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SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation (Read 3628 times)
Fireblade
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SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
09/20/12 at 17:35:11
 
Early this year I was asking Steve his opinion, as I was about to order two bridged SE84C+ amps instead of the, by then, just discontinued SE34i.2.  His advice steered me towards the Mini-Torii, mostly on grounds of the tube voltage regulation feature.  

My earlier suggestion was aimed only at stopping the dependence on discontinued VR tubes in future amp designs.  It did not consider sound quality, as my Mini Torii could not sound better, as is.  The power filtering mechanism from the VR's works quite well.

If Steve favored the Mini Torii over the SE84C+ monos in my case, the SE84CS does not have a sonic advantage over the Mini, just different emphasis on their sound profile distributions  ;).
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 19:02:08 by Steve Deckert »  

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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #1 - 09/20/12 at 17:53:48
 
To be honest, I think that if  you could get by on the smaller power output of the SE84C+, there would be a sonic benefit, regardless of the power regulation stage. Those 2 watt Zen amps are amazing, they have a magic the others don't. But Steve or you obviously felt/feel you need the power output of the Monos or the Mini Torii, and of those two he felt you were better served by the Mini-Torii.

The power regulation thing is a plus (and there other ways to get there), but. . . well the SE84C+ (I was always amazed at my "Select") is just an amazing amp. If I hadn't fallen in love with the Radial design and if I didn't LOVE having my system in a large room (it's really diminishing fun to be in a small dedicated room for years and years) I'd be running a Select.
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« Last Edit: 09/20/12 at 18:03:41 by Lon »  

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will
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #2 - 09/20/12 at 18:50:26
 
From my experience with Steve, he seems to gather all the information he can on sound preferences, flexibility desires, power needs, speakers, room, etc, and then make a recommendation based on the specific complex. Considering this, if he is weighing toward the MT signature(s) and power, then one of its nice attributes would be VRs (along with all the other tube flexibility). Seems to me that each of the amps can be his favorite depending on the complex, each having particularly good attributes in certain areas but all having excellent (though individual) sound signatures.

Seems the varying approaches to arriving at transparent and truly musical signatures is what gives the family varying signatures, but the base standard of excellence continues. This is illustrated by how the new amps develop, and by how the older amps continue to be refined...
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« Last Edit: 09/20/12 at 18:57:02 by will »  

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Fireblade
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #3 - 09/20/12 at 20:21:58
 
Lon, I'm assuming the SE84C+ bridged to monos retain the single amp's sonic signature?

Will, I think my preference for classical music may have triggered Steve's recommendation, as orchestral suites may pose some dynamic demands on the SE84C+ monos?

In the past I stated that the SE84C+ should excell in the midrange, but be somewhat less dynamic and with lower bass performance than the Mini-Torii.  At the time, I was assaulted by arguments to the contrary, based on the premise that Decware amps were not the typical (standard) triode vs pentode SE's designs, etc.

So, what is it then?  If there are sonic differences across the attributes' distribution, there must be a tradeoff between those two extremes.  No?
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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #4 - 09/20/12 at 20:52:00
 
Steve has himself stated that when you bridge the amps you lose some sonic benefit. Others have stated this on the forum as well. Ditto for running "parallel". . . .

As far as dynamics, it all depends on several factors: gain coming in, speaker efficiency being among the most important.

In a small room my Zen amp (the 27th made, it was even made before the SV83 tubes were implemented, then upgraded to that "Rev. A" status) could do orchestral works justice, certainly not concert level, but I was not using very efficient speakers at the time.

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« Last Edit: 09/20/12 at 20:54:35 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #5 - 09/20/12 at 22:18:36
 
Yes, great point Lon "gain coming in"..... . My Audio Alchemy Dac (ahead of its time) has adjustable internal jumpers to increase the gain. I don't even remember what gain output I did settle on. However, I do know it is above the conventional 2 volt output.

What this means is: I drive/exploit SE84CS quite well. I still use two (2) pairs of conventional speakers that I switch occasionally and achieve great dynamics because of the direct drive with remote wand of my AA 3.0 Dac directly into the Zen Select. My cables complete the sonic landscape.

I spent time with the Mini Torii at Decfest 2008 (6 hours at least) and owned the Torii III. SV83's, EV's or EL84 pentodes in triode via Steve's design is sonic bliss for me. Your mileage may very and all of Steve's Amps have most of the attributes of the CS, ZS and C+. Centainly the others I have heard do. Safe bet on the rest!    

PS- IMHO of course/my brain is wired for the smaller pentode in triode lit from within imaging with detail detail detail (no negative feedback/even order harmonics) and soundstage which locks me in my listening chair.
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« Last Edit: 09/20/12 at 22:37:20 by stone_of_tone »  

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Fireblade
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #6 - 09/21/12 at 01:12:43
 
If it wasn't for the fact that Decware builds Just-in-Time, your arguments would make me believe Mr. Deckert had an excess of Mini-Toriis in stock at the time of my consultation.  Since this is not the case, there's something you are missing that Mr. Deckert certainly doesn't.

By the way, all arguments assuming peripheral synergies with the SE84C+ are not valid ones, as these also apply to the Mini-Torii   Smiley
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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #7 - 09/21/12 at 01:18:12
 
I don't like your implication. I don't think I'm missing anything, nor am I saying that Steve's advice was wrong, obviously he talked to you, I didn't, and why should I, and has pertinent information. I don't thin anyone is trying to win any arguments here. I'm glad you like your amp, Steve helped you choose well for your room and the rest of your system. But if you had more efficient speakers, a smaller room perhaps, etc. you might have been experiencing what the smallest amps have to offer. And as you seem to be a bit anal and detail oriented, I think you'd like their special vibe. After all, the other amps are sort of emulating their sound. And they do just fine without voltage regulation. I'll probably own one again one day as I did experience it and it's great to have.

Now off to hear some live music from my friends WD-41.
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 01:30:55 by Lon »  

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Fireblade
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #8 - 09/21/12 at 02:14:32
 
My remarks are not directed against anyone, just trying to make some sense out of this issue.  I'm sorry I brought it up, as apparently arguing in this forum seems anathema for some people ...
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 06:50:07 by Fireblade »  

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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #9 - 09/21/12 at 03:46:09
 
I'm not sure I deserve that but oh well. I'm bowing out of the discussion. Was just trying to answer your questions. Won't make that mistake again.
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tgarden
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #10 - 09/21/12 at 04:01:49
 
This forum needs a moderator.

Mike in Seattle area
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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #11 - 09/21/12 at 04:22:13
 
Nah.
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Fireblade
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #12 - 09/21/12 at 06:41:50
 
Ok, I agree that message came out too rude, now that I read it again. So, I apologize for that.  Nevertheless, Lon, you are always so defensive about everything that may not be consistent with your own ideas, it was hard to avoid that unfortunate slip.

Original message will be edited BTW ...
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 06:42:55 by Fireblade »  

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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #13 - 09/21/12 at 11:20:17
 
I think you're off base. I was answering your questions. Relating my experience. You're the one being defensive of your supposition imo.

I'm staying away from your discussions in the future.
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Fireblade
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #14 - 09/21/12 at 11:35:16
 
That's a very welcome decision, Lon.  Finally we may get less biased, more logic and objective points of view from this forum.  Good luck to you!
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