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SE34I.3 On Waiting List (Read 14009 times)
Lon
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #30 - 07/02/12 at 22:36:31
 
Congrats!
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polarbear9988
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #31 - 07/03/12 at 08:59:06
 
Dear RR,

I would be grateful if you could share your initial views with us.  Although, my SE34I.3 (which was built right after yours with the exact same specs) may be at my door step tomorrow, it would be nice to learn your initial views on the amp.  Thanks.

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Rivieraranch
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #32 - 07/03/12 at 14:28:52
 
It behaves a lot like the little ZEN amp with gain and overall presentation. It has the same insane imaging. The power tube gauges are a delight. The needle starts to move after the unit warms up. I am glad that I bought my matched pair of Mullard reissue EL34's from Jim McShane because they show identical readings on the little meters. When you turn the volume nearly all the way up the needles on the meter start going a little crazy. The gauge tells you when the amp is clipping.

The amp has a "clean" look to it. The elegant black figured base I figure looks best with this.

The tube set is a pair of 6N1P-EV, the Mullards and a 1950's Sylvania 5U4G rectifier. I listened to only CD's.

I could not test the amp's limits because my daughter had oral surgery yesterday and had to stay quiet. From what I was able to play I could discern that the amp had the gain and imaging qualities of the little ZEN but the sound was a tad warmer. This is pretty much what Steve had forecast.

I am sorry if I am not "gushing" here (like somebody who replaced a cheap rack system with their first DECWARE amp). This is the ninth DECWARE amp I have owned. I take for granted the high level of performance this gear presents.

RACHEL is loud enough in my small room without using a preamp, connected to the vaunted MG944 (Zen Zeigler) speakers. This RACHEL dame needs to be controlled, I think; and what better to do that with than a CSP2+ preamplifier. I will move that into position and see how it does. It should add more weight and control.

Without a preamp and the gain past 3/4 RACHEL begins clipping, a lot like the little ZEN. The sound sounds more weighty right before that point. The CSP2+ would allow me to ride the gain and better accommodate the sound of different recordings.

My listening session using the TORII MK III night before last was marred by the JJ 6922 inputs, which I suspect were distorting. I moved the treble controls before realizing that the trouble was the  JJs. I have to put some 6N1P-EV's in those slots.
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polarbear9988
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #33 - 07/04/12 at 05:04:42
 
Dear RR,

Thank you very much for your initial views.  I certainly can understand why you were not gushing your new amp.  My SE34I.3 was delivered yesterday but I was not home to accept delivery.  I will need to collect it later today.  I do hope your daughter to get well soon.  Thanks again!
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hifitubes
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #34 - 07/04/12 at 07:00:15
 
Great info Riv, and I think we all appreciate your level head impressions of the amp thus far. Mine has shipped! I live overseas now so it may took a bit, and my speakers are not shipped yet either.

So, as you can see I have some breakin' in to do as well with new Omegas (Hoyt B 1.5) and VCAPs in Rachel.

I'm interested to play with the meters myself. I used to have an Amplitrex AT1000 capable of tight matching. I think I ordered these EL34s from Upscale or McShane will have to check.

I don't have a 5U4 though, just a Dario GZ32. I am in the process of ordering one 5U4 unless someone has a spare that they would sell me (shipped to forwarding address in New York).
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stone_of_tone
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #35 - 07/25/12 at 17:24:06
 
Thank you too RR for your first impressions compared to the C+. I have a pair of lonely Speakers I once used with the Zen Select.....that now need either a new Select or the Rachel for my other room. I own a home once again.  
I will order the Rachel most likely come September. I doubt that I will sell it.....like I did my Torii 3. I also read your impressions of the return of your 3 so far. Keep your overall comparisons coming.  Thanks, Stone.

.....enjoying my 11th + year with my Zen Select (SE84CS)....yes as RR stated....."with insane imaging"....lets also add: tone & timbre and absolutely transparent.
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« Last Edit: 07/25/12 at 17:53:46 by stone_of_tone »  

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Greg12
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #36 - 02/20/13 at 20:48:16
 
 Well I am the newest person on the waiting list for the Rachael. Steve was nice enough to spend 30mins discussing my situation and what to expect  w/ the Rachael based on my set up, 11'X13' room w/ Paradigm studio 80v2 w/ specs of 92db, 8ohm fed by a Csp2.  Currently my amp is a SS 175 watts per chan.
 I received a nice education on, I guess listening habits in terms of  volume level.  Basically the volume with which one feels is where the sound quality reaches its peak in terms of fullness/tonality etc is different btwn his amps and high power SS amps.  I told him I like to listen at slightly higher than avg levels as then the music opens up.  He said that is due to many SS amps sounding anemic until the volume is pretty loud, i.e. if 2 people sat on a couch, and the music was sounding right, we'd have to raise our voices quite a bit to converse.  
 W/ the Rachael,  the music will sound full and perfect at a much lower level, so i'll not even notice that it's not as loud as I normally would like it to be. And, I won't miss the extra volume the SS amp has, at least with serious listening.
 So even tho Rachael is not gonna get near concert levels w/ my speakers, it won't need to.  Plus, this doesn't even take into consideration the improvements in musicality and transparency I should w/ the tune amp.
 Never the less tho,  he did say he will be expecting a call from me in a year or so inquiring about buying a set of his (more) efficient speakers.  At which point, I'll really know the definition of kick ass sound. Smiley

I can't wait.  I did ask about the Jupiter caps and he said he highly recommended them, and let me have them at the same price as the V-caps.   Said more transparent and organic than the standard caps they use, and he prefers them to the V's.  Will sound great w/ my Csp2 pre.  I don't need the volume control option on the amp because my csp2 has the 2 gain dials which essentially would serve the same purpose.

I know this info won't be surprising for you veteran Decware users, but for new csr's like me with little to no experience w/ the Decware amp sound, maybe this will answer some questions.



Greg
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Torii MkIII, DM947 speakers, Oppo 105
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Lon
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #37 - 02/20/13 at 20:54:15
 
Greg, congrats! I know you are going to really enjoy the different world of sound that Rachel will bring. Wow.

I find that there's a "right volume level" for many of the recordings I have, especially those that are made live or with little processing, say the way Rudy Van Gelder did in the fifties and sixties, or the 300th St. studio Columbia used. Different amps will be at different settings to get there, but there's a level where it all snaps into focus so to speak and you can get louder but not really improve the sound. Decware amps get to that level and really let it all unfold in front of you.

You're going to be having a lot of fun! "The waiting is the hardest part."
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Greg12
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #38 - 02/20/13 at 21:30:22
 
Thanks Lon, your posts have been very informative for me over the months, along w/ everyone else in this great community and I really have no doubts about this purchase now.  It's been great education reading the old posts prior to making what I think is now an informed option.   Man i'm excited.
 The csp2 I bought used here in Oct and this Rachael are my first stereo upgrades in maybe 10yrs.  No more mid fi for me!
 Also, as far as the loudness bit goes, I'll still be keeping my SS around for War movies and parties so no worries there Grin

Thanks to all,
Greg

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Palomino
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #39 - 02/20/13 at 22:57:22
 
Greg,

I just took delivery on a SE34 last week.  I too came from SS (100 watts into 89db 8 ohm speakers).  

There is an adjustment period that you may go through until you get used to listenable volume concept.  I had to play my SS A LOT louder to get the same level of detail.  I actually moved my rig to a smaller room to get more volume.

But let me tell you what you sacrifice in volume, you more than make up in detail and soundstage.  I think Lon mentioned insane imaging.  That's a good description.  The other night I was hearing percussion tapping of some sort behind my head about 4 ft and up near the ceiling.  I thought my kids were tapping on the floor upstairs to mess with me.  I backed up and found out it was the recording.  And I only have about 30 hours on the amp.

On most recordings, I can get to critical listening volume between 2/3rd to 3/4 on the volume dial without clipping but I still am looking into building or buying some higher efficiency speakers.  Suffice it to say that I will be building out my system with this amp as the core component.

P.S. the interconnects that Steve sells are very good.  They quickly replaced my old interconnects.  It wasn't even close.
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Greg12
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #40 - 02/20/13 at 23:55:45
 
 That's really cool Palomino.  I've never heard anything from my rig like that,  everything is definately btwn the speakers, and mostly 2 dimensional. Don't get me wrong, it sounds great, especially when I added the csp2, but still.....
 Anyways, thanks for the input, and please keep it coming as the amp breaks in. I'd like to hear all about it.

Greg
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Palomino
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #41 - 02/21/13 at 13:03:29
 
I had tweaked my SS system with new speaker wires, new power cord, outlets and a isolation transformer and was getting pretty good sound out of it and what I thought was good imaging.  Almost to the point of wondering how much better the new amp would be.

But the SE34 really upped the game in all facets except volume.  I've kept the SS system (with a tube pre) in the larger room in case I want to rock out.

FWIW, it took about 7.5 weeks from order to delivery for my amp.  That also included the holidays so probably less in actual working days.
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Greg12
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #42 - 02/21/13 at 18:48:40
 
At least the cables and pc's etc aren't a waste since you can always use them on your other gear.  I'm planning to invest in some Decware cords soon.  Not sure what to start w/,  spkr cbl, interconn's or PC's.   Prob not the spkr cbl as those are the highest price.  I like to wade into the water. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 02/21/13 at 18:50:08 by Greg12 »  

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Palomino
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #43 - 02/21/13 at 18:52:44
 
I think the other, more experienced members on the forum can provide advice on what to do first, but I do think there is something to the claims of synergy with the Decware amps/interconnects/speakers.
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ZYGI
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Re: SE34I.3 On Waiting List
Reply #44 - 02/21/13 at 23:46:34
 
Greg12,

I believe the best place to start is the speaker cables. Yes they may be the most expensive of the cable, but there is a reason for that. They make the  most improvment, first off, secondly, without the good speaker cables, I don't think  you will hear what the other cables bring to the table.

Funny story about the speakers cables...

I get a box from Decware, things I had ordered, or needed for a speaker build. In the bottom of the box, there was a bunch of short lengths of speaker cable. Steve knowing I wasn't a firm believer in high priced speaker cabling at the time, I'm thinking, what am I supposed to do with these.

I called Steve that afternoon, and asked him, what am I to do with all these wires. Me thinking he was joking, he told me to strip the ends, butt them together and solder then up and try them out. He said they would sound better than anything I had tried or was using at the time.  He was correct, enough said. That is what I'm using to this date.

Zygi
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