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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 166500 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #250 - 11/06/13 at 18:03:57
 
Quote:
Have to say though I've gotten messages and feedback from people who have looked into Decware because of my use and talk of it who are turned off by the web pages and the way Steve presents his products. They buy Marantz or Jolida or Manley instead. Wasting their money in my opinion, but presentation and first impressions are important.


Now that you point it out, I see your point. Steve is Steve. But notice he doesn't advertise or go to many shows, and very rarely sends anything out for reviews. So it's not like opening up a Magazine and seeing him say "go bury your Power Plants, they are worthless now" LOL

Quote:
And we are looking for different types of sound reproduction and it appears to me that the Mystery Amp is more the detailed sound type that isn't as helpful to the recordings that I listen to as the more flexible Torii Mk III. I don't like a very detailed, forward sound, I have the kind of sound I like. And I don't need the power and if I ever am able to afford a space where I would need it, I'll have enough money then to buy the Mystery Amp Mk XXV. Smiley


You know I'm just yanking your chain when I say your wrong, right? I just love when your posts sound so huffy.  ;D  Truth is I"m rather jealous of your two setups!
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 18:32:29 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #251 - 11/06/13 at 18:22:04
 
I think that Steve's personal excitement with what he does, feels, and hears as he develops an amp, is what makes him the great designer that he is. It is the excitement of exploration leading to discovery...leading to new exploration and then further discovery. In an ongoing cycle, this creative process leads us to places we could not have gotten to otherwise. And when it works, it is really exciting...not like Steve created the amp, but like the amp was created in this process that was driven by his personal need for beauty.

Without a personal quest for beauty, and creative exploration, his amps would likely be notably less captivating...

I think exceptional stuff is pretty much always a result of natural creative process. We start at a place of knowledge and perception and create a conceptual image of where we are trying to go (in this case, the amp). Then we start trying to bring it to reality.

As indicated in this thread, the developing amp itself, and how Steve perceived it, became his inspiration and teachers. At each new step along the way, new starting places stimulated new explorations. Maybe the desired quality at the time led to different resistors, or caps, or wires, or whatever...

Then, with diligence and determination, questing all along for indescribable listening qualities....there is this new thing that is different and better than ever imagined. It could not be accurately imagined until all the little experiments, one step leading to another, finally ends with satisfaction. It is done, and in this case, an inspiring thing to the creator.

I think this is natural creativity in action. It makes the process more important than the maker, and can lead to unexpected places that are greater than the sum of the parts.

My guess is that this amp could only have come from this sort of personally exciting process, and this is most of what we are hearing in Steve's descriptions during his own discovery of the Mystery Amp.
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 18:30:19 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #252 - 11/06/13 at 18:26:20
 
I don't necessarily agree with all this, I agree about the creativity and the results but I think the language doesn't have to be the way that it is, I find it off-putting and I'm not alone. Many have told me it seems unprofessional, which is not really true in my opinion, but how it comes off to some potential customers. The excitement is great but it can be expressed without seeming like hype.

I love his work and his character and nature but it's not fun reading for me. Glad I am in the minority.

LR, yes I knew.

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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 18:26:56 by Lon »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #253 - 11/06/13 at 18:38:09
 
Will, well said!

I think one thing that makes Steve and Zygi's stuff so good, is the "What If I....". I mean, look at the Mystery amp..."What if I took these big 1 liter sized 2000mfd caps, and build the amp around that...and add in my new love for KT66 and...woah! Look at this cool stuff that happened!"

Unprofessional? I think it's exactly the right amount of professional that it needs to be.   Wink



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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 18:39:48 by Lonely Raven »  
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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #254 - 11/06/13 at 18:39:20
 
Lon,

Yes, I hear the nay-sayers...and a lot of them have that macho "audiophile" disease that allows them to go on and on about this "snake oil" or that "hype" without ever having heard whatever it is.

I like Steve's excitement about what he does, and I like us Decware lovers excitement about what he does...So to me, if this sounds clannish or bullshit to some of those looking in on this forum, or on Steve's write-ups, I say so be it. They are the ones missing out by not giving the stuff a listen...May not be exactly to taste, but we all know it can be very, very, very good...a lot like Steve describes it actually.

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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 18:41:17 by will »  

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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #255 - 11/06/13 at 18:44:50
 
Okay, whatever, I know my opinion is not popular. I'm certainly not  changing mine due to your posts, you're not changing yours. I'm dropping it, and going to listen to music instead.
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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #256 - 11/06/13 at 18:48:06
 
Thanks LR. Yes, I think these guys are really good at what they do, and their personal need for excellence stimulates creative process. This results in something special, and if all "professional" folks were basically good people, allowed to creatively explore for improved whatever, this world would be a very different place indeed.

If only...... Wink

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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #257 - 11/06/13 at 18:53:07
 
Oh Lon. I don't mean to discount your opinions. They are always welcome to me. You make real points...I just like the other side of it in this case.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #258 - 11/06/13 at 19:02:53
 
I'm dropping it. I don't agree with your assessment, nor you with mine. It's fine, the respect is mutual.

I have very limited time to myself right now, dealing with a lot of stress things and I'm going to just chill. Bye for now.
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Syd
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #259 - 11/06/13 at 19:20:05
 
Thats well said Will. We sit and wait while, to me, somebody thousands of miles away does wonders with what he has between his ears, and then presents it to you at a non rip-off price and lifetime guarantee. Not off the peg but tailor made...or so it appears...such is the quality. This thread, as you describe, gave everyone an insight as to the time it takes. I did at one time think `no, he`s going over the top here, he`s just saying that`
Thats bad on me, because I too am a sceptical animal, especially in this day and age of pushy ads, or as you say `snake oil`.
The problem is, if you read any of his descriptions for the products he`ll always throw in a claim that arouses, confronts the sceptisism.
Well, I`m sure we`re all glad we believed it, or at least thought of them like the claims of a boxers title claim. They`re bold and don`t back down.
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 20:42:04 by Syd »  

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will
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #260 - 11/07/13 at 02:16:22
 
Hey Marky. I hear you. This is really interesting to me. A big part of it seems to come down to reality and our ability to feel it. There is a lot of BS out there, but when we question the truth because of fear of BS, that can get highly non-productive. I guess we just have to discern for ourselves and hope we get it right.

And all the folks who read this forum and Steve's descriptions, and determine we must be cultish or delusional because it is mostly complimentary...that  is pretty weird if you think about it. In this mode, the assumption is that no one in this world is capable of integrity and relative impeccability. I say, why not...this is a part of this whacked out world I am glad to find!

So I can understand Steve's excitement about ending up with an amp that got somewhere that moves him. And as we all know, with this stuff, the criteria for success are very high. For me, in my room, it is a amazing sense of players and instruments in this room. That takes gear and room synergy that can express with amazing finesse and with many indescribable qualities. Art really.

I am really glad Steve loves his stuff so fully. I do too! And for me, this zig, or that zag, that seems a little off to me from my experience, I don't really care...I get a lot from how Steve describes the gear. It gives me a nice palpable sense of what I can expect if my other gear and room are up to it.
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Palomino
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #261 - 11/07/13 at 04:34:48
 
Maybe this has no relevance, but I attended a conference today where the central theme is innovation.  One of the primary speakers talked about the number of hours it takes for many of today's (and historically) well respected innovators to achieve true works of art.  It's a minimum of 10,000 hours or roughly 10 years.  Its documented across multiple fields.  Much of the innovation we see today is the result of years of experimentation rather than a point in time ah-ha moment of innovation.

I don't know when Steve released his first pushpull but I this we are seeing some of the best work on the tube amp or simply stereo amplification today with the latest Decware amps.  He's put in the time.
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SteveC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #262 - 11/07/13 at 04:44:53
 
I was new to tubes not very long ago and wondering about tube amps and these 'set' amps in particular. found the zkit. found decware. found the articles, etc.  They all raved that a 2watt high efficiency system was the cats meow.  a measly 2watts.  Well, those guys were a bunch of crack smoking over exaggerators if I had every seen one.  2 watts can't possibly do what they claim.   bullshit.  (Then I tried one and was floored, and converted, mostly.).

I took the bait on the Torii3.  While I was in the waiting line, I was worried about buyers remorse.  I mean going from hundreds to thousands was a big $ jump.  Would this be the last amp I'd ever want?  Would it really sound as good as the simple zen even though is was a push pull?  I mean he writes outrageous things like it keeps the even order harmonics, so it sounds like a set even though it isn't. What flavor of bull crap was that?  Again, skeptic alarm was going off.  But I was adventurou$.  (then the tori arrived and it was everything I... we all love about ours.  and it behaved quite like how Steve described.  over and over I'd find my own discovery and descriptions to be similar to what he wrote.  I'd realize "ahh, that's what he really means when he says that".)

About power generation and the iron in the ground joke...  I have been and am still curious about where this fits in my "hierarchy of sonic importance".  where does it go... near the amp/speakers/source? or with the wires.  I realize from the posts pointed out earlier, that the mystery amp has basically the same power demands as the tori, but that it has a 9000 horse power engine dropped in for fun.  having gobs of high current available is like having unlimited torque.  When the throttle moves, so do the wheels (yeah, imagine bullet proof axles, shafts, gears, etc).  no lag, clinically accurate throttle response.  That's what seems to be novel in this amp.  From a clean power perspective, think of it as nearly a battery powered amp.  I mean, having those Olympic swimming pool sized reservoirs... well, they're practically batteries.  Any noise/ripple on the hose filling the swimming pools is lost in the reservoir.  or think of another analogy.  imagine your air compressor with a storage tank the size of a building.  once at pressure, no amount of noise from the pump is going to affect pressure at the tool.  And no tool, regardless of how much air it wastes (within reason) is going to put a dent in your pressure/supply.  

Anyway, here's my normal disclaimer about how I don't know what I'm really talking about and just guessing based on what I know.

But twice, the skeptic in me has been proven wrong by a real quality amp.  And it took me a while to understand how the MA differed from the Torii.  Now I understand better I think (about the power supply and what it means to have those huge ass caps)  and I heard it at the fest.  Ohh well, I'll know better after my MA arrives.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #263 - 11/07/13 at 05:25:43
 
Quote:
SteveC said,
I mean he writes outrageous things like it keeps the even order harmonics, so it sounds like a set even though it isn't.


This brings up a good point and I don't know if it has been said and/or addressed, but do any of you guys know if the Mystery Amp performs like a Torii III (or IV for that matter) in the even order harmonic side of things?

Also after reading what Steve D said about burrying the regenerators ~ it seems to me (IMO) that this particular amp would benefit more with passive filtering (à la Shunyata) rather than regenerator type tech (à la PS Audio). (Just thinking about that out loud as I have no idea what I'm talking about Grin and they are both out of my price range at this time anyways.)  But if I were to choose one type of tech over the other (without a/b listening) I would probably go with the passive style filtering at first.
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« Last Edit: 11/07/13 at 05:28:02 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #264 - 11/07/13 at 05:27:27
 

SteveC, one thing I said that got the smile and the Ah Ha! look from Steve D is when I mentioned more harmonics on the Mystery amp.

Honestly, I have no idea how to put it into words, so I'll just say it like I said it to Steve "I don't know what it is...it's not *more* detail, but there is *more* to the detail that's there...it's harmonics!"

I've not seen anyone who's heard the amp mention that...I think honestly the only reason I even recognized what I was hearing is because I play guitar on vintage and boutique tube amps...and the one thing that really floats my boat is when those rippling harmonics bring the sound to life. A little 8 watt guitar amp filling a room and single notes sounding as full as chords.

Real instruments have those harmonics...it's usually what separates an instrument from a "fine instrument" (or as I say "that's a damn fine instrument").

I don't know, maybe it's old hack for you Torii folks, I've been away from the flock for 12+ years...maybe I'm only now discovering what you all have been enjoying all this time!  :P
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #265 - 11/07/13 at 06:28:51
 
Since my reply #235....what a great openness/discussion.

SteveC, same thing here, what can 2 watts per channel do. Boy, can it do.  I'd find my own discovery and descriptions to be similar to what (he) Steve wrote too. ...not hyperbole IMHO, when the sum of the painful details and hours Steve puts in on development, to come to the Sonic Art he is looking for. I heard it in my SE84CS, CKC & MkIII. I look forward to it in my MA.

I have found nothing, and I mean nothing, that gets me as close to the Music as a Decware Amplifier.

I like what you described LR about the MA... . "I don't know what it is...it's not *more* detail, but there is *more* to the detail that's there...it's harmonics!"
I feel this is what has captivated me about the SE84CS....so, if their is more of a sonic harmonics representation to be had with the Mystery Amp...I can't wait. Inflection, Tone........decay and with clarity...when I had my first experience with the SE84CS in May of 2001 in my Listening Room with my Gear....it is still just as great today.

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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #266 - 11/07/13 at 06:48:02
 
I have heard, face to face, Steve speak highly of some "regenerators" - but not all of them.  I believe he is much more skeptical of the multitudes of passive snake-oil, fairy dust and voodoo science "conditioners" that are so prolific in the market.
The good regenerators are expensive, so you get to a place where you should consider if the $$ would be better spent elsewhere in your system.
That said, I have been using PS power plants for a little over 5 years now.  First a Premier and now a P5.  And I have yet to hear any component that did Not sound better when plugged into them - including my Torii III.

I describe the various Decware amps as "different" none necessarily better than the other.  I have now heard them all at the same time, one right after the other at the fest the last two years.  Paired with the right speaks and taking individual preferences and room acoustic into account, pick your favorite sonic flavor of tubes and they will all make the most beautiful music in your room that you have ever experienced.
I for one do not see me ever giving up my Torii III.  But I may pick up a MA later in 2014, after the dust settles - it's never a good idea to be "on point" if you get my meaning.....
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« Last Edit: 11/07/13 at 16:41:28 by maddog07 »  

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SteveC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #267 - 11/07/13 at 06:56:22
 
LR, I don't have the vocab to describe what I heard also.  I know it was different, and I didn't appreciate it at first as I mentioned before about high res stuff.

It will require more comparisons with my stock torii3 and the MA when it's home.

Disclaimer again: I might be full of it, but I have a working theory.

My impressions of the amp where "ggggrrip" "power" "control" "accuracy". (I think due to the power supply).  That amp has extremely fine control over the signal with loads of power.  To me, this accuracy would lend itself to better rendering of harmonics/overtones/timbre... and that means a violin sounds more 'real'.. clear.. crisp.. (anal? clinical?).   I think the power gives the detail that extra sharpness.  it's not speed like the Zen, it's sharpness.  sigh.  I don't like this vocabulary problem.

I also called it a level of realism... (maybe that's the same as harmonics.. more real 'voice' of instruments. though we were primarily using daft punk at that point. no 'fine' analog instruments there. Smiley  )

anyway... I don't know.  I do know this though:  I look forward to more torii3 vs MA comparisons.  this amp won't replace my stock torii3.  They're different enough.  I know I was going to regret not grabbing the MA when the window of opportunity was open to me for the price.  and I know (trust, believe, know) this amp is going to be as good as every other piece of Decware I have.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #268 - 11/07/13 at 13:09:42
 
I'm really looking forward to your MK III vs Mystery Amp thoughts!

We'll all have plenty of time to develop the vocabulary while having those out-of-body experiences in front of the MA! There are still things I heard that I've not figured out how to describe yet that could be related to harmonics, or the immediate and abundant power you mentioned.

Speaking of which, I went in blind with the MA - I was there (at Decfest) to sell myself on the MK IV, hang out with Steve and meet new people - and I don't think I really read more than a paragraph about the MA as I considered it out of my range and unnecessary (to me) like the Torii Monos. So I didn't have any pre-conceived notions or Steve's words rattling around in my head while I listened.

I'll tell you one thing, the Mystery Amp was the closest to that one-off OTL amp with the MIG 29 tubes I've heard so far.
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« Last Edit: 11/07/13 at 13:10:38 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #269 - 11/07/13 at 16:48:25
 
Yes Steve's OTL! I wish I could have gone to this years fest. You suck LR.....you got to hear the OTL.

Really? The OTL was one off the MA... .  Very nice/thanks for the input = more excited to get the Mystery Amp.

Timeline:
Anyway, after much contemplation, I am getting a pair of Acoustic Zen Adagio Speakers. I should have them broke in by the end of December with well over 200 hours on them.

Mystery Amp by mid December or for Christmas? It would be great to launch it on its 200 hour break in Journey/over the Holidays.
I do realize I might not receive it until January however.

August, I will order the Torii MkIV....and have it by this week next year for its break in Journey.

Party on Wayne...party on Garth.    -Stone
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #270 - 11/07/13 at 17:13:56
 
Just to clarify, I mean the OTL amp is one of a kind (one-off).

The OTL I really feel is a few levels above the Mystery amp, but the Mystery Amp has some of that musical *flow* that the OTL has (one of the things I don't have the vocabulary to describe yet), and is the closest sound I've heard to the OTL. But still, not up to that level.

Also, I didn't hear the OTL at the fest, I got to hear it at a one-on-one with Steve when I went to pick up my modded SE84-A and some speakers. But since Steve likes to play R&D with people; so when the OTL amp was on, he threw a barrage of low/medium and I think some High rez files at me that almost made my head explode with the confusing information my ears were picking up. Between the amazing abilities of the OTL, and the low rez files that to me make things sound *itchy*...well, I was mostly at a loss for words and maybe more than a little distressed. Meanwhile, Steve is grinning and watching my body language = R&D.

On the Notes for my Mystery Amp order, I put in there not to ship it, that I'll swing by and pick it up - part of this is to save me the nearly $100 shippping (I work 20 minutes from Steve two days a week so I'm out there anyways) - but part of this is because I would like to ask...nay, plead with him to let me have some time putting the Mystery Amp up against the OTL, but this time with me at the helm. I have some R&D/Learning of my own to do, and I think peeking into the abyss that is the OTL amp might help me wrap my head around some things...and also give me a "sonic reference" to carry around with me for a while the same way I've carried the sound of the Zen amp in Steve's original listening room around with me since '98.

Sorry, I'm rambling again...good coffee and fond memories of audio-euphoria get me thinking out-loud.   Roll Eyes  
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« Last Edit: 11/07/13 at 17:15:05 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #271 - 11/07/13 at 19:39:34
 

yep... Steve told me the OTL was a one-of-a-kind experiment and would be too difficult and expensive to mass produce.
I've only heard a few OTL's in my life, but every one of them had "the magic" like no other - but you really gotta have the right speaker for an OTL.
Knowing that Steve is not likely to "settle" with the thought that he got devine sound from the OTL, but cost prohibitive to build.. I'm guessing we will see him pursue this further in the future to a point where it can be feasible for the masses.  I suppose you could always try to buy his prototype.. but I doubt he'd sell.

late Sat. night at the fest when only zygi and I were left... I did some serious listening amongst the amps... to my ears the Torii IV and MA sounded more alike than my Torii III(which I had with me) than the Torii III and IV do.  I actually preferred the MA's sonic personality over the mono's also - surprisingly or not.  And I was not the only person at the fest to express that opine either...
Not being one to be "on point"... after the initial dust settles around the MA and the build process and circuitry likely goes thru some refinement as production ramps up... I will give one a go.  As I've expressed many times... to my ears, all the Decware amps are good - just different.  I find the MA to paint the soundstage differently than my Torii III and to be slightly more clinical sounding(in a good way)... enough different to be desirable though possibly.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #272 - 11/07/13 at 20:44:27
 
Eric, I discerned you were close to Decware with your past posts. Yes, well aware the OTL is a one-off. It was discussed in this thread I believe.

I had to cancel Decfest this year. I could have had 10% off too. However, Steve's Amps are worth every penny. I did have the privilege of being there in 2005 and 2008. DeVon told me in 08', I can come down anytime. Of course, I would call and arrange to do that. I might call and look for a clear weather week after the new year....and do just that.

Peace Gents....listening to some Pop Jazz right now....Instrumentals>Forever, For Always, For Luther.   -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #273 - 11/07/13 at 20:45:00
 

Yeah, the MA is one case where I'm willing to be first. And if Steve comes up with some tweaks or ideas to improve the MA, I'm only 20 minutes away, two days a week.    ;)

Besides, I'm badly in need of an upgrade from my Zen amp. Listening to the MK IV and MA made that abundantly clear. There are days where the Zen just absolutely floors me with what that little 2 watts can do...and there are days where I feel like the little guy just doesn't have the steam to handle very busy material (which keeps me from listening to heavy metal and classical on it regularly)

As was pointed out at the 'fest, I practically time traveled through the Decware lineup; going from being one of the first 100 Zen amps to the Mystery Amp!  ;D And oddly enough, when I bought the Zen amp and was waiting for it...I kept reminding Steve my birthday was in November, and it would be awesome if I had the amp for my birthday. LOL


Is it done yet?  ;D
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Reply #274 - 11/07/13 at 20:47:20
 

Stone, if you plan on being down there on a Monday or Tuesday, drop me a PM and we can meet up! Hell, I'd even make a special trip down there to hang out if it's a weekend!



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Reply #275 - 11/07/13 at 20:57:21
 
Heck yeah LR. I will let you know for sure.

I have heard OTL....with Atma sphere Amps....at Audio Perfection here in Mpls/St. Paul area. Magnepan, Bel Canto, Atma sphere, Audio Research....Wadia was close across the boarder.....are all here in my metro area. However, I bet Steve's one-off OTL shines a little brighter.... .  

I hear you, about needing the MA. The SE84CS & CKC can only do so much. .....that so much at appropriate volume and how I run them, is incredible though.

I to don't mind being 1st in line with you for the MA. I would have shipping involved....unless I arranged and came down with it....to have uprgrade(s) done...without hesitation...if it unfolds/Steve found reason to do so.    -S
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« Last Edit: 11/07/13 at 21:10:04 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #276 - 11/11/13 at 17:24:26
 
Decided against the Adagio Speakers (for now=reply #269).

However, I did buy a pair of Kimber Select 3035 (finally) to go with my 1030 Interconnect. I will move the 3033 Speaker Cable to the bedroom System. (...with Decware Amps & 86 to 92db Speakers...I have found nothing that is more musical).

Tube Depot/Memphis, is having a 10% off on everything Veteran's Day Sale right now (I'm sure a lot of you get their emails like I). However, I would compare to BOI AudioWorks....they have great regular prices on KT66's etc... .  -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #277 - 11/12/13 at 13:36:02
 

It's my Birthday!

Is it done yet?

Today would be a *great* day to start it!   Wink

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Reply #278 - 11/12/13 at 14:08:54
 
Chill Nikola T. .....chill. It is coming!    

Happy Birthday!

I want my MA too.  -S
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« Last Edit: 11/12/13 at 14:11:28 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #279 - 11/12/13 at 17:14:55
 

I don't know if this is another thing that I missed, or it just hasn't been mentioned yet...

Does the Mystery Amp come with the Pelican Shipping case, or is that an option?

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Reply #280 - 11/12/13 at 22:20:10
 
it's an option for the other decware amps to my knowledge... since the MA is not on the website, you can't see if its listed as an option or not like it is on the Torii cart.  Pelican cases don't show up on the Mono's cart page either, but for $11k large, perhaps you get the Pelicans std. w/mono's.

a call to Decware in order to settle this one I reckon.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #281 - 11/13/13 at 04:41:28
 
If it is available as an option, I'd advise to go for it.

The Pelican case for my Torii MK4 came free with my order but it is worth the extra US$299 option if need be.

It is built like a tank, has roller wheels and comes with a retractable handle.
This is not mentioned on the website (I think) but there are two open steel latches which allow you to apply 2 TSA locks if need be.
The internal shock absorber lining can be removed so this can double up as a Samsonite - like suitcase for travel.
IMHO, even an uber expensive  Samsonite suitcase is not as sturdy as the Pelican case.
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« Last Edit: 11/13/13 at 04:43:28 by Lord Soth »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #282 - 11/13/13 at 18:30:44
 
International Orders are a must for this Case.

Using for a carry on luggage piece has its appeal.

If Steve offers it/domestic....I might get it.   -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #283 - 11/13/13 at 18:36:41
 

Yeah, I'm quite familiar with the Pelican Cases. We use them to safely transport/ship rifles and guitars across the country. Even though I'm going to drive down and pick up my Mystery Amp, I'm hoping it comes with the case for travel/transport as it's intended. Great friggen cases!

I just hoped at this price point, it was standard.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #284 - 11/13/13 at 22:37:29
 
The Pelican Case is included in the price of the MA and the TORII MONO's.  Particularly with the MA, the amp is just too heavy to be safely transported any other way.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #285 - 11/13/13 at 22:56:47
 
Quote:
That was a completely honest answer Stone. I'm sorry, I'm not into his ramped up writing.

It makes it seem like hype even if it isn't, and I'm not much of a fan of hype.

So REALLY Stone. I've even been downplaying how much I dislike it, and it HAS made me less interested in the amp than I would otherwise.


I would like to address one of the sub themes in this thread, which is about how I write.  I respect Lon for having the balls to be honest.  I actually feel the same way to some extent, in that I know my writing is going to sound like just a lot more BS of which the industry is certainly plenty full of already.  That knowledge makes me uncomfortable for the same reasons that Lon pointed out.

Problem is when your gear sounds this good, it's hard to be honest about it's sound without sounding like you're full of shit.  I get that.  In fact, I would love nothing more than to take the position, well, we've been around for 17 years now, most everyone probably knows about Decware, the reviews are everywhere, all I should have to do is present the product, price it, support it and leave everyone else to decide what it sounds like and write about it.  

The reason I don't is because I want to sell amps and the more information you can offer about them, the easier it is to sell them.  Despite appearances everything I say is true and I have the room and everything we make to prove it to anyone who cares enough to put me to that test.  I plead guilty to writing with extra enthusiasm, but it's actually genuine which is why it's there.  

Really, I don't know how to write any other way - to retain the enthusiasm without Puffing.  I'd have to hire a professional writer to pull that off.  I've been told to hire someone to do the web site too, but being the control geek I am, I choose to continue doing it myself.  So, it's the raw real deal here, misspelled words and all - for better or worse, I'm probably not going to change.

With specific regard to the Power Regeneration Lon is correct that in most cases the Torii will sound better with one, despite using voltage regulation tubes to filter the power. If the Torii didn't use VR tubes, the sentence would read "sound a lot better with one".  With respect to the Mystery amp, and it's comparatively huge DC resevour, I have found the difference to be even less to the point of being hard to hear in some cases.  My guess is spending 5 grand on a power regenerator with a Mystery Amp may not be the place where 5 grand can make the biggest difference in the system.  I could be wrong, time will tell, but taking the same 5 grand and buying a better source may be far more obvious.

With that, I don't think this post needs any further comments because doing so derails this thread about the Mystery Amp.

I'll be starting to build the first ones soon and working on the web page so I'll post any news or updates here first.

I just wanted to point out that Lon has a valid argument about the way I write.

Thanks!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #286 - 11/13/13 at 23:51:36
 
As I discussed w/you at Zenfest  Steve… “it must suck to be you – all your amps sound great – just different to me.  Paired with the right speakers, sources, your acoustics and preferences taken into account, a guy could live contentedly with any of them for a very long time.  How do you go about differentiating them?”

I’ve owned two Decware amps in the last year, they are the First tube amps I have ever owned in 30+ years of chasing the audio holy grail!  I’ve only had my Torii mk.III driving the speakers I always intended it for, less than 6 months.  I have the best sound in my room – by far – that I’ve ever had.  And though acoustic memory is poor at best, I feel like the sound I have now competes with the best I’ve ever heard, anywhere, at any price.. and I’ve owned/heard a lot.
I listened to all the amps at Zenfest… but I’m just enjoying my “Jupitered” mk.III Torii’s synergy with my DIY speakers too much right now to give it up.  In reality I’m pretty sure I have not unlocked all its potential yet.  And I'm also certain there is more "Decware" in my future.. I just don't know exactly what yet!!

The other thing that I think we all need to keep in mind… make no mistake.. “hearing” is an individual “perception”.  It is influenced by a multitude of factors that are “variable” for each and every one of us.  But the gist is: If you think you hear something – then you do – period – end of argument.  And on the contrary, if you do not think you hear it – then you don’t.  It Does Not Matter What Anybody Else “thinks” you should or should not hear.

That being said, keep right on puffing Steve… and keep that mad-scientist mind of yours pushing the envelope of what can be done in “music reproduction” in our homes….  I can’t wait to hear what you come up with next.  I know that if you’re excited about it – I probably need to hear it for myself !!!  And when I do, I’ll decide if it’s right for me – and if I hear it the same way you hear it.  We all do not have to agree on how something sounds or what is “best”.  There’s no such thing!  There is only the best for each of us, which will not be the same for all of us.  It's unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on the same thing - this is not even possible.  But that Doesn’t Matter… we don’t need to.

Now, let’s all go put on some great music, pop-a-top, kick our feet up in our listening chair  - and drift away…  and if you're lucky, the illusion will be delivered via Decware gear!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #287 - 11/14/13 at 00:46:09
 
Steve, thanks for understanding what I wrote.

I too hate that I write about Decware with such enthusiasm that it seems like hype. People ask me what I think about Decware and I gush. Some of them think I'm a shill and I'm just blowing hot air and step away. I feel sad because they then buy an inferior amp and never know what they are missing. And if I had found another way to describe the amps perhaps they would have been drawn in not pushed away.

You're right, it's hard not to write that way. And I guess you can't not do so, I find it hard to not do so. I AM very enthusiastic about the products and can't hide it. I do feel that it repels some readers and seekers (and have emails and PMs to bolster that belief). And even as I know there's so much truth in there I find myself stepping back from it, even when I write it. I don't have the answer in how to not alienate these readers, and perhaps as Will states they aren't that important. I don't know.

And it is hard to describe these things. I mean this week I put my NEW Torii Mk III in the main system in place of the tried and true seasoned one. I LOVE what the bass control on this new one does, my old one does not/cannot have this control and in my former room this would have been a real game-changer, and in this room it's a great tool to bring the best out of the source material. But overall. . . the amp really lacks an important ease of sound and depth of sound that the seasoned one just EXUDES. The new one has 2000 hours on it or so, I've been running it almost non-stop in my second system. It's not raw, it should be broken in, but I wish I had the best of both of them: that magic that the first one has, the flexible control that the new one has. What exactly IS that something? I am not sure how to articulate it exactly, but I hear it and feel it immediately.

Thanks also for explaining further the power regenerator comment. I hadn't quite gotten that the Mystery Amp was different in that respect in your assessment and you were specifically writing about that in your comment. And the problem was not your writing at all, it was my comprehension.

To bring my post back to the Mystery Amp, a question Steve: will it take extra time for these huge capacitors to "seat" and season?

Thanks for your reply.
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« Last Edit: 11/14/13 at 04:03:51 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #288 - 11/14/13 at 01:26:06
 
"I'll be starting to build the first ones soon and working on the web page so I'll post any news or updates here first".

Steve, thanks for sharing your input an insight for this Amplifier. I look forward to the MA web page. Thanks also, for the peace of mind shipping with the Pelican Case/plus future use/moving.    -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #289 - 11/14/13 at 04:40:30
 
.

Quote:
I'll be starting to build the first ones soon and working on the web page so I'll post any news or updates here first



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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #290 - 11/14/13 at 15:19:15
 
LR-Hey! That is me (minus the side burns).  ;D

....my Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cables, are out for delivery 11/19 Tuesday. I will get them burned in with my 1030 IC before the MA arrives (Listening Room System). I still like my Audio Alchemy front end the best in 20 bit dither with premium i2s input=still competes with any redbook front end under 8k (Listening Room).

However, I will eventually break the seal on hi-rez with my Anedio D2 (in the Listening Room). Currently though, I am enjoying the redbook coming out of the D2 with my bedroom System...with CKC, Kimber Hero IC & Zen Styx....Pioneer as Transport with Illuminati D-60 coax digital cable. The Listening Room System kicks the bedroom Systems Ass...but it should and does (my upgrade from 3033 Speaker Cable to my 3035 should dial the ass woopen' in even more...Over the bedroom System). ....you must have the 1030 IC to go with it....but well worth it (and 86 to 92 db Speakers).

Bring on the Majesty & the Torque of the MA Lonely Raven!  I needs what I needs!    8-) -S
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« Last Edit: 11/14/13 at 15:48:25 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #291 - 11/14/13 at 16:00:30
 

Those are some seriously bad-ass looking speaker cables!


My system is going to be very much more conservative due to my budget limitations.

Oppo BDP-105 (which I'm really enjoying, but still trying to figure out).
Zen Silver Reference (1M)
Mystery Amp
(my version) 10AWG Zen Styx - bare wire ends
Bob's tweaked MG944

My two big projects in preparation of the MA are:

Filtering/Isolation
I have a Trip Lite Hospital Grade conditioner and Isolator, plus my Monster Signature HT5100 filter. I'm considering a PS Audio P3 if I can find a use one cheap. Then have all the devices battle it out once the MA arrives and keep only what works *best* with this setup.

QRD Diffusers.

I'm going to build some 1' deep QRD diffusers. Probably 3' tall each, and they'd be stackable (obviously with a 1' depth!). I had a design cooked up but I forgot what my settings were, so this I whipped up really quickly as an example.



I figure 4-6 on each side, and 6-8 on the back wall to replace my shallow 3" deep diffusers. On the front wall, I'm thinking about something even larger. 1' deep, but a QRD 29. Hell, I just might do QRD 29 all around the room. I keep tweaking and optimizing - but every time I do, it makes the build more complicated. I've been daydreaming about how to build a jig to help assemble these faster and more accurately so I can mass produce them for myself since it's looking like I want 22-24 of these!



It's going to be a lot of work, and huge expense - but I think it's the only way to get the holographic imaging I'm looking for!

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #292 - 11/14/13 at 16:18:00
 
Very cool. I am a firm believer in Room treatment. I have had a treated room since 1996. Mine of more humble design. I read Robert Harley's first book....and was skeptical of Room treatment (in 1996). However, following the basic principles (and Steve's writing on it as well/2001)....I have tamed the rooms....my 3rd House now. What you're doing is absolutely Wow.  You will be set.

If you can't find one cheap (PS Audio P3).....buy from the CableCo at an 11.5% discount....returnable for one of equal or greater value at this discount. Plus, plenty others to choose from!  

Check it out:

http://www.thecableco.com/Catalog/Power-Line-Products
then go to what you will actually pay....... . I have loved their cable demo program!
....and of course with this many power regen's to try....I should be able to find one for my SE84CS & CKC.    

I will continue to use my Adcom AC-Enhancer 515 with Hubbell XLO Pro Power Cord to the Mystery Amp.

....my timeline: Kimber Select 3035, Mystery Amplifier, Kef R900 Speakers auditioned in Listening Room....and Legacy Signature SE's.....and Acoustic Zen Adagio's....late Winter.   -Stone

.....but I am curious to try this....
http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Tesla-Powercell-6-SE
http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Save--300-on-the-Synergistic-Research-Powercel...
Try the Powercell 4 or Powercell 6 with (and without for reference) the Element Tungsten AC cable through our Cable Library to hear what a top flight line filtration system can do for your sound!

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« Last Edit: 11/14/13 at 17:44:28 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #293 - 11/19/13 at 17:12:21
 
Looks like Decware has 7 more Torii Mk IV in line ahead of the first two Mystery Amps!

Getting closer guys!

I think I saw 8 Mystery Amps ordered so far on the build sheet!


Hearing a Rachel in my living room recently, and having over-driven it a bit at normal listening levels, I'm looking forward to seeing what those giant caps and solid state rectification does to keep up with busy/dynamic recordings.

I actually made my Zen amp wobble playing some pipe organ recordings at 24/192 - I actually apologized to the amp afterwards...especially since I laughed at it pretty much wetting the bed.  ;D

Anywho, looking forward to this big jump up from the Zen amp - I'm asking for gift cards for high-def recording pages for Xmas.  8-)
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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #294 - 11/19/13 at 21:24:13
 
I hadn't really taken notice of the MA's "solid state rectification"... and had never really bothered to notice just exactly what all the tubes in the MA are actually doing.  OK... so we have two output tubes per, and two input tubes.  What are the two taller ones in the middle doing - regulation for inputs or outputs?  What are the other two smaller tubes by the input tubes doing?  I guess I should take a close look at the pictures I took at zenfest and I could probably answer these questions for myself.  I did not find an explanation in this thread of this either.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #295 - 11/19/13 at 21:43:34
 
Unless I misunderstood -

Solid State Rectification to keep the caps happy.

OA3 Grid Regulation.

6922 input tube for each output tube

KT66 Output tubes

And then some sort of dual-balanced bias adjustment setup with meters.



It's not as much of a forest of tubes like the Mk IV - which is good for me since I don't always have patients for tube rolling. I'd prefer to pay a slight premium to have the amp builder roll tubes for me. My custom built guitar amps are done this way. When I've tube rolled, I tend to come back to what the builder chose.
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« Last Edit: 11/19/13 at 21:46:05 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #296 - 11/19/13 at 21:49:24
 

Also, from my rudimentary knowledge of tube amp building -

I recall reading somewhere that high Mfd caps don't work well with tube rectification - I don't recall the reason why, but it's the first thing I thought of when Steve mentioned 2000Mfd caps - so solid state rectification might be a requirement for such large caps. This is why most tube amps have 40mfd or less caps in the first stage, then a chain of caps/resistors down the line.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #297 - 11/20/13 at 17:14:21
 
Nice pic LRaven!

Of course we have the NOS Mallory Caps coming with it....and I have the stepped attenuator as well...walnut base with walnut knob.

Madddog, did you scap up some RCA OA3's from Tube Depot?

...my Kimber Select 3035 Speaker Cable came in last night. Even right out of the box....brand new shipped directly from Kimber in Ogden....they are all that & a bag of chips.

I use conventional loudspeakers with my Decware Amps. As do quite a few here (86db to 92db) on the Forum. Their is something to this capacitance resistance impedance "thing"... .  I moved my Kimber Select 3033 speaker cables to my bedroom rig with my Kimber Hero IC and Decware CKC with Anedio DAC....and I have more headroom! The only variable changed was the 3033 in the chain.

.....same with the Kimber Select 3035 speaker cable in the Listening Room...more headroom/volume available....with the attributes the 3035/can get out of the way of the Music even more. .....quite the handshake between Decware Amplifier & Speakers!  

......bring on the MA for the Torque and it's own flavor and ability to drive a few more Speakers in the works (plus my SRS SDA 1.2's)...I want it to drive. However, I will be burning it in-in the Listening Room where it won't leave for quite awhile.   -S
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #298 - 11/22/13 at 15:18:37
 

Are these the appropriate RCA OA3 you're talking about?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/JAN-CRC-0A3-OA3-Regulator-Tube-RCA-silver-Mixed-1958-Dat...

I didn't think they really wore out quickly - is it something I should have an extra pair on hand?

I don't need rectifier tubes, and I'm assuming Steve picked the Tung-Sol output tubes because they are available and sound good...so I probably don't need to stock up on them - but maybe have a spare set sometime in the future in case of tube failure.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #299 - 11/22/13 at 15:54:37
 
Those are correct, and they should last a long time. I've moved to OB3 myself, in my new place the 'push' from the OA3 is just a bit too much, but that is also in another amp altogether.
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