it. I haven't tried these Nationals that everyone's talking about. . . maybe one day.
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« Last Edit: 07/18/11 at 15:53:25 by Lon »  

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