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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 111168 times)
Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #330 - 12/02/13 at 23:33:54
 
Lin

I have noticed it with my CSP3+ the room is an awful lot of the imbalance equation. Weird with other SS amps I've owned never had to balance like I do with the CSP3+. Also very noticeable with different recordings. Must be the additional detail that I have never had before. Love to pickup a Mystery amp. Need to get some badly needed home improvements done first.
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« Last Edit: 12/02/13 at 23:35:33 by Digger »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #331 - 12/03/13 at 15:30:04
 
As Lon mentioned, for balance of the 2 channels at low volume, especially.

Plus, an Amp of this caliber IMHO, would be like buying a Porsche and putting bald tires on it. ....get the Stepped Attenuator. I have never been one to be penny wise and dollar foolish...and I don't plan to be. -S
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #332 - 12/04/13 at 00:32:29
 
For those with the stepped attenuator ~ Do you ever find yourself not having the volume dialed in just prefectly?  (i.e. too loud or not loud enough in some instances.) I could see not being satisfied every once in a while if one step makes it too quiet and the next step louder than you want.  

Also, what do you think about having a non-stepped volume on your amp and then a stepped on the Preamp?  (As an example a CSP3+ with a stepped and a Rachel with a non-stepped.)

I'm not suggesting this as an alternative to save money, but a way to get the sound dialed in perfectly.  It seems to me that once you get your amplifier setup you would only use the amp volume once in a while and the preamp would be used as a master volume - it seems like you could get the volume perfect this way.  Of couese this only applies to those with a Preamp.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #333 - 12/04/13 at 00:45:26
 
I'd say. . .no. I never not find the perfect volume. I have a regular pot on my older Torii, and a stepped attenuator on my new one. The two amps sound different enough in between seasoning (favoring the older amp) and design (Steve says the new ones sound better than my old one which was among the first made, and I also think the stepped attenuator offers a bit more clarity). But I've always been able to find the perfect volume.

I'd say if you are going to leave the amp volume fixed. . . then probably no real reason to have a stepped attenuator not he amp. But. . .I often play these days with the volume controls on my two preamps--both with stepped attenuators--and the new Torii volume control --stepped attenuator. Never fail to get the volume "right." Interestingly I've been listening to the new very futzed with mastering wise cd reissues of Jefferson Airplane albums from Culture Factory. These are mastered very loud and there's one volume range where they sound fantastic and three dimensional psychedelic rocking, and beyond that they sound fat bloated and murky. I can find that zone very specifically between the two stepped attenuators. In that zone they sound amazing!
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« Last Edit: 12/04/13 at 00:47:32 by Lon »  

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SteveC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #334 - 12/04/13 at 00:54:45
 
It happens to me on my Torii3 and HDT's (96db efficient).  I sometimes do find I'm missing the Goldilocks level (wishing for a notch between two).

This would happen less for less efficient speakers as more of the range of the knob would be used.

Also, I find it only happens on music/cd's that are recorded too loud anyway.  EDIT: on loud cd's, to reach "full loudness" , I use only 5 or 6 notches out of the 20 or 21 on the knob.

On better CD's that use more of their dynamic range and aren't peaking out all the time, I don't have this problem.  Again, more of the volumes range is used.

When it does happen, I realize it, oscillate between the two for a second, then I pick one and forget about it.  not a big deal.

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« Last Edit: 12/04/13 at 00:56:54 by SteveC »  
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SteveC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #335 - 12/04/13 at 01:01:26
 
The ZMA page says it has input level control, so this could be used to attenuate and stretch out the usable volume overall 20/21 steps of the attenuator.  (right?)
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #336 - 12/04/13 at 01:29:58
 
Right
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Lord Soth
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #337 - 12/04/13 at 04:08:01
 
Wanted to share my experience with the stepped attenuator/s on my Torii MK4, CSP2+ and CSP3.

Yes, I can always hit the "goldilocks" zone. I do not require any 1/2 turns in-between.

For my digital FLAC files, I did not choose the "normalization" option in order to preserve the dynamic range.
Using my Torii MK4 as a specific example, I normally set my amp to 9 / 20 turns and this setting can handle almost 95% of all my music files.
The small minority of the music I listen to the was either originally recorded too loud or too soft so I can still hit the sweet spot with either 8/20 or 10/20 turns respectively.

My experience with the Torii MK4 is that it has very good dynamic range; at 9/20 turns, I can hear the faintest breathing and whispers (not too soft) from either the singer or from the audience in a "live" recording to vocals when they hit the crescendo of the song (still not too loud) .
so I don't have to move my lazy butt most of the time. Wink
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #338 - 12/04/13 at 04:39:15
 

Well, my Oppo, which is currently my source, has a variable out - so my current setup (Oppo to Zen) I've got the Zen dialed in as high as I dare (on the edge of objectionable distortion) then use the Oppo remote from there.

So I'm probably going to do the same with the Mystery. Dial the amp up to about 80% or wherever it's top end is, then just control it all from the Oppo.

Also seriously considering the PS Audio DAC in 2014.   Wink

So I think you guys talked me into the stepped attenuation just for getting that last 1% of the amps love.
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #339 - 12/04/13 at 05:28:36
 
Interesting guys, thanks for the insights - the stepped vs non-stepped is something I've always wondered about.  

So considering the ZMA only has one set of inputs has anybody thought how they might set it up for multiple components?  I don't know why there isn't an option for 2 sets of RCA inputs, but only an option for balanced inputs @ $600 Shocked

For those with more than one component in their systems it looks like the ZMA is a canidate for either the CSP3 or ZSB Switchbox.  But I'm wondering how that will effect the sound as it seems that Steve has it dialed in just perfect "as is" and wondering how much room is left for a preamp when it sounds this good as a direct input?

I think the only component missing from Decware's line up is a dedicated Preamp - I know the CSP3 is a preamp, but I would like to see one with at least 4 inputs, knobs/dials on the front, mm phono stage and even a remote option ~ it would be cool if the faceplate was black typewriter finish and it could be fit into a walnut box like the old Macs and Marantz. Cool
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« Last Edit: 12/04/13 at 05:36:17 by beowulf »  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #340 - 12/04/13 at 05:47:21
 
Quote:
For those with more than one component in their systems it looks like the ZMA is a canidate for either the CSP3 or ZSB Switchbox.  But I'm wondering how that will effect the sound as it seems that Steve has it dialed in just perfect "as is" and wondering how much room is left for a preamp when it sounds this good as a direct input?


I was wondering about this as well. Between the Riding the Gain thing of Pre/Power setup, and the Keep it Super Simple thing of straight to amp - I'm unsure which would sound better with this setup. Seeing how it's designed, I'm thinking no preamp is probably better, but as always, that's probably system dependent.
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« Last Edit: 12/04/13 at 06:27:31 by Lonely Raven »  
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armstdav
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #341 - 12/04/13 at 06:17:58
 
Indeed, Beowulf, I just purchased a Modwright LS100 to go with my SE34.2+. Why? Because I need 4 inputs, 2 outputs, and remote control. The fact that I prefer preamps with 6SN7s is a lesser factor. I'd happily live with a different tube if my logistical criteria are met.

So I too would love to see a Decware preamp with a bit more flexibility.

David
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marky
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #342 - 12/04/13 at 10:20:47
 
My ZP3  nd CSP2+ will be going in for their their makeover
in the new year. Jupiters, maple casings to match Rachaels,
and a stepped vol attenuator on the CSP. Of course it all
sounds great as is and I needn`t over pamper, but they ask
so nicely. Goldilooks, and a goldilocks game ahead.


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« Last Edit: 12/04/13 at 10:21:35 by marky »  
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #343 - 12/04/13 at 10:40:09
 
I think that the MA would sound awesome with a great preamp in front of it. I know the KISS philosophy is great on paper, but I've found each of the Decware amps I've owned to sound better with a Decware preamp in front of it. Would be very surprised if the MA, at its price point and with the type of system it is likely to be purchased for, wouldn't as well.

The one input situation is unfortunate. Two would be better, or as you say Decware should offer a more flexible preamp. However I must say I just don't see a preamp as you describe in the Decware line. Just seems that it's the type of circuit that Steve doesn't design, and departing from the minimalist, hardly any wire, philosophy. Which makes the lack of two inputs also problematic--because I would solve the input issue by having two Decware preamps as I have done in my current system, one for each input if there were two.
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #344 - 12/04/13 at 13:52:00
 
Echoing Armstdv, I use a Cary SLP 98P - 5 inputs, 2 outputs, mm phono stage, handy remote, also using 6SN7GT tubes.  I am using it with my Torii IV.  Although the amp has the two inputs and that is all I have, I need the phono preamp and I can't give up the remote.  It only handles mute and volume but that is all I need.  I listen late at night and adjusting volume even in the middle of a piece is useful.

I also think having an active preamp helps with dynamics.  This preamp has been the one constant across two very different amps in my system.  I love it.
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