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SE34I.33 and bass (Read 1699 times)
RJR
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SE34I.33 and bass
03/09/13 at 18:24:53
 
I wanted to post again and hopefully get some feedback, especially from the SE34I owners.  But all are welcome to give opinions and suggestions.

I have had my Zu Omen Def for a few months and Decware SE34I.33 for almost a couple of months and it may have 30 or so hours.  I originally wrote about the lack of bass.  Someone introduced me to a very knowledgeable audiophile who only uses tube amps.  I do not doubt his knowledge and experience, but he didn't understand the interest with Decware.  Oh well.  He felt that the amp lacked power with only 6wpc and I need more.  Not necessarily for louder music, but better and more dynamic bass.  He suggested Mystere, Chinese amps from Shuguang and Psvane and Triode Labs 15wpc int amp and some others.  Again, I do not doubt his knowledge but I just can't sell this amp and hope another amp will produce more bass with more power and hopefully last.  I couldn't imagine trying to repair an amp from overseas here in the states.  

I believe that the bass and amp are beginning to bloom with more playing time.  I also found that it sounded better after about 20 minutes of playing time not just after the 30 second warm up.  My question has to do with Tubes.  Do you believe that any particular tubes would or could enhance the sound of this amp?  Better or just different ones than the stock ones?  Here are some he suggested; EL34 Golden Gate GP Cryo, Valvo ECC88 / 6DJ8 / 6922 and Preferred Series 274B / 5U4G (The Tube Store).

Thanks
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Lon
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #1 - 03/09/13 at 18:33:56
 
Interesting. Do you really only have 30 hours on the amp? Or is it 300 hours?

I found it DID take quite some time for my Integrated (previous version) to bloom and for the most bass output to appear. Perhaps a few months of constant use. I'd steer clear of the Preerred 274B myself as the Valve Art version doesn't yield much bass for me (others vary). I find RCA 5U4G rectifiers to really be the best in the Integrated I had. And JJ 6CA7 tubes are powerful and can put out the bass, I'd recommend those, especially the cryo'd version available from www.cryoset.com

Where do you have the speakers in the room?  Closer to room boundaries can increase bass output.
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will
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #2 - 03/09/13 at 19:05:58
 
I agree that 30 hours is not much for burnin. But it should be beginning to "bloom", especially in the midrange. Are you able to leave the amp playing music while yo are away? If so, I would get a copy of the Esoteric breakin CD and play it continuously while away. Barring that, use CDs you have with a lot of transients and dynamic variation, and use a variety of CDs each time you leave it running. The JJCA7 alone takes well over 100 hours to start really revealing its character, and longer for full burnin. Burnin is a real deal with this very transparent amps.

Particularly with capacitors and power tubes, the bass is typically the last part to pull together. Does this amp have the Jupiter beeswax caps? They take getting warm to function fully...the wax softening for optimal function. This is also an SE amp, and the guy you consulted with is likely referring to push-pull amps which can often present stronger bass, but sacrificing that amazingly open and transparent Mid-range of good SEs. One question becomes, is it the lack of bass, or perhaps a sense of over-clarity in the mids, or both.

It would be good to have the reference of what tubes you are using. Also, talking about bass, adding warmth or darkness in the mid bass can help with the effect/feeling of bass...if your tube set (in concert with your cabling, source, room, etc) is making your amp feel "lean" this should be addressed in this tube consideration too.
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« Last Edit: 03/09/13 at 19:07:24 by will »  

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busterfree
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #3 - 03/09/13 at 21:28:32
 
If you are only 30 hours in, I think you need to play it for at least another 70-100 hours before making any big changes. If you change tubes now, you will just wait more as the new tubes settle in.

Describe your room for us...speaker placement? power filters or straight into the wall? source components?
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marky
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #4 - 03/09/13 at 21:52:34
 
With 98db speakers I think you should be achieving the bass Decware amps produce. I run a pair of SE341.1`s through 89db`s and the bass is profuse in the good way. A tube failure (EL34) led me to use one amp for a couple of weeks and the difference was big. I had to run the amp, by way of csp2+ nearly flat out to get good volume and bass was nowhere near what it was. So I didn`t fancy that much and waited for a replacement tube. So much for 89db`s. With 2 amps I`m just over half way up on the dials and could back off. So I`m thinking 98db`s should be that much more efficient to reproduce the same.
Tubes - I fitted it/them out with Tesla cross swords EL34`s (1 failure)
           b/boy 6dj8`s
           Philips 5r4gy dimple getter
I managed to break a Phillips and now have Brimar 5r4gy`s mil spec dble `o` getters in place which are more hefty even with only a few hours on them.

All tubes were bought `on spec` apart from the Phillips which were reccomended here and are very good indeed. I`ll get another.

Another thing to consider is signal in. Can you control it. Is it strong enough. The difference between my cartridge and other sources is quite noticable. Running cd`s or tape I would have to back the preamp off 3 or 4 notches. So you see why I think you should have adequate volumes with bass.
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opnlybafld
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #5 - 03/09/13 at 22:07:58
 
Room and system posted on another thread:

RJR wrote on 02/25/13 at 01:24:51:
My family room is 13.5 x 22 but the seating arrangement is 13.5 x 16.  The system is on the short side of the room. The speakers are about 8' apart and about a foot or so off of the wall and the center stage is about 9' to 10'. I am somewhat limited in placement and setup. All of my music (rock and roll) is FLAC and fed wirelessly to Squeezebox 3, then into a Channel Island DAC and then the SE34I.  

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opnlybafld
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #6 - 03/09/13 at 22:31:49
 
Have you tried any other amps with your speakers?
If so, did they produce what you would consider a normal amount of bass?
If not, is it possible to borrow an amp to try?

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RJR
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #7 - 03/10/13 at 13:41:28
 
Thanks for your suggestions.

Lon-No it is not 300 hours but but probably more.  You are right.  But the listening has not been serious enough.

Will-Your comment "perhaps a sense of over-clarity in the mids."  I think that that sums it up. I am now getting more bass and the sound is changing.

I did try my Onkyo AVR amp but I did not like the sound.  I do want to tube roll but I am going to wait a bit.  I do appreciate all of your suggestions on the tubes to use.

I realize there may be other options out there, yet I am very satisfied with my investment in Decware and ZU.  I just need to just listen and enjoy.  My father is going to give me his Jazz collection of LP's and I am going to invest in a modestly priced turntable, probably the Rega RP1 Performance Pack.  It is time to listen to some jazz on a turntable.  This is what I grew up with.  No I am not ancient.

Thanks again!!!
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Lon
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #8 - 03/10/13 at 13:45:04
 
Congrats on the jazz collection and the upcoming turntable. In my opinion and experience, Rega is a good choice for jazz listening.
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will
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #9 - 03/10/13 at 18:37:14
 
RJR,

Let me get straight here. Are you over three hundred hours on your amp? If so you are well enough into burnin for everything to have come into its sound. The amp will season, but burnin sound development is not an issue after that much time.

In this case, looking at room, speaker placement, cables, tubes is real. If you do not like the balance as it is at 300, it is unlikely you will like it 400 unless you just get used to it...which may be a real thing or not depending how "off" the bass is, since SE sound has its own magic. But you should be able to get pretty good bass from that amp with those speakers.

Even though my speakers are half radial drivers, I find that very minor speaker movement can make a notable difference. So even if the space is tight, moving even 1/8 inch on the toe is audible here...you may be able to find better positions with movement in inches rather than feet. Play around. I do not use the standard toe either. My choices are also limited and I had to put the speakers close together on my long wall (maybe 4.5' between them) and in this room and position, they sound best toed very slightly OUT from straight on. The tried and true rules can be very good for many settings, but they are not always the best depending on conditions.

I have tried several speaker cables, and some are very bright and edgy with poor bass, and some very warm with soft but deep bass, and some sound just right. Another consideration.

But if you want to play around with tubes and speaker placement, for me to help you get to your goal, I would have to know what tubes you are using now. If the Rectifier is the Ruby, it might be a good place to start. The Rubys are very open (perhaps stark) in the mids and can come off as too bright depending on conditions.
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« Last Edit: 03/10/13 at 18:40:07 by will »  

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opnlybafld
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #10 - 03/10/13 at 19:03:04
 
RJR,

This is a good plan:  "I just need to just listen and enjoy."

It sounds like you plan on keeping the amp and speakers for now, so just listen to the music for a while longer and see were you are.

I can speak from experience that if there is a mismatch between speakers and an amp no amount of rolling or tweaking will fix it.
Not saying that is the case here, I'm just saying.



Will,

FWIW My understanding of his answer to Lon is that he probably has more than 30 hours.
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« Last Edit: 03/10/13 at 19:03:44 by opnlybafld »  
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will
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #11 - 03/10/13 at 21:10:54
 
openlybafld,

Quote:
I can speak from experience that if there is a mismatch between speakers and an amp no amount of rolling or tweaking will fix it.


I gather you are referring to an absolute mismatch....and this statement makes sense in the case with an absolute mismatch, but I can also say that from my perspective and with all the systems, components, rooms, speakers I have used, I would not call anything I have had a great match for my tastes before tweaking. And if I had not had the confidence to tweak and enjoy the playing, I would not be enjoying music anywhere near the level I do now.  

Even with my current system/room, heavily explored with cable/component matching toward total system synergy, lots of tube exploration, progressive room treatment, progressive cable exploration, caps, and so on.......a little thing like a way wrong rectifier, or the wrong speaker cables for amp/speaker synergy, or speaker caps and/or resistors that are too hot for my tastes within this system/room, or the speakers being a few inches out of the optimal locations making the bass flabby.....with this very revealing gear, for me, relatively little things could easily diminish the enjoyment level to a point where one could consider it a possible mismatch...Seems to me it is a matter of degrees and this can be quite relative, but also, I have found that the above sorts of things can actually make a pretty big difference in the system signature.

Not to say one has to go to the lengths I have to enjoy the music... I am just thinking that possibly, depending on the degree of a problem, something that might be pretty easy to remedy could potentially be interpreted as a speaker/amp mismatch.

As I think back, I might not even like my current system had I kept everything stock and without any room treatment.
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« Last Edit: 03/10/13 at 21:14:15 by will »  

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opnlybafld
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #12 - 03/10/13 at 21:14:29
 
Whatever, sometimes I really hate the internet.
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Frimpy
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #13 - 06/24/13 at 14:00:26
 
Have had my Se34i.5 ( Decware DNA speakers) for 7 months now and have been reading these forums with great delight. Had beautiful music running stock JJ EL34's and stock 6n1p. Tried other tubes 6n2p, 7dj8, Genalex KT77's but found Steve's original JJ's and 6n1p's to be my favorites. Recently rearranged  family room furniture where my stereo is located (do not have a dedicated audio room ) after  setting up equipment in a different room setting I was unhappy with the bass response my DNA's were delivering. Everything else was excellent  as before I decided to rearrange the family room. Replaced the JJ EL34's with the Genalex Gold Lion Kt77's and there's my bass back. replaced the   6n1p's with a pair of  Telsa 7dj8's gave me a little more symbol clarity.  
The reading of the the Decware forums has helped me to understand more and try different options for system synergy and placement. Just my 02.
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will
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #14 - 06/24/13 at 16:05:30
 
Frimpy,

That is great you had the tools to explore and find the solutions for your adjusted system/room and the sound issues this presented! When we get close to realism with the music, how exciting is that?

Will
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ncblue
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Re: SE34I.33 and bass
Reply #15 - 06/24/13 at 20:23:22
 
I have the same amp and speakers and get great bass out of them. Definitely fast and agile with great tone, not big and boomy in any way. Have you checked to make sure they are wired in phase? Just a thought.
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