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SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation (Read 4718 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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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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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #15 - 09/21/12 at 13:33:55
 
Fireblade wrote on 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 ...


Personally, you're not making much sense to me. You asked questions, and I answered, even relaying information Steve posted in the past about sonic deficit for "mono blocking" and running parallel. And I spoke of my experience with my "Select" and how it had a certain sonic advantage over the other amps that I've had.  They have never had voltage regulation added and sound fine without it, and they are I believe used as a standard to voice the other amps by.

My comment about being "anal" wasn't meant as an insult, half of my family I would describe that way and I love them.

If I was trying to make a point it was that from listening to the SV83 amps that I have had, there's a lot to what Stone was saying about the SE84C+ that I agreed with. I had no agenda of my own, and is it not logical to answer with information and speak from experience? I've been using Decware products since 1997, I have a bit of experience there.

Whatever. Good luck yourself and take care.
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 13:37:17 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #16 - 09/21/12 at 14:13:51
 
Fireblade, Lon has eloquently reiterated with his last post what he said to you the first time?!  In summary, the simpler signal path of Steve D's designs of the pentodes run in triode do have sonic advantages over the pentodes in pentode-period-fact.

However, you give up so little in sonics and gain some more power in the latter (via Steve's designs) and it is still much more musical than solid state.....the Mini Torii and Torii III are great choices too. SO, deal with your post cognitive dissonance over your Mini Torii purchase. We don't argue and fight on this forum or disrespect each other. Your comments are way out of line and ignorant.

Furthermore, your tone in this previous thread was uncalled for as well:

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1342748177

Stone of Tone
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 15:03:41 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #17 - 09/21/12 at 16:02:18
 
Hey guys. This is not to excuse the combative edge some posts and threads can take, but in the progression leading to blowups, we often forget that written words are just not all that easy since we all use them differently. It is easy to give and take different impressions than intended. And once anger or frustration becomes an undertone, it gets real hard.

Perhaps compounding these difficulties, Fireblade's native tongue is not English, and his "tone," and how nuance is formed and interpreted may not feel quite the same to him as to those with English as a first tongue.

Also there are certain words and phrases (like anal) that most of us interpret as negative and degrading, intended or not.

Whatever...why not take a deep breath and chill out before deciding to send posts with words that might be taken personally...especially when we are feeling frustrated or offended.

Let's face it, a lot of us audio heads are natively deep questers...loving to sort through the fine details of what makes our music so amazing, and from this we choose basic gear and fashion system synergies that we love. This can cause us to form pretty intense impressions and have pretty solid opinions about what works for us, and the whole thing can seem a bit compulsive at times... Wink

Where is the line between deep creative investigation and compulsion? No doubt different for each of us.

But this is what makes a forum good! It is the stories of each of our deep investigations that strengthen the knowledge of the group and help each of us find what we need in our personal audio quest.

We are in it together and this is a great forum in my book.
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 17:27:51 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #18 - 09/21/12 at 16:20:57
 
Wise words will.

Never the less, I post too much and this seems to irritate or lead to misunderstanding, and I'm thinking of taking a sabbatical. My apologies to anyone Ive offended with my words, opinions, recounts of experience, or bias. Best to all in the coming weeks, and I hope all who attend Decfest have a wonderful time. PMs will reach me, I'll be here waiting for my ZP3. Smiley
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 16:30:01 by Lon »  

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Fireblade
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Re: Pictures of the NEW Zen TORII Monoblocks
Reply #19 - 09/21/12 at 17:44:02
 
Stone, your remarks put you in evidence.  Just read your triggering entry on the cited thread, full of sarcasm, unnecessary derision and uncalled-for plain bad taste! Now, that's ignorance.

Will, I  agree with you.  In several occassions I've had to withstand replies with derogative (as opposed to supportive) tones.  I believe nobody has the monopoly of knowledge, especially in such a subjective topic, and my interventions have always been logical, not passionate.

I hate the outcome of this. In all honesty, Lon has been mostly supportive, except in those few unfortunate occassions that I had to make an effort to ignore his negative slants.  As a human being reacts predictably to a hostile environment, this was prone to happen, eventually.

I therefore prefer to step aside and participate only passively in this forum, from now on.  Lon has much more to offer to this community.
 
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« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 18:21:52 by Fireblade »  

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Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #20 - 09/21/12 at 23:10:26
 
Guys,

I have never seen so many "Edits" in one thread...WTF!!!!

Everybody is correct in their own way of thinking, what Lon and Stone said were correct.

Building an amp with a known part that will become extinct would just create major problems down the road, so it wise not to go there in the first place if it at all possible.

I've listened to my Mini"T" some nights without the regulation, and enjoyed it ever bit as much with regulation.

I've had "C"'s and have also had a pair bridged, when bridged what I lost was out weighed by what I gained. I would prefer a set of "C"'s bridged over a Mini"T" to this day, I still miss my Monos driven by my CSP. With all that said, may favorite amp is still the first generation  Torri.

So FB, it all goes to preferences, both Lon and Stone, have had a lot more experience with the other amps and was trying to get you an opinion that would help answer your question. I don't think either had any other intentions.

Would you like my choice in amps? If you love your Mini"T"  I doubt it, but I would still try my best to give you an unbiased  opinion. I don't think anyone here, including Steve Deckert or myself has anything to gain by not giving an unbiased opinion. I'm thinking the advise you got from Steve, in his talking to you, was the best advise you could ever get, trust me he is good at it. Even when it comes to speakers, he is better at it than I.
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Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #21 - 09/22/12 at 02:31:00
 
Everybody needs to calm down and go listen to some music.
None of you want me huntin' you down and make you listen to a 8 track recording of Donny and Marie's Greatest Hits. I'm big, excitable, and heavily armed.
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Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #22 - 09/22/12 at 05:02:01
 
Words of wisdom Donnie.....we have to party at the fest.  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 09/22/12 at 05:04:25 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #23 - 09/26/12 at 07:11:03
 
"I've had "C"'s and have also had a pair bridged, when bridged what I lost was out weighed by what I gained. I would prefer a set of "C"'s bridged over a Mini"T" to this day, I still miss my Monos driven by my CSP. With all that said, may favorite amp is still the first generation  Torri." ~Zygi

Great quote.  

I don't think there is anything which is "best amp, period".  It's a system thing and even our own ears and tastes in music and presentation are a big part of our system.  Believe me, I've had systems 30 years ago which by todays standards were not up to snuff, but which really made some magic.  In some ways, audio was more fun back then.
Guys would come over and my systems would change to this amp, that speaker set, this preamp, that phone cartridge, etc., but all would comment that it always sounded darn good and sometimes the magic would just arrive and lots of smiles to go around.

Pretty much agree with everyone's subjective comments on sound.  My Zen Select did some pretty magical presentation which was a delight when it chimed in.  But for my taste, sometimes I really want to hear the hair growing on the face of the musician, detail uber alles.  Not everyone even wants this.

What fits my needs?  Not sure if for the same reasons, but like Zygi, I find something preferable in the old Blue Torii.  I built mine with a switch for about 3db feedback or 0-feedback.  When I just want a most realistic, comfortable mid-to-back row seat in the Royal Albert Hall, I use the feedback -- what an accurate presentation at relaxed distance, easy on the ears, wonderful frequency balance, image placement and overall realism at a distance.  However, I usually want up close and personal, listening to every breath the soloist takes between notes on flute, horns, etc., with "he's there, he's there!) with nothing more to be desired for in your face timbral accuracy and "air", I switch out the feedback, back off on the volume, sit back, fasten my seatbelt and get ready for "whoa!".  And this from an amp which uses solid state rectification which I always regarded suspiciously, but now prefer, if done right.  I use personally selected rectifiers with snubber capacitors, as well.

Bottom line: enjoy the music, trust your ears and take a lifelong approach to audio perfection -- you'll never get there, but it's nice to be fooled once in a while!  Oh, and I agree with Zygi -- I like my Blue Torii better than any amp I've ever used, but that's just me.
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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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will
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Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #24 - 09/26/12 at 18:34:04
 
Great points Chas.

Since the system is literally a living thing once we put ourselves and our ever developing preferences into the mix, I think any Decware gear could become a favorite. I recall Steve talking about an experiment he did once, starting with the 84 and listening for some time, then working up through the line to the Torii. The way I recall the story, he really fell for each amp, thinking each was an improvement over the last one.....But then, when he went back to the beginning, the 84 too was an improvement over the Torii.  

I really like this story and hope I have conveyed it accurately! It indicates to me that the maker/designer's philosophy, technique, voicing etc,....the Art of amp making.... at this level of effort, technique, art, and devotion, each amp results in a really good sound period.  By utilizing the "ingredients" of each amp to the fullest (each amp starting with different tubes and/or power) and respecting and utilizing the "ingredients" pure character values, each amp has to present itself in a different way. But at the same time, each presents the voice of the "family" and they are all totally amazing in their own ways!

Then there are all of us who agree with the Decware family sound and find (or create) our favorites within it.

For me, my system is so tuned as a whole that I can't tell which parts are more important. They are all very good, but each phase of the system development changes them as a group toward my preferences. Did I mod the HR-Ones with caps and additional damping because of my room, my tastes, because I prefer the Torii III sound better with these mods, or was it because I liked the HR-Ones better this way? Did changing the coupling caps in the Torii to NOS Russian PIO stick because I liked the Torii better this way, or did it stick because it tuned one or more other aspects of the whole of the system/room to tastes?

Same with computer, DAC, tubes, cables, power and all. I totally agree that the system synergy is the thing. And for me, though my experience with Decware amps is limited to the SE34I+2 and Torii MkIII, I am willing to bet  any of the amps could sound great for me given the right environment and synergy.

On the other hand, I have little doubt that, given the opportunity to play with all the amps, a favorite would likely rise tot he top for me...for my preferences.

It is a lot of fun!



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« Last Edit: 09/26/12 at 18:41:28 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Lord Soth
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I'm an American
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Posts: 262
Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #25 - 10/16/12 at 15:52:34
 
Dear fellow Decware fans,

Let's all calm down..... maybe it's the heat from our tube equipment which has caused our tempers to rise???  ;)

If you refer to the following link
http://www.decware.com/newsite/buyingguide.html

"OK, which amp should you pick?

As previously mentioned the fidelity of all these amps is approximately the same... really really good.  That leaves the decision mostly about power."

Now, let's all get back to enjoying the music from our Decware units. Cool
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Lon
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Posts: 7696
Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #26 - 10/16/12 at 16:12:51
 
That scuffle seems to have petered out a bit ago.
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« Last Edit: 10/16/12 at 16:13:45 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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judy
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Re: SE84C+ vs. Mini-Torii and tube regulation
Reply #27 - 11/01/12 at 09:36:30
 

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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