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SE34i.2+ being discontinued! (Read 14764 times)
Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #50 - 01/01/12 at 07:00:11
 
Well, I also did calculations on the minimum power required to run my current system with 4 Ohms, 95 dBs, to check if the single Zen Triode can pull through (same concepts, the other way around).

Results absolutely confirm it: Min required, 2.0 W/c; Redundancy (power reserve), 15.2% (from the nominal Zen at 2.3 W/c @ 4 Ohms)

Further, these results have been additionally taxed by an error round-up buffer of another 15%. Therefore, I am being very conservative, as I don't think round-up losses are that high, and my linearity assumption for the last dB (from 94 to 95, which should be exponential), is not a gross assumption (at this already steep stage of diminishing returns on the exponential function anyway).

Conclusion: A single Zen Triode definitely can do it. Now is just a matter of minimizing transmission losses (interconnects, speaker cables, Y splitters, etc.).

Room acoustics and the speakers' impedance curve are still unknown variables to confront, though. We'll see. Later ...




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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #51 - 01/01/12 at 15:17:48
 
Cool. Well, I'm looking forward to hearing what Steve has to say. He may throw you a curve ball that will let you hit one out of the park.:)
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #52 - 01/01/12 at 15:47:43
 
Dear Fireblade,

There is a very good SPL calculator for speakers at this link.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html#anchor_13115

It works for me! Smiley

BTW, wish u a Happy 2012 New year.

Regards,

Soth
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Jason
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #53 - 01/01/12 at 17:12:36
 
Ok, I'll fill in a little more here.  I guess it would help to know that the current speakers I'm running are the HDT's.  Full range, crossoverless.   With the small amps, they do everything extremely well, but on a lot of recordings, they sound lean and thin nad you think to yourself hmm, something is missing.   What took them from 'gee that sounds good' to 'Wow!!' was the extra power of the bigger amp and most important the treble cut that the Torii offers.
Other speakers will have different requirements.

I guess I would describe it is like this, with a Zen C you will likely have to choose or tweak speakers to find the best match.  With a Torii, you can match the amp to just about any reasonably efficient speaker.  I look at it as the more expensive amp costs you less in the long run if you don't end up swapping speakers to find that holy grail combination.

Also, don't forget that speaker crossovers steal a lot of power.  that's why most of us try to eliminate or minimize them.

Lon, I agree it's would be nice to have an integrated at that same price point.  It might be possible, becuase if the plates cost less than the old style box, that savings could be applied elsewhere like regulation.  

At any rate, we need to have our opionions heard.  
Steve!!!   Don't drop the integrated, we think it should stay!



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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #54 - 01/01/12 at 17:17:07
 
Jason, very good point about the Torii being a powerful and adaptable amp that you aren't limited to speaker choices in the way you are with the SET amps. And in my opinion you really don't sacrifice sound quality. . . it's slightly different, but not inferior.

That treble cut circuit is amazing. I believe that Steve posted that it could be added to any of the amps, though I can imagine it might be difficult with the smaller ones. But I can't imagine being without one now, it's the perfect tool. I'd encourage anyone to investigate having it added when ordering, or even retro-fitted.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #55 - 01/01/12 at 17:25:09
 
If it appears that there is sufficient interest in an SE34I.3 EL34 SET Integrated, DECWARE would probably keep making it.  

Their business model is based upon their love of audio. As a company they don't introduce models to achieve a certain pre-determined profit margin. In many instances, they roll out a new piece of audio just because they can. Take the MINI TORII for example. Steve took a look at an old 6V6 amp that became the inspiration for the MINI.

If he wanted, he could take the SE34 design and configure it into  monoblocks with tube regulation on the outputs. But the integrated would accomplish the same goal; SET sound but with with higher power.      
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #56 - 01/01/12 at 18:44:45
 
Very useful, nice comments from all you guys, thanks. Ron, I sure hope I can beat that ball park wall!

Hey Lord Soth, I checked your link, liked it. In my case (Zen Triode and Tekton 4 Ohm, 95 dBs), the SPL came at 95.9 dBs. That should do it, don't you think?  This is also consistent with my rough power reqs calculations using my current system as reference.  BTW, happy new year to you too, Lord Soth.

Jason, your description makes much sense and helps me understand the relative implications. Thanks for that. Also, I think I now understand better the relative contributions of the big PP amps at Decware.  Also, contrary to what I learned in the past, apparently a tone/treble control seems very welcome in many practical contexts.

It used to be anathema for an amp to process the source signal (a purist view), alluding added distosion. But the recorded media, in many cases, renders it a practical approach, I guess.

You now, Riv, I started participating in the forum desperately looking to hold on to this integrated model that I thought was ideal for me.  Now I'm reconsidering ... I mean, it is an important niche in the Decware line and all, but now I don't feel I depend on it.

I think the logical evolution path most of you have gone through, is more or less the natural and better one: Start with the single Zen Triode or two (monos), or the integrated, and then grow into the more versatile and powerful stuff. You sort of develop an appreciation for the gear as you live with it, and get ready to appreciate what's next in the line range.

Over ten years ago I still had powerful PP monoblocks (VTL 225), and loved the sound, but I always dreamed of a purist SET, especially after reading many people's comments through the years about their special sound.  Now, the integrated is two of them in one chassis, and with more power to boot! This combination is a killer. That was my reasoning when I came to the forum.

In retrospective, I guess my audio appreciation evolution path has gone in the opposite direction.  Later ...




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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #57 - 01/01/12 at 18:51:51
 
Just want to mention: Steve's treble cut circuit is not in the signal path, if I understand what he's written it simply allows you to redirect some of the high frequency information as a shunt to ground. No sonic degradation, just a reduction in output of that information. Works brilliantly, and makes about a third of my collection far more listenable. A godsend for me as I want to be able to hear mediocre and worse recordings with enjoyment, and I can.
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Chris K
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #58 - 01/01/12 at 19:47:36
 
Just a suggestion On the SE34I.2. Check out one on the used market. They do pop up. Agon, that other auction site, and here in the classifieds.
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #59 - 01/01/12 at 20:10:30
 
I think I had read it somewhere in the site too, but it is just difficult to understand how it's filtering the signal without affecting it.

I guess he uses some kind of mini-resistor to cut-off/shunt only the extreme highs (according to the level of tone control set by the user).

Not easy to do right  ..  That's why the majority of amps that offer tonal control offer either signal manipulation (with agreed loss of signal attributes in the process) or music direct (untouched signal path.)  The user has the choice by pressing the button called music direct (to bypass this filtering process).

What is important is that you feel you're not loosing sound quality, and that means the objective has been attained.



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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #60 - 01/01/12 at 20:17:30
 
Thank you, Chris K, I've checked now and then both at Audiogon and here.  A couple of those appeared in Audiogon recently, and were gone the same day! Thanks for the tip, though
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ski bum
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #61 - 01/01/12 at 20:54:16
 
FB, these are all excellent points the guys are making. Speaker matching for the little Zens is so critical. Can be a PITA, and possibly more expensive. Unless, of course, you choose right the first time. Seems to me you are doing your due diligence.

For a Zen and small room, you need:
-Sensitivity and friendly impedance, just to get your foot in the door. 95db/w would be the minimum to me. The Tekton appears to be a good match, worth considering.
-You also need either very smooth off-axis response (can anything beat an ERR?) or controlled directivity. This will help keep overall power response at your ears true to the source. I'm not convinced the Tekton measures up here (the tweet will have much wider dispersion that that big woof in the crossover region), and would probably require more extensive acoustic treatments for the room and care with placement to sound it's best.

That's just a partially informed wild eyed guess, never heard the Tektons. And my ears are probably shot from listening to those big ol horns all these years. (By the way, if you can find some old Klipsch Quartets, they work splendidly with Zens in small rooms. Forte ll, too, if they'll fit.)
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« Last Edit: 01/01/12 at 21:10:56 by ski bum »  
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #62 - 01/02/12 at 15:55:33
 
Hi ski bum, thank you for the very good points you are making. You've got me thinking now.

It's curious to note that I have not been able to find higher than 95 dBs at affordable prices (either that, or they are too big for my needs). It's also interesting to note that Decware speakers' range are 94 dBs or less, except for two (one at 95 & one at 96).

The most concerning uncertainty right now is exactly what you're disclosing: Impedance dynamics and directionality (the last one should be of less concern in smaller rooms though).

TBH, I'm not familiar at all with these specs, so I'm going to have to trust other people's experiences, as I cannot demo these.  I've looked for several well known discontinued speakers out there, like the ones you mentioned, but these are hard to get (they are sold the very day they show-up on 2nd markets).

I would hate to have to re-furbish this room, as it's been done and the wife may not like the end result either. It's not so bad in terms of acoustics, I would say (not an expert), except it has an opening on one side that connects into another room.  I guess I'm just running a calculated risk here with the Tektons model 81t, but it's as far as I can accomodate for now.

Of course, the other alternative is to go with the more dynamic Mini-Torii. It's a shame price went up recently by $200.00. Nevertheless, the SE84C+ still allows the opportunity to further increase power down the road by bridging into monoblocks configuration, if deemed required.

Finally, I have also considered adding either a ZStage preamp or a ZBox to boost the little guy up.  These choices are not something I can decide on my own, and would prefer not to go into an endless trial-and-error process to find my definitive setup.

It is thanks to input like yours that I can increase my chances of nailing it the first time around (and, of course talk to Steve soon). Appreciate. Later ...














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Lon
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #63 - 01/02/12 at 16:04:29
 
FB, note that the ZBOX will likely improve the sound of any source you pair it with before a Zen amp, but. . . it won't "boost" the sound as it will not add any gain. ZSTAGE or CSP2+ will.
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Fireblade
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #64 - 01/02/12 at 17:06:23
 
You're right Lon, I just re-read the info. The ZStage is the one with the capability to ride the gains on both sides for improved dynamics (I keep mixing these up, sorry).

The following is an overview of my choices:

1. Zen Triode by iself
2. Two Zen Triodes in tandem (monos)
3. Zen Triode + ZStage (from my USB/DAC)
4. Mini-Torii by itself
5. Possible SE34i.2+ Replacement by itself

Speaker-wise, I'm still stuck with the Tektons model 81t, for now. Physical restrictions/decor won't allow anything else within this specs range that I know of.

If anybody wants to add comments on these choices I would be happy to read about them.

Thanks, Lon. Take care ...











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ski bum
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #65 - 01/02/12 at 18:07:33
 
"The most concerning uncertainty right now is exactly what you're disclosing: Impedance dynamics and directionality (the last one should be of less concern in smaller rooms though)."

I disagree with either being of less concern. Friendly impedance is perhaps more fundamental in planning a system, but speaker behavior is where the rubber meets the road.

"It's curious to note that I have not been able to find higher than 95 dBs at affordable prices (either that, or they are too big for my needs)."

For new speakers of the controlled directivity/horn type with high sensitivity (higher than Decware's offerings) check out Pi Speakers. Very inexpensive kits for the DIYer, and finished products at still reasonable prices. I have no idea what their return policy is. They are in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Is that close enough for an audition?

"I guess I'm just running a calculated risk here with the Tektons model 81t."

If you are planning on having them veneered, the cost is pretty close to the Decware DM945 (http://www.decware.com/newsite/DM945.html), which has a striking similarity to the Tekton (but is much sexier looking), and you can rest assured of it's compatibility with Decware amps. (Yeah, that's homerism, but this is the Decware forum after all!)







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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #66 - 01/02/12 at 18:31:21
 
You would have a return privilege on the DM945's [if you ha-ted them, which appears highly doubtful]; not sure if TEKTON has one.
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ski bum
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #67 - 01/02/12 at 20:44:29
 
Decware, Tekton, and Pi all have similar 30 day return policies with restocking fees, for non-custom finishes only. The DM945 already has gorgeous veneer work, but I think that's a custom option for the Tektons, which may overrule any return. Can you live with flat black?

The 8.1t and Decware DM945 would probably present similar room interactions with their similar driver complement. Either would likely prove to be high-value, Decware-amp-friendly speakers, if not cost-no-object perfection.

Alternately, you could try the controlled directivity approach. The similarly priced 3 Pi would be more sensitive (good option should you go with a single SE84 or Select). Wayne (owner of Pi) is quite familiar with Decware amps and several of his customers use them. The 3 Pi is pictured here on their home page:

http://www.pispeakers.com/contents.html

I suppose my horny bias is showing through, but I've had great results with the approach.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #68 - 01/03/12 at 00:18:13
 
Thanks to all for these interesting observations. But hold your horses now, hold your horses! I understand your enthusiasm, but let's check the facts:

1. The DM945 is a bookshelf design, and thus has its dimensional compromises. There is just so much you can do with materials and clever design, but you cannot beat acoustical physics.  These speakers are as much as 17% smaller in volume to the Tekton 81t. This is a big difference, especially sharing the same transducer size of 8".

2. The DM945's are $995.00 vs $649.00 for the 81t.

3. The DM945 is 94 dBs vs 95 dBs on the 81t. Note, this last dB is a deal breaker, as the consensus on these forum discussions has been not to go under that 95 dB limit figure for the Zen Triode (it should be 96, BTW).

One thing I cannot judge is the difference in the high frequency (tweeter) design/behavior on either models, so probably the DM945 is better.

My current speakers are bookshelf too, though even smaller.  They sound ok as per sophisticated sake-soaked birch wood baffles, in both transducers, are bi-amplified at different power for tweeters and woofers, and bi-wired by design, but are not high-end. I would not compromise sound to physical compliance.

I know the site insists the Zen Triode can move these speakers with weight and authority, but this also depends on the overall setting (listening environment). Since I may not be able to control my environment that much, the more sensitive the better, to be on the safe side.

Regarding the Pi Speakers from Tulsa (and, yes, is far away from home), I can see they propose a new, more sophisticated approach to directionality. Yet, I insist, if you define your sweet spot in a traditional system, and plan to listen within that area, the otherwise desirable omni-directionality, axis-deviation correction, etc., are less substantial an objective, especially in smaller settings. That's why it's called 'sweet spot'.

We are trying to build the best system possible within a budget, so lets invest in best bang for the buck.  My system will never be optimal, but should sound very good provided I invest smartly. BTW, Pi Speakers have inexpensive kits, but their comparable completed speaker sets are more expensive than Tekton's.

If these sound great, who cares about black finishes? Actually, black goes well in my intended setup structure, seriously.  To think about ... Later.





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opnly_bafld
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #69 - 01/03/12 at 02:00:55
 
"3. The DM945 is 94 dBs vs 95 dBs on the 81t. Note, this last dB is a deal breaker, as the consensus on these forum discussions has been not to go under that 95 dB limit figure for the Zen Triode (it should be 96, BTW)."

I'm not sure if Decware actually measures or calculates based on driver measurements, but 94 dB 1w/1m is believable given the drivers used.

Again based on the drivers used I'm pretty sure the Tekton's are rated at 2.83v/1m which with 4 ohm drivers will give a 3 dB advantage over 1w/1m (ie 95 becomes 92dB).

Comparing the stated specs from various manufacturers is usually like comparing apples to oranges because of differing measurement techniques.
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« Last Edit: 01/03/12 at 02:13:57 by opnly_bafld »  
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #70 - 01/03/12 at 02:39:48
 
I see what you're saying opnly_bafld, and this is a serious (unknown to me) twist in what is supposed to be standard specs.  I will need to check with Erick about the units of measurements used in reporting their 95 dBs sensitivity parameter.

If you are right, there's a big difference and a real drawback on Tekton (deal breaker right there!)

Thanks for the warning.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #71 - 01/03/12 at 02:53:24
 
Ok, while I check the sensitivity measurements issue, let me ask to any of you possible current or previous owners of the SE84C+ /DM945 (or DM944) combo about your impressions.

I'm particularly concerned by the relatively limited volume on the DM945 box.  If I have a preconceived notion that's blurring my judgement on the DM's, in relation to their potential synergy with the Zen Triode, I need to know it, and hopefully make a better decision.

Again, thanks so much for your support.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #72 - 01/03/12 at 13:28:47
 
opnly_bafld: I found the info on sensitivity measurements, and your poit is correct:

If the impedance is 4 ohms, then the power output would be 2.83V x 2.83V 4 ohms = 2W, rather than 1 W. Since every doubling of power is equivalent to 3 dBs, the 95 dBs rated at a theoretical 8 Ohms should be 92 dBs.

I sent a message to the designer to see how is he reporting the sensitivity on his 4 Ohms speakers, to make sure.

Thanks
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #73 - 01/03/12 at 15:19:21
 
If you want power and authority with just two watts, I'm afraid you will have to go bigger.

You near Baltimore?

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/ele/2779628646.html

Or NY?

http://rochester.craigslist.org/ele/2699244590.html

Or Denver?  (They're asking way too much, these have been up for a while)

http://denver.craigslist.org/ele/2754780529.html
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« Last Edit: 01/03/12 at 15:47:42 by ski bum »  
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #74 - 01/03/12 at 15:47:50
 
Hi ski bum! Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I'm way far from Baltimore. Besides, buying something this old implies re-furbishing all the internals. That's a complication for me and brings up the final cost.  

I need to keep looking around, as the 8.1 T Tektons at 4 Ohms are confirmed 92 dBs (not 95 dBs as reported) at 8 Ohms.  Therefore, I'm looking back to their M-Lore at 8 Ohms and true 95 dBs.

Unless I find something at 4 Ohms at this same sensitivity, or a significantly higher sensitivity at 8 Ohms, I'll need to get two SE84C+'s, as my min power needs increase now to 4.0 W/c at 8 Ohms.

Looking forward to speak to Steve this morning.  Thanks again ski, take care ...




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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #75 - 01/03/12 at 16:29:49
 
Ok ski, same thing with the other two alternatives: too old! These were discontinued in 1996. Assuming the ones on sale are from that last production year (tough chance), they are 15 years old minimum.

I need to clarify that I don't live in the US. My last residence there was in Chapel Hill, N.C., while getting my Ph.D. many years ago (UNC). I'm going to use an importer to bring the stuff down here, in Panama. This fact complicates matters for refurbishing old/used equipment.

This also precludes me from taking advantage of 30-day trials, as shipping back and forth this distance is prohibitive, including also double customs clearing fees.

Finally, I need to point out that I pay a mark-up of 33 % on average on every US price to have it sent to my place (shipping, customs, importer's fees, etc.)

I tried to contact Steve a while ago but he's out of the office, so I'll talk to him later.  I'll ask him about the DM945, the only suitable speaker in the Decware range within my budget.

Thanks for trying ski, I really appreciate your support.  Later ...



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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #76 - 01/03/12 at 19:25:41
 
Ok, your location complicates matters.

Panama makes me think of exotic local hardwoods.  If I were you, I might consider getting one of the Pi kits on the cheap and contract a local artisan to have some beautiful, exotic wood cabs made locally.  It would probably end up being less expensive than shipping any pair of built cabs from here.  Think of the possibilites!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #77 - 01/03/12 at 21:31:11
 
Yes, theoretically. In reality, local artisan skills are scarse and quite expensive. Furthermore, exotic hardwoods are now protected by law, so these are either very expensive (export) or unavailable for the common public.  Besides, it will take forever to have them done.  In the end, is still going to be cheaper bringing the cabs surface (by sea).

Had the privilege to speak to the Master: Suggested Mini-Torii & the DM945's. He explained their features and strong points. Steve seems a very nice guy, indeed.  The problem is, I agree with him, so nobody is going to defend my money  :-/

Well, I need to think about this whole issue for a little while more. BTW, according to Steve, that integrated will be back in a new chassis and probably with the power tube regulation feature, around springtime. That's a long wait for me.

I'll get back to Ben Webster et Al.  later ...

.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #78 - 01/03/12 at 22:35:27
 
Well, there you go. You got the verdict from the big man's mouth. I'd follow it. Smiley

It's interesting to me as for some reason I've no curiosity or interest really in the Mini-Torii. Partly I think that's because I already had interest in the Torii, and because I had really grown a bit crazy from tube-rolling when it was introduced as a great platform. . . for tube-rolling. Smiley Also, in guitar amps, I had most problems both with maintenance and finding the sound I want with an amp I've had that used 6V6 tubes. None-the-less I'm sure it's a fantastic amp, seeing  the devotion that owners have for it, and the glowing reports from those who hear it.
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« Last Edit: 01/03/12 at 22:36:28 by Lon »  

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #79 - 01/04/12 at 00:51:14
 
Our Man In Panama

The Mini Torii/DM945 combo is one that I had not envisioned. I am sure that Steve, based on what you told him, came up with that to address all your wants.

The main advantage to the Mini Torii is that with changes in tubes you might feel you have a different amp. The 6V6 tube gives a good overall presentation, well-defined soundstage with a prominent midrange and good bass. A 6L6 would open up the soundstage, make it less defined and beef up the bass. You can also play with the inputs as well. A 12AU7 is only a starting place. You could go 12AT7 or even 12AX7.

My MINI is no less than a sonic, thermionic marvel.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #80 - 01/04/12 at 01:11:39
 
Yeah, funny how things have developed in the last couple of weeks ... From the SE34i.2+ to the Zen Triode monos, to single SE84C+, to single Zen Triode and ZStage ...  and now the Mini-Torii.  Out went the speakers I considered elsewhere too (given the specs).

The point is, the Mini-Torii shares the best of a SET with lots of headroom, pace and flexibility, similar to the Torii (keeping scales out).  I'm not so much into rolling either (never done it), but the opportunity is there anyway, who knows.

I see you play the guitar ... Interesting, when I was a teenager I had a rock band, played the lead guitar (not too good). I then played only for myself and close friends off and on for another 20 years.  It's been over 15 years since I quit playing altogether.  

I'll go check 'What's spinning?' for fresh ideas ...











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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #81 - 01/04/12 at 01:21:24
 
If you want to consider the SE84C+ again......

Not sure how you feel about single driver speakers, but I have a pair of Hoyt-Bedford Type 1 speakers (8" 8 ohm 97dB) paired with a 1.7 watt SET and they can get very loud together.

I used to have a pair of Omega Compact Hemp speakers (8" 8 ohm 96dB /same company as H-B above) that I used with my Decware SE84B, that combination also worked very well.

Lin
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« Last Edit: 01/04/12 at 01:23:50 by opnly_bafld »  
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #82 - 01/04/12 at 01:21:41
 
I play a bit of guitar, it's more that I love instruments and their construction and sounds, I'm not good at playing guitar, a bit better at bass, probably a bit better at piano and I'm best at drums, I played drums in a few bands ending 22 years ago. Just play for myself now, it serves as a sort of meditation for me.

I've collected a lot of instruments but I'm not doing them justice so I'll probably seel a number of them soon.

I'm glad you got an answer and the speaker situation was well thought out and prodded by openly-baffled and ski bum, man this place is just amazing. It's been interesting to see the progression of your inquiries and decisions. Hope it all comes together as you'd like!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #83 - 01/04/12 at 02:00:41
 
Riv, you know, I think he was trying to accomodate the fact that I started looking for the integrated, and he feels the Mini is even better (not as an amplifier, mind you), but in the sense that it offers so much in one package (essentially, a two mono SET in one chassis, like the SE34i.2+, but with the improved headroom stemming from the tube input stage power treatment).

He also stressed the advantages of tube rolling.  It's also reassuring that you really like your Mini.

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #84 - 01/04/12 at 02:11:39
 
I hear you opnly_bafld, and I'm not yet completely sold on the Mini, but it really tempts me. The thing is, playing loud enough is one thing, but having that power reserve is another. The Mini offers both greater power at 3.3 W/c but also the improved headroom due to the tube input stage power treatment.

Steve even mentioned that this is the only way to avoid having to use the PS Audio (something, I forgot), which conditions your main input before going to the amp.  Much of the grainy, edgy sounds at high frequencies stem from dirty mains supply.

The best way to actually get rid of this dirty element is through the power rectification and voltage regulation performed through tube amplification, which is one of the advantages of the Mini.

Economically, I'd rather spend less with a single Zen Triode and try cheaper (but capable) speakers.  I'll take a look at those speakers you mentioned. Thanks for your input.



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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #85 - 01/04/12 at 02:12:03
 
I bought the third MINI ever produced, a prototype with a painted top plate. It was the first one made using EX transformers. At the time they were deciding which transformers to use and decided that the EX transformers went better with all the speakers. This amp came to me fully broken in and sounded divine! I ended up selling it to turn around any buy a regular factory model with the powder coat top; this was a stupid, cosmetic reason. I am needless to say very happy with the new MINI TORII I bought. The first thing that struck me about the amp was the stunning stereo separation it offered. Technically it is SEP, but it is little different from SET. It is done very well.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #86 - 01/04/12 at 02:26:08
 
"The thing is, playing loud enough* is one thing, but having that power reserve is another."

But doesn't a systems ability to play way louder than you listen translate into power reserve/headroom?
(Not saying the flea watter is the answer for you, I have the luxury of 2 VG systems so I can have my cake and eat it too. Wink)

I won't tell you my 09' Decfest story (it ends with you spending more money). Smiley

*actually I said "very loud" which of course means different things to different people

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #87 - 01/04/12 at 02:27:03
 
Thank you, Lon. You and all the guys in this great forum who have kindly supported me so far, have been instrumental in the imminent definition of a setting that I expect to enjoy for years to come.

Come on, now, your instruments' versatility is uncommon among non-professional musicians, so I think you deserve more credit than you allow yourself.  This makes me remember the tremendous joy I experienced while playing in my teen group.  I think playing in a band (good or bad) is just great fun!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #88 - 01/04/12 at 02:42:07
 
So there you have it, Riv, a pioneer among us mortals, in the use and abuse of the now famous Mini-Torii. It should feel great to have had that opportunity. And, you're right, it is a Singe-Ended Pentode configuration.  

Steve mentioned that this is the only one (SEP) that sounds the way it does, as far as he can tell. I could feel he was very proud of this accomplishment. He said he had broken several 'rules' when designing it!
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #89 - 01/04/12 at 02:51:39
 
You are probably right, opnly_bafld. Yet, for some reason, Steve insisted in pointing out the special Torii-like (the bigger brother PP design) headroom.  Again, I think he refers to the pristine loudness that may be possible with the input power treatment via tubes (rectification/regulation), that is not present in the Sen Triode.

It's like when he described the DM945 speakers' performance (other than the specs we were discussing about), he talked about the 'body' of the music, as a distinctive attribute from the DM's compared to other bookshelf type speakers.

I think both avenues are a great start, and I'm still considering all corners.  Thanks for pointing this out.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #90 - 01/05/12 at 18:07:44
 
Just to muddy the waters a bit, please search for my postings within the past year.

I have a little personal recording studio in a 10x12 room, using an Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC pushing a single SE84C+ and dual HSU STF-1 Subs (via a separate preamp which then feeds dual Velodyne SMS-1 sub EQ's, and then to the HSU subs). I get the best sound by not using any external crossover (just what's built into the subs), and sending two RCA cables out of each DAC output (to feed the corresponding speaker and sub).

I'm using PMC TB2S+ speakers (fabulous!) with just a 90dB rating, I'm listening near-field (30-36 inches away), and the sound is just amazing. My normal listening volume at the central sweet spot is between 80-85dB.

Bottom line: anything more than 2 watts would go to waste in my setup, and a friend told me he can't believe that the sound in my little studio compares with multi-million dollar studios that he's been in.

Food for thought...
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« Last Edit: 01/05/12 at 18:09:47 by MarkBlair »  
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #91 - 01/06/12 at 00:40:25
 
Mark,

Are you running the SE84 and the PMCs fullrange?
If so, have you ever listened extensively without the subs running?

Thanks,
Lin
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #92 - 01/06/12 at 00:58:21
 
Lin -

Yes -- full bass is going to the PMCs and the subs (but the subs have their own built-in low-pass filter), so the subs provide bass augmentation. I've done extensive testing of my room, and the PMCs by themselves have a big dropoff in bass response below 90Hz (caused more by the room than the speakers) -- but that contributes to the really nice "blend" that I get when adding the stereo STF-1 subs. For such a small room, I've been really lucky with how things have worked out.

But, by themselves, the PMCs (in my room) just don't have enough bass for my taste, and to allow me to properly evaluate the bass on mixes that I work on.

P.S. -- I had the PMCs for several months before I fully realized that they were too bass shy. It wasn't until I started doing some tests that I realized what was going on.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #93 - 01/06/12 at 01:14:07
 
Hi Mark. Good for you! BTW that's exactly the SUB connection I am going to use: Two Y spliiters for each DAC output, one end to the amp and the other to the low-level IN in my Velodyne, repeating for both channels. The only doubt I have is potential degradation of the signal going to the amp (SUB is of no consequence), due to the extra splitting/low quality of the commercial Y splitters.  

You sure are close to those speakers. In my current SS system and smallish room, the average sweet spot is anything between 100 to 108 inches away (8.5 to 9 ft). Your setup is almost midway between speakers listening and using headphones!

Well, if it works that good, excellent. I just couldn't be that close, I suppose. It must take some getting used to. That explains not needing any further power, as 80-85 dBs SPL should be absolutely achievable with 2 W/c and 90 dBs speakers, but is not my thing. Thanks for sharing the tip.

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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #94 - 01/06/12 at 01:26:11
 
I was amazed that I couldn't sense any degradation splitting the output of my DAC to the SE84C+ and the subs -- but the degradation in my case was horrendous then I first tried to use an extra pair of speaker cables to push the subs' high-level inputs. I could have sworn that I would have to use an active crossover to make this work, but luckily I didn't

Nearfield monitoring ihas been pretty typical in recording studios for the past 30 years or so, and I've never really liked it until I got this current setup. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's great for mixing songs. And it 's also unbeatable (from my point of view) for a critical solo listening experience.  But it's critical to have a speaker with a killer crossover design (like the PMCs) when listening that close...
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #95 - 01/06/12 at 01:50:16
 
I take it you are using the readily available Y splitters? I'm asking because I've never seen a high quality type yet. It's great to hear you have not sensed any degradation with these.

I currently use a splitter from the mono SUB OUT in my SS amp because my low-level SUB input is stereo (+ 3dBs when using both channels). But I was unconfortable considering this same setting for the signal path from the DAC to the amp, when the time comes (have never done that, as my current amp has Mono SUB OUT).



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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #96 - 01/06/12 at 02:51:01
 
I'm using a pair of AudioQuest brand solid (all metal) splitters that I got from Amazon for about $12 each.  I've also tried some $6 similar generic ones from PartsExpress.com, and I can't tell the difference.  Again, I can't detect any degradation whatsoever.  And I can hear really low-level detail with this setup.

Bottom line: you have to try it to know for sure.  I would have bet that it wouldn't work -- but it did.  And it sounds absolutely amazing.  And you're right -- my setup is a cross between speakers and headphones, which is exactly what I've been looking for.  But, again, it requires a superb crossover (if your speakers have a crossover) to listen nearfield.  Otherwise, it'll probably sound unacceptable.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #97 - 01/06/12 at 04:01:50
 
Mark,

Do you by any chance have Rebecca Pidgeon's Spanish Harlem or something similar that for a least part of the song is just double bass and voice?

I'd be very surprised if your 90 dB PMCs will reproduce the bass cleanly at the levels mentioned with ~2 watts based on my recent experience with 90 dB single driver speaks and a 1.8 watt SET nearfield at <90 dB*. When I switched the amp to pentode (6w) it had no problems and most of the time in triode mode it worked fine.

I was just thinking your subs might be masking the rare occasions (depending on the type of music) when the SE84 may not be enough.

Lin

*I didn't have the meter out so I may have been higher than 80-85.
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Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #98 - 01/06/12 at 04:23:43
 
Excellent point! My STF-1 subs only go down to about 30Hz, but that's not a problem for me because the lowest string on an electric bass guitar only goes down to about 41Hz, and I roll-off everything in my mixes below about 35Hz, anyway. Yes -- I don't mix classical music. Wink

However, the beauty of the setup I've stumbled into is that the speakers by themselves (in my particular room) have absolutely no significant output below about 40Hz -- so I can't even hear where the SE84C+ is likely to be "struggling" a bit.

So yes, the subs are absolutely taking up the slack (from 30Hz-90Hz).  But if/when I start listening to enough double bass (or other orchestral mixes), I'll probably have to consider upgrading my HSU STF-1 subs.  But the system sure sounds great (down to about 30Hz), which works very well for all my current mixing and listening needs.

But that's still a great point!
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MarkBlair
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Posts: 62
Re: SE34i.2+ being discontinued!
Reply #99 - 01/06/12 at 04:50:05
 
Oh, by the way, Lin -- before I got the subs I WAS able to get the SE84C+ to distort very badly by using it as an electric bass guitar amplifier, with the SE84C+ volume knob at max -- so when pushed hard, 2 watts just doesn't cut it for extreme low bass (but it was just fine when not pushed that hard -- at lower volumes).

And I think that experience contributed to my initial decision to see if I could successfully integrate subs into my setup. So, again, that's a really good point that you brought up.
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