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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 74657 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #400 - 12/14/13 at 15:32:43
 

Ahh, good call, I never noticed that since I've not had anything shipped to me in 15+ years. LOL

Well, hopefully Stone's ZMA goes out on Tuesday then. With luck, mine will be ready soon as well and I can pop on down to pick it up.

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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #401 - 12/14/13 at 15:42:54
 
Well, best of luck. If I remember correctly, there was quite a bit of time between "Parts pulled" and "Shipped" on my last few builds. Just saying. I still think. . . January. Hope I"m wrong.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #402 - 12/14/13 at 16:20:15
 
I think you're right Lon. Parts pulled, then testing...it will be January. As much as I want it now... .

This is one of Steve's new baby's (as he has mentioned). I want him to be meticulous before he puts it the Pelican Case to ship. He will be.

The timing will be perfect because I have 5 weeks and counting on my KS3035 Speaker Cable/outstanding & musical and with my Anthony Gallo 3.1's, that are just outstanding (very well burned in too)... . Then, comes the burn in of the ZMA....in the chain.  I love the journey....and the wonderful Music.   -S
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #403 - 12/14/13 at 16:43:14
 
I must add: I am sitting here on this snowy/beautiful morning with a cup of coffee in hand, listening to my Gallo's with my SE84CS...(at 68 - 72 DB SPL)....longing for the ZMA........but I can wait.

Right now, I am a very proud Father. My son called me from Houston last night, where he was visiting Rice University.  He had just received word from Stanford University....he was accepted! I will not make mention of it again. But, I am so proud of him and he worked so hard to achieve this goal.  I look forward to getting him settled in Palo Alto next August....for his pursuit of happiness and being part of solutions. -S
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #404 - 12/14/13 at 16:56:25
 
Congrats Stone. Oddly enough I was thinking of Rice as my wife and I passed it every day when we were in Houston month after month for her treatment. A good school. Stanford is great too. You are rightfully proud.

And with your truly seasoned Zen amp you can comfortably wait for the ZMA.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #405 - 12/16/13 at 15:29:05
 
U bet Lon, thanks.

LR, I know, Carly Simon singing "Anticipation" is playing in my head!

However, Steve's Bias Meter's alone....with their uniqueness, to provide what others don't...I assume takes time to build in, adjust & test. This Amp will be quite the purveyor of musicality!  

As you know, you have heard it with Redbook you had=and liked!

Harmonics...the Stone of Tone...with Gluteus Maximus = ZMA.   -S
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« Last Edit: 12/16/13 at 15:36:15 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #406 - 12/16/13 at 16:16:36
 
Lon waited much longer for his HR-1, but he's already got great gear to keep him company during his wait...I'm practically in the stone age.  ;)
I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a pain that my Zen Amp decided it was time to bloom in the past two weeks. It really sounds amazing - which is good, because I was getting the itch to mod the snot out of it while I wait for the ZMA, now I'm just going to chill, and enjoy my time with what I have with my Zen brothers.




Funny side story - Brianne and I went to see Manheim Steamroller on Saturday - predictably they sounded heavily processed and pretty much exactly like the albums. During the intermission, Brianne leans over to me and says "you've turned me into an audio-snob! This sounds so much better at home!"  ;D

I smiled back and said, just wait till the Mystery Amp shows up! And I'm not sure if that enhanced or crushed the mood - she's tired of me bringing it up by now I'm sure.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #407 - 12/16/13 at 19:14:49
 
Manheim Steamroller, the worst recorded and compressed crap...as you attested to LR.

However, for me, I just put my Audiophile Hat away when I go to concerts and enjoy the show for what it is. As I am sure you did.

Furthermore, it is fun to have friends over, where they can wrap their brains around my he-man rig in my downstairs Living Room or my Fun Garage System. But, even though they hear the increased musicality of my Decware System(s)...it is not for them...which is fine...because it is not their hobby and passion.

If they question the price of my passion?  I just mention the $9,500 Snowmobile one just purchased.....and the couple of 4 wheeler's the other hardly rides. But, they sure look pretty on the Trailer!  I do and will continue to get a lot more enjoyable use out of my 3 Decware Amps & Gear than their stuff IMHO. Oh, I go up north and rent Sleds...then come home and enjoy my Decware Gear....much more fun!   -Stone


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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #408 - 12/16/13 at 19:23:56
 

Yeah, I enjoy watching musicians play - so I just sat back and enjoyed the show for what it is. It did make me want more bass though...their four 18" subwoofer cabinets sounded really good where we were, and made me want another 21" woofer in my home setup.


Part of why I had no problems selling my $2200 acoustic guitar and vintage (non-running) Porsche to afford the Mystery Amp, is because I know I'd use it almost every day...compared to the acoustic I haven't taken out of the case in a year, and the Porsche that's been in storage at a friends house for 8! So yeah, the Decware gear gets MUCH more use than the other hobbies.

It was also pointed out to me that I've had my Zen amp for 15 years - prorate that $500 purchase, plus $288 "tune up" I just had done, and it's more than been worth it. That's like less than $5 a month! LOL So I figure the ZMA is going to be with me another 15-20 years, and that makes it really worth the cost considering how much I'll be using it!

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jcharles
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #409 - 12/17/13 at 06:31:42
 
Hi all,

I have been looking at a Pass Labs INT-30 but the MA with its big capacitors and reduced tube count has my attention. What are the initial preamps with a remote recommendations?
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #410 - 12/17/13 at 14:55:41
 
Welcome to the forums, jcharles!

Well the nice thing about the Decware gear is you don't *need* a preamp - and they could enhance or decrease the quality of the sound.

I for example, use my Oppo BDP-105 directly to my Decware amps. But if I needed more inputs, I would look into something very transparent like the Decware preamps, assuming they have enough inputs for your needs.  

I really haven't tried much else since I like my setup very simple, and as short of a chain as possible. Others who seem to live for the gear-merry-go-round may have more insight for you.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #411 - 12/17/13 at 15:18:46
 
Not many of us here seem to have preamps with remotes. I've not ever had one, no experience to relate.

Preamps with Decware amps are a great combination. . .if they are excellent preamps. The Decware preamps ARE excellent preamps. If you need a lot of inputs, the Ultra would be great. But no Decware amp comes with a remote.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #412 - 12/17/13 at 16:33:46
 
If I buy one, this will be the one.
http://www.herronaudio.com/vtsp3specs.html

I use a couple of DACS with volume control directly into my Amps.

I have come close to having a INT-30A delivered to the house. However, my Decware Amps Truth of Timbre, including the Torii III I had...can't be beat, IMHO.

I am awaiting delivery of a ZMA next month.  -S
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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #413 - 12/17/13 at 18:16:57
 
for you zen brethren that desire a "full function" preamp.. or at least one with remote control of volume, that is transparent or "brings" goodness to the table... I had, and I stress "had" been on an absolute preamp quest for about three years.  After at least a dozen moving thru the listening room, my search ended with the Aesthetix Calypso.  It has remote volume, switching, balance, a display that can be turned off, and most of all is as "clean and transparent" a preamp as I've been able to find - depending on the tubes you put in it.  And you can tailor its sound to match your taste also - neutral or tubey euphonic by rolling different tubes.
I also found the Wyred4Sound STP-SE to be very transparent also… dead quiet, great functionality, display a bit small, but very, very clean sound, no electronic haze or veil.  If you don’t want the ability to tailor sound with tube rolling, and want remote functionality and “neutrality” I can recommend the Wyred.  I would get a CSP-3 if Steve would just put a remote controllable volume pot on it…  might get one anyway.  But music listening is a “relaxation” exercise for me usually, and jumping up and down out of my listening chair to tweak the volume every 3-4 minutes pretty much defeats that purpose.

LR, I need to talk to you about your Oppo as being the center of a “music server” based system… that is my current quest, now that my preamp journey ended, and amp for now(Jupitered Torii III).  I am shiny disc based only at the moment and want to move this aspect toward the goal of “relaxation” also… I want to be able to select music from my iPad wirelessly… without getting out of my chair.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #414 - 12/17/13 at 19:18:15
 
I'm sure there are other options, but the two I know of now are the Oppo BDP-105 and the PS Audio PWD MK II. The Oppo Media Control App is very basic, and I wish it had better shuffle options, but the software is rock solid on the iOS. I can't say as much for the Android version they just released on the 10th.

With the Oppo, I literally have my whole audio collection on a 2TB Western Digital Hard Drive. I've got a folder for my own ripped audio, a folder for DSD downloaded, FLAC downloaded, and FLAC Files "from friends". The Oppo can also play off Media Servers and NAS drives on the network, and even Shared Folders on Windows machines (I'm unsure about Mac since I don't care for Apple products).

The Oppo Media Control App has a virtual remote control that looks just like the physical one, it's got a simplified playback control screen that shows the album, Track Forward/Back/Pause/Play, and volume slider, and has another screen that allows you to search through your digital media - it has it all in alphabetical like a digital phone directory.

It's an amazing feat for $1200 - I'm sure there are better DAC out there, but a Universal Disc Player/DAC with Async USB to connect to your PC, network port, and full 7.1 surround? Unheard of!

If you just need a DAC, I'm sure there are more bang for your buck options out there, but I needed a good Disc player and DAC, so this worked out for me. All the network and USB stuff is just icing on the cake.

My setup is simply -

Oppo DAC with Western Digital 2TB Drive
Decware Silver Reference IC
Zen Amp (soon to be ZMA)
My DIY version Zen Styx
Decware MG944

DONE.
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« Last Edit: 12/17/13 at 19:33:04 by Lonely Raven »  
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #415 - 12/17/13 at 23:59:34
 
Quote:
stone said,
If I buy one, this will be the one.
http://www.herronaudio.com/vtsp3specs.html


Nice, but pretty pricey!

Quote:
maddog said,
for you zen brethren that desire a "full function" preamp.. or at least one with remote control of volume, that is transparent or "brings" goodness to the table... I had, and I stress "had" been on an absolute preamp quest for about three years.  After at least a dozen moving thru the listening room, my search ended with the Aesthetix Calypso.


Really nice, but even more pricey!

Quote:
LR said,
It's an amazing feat for $1200 - I'm sure there are better DAC out there, but a Universal Disc Player/DAC with Async USB to connect to your PC, network port, and full 7.1 surround? Unheard of!


I could look this up, but I'm feeling lazy Grin ... how many analog sources (if any) can the Oppo BDP-105 support?

All I need is a Preamp with a remote that could support 3 sources (1) Phono Stage, (2) DAC, and (3) Oppo BDP-95 (but soon to be 105).  I don't want/need or want to pay for headphone options because I already have the Taboo (so I doubt that any preamp is going to beat that).  

It's one of the reasons I don't like the CSP3 (aside from not having a remote) it can only support 2 sources and has too many headphone options.  I know I keep saying this, but maybe Steve will hear me one time ... why can't he build a cheaper CSP model without all the headphone options and just use that space to add 2 more sources for a total of 4 sources?  I would even forgo the remote if I could just get it like that.

Has anybody ever went down the Passive Preamp route?  Looking at Tortuga Audio, but I see the lack of gain as a downside in some instances with the Taboo, there are some times (only when watching movies and especially during quiet dialog scenes for some reason) that I want a little more oomph out of it.
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« Last Edit: 12/18/13 at 00:01:56 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #416 - 12/18/13 at 00:27:26
 
I have a CSP2 Steve built me without headphone output, but I don't think this allows him space for additional inputs the way that the circuit is. I could be wrong, a call to Steve is the best way to find out.
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #417 - 12/18/13 at 00:52:56
 
Thanks Lon, yes I remember Steve mentioning in another thread that it would take a new chasis and/or circuit design (something to that effect).  Still it would be a cool alternative and a (possibly?) cheaper product to just leave out the headphone options althogether if they are not needed.  I can't imagine 2 more analog inputs would be as costly as dual headphone inputs, but then again I know nothing about building amplifiers.

For all Decware's awesomeness ~ IMO Steve has some redundancy in his products that could use some reworking.
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« Last Edit: 12/18/13 at 00:55:32 by beowulf »  
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #418 - 12/18/13 at 01:02:10
 
When you are a small company sometimes adding a lot of options is not a good or rewarding idea or practice. Steve very carefully works out what he can produce and how he can produce it with sound quality being paramount. I think if he could, and it would not hurt hte sound, he would. If he's not doing so. . . well there's probably the answer.

There's always the Ultra! Smiley That's an expense. So is two CSP3s. . . but that is still cheaper than some of the other options out there and who knows if they sound like or have synergy with Deware products.
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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #419 - 12/18/13 at 01:06:21
 
True, very true ... I may be wrong, but didn't he make a more traditional preamp similar to that a long time ago (pre CSP)?
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #420 - 12/18/13 at 01:47:46
 
He used to make a "buffer amp" so to speak, a single input no-gain preamp (without the "half-lit up" aspects of the ZBox). And he made the ZPre, which was a purist preamp with outboard power supply.
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jcharles
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #421 - 12/18/13 at 04:34:07
 
Lon, Raven and other Oppo BDP-105 direct to amp users,

I am aware of the argument that reducing the volume in a 32 bit chip domain will not adversely impact the sound of a 24 bit signal. However, over on the Modright forum they seem to believe that using the digital volume control has deleterious effects on the music (shallower soundstage, reduced weight, etc.) But trusting soul that I am, I am wary of the self interest involved when the sponsor of the forum sells expensive pre-amps; I'd gladly skip the expense of the preamp and  enjoy the simplicity of a direct connect. I gave up the hassle of analog years ago.

I tend to update systems (except digital front ends) about once every 20 years. Thanks for the continuing input.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #422 - 12/18/13 at 10:54:53
 
Well, I have to say that I haven't noticed any real audible artifacts in using the volume control of my PS Audio DAC Mk II above 65%, and it's quite easy with the efficiency of my spaekers and gain of my amp to do so.

But. . .on the flip side. . . I find every aspect of the sound to be at least a bit better with the use of the CSP2+ between the DAC Mk II and the Torii Mk III. I wish it weren't so  . . .but it certainly IS so for me. So I use the CSP2+ and enjoy the sound immensely.
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JD
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #423 - 12/18/13 at 17:16:51
 
I agree Lon the csp2+ is a magical machine.  My Oppo 95 sounds much better when run through it instead of direct to my torii III unless I am watching a movie, then I cannot notice the difference.  IMO there is a large sonic improvement when streaming youtube or Pandora through the csp2+. You can really dial in the sound.

JD
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #424 - 12/19/13 at 19:48:02
 
Just got the notice, PARTS PULLED!

~Eric~

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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #425 - 12/19/13 at 20:03:19
 
CONGRATS ERIC!

I know you might have to drink yourself to sleep for a few weeks. . .so try not to drive late in the day. Smiley
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #426 - 12/19/13 at 20:17:48
 

(wondering how much of a bribe it takes to get Steve to give me the #1 amp)  [smiley=10.gif]

Seriously though, Parts have been Pulled on Stone's amp for two weeks, and I saw a couple Mark IVs get started and finished around our two ZMAs, so I think they are building them together. They are the first ones, so Steve might not have the build process smoothed out yet. I know when I build guitar amps, the first one takes all day, and by the fifth amp I'm practically sleep walking through them in a few hours.

Uber-excited right now! Making it a little difficult to concentrate on work. LOL
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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #427 - 12/19/13 at 21:25:22
 
beowolf...

the Aesthetix Calypso can be "attained" pre-owned fairly reasonably.  If you would like more info and history on how I arrived at the Calypso destination, PM me.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #428 - 12/20/13 at 15:16:51
 
LR, no bribes now!

I am Uber excited too!

I am going nuts as well....because my Gallo 3.1's are begging for the ZMA.

They can play well with my SE84CS because, their is no crossover between the midrange and the tweeter. This is the revolutionary genius of the Gallo Reference 3.1 loudspeaker. The result is that all frequencies from one octave below middle-C to 35kHz are uncommonly pure, integrated, and relaxed. .....to say the least about these Speaker's!

....but they need the ZMA to drive them Home!
....I found a cool tweak for them too....a 15 ohm (5 watt or greater) wire wound resistor on the lower posts.
http://www.10audio.com/gallo_ref3-1.htm

I have my Croyed 6N23P-EV's coming too!  We need to stay focused....stay focused.  :o    -S
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« Last Edit: 12/20/13 at 15:20:49 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #429 - 12/20/13 at 15:34:14
 


I'm so tempted to just throw my order in the cryo'd tubes as well, but I'll wait and see what the masses say. Besides, I want to break the amp in with the tubes provided and get a feel for it before I start making changes...gotta know what I'm working with!

I played Kind of Blue full blast on the Zen Amp last night...it sounded OK, but so needed that little extra push to make it come alive in the room. Then, same settings, played Lorde Royals and I sent the amp into some sort of wobble. It kinda made me laugh, and sad at the same time. The old Zen Amp will make a nice desktop amp for my PC once I get my guitar room/office put back together...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #430 - 12/20/13 at 16:42:16
 
LR...
sane strategy "break-in w/tubes provided"... hear it as the designer intended first and develop your point of reference.  but it is so painful and testing of one's patience to resist "tweaking" when you have a box full of tubes already in your inventory, acquired at the recommendation of the masses who have declared which tubes are "the tubes" to use.  I recently was going thru the same pain X 2... I had a new tube preamp also to get used to.. and my Torii III had not been back long from Steve installing the Jupiters on top of that.  For sure, if a person gets to changing too many things at once, we absolutely will loose track of what was responsible for the differences being experienced.... only change one thing at a time... has been my rule for years.  But I have trouble following my own rules from time-to-time.....
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #431 - 12/20/13 at 17:35:20
 
As you know LR, I want the Cryoed 6N23P-EV's for immediate back up if one or two of the sent 6N's is DOA. I have a boat load of NOS Sovtek 6922's....could have ordered 6N1P's for a whole lot cheaper.... .

However, I have read every word Steve has wrote in this thread..and read between the lines too. He plainly stated his affinity for the 6N23P-EV...so to put 6922's in or 6N1P's won't cut it for me. Furthermore, the 6N23P-EV prices are give or take at the Cryoed price anyway....so why not have them as a fun comparison against the control non-cryoed sent right?!

Fun stuff..... .  Plus, I agree, I would rather burn the Amp in for 200 hours before putting the Cryoed 23P's in or the KT120's I will have....but I need to make sure they are not DOA within a week or two of having them....for peace of mind to shelve them and come back to them much later.....after burn in with Steve's hand selected Tubes.  -S

I hear you...I only play Lorde out on the Living Room Rig. I have her performance from Jool's  Holland, two songs...and another from Serius Sat DVR'd. But now, with ZMA....I will be able to play that too (from CD)...in the Listening Room. I have three copies of Miles Kind of Blue...I get good results with two pair of Speak's in the Listening Room....but need the ZMA for the Gallo 3.1's

Jool's sat in with John Mayer last week....and man can he play Piano... .

Maybe, 8 months from now though, I prefer the KT120 with NOS Sovtek 6922's.  However, I must go with and have fun with the favored 6N23P-EV's from Steve and the Cryoed 6N23P-EV's too.
God knows, just down the road from me Audio Research still favor's the wonderful NOS 6922..... .
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« Last Edit: 12/20/13 at 22:07:04 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #432 - 12/21/13 at 02:14:31
 
Have you guys heard the new HD remaster of Kind of Blue?  IMHO, it is noticeably better sounding than the Rebook CD (e.g. less compression/brick wall limiting).  I can't compare to the vinyl, because my collection hasn't seen the the light of day in some time, but the latest HD track is the best of the digital files I own.  I just wish I didn't have to buy the same album multiple times...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #433 - 12/21/13 at 03:27:03
 
That's exactly the one I'm listening to, and it's excellence is exactly why I wish I could turn it up more. There is something in there the 2 watts just isn't getting me - I guess it's the weight I'm missing.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #434 - 12/21/13 at 04:05:29
 
LR…couldn't agree more…great sounding track, but the 2 watt amp just can't get loud enough.  That said, it is awesome at low volume, which is why I think we appreciate Decware.  We want the SuperZen on steroids!  Can't wait for the Mystery Amp.  I am 3rd in line and parts still haven't been pulled…
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #435 - 12/21/13 at 04:49:23
 

Awesome Dave! Welcome to the first 5!

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Reply #436 - 12/21/13 at 15:06:21
 
Quote:
Lonely Raven wrote: That's exactly the one I'm listening to, and it's excellence is exactly why I wish I could turn it up more. There is something in there the 2 watts just isn't getting me - I guess it's the weight I'm missing.


The CKC with HSU Mid Bass Module will provide all the weight you could want from the CKC. Place your Mains where they do Mids & Highs best (Don't worry about the Bass). Connect the MBM to the CKC via speaker level connections and dial in any amount of wonderful Mid-Bass you desire to suite your room and taste.

The sound stage will be much bigger and much more powerful without Maxing out the volume on the CKC.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #437 - 12/21/13 at 17:27:34
 
Hi. I have a Mystery Amp on order too along with a pair of ERRx's. Being in the UK this is something of a gamble so I hope I've done the right thing. My Taboo Mk3 gives me confidence that I have.
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Marantz sa-7s1 -> Audio-GD Master 8 -> Decware ZMA -> Decware ERR.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #438 - 12/21/13 at 17:56:37
 
Welcome Charnwood!

Yeah, you did good! I'm really blown away by the Mystery Amp!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #439 - 12/21/13 at 18:04:32
 
DBC, I love my HSU MBM12 in my Living Room Rig!  I don't have it in the Listening Room...because I find the Room to small. I could not imagine not having it with my Polk SRS SDA 1.2's.

Going with Cryoed' KT120's now too! I have 6N23P-EV cryoed coming.  
(Listening Room: Kimber Select Reference, ZMA & Anthony Gallo Acoustics Reference 3.1's.....Room Treatments).
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« Last Edit: 12/21/13 at 18:06:30 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #440 - 12/21/13 at 19:05:33
 

I'm hoping to get back to reworking the garage today so I can start on my diffuser projects. I'm not sure I have enough wood for a prototype, so I might just make a couple smaller diffusers to start with...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #441 - 12/21/13 at 19:26:56
 
LR, you're Workin' the Garage sweet!  I have a pair of Klipsch Reference RF-7 II's out in mine!  But, don't want to turn the heat on out there today!

I am with the Living Room RIG, with Stella Artois in hand-CRANKIN' LED ZEPPELIN....Live at the 02 Arena London.

Cheers, Atlantic Records in its heyday...and
Ahmet Ertegün!!!!!!!!!!!!    -Stone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #442 - 12/21/13 at 19:52:45
 

My garage setup is one of those old Denon CD players with discrete power supplies in a copper chassis that has trouble opening and closing the tray - going into some 100 watt transistor "reference" amp from my Dad's old home studio, into some budget studio monitors that I rebuilt with better tweeters in a crossoverless design, with a waterlogged Klipsch 10" subwoofer. This is my "second system"  ::)

After the Decware amp into Decware speakers with the Maelstrom X 21" sub powered with 2k watts, it's a serious step down. LOL

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #443 - 12/21/13 at 20:09:35
 
Yup, my garage/patio system (and Living Room System)...makes me appreciate my Decware System's all that much more!  Have a great weekend!  -S

Listening/watching Eric Clapton Crossroads 2010.   Santa is bringing Crossroads 2013 in my Stocking.
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« Last Edit: 12/21/13 at 20:11:16 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #444 - 12/21/13 at 20:17:08
 
LR

      Sounds like a great garage system I guess you really don't have to worry about hurting it with all of the saw dust you'll be running through it soon from the sounds of it. Hope to see what you've come up with when you get one done. For now I just have to be a Mystery amp want ta be at least until I get my house and garage re-roofed this spring. Some times timing in life seems off! I guess I should be glad that the roof didn't end up a surprise after the Mystery amp although I would be able to listen to rain drops keep falling on my head in 3d and plenty of spaciousness. Ha Ha!

Bet your excited! Enjoy that thing I'll be looking forward to hearing about it once you have had time to give a serious listen to it in your setup.



Cool

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« Last Edit: 12/21/13 at 20:27:18 by Digger »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #445 - 12/25/13 at 22:49:04
 


Time for another update Wink

Many might think that the Mystery Amp thread from a design perspective ended when the web page went online a couple weeks ago:  http://www.decware.com/newsite/MYSTERY.html

But that's actually not true...  With orders placed but no amplifiers built yet there was plenty of time to second guess yourself.  It's the most difficult test you'll ever have to pass as it continually challenges your subjective likes and dislikes.  Fortunately I do OK in that department because I explicitly trust my ears.  And I'm happy to report there is nothing I would want to change about the way the amp sounds.

Sound, is however only part of the game.  Usability, reliability, ease to build... etc.  Even though I have the first Mystery Amp as the build sample and it has one of my best layouts ever... it can still be improved.  You want everything to be easy to copy since we'll be building a lot of them.  So in that light I began to see a new layout.  The more I stared at the original layout, the more new layout appeared.

Keep in mind, the differences are subtle but just enough to tip the scale towards perfection - the obvious goal.  It looks slightly cleaner because it is, and will therefor be slightly easier to build.



Amps are built in three stages.  The first is assembling the chassis and all the parts that go on it.  The second (shown above) is called the base layout.  It consists of all the main power and ground paths and basically makes up a completed and working power supply.  The third is adding components on the tube sockets to create the audio circuit.

While I was at it I also spent a great deal of time wrestling with what to do about the bias circuit.   I spent so much time (days) getting the original to work the way I wanted it to, and now I'm second guessing it.  Compared to the vast majority of bias circuits I really felt it was a masterpiece of form and function.  It however shared a potentially fatal flaw just like most bias circuits that place the potentiometer in series with the bias voltage.  If the tube draws excessive amounts of grid current it's possible the rating of the potentiometer can be exceeded and cause it to open (fail).  That would remove the negative bias voltage from the grid and let your tube self destruct in a matter of minutes.  While the chances of this happening are only 1 in 1000, I plan to make 1000 of these amps.

So with this in mind, I had to redesign the bias supply from scratch so that the potentiometers were only used to pull voltage to ground for both the supply and the balance.  Sounds simple but it actually wasn't. Nevertheless, now it will be impossible for the condition of the pot or failure of a pot to kill the negative bias voltage.  Instead, it will just let the negative voltage go to max which is enough to completely shut off both tubes at the same time... and that's a big improvement over letting the voltage go to zero since doing so causing the tubes to draw the full current of the power transformer until they melt or the transformer melts or the fuse blows, whichever comes first.  

Anyway, a glimpse into the design process continues...

The amp pictured above is on my bench and nearing completion to become the new sample that everyone will use to build from.  We're going to start building the first production units directly after the holidays.

I can hardly wait to see how well this amp is received.  I'm committed to it.  Even if everyone hated it, we'd do whatever it took to make it great.  I don' think anyone's going to hate it though. Wink

Enjoy the holidays... time to do some listening. 





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Reply #446 - 12/26/13 at 19:32:31
 
Steve…thanks for the update.  Sounds like this explains the delay in production for the first Mystery amps.  I can’t speak for everyone else, but I am ok waiting for the perfect Mystery amp.    Sounds like you are putting the finishing touches on this beauty.  For those of us in the last 5% of waiting, I suppose this is the excitement that goes along with being early adopters for the new amp.  

Do you expect any of the changes to impact the sound profile of the amplifier?  Happy listening and looking forward to your impressions.

Cheers and happy holidays!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #447 - 12/26/13 at 20:14:47
 
Niiiiiice.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #448 - 12/27/13 at 02:27:16
 

     Looks nice and neat. I would imagine keeping it clean will also aid in any trouble shooting that may need to be done 30 years from now. Looks like a nice simple layout. I know it is my un-educated electronic eye speaking here. I knew there was a reason I should of went into electronics instead of electricity classes years ago. I am envious for all that will be receiving one shortly.
     Steve great explanation about your design philosophy it really is why I plan on owning a Mystery amp in the future. Of course the sweet sound to! Looking forward to hearing every ones impressions of this wonderful amp.  

Sweet stuff here


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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #449 - 12/27/13 at 18:00:32
 
Steve, thanks for your input/update. I too, can't speak for anyone else...but, when you think it is ready to ship...then it is ready to ship. I know you're making it as fool proof as it can be for a Music Lover Laymen like me.

I so look forward to it being soooo NOT Solid State (not a circuit board in sight)....right out of the gate.....with the headroom I now crave. The seasoning over time, I know will make me turn my head with a smile.   -S
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