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The Ultra Has Landed (Read 7860 times)
Pale Rider
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The Ultra Has Landed
07/20/11 at 20:22:21
 
Ultra #004 has landed in the East Bay of California. It is a gorgeous piece of equipment, as you can see:



Only one small problem. Instead of gold knobs, it shipped with chicken beaks, but the Decware team is already fixing that.
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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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"Love without
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #1 - 07/20/11 at 20:25:12
 
Wow, thanks for sharing! That does look great!
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #2 - 07/20/11 at 21:18:29
 
Sitting next to the Torii:

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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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Posts: 1272
Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #3 - 07/22/11 at 15:14:26
 
I am rethinking the knobs. I can see some advantages to the chicken beaks for visual reference. I will install the gold knobs when they arrive, and I may try some beaks in black.
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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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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7808
Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #4 - 07/22/11 at 15:30:31
 
Very good point. I have the white chicken beaks and I like them because I can glance and "see where they are." They remind me of my Fender amp chicken beaks too (and I'm used to glancing at them and can see immediately where the adjustments are.)
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DVD-A1UDCI, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Stradivarius, Ultra Linear+Evo ICs, Iso-Pods,Mapleshade:Double Heiix Plus,Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #5 - 07/23/11 at 01:03:59
 
I am almost positive this is where I will end up as well, Lon. I think the only issue will be whether I like the black or cream-colored better.
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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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Juan Antonio
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #6 - 08/04/11 at 15:48:25
 
Which is the wooden base chosen? Oak?
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #7 - 08/04/11 at 16:35:40
 
Juan, my bases are all cherry.
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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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Juan Antonio
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #8 - 08/05/11 at 19:00:47
 
Clearly they are. Beautiful. I thought that after my comment was posted.

Personally I really like the cherry or oak more than the default walnut one, don't like maple on the other hand.

Enjoy them! In a few days a pair of AKG K1000's are gonna land on my hands. I hope to like them. Next, the Leben CS300X limited in less than two weeks. Too short period of time for this to digest in my point of view.

Well, nothing compared with you. 6 ERR's, an Ultra, two Torris at the speed of light,... what's next? hahaha Shocked

If I were you I couldn't sleep.
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« Last Edit: 08/05/11 at 19:01:44 by Juan Antonio »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #9 - 08/05/11 at 20:16:44
 
Hey Juan, what's this "sleep" you speak of? Wink I agree about the walnut and maple. Never been a big walnut fan, but it is one of those classic American crafting woods. Maple is great for some stuff. But I already have a lot of light and dark cherry in my home, and so the cherry made sense here. it is lighter than most of my other finishes, but Bob says it will darken a bit over time. Right now, tube glow overshadows wood.

The Leben and AKG cans should be a great combo. I think the Leben is even harder to get than Decware equipment. At the office, I decided to keep the Cavalli Liquid Fire and my Audez'e LCD-2s. I am taking the Taboo home for my headphone listening there. It will physically fit the space I have for it better than the LF. It is just about impossible to pick the better amp between the two. I still like the Taboo overall better, but it is fully broken in, and I am not sure about the LF yet. In certain bass segments, it has a tendency toward what i would call "tubbiness." Not flabby or fat, just tubby. Tube rolling is not impossible in the LF, but it is an enclosed case, and you do have to take it off in order to swap the tubes. I suspect some tube rolling could improve an amazing amp even further.

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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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Juan Antonio
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #10 - 08/06/11 at 18:38:20
 
Greg,

" what's this "sleep" you speak of" Sorry. What do you mean? (English trouble, you know Undecided)

"The Leben and AKG cans should be a great combo"

Certainly it seems to be a great combo, will see. It is said that the Leben CS300X has very neutral, non tubey sound. Astounding Timbral accuracy. Very engaging. Been a push-pull class AB but sounding like a SET and the advantages of push pull design. (Decware amps seems to be designed as non tubey sounding amps as well)

The classic recommendation for the K1000's is a pure class A speaker amp.

Here it "seems" that Leben break the rules and specs are irrelevant, because It doesn't feel all that good knowing it is class AB (normally inferior sounding class operation). I think I should take it with grain of salt.

"I think the Leben is even harder to get than Decware equipment"

That depends on the model we are talking about. The discontinued CS300X limited with Mullards EL84 and GE pream tubes is very difficult to find. Not the case with the current production units. You just have to order them by import dealers. Tone Imports in the USA, for example. Here in Spain, the dealer is located in Barcelona. The CS300XS is sold with Genalex tubes included and the price is the same for this model with the default sovtek tubes. 2500€ (around $3570).

I don't get the point you say about Decware. Decware is easy to get. I envy you in the sense that you live in the US and you have very cheap shipping taxes and no customs taxes added.

To get a general idea, my ERR's cost me around $3000 dollars. Freaking insane taking account that by themselves they cost $1700 at that moment (currently $1800)

If you add that plus the idea that you are talking to a college boy to the overall situation you will find that you are ABLE to purchase Decware gear far more than me. So.. yes, it doesn't mean that someday I might order a Torri, a Taboo and a Zen too in the future.

Looking forward to hear your impressions of the LF broken-in.

Cheers.
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« Last Edit: 08/06/11 at 18:40:10 by Juan Antonio »  
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #11 - 08/07/11 at 03:25:54
 
Juan, the sleep comment was just making fun. I mean, who sleeps these days? Wink

You are correc that being in the US makes it much easier and more affordable to get Decware. But it can still be a long wait.

Let us know how that Leben sounds with the AKG cans.
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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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Juan Antonio
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #12 - 08/07/11 at 10:32:14
 
OMG, my mistake. That type of joke comment is literally similar in spanish as well.

For my part, I try to sleep as good as I can. I need at least 8 hrs, sometimes 9 hrs. People normally sleep 6/7 hrs and I cannot stand something like that. Sleeping more than 9 hrs is bad for the health on the other hand.

I'll comment about the Leben + k1000's for sure, no doubt. And how good it goes with the ERR's and HD800's too.
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #13 - 08/16/11 at 15:46:42
 
Here are the two items I bought to enable full use of the Ultra as a preamp front end for my HT system. Note that these would NOT be necessary if you use the Ultra only as a front end for an HT and one or two other 2-channel sources. (Steve, if you found some other way to solve this, please let me know.) But I have two other sources (HD cable and Apple TV) that have 5.1audio worth putting through the Decware system. Yes, I could run their HDMI outputs straight into the Panasonic flat panel, but the sound coming out of flat panels generally, and the Pannys specifically, is so atrocious, and it seems quite a waste to have this sort of audio system and not get the full benefit of it.

Note also that, if any one of your sources, be it the DVD, Blu-Ray, or something else, also has control center input capabilities, you might not need this adaptation. I bought two items from HDTV Supply:

1. A 2x1 5.1 channel switcher. A 3.1 would have been more convenient, but it's not mandatory. Depending on physical layout and cabling, This will permit me to have two 5.1 sources running into the Ultra. When and if I decide to add a third, I will get one more of these. Biggest downside of these: no IR remote control. I have looked all over for one with IR, asked the vendors, etc. No luck.

2. A 4x2 HDMI-7.2 matrix switcher. This is what lets me separate the 5.1 audio channels from the HDMI supplied by the Cable and the ATV. Note that it is possible that this unit will be all I need. The folks on the phone and email—who were all great, BTW; HDTV definitely has my business for the future—sent me the user manual, and walked through it with me. We think it might be possible to plug the Blu-Ray audio out into the 4x2, along with the HDMI from the cable and the ATV. If that works, I am set, an I have remote control.

Granted, this won't be quite as automatic as the current Denon system, because everything there is remote controllable. It's pretty cool to touch one rectangle on the Harmony remote control screen, and everything turns on and is ready ro go. But quality has its price, eh?

Let me know if you have any questions. (NOTE: cross-posted in ERR forum as well. Hope that's okay.)
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« Last Edit: 08/16/11 at 15:52:36 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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Pale Rider
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Posts: 1272
Re: The Ultra Has Landed
Reply #14 - 08/20/11 at 21:11:25
 
I have now finished Day Two of using the Ultra with multiple sources, and its flexibility is everything Steve writes about in the manual, and on the Ultra page. As it turns out, the 4x2 matrix switcher is all I need. Let me get the downside out of the way right now: if you are accustomed to complete remote control over your system, you are going to give up a little of that with the Ultra. But the quality of the sound out of the Ultra and Toriis, and the ability to mix channels and reconfigure sound more than makes up for it in my book. This is really stunning sounding stuff.
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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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