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SE34i.2+ being discontinued! (Read 15779 times)
Fireblade
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SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
12/28/11 at 01:30:44
 
Hi all! I'm new to this forum, first post, and was until this morning a prospective SE34i.2+ customer. I just learned from Sarah that it is being discontinued. Now, after having made all kinds of analyses comparing many alternatives, I was so proud of having finally reached to the unequivocal best choice for me: the SE34i.2+.

Needless to say I'm somewhat frustrated, but at the same time eager to learn from this forum what will likely be a comparable (or better) alternative. Did you all know this amp was being discontinued? Have you learned of a (hopefully improved) potential replacement?

I just hope price remains more or less the same, as it is one of the decision criteria used during my screening. I haven't talked to Steve due to the holidays, so if you know something I would much appreciate your inputs.  Good music listening to all!
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Rivieraranch
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #1 - 12/28/11 at 02:22:39
 
Welcome to this forum. I cannot imagine how disappointed you must be after scoping out this amp and learning that it is no longer available.

The SE34I.2 was inspired by the original ZEN design, single ended, dual mono, but with more power than the 2 watt SE84C.

If dual mono is most important to you then a TORII MK III, MINI TORII, or SE84ZTM monoblocks would fulfill this. Or you could have 2 SE84C or ZEN SELECT units wired for mono.

If SET is the most important to you, and you want the same power the SE34I.2 had, a pair of SE84C+ or ZEN SELECT units wired in mono would be as good.

On the other hand, if you are not set on SET, the TABOO with a CSP2+ unit would be a great system.
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #2 - 12/28/11 at 03:40:51
 
Thanks for your kind reply Rivieraranch. My interest is for a good Triode-based SET. The reason I was to acquire the SE34i.2+ had to do with the fact it had 3 times more power than de SE84C+ and because of the EL34 working as a Triode (not Pentode), and with the Hazel Grid Mod advantage. I'm not too familiar with your suggested choices, but I know I'm not interested in PP configurations nor in headphone amps.

In addition, using 2 SE84C+'s as monoblocks increases sound degradation through added interconnects and forces me to acquire a preamp, as I'm using (with excellent results) a USB/DAC which is powered by my laptop, so it won't offer input gain to the SE84C+'s. This would imply much more money than planned and loosing on the Triode EL34 signature.

So you see, my friend, how frustrating this is for me: I would have been running my dream system: 95dBs Tektons M-Lore, a laptop music server with USB/DAC connected to the SE34i.2+ and an active 60 watt Velodyne SUB. Now I have to start my amp hunting from scratch again.

If you or someone else have more specific suggestions within this particular context I would be very appreciative. Take care now.

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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #3 - 12/28/11 at 03:59:49
 
Fireblade, welcome!

It's news to me that the Integrated is being discontinued. . .that's too bad as I entertain sometimes the idea of having one again someday. There have been several offered here in the last few months and possibly elsewhere, they do come up used for sale as many move from the Integrated to a Torii, or to other amps.

Two other points: the push-pull Torii does NOT sound like a push-pull that you can imagine. It sounds very close to the single-ended Decware sound. There's an nearly model that every now and then shows up that had 12 watts per channel that may be perfect for you.

And there are the mono-d Zen amps to consider, and the excellent Zen Monoblocks. Also, with 95db speakers, you may be able to drive them very well with the Select or the other Zen amps, or the Taboo. I don't quite understand the "degradation due to too many interconnects." It would in fact be just the same amount of interconnects, one per channel, one left, one right. . . . The amps can be set side by side and you shouldn't need any extra length of interconnect.

Anyway, best of luck in your quest. There ARE Decware options, as I'm sure you'll discover when you talk to Steve.
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« Last Edit: 12/28/11 at 04:01:25 by Lon »  

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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #4 - 12/28/11 at 05:06:04
 
Hello Lon, thanks for your assistance.  About the extra interconnects, I meant having to hook up an extra component (preamp) to drive the Monos. Sorry if I did not make myself clear there. I also missed that the SE84C+ is indeed in Triode mode, so that is one less caveat.

Still, it does not boasts the famous EL34 SET Class A signature (being EL84). I guess I need to know if I would be able to run these monos without the need of a preamp, and assume the EL84 SET signature is to my taste. Plus, it would be $255.00 more, just on amplification.

The Taboo is a Pentode SET (that's why it has higher power, unbridged), therefore it does not even have the Triode signature Class A. Besides, it needs input gain, making it compulsive to add a preamp in my case, a proposition $895.00 more expensive (CSP2) plus interconnects.

The MiniTorii is not EL34 based either (6V6), and it is $400.00 more expensive than the SE34i.2 and 2 W/c short on power. I'm sure it is a wonderful piece, but still assuming the 6V6 is to my taste, it's still out of my league, for the moment.

Regarding the Select, I don't find it in the site with that name, so I am not informed about this alternative.  It seems so far my only hope is the first one (SE84C+ monos), assuming no preamp required.

Please let me know if I'm going about this the wrong way. Cheers
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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #5 - 12/28/11 at 12:36:30
 
Well, in my opinion, though there are differnces between the triode and pentode modes in Decware amps, and push pull and single ended, they are not as represented in other manufacturers, but in fact differing windows from the same room. I find Decware push pull amps to be quite similar in sound to the triode single ended ones, so I would say that being locked into the idea of the "EL34 SET Class A signature" is in fact limiting oneself considerably.

I also feel that with the efficiency of your speakers (and I know there are other factors such as crossover type) you may well be able to get by with the Zen amps. And I must say, as wonderful as I've found the EL34 amps, the low powered SV83/EL84 amps actually have the potential to be the very best sounding of the Decware amps. The speed of the smaller tube in this circuit makes for amazing detail and soundstage. The EL34 amps I moved to because they offered more power that I needed (at the time speakers with about 91 db  in a large room) and I listen to many different recordings, many of which don't sound that great, and in comparison to the SV83/EL84 amps the EL34 amps are a bit more forgiving and euphonic with lousy source recordings. In fact the SV83/EL84 amps may deliver what you're looking for in the EL34 amps. And when the SV83 tube is used, the Hazen Grid Mod is in effect. . . . These amps also have input gain adjustment and can be used without a preamp.

The "Select" is really an amp that no longer exists, which is now in improved form as the SE84ZS, which page is accessible via the catalog: http://www.decware.com/newsite/SELECT.htm
Why it is not on the tube amp page, I don't know, the SE84ZSM Monoblocks also are only accessible via the catalog page. These amps CAN be run without a preamp quite capably. Preamps do add to the sound, and I had to divest myself of the "adding a preamp and interconnects to the system means sonic degradation" thinking. That may well be true of many makes and models, but not when using the Decware preamps such as the CSP2+ or the ZSTAGE (a reportedly excellent line stage preamp that is more affordable). These preamps really do contribute far more than you imagine you might lose. They're a cut above anything else I've used. If you look in the "articles" Steve writes about the use of a preamp, and I think also in the owner's manual or product page for the preamps.

The real best advice I can give you is to talk to Steve about your system, your room, your musical tastes and equipment tastes and let him advise you. NO ONE knows more about the amps and their implementation than Steve and his advice is SOLID. He's also one of the easiest persons on the planet to talk to. I recommend getting him on the phone when you can!

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Rivieraranch
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #6 - 12/28/11 at 14:33:36
 
The SELECT and the MONOBLOCKS are found in the catalog section under the listing for the SE84C+. Go down to the bottom of the listing and you can pull up separate catalog pages for each of these.

I believe that the feared degradation in sound would not materialize with a solid preamp such as the ZSTAGE, which adds gain without coloring the sound.

These little SV83/6P15P-EV tubes are sonic marvels; you won't believe the fidelity they produce.  

If you are stuck on an SE34I.2, there were 2 or 3 up for sale on Audiogon. Needless to say they sold quickly. Buying used has its benefits. If you want to buy something new I could easily understand that as well.
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #7 - 12/28/11 at 15:53:46
 
Thank you Lon and Rivieraranch for your support.  Indeed, found the literature on those. These are essentially cosmetically upgraded versions on the SE84C+.  I think I could live with SE84C+ bridged monos, provided I would not need a preamp and I get around 6 W/c on 8 Ohm speakers.

Apparently, that's the deal with these, according to the Catalog script. Except, my source, a USB/DAC does not have any power (passive), it takes what it needs from the laptop. Therefore, I am not sure if the no-preamplifier advantage applies in this case.

I feel it's still a setback of $255.00 to get essentially the same thing as the ES34i.2+, isn't it?  

Regarding PP vs SETs, I just know it's a lot easier to build a good Class A Triode SET than a similarly successful PP Triode Class A . So, in general, the tradeoff is quality sound for power and bass control. I'm not implying Decware's PP have not been able to pull this through though, which may be the reason of Steve's success.  I just want to ensure the best sound quality I can afford.

Good to hear about the SV3 sonic attributes on the SE84C+.  I guess I will just need to speak to Steve about the options left.  Thanks again guys for your kind assistance.  BTW Lon, I read in one of the threads you are also a biker, good for you. I'm 61, practically retired, but still run a 2009 CBR1000RR (Fireblade) very fast, on weekends.  Good music sound and biking are my two passions.  Take care!

 
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Pale Rider
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #8 - 12/28/11 at 18:22:24
 
Lon was spot on with this:

Quote:
Well, in my opinion, though there are differnces between the triode and pentode modes in Decware amps, and push pull and single ended, they are not as represented in other manufacturers, but in fact differing windows from the same room. I find Decware push pull amps to be quite similar in sound to the triode single ended ones, so I would say that being locked into the idea of the "EL34 SET Class A signature" is in fact limiting oneself considerably.


Judging which amp will best suit one's needs without actually hearing them in like circumstances or with the desired ancillary equipment (e.g., speakers and source), is difficult. I have the Taboo, two Toriis, and the SE84ZS. They sound more alike than they do different, and tube swaps make far more difference in the sound than the "class" of the amp. I would also not assume that an amp like the Taboo might "need" a preamp. It can certainly benefit from one, but the need may be something you address in the future, not today.
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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #9 - 12/28/11 at 18:31:32
 
So that's where the handle "Fireblade" comes from. Yes, I'm a rider, don't have a car. Won't say I'm a "biker" though as I don't follow the "lifestyle" in any way.

Personally I don't think it's accurate to say those two Zen SE84 amps are "only cosmetic upgrades" to the Zen C+. Each of them use different parts and have improved sonics, that's the consensus among owners. And the Decware push pull sound IS different than any other I've heard. I've had four separate single ended Decware amps. . . but I would still choose my Torii for my use over any of those, that's in my opinion the best amp I've ever had, for many reasons, and I don't feel I lose anything significant over a single ended amp. . . with my speakers and sources.

Your instinct may be right about the need for a preamp. I don't use computer audio, but both Donnie here and I have found that from an iPod there is more gain needed to bring to amp up to volume. If you want to get everything right the first time you may want to consider a preamp, the ZSTAGE or CSP2+ (I don't feel the latter is "colored") and any of the amps. But again, Steve is the best source of compatibility information.
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #10 - 12/28/11 at 21:18:12
 
Hey Pale Rider, here´s a quote from Decware's site:

The Taboo has intentionally low input sensitivity so it likes a source with a high output (3 to 4 volts) or a good preamp such as our CSP2 to really flush out it's full potential.  Now remember, my source is a passive asynchronous USB/DAC.

Again, PP vs SET is a controversial topic that I will leave to the real experts, in my case I conceded it may be possible Steve has been able to pull through a special design without paying the price with the usual tradeoffs involved.  But it is also out of my league and I won't need 25 W/c either.

I agree going to a blind date is difficult, that's why one asks around before agreeing to do it. In this case, I need to narrow the options as far as I can, to increase the possibilities of a correct choice the first time around.

Lon, I'm not a biker in that sense either. I just love to ride my bike, and have been for many years. I just love leaning my knee to the ground in the curves a lot better.

I would not be able to afford a preamp at this stage, so that is out of the question. The clue here would be to have the two monos SE84C+ working out of my USB/DAC, without the need of further input gain. This would do it for me.

By the way, the Mini Torii is very tempting, but beyond my budget. I thank you both kindly for your help. I can't wait to see the end of this process and start listening.  Take care.
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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #11 - 12/28/11 at 21:43:56
 
I'm a cruiser the last few decades. My need for speed has slowed down. Smiley I've got the perfect bike for my needs now and my knees never get close to the ground. What I like most is long trips, but I'm not a fairing or windshield user, I love the air and grit.

You know, I still think it's possible with 96db speakers one Zen amp would power your speakers, and maybe you could afford a C+ and a ZSTAGE. That would be a fine system! Steve would know.

I'm eager to hear what you decide, hopefully after talking to Steve. Hoping you join the Decware clan soon!
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« Last Edit: 12/28/11 at 21:45:49 by Lon »  

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #12 - 12/28/11 at 21:45:13
 
Fireblade,
Stay away from motorcycles, they are evil, the devil's playthings. They make you spend all of your money, travel all over the place trying to win "races", drive Dodge vans with no windows in them and dents poking out from the insides. You spend all of your money on weird names like Shoei, Vanson and Alpinestars. They make you walk strange and have scars that are hard to explain. And at the end all you have are these story's to tell and the knowledge that you had way more fun than anyone else in the room.
As far as your problem of needing a preamp or not depends on the output voltage of your streamer/DAC. As Lon said, a Ipod doesn't really put out enough voltage to make my Torii play very loudly. Check the spec's of your streamer and see if they give a output voltage. 2 volts seems to be the point of good returns.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #13 - 12/28/11 at 21:50:05
 
Taboo 2.3 volts for full output

SE34I.2+ 2.5 volts for full output


I personally won't call the latter an integrated because a lot of sources will not drive it to full power (if the specs are correct).

Also, I don't understand why you will not buy one just because it will be discontinued. Huh

Lin
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« Last Edit: 12/28/11 at 23:28:04 by opnly_bafld »  
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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #14 - 12/28/11 at 22:02:56
 
I got the impression he was advised it wouldn't still be able to be ordered when he was ready to buy. I do find it odd. I thought it was a popular item and don't see why it wouldn't be made any longer unless the chassis is unavailable going forward, etc.
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« Last Edit: 12/28/11 at 22:03:46 by Lon »  

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #15 - 12/28/11 at 23:25:28
 
I see, I took it to mean that at some point in the (near?) future it would no longer be available.
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« Last Edit: 12/28/11 at 23:26:11 by opnly_bafld »  
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #16 - 12/28/11 at 23:37:35
 
And we're both guessing! Smiley Hopefully we'll have solid info soon.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #17 - 12/29/11 at 02:31:13
 
I went the other way around, Lon. From a Cruiser (Moto Guzzi, BMW R1200C) to sportsbikes (Fireblade, Kawi, R1, Fireblade again).

I thought about the single SE84C+ with the assistance of a preamp to boost the input gain and overall output of the little guy, but I'm not sure if my 95 dBs will allow that (listening room is small though).

Ha Ha! ... Ride-On Donnie, good points (especially the Van stuff .. hehe!). Good point on the output voltage check on my USB/DAC: 2.25V full scale output.  Apparently barely enough by itself?

opnly_bafld, those specs contradict literature from Steve on this same site, as noted in my previous post.

Regarding your assumption of my resistance to buy the SE34i.2+, its not. I actually tried to buy through the site and the link was disabled. Sent an email and that was the answer I got from Sarah.  

I would love to be able to get my hands on one of those, as per my needs. Furthermore, I think it is such an important niche, I asume Steve will be replacing it with an upgraded version anytime now (maybe prices will go up with an "upgrade")

Again Lon, your suggestion of a single SE84C+ aided by a preamp (has to be the CSP2+, the ZStage is a Kit and I would not touch it!), makes sense. I read Steve mentioning the boosting properties of this preamp on all Decware amps. Is that right?  Take care now ...






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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #18 - 12/29/11 at 02:59:56
 
Oh wait! The combined prices of CSP2+ and single SE84C+ is $1,670.00, exactly $375.00 more of what I was prepared to pay for the SE34i.2+   and coming short by 2 W/c !! Choice 1

Now, we are in the ballpark of the more sophisticated Mini-Torii at  $1,695.00 at 4 W/c.  Choice 2

Assuming my USB/DAC works with SE84C+ monos, $1,550.00 Choice 3

I think I need to find out if there will be a replacement for the SE34i.2 anytime soon, and the new price.  Choice 4

As you can see, the best deal has always been the original SE34i.2+ at the original price.  Later ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #19 - 12/29/11 at 03:28:40
 
A single Zen SE84C+ and a ZSTAGE would be right around $1200. From all I have read here I think that would do great for you.

I am running a ZEN SE84C+ from 94 db efficient speakers with a 2.5 volt source and I can't turn the volume all the way up without the sound level being uncomfortable.

When I run the ZEN with my 89 db efficient speakers and a 2.0 volt source I can turn it all the way up. It is loud enough and the sound has weight and body.

The MINI TORII would have no problem with a 2 volt signal either  

I ran a ZEN up at DECFEST with a ZSTAGE through 89db efficient speakers and it was incredible; the sound had a lot of weight, authority and control.    
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« Last Edit: 12/29/11 at 03:30:02 by Rivieraranch »  

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #20 - 12/29/11 at 04:27:12
 
FWIW the specs I gave are not something that I made up, but are taken from the product pages.

The ZStage is a finished product: http://www.decware.com/newsite/zstage.html
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #21 - 12/29/11 at 13:20:34
 
Well, just be careful on that Fireblade. I backed off on speeding around because of the danger component. Exactly a year ago I could have been killed when struck from behind by a pickup truck while I was STOPPED waiting to make a left-hand turn.:)

The ZSTAGE is NOT a kit. I guess you were referring to the chassis/box. I agree that the CSP2+ may be a better choice (that huge transformer does something and so does the tube regulation, and you can individually adjust each channel, so you have a very good balance control, and it's BEAUTIFUL) but the ZSTAGE is a fully-assembled fully-realized preamp from the builder.

I really think if you have a small room and aren't partially deaf Wink that with 96db speakers a C+ and a preamp will do you fine. The only real drawback would be if the speakers had a very complex crossover network.

It's time to call Steve!
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« Last Edit: 12/29/11 at 13:22:07 by Lon »  

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #22 - 12/29/11 at 13:35:51
 
Hello Rivieraranch and opnly_bafld, these are really good news! Thanks for pointing them out. I could not find the ZStage, as I was looking under preamps. The price total of this combo would be $1,372.00 exactly (or, $77.00 more than the SE34i.2+, which is reasonable).

It's good to hear you can move 94dB speakers at normal listening levels with just the single SE84C+.  Of course, my DAC outputs a max of 2.25 Volts only, so I probably would have to include the ZStage.

It is also great to learn that  the ZStage manages to provide the single SE84C+ (you guys call it the Zen?) the body and dynamics you described, even with 89 dBs speakers!

This narrows the issue to basically two choices:

1. Single SE84C+ and a ZStage Combo at 2 W/c ($1,373.00) = $686.50 / Watt

2. Pair of SE84C+s bridged as Monoblocks at 6 W/c ($1,550.00) = $258.33 / Watt

I need more inputs to make the final decision between these two options now (not financially, that is clear, mind you, but from the perspective of overall performance). I guess I will be asking Steve.

Thank you guys again, these are better news than I thought possible at this point. Enjoy your listening and keep me posted.



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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #23 - 12/29/11 at 13:49:53
 
Hi Lon, thanks for your continued support. I know there are risks involved, as everything in life. I've had my share of accidents (one in particular, out of which I was able to walk away, very fortunate indeed.) But you know, I do it with brains and technique, so I don't take stupid chances. Granted, you may not control the other variables, but that's part of the fun out of it. The adrenaline is such a high!

You are probably right about the CSP2+, it would be great, but I think redundant in my case, and too expensive.  The speakers I'm ordering are 95 dBs (not 96) but according to Steve's suggestions in the site, that puts them right in the middle of the ideal range (94-96).

Sarah indicated Steve would be back from holidays by Jan 3rd, so that's when I will be making my final decision.  Good riding ...

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #24 - 12/29/11 at 14:29:56
 
You could just begin by trying a single ZEN SE84C+ to see how it does with your speakers. Then decide on whether to buy another ZEN to monoblock, or whether to buy a ZSTAGE or CSP2+ to augment a single ZEN setup.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #25 - 12/29/11 at 14:30:55
 
Well, ride carefully as well. I just don't get the high from the speed any longer. Happens. . . age makes changes. I may or may not be older than you.:) Happy trails!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #26 - 12/29/11 at 20:40:58
 
Hey guys, thanks for your advice. That is a good idea Rivieraranch, to order just one SE84C+ and see what happens. I would hate to have to order again, so I'm going to ask Steve what would be my chances of success with just one amp, explaining to him my parasite passive DAC output condition (Music Streamer II takes power from the USB cable directly, no power source of its own).  

I also do not know what the DAC's specs term "maximum output voltage: 2.25 V" means (i.e., it goes from 0 to 2.25 Max, so it's not a nominal figure).  Steve will make sense out of this I guess.

Lon, I'm sure I'm older than you. But remember, age is a state of mind.

Can't wait for Jan 3rd ... Take care now.

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #27 - 12/29/11 at 20:57:04
 
Guys, I had forgotten this and I'm sure you will know the answer:  I usually complement my system with a SUB (Velodyne 60 Watts, decent performance) for the lowest frequencies.  

Now my question is how would I go about connecting it to the SE84C+, as I do not see any SUB OUT in back.  I do not see PRE OUTs either (it does not have a Pre anyway). These connections are RCA (mono or L+R, respectively). Those are about the only ways I have connected my SUB in the past

I know some people hook an extra pair of speaker wires from the power amp's speaker OUT (L+R) and connect them to the SUB's speaker input binders.  My SUB has an active XOver to pre-determine the cut-off frequecy to process only those low frequencies, but I have not used it via speaker terminals, so I'm not sure.

Have you guys done it this way with Decware gear? Could you explain?  Thanks again for your support.  Later ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #28 - 12/29/11 at 21:29:37
 
I neither have a sub nor sub expertise, but I remember reading in the forum that using the speaker wire level connections is BEST. If you do a search, I KNOW there are threads or many posts on this subject over the years. . . .
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #29 - 12/29/11 at 21:30:29
 
Fireblade,
I have my sub hooked up with speaker wire to the high level inputs. Seems to work pretty well plus you get a little "Tube lovin'" from your main amp. I'm thinking about getting real serious with the sub thing and having ZYGI build me a Imperial SO this coming year. That should put a little rumble in my neighborhood.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #30 - 12/29/11 at 21:33:04
 
Ha! I'm 56. I don't know, I know I'm different (pretty much always have been) but the joy in speeding along really diminished with me about 20 years ago. I'm glad. I get into enough trouble obeying the limits! Smiley

I do love being on two wheels though. Was just out admiring my old R90. Hasn't run for over twenty-one years. . . except in my imagination!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #31 - 12/29/11 at 22:17:05
 
hi fireblade,  i often use my 84c+ to drive my 95 db efficient audio nirvana 12s. small very irregularly shaped room.  i do use a csp2.  also use a zbox i just got from lon (thank you, lon).  the zbox seems to eat up some output power so i do have to turn up the whole kit and caboodle to keep up loud sounds.  my experience is that the zen is reaching the limit of it's strength without the csp2.....my experience may be being influenced by my unwillingness to turn the zen all the way up.  just me?? so at that point i hook up my pre-owned se34.1 (highly modded by steve to be basically a power amp.  do not know the power output.  just forgot to ask steve.  mystery to me.  just know that decware has started to pull me out of my profound state of audio ignorance......possible suggestion: there is a feature on audiogon  that allows one to  list one's interest in a particular item.  go to the decware section, find the wanteds and proceed.  good luck, don
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #32 - 12/30/11 at 01:02:09
 
If I had to speculate (and I will so here goes...) The integrated is being discontinued because it's based on the old chassie design.  The other thing is that the Mini Torii is a competing amp at that price point and that tends to confuse customers.  
The Mini torii has quite a few design updates such as the voltage regulation and I think that is probably more than worth the $200 difference (at least until the end of the year).

If I was in your position I'd jump on a Mini Torii.  
Second Choice would be a Torii III and then you can wait in line with the rest of us.     Wink  
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« Last Edit: 12/30/11 at 01:03:43 by Jason »  
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #33 - 12/30/11 at 01:38:36
 
Fire:

Before buying my little ZEN SE84C+ in October I owned a TABOO and a MINI TORII. I must confess that the SET magic of the little ZEN amp took me by surprise. Not that it is "better" but different in a certain captivating, involving way. For example, I took two weeks off for the holidays and brought the ZEN home rather than leave it at the office.  

Now I am thinking of someday acquiring another ZEN to create monoblocks, or two ZEN SELECT SE84ZS to monoblock, or the ZEN SE84ZTM MONOBLOCKS with the tube regulation. I might just do it.  Therefore, I think you are on the right track to begin with an SET amp. I should have.      
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #34 - 12/30/11 at 03:24:58
 
Donnie, you mean the high level speaker input in your Sub, right? That is, a pair of speaker wires (L+R) from the amp's speaker OUT to the high level speaker IN of the Sub?  Thanks.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #35 - 12/30/11 at 03:39:19
 
Thank you, Don Pettit. Now this is not good news. My listening room is small also and somewhat irregular (opening on one side) 15' x 10', so I may need more power also (same 95dBs).  Unless the Nirvanas have a complex crossover and/or an odd impedance curve.

I don't understand the ZStage consuming output power? I thought the whole idea of that box was to increase gain and to boost the amp's output/dynamics/performance, with an added tube flair. How come it is doing the opposite?

I think that adding a 2nd ZEN in a 2-monos config should be even better than adding a preamp to a little guy like the Zen. I mean, it does not need really any further tube flavor, what it needs is a buddy to carry the load!  Although the gain stage of a CSP2+ helps (as should the ZStage), there's no substitute for power in this case.  And it's even cheaper ... Am I wrong here?

Thanks ang good listening!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #36 - 12/30/11 at 03:46:31
 
Don was talking about the ZBOX which is different from the ZSTAGE. The ZBOX is a unity gain buffer amp, not a preamp.

When you really need power, nothing else will really do. But the CSP2+ or the ZSTAGE bring many benefits to the table. If you look at the owner's manual for the ZSTAGE there's a section where Steve writes about "riding the gain." A fascinating and fun process whereby weight and dynamics can be added (or subtracted!) from the sound. I love my CSP2!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #37 - 12/30/11 at 04:07:50
 
Hi Jason, thanks for joining in!  You may be right on the first assumption, but it seems to me these are two distinct niches:

1. The Mini Torii is a technological show-case (the jewel of the house). Boasts all kinds of engineering tricks, including miniature dimensions. It's like two Zens sharing the same chassis, but with many non-standard features. Only 4 W/c (8 Ohms)

2. The Zen Triode is a classical SET amp, which when bridged provides 4 W mono (8 Ohms). With larger tubes this power goes to 6 W mono. Sharing the same chassis, these two monos act like an integrated amp.  More power and convenience, no extra features but without the need of a preamp.  Classic design integrated SET.

Regardless of pricing, these are distinct offerings to satisfy different needs.  I bet the new chassis is part of an upgrade, as you said, and maybe a price increase justification over the SE34i.2+.  I doubt and hope this model won't be discontinued indefinitely.

That's just my ill-informed guess, so take it with a grain of salt. I like the Mini-Torii but I can't jump on it before talking to Steve about my real options. He's coming back after the offer has expired, but cé la vie!

Take care now ...

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #38 - 12/30/11 at 04:18:20
 
Thank you Rivieraranch, for sharing that thought. I always wanted to try a real SET (a purist audiophile dream). I think this is my opportunity. The same price would get me a full blown 35 W/c all tube PP AB1 amp, fully upgraded, including a step attenuator and even a tube rectifier, on a time-proven amp like Bob Latino's Dynaco VTA ST-to, but is not the same.  

I rather spend in sensitive speakers and a Triode SET, and get more sound quality at same levels of Sound Pressure (SPLs) not power.  Thanks again. Great listening ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #39 - 12/30/11 at 04:30:12
 
Hi Lon, thanks for pointing that out. It seems I keep confusing all this weird names .. He He..! (maybe Alzheimer's is getting close?  HOPE NOT!!)

Indeed I meant the ZBox. Just replace that name where appropriate in my previous discussion, thats exactly what I was trying to say.  

BTW, my ex BMW R1200C will become a classic in due time, just because of the odd and unique style (and 1st and last Cruiser from BMW). I purchased the first one that came out in 1996/7.  The R90 was similar to one of my first bikes, a Moto Guzzi 850 T (1975 model). God I'm old!!  Cheers,

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #40 - 12/30/11 at 10:13:09
 
This is to correct some statements I made in a previous message: I inadvertently assigned the ZBox attributes from the ZStage. My apologies.  The ZStage is the one that could help boost performance and dynamics when amp's power is in its limits, no the ZBox, sorry.

Later ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #41 - 12/31/11 at 15:26:28
 
Hey Fire.  You are right in that the Torii platform is technologically different that any of the true SET's.
Quite honestly, if I was trying to choose M Torii vs Integrated, I'd like to have an integrated myself.  In fact, I would trade my first gen Torii for an integrated.
I started off in Decware land with a Torii because of the power but along the way I did have a Zen Select for a while to compare it to.  Had to have one just to make sure I wasn't missing something.
I owned another SET along the way too.
In the end the bigger Torii's won out as being best overall amp.

I hope if the integrated lives on it will be on the new platform with the OA3 regulation added.
I will be sorry to see it leave if it doesn't return.




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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #42 - 12/31/11 at 15:45:54
 
Hey Jason, you're right, an Integrated on the new platform with a few more regulation stages would be a natural evolution of the product, and a fine machine. But I think that the "line" could use an Integrated at the price point the old one held; I think such a new one would be a bit more expensive(?)

There are many wonderful choices in the Decware catalog. You can really suit your room and power needs and always have a quality amp with great sound.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #43 - 12/31/11 at 19:05:25
 
Hey Jason, what exactly is the OA3 regulation? I'm glad you like your big Torii. Have you had the opportunity to compare the Zen Triode (SE84C+) with your Zen SELECT? Are there great differences? I think Lon mentioned that this was kind of an upgraded version of the Zen Triode?  I'm curious about these upgrades.

Regarding the integrated, I hope Steve offers some fast replacement at reasonable prices.  Also, could you tell me exactly why you think the big Torii is a better amp overall (other than power)?  

I hear you Lon, and agree with both statements. Later ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #44 - 12/31/11 at 19:19:27
 
An OA3 is a voltage regulator tube type. This is one of the tube types you can use in the voltage regulator stage of the Torii.
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #45 - 12/31/11 at 20:46:06
 
Interesting ... I had heard of tube rectifiers (AC to DC), which are supposed to improve the amp's performance relative to SS rectifiers. Never heard of tube regulators. No susprise, I'm a neofyte in this field. Thanks ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #46 - 12/31/11 at 21:09:46
 
The Torii and Mini-Torii have three stages of regulation/rectification; the details are on the pages for the Torii and Mini-Torii. I can attest that this allows one many different possible sound signatures by changing tube types and tube brands in these stages. Part of what makes these amps so special and versatile.
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« Last Edit: 12/31/11 at 21:20:20 by Lon »  

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #47 - 12/31/11 at 21:30:19
 
Got it! I'll check on that, thanks ...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #48 - 12/31/11 at 23:00:25
 
One of the reasons I'd have to say the Torii II worked best for me is that it eliminated the need for a sub.  I was running it with a sub, and very good one at that, but in the end, with speakers that will actually make bass, it wasn't necessary.  I noticed you mentioned a sub in your other thread.  
If I had to sum up what's best about a Torii compared to everything else, it would be that it's involving, and like Lon says, you can just enjoy the music and forget the gear.

And one last thing, I don't think a lot of people really appreciate the Torii's PP topology if they havn't heard/owned one of the original ones
that started this lineup.   The Torii MK II had a lot to live up to.

Concerning the Zen C vs the Zen Select at the time.  I never had opportunity to compare the two, but basically the Select upgraded the rectifier from a 5y3 to a 5u4 and used the wima coupling caps.  It was less forgiving of a sub par source (Cd).

Steve's lastest implimentations of all his amps using the voltage regulator tubes; they are being used mostly to help with power conditioning.


 



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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #49 - 01/01/12 at 01:09:03
 
Hi Jason. Got it! Thanks. Would that mean, then, that the Zen (relative to the Torii) is less involving?  How much less involving would you say?

I made some back-of-the-envelope calculations to check the effect of lower nominal impedance and higher sensitivity of my future speakers, relative to my current SS setup at 50 W/c.  Anyway, it's amazing, to say the least! I wanted to attach an image for you to check it out, but the system would not allow it.

The results show a single amp (SE84C+) putting up about 73 W/c equivalent to my current setup, and 128 W/c also equivalent to my current setup, when 2 monoblocks are used.  This is the best argument to release the doubt of a SET's real power.

For this reason, I'm changing my speakers' order from the M-Lore (8 Ohm, 95 dBs) to modelt81 (4 Ohm, 95 dBs). Decor wise (my wife is going to kill me!), the former were much better (narrow, tall, fitting), but the latter ones (bulgy, ordinary cubes) ROCK!

Jason, I'm sorry to squeeze the issue, but I think it is important. Let me know what you think about the less involving feeling you have experienced with the SET's, if you will. Thanks for the info.  Later ...
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