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NEW SE34I.3 coming soon! (Read 33625 times)
Fireblade
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #90 - 02/18/12 at 02:24:27
 
Yes, Lon, I sure will be counting on you guys to assist me further  through the fine-tunning/break-in phase, thanks.

Regarding the Mini's voltage regulation feature, I want to go along with Steve on that one.  He was pretty emphatic about it, for some reason.  I also don't enjoy good/stable power supply through the mains, locally.

My only personal reference in tube amplification has been my ex VTL 225 Deluxe monoblocks (typical push-pull), using EL34 tubes.  Mid and highs were gorgeous.  Bass, although strong, was not tight enough, to my taste.

I don't have references for a SET nor a SEP, other than what's in the literature, and that's why I was originally inclined for the integrated.  So eventually I chose the Mini based on specs and user's descriptions, but most of all by Steve's suggestion.  Iwonder if his advice would have been the same today?

In any event, as you say, I can't go wrong with either, and the Mini's features and specs are very complete.

According to my calculations, my Mini Torii order's lead time is exactly 8 weeks today, out of the original 12! Sad











 

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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #91 - 02/18/12 at 02:27:13
 
With regard to the gain -  someone mentioned the mini torii turned all the way up vs this amp so I would like to explain the difference.

The Mini Torii has the most gain of any Decware amp.  It will clip with the volume at the half way point on a 2 volt source (CD player).  Rachael on the other hand is impossible to clip with the volume all the way up, and is completely silent on 94 dB speakers

This is a big difference in gain between the two units.  And it is why we can feel comfortable offering it without a volume control (configuration - 1)

-Steve
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Fireblade
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #92 - 02/18/12 at 02:56:15
 
Hi Steve!  Is this Mini Torii's hyper-gain characteristic, which is aimed at assisting weak signal sources, like ipods, a drawback for someone normally using 2 to 2.25 Vs ouput sources?  I mean, having only half of the volume dial to adjust may become too sensitive maybe?

Can we assume the same amp silence on 94 dBs speakers with a CD player on a Mini Torii if volume is set within the first dial half (i.e., before clipping)?  Thanks!
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Rivieraranch
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #93 - 02/18/12 at 03:00:05
 
Hey Steve: Good answer to that question about gain. What is the wait time for "Rachel?"

Fire: My MINI is not too sensitive and I use a 2.5 volt CD source. My MINI is quiet at half volume with my 94 db speakers.
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« Last Edit: 02/18/12 at 03:11:58 by Rivieraranch »  

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Lord Soth
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #94 - 02/18/12 at 03:24:33
 
Hi Steve,

I am truly glad that you have decided to use the ECC88 family of tubes for the new amp. I play with them alot and part of the fun of owning a tube amp is the tube rolling. Smiley

That PLUS the Hazen Grid mod for EL34s makes this a killer amp in the sonics department for the mid-range.

HINT HINT : I now know many months in advance what my 2012 year-end bonus will be used for!  ;)

BTW, I noticed that you have offered the Shuguang Treasures as an upgrade option. I am sure that you would have experimented with various types of EL34s during the design phase.

I hope that you can share your tube-rolling experience on the various EL34s which you have tried whilst designing this new amp.

Cheers!

Soth
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #95 - 02/18/12 at 03:50:40
 
Steve -  I know you have numerous configurations available, but I was really hoping for a headphone option (option #4 with headphone jack for planar phones located where the center control is).   Is this possible? If it is not, I've seen you mention an adaptor you could make that would fit on the speaker terminals.  Could you post a picture of what the adaptor looks like?

By the way, what is the switch for behind the center control?  
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Rivieraranch
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #96 - 02/18/12 at 04:01:18
 
The switch behind the volume control is probably a bias switch.
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Fireblade
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #97 - 02/18/12 at 10:25:13
 
Riviera: Thanks for the confirmation.  Sound-wise, have you heard/noticed big differences between, say, your Mini Torii and a Zen Triode?  I'm sure these exist, just want to know if they are significant.  

I'm trying to evaluate the sonic character differences between the new amp and the Mini-Torii, to make sure I'm making the right choice.  Thanks!
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Fireblade
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #98 - 02/18/12 at 11:24:36
 
I just realized my earlier question is almost impossible to answer, I apologize.  

First of all, pentodes (beam) and triode tubes can sound different by their own nature/design.  I understand there's no 'better than' here, as it depends on circuit and transformer design.  Also, how they sound is a very subjective preference.

Purists would hold that a DH-SET with a (directly heated) natural Triode tube and absolutely no feedback (pure class A), with the simplest circuit possible and huge transformers, are the ultimate in sound.   These are also very expensive, if done right!

On the other hand, there are many fans of PP topologies using Triode output tubes like the EL34.  There are also the 300b, 2A3, 800 tube SET proponents, etc.  It goes to show the essentially subjective nature of the beast.

I guess the only ones able to actually answer my original question is Steve and Co., right now.  I'm really sold on the Mini Torii, is just that every now and then I get these doubts.  I guess I'll have to try them both  ::)

In any event, anybody with actual owning experience with Decware's SE34i and SE84 amps may have a better clue and may want to share their opinions.  Thanks!

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Lon
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #99 - 02/18/12 at 12:59:57
 
Soth, it now appears that the Integrated will retain the 6N1P/6922 tube type as it's input tube. . . .
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Lon
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #100 - 02/18/12 at 13:14:25
 
FB, I'm not even sure which is your earlier question as you have so many!

Audiophile opinion is so all over the map it's really hard to make any generalizations. After all, there are many out there who think we're touched by the moon to even listen to vacuum tube technology when over five decades of transistor technology have superceded it, let alone digital switching amps, etc. And there are profound differences in the way that SET and PP amps are set up by designers, and profound similarities as well.

The advantage here is that we have Steve and his ears and insights and experienced application, and we have a set of amps that offer different power and price points and different circuit designs and layouts but all share his conception of power delivery and fidelity. I've had six of his amps, still have three, and they include small and larger SET and two PP amps, and I got amazing fidelity out of all of them when paired with the right source and speaker. The right source and speaker may even be viewed as more important than the topology and nature of the Decware amp to be honest.

That said, long time users of tube amps can develop certain tropes or fetishes. Smiley For example, some become dedicated to various tube types or sonic signatures, and passionate about them to the exclusion of objectivity to other tube types or amplifier designs etc. You can research one week with dozens of opinions, walk away for a week, and repeat the research. . . and draw two separate final conclusions if you base the conclusion on different "experts."

Maddening at times. . . I went through what you are going through for some time and have gone through various phases of understanding and applied various methodologies to get the type of sound I want. Ultimately in my case at least it boiled down to a love for a speaker (or speaker design) and then outfitting that with the best appropriate amplification and the very best source I could muster, and fine-tuning around that. Over the years I've seen the "amp-speaker" match as of paramount importance. The lynch-pin as it were. Get that right, and then you build upon it with your source and cabling, power. . . etc.

My biggest piece of advice would be not to get hung up on the opinions of others and to look at that link, the heartbeat of amp and speakers, as the most important decision to make. And you alone, in your listening space with your speakers know that really well, and the most informed opinion other than yours is Steve's. Seems to me that if I've absorbed all your thinking and decision-making correctly, you're four weeks into the waiting list on what you feel will work best.
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« Last Edit: 02/18/12 at 14:23:15 by Lon »  

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Fireblade
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #101 - 02/18/12 at 13:43:17
 
Good points, Lon, you're right!  Is such an amazing subject, that I want to go deeper getting familiar with it, hence my continuous questioning.  Yet, as you have just reminded me, the important thing is matching sinergy across components.  

In this sense, DM945's and Mini Torii should definitely cover that 'link,' as you call it.  As far as sourcing, I've made enormous progress lately and I do feel I'm basically covered there too (before fine-tunning, that is).

Thing is, with all this praise surrounding the new amp (and the Triode topology fame in the opinion of many a fanatic), I sometimes loose track on what my own research have taken me.  The more I think about it, though, the more convinced I am I made the right choice, considering.

Thanks!  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #102 - 02/19/12 at 04:17:31
 
I certainly wish the SE34I.3 would take 12AU7 as I have many of them and prices on NOS 12AU7 are much easier to live with.

Steve, I note the the new amp does take 6N2P as input tubes.  Does it mean the new amp may able to use 12AX7 for the input tubes as well?  If so, how about 12AU7 and 12AT7?
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hifitubes
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #103 - 02/19/12 at 09:21:13
 
The mini-Torii SEP is back on the table for me given the headphone mod and tube regulation; it's just a great amp, but the .3 looks delicious as well.

+1 on 12AU7 for the .3  ;D
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Rivieraranch
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #104 - 02/19/12 at 13:34:13
 
While I am not the designer; I suspect that settling on the 6N1P was to achieve the warmer voicing for the amp. A 12AU7 is a low transconductance tube with a tame gain. Even if electrically compatible in the circuit it might not allow you to achieve the sound the designer sought.

The Rachel product page offers the 6N2P as an option. Thus, it is possible to slip a higher gain tube into the input.
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