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Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3 (Read 6216 times)
Ron
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Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
12/24/12 at 11:54:59
 
I am trying to decide between the mini torii, SE84ZS, and the SE34I.3. I am really quite intrigued by the tube regulation/filter on the Mini Torii. That said, it is a pentode design vs triode which has me unsure.

The reason is the note Steve makes on the product history of the SE84ZS, he removed the pentode option because it didn't sound as good and nobody used it.

A secondary question is, is there an sonic benefit of the SE34I.3 over the SE84ZS or SE84CKC? Has anyone listened to all three of these?

Thanks in advance!
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #1 - 12/24/12 at 14:43:29
 
Could you describe the rest of your system so members here could better advise you?
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Ron
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Posts: 87
Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #2 - 12/24/12 at 17:02:47
 
I will initially be powering a pair of B&W 601 S3 speakers. I am planning on building my own speakers using the DFR8 drivers. That said, I will be streaming most of my media through Airplay -> DAC -> Decware Amp.

I also noticed the SE84ZSM which has the voltage regulation using an OA3 tube. If only the SE84ZS had voltage regulation to clean the power my decision would be made. Then I would have enough money to get a ZSTAGE and/or CSP2+.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #3 - 12/24/12 at 18:46:51
 
If the B&W's are 84db rated these amps would not give you a lot of  volume. You will hear the characteristics from the amp though and the sound might surprise you.

However the DFR8 driver is rated at 6.69 ohms (8 ohms nominal), which seems to lend itself better to the SE34I.3, which you will get full power from with an 8 ohm load. This amp has the same kind of insane holographic imaging that the SE84 series has. The high sensitivity of this driver means that you could use one of the 2 watters with good results.

The MINI TORII would do real well also because it likes an 8 ohm impedance load.

I strongly suggest that you speak with  Steve Deckert to see what he recommends.
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Fireblade
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #4 - 12/24/12 at 19:40:01
 
'The MINI TORII would do real well also because it likes an 8 ohm impedance load.'

Mine prefers a 4 ohm speaker impedance.  Maybe different transformers?
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opnly_bafld
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #5 - 12/24/12 at 20:26:18
 
"The reason is the note Steve makes on the product history of the SE84ZS, he removed the pentode option because it didn't sound as good and nobody used it."

To clarify the statement above:

From the Zen Triode history:
"There were 50 or so of these models built and close customer feedback was maintained with almost all 50. We learned that customers preferred the sound of the Triode of Pentode in all but one case. That meant a switch designed to offer two different sounds wasn't being used. It also meant that an amplifier designed to be both pentode or triode was not fully optimized for either."

(Bold added by me for emphasis)

IME properly designed Pentode amps can sound excellent.
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Ron
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #6 - 12/24/12 at 22:45:57
 
Thanks so much for the information!

I just checked the manual for my B&W's, are rated at 89dB.
8 Ohm nominal, 3 Ohm min.

That said, does the OA3 voltage regulation in addition to the tube rectifier provide a huge benefit? Based on what I am reading, it provides a benefit in terms of lowering the noise floor.

That said, it brings me to either the Mini Torii or the SE84ZSM.
I like the form factor of those two over the SE34I.3.

I am not trying to push a lot of volume through my B&W's since I am planning on getting higher efficiency drivers in the near future.

I wish there was an easy way to hear the Pentode and Triode options. Ideally if I could only spend ~$1000 that would make me happy.

The DFR-8 drivers are 8 ohms as well, so planning on 8 ohm loads across the board.
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Ron
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Posts: 87
Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #7 - 12/24/12 at 22:50:09
 
Looks like the Mini Torii or the SE34I.3 are my two choices if I plan on having an 8 ohm load. The SE84ZS is clearly optimized for the lowest impedance possible as you all stated. Am I going to be blown away by the Mini Torii compared to the SE34I.3?

Thanks so much for the help!

-Ron
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busterfree
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #8 - 12/25/12 at 00:25:10
 
The Mini Torii has a smaller footprint, and it is dual mono. It has many tube choices to tailor your sound if you are into that. You cannot go wrong with either. I have both plus the super zen. I enjoy them all.
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« Last Edit: 12/25/12 at 00:25:44 by busterfree »  
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Ron
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Posts: 87
Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #9 - 12/25/12 at 02:06:44
 
I read through the entire Mini Torii page and it seems like the best fit for me. I have a feeling I might be back to listen to a Super Zen as well.

I really wish that Steve made a Super Zen with a OA3 voltage regulator.
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Ron
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #10 - 12/25/12 at 02:23:31
 
I also like that the Mini Torii has enough gain so I do not need to add a ZSTAGE. I am quite excited!
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Ron
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Posts: 87
Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #11 - 12/25/12 at 12:47:47
 
First off, Merry Christmas!

I see that the Mini Torii is not a zero feedback design. Should I be concerned about this when compared to the Super Zen?

Also the Christmas Comes Early mod does not apply here, correct?
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ZYGI
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HR-ONE

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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #12 - 12/25/12 at 15:53:55
 
Ron,

Merry Christmas as well...

How about the SE84ZSM  Mono Blocks also have the voltage regulation

Did you look at the Taboo?

Zygi
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Lon
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #13 - 12/25/12 at 19:21:13
 
Welcome Ron! In your shoes I'd consider the Integrated heavily, I LOVED mine, I would have it still if I didn't need the power of the Torii Mk III.

I think if you have clean power by other means the OA3 regulation circuit is less crucial. And the SET zero negative feedback goodness of the Integrated makes such wonderful sound.
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« Last Edit: 12/25/12 at 19:22:53 by Lon »  

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Ron
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Re: Mini Torii vs SE84ZS vs SE34I.3
Reply #14 - 12/25/12 at 19:50:03
 
Thanks Lon!

I like the ideal of the dual mono blocks of the Mini Torii. If there any benefit over the integrated SET?

You are saying the zero feedback design is far better sonically then having a voltage regulation tube.

It seems as though having the integrated over the Mini Torii could potentially require a pre-amp since it wants/needs 2.5 volt input.

Too many awesome choices, that is the real problem. Smiley
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