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ERR and Mini-Torii a good match? (Read 3925 times)
DougK
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ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
10/29/12 at 13:33:32
 
I'm enjoying my ERR's tremendously, but am looking at a new amp, one with a headphone jack specifically, and was thinking about the Mini-Torii.

The other option is a CSP2+ and the Taboo amp, but I'd prefer the Mini Torii.  Does anyone have any experience running the MT with the ERRs?  Are they a good match?  Does the MT have enough output?  My listening room is 12' x 18' x 9'.  Thanks!
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Lon
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #1 - 10/29/12 at 13:59:43
 
I haven't heard the Mini Torii, but from the fact that I've owned two amps in that power range from Decware and used them in a room just a little smaller than that, I'd say yes, plenty of power for the ERRs unless you want to duplicate the rock arena experience or a symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Of course Steve is your best respondent, but I'd surprised if he disagreed.

Coming from a Torii Mk III to the Mini-Torii would be an interesting experience. Jim (Riviera Ranch) has both amps and I bet his insight would be invaluable. Best of luck! Are you loving your ZP3?  I should have one in a few weeks!
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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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DougK
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #2 - 10/29/12 at 14:22:09
 
Lon,

Unfortunately I sold my ZP3, because I was frustrated I was unable to get rid of the tube hiss that I had.  After I sold it I realized that it probably was due more to the subpar preamp than the ZP3.  

I've since purchased a new phono stage, the Rogue Ares, which I really enjoy, but cost significantly more than the ZP3.  I wish I had kept the ZP3 but found a good alternative, I believe.
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Lon
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #3 - 10/29/12 at 14:26:43
 
Doug, thanks for that.

I have a PS Audio GCPH phono preamp that I am very impressed with. In important ways it rivals my digital playback, which is saying quite a bit in my opinion. I'm eager to see how the ZP3 compares; the PS Audio was a gently used item that cost me less than half the price of the ZP3, and at that price point I think it's a real giant-killer.
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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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DougK
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #4 - 10/29/12 at 14:50:45
 
In my humble opinion, if vinyl rivals digital playback, the vinyl equipment or record is sub-par.  

In my experience, good vinyl playback has no equal.  A good turntable, cartridge, and record cleaning machine will blow away the competition on the digital side.  However, I really enjoy jazz, classical, and bluegrass music, which are probably some of the best music types for vinyl.
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Lon
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #5 - 10/29/12 at 15:01:18
 
Well, I think I have superb digital playback, and I expect the ZP3 to take my vinyl listening to another level. So far my impression from listening to a number of systems is that analog and digital playback is apples and oranges and the best of both have their distinct advantages and I can be happy with either; both in a system is a great great thing!

I have so many recordings on digital that I just can't have on vinyl. But I really do enjoy listening to vinyl, and will continue. Both really excite me!
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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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Rivieraranch
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #6 - 10/30/12 at 03:18:20
 
To have to choose between a MINI TORII and a TABOO/CSP2+ combination is a hard choice. Both of them would like an 8 ohm impedance speaker. I have never used the ERR speakers. I have used these amps with my 4 ohm MG944 speakers.

With a 2 volt source the MINI TORII with 4 watts could reach full tolerable volume with a small turn of the volume pot. Therefore, whatever weight and dynamics that happen to be present when you reach your desired volume are what you are stuck with. I have found this to be satisfying enough when listening to full range speakers.

The TABOO, with its 6 watts pushed by a CSP2+ when it reaches full volume you will experience greater weight and dynamics. The inputs and outputs on the CSP2+ are also infinitely adjustable, which adds to the ability to fine tune the sound.  

The MINI TORII was designed to fit on a desk top and play an iPod or other sickly little 1 volt source to a decent listening volume.  Steve will tell you it has more gain than any other DECWARE amplifier. Interestingly, this little amp has had a warmer reception than perhaps even the Steve man thought. It drives full range speakers well and the bass is very good. You have the advantage of the treble cutoff circuit, if the music feels too hot.

However the TABOO with 6 watts and the power and control of a CSP2+ is a formidable music reproduction tool. The lucid mode is unique. I do not think any other DECWARE amplifier has it. As an aside, I tried the headphone output in the MINI TORII up at DECFEST and liked the headphone output of the TABOO better.
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 03:20:09 by Rivieraranch »  

DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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DougK
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #7 - 10/30/12 at 11:08:08
 
Thanks for your input, much appreciated.  A few questions:

1) My understanding from reading the forums is that the Mini Torii may be a little warmer sounding than the CSP2+/Taboo, which in comparison may sound a bit clinical, or dryer.  Is that a fair assessment? (Note: I haven't heard either of these amps)

2) What impedance speakers were you using?  I have AKG K702, which are 62 ohms, I believe.

3) To really throw a spanner in the works, what about the combination of CSP2+ and SE34I.3?  I realize there is no headphone output on the Rachel, but if the sound is better for speakers I might just consider it.
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« Last Edit: 10/30/12 at 11:09:53 by DougK »  
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Don W
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #8 - 10/31/12 at 14:08:23
 
I can say something about question #1. I have both the Mini-Torii and CSP2+/Taboo. I would not agree that the Taboo is clinical or dry. It might tend to bring out the mids and highs a bit more than the mini-tori but with the right source and tube complement it can be every bit as warm and deliver as big base punch.

For speakers, including the ERRs which I also have, I think the two amps are equal. They just have slightly different voicing. One thing that is kind of nice about the Taboo is that  if you have an especially good source you can run it directly from source to amp, without the pre-amp. By itself, the Taboo is very, very transparent.

As a headphone amp, well, the Taboo has Lucid mode which simply can't be beat. The Mini-Torii is an excellent headphone amp but I'd say I spend 80-90 percent of my headphone listening time on the Taboo with Lucid mode. It just kind of grows on you.

About the ERRs, my feeling is that both amps are sufficient for good sound and volume, but I do think those speakers can deliver more in the base department than either of these amps are able to bring out. I'm thinking specifically of the Torii MKIII which I haven't heard but have heard described as being especially good at bringing out the base in the ERRs. I don't know what you are using currently for your ERRs. If not a Torii MKIII then my guess is that either the Taboo or Mini-Torii would not disappoint.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #9 - 10/31/12 at 14:19:43
 
The 6V6 family of tubes is a lot different from the 6BQ5. The 6V6 is older. It is generally known as a prominent midrange tube. That might be where you are picking up the warmth aspect of the analysis. The MINI has phenomenal stereo separation. In fact that is one of the first comments I made when I got mine. It also has nice black backgrounds due to the tube regulation of the inputs and outputs. Overall it is a very nice presentation.

The 6BQ5 family of tubes are inherently better all around than the 6V6 for balance. The TABOO/CSP2+ combination is NOT dry! Who told you that? If you want dry you could get ZEN MONOBLOCKS, which are can be so highly revealing that they could come off as dry.

The CSP2+ with 6N1P-EV tubes in it and the TABOO with a nice Mullard 12AT7 and good EL84/6BQ5 tubes in it will sound as warm as the MINI TORII. In fact the lucid mode injects a nice fuzzy cross channel thing that makes some recordings nicer to listen to. If you put different tubes into the CSP2+ it might sound a little less warm, but that does not seem to be your goal. Remember the TABOO has more wattage.

I tried these amps with Sennheiser HD580 headphones. I also preferred the TABOO head output to the CSP2+ output, with these high impedance phones at least.

The SE34I.3 (RACHEL) has the gain characteristics of the ZEN SE84C+. Thus it starts to clip when the volume is around 3/4. On the SE34I.3 you begin to notice this in the voltage meters.

I did use a CSP2+ with my RACHEL and the combination was fine. This is "dryer" than the TABOO/CSP2+ and RACHEL does not have LUCID MODE like the TABOO or a TREBLE CUTOFF SWITCH like the MINI. RACHEL gives you 6 volts and when using an 8 OHM impedance speaker you should be fine. I used my MG944's which are 4 OHM; thus I could not tell how RACHEL would work with a higher impedance speaker. I had this for a very short time. I liked it. However, it lacks the versatility of these two other alternatives.





   
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« Last Edit: 10/31/12 at 14:22:12 by Rivieraranch »  

DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Rivieraranch
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #10 - 10/31/12 at 14:24:16
 
Thanks, Don for your post. Ironically, we each reached much the same conclusion, without collusion with one another!

Your post came as I was typing mine.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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DougK
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #11 - 10/31/12 at 14:30:21
 
Thanks to both of you, very helpful information and all within a few minutes Smiley

I actually was driving my ERRs with a Torii MkIII, but sold it because I had an older amp that wasn't selling and actually sounded a bit better than the Torii in my opinion.  Now that amp is causing me problems, so I'm considering getting something from Decware again, but that can also support a headphone output, as I find myself using headphones more often again.

I like good channel separation and imaging, so was thinking the Mini Torii seems better in that aspect, but I don't want a prominent midrange response.  If the TABOO amp is more balanced over frequency range, then I think that's going to be my preference, hands down.
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Don W
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #12 - 11/01/12 at 05:21:50
 
I'm not sure I'd say the mini-torri is more prominent midrange. If anything it would be the base that is more prominent on the tori and the mids to highs on the Taboo, but the differences between the two really seem to be more matters of voicing than limitation. Both amps are quite capable through out the entire spectrum.

I was also going to add, before the Decware web site went down (that wasn't only me I hope) is that with the Taboo/CSP2+ you are getting not one but two headphone amps. One with cross-feed and one without. I'm not positive about it but I am pretty sure that your headphones would be happy with either. You might need to talk to Steve to be sure about that though.

Another thing I wanted to mention about Taboo/CSP2+ warmth. Like Rivierranch said, the CSP2+ with 6N1P-EV is quite warm, which is nice for many of the typical DACs that are available. In my case, though, my DAC is itself quite musical and warm so much so that I found the CSP2+ with stock tubes to be too much of a good thing. I ended up taking the CSP2+ out of the system for quite a while until I happened to talk to will about it and he suggested I try 6DJ8/7DJ8 tubes for a less colored, more transparent CSP2+ and he was right. I have put the CSP2+ back into the system, most of the time any way... Also, for what it's worth, I purchased a pair new Genelex ECC82 (12AU7) to try in the Mini-Torii and Taboo and it is quickly becoming my favorite input tube for both. It is very musical, yet detailed and clear, and packs a nice punch throughout the entire frequency range. I am quite taken with it. Now, the only input tubes I haven't tried that I really want to are NOS Mullards like RR mentioned, either 12AT7 or 12AU7s.

At any rate, good luck with your decision. It is not an easy one to make Smiley
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #13 - 11/01/12 at 11:59:30
 
"I'm not sure I'd say the mini-torri is more prominent midrange."

Sorry, Don, I was writing about the 6V6 tube, not the MINI TORII. The MINI does a great job with the venerable 6V6 tube (and several other alternatives not pertinent in this thread).  
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Don W
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Re: ERR and Mini-Torii a good match?
Reply #14 - 11/01/12 at 14:23:20
 
RR, I thought as much. I just wanted to clear any confusion. Hey, you mention using 12AT7 Mullard in Taboo. I'm just wondering if you are using the AT7 instead of the AU7 specifically because you are looking for more gain or is it about sonic differences or did you just not try an AU7? I plan to try a Mullard, I'm specifically looking at the CV4003 (a 12AU7 variant) they have at Upscale Audio right now. I tried both AU7 and AT7 variants of the Genelex Gold Lion and find the AU7 more satisfying all around. But I don't feel any need for more gain, either. When I do occasionally run the Taboo without the CSP2+ I like to use a tube with more gain. The one I tend to gravitate to for that is a TT 803S. It's an AX7 variant, the variant with the most gain, but this particular implementation is quieter than others I have tried.
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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