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CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3 (Read 1533 times)
beowulf
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CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
01/28/13 at 05:00:46
 
Hi all, I was wondering which would you choose:

1. CSP2+ and SE341.3 (with the SE341.3 setup as an amp only)

or

2. SE341.3 Integrated (with the SE341.3 integrated options),

Why you choose one combo over the other?

I noticed that there is a $ difference in price between the combos (although not that much depending upon setup), but are there any sonic benefits or disadvantages (besides price) that would sway you from one setup to the other?

Thanks!
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roncagg
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #1 - 01/28/13 at 23:19:55
 
This is not an answer to your question (sorry!) but it is an interesting one to ponder - the specs state that this amp likes 2.5v for its input to get the most out of it, so that would suggest a standard 2v source needs some boost - thus some form of active preamp. OR, is it true that substituting the 6n2p for the 6n1p will add enough so that the preamp is not necessary? I'm new to tubes but I recall reading that you get more gain from that tube than the default.

Ron
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Rivieraranch
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #2 - 01/28/13 at 23:34:07
 
Get the CSP2+ with the integrated that has a volume switch. That way you can control the dynamics using both devices.
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SMB1968
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #3 - 03/20/13 at 20:11:23
 
Riv,
 It sounds like you have tried this before.  I have a Rachel on order & have also toyed with the idea of adding the pre-amp to it, but doesn't going through two pre-s affect the sound quality?  On a related note, I've also toyed with the idea of adding a second Rachel down the road and running them mono, any experience with that?  And did it mess with your sound? Thanks
Scott
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Lon
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #4 - 03/20/13 at 20:40:26
 
Scott, adding say the CSP2+ does influence the sound. . . gives it weight and body. Smiley
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SMB1968
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #5 - 03/20/13 at 22:17:47
 
Lon,
  Thanks for the reply. So you don't think you lose any of the single-ended midrange "magic" w/ the pre?  What about imaging and soundstage (which are what I really focus on -- hence picking up the Decware:)
Thanks
Scott
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Lon
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #6 - 03/20/13 at 22:25:41
 
If you lose anything at all it's possibly a bit of "speed" and a bit of high end sparkle. I very much liked my CSP2 with the Integrated I have and the Monoblocks I had from Decware before I bought the Torii(s). Now with the Torii Mk III I love the CSP2+ in front of it. Just relax into the music a bit more.
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SMB1968
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #7 - 03/21/13 at 02:35:28
 
Thanks Lon.  That's good to know. I just wish they made a CSP w/ a phono stage -- it would be a no-brainer for me at that point.
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Lon
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #8 - 03/21/13 at 04:16:10
 
I hear you, that would be a great product. I have both. . . and love them!
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beowulf
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #9 - 03/21/13 at 07:45:16
 
Quote:
SMB1968
I just wish they made a CSP w/ a phono stage -- it would be a no-brainer for me at that point.


I agree, even if it was just an entry level phono stage it would be a very cost effective way for people who are into vinyl to play their records until they could upgrade to the ZP3 later on down the road.  In all honesty, I would give up the headphone portion of the CSP for an entry level phono stage.

I think a re-designed Preamp all around would be cool with:

1. Proper dials on the front (rather than on the top) that have Input and Volume silkscreening/markings or laser etched into the wood bases.

2. 1 Phono Stage AND at least 3 Line Level Inputs.

Just make the darn thing big enough to make a proper Preamp (I'm not talking about sound quality of course as I have no doubt to its merits in that department).
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« Last Edit: 03/21/13 at 08:08:59 by beowulf »  
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Palomino
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #10 - 03/21/13 at 19:53:04
 
+1 on the CSP w/phono stage. Even if it was basic.
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marky
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #11 - 03/21/13 at 23:14:58
 
That would be a big ask from Steve. Given that his amps are regarded as reference grade or v/g audiofile at least, would he offer a unit with less spec than the ZP3 ? Somehow I dont think it`s on his radar.
The extra cost of a CSP2++  might take it out of a niche price and not be cost effective. Unless of course he offered a totally new pre + phono alongside the CSP2.  Now a Decware TT .....  :)

Would the CSP2+ degrade the signal path of the SE341.3 ? As you would be changing from integrated to a power amp config you could bypass the volume control on the SE. Could be easy,... or more technical...or make no difference.

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« Last Edit: 03/21/13 at 23:19:04 by marky »  
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beowulf
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #12 - 03/22/13 at 05:58:58
 
Quote:
The extra cost of a CSP2++  might take it out of a niche price and not be cost effective. Unless of course he offered a totally new pre + phono alongside the CSP2.  Now a Decware TT .....  :)


I know what you mean as everything Decware puts out is often stellar, but I think if the person knows that it's just a simple stage to get you going it would be a pretty cool option.

If the headphone jack is removed and replaced by a phono stage I think it could be done if the chasis was isolated nicely.  I think it would be a good seller for the company.  I'm not saying that it would be as stellar as the ZP3, but it would allow poor folks like me another option because buying all the single components gets expensive.

As an example, Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum has a decent phono stage (it's not going to win any awards, but it's decent).  It runs about $2300 which is not bad because it includes everything you need to get started listening to vinyl (sans the TT, Speakers and Cables of course).  They also sell some upper range phono stages, but those can be added on later at least the Cronus Integrated gets you to blow the dust of your records.  Another one is Prima Luna, you can add an MM stage to most of their products for $199.

One of the things that makes me hesitate about buying the CSP2+ is that is doesn't have enough inputs ... I'm not sure if this is because they are trying to keep it small or Steve had other design concerns ... But I could see another Preamp in their lineup doing good if it had a few more options.

p.s. a Decware TT?  How cool would that be!
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« Last Edit: 03/22/13 at 06:02:37 by beowulf »  
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maddog07
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Re: CSP2+ and SE34I.3 vs Integrated SE34I.3
Reply #13 - 03/22/13 at 23:15:32
 
I have owned the SE34i (current version) and now have the Torii Mk.3.  My experience on this subject is; "it depends".  I have tried both with 5-6 different pairs of speakers - some of them even drastically different "types" of speakers.  The differences were not subtle.  On a pair of speakers, known to be easy to drive, nearly pure resistive, flat, 7 ohm impedance with about a 91db sensitivity, SE34 on its own just died.. flat, dull, lifeless.  Preamp in front of it to add some voltage made it sound like a completely different amp.  It simply needed more "push" here. 
Now... strap the SE34 to a speaker with a lower, tougher impedance and much to my surprise, it drove them quite well - and I'm talking about a Martin Logan electrostat here that the SE34 drove quite nicely - stunningly so.  
My experience with the Torii so far, is that it is much more tolerant on its own of different speakers without a preamp in front of it.  However, in my particular situation, I also must say that I have found the Torii to really come "on song" better with a preamp in front of it as well.  At least in all the configurations I've tried it in so far.
Steve can explain to you in great detail, as he did to me, why this is so.  If nothing else, having a preamp like the CSP2+ in the chain will allow you to really dial in the sound to your liking.
I don't have a CSP2+ yet, but I'm going to get one.  I have been using a very respectable solid state pre in front of my Torii when I used a preamp with it - Wyred4Sound.  But the CSP2+ will allow more "tweakability"!!!  ;D
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