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the next amp should be a... (Read 8809 times)
stevef
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the next amp should be a...
08/27/11 at 08:43:16
 
What the known universe needs is... a push pull version of the mini torii Cool running, a bit of extra "spank" and the fill in piece between the two amps in the line... a middi tori.

Steve
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #1 - 08/27/11 at 13:07:26
 
Sort of like the wonderful original Torii, 12 wpc, a beautiful example of which is for sale in the Classifieds forum. . . .
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #2 - 08/27/11 at 18:45:39
 
Nope.  It will be much better.  Cooler running, vast number of compatible tubes, not stuck with the EL-34.  A more sophisticated circuit. Steve really should try it.  Even if for a Zen Fest demo.
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« Last Edit: 08/27/11 at 18:49:08 by stevef »  
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #3 - 08/27/11 at 22:40:51
 
Okay if you say so. Not my cup of tea.  I think that Steve would want to stick with EL34 because of the Hazen Grid Mod. I mean you can use the other tube types like 6550, KT88. . . but the Mod makes more of a difference. (You're not stuck with the EL34s in the Integrated or the Toriis. I happen to like EL34s a lot more than the other types myself however).
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« Last Edit: 08/27/11 at 23:26:57 by Lon »  

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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #4 - 08/28/11 at 02:04:33
 
I have never been a fan of the EL-34 tube.  My favorite amps are the mini torii and se84c variants.  I also think most set amps are too syrupy and lack control.  They sound great for soloists and fall apart playing symphonies.  Before anyone misconstrues, amps by Deckert, Dowdy, Rozenblit, Shindo, and Bates do not fit that description.  That said, I really prefer Steve's smaller offering to the Torii.  I don't have a particular reason, but I like them a whole lot more.

Steve F
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #5 - 08/28/11 at 02:19:17
 
Well, I've always liked the EL34 in a guitar amp and in the Decware amps, and with the Grid Mod, even more so, it's definitely the way to go with those amps. And it's all about the speakers for me, I love the sound of the smaller amps, but I need the grunt of the Torii, and I don't want to be totally lost in tube-rolling as I know I would be with the Mini-Torii. The Mini-Torii has never tempted me since I've totally fallen in love with the Mk III. I can't imagine using another amp in my living room with the ERRs or HR-1s. And as I've found out this year, the better a source you put in front of the Torii, the more amazing it sounds, to infinity and beyond.

But it's all about taste and also compatibility. If the speaker is efficient enough, the small amps rock. I've the 27th amp Steve built and I owned the Select for some years. But I fell in love with the Radials, have been able to use the system in a large room, and roll with the Torii. (And it's not an SET!)
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« Last Edit: 08/28/11 at 02:29:18 by Lon »  

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Donnie
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #6 - 08/28/11 at 03:48:37
 
How about something like this.

http://www.chambonino.com/construct/const13.html
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Pale Rider
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #7 - 08/28/11 at 06:24:29
 
Wow, indeed Donnie.

While there is always room for impovement, having three of the different types of amps (not the Mini Torii though), I am puzzled by Steve's reference to being "stuck with" the EL-34. Granted, the Torii is an EL-34 amp, but there are so many EL-34 tubes to choose from, that it feels odd to typify the amp as though it is constrained by its platform. In a sense, I guess any amp is constrained by its tube complement, but it seems to me the Torii can be so many different amps, due to its extensive tube rolling capacities. As for a "more sophisticated circuit," silly me, I have been laboring under this notion that simpler can definitely be better. I rarely equate sophistication with transparency (which I prize in n amp), either in electronics or people. Wink
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #8 - 08/28/11 at 07:14:42
 
Well.. I really don't like EL-34 tubes.  No matter what you do, they sound too warm & too "polite". They just lack something.  (my opinion)  For those who like them, more power to you.  I don't care for 300b tubes either. Sacrilegious, heresy, etc.  My choice.
Steve has improved his circuits over the years with things like multiple stages of regulation, grid mods, etc.  If simplicity was the goal, instead of good sound, then a spud amp would reign supreme.  Simplicity isn't always better.  Whatever makes you happy though. We each have to choose where to spend our dollars.
Steve Deckert is a talented designer.  I really would like to see a pp mini-torii.
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« Last Edit: 08/28/11 at 07:43:46 by stevef »  
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #9 - 08/28/11 at 14:14:05
 
You know that's interesting, I don't hear the El34 as polite in any way in the Decware amps. Have you heard any of these? The original Torii falls right in line with what you are describing power wise, is not an SET but sounds similar to one (but with power, and not sweetening and congestion causing I bet), and has never been described as "polite." You know that Steve wires the EL34 differently than others in many of these amps, don't you?

Anyway to each their own. I actually wish Steve would stop making new products for a spell. I don't need the temptation!
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Pale Rider
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #10 - 08/28/11 at 17:12:28
 
Lon is right (and so are you Steve), to each their own.

Steve, if by "polite," you mean "gets the hell out of the way of the music," then I could agree with that assessment (of the Torii). But if you mean "unengaged," not sure I can get there. I would also echo Lon's point: the EL-34 is just one part of the design. And I have no doubt the Hazen Grid has a lot to do with why it sounds so grand to me. You should hear the Verdi Requiem on my rig. Granted, I love this piece, but the goosebumps factor with the Torii and the ERRs is something else. Layer upon layer of detail, and the dynamics and imaging to present them correctly. Listening to some hi-res jazz, and hearing the bite of finger on bass, or the underlying klickety-clack of piano keys, that's sweet in the emotional sense. We could all go on with examples of how great some music sounds on some piece of equipment. So happens, for me, it is the Torii. BTW, I hear much of the same with the Taboo, but not quite all the same, and on large scale works like the Requiem, there is a limit to how much room a Taboo can fill (but on headphones, man oh man). FWIW, the SE84ZS with the Hazen grid on the SV83 tubes, compliments the Torii well running my center channels.

Of course, each of us brings our perspective to bear on this discussion. I haven't had a tube amp in over 30 years until this year. And I have no idea what an EL-34 might sound like in a non-Hazen amp (even assuming we could factor out all the other differences). So, in a sense, I cannot even fathom your point of comparison. I didn't come to Decware looking for a tube or a design. I bought my first, the Taboo, to drive my Audez'e LCD-2 headphones properly. The Taboo delivered in spades. Tha led me to a belief that Steve was on to something that resonated with me.
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #11 - 08/28/11 at 19:15:23
 
Lon,

I am familiar with almost everything Decware builds.  I go to Zenfest regularly and I have bought Decware products.
There is something about EL-34 tube applications that I find unattractive. I,ve been a rabid audiophiles for over 40 years.  I've been in and mostly out of the business too.  I have auditioned a lot of stuff during that time.  I also try to hear live unamplified music whenever I get the chance.  

I think that the 84 series of amps are very nice, and the base model and taboo are my favorites of that line.  I also appreciate the mini-torii; my current Decware favorite.  At Zenfest, I prefer to ask for a different amp when the Torii is playing.  Sorry, It's just not my cup of tea.  I respect anyone who chooses that amp.  

The great A. Stewart Hegeman didn't care for KT-88 tubes, preferring the 6550 tube instead. They are quite similar. Most audiophiles prefer the former. (I don't) Just another example of preference.  

I've owned quite a few tube amps; there are four on my rack right now.  I use a variety of amps when I develop speakers.  My EL-34 experience goes back to the 60's.  I still have a pair of Dynaco MK-IV in my basement collection.  I am not trying to dissuade anyone from enjoying their favorite amp.  My experience of rejecting the EL-34 is one of those elements of audio that defy measurements.  I know of several others with similar experience.  One is a known tube amp designer.  My solution is an easy one.  I just choose other amps.
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« Last Edit: 08/28/11 at 19:16:16 by stevef »  
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #12 - 08/28/11 at 20:20:04
 
Cool. I grew up with my Dad's Dynaco and I have had a number of experiences with amps that use these tube types, and I've never really preferred the 6550 or KT88.  I probably would use a different amp thant he Torii (mainly because I wouldn't have to buy it having many other amps) if I weren't addicted to the Radial speakers and didn't feel the headroom and current were needed for my living space. That said, the Torii can be tailored in so many ways that it's like having several amps, very versatile.

I just never considered the EL34 to be polite in Decware amps, seemed an odd characterization, but I do believe you have found it that way somewhere.

To each their own. What is it you want in another amp? What power level and what tube types? Just curious. I think the Decware line covers almost all bases right now except perhaps systems with really power-hungry speakers (as witness one user and his Wilson speakers experience).
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opnly_bafld
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #13 - 08/28/11 at 20:43:23
 
I agree with Steve's original post and even had (basically) the same thought at Decfest last year.

Lin
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #14 - 08/28/11 at 21:18:20
 
Okay, I reread the original post, a push-pull version of the Mini-Torii. I guess there's an interest.
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #15 - 08/28/11 at 23:02:31
 
Please don't think for a second that I am putting anyone or anything down.  Far from it.  I kid my buddy Curtis, some of you met him at the last Zenfest, that his CJ amp, an EL-34 @ about 40-50 wpc should be used as a boat anchor!  He loves it and that's what counts.

Lon,  I guess about say 15 wpc in a pp mini-Tori would be nice.  Your radials would love them, and tubes would be extremely long lived.  These days a lot of speakers could be driven quite nicely by such an amp.  There are too few amps in that category.  As Far as I know, only Ken Shindo has built a production 6L6 pp audiophile worthy amp. As Steve Deckert is a smart guy, I would love to see a mini-torii move to the next level of power.  Just something for my wish list.  

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opnly_bafld
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #16 - 08/28/11 at 23:12:50
 
Curtis mentioned something about wishing he had a boat*, but I wasn't sure what he was talking about at the time. Wink

Grin

Lin
*a total fabrication on my part
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« Last Edit: 08/28/11 at 23:33:20 by opnly_bafld »  
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #17 - 08/28/11 at 23:17:48
 
Not sure my ERRs would really love that amp, they seem to want more power than that in this big living-room/dining room. But maybe. It would also depend on the source and whether you want to add a preamp with lots of gain like the CSP2, which I go back and forth on (don't need it now with my current transport/DAC set up). I'm set now though, not wanting to try another amp, I like to hang on to these rare periods when I'm really happy with my system. For some reason the Mini-Torii has never really appealed to me, perhaps it was because it seemed an open invitation to exuberant tube-rolling, and when that amp came out I had just somehow managed to get myself un-crazy for and from tube-rolling.  :)  Still, I can see that is possibly a gap that could be filled in the line, a 12 to 15 watt amp, but in my experience the Integrated covers a certain type of speaker up to a certain point, and after that the Torii is enough or more than enough. . . Wonder what the price point would be and whether that would be a factor. Anyway, it would be interesting to hear what Steve might think.
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #18 - 08/28/11 at 23:18:50
 
That's why.  He tolerates me.  BTW my much better half Julie plans to attend the Fest this year.  She tolerates me too.  (I plan on bring a Buzz' modified preamp this year for show and tell.)
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #19 - 08/28/11 at 23:28:42
 
Lon, your radials are an excellent speaker.  So much depends on the source for signal and how well the signal is buffered. My experience with radials & other omni speakers is that because they don't beam like conventional boxes, spl levels initially appear a bit lower, even though when you measure them from a dozen feet away they match.
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Lon
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #20 - 08/29/11 at 00:02:24
 
Well, I don't measure anything. At the very loudest that I use it, without a preamp, one of my sources (the dvr) isn't putting out enough volts and the Torii seems to be doing all it can. I am routing that to a DAC now though, and don't have a problem.

I still think the Torii would be a better choice than a 15 watt amp for my need, and as I have TWO Toriis (at least for now, might sell one), I'm pretty well set. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 08/29/11 at 00:57:23 by Lon »  

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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #21 - 09/09/11 at 18:20:33
 
FWIW I did find a similar amp to the mini-torii in a push pull class A version.  They only got about 9 WPC.  The amp lacks the regulation level that the Decware amp employs.  Tight regulation is critical to the mini-torii's sound.  So that other amp is a no go. Perhaps a Citation style a/ab amp with full regulation would be the ticket.  I suppose if I want it I will have to build it. Building a 100 DB speaker to get the spl I want would be easier.  I've already drawn plans for that. Decisions decisions.

Steve
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Rivieraranch
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #22 - 09/09/11 at 21:51:16
 
So you could say that the push is on for a push/pull Midi.
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #23 - 09/10/11 at 02:19:05
 
Rivieraranch,

LOL.  What a great way of saying that.  C'mon Steve, how about a midi-torri?

Steve
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opnly_bafld
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #24 - 11/24/11 at 22:36:43
 
Any thoughts Mr. D?

Thanks,
Lin
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #25 - 11/30/11 at 17:48:39
 
Lin,

I realize that the concept of an AB class push pull amp is really not a normal Decware design theme.  (Though a well regulated one would be really nice.)  So I withdraw my request.  

At the last Zenfest, Steve told me that one of their mini-torii mock ups was a push pull design. He said it sounded pretty good.  

Steve
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stevef
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #26 - 12/06/11 at 03:47:31
 
The best way to run a class AB amp seems to be avoid tubes.  A modern well designed ss amp with good bipolar output transistors and a low bias can sound excellent. As long as the amp has minimal protective circuitry, and isn't driven into clipping, the sound quality is surprising.  

A couple of friends and I, spent a day listening to some jazz records and CD's through an excellent pair of hybrid electrostatic speakers. ( first time I was wowed by 'stats & neither of the two big names)  The best ss units were better than the tubed units on hand. Cautionary note, one ss amp was driven into oscillation by the capacitative load.  The tube amps actually rolled off the highs. In either case, bring lots of cash.  Way above my pay grade, but wow.   Shocked
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #27 - 01/08/12 at 03:46:42
 
George Wright made an under appreciated push pull 2A3 mono blocks.   I also heard a  Deja Vu audio stereo 2A3 PP that really did well on a pair of Spendors.   I know that this is all stuff done before and suspect they would not stand up to my Torii on my very efficient speakers.
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ski bum
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Re: the next amp should be a...
Reply #28 - 02/12/12 at 20:25:19
 
The next amp...ok, here's an idea.

I'm imagining a powerful amp that has the exact sound signature of a Select.  Not the near approximation, with bass, as with a Torii.   Simpler than that.  More power than that, too.

Think Peter Welker's brilliantly simple, self correcting feed-forward 'current dumping' circuit.  Replace the primary ss class A drive/control stage with Select guts, add an appropriately juicy Decware flavored power source for the current dumpers, and voila, a simple amp with low parts count, genuine class A sonics (in fact, SE84 Select sonics), and the power to drive any speaker.  Seems it could easily and relatively inexpensively be made much, much more powerful than a Torii, yet retain the crystal clear purity of a Select.

That would be wicked cool.

I suppose Quad would take Decware or anyone else to court for trying to do this commercially. Huh
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