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COMING SOON (Read 9851 times)
Steve Deckert
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COMING SOON
09/10/12 at 04:50:44
 


The New Super Zen is the result of another great Decware Mod to the famous model SE84C+ Zen Amp.  The SE84C+ as you'll remember came to pass as the result of the Hazen Grid Mod aka "Christmas Comes Early" Mod a few years back.  

Recently we've come up with a mod that when combined with the prior CCE mod is just icing on the cake!  We affectionately call this mod; "Christmas Keeps Coming" Mod.

This mod involves some very high grade 2 watt carbon composition resistors on both plates of the input stage and some special copper foil and beeswax caps that we found superior to VCAPS in this amplifier.  The transformation is astounding.  It frankly makes this little amplifier a real force to reckon with so to celebrate we have upgraded the chassis one last time to an extreme level of quality and are featuring a black textured powder coat finish that is beautiful, easy to clean, shows no finger prints, or scratches.  A finish that will look new 50 years from now when the amp is still kicking everything's ass.

(Whoops, started to get a little passionate about it there at the end... what can I say, it's my first born!)

BTW, Anyone ordering SE84C+ amplifiers or anyone with SE84C+ amplifiers already on order will be shipped the new Super Zens model SE84CKC

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jameskk
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #1 - 09/10/12 at 11:17:38
 
So Steve i'l be one of the first kids on the block to own a "super Zen " since JamesK pa. is me . Im flattered. And excited. Thanks , this would only come about at Decware. Thanks again
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #2 - 09/11/12 at 14:28:12
 
Wow Steve, the new Mono's and the SUPERZEN~!!

My calendar has been cleared. Zenfest 2005, 2008 and now 2012 is happening!  I look forward to hearing the new Mono's and I am sure you have an incredible demo planned. I plan on ordering the SUPERZEN at the Fest and/or inquire if these mods are even necessary to apply to a new Select (ZS) purchase from you?

Cheers, Stone of Tone (11+ years and counting of SE84CS joy with the SV83 Tubes)
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #3 - 09/11/12 at 18:54:07
 
I should say: I bet the mods would apply to the ZS too....besting the current caps and beating VCAPS = cool.

I want the C+, now Super Zen in one room and my SE84CS in the other.    -Stone
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stone_of_tone
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #4 - 09/12/12 at 15:57:43
 
Well, to heck with waiting to order the Super Zen @ Decfest. I ordered it today with 5ft Zen Styx speaker cable/Silver Banana's.

It will be fun comparing it to my SE84CS stock (no EX or CCE mods). I have a nice bevy of the original SV83 (6n15nM) that I enjoy most. In addition, I have another Audio Alchemy front end (Pro32 & 3.0 Dac) to run into the new SuperZen to my 2nd favorite pair of speakers that I love with these pentodes run in triode. I have not found better fidelity than Steve's SE84CS. I have spent the last 10 years periodically searching.......Steve's the King. Other designer's just need to deal with it.

Furthermore, putting the Zen Styx up against my reference Kimber Select 1030 & Select 3033 will be fun this fall and winter as the new SuperZen burns in with the Styx! (I should get Steve's Interconnect too).

Cheers, Stone of Tone
PS! I'm sure Jameskk agree's.....I look forward to Steve's posting of the SuperZen.......new chassis and all..... .
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« Last Edit: 09/12/12 at 16:04:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #5 - 09/12/12 at 17:21:17
 
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1346788782

Found the thread: man, I need to catch up! Anyway, Jupiter Caps being used. After some months of comparing to my stock Select....the CS might be going in for CKC mod.......... .     -Stone
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Lon
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #6 - 09/12/12 at 17:32:34
 
Stone, congrats! Let the waiting begin!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #7 - 09/12/12 at 17:45:21
 
Thanks Lon! Before Thanksgiving-wishful thinking?
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #8 - 09/12/12 at 17:53:59
 
Here's hoping! You'll probably get a good idea from Steve at Decfest. (And maybe he'll surprise you!)
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jameskk
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #9 - 09/13/12 at 12:14:59
 
Hey Stone and Lon , yes this is very exciting about the superzen . patience  is the virtue right now , . I have the white select right now in my system #018, that I had to Steve over a year ago . extremely nice .. I looked up the capacitors, Steve is introducing  into the superzen ,and they ain't cheap. dont be suprised if there"s a justifiable price increase to the zen . I believe theres a pic of one in the torii mono blog.Technology is constantly changing!!!!!!!
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #10 - 09/13/12 at 13:49:59
 
jameskk, yes I researched those Jupiter caps = very nice. Most important is Steve's integration of them and voicing of the Amp that creates the total magic/alchemy that he creates (ie-right down to the soldering choices we read).

Lon, you need to come to the FEST this year. I'm sure you saw this thread: http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1346474546

.....I am excited about getting down there again. It has been four years to long. I'm glad I can go in the year of the new Zen Mono's and the SuperZen! Steve's planned 8 pm demo's at dark of the new Mono's can't come soon enough.  Three weeks to go! Yes, I'll see in person where I am in the build que.    -Stone

Per Steve, if the world does end Dec 21st......I'm partying like a rock star the next 14 weeks!   Cool.....no drinking and driving though....it is 10.9 miles to my Super 8 motel. I need to car pool!  ::)
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« Last Edit: 09/13/12 at 14:18:39 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #11 - 09/13/12 at 14:42:30
 
Stone, sorry won't be able to be at the Fest.

Partly because that's not my sort of thing, and mainly because it's just not possible for me to travel there at that time.

Have fun!

PS: The Torii Monos. . . exciting in a way. But. . . I'm a little sad to see Decware go in the direction of high power AND high price. There, I said it.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/12 at 14:50:58 by Lon »  

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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #12 - 09/13/12 at 15:00:45
 
With great Power...comes Great Responsibility.....

and *cough* Great Price...... *cough*

That is one BIG 1st WATT!  ;)
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #13 - 09/13/12 at 16:06:38
 
"PS: The Torii Monos. . . exciting in a way. But. . . I'm a little sad to see Decware go in the direction of high power AND high price. There, I said it. "

Lon,
I know what you are saying but don't be sad. Its just a way to get their product to the people that think money is everything or the ones that need the power. I would be sad if that is all they did and said here you go for the 10% of you that can afford it. They did not, they are still working and improving on the original amps. I can't wait to see what the change will be using the new Jupiter caps. I am very happy with my little 2 watt CSs, but still exited to see and hear the beasts.
John
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #14 - 09/13/12 at 16:11:41
 
John,

I understand your points.

I'm still sad.

When I have my second Zen Stand in (soon) and my ZP3 (in a few months or so) I'll have the system I dreamed of. And I may even spend more time listening and less visiting here. Smiley That "completion," and the beginning of this new phase for Decware, feels a bit like the end of an era, and that's always a little sad.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/12 at 16:19:27 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #15 - 09/13/12 at 16:12:28
 
Thanks Lon, I look forward to going.

I hear you on the Mono's. All I will ever be able to do is kick the tires on those. However, the glass is more than half full with my SE84CS and I bet with Steve's new creation SuperZen with my love of Svetlana original SV83's, the EV and EL84 tubes.

I am not surprised Steve and team wanted to apply their talents to cost no object and wring more fidelity out against the hierarchy out there!

Lord Soth, that is one big first watt!   -Stone
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Steve Deckert
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #16 - 09/13/12 at 18:19:34
 
Lon,  I understand your feelings, as this business was started for the "sincere but broke audiophiles" of the world and targeted at low power high efficiency designs because that's what sounds best.

It still is.


The Torii Mono's are the highest power amplifier I can ever see us building, because to go beyond is

A) unnecessary - if 60 watts won't do it...  and
B) requires paralleled output tubes that make transparency problematic.  

I would have had no interest in making these if they didn't sound as good as our other amplifiers.  Put another way, I'm as far away from selling out as a man can get.  

That said, there is no new direction of higher power amplifiers for Decware or the end of an era, just the inevitable evolution of the Zen TORII design into Monoblocks.

I just want to bring musical pleasure to more people.  The number of audiophiles who don't give Decware a second thought because of it's low power or low price are in fact the majority.  This amp is hopefully the bridge that will bring them over to the Decware sound.  It has enough power to work with their present speakers. Many, after getting familiar with Decware, will be willing to explore higher efficiency, simpler speaker designs. This would set the stage to be able to enjoy our fine stable of low power amplifiers as well.  

So you see, rather than  building bigger more expensive amplifiers as the next phase of Decware, I am  in fact using this one amplifier as a tool to draw more people into our current product line.  The new SuperZen confirms it.

Thank's for "coming out and saying it" because I'm sure many people were having the same thought!

Steve

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Lon
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #17 - 09/13/12 at 18:47:34
 
Alright Steve, thanks for the information.

It still seems like an end of an era to me, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. The world can use a Super Torii, a Super Zen, a Super Preamp, etc. and it may be that Decware can deliver that to many. Inviting some of those new people may create a demand for it. I'm cool with it, I'm not against it. I'm just saddened by some changes, as I've had really sad changes in my life this century that color my looking forward and makes it hard for me to look back. Makes me want to hold onto the familiar now. Not necessarily healthy, just where I'm at at this time.

And I totally understand your need to move forward with design and improvement, even though I find it disconcerting to have an incredible amp and then read a few months later that the model has been improved by this and then that  and then that again. . . Smiley That's my problem, that I find myself tempted into thinking of the sonic possibilities right along with the announcements. Truth is that any amp I have had from you was so integrally sound and so rewarding that I lose nothing by ignoring the improvements. Which is probably the best compliment to you and your staff that can be made from a frequent customer.

I do see this as a new era, and I actually believe it started with the Ultra and then the review of the Torii by Tone Audio. A door is slowly opening, and it's for the best. A new chapter.
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« Last Edit: 09/13/12 at 18:48:46 by Lon »  

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ski bum
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #18 - 09/13/12 at 20:41:15
 
Steve, I was feeling similar to Lon.  Glad to hear the Tori Monos are not just a cynical "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" move.  I hope you get the attention you want and make a killing.

Do you plan on changing your marketing approach to facilitate this?  Exhibiting at RMAF and such, glossy ads and glowing reviews in the rags?

Also, does the Super Zen surpass the Select Monos, and if so, how so?
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #19 - 09/13/12 at 21:26:02
 
As a new customer I read the forums and am dissapointed with myself that I never came across Decware before I was looking for the final component in a long upgrade, and not the beginning. Even then it took a long time following links before I came here. Now the ZP3 is a destined to be a cornerstone. I may be lucky in that I never hear other good set-ups, so trust my ears and so far so good with my  choices. Now I dont have to look further when considering new gear when the pocket says yes. But I digress. One thing that I`ve ponderd is; this is great, a steady production, class gear, hand made, point to point, lifetime gaurantees, excellent prices, steady upgrades,....and no moans. Quite a success. This new pair of monos is in a new league ( out of mine ) but you`ve got to look to the future when it comes to business. Somebodys had their thinking cap on...for a long time. If steve`s looking to draw in some customers  from the big amp market, why not? As a top designer how can you stop him painting another masterpiece ? It says limited production so I doubt it will mean price hikes and mass production all round. -Syd
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #20 - 09/14/12 at 00:46:51
 
Always remember, if a business isn't growing, it is dying.
It looks like Steve has the start of the problem that plagues Harley Davidson. How do you take care of a core market that is finite while still bringing in new customers that demand something new and exciting?
It looks to me like he has a pretty good plan, create some upmarket products while still updating his bread and butter products.
Steve seems like a pretty smart cookie.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #21 - 09/14/12 at 06:48:30
 
I appreciate everyone's comments and Lon, you're right, a new chapter.

Quote:
It says limited production so I doubt it will mean price hikes and mass production all round.




Syd, you're right about that.  Our production is purposely limited to what can be made
in this assembly room by four people.  It's the polar opposite of mass production.

Steve
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Steve Deckert
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #22 - 09/14/12 at 07:16:29
 
Quote:
Do you plan on changing your marketing approach to facilitate this?  Exhibiting at RMAF and such, glossy ads and glowing reviews in the rags?

Also, does the Super Zen surpass the Select Monos, and if so, how so?


Ski bum,

I really don't plan to change anything.  Glossy ads and shows take time and cost money that I would rather put into R&D.  I'll be sending a pair to Tone Audio for review but that's the only plans I really have for marketing it.

As for the Super Zen I believe it does - due mainly to the CKC mods.  More open sounding, more detailed, and more organic.  The CKC mods can be applied to the Select Mono's at which point the added headroom and blacker backgrounds of the Mono's would then tilt the scale back the other way.

Steve
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #23 - 09/15/12 at 12:49:37
 
Shows and glossy ads in the rags are things of the past. The internet will do it for these. DECWARE reaches out to the carriage trade. It's about time.
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #24 - 09/24/12 at 07:51:47
 
Headphone option on super zen possible? Considered?
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #25 - 09/25/12 at 04:44:58
 
Some pics of Serial #001 ~ Model SE84CKC  also known as SuperZen



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« Last Edit: 09/25/12 at 04:49:14 by Steve Deckert »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #26 - 09/25/12 at 04:45:29
 
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #27 - 09/25/12 at 04:59:57
 
Headphone option - we make an external headphone jack that is available to plug into the binding posts for around a hundred bucks (obviously hi-quality).  Since using a headphone requires connecting both negative speaker jacks together, it's not something we wanted to do with speakers by installing a permanent jack inside the chassis...  This way the jack can be removed when headphones are not being used.  Of course the amp will drive any low impedance headphone with ease.

Steve

 
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #28 - 09/25/12 at 10:54:43
 
That looks like wrinkly finish like a 1940's typewriter. What was wrong with the white box?
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #29 - 09/25/12 at 13:19:30
 
Steve -

I like the textured finish.  I can see how fingerprints will not be a problem.  Do you have any specs available?  Now with the CKC announced, what are your plans for the SE84ZS?

Mark
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #30 - 09/25/12 at 13:32:44
 
What is the brand of that rectifier shown in the picture?
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« Last Edit: 09/25/12 at 13:33:25 by ZENCDUSER »  
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #31 - 09/25/12 at 14:02:42
 
Looks like a Valve Art 274B.

Even available from amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Valve-Art-274B-Vacuum-Tube/dp/B003HELMH6

I have one that Steve sent me with the CSP2+ I received. Not my cup of tea.
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« Last Edit: 09/25/12 at 14:08:24 by Lon »  

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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #32 - 09/25/12 at 14:37:47
 
Very nice Steve. I will not be able to make it to the Fest this year. However, I certainly do look forward to receiving the SuperZen CKC with Styx speaker wire!   Cheers, Stone

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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #33 - 09/25/12 at 14:44:12
 
1. The SE84CKC looks classic in near wrinkle black -- some of my best memories was from tube radio and such from the 40's and 50's in oven baked wrinkle black.  The tubes lit photo -- yes.

2. And I'm all for someone who engineers with his ears building a push-pull beast.  Sure to beat against those who don't.  And fact is, IF it beats the others in that market, it keeps Decware alive and well to serve the low power purists.  We're an odd bunch.  No need letting someone else get away with less than superb products in the high power range.  Some want big power to feel the kick drum beating on their chest -- why not?
My most real experience was with a world-class vinyl set-up with push-pull monoblocks.  It's a system synergy thing for those who like their electric bills to reek of conspicuous consumption.

3. Me, I'm waiting for the Zen turntable-tonearm which beats the 10-kilobuck big boys for under $1500.  with integral tube moving coil pre-amp.  

Anyone can engineer solutions which work at 10x operating budget.  Doing it under budget is genius.
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Modded Zen Torii Kit 0feedback Ferrari T.
-Current input fav: ITT Lorenz 6922 gold
Transport: Sony 685V modded using large Russian teflon caps on the DAC chip
Speakers: Massive Unity Horns
Subwoofer: WO32 Decware
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #34 - 09/25/12 at 17:08:49
 

Quote:
That looks like wrinkly finish like a 1940's typewriter. What was wrong with the white box?


The problem with the white box is simply that with five sides showing it's just too easy to scratch during production when compared to a flat white plate with only one side.  As a result we've had to reject one out of every three chassis.  My upstairs storage room is full of them now.

Quote:
I like the textured finish.  I can see how fingerprints will not be a problem.  Do you have any specs available?  Now with the CKC announced, what are your plans for the SE84ZS?


The specs are the same as before except that the CKC is standard in all Super Zens's.  The SE84ZS aka "Select" is also updated with the CKC making it exactly the same amplifier but in an alternate looking chassis.
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markv
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Re: COMING SOON
Reply #35 - 09/25/12 at 18:17:19
 
Steve -

Just to clarify, the SE84ZS will include the CKC update, but it is housed in the same chassis as the current SE84ZS (white surface plate with wood base)? Or did you mean something entirely different - new black chassis w/wood base?

Mark
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