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NEW SE34I.3 coming soon! (Read 35427 times)
Steve Deckert
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NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
01/23/12 at 00:46:56
 
The original SE34I and later SE34I.2 are well loved amplifiers, but our line has improved both sonically and visually in recent years... and with the bottom of the pile of those kinda cool copper vein textured steel chassis now in sight it was time to bring this wonderful amp up to speed with everything else.

So we've been secretly working on the new SE34I.3 that I am listening to as I write this!  That means it's coming soon.  I'll probably be able to start taking orders for very soon.  Just keep an eye on the SE34I.2 page... when you see the SE34I.3 on there, you'll be able to order it.

It looks amazingly good.  It's physically larger in size.  Still uses EL34's, Still an SET amplifier of course and the same power as before.

Sonically it clearly out paces it's predecessors because this one is "lucid"!  Yes, I stole lucid mode from the Taboo and made numerous other small improvements.  The end result is a new benchmark for the imaging capability of SET amplifiers.  Could be the best sounding EL34 SET amp ever built.

The price will not be increasing.

Steve Deckert
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« Last Edit: 01/23/12 at 00:47:28 by Steve Deckert »  
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Lon
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #1 - 01/23/12 at 02:02:02
 
Awesome news Steve! I look forward to pictures.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #2 - 01/23/12 at 06:51:42
 
Since I was on the verge of ordering the previous model just about the time it was discontinued, it only makes sense to put in my request for the first order of the newly revised model. Sounds like great timing since there is an improved version for the same price!

On the rebound now, as the dust has settled, and life goes on in a new phase for me. I am starting fresh from scratch, for which analog purity through simplicity, and careful design, will be the focus within my new system approach.

Ultimately, I would prefer to have the tori zen for its well controlled behaviour and absolute strengths, however, I believe this new amplifier just may be the ticket for my exact needs with a sane price tag attached....only time will tell.

Get the new amp into my possession Steve, then perhaps I can see just how "exact" the satisfaction factor really is in what this amp design can do for me.  I hope that it doesn't lead me into regret for not choosing the tori zen in the first place (such a difficult decision).  When examined from a pure state of value based on the purchase price, this new SE34I.3 seems too hard to ignore for what it promises to deliver.

Of course this is your preliminary "teaser" phase for simply making the product introduction become a reality.  As a seasoned veteran in audio, and a long time experienced user of decware products, I have already surmised that this amp design will be all that one could expect from its given parameters, in a very positive manner...one which is in direct consideration for the designer's track record for which there is no question.  I for one have no need to question what has been proven over and over again.  I see this as the best (performance-versus-price) target, for which seems to me as the best buy in your amplifier line-up.

The bottom line is this....once the exact details are released on the revised design, I for one will know exactly what to expect once it comes time to place that order.  I hope that this information is posted soon as I am curious.  In the meantime...I shall take my place in line to acquire the new SE34I.3 when available.

Thanks for all your creative contributions leading to a refined audio experience. Once again, you have proven zero bounderies for that which is possible "outside of the box".  It is very much appreciated.

Looking forward to having this amp powering my new system.

Paul.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #3 - 01/23/12 at 11:43:27
 
Any word on whether it has tube voltage regulation?
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #4 - 01/23/12 at 19:00:24
 
Gee Mr. Deckert, you told me it would be ready sometime in spring?  I guess it may come up earlier than you thought at the time?  

If it incorporates power regulation for both input and output stages, like the Mini Torii, and being sonically superior to it's predecessor, and a SET (with two more Watts/c), should I go back to my original choice and change my pending order on the Mini?

How do you compare these two niches in your product line?  I guess the Mini has more slam and bass control, whereas the integrated will display more midrange transparency and detail? (triode vs pentode).  If this is true, jazz and classical orchestral music (as opposed to acoustical and classical chamber music) would benefit more from the Mini?

Anyway, congrats on the new design! ... I guess my purchase timing was just not the best.  Being so far away from Peoria makes swapping/2nd market alternatives very difficult, that's why I'm asking.  I need to have a keeper.  Take care ...



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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #5 - 01/24/12 at 17:22:17
 
This morning I took a look at the SE34I.2 product page and saw a notice that the new model SE34I.3 was coming soon in March and that we could soon pre-order will a "possible" discount!

I thought this look strange at first - why discount a new product which is already priced low?  But who am I to argue  ;).

Anyway, I take a peek later on and notice the blurb about the SE34I.3 is gone.  Hope this wasn't a hacker having some fun with us!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #6 - 01/24/12 at 17:34:41
 
Blurb is there now. Not unprecedented in Decware-land to have discounts on a new product, this has happened more than once, doubt it is a hacker!

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« Last Edit: 01/24/12 at 18:06:45 by Lon »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #7 - 01/24/12 at 22:42:03
 
The MINI TORII, too, was introduced initially at a Godfather price.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #8 - 01/25/12 at 08:07:22
 
Heck, I own two now. At 1295? I am bringing this one into the stable too-riding her hard and putin' her away wet.  LUCID mode on a EL34 and probably some tube regulation..... . I think I will like it too.  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 01/25/12 at 08:12:35 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #9 - 01/25/12 at 12:41:03
 
There is not going to be any tube regulation on this one.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #10 - 01/25/12 at 13:04:22
 
I'm also one of those looking forward to the new amp!

Smiley

I have plenty of preamp tubes from the ECC88/6DJ8 family to play with and am looking to a new SET amp which uses those tubes.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #11 - 01/25/12 at 13:14:57
 
At least no tube rectification specifically mentioned so far.

I must say though that having a solid state rectifier in this is in effect a plus. Steve nailed the choice here, and you don't have to wonder "what will the amp sound like with this tube," which is a diversion and distraction at times from enjoying the amp as it is.

I never once missed a tube rectifier with my .2, that aspect was just covered perfectly.
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« Last Edit: 01/25/12 at 13:15:32 by Lon »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #12 - 01/25/12 at 13:40:25
 
Lord Soth, If you get one of the Integrateds, be sure to try the 6N2P in that input position. Reallly interesting tube for this amp, I loved the combination. You lose some headroom though, so if you need all the power, not the best choice.
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« Last Edit: 01/25/12 at 13:40:51 by Lon »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #13 - 01/25/12 at 15:11:33
 
Hi Lon,

Thanks for the headsup.

I've never played with 6N2s before.
Will get a couple from my favourite Russian Tube supplier just for the fun of it.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #14 - 01/25/12 at 15:26:56
 
Steve himself was the one who got me to try them. The one caveat is that these can be prone to hum or because of their lower output can pass on hum. If you can talk your supplier into sending the quietest ones it might help. Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #15 - 01/25/12 at 22:49:49
 
I believe it will have tube rectification, not tube regulation.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #16 - 01/25/12 at 23:51:03
 
So, have you talked or corresponded with Steve about it, or are you just guessing from what Steve has posted so far, as I am? Smiley
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« Last Edit: 01/26/12 at 03:40:05 by Lon »  

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Steve Deckert
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #17 - 01/26/12 at 16:23:34
 
The new Integrated will have 5U4 tube rectification but no tube voltage regulation like the Mini Torii, it's just too expensive.  It is using a 5963 / 12AU7 input tube for each channel, whereas before it was a 6N1P/6922

While I can and have made solid state rectification sound good, I like the reliability of the tube rectification.  With solid state all you need is a voltage spike in your AC line and presto, you've blown a diode and the amp has to go back to the mothership.  After repair, it can happen again tomorrow.  

The tube is far tougher when it comes to spikes and if it does fail, you just put another one in and you're back in business.

 
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #18 - 01/26/12 at 16:41:41
 
Thanks for the info Steve. I'm sure it's going to be a great amplifier!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #19 - 01/26/12 at 17:48:55
 
Ok, after Steve's confirmation on the new integrated not including tube voltage regulation, I've decided to stick to my original choice (Mini Torii) and do not second guess his initial recommendation.  

After all, I cannot afford a power generation plant costing twice the price of the amp itself, and the tube voltage regulation concept is definitely an important step in the right direction.

Until 'proper' power conditioning alternatives are offered at reasonable prices, this is the best way to go, IMHO.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #20 - 01/26/12 at 18:05:04
 
Well, best of luck and enjoy the wait as much as possible!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #21 - 01/26/12 at 19:06:34
 
Thanks, Lon.  I wonder what would be the time horizon involved before I get that order shipped (amp & speakers).  On top of that, I need to wait for the ocean freight and customs clearing... Man!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #22 - 01/26/12 at 19:37:53
 
Even if it's faster than it's ever been, it will seem way too long. Just sit tight and be as patient as you can!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #23 - 01/26/12 at 23:32:14
 
Steve -

With Lucid mode available, will a headphone option now be offered on the SE34I.3?
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #24 - 01/28/12 at 17:54:01
 
Good question markv on a headphone option. I am interested.

Anyway, I am glad for tube rectification. I know Steve is not a fan of solid state rectifier diodes. I auditioned the now discontinued EL34 mono blocks and did not like solid state recti'. The aggregate sound of the Amp(s) IMHO is greatly affected to the negative with SS rectification and is cheap to do and sounds cheap (hard). Tube designs with it, sound like solid state to me.

I am excited about the Lucid mode for this design. I use a very adequate Adcom AC Line Enhancer (ACE-515) with my SE84CS....with very noticable improvement....deep black low noise background for the  Selects detail and can't be beat (so far) Transparency.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #25 - 01/28/12 at 21:09:11
 
Hi stone, I'm curious about your Adcom line enhancer device.  You seem to infer it really helps reduce the floor noise and blackens silence.  This is the first time I hear somebody really happy with a Power Conditioner (is it?) that is not a PS Audio plant.

I could not afford a PS Audio, so being Adcom I guess it should be more affordable?  Usually, power conditioners do not convince me.  I rather use an isolator transformer.  But then again, I don't have any real experience with power conditioners other than what I read.

Could you confirm this line enhancer is a successful power condoitioner of sorts, and explain basically the differences you sensed before and after adding this device?  I may be interested in getting one if it works and is affordable.  

In the meantime, I'll be checking for info on the net.  Thanks.

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #26 - 01/28/12 at 22:46:50
 
I mean, the ideal setting should be: Wall mains > Isolation T > Line enhancer/P. cond. > Audio gear.

The isolation T. should give you plenty of surge protection and de-couple your setup from the mains raw AC.  The conditioner/enhancer should fine-tune voltage (120) and frequency (60 cycles), and hopefully both units will work together in shielding RFI (the isolation T. filtering the source AC RFI and the Enhancer/Cond. the local RFI.)

A good isolation T. is easy to build, and should work fine.  I have doubts about the conditioner/enhancer, though.  Unless a similar concept as the one applied by PS Audio, for example, is in place, I'm not sure how the filtering would be effective at actual time of event correction, without allowing transient effects getting through your system, and without interrupting the full power flow profile demanded by your gear at the event's exact time.

PS Audio Plant's design is essentially having a first class, controlled power plant of your own (that's why it works and that's why it is so expensive!)

This means either I evidently don't know enough on the subject, or the enhancers/conditioners only do a partial job, and in many deviation events they probably fail.

Now, I'm not saying this is the way it is, but I need arguments to support picking up a presumably good line enhancing device (there are so many out there ...), that is also affordable (by affordable I mean is a fraction of the cost of what your are trying to protect).

In any event, I welcome your's and anybody else's comments and experiences.  Thanks, stone ...



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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #27 - 01/29/12 at 00:30:12
 
First off, I think the system will sound great if all components are plugged into the wall. So you can always start there, I had that happening for a while before I had any type of power strip or treatment.

Interestingly if the measurement of my PS Audio Power Plant Premier is accurate the isolation transformer I used for years was adding a bit of noise to the system, that is this amount of noise was there when the Premier was plugged into the transformer versus when the Premier was plugged into the wall. That may have been because there is a power cord on the Premier that cost more than the Transformer and just the stock captive cord on the transformer? I don't know why specifically, it could be that the transformer was a bit defective? Puzzling, and another keen-eared listener here (Rad) has noticed that the same transformer I believe imparted a signature to his system, and when I read that and listened comparatively I think he was possibly dead on.

The moral of the story may be to buy a few power cords that work well with the components?

Or the very first step might be a very-high quality wall outlet or two?

So many variables and one of us should get a government grant to study the different cords and their effect on components both signal-wise and sonics-wise. Smiley

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« Last Edit: 01/29/12 at 00:44:38 by Lon »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #28 - 01/29/12 at 00:59:35
 
Geez, this complicates by the minute, LOL.  

That's why I was saying using a conditioner to filter local RFI.  This local RFI may also come from the transformer itself (it was not designed with high-end audio in mind, so it may definitely release some operating buzz.)

In any event, I know the system will sound good plugged to the wall, but then you know it can improve.  Steve underlines the 2:00 a.m. relatively cleaner AC for out of body listening experiences ... Simply put, end sound quality also depends on AC quality.

I just hope I can find a line enhancer that may do the trick ... As for the power cords, these may impart character or signature, but if they are well built, that's tantamount to room reflections or other sound affecting variables we'll never control totally.

I think mains' AC specs inconsistencies (voltage and cycles) and RFI are really sound damaging ... not signatures.  Now I'm afraid I may need shielded power cords to shield the isolation T's own RFI emissions. Undecided    Have a nice listening session, Lon








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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #29 - 01/29/12 at 01:20:56
 
Make sure you start with a good outlet. I'm using one Steve included with his power cords for a spell.

The transformer I was using is exactly the one I've known Steve to post and write about. Wink

Regarding power cords, I've seen some pretty informed opinions that they can be a very good remover of EMI/RFI due to filtering by wire geometry and construction and shielding, and I know one audiophile who forgoes any sort of conditioning while using fairly expensive after-market cords.
There are a number of layers to this onion. Your plan sounds sound.

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #30 - 01/29/12 at 03:26:11
 
What change in sound or performance do you anticipate with the change in design to use the 12AU7 instead of the 6922/6N1P for the input?
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #31 - 01/29/12 at 06:19:18
 
Fireblade, I am glad Lon responded in regards to this...... . He has way more experience on the subject than I. I have learned from and enjoy his insights.

Anyway, I have owned the ACE - 515 since 1995. Yes, that long....and believe it to be functioning as well as the day it was new. It turns the Select and my three front end components on and off sequentially. All I know is when I change just one variable, for example, taking the Select Amp off the 515 and pluging just in to a surge protector....a level of haze is heard, not grain because the Select sounds pretty damn good out of the wall outlet. However, the 515 does sound just plain cleaner but not sterile of course.

The ACE -515 received some good press back then because amoung its competitors of the time, the 515 did not/does not suck the dynamics out of the music or change its character as some do and did. So, I love the 515, especially for what I paid for it back in 1995 dollars!

Now, in my Solid State Rig running my Polk SDA SRS 1.2 Speakers with my Rotel Integrated Amplifier RA-1062.....I use Kimber's best PK10 Palladian Power Cord just out of a surge protector. This cable is no Bull S, even compared to other good after market P-cords. It is more dynamic and tighter in the bass and I dare say more analog sounding! When I first got it.....I ABA'd the crap out of it in astonishment. I also bought it on Audiogon/Classifieds, for half the retail price from David Weinhart of Weinhart Design in California whom I spoke to on the phone.....to make sure how he got it and it was legit. David is top notch. Anyway, this cable sounds great in this application BUT NOT good with my two Tube Amps. The Tube Amps apparently don't need this P-Cord...it squoshes them negatively. SO, trial by fire.  Now back to George Benson and his 2011 Guitar Man disc through the Select tonight........ .  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 01/29/12 at 07:25:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #32 - 01/29/12 at 14:57:31
 
Thank you, stone.  I read there's the Adcom series 615 on the market replacing your model.  Is good to see that Adcom held on to this design on the market for so many years, which I interpret as it being a good design.

Yes, I've been listening to Lon since I started this Decware quest, and hopefully I'll learn too.  I just want to avoid some of the trial-and-error process, if I can.

Regarding the power cord, are you using your stock Select's cord or something from the aftermarket?  I ask because this is another variable, as Lon has pointed out, and you seem to imply you don't need an improvement on the power cord for the Select.  Is that right?

Thanks for your assistance.  Happy listening ...



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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #33 - 01/29/12 at 15:15:57
 
Lon, I'm not sure I have a real plan yet, just sort of assessing the possibilities.  But I'm inclined at this point to use the isolation transformer, a line enhancer like the Adcom 615 and a 14 AWG shielded IEC power cord (this last one just for the Mini Torii).

You mentioned a specific isolation transformer as suggested by Steve.  Is it too different from the Tripp Lite 500 Watts I ordered?

I'm looking for a shielded 14 AWG IEC power cord to maybe replace the hospital grade Iron Lung Jellyfish I ordered, wich is not shielded.

I read somewhere Volex are not built like they used to, now being a 100% chinese production, so I'm still looking.

Anyway, thanks for your support.  Take care ...
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #34 - 01/29/12 at 15:27:45
 
It IS the very same transformer.

As for power cord, I'd suggest getting a MAC cord from the auction site will mentioned, www.proaux.com or if/when you can afford it, the Decware cord. Will last you lifetimes and provide great sound.
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« Last Edit: 01/29/12 at 15:29:49 by Lon »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #35 - 01/29/12 at 16:37:56
 
Fireblade, I do use XLO Powercords. One each for my SE84CS & Torii 3. XLO PRO Dedicated AC Power Transmission Cable(s) to be exact. Each uses the square male Hubbell heads. Noise floor lowered indeed.

Furthermore, I use a Townshend CD Seismic Sink which my digital Audio Alchemy gear resides on. My system is also configured on the floor and the bottom floor. My power supplies are separates for the AA gear. I have these isolated (and away from audio gear) with ceramic tiles on top to minimize internal vibration (weighted with brass cones). I also use Ferrite Beads on power entry back to my three front end pieces. My Reference Speaker Cable 3033 and Interconnect Kimber 1030 also do well at noise reduction by design too.

As Lon mentioned as you iron things out....."Will last you a lifetime and provide great sound". It is good to go down a path to minimize mistakes as we all do. But, inevitably you will return or sell some items, make sure you have return policies, restocking fees etc....known up front and talk directly with people your buying from if possible. For example, I was willing to take the risk on the Kimber PK10 Palladian Power Cord after talking to David at Weinhart Design; and I also new I could sell it for what I paid for it on Audiogon once again. Of course I have tried quite a few new and used things over the years that have not fit my listening and genre(S) enjoyment and were returned or sold.  You need to bring Speakers, Amps, Tubes, Front-Ends, and noise reduction devices into your room and for your listening preferences to make decisions.

-Stone
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« Last Edit: 01/29/12 at 16:56:10 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #36 - 01/29/12 at 17:13:19
 
Furthermore, without making this a separate thread..... . Get the best front end you can afford. In my SE84CS based system I put my well burned in DacMagic in place of my Audio Alchemy pieces for comparison. The AA gear also uitlizes the i2S function with a Audio Revelations Prophecy Cyro'd Silver i2S interconnect in conjunction with my Kimber Select. The DacMagic has NO BUSINESS BEING IN THIS SYSTEM. It is flat and 2 demensional compared to my AA digital. When/if my AA gear goes down (it will/it is 17 years old and I purchased new in April 1995).......a Wyred for Sound Dac 2 will be the minimum starting point. I might have to go up to PS Audio Perfect Wave. A testament to how good the AA gear was then and still is for the Redbook CD standard. Also, a testament to the SE84CS (now ZS) Transparency and music making abilites.   Cheers, Stone of Tone
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #37 - 01/29/12 at 18:17:38
 
For ICs, I notice that XLO makes some very nice looking stuff, even available at some modest B-stock prices. Wink
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #38 - 01/29/12 at 20:02:44
 
I just read shielded power cords are actually detriment to sound (limits soundstage dimesionality) ... go figure!

Thanks, stone, for the answer and the thorough description, quite impressive.  I have experience with audio alchemy myself, since 1993 I believe (the first ones coming out).  Good stuff, and a bargain at the time.  It was plugged to my Enlightened Audio Designs Transport and beat the Theta processor I had previously.

In my case, I get stuck with the stuff I don't like, as I cannot ship this back to the seller or anyone interested in buying them (too far away), and locally these things are not appreciated.  So, I need to be really careful in choosing my components, as you can tell.

I think one of my weak links is the USB DAC (I'm using laptop music streaming, exclusively), but will need to check it out with the Decware gear in place.  My HRT Music Streamer II beats the Dac Magic also.  It improved my current SS system by much (beating a Hi-Fi DVD/CD player with Toslink optical outputs and such.)  Not sure if it will be up to par with the new gear.  So, yes, I'm aware of the importance of source components.  

I already ordered a popular, inexpensive but well reviewed power cord, the Iron Lung Jellyfish 14 AWG hospital grade.  Just one step above the stock power cord, mind you.  Little risk to start with, looking for reliability.  Long-term will have to be replaced by Decware's, probably (quality of materials and know-how should make a difference).

IC's I have 2 pairs of Vampire ZTC 75005 (great copper) from my earlier setup.  Eventually will have to be upgraded too.  I'll stick to the Tripp Lite 500 Isolator plus Jellyfish for the time being until everything breaks in.  Then we'll see.

Lon, I wish I could do that, but I have to go through my importer, so it's not feasible, unless he would auction himself and I'm sure he won't.  My loss.

I'm taking notes, guys.  Thanks so much for the support.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #39 - 01/29/12 at 20:20:08
 
It's all so crazy. You can read that shielded power cables are awful. You can read that they are fantastic. Only your own experience or that of those you can trust counts.

My own experience? Shielded power cords have been very good, shielded ICs not so much.

Best of luck!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #40 - 01/30/12 at 01:10:26
 
Thanks, Lon.  Yeah, it's really crazy!  I know from what I've read that shielded IC's are a no-no, and also they have to be as short as feasible (due to capacitance).

But, like you said, nothing is written in stone in audio tweaking ... It's part of the fun, I guess, especially when you kind of nail it and can really taste the new, improved sound!

Ride safe!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #41 - 01/30/12 at 01:14:37
 
Lots of what I read on the net is. . . BS. Smiley I would consider that about shielded power cords to be BS from my personal experience. Most of those I've liked have been wrapped with four shields! There is one that has an all copper shield, which sounds like it would be the bomb, and I really don't like its sound, so nothing is absolute. And there are those who prize longer lengths of power cords saying THEY sound better than shorter ones. Really, it's crazy. I don't really know what to believe any longer, I just try things for myself with as open a mind as I can muster.
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« Last Edit: 01/30/12 at 01:16:20 by Lon »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #42 - 01/30/12 at 02:07:00
 
I agree on all the BS around.  But the more one reads, the better informed one is to make a decision.  I guess it's a matter of using common sense and keep basic concepts on check to decide whether a proposal is worth trying.

The best approach, nevertheless, is to ask people you trust, as you mentioned earlier.  Problem is, you have to have those contacts, which are scarce.

BTW, there's a reason for longer shielded power cords to work better, according to proponents of shielded cables, as it provides more opportunity to extend the magnetic shielding field surrounding the cable as current passes through (the right-hand rule, as is known in electrical engineering).  But this is, of course, their interpretation.

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #43 - 01/30/12 at 06:31:36
 
There is a lot of BS flying around, just as there are many different circumstances and very few systems set up identically.

Ordinarily, shielded ICs are not so great. But, if you have a bunch of devices running 5.1 in and out of your Ultra, along with other multiple inputs and outputs, even Steve will tell you there can be a benefit to shielded ICs, and Decware even offers them. Lon, I believe those Audioquest ICs from HCM Audio with which we have had reasonably good experience, are shielded. I prefer the short runs of my Decware ICs, but sometimes the right tool is a different one.  
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #44 - 01/30/12 at 11:50:41
 
Indeed. If I've learned one thing about audio it's that there are very few absolutes.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #45 - 01/31/12 at 00:40:54
 
Of course, there's always a small percentage of cases where there's really much interference going on  ... but then one pays the price with higher capacitance due to the shielding, or at least that's the contention..

Talking about variables, today I discovered another positive tweak: Replaced my KM Player with Foobar2000, and it tangibly improves the overall presentation.  Sharp edges are out, midrange is rounder and as detailed, performers are not so much 'on your face' with voices coming through sounding much more natural.

This is just the SW that plays back the FLAC or WAV files through the USB/DAC.  This proves my USB/DAC is not that bad, after all.  Unfortunately, Foobar does not support Ape format, so I still need the KM Player (which is a second best now) for those, until I swap my music collection to WAV format.

Like in a Christmas tree, one more shiny glass ball to hang!



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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #46 - 01/31/12 at 01:22:55
 
Correction: Just added a Foobar2000 plug-in to enable Ape files also.  It's working!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #47 - 01/31/12 at 17:07:12
 
Trying to imagine the new design...

Maybe white high gloss powder coat finish and wood base options like the rest of the amps.  Also, with a larger size maybe the depth will increase to accomodate multiple inputs and some high-end jacks to run along the back end - verticle connections!

Steve, how about preview for the forum members? Promise we won't show anyone else.
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« Last Edit: 01/31/12 at 18:40:33 by markv »  
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #48 - 01/31/12 at 19:26:13
 
Me too on trying to imagine it?

I am so digging my Torii 3 now and I have loved the SE84CS coming up on 11 years now.... .  I am just going to order it when Steve posts it. Rotate the Amps as I see fit. I am glad I'm going to drive my paid for vehicle for two more years so I can top out my Audio needs........ .

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #49 - 02/02/12 at 00:50:43
 
Earlier posts reference tube regulation and tube rectification.  What is tube regulation?  What is tube rectification?  Why is it desirable to have one (or both?) as part of an amp's design?

Thanks.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #50 - 02/02/12 at 01:16:56
 
There's some information here in the designer's notes to the Torii Mk II:

http://www.decware.com/paper68.htm#TUBE%20RECTIFICATION

May not answer all your questions, but it might help.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #51 - 02/02/12 at 03:01:02
 
Somebody should photoshop what the new unit should look like.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #52 - 02/04/12 at 02:15:43
 
I've been thinking of upgrading my current system, Adcom GFA-555 amp, Adcom GFP-555 pre-amp and KEF Model 103/3 (4ohm) speakers with KEF Cube, for a few years.  I have the matching Adcom CD player and Tuner.  Anyways, I really like the system (had it for 25 years), but have the upgrade bug!  I have been looking at the SE34I.2 and waiting for details on the SE34i.3.

My question is - I like my KEF speakers (92db sensitivity) and would like to keep them for now - but the KEF cube plugs into signal processor inputs on the Adcom pre-amp, using 2 rights & 2 lefts.  If I were to purchase the SE34I.x would it still be possible to use the KEF cube with the KEF speakers?

Per a Audio Ideas review from back in 1987:

"The KEF 103/3 speakers are a 3 way system with  a dome tweeter and 6" midrange on the front and a 8" woofer facing down - all on a dedicated stand.  The KEF cube eliminates crossover inefficiency losses allowing for extended bass response.  The normal speaker measurements are 50hz - 20kHz.  The KEF cube allows you to vary the frequency range below 160Hz by about 3 DB." (though their tests showed a closer to 6 DB with the cube extented button activated).

Anyone on the forum have experience with these KEF speakers and KEF cube using Decware amps?

Thanks        
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #53 - 02/05/12 at 18:44:43
 
Markv-

While the Decware amp would sound very sweet within it's limits, the low sensitivity of the KEFs will enforce those limits at fairly low levels.  A Torii III would be more appropriate with the KEFs.  

If you want to explore the more purist lower power offerings you'll get better results by stepping up to speakers that take full advantage of the first couple watts.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #54 - 02/06/12 at 01:26:35
 
The crossovers in the KEF might rob the amp of a lot of power. The 92 decibel rating might not mean that much after the crossovers take their toll.

Is there any possibility that you would ever consider trying something with higher efficiency?
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #55 - 02/06/12 at 02:21:28
 
Ski Bum and RR - Thanks for your replies.  Well it was just some wishful thinking on keeping the KEFs.  Also, been looking at the MG944 and at the Hoyt-Bedford Model 2s as more efficient "modern" options.  Probably will hand down the entire Adcom/Kef system to my son - keep in the family!  This upgrade itch can drive you crazy!

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #56 - 02/06/12 at 03:09:20
 
I can endorse the MG944's wholeheartedly.  That Integrated would drive them to insane levels of volume, and lead to a completely life-like musical reproduction.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #57 - 02/07/12 at 19:25:39
 
Come on Steve.....throw us a bone.  One prelim' Pic?      8-)
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« Last Edit: 02/07/12 at 19:26:27 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #58 - 02/07/12 at 19:42:45
 
Stone -

I agree with you.  I keep checking the "New" link on the main menu and the "Hi-Res" link on the SE34i.2 product page thinking Steve has placed a picture of the SE34i.3 there.

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #59 - 02/07/12 at 23:42:18
 
We might just have to wait until March..... .  Now that I have discerned the differences and similarities of my SE84CS and my Torii 3.....I can't part with either Amplifier. I mentioned in another thread that I am content with switching Amps on a 3, 5 or 7 week basis as the Spirit moves me.

This .3 with EL34's in Triode with Lucid mode..... .  I remember hearing the Pentode in Pentode Taboo in Lucid at the Fest in 2005. It made me regret not being part of the beta test Steve sent out on the road with the Taboo (EL84 SV83 based), because it sounded very very good. Steve, the quiet genius that he is, is not one to make idle boasts. If he says the .3 might be the best EL34 based Triode for imaging ever.....I tend to believe him.  

Well, here's to maybe catching a glimpse prior to March..... .
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« Last Edit: 02/07/12 at 23:58:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #60 - 02/11/12 at 13:52:51
 
markv wrote on 02/06/12 at 02:21:28:
Also, been looking at the MG944 and at the Hoyt-Bedford Model 2s as more efficient "modern" options.


Either one would be a solid choice!

Lin
H-B Type 1 owner Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #61 - 02/13/12 at 01:02:14
 
OK, Here's a picture of her...  just click on the link below.


http://www.decware.com/newsite/images/se34i.3large.jpg


Steve Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #62 - 02/13/12 at 01:04:11
 
Interesting! Not what I was expecting. Looks beautiful. Thanks!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #63 - 02/13/12 at 02:16:27
 
Very nice Steve.  Looks stunning!  The SE341.2 was a dual mono SE84+. With one power transformer, is this still a dual mono 84+?  What are the meters for?  Enough questions - I'll just wait for the details.

Great looking SET. Congratulations.
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« Last Edit: 02/13/12 at 02:36:26 by markv »  
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #64 - 02/13/12 at 02:57:08
 
The Two power supplies in the SE34I.2 were heavy overkill.  Remember those were designed for the original SE34I that had four output tubes rather than two.

Right now, we're still at the same 40 mills per tube as before, so both channels draw 80 mills.  The current power supply is 150 mills.

So to answer your question, no, it is no longer dual mono.  

I'm in the final chapter of the voicing on it, and comparing lucid mode with one built as a classic SET just like our Zen Amp (SE84C+).  It's looking like getting lucid mode as good as it was on the Taboo may take another year or even two (like it did for the Taboo).  Triode vs. Pentode is just too much change to have the same results.  Don't get me wrong, it's impressive in it's current state, but in a serious shoot out between the two designs,  The classic Decware SET may actually have the edge in the imaging department since it's more accurately rendering the intent of the recordings.  Given that and the fact that the amp could now be bridged mono I'm likely going to abandon the unbridgeable lucid mode on this design.  After all, we still make the Taboo.

The meters are to show the bias of each output tube.  This lets you know a few things:

1) When the amp is ready to play music after powering on.
2) What the bias is for each tube
3) If the tubes match and if not, and how far off are they
4) Visual clipping indicator to make it easy to determine max power levels
5) Ongoing tube wear indicators
6) Tube failure (shorted) indicator

But mainly to let you see at a glance how close your tubes are matching and how close your amp is to max power.

...no the tubes do not have to match, especially if you have the amp configured with dual volume controls... but matched tubes mean that each channel will clip at the same point - not one side sooner than the other... and closely matched tubes preserve pristine imaging.


Steve
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« Last Edit: 02/13/12 at 03:05:56 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #65 - 02/13/12 at 12:57:04
 
Genius; pure genius; and once again Steve has surpassed himself. It seems that there is plenty of room on the chassis for tube regulation.
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« Last Edit: 02/13/12 at 12:58:20 by Rivieraranch »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #66 - 02/13/12 at 13:23:41
 
Yes, but so far just one rectifier sighted. Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #67 - 02/13/12 at 15:50:43
 
Steve is really an artistic genius!

I just love the look of those meters. Gives the whole amp some sort of nostalgic look and feel.

And I also admire the functional use of those meters. This turns the amp into a tube tester for the output tubes.

I do hope that Steve will incorporate those meters for the other versions of his tube amps in the future!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #68 - 02/13/12 at 17:33:32
 
Beautiful design, indeed.  Ok, it's not going to be a Lucid Mode-capable design, but I wonder how does it compare to the SE34i.2+ it's replacing in overall performance?  Any comparisons made already?  

If they sound better than the SE34i.2+, these are going to make killer triode monoblocks!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #69 - 02/13/12 at 17:40:54
 
Yes, although I swore I would not build another amp without tube regulation, the SE34I.3 does not have it.  The reason why is simple.  No one is making any voltage regulation tubes today.  New Old Stock are getting harder to find in quantities.  It also skyrockets the price of the amp due to all the extra stuff that has to be done.  I'm really just looking for a nice step up from our original Zen Triode SE84C+.  For the guy who want's classic Decware transparency and liquidity but needs a bit more than 2 watts.  So far it is looking like I'll be able to offer this with a single pair of inputs and one volume control - no tubes - for $1149

Steve
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #70 - 02/13/12 at 18:43:47
 
Steve -

What are the other configurations you are planning for this amp and for how much?  Also, will you offer a stock set of tubes as an option?  Finally, what does this amp look like with the contemporary walnut wood base - pics Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #71 - 02/14/12 at 00:13:44
 
Very beautiful Steve. Thanks for posting the picture.  The functional use of the meters is sweet. I look forward to its release.

In light of NOS regulation tubes becoming harder to obtain: You brilliantly use tube voltage regulation designed to filter instead of regulate in the Torii 3 and Mini. If tube regs' dry up, do you plan to retro-fit these Amps with a form of solid state filtering (a mini power plant if you will/based on a solid state voltage regulator) - or - can a plug in be created, such as what a solid state rectifier plug in does in lieu of a tube rectifier?


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« Last Edit: 02/14/12 at 00:58:46 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #72 - 02/17/12 at 04:22:53
 
Well, while they may dry up for me by becoming unavailable in quantity but I can't image that they would ever become unavailable in singles from places like ebay.  That said, in a worse case scenario I would likely replace the VR tube with a neon lamp.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #73 - 02/17/12 at 04:33:05
 
Also, I have the amplifier on the site now.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE34I.htm

Below are ten one time coupon codes that forum members can use (first come first serve basis) to get $25.00 off when your order.  Note:  If a code does not work it means someone else has already used it.

             DL9S9224BW
             5NJ4W6GM1C
             2637JBC8V4
             9MX4RGXTZV
             P681NP5MJM
             GC9DYDHHCN
             1Y7STWG8YC
             SS8X3PPVX1
             5Z5MK15KNY
             M3WQ5LZZ4S

Enjoy!  

I have to say I feel really good about this amplifier.  It's better than it's ever been and we look forward to the next 12 years!






Steve  
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #74 - 02/17/12 at 05:26:49
 
I suppose you're correct Steve.....we should be able to find them on ebay etc.... (voltage regulation tubes/down the road purchase). They last forever too. It should not be much of an issue.  NO neon! Go with a black light and lets bring back the Posters too!  ;D

The release is here!  Sweet!  She is a beauty (that Rachael)!

Rachael!  I like it!  This could be love! .....Those sexy meter's.....what a vixen....hubba hubba........ Wink

Ms. Rachael?  I do believe you're trying to seduce me?!
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« Last Edit: 02/17/12 at 05:39:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #75 - 02/17/12 at 08:22:12
 
That is really beautiful Steve. But dang, I actually cannot even make an excuse to order it.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #76 - 02/17/12 at 11:30:44
 
Steve -

Add to Cart is not working for this amp - can't order.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #77 - 02/17/12 at 11:37:01
 
I thought that it would be using the 12AU7? I guess the 6N1P was settled on instead.

I like the product page a lot, and showing the amp in its different configurations is extremely helpful.  Now go do that to the other amp pages.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #78 - 02/17/12 at 12:47:01
 
Add to Cart may have been repaired. At least it's working for me now, I played around with it and it functioned as expected (unfortunately I'm not buying an amp, but tested the buttons).
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #79 - 02/17/12 at 12:55:29
 
Rivieraranch wrote on 02/17/12 at 11:37:01:
I thought that it would be using the 12AU7? I guess the 6N1P was settled on instead.


Reminds me of one of my favorite Firesign Theater concepts: "Everything you know is wrong." Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #80 - 02/17/12 at 13:03:33
 
Before this thing was introduced I was leaning towards a set of SE84ZSM monoblocks but now I am not so sure.

I would not be comfortable with using this "Rachel" as a power amp wide open with no volume control. Right now my Mini Torii connected to the CSP2+. When the volume on the MINI is wide open I hear some noise that is not audible when the volume controls are lower; thus the ability to ride the gain between preamp and amp is necessary not only for greater versatility but to avoid any noise.

Other than 6 watts what are the differences in sound/performance between the Rachel and the Zen monoblocks?
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #81 - 02/17/12 at 13:07:51
 
My guess, based on the experience I had with the Select and the Integrated.2, is that the Monoblocks will be more brutally honest as far as detail and specificity of stage and image, and the new Integrated will be just a hair more forgiving (and what some might call "musical").

Just my educated guess.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #82 - 02/17/12 at 14:03:00
 
I'm a little disappointed with no 12au7 as I have a bunch of nice E80CC here that made my mini-Torii shine. Oh well.

I might consider using amp version with zodiac gold still.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #83 - 02/17/12 at 15:44:12
 
Ok, I need to digest this (after all, I'm still theoretically able to swap my current Mini-Tori order for this one ...)

SE34i.3 PROS:  Triode sound, more output power, meters and looks

Mini-Torii PROS:  Better stock features (tube voltage regulation, preamp outputs, 2 volume controls, 2 pairs of inputs, smaller size, higher bass dampening, tube rolling platform with much more compatible alternatives)  

From this, I can only miss the Triode sound and maybe the meters, as everything else, to me, is irrelevant:  Looks are not that far from the Mini; the extra power is not required in my case; I do need the Pre-Outs and a 2nd pair of inputs come in handy; a tighter bass is important in my listening taste.

In addition, I was able to squeeze-in the last discount coupon of $200.00 for the Mini-Torii.  Not a deal breaker, but helps.

So, all in all, a great new amp, but let's hurry up and have my Mini-Torii on the shipment bay, will you?  ;)



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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #84 - 02/17/12 at 17:02:17
 
You can't lose really. If it were me, I'd go with the Integrated, simply because I think the "noise" thing is a non-issue and I know how great this machine can sound. 6 watts triode? Wow.

But the Mini may serve your purposes as well, and your order is already in the pipeline. The wait is going to be agonizing. Smiley Best of luck, and I know you'll keep us posted of how it sounds when your system starts to come together.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #85 - 02/17/12 at 17:19:53
 
Just curious, on the original pics of "Rachael", I noticed the inputs were gold plated.  The pictures of the amp displaying with each configuration show silver plated inputs.  Does this make a difference?

Man, this is such a nice looking amp!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #86 - 02/17/12 at 22:34:50
 
The color rendition on your monitor might differ from mine. I see them as gold.
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« Last Edit: 02/17/12 at 22:48:25 by Rivieraranch »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #87 - 02/17/12 at 23:28:40
 
I think you'll find them gold, though it hardly makes much difference. On the options photos the amps seem black and white more than color, but the big image that Steve provided earlier in the thread clearly shows gold to me.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #88 - 02/18/12 at 02:18:14
 
Quote:
My guess, based on the experience I had with the Select and the Integrated.2, is that the Monoblocks will be more brutally honest as far as detail and specificity of stage and image, and the new Integrated will be just a hair more forgiving (and what some might call "musical").

Just my educated guess.


Well done, Lon... you're basically correct.  The simple answer to this no doubt popular question is going to be that Rachael is slightly warmer with a boat load more power.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #89 - 02/18/12 at 02:21:07
 
Quote:
Just curious, on the original pics of "Rachael", I noticed the inputs were gold plated.  The pictures of the amp displaying with each configuration show silver plated inputs.  Does this make a difference?

Man, this is such a nice looking amp!



I knew this happen....  those pictures are in black and white (with a slight sepia tone).  Guess I WILL have to re-shoot some more color pictures!

Steve
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #105 - 02/20/12 at 05:34:29
 
Fireblade wrote:
"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 diggin' what everyone wrote here, but:
Pentodes run in Triode with no negative feedback vs. Pentodes in PP with no negative feedback.......sound very different. I need both the SE84CS and Torii 3....and I rotate. I am deciding on which .3 to get..... . See the thread: "My SE84C & Torii are fighting" etc...in the Torii III Forum for more sentiments.

My, "Reference-keep you glued to your listening seat-system" with Contemporary Jazz to a lot of good Blues and Blues Rock is my SE84CS with Kimber Select (listed in signature) and my AA gear with remote wand driving the SE84CS direct. Plus the original SV83 Svetlana tube is very special to me (6N15NM) paraphrasing the Russian letters. Wide bandwidth video tube with delicate wiring and a very cool getter halo on top.  Extended treble/nuance/decay/tone and timbre with air all around and sparkle not matched by anything else; if your front end is up to it with cables and the speakers. My Kimber Select 1030 especially takes the SE84CS to another level. Furthermore, I only have two pair of speakers out of nine pair I own that will sing with the SE84CS & Torii.....well worth the effort.

I just picked up a complete Audio Alchemy front end from Audiogon and it runs flawless. (I am still grinning over this find!) I'm using that with SState and a pair of Genesis Genre II's that have the Kapton Ribbon Planar Tweeter......very nice. Of course I also run this 2nd AA front end to my behemoth SDA SRS Polk 1.2 speakers. However, it's not the SE84CS fidelity or Torii 3.    

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« Last Edit: 02/20/12 at 06:13:06 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #106 - 02/20/12 at 15:13:50
 
Hi stone, thanks for sharing your experiences.  I get it that among LE84 pentodes, there are competing sound differences between SEP and PP configurations, in class A, and that your true fidelity reference setup is a beam tube SEP wired as a triode (i.e., SE84C+).

This has made you consider the .3 as an interesting alternative, due to its natural Triode tube (EL34) and the SET configuration, class A, assuming of course all the other elements in the chain are up to the task.

If I understood you correctly, this confirms my initial hesitation.  I would like to have the fidelity (transparency, liquidity, air, soundstage, etc.) of a Triode SET, without the possible weaknesses involved, if any.  Nevertheless, I know the Mini is a pentode (6V6) tube SEP wired up as a Triode and a class A (almost no feedback) amp, sharing much of those characteristics, with some tradeoffs already discussed earlier.

It would be interesting to hear your evaluation of the new integrated, compared with your current SE84C+ reference setup.  I suspect the Hazen Mod plus the more linear behavior of the natural Triode would bring up some sound differences.  Specifically, I would assume differences in the frequency extremes relative to the midrange and some pleasant harmonics being added.

In the end, I think having the weakest link of the total setup up to par is far more important than slight differences in these design choices, assuming they have been correctly designed and built.

Please correct me if I've come to the wrong conclusions.  Thanks again ...












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« Last Edit: 02/20/12 at 17:33:08 by Fireblade »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #107 - 02/21/12 at 02:15:24
 
Sorry, you're right, that's a Pentode, and the 6V6 of the Mini is really a Beam-Tetrode.  

In any event, I was thinking in terms of what Steve wrote back in 2000:

In a pentode such as the EL34 where the screens are not tied together internally, it is possible to wire it as a "true triode". It is the only pentode I know of that is.

So, in this sense, one can assume this tube as a Triode if wired accordingly.  So much so, that many people automatically assume the EL34 will be used as a Triode in most designs.

The mistake is in my expression: 'natural Triode', which by the above, is definitely wrong.  My point remains, though, in that one (EL34) is a virtual Triode while the other (EL84) resembles a Triode (pseudo-Triode), thus, having definite differences in sound.

Good point, opnly_bafld, thanks!
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« Last Edit: 02/21/12 at 02:59:37 by Fireblade »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #108 - 02/21/12 at 14:37:48
 
It's not that I missed that, but it is just a generalization.  What I mean is, I'm sure you would agree then, that Steve should also be making solid-state amplifiers, or less sensitive (more crossovers) speakers.  Since it also depends on all the other variables anyway, according to this generalization, it could well be that a certain SS gear has the best sounding possibilities.

The point is, assuming you start with what people consider the best amp configuration for your particular objectives, means you're one step closer to get there.  Whereas, you could change all the other variables in the setup and still miss the best sound because you started with a less than optimal amp for those specific goals.

IMHO, under the same conditions, an amp configuration will take you to your objectives easier than another.  You'll still have to get everything else up to par with it.   Just thinking ...



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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #109 - 02/21/12 at 20:52:56
 
By the way, stone-of-tone, I read the referenced thread and have come up with a general impression (based on all you guys' described experiences), that the Mini Torii may well be in the middle of this continuum between crisp detail, sweet transparency, speed of transients (SE84C+) and high fidelity power and dynamics, complex resolution of congested passages (Torii III).

As described by Steve about the Mini Torii,  'it behaves as a Torii III'  but also shares as many of the traits of the SE84C+ and company, making it, for me, the ideal amp to have in a smallish room environment for jazz and classical orchestral music listening.

And this was all set in my mind before all the talk about the new SE34i.3, which triggered my original question.  I guess we'll have to wait for the new owners of the amp for impressions and comparisons, but as I said before, there are definitely tradeoffs involved, and I think for someone sticking to a single amp (for a long time, at least), the Mini Torii sounds like the best bet.

No wonder Steve recommended the Mini Torii to me, after considering my specific listening objectives.  Thanks to all for your inputs.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #110 - 02/21/12 at 21:28:07
 
Fireblade -

When you ordered your Mini Torii did you upgrade to VCAPs?  The reason I'm asking is I thought I saw the VCAP option listed for the MT awhile back, but now it does not appear on the "Add to Cart" page.   I've reviewed the MT forums and there is no talk of VCAPs with the MT - maybe it is not recommended?  Just curious.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #111 - 02/21/12 at 22:41:26
 
Hi markv!  When I ordered the Mini Torii, there was not that option, nor have I learned of it's possible existence until your mentioning it.  

I'm not even sure what good it would do, although I've read Steve's claim for other Decware amps, that except for the more expensive Teflon VCaps, the Caps used in his designs are all audiophile grade, and cannot be improved upon.

Hope this clarifies your doubts.

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #112 - 02/22/12 at 14:17:24
 
I think it would be interesting to look at this possibility (the CuTf VCap), as after some research, I found out many positive opinions with the replacement of the coupling caps with this particular brand and foil material.

I assume you have one (1) of those per channel (for the output tubes?), and the cost may be around $250.00/pair of CuTf VCaps, plus replacement labor.  Not that expensive if it's true it will improve that much the original sound.

I'm not even sure if this is applicable to a Mini Torii (as originally brought up by markv).  Only Steve may know, but I sure hope someone in this forum, other than Steve (the Man is real busy), may participate with some leads into this promising topic.  

Here's a link to the designer of the CuTf VCaps:

http://www.v-cap.com/audiotechnique-v-cap-review.php

Later ...

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« Last Edit: 02/22/12 at 14:20:24 by Fireblade »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #113 - 02/23/12 at 15:52:50
 
Vcaps in a Mini Torii are not an option.  They are physically too large to fit, plus the mini has 4 caps rather than 2.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #114 - 02/23/12 at 16:41:01
 
Thanks for the input, Mr. Deckert.  It would be definitely expensive having to replace 4 of them, even if these would fit!
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Lord Soth
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #115 - 02/29/12 at 12:30:02
 
Quote:
Posted by Markv "Steve -  I know you have numerous configurations available, but I was really hoping for a headphone option"


+1 to the headphone request.

Dear Steve, I too hope that you will consider adding a headphone option to "Rachel" ala the "Taboo" or the Mini Torii.

If available, the EL34 based sonics will make this a fantastic headphone amp.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #116 - 03/01/12 at 23:45:02
 
I stand a hair's breath away from ordering one of these babies. I understand there will still be a significant wait. I am trying to decide whether to get one with a single volume or a dual volume control.

Who else is in my same position?
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busterfree
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #117 - 03/02/12 at 02:04:55
 
I ordered one, but I am not a fan of dual volume controls. I went with the stepped volume upgrade. I have no plans to ever sell this amp. I am looking forward to it. My SE84C+ will be my back up amp...

I was bummed when the SE34I.2 went away. I was a hair away from ordering one. Then, I looked at the Mini Torii. I did not like the gain and the dual volume controls. I was glad to see the new SE34I.3.
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Lon
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #118 - 03/02/12 at 02:05:19
 
I had an SE34.2 model with dual volume controls. It was very useful to me as I could compensate for an asymmetrical speaker placement with the separate volume controls. It was very easy to match the channels when in a symmetrical positioning as well. I enjoyed the flexibility.
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hifitubes
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #119 - 03/03/12 at 08:53:36
 
If I order, is my card charged upon ship? I need to get in line!
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Rivieraranch
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #120 - 03/03/12 at 12:18:18
 
It is charged when shipped.

I ordered mine and found a discount code still valid.
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« Last Edit: 03/03/12 at 12:28:01 by Rivieraranch »  

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markv
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #121 - 03/03/12 at 14:00:47
 
RR -

Looks like you're going to have to add another shelf to your wall setup for Rachael.   Smiley
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #122 - 03/03/12 at 18:09:33
 
No, it will grace the top in rotation with the TABOO and MINI TORII.
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hifitubes
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #123 - 03/03/12 at 18:25:04
 
ORDERED. Sadly, I had to sell my miniT in a pinch last year.

Looking forward to this one:

no volume control
1 input
VCAPS
no tubes included
custom base

..gonna be a keeper for sure
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #124 - 03/03/12 at 18:30:31
 
Looking forward to your impressions Jim!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #125 - 03/03/12 at 22:44:19
 
I ordered one with a volume control, but without tubes or any other razzmatazz.
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Fireblade
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #126 - 03/04/12 at 00:34:01
 
Congrats, Rivieraranch!  I wonder why you have not considered a Torii MKIII?  After all, you already have more than one SEP or SET in your arsenal.  Any particular reason?  I don't blame you, though, this new Triode design is very tempting!
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #127 - 03/04/12 at 13:05:55
 
The reason is that I don't need the incur the cost nor do I need the extra power.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #128 - 03/04/12 at 14:53:02
 
Thought so.  Besides, I'm sure you won't be willing to part with any of those jewels anyway.  Good for you, enjoy them!  I'm looking forward to your comparison verdicts on all of them, relative (of course) to the Mini Torii  ;).
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #129 - 03/04/12 at 15:51:08
 
The MINI TORII is in use right now. So I will be comparing it to the TABOO.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #130 - 03/06/12 at 00:03:03
 
I too look forward to RR's impressions.

If work permits and I plan a little ahead.....? I hope to go to Decfest, hear the new .3 with the ERR's and Steve's new Horn. Steve D's Pentodes in Triode are my thing for sure.   Cheers......
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« Last Edit: 03/06/12 at 00:07:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #131 - 03/06/12 at 03:25:52
 
I understand the wait is 12 weeks for this one. I selected the black figured base and a gold knob. My other gear has gold knobs so why change now. I will have some time to score some nice EL34 tubes. I don't know which kind would be best for this amp.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #132 - 03/07/12 at 18:13:05
 
Steve:

Will a headphone out be offered on this amp?  If so, what heaphones would best pair with it--orthos or dynamic?

Thanks,
Todd
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #133 - 03/08/12 at 00:35:18
 
I don't think this circuit could accommodate a headphone option.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #134 - 03/12/12 at 11:45:16
 
I am wondering what rectifier tubes may be used in the SE34I.3.  I am a little cautious as to the types of rectifier being used in the amp as I once put a 5AR4 in my SE84 and it degraded the sound of my SE84 heavily.  Do you think 5Y3GT is good for this application?  Thanks.
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Lon
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #135 - 03/12/12 at 12:06:53
 
I would start with a 5U4GB. . . that is I believe the "stock" tube.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #136 - 04/01/12 at 10:04:01
 
Thank you Lon!  

Here is another question.  I brought a pair of Philips 7DJ8 the other day for my upcoming SE34I.3.  I put the 7DJ8 in my SE84C and tested it out and the 7DJ8 did not sound bad at all.  Does anyone have experience with 7DJ8s with any of the Decware amps?  People mostly said that 7DJ8s are drop in replacement for 6DJ8 only with higher filament voltage.  However, I also noticed that someones are saying about cathode poisoning on the 7DJ8s if they are being operated below spec filament voltage (7V).  Does anyone have long term experience with 7DJ8s being operated as 6DJ8s?  Do 7DJ8s end up with shorter life or they are about the same as 6DJ8s?  Thanks.
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Lon
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #137 - 04/01/12 at 13:08:04
 
I know that will, Greg and others have been using the 7DJ8 in their Torii Mk IIIs with good effect. I've stayed away because I'm enamored with the 6N1P tube in my amps, and just use those now, never was too impressed with the 6DJ8, so didn't move to that 7DJ8 as a possibility. There have been no reports of the 7DJ8 being harmful to the amps.
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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #138 - 04/02/12 at 07:03:01
 
Lon,

Thank you again for your invaluable information!  

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Re: NEW SE34I.3 coming soon!
Reply #139 - 05/05/12 at 14:18:37
 
I've been using PCC88s / 7DJ8s (Telefunkens, Valvos, Siemens, Philips, Lorenz, Mullard Blackburn) as replacement for 6N1Ps in my Decware CSP2+ without any problems whatsoever.

In fact, the "best" tube so far which I have tried is the Lorenz PCC88. It has the same amount of sonic clarity and resolution as the famed Siemens CCa Grey plates in my possession.
In fact, the Lorenz PCC88 has a slight edge over the Siemens CCa because it has an even more "3D" like soundstage and better retrieval of inner details.
In other audio forums with other equipment e.g. the Schiit Lyr, you can find similar opinions whereby the Lorenz PCC88 is actually preferred over Siemens CCa.
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