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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 77237 times)
Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #450 - 12/27/13 at 18:26:09
 

Steve, any chance that with this slight change of layout, you might be able to fit in an extra set of RCA inputs on a quality switch? Looks like we have people asking about multiple inputs without a preamp!

Or would all this require a new plate cut?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #451 - 12/27/13 at 19:15:22
 
Okay, I have my Anthony Gallo 3.1 Speakers locked in and my Kimber Select 3035 has some serious hours on it.....providing smooth organic music with my SE84CS (low moderate/SPL). I need the ZMA.    -S
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« Last Edit: 12/30/13 at 16:18:33 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #452 - 12/30/13 at 23:24:30
 
I just got my sweet order of 6N23P-EV's from Ron at Cryoset. I love my SE84CS & CKC. However, I am wanting the other bowl of cherries/sonic perspective with my ZMA!   -S
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #453 - 12/31/13 at 00:04:56
 
Stone, have you tried the 23P in the Zen Amp yet?

I test all my input tubes on the Zen amp - it helps me really listen to and weed out the bad ones.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #454 - 12/31/13 at 16:13:02
 
I have not tested them yet. I will soon....this weekend. I am looking  forward to our ZMA's LR bumping up from parts pulled status...next week!   -S

PS-I read the SET Bashing thread....and I certainly appreciate everyone's path to Audio bliss and I learn a lot.

Look at our paths and our upcoming next chapter with the ZMA. I think it is great that you have Steve's Speaks & Wires...and I have conventional Speaks & my Kimber Select Wires....to offer our perspectives. After all, Steve designed the Zen Mystery Amplifier & Zen Mono Blocks to play very well with both Speaker Markets/Preferences.

PS-I need to add the Torii III & IV. ...just read the Creamy Martin Logan Thread.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1386981742


....and their is a gentlemen running the Torii III or IV with JenZen's too.... .  He is driving the JenZen's with no problem via III (or IV)...found in: Reply #103 from Steve in this MA Thread.
(Well, I should say he was deciding on the III or should he get the MA...and Steve let him know the scene).
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« Last Edit: 12/31/13 at 17:22:49 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #455 - 12/31/13 at 19:11:04
 

Too bad you're so far away, I'd love to A/B those Kimber with my Styx.

Maybe I'll make a "spare pair" and send them your way to try out and get your thoughts on.

I've always been a big fan of Kimber, I just couldn't afford the sets of cable that I thought really sounded right.



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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #456 - 01/02/14 at 02:55:23
 
My ZMA is on the Build!    -S
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #457 - 01/02/14 at 04:32:40
 

Awesome, Stone!

Hopefully mine isn't too far behind and we'll be able to compare notes.

I'm in Peoria next week for work, but the following week (probably when my amp will be done) I'm off for a couple days. Hopefully the timing will be right for me to swing by and pick it up from Steve rather than pay the extra for shipping, or wait an extra week till I'm in town for work again.

Or maybe just slip Steve a bottle of Scotch and suddenly I'm #1 on the list.   Wink
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #458 - 01/02/14 at 06:02:30
 
Don't be messin' with my number one spot LR!  Haaaa!

You know, I did some research tonight on (and on many other occasions the last 2 decades +):
Audio Research...
VSi75
VSi60
VS115
REF75

Rogue Audio...
Zeus Power Amp
Stereo 100 Amp with KT120

Primaluna Dialogue Premium Integrated Amp
(this one looks like a Tinker Toy Set under the hood)

.....and I am just not impressed with the Topology, of this list of Amplifiers....doubling the Power with most of these Amps, over the ZMA, with their Topology and Negative Feedback for incremental 3db in SPL....just leads to: get a Solid State Amp....that is what they most resemble in design and sound (yes, I owned the Primaluna & have listened to the VSi60)!

It is clear to me how much more musical the Decware ZMA will be via Steve's design Topology.  

Establishment garb....makes me chuckle.  I can afford any one of these Amps in this list. I buy Decware.   -S
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« Last Edit: 01/02/14 at 06:11:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #459 - 01/02/14 at 13:36:07
 
Quote:
Establishment garb....makes me chuckle.  I can afford any one of these Amps in this list. I buy Decware.   -S


That's a good sign you (we) are on the right track!


I'm getting itchy for me amp at this point...I was ignoring the build list since Steve's last post, but now I'm getting exited again...I'm thinking I might have to rearrange the Home Theater/Listen Room front end and get better prepped for the ZMA's arrival.
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jsm71
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #460 - 01/02/14 at 16:46:32
 
Quote:
.....and I am just not impressed with the Topology, of this list of Amplifiers....doubling the Power with most of these Amps, over the ZMA, with their Topology and Negative Feedback for incremental 3db in SPL....just leads to: get a Solid State Amp....that is what they most resemble in design and sound (yes, I owned the Primaluna & have listened to the VSi60)!


This is also my take when I have looked at the usual alternatives.  I look at their specs and see how they have accomplished the product.  I just don't see any compelling evidence that their design warrants the compromise in sound.  I'll take quality over power every day even though I have also jumped in line for a ZMA.  I feel I will someday be happy I opted for the slightly extra oomph that the ZMA has over the Torii.  The timing was right to make the move now rather than sometime in the future when the price delta will likely be wider.  
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #461 - 01/02/14 at 16:59:07
 

Seriously, the ZMA could have been 16 watts and I would have still bought it. I really don't *need* 40 watts, I just need the grunt and harmonics this amp has...the extra headroom is just icing.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #462 - 01/03/14 at 14:11:18
 

Just checked the build list out of curiosity this morning, and I see all the ZMA after our first two are listed as Winding Transformers.

I'm Guessing either Steve made a change to the design, or simply ran out.

I wonder what kind of delay this will cause, if any. The parts might be ready to go by the time the first two are done...

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #463 - 01/03/14 at 18:35:46
 
jsm71, succinctly well put.

LR, I wish I was at Decware the rest of this month. How exciting it must be for Steve and the Team to now be building the ZMA in the new year! It is looking good...and it won't be long.  -S
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #464 - 01/03/14 at 19:56:32
 
I guess we're getting soft up here in MN. The Gov' closed schools state wide for Monday. Anyway, great weekend for Playoff Football & Music!
The Green Bay game ought to be a Treat of cold Weather.   -S

....all I want is 70 to 75 degree's in Vegas, the last week of February?
Is that asking to much?!
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« Last Edit: 01/03/14 at 19:59:02 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #465 - 01/03/14 at 20:06:20
 

I don't mind the cold so much. I do however miss riding the motorcycle. haven't had much saddle time this year due to work.


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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #466 - 01/06/14 at 03:10:13
 
I am just being teased by my SE84CS with my Gallo 3.1's. I need the headroom of the ZMA....for the highs I know await. I got a taste of it with the Vincent Hybrid Amp.  However, it leaves class A and goes into Solid State edge pretty quick.... .

I love these Anthony Gallo's!

The Nucleus Reference3 is uniquely equipped to demonstrate the advantages of the leading high resolution formats, DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD. Very few high-end speakers, including the majority
of $10K+ models can approach, much less equal, the Nucleus Reference3’s extended high frequency response, and few offer near omni directional (300 degree) dispersion. For the ultimate in neutrality and transparency, the Nucleus Reference3 operates without a crossover across most of its bandwidth -- from
125 Hz to 50 kHz!
http://www.roundsound.com/nucleus-reference-3-1
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« Last Edit: 01/06/14 at 07:30:35 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #467 - 01/06/14 at 03:48:27
 
Further thoughts:
You really can't find another comparable amp in the marketplace with the power setup Steve is using in the ZMA (as you mentioned jsm71).

The Torii's are push pull and I owned a Torii III for 3+ months. I wish I did not sell it...I would have automatically upgraded to the IV. At the time, I was an still am, enamored with the Set Sound of the SE84CS & CKC. You can't beat a single output tube per channel with Steve's Topology for immediacy with Pentodes run in Triode.

However, for the "more kohuna's" and extended high's headroom which I personally miss from the III (read: a little more SPL), I am confident the ZMA will be what I am looking for. Brutal honesty with muscle like a good Solid State Amp WITHOUT the Solid State edge.   -S
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« Last Edit: 01/06/14 at 07:29:09 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #468 - 01/07/14 at 17:32:43
 
Okay, I will quit wetting my pants over my Anthony Gallo Acoustic Reference 3.1 Speaker's after this post. However, if you can find a pair used like I did for $1500.....they are a steal. They love Tubes...you do need a strapped pair of the Integrated/Rachel, Torii IV or ZMA though.

(Why I got them:  I have a ZMA & IV coming).   -Stone
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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #469 - 01/07/14 at 17:50:11
 
I second the endorsement of AG Ref 3.1's.  Or actually any of AG's speaks with their CDT tweeter.  Even their little full range "orbs" have a very special sound even without the CDT tweeter.  I have a friend with a pair of the 3.1's.  He used to use big BAT tube mono's to drive them and then had a big PASS stereo amp.  He now uses a ClassDaudio amp to drive them.  I have never taken my Torii to his place to try on his 3.1's... perhaps I should.  I have been a fanboy for ribbon, electrostatic and basically most boxless speakers for years.  The AG 3.1's with the CDT will get you part of the way there.  I had assumed that the Torii's 25 watts would not be enough drive/volume for them at a rated 88db efficiency - but you never know till you try.  I didn't expect the Torii to drive my Martin Logan's either - but it does far better than I ever would have speculated.....
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #470 - 01/07/14 at 18:13:58
 
maddog07, you and I are in the same camp. CDTII Tweeter on the Gallo's is special. The single driver & high Eff. camp folks need to hear what we're running with Decware. If it was not great...we would not be doing it. I think some can't fathom I'm getting great music out the 3 pair I have found to work well with the SE84CS & CKC.

I would love to hear your Martin Logans with your Torii. I have no worries about either my ZMA coming here soon or Torii IV (coming in 8 to 12 weeks) running the Gallo 3.1's. I am running the Gallo's with my SE84CS, listening to Regina Carter-Motor City Moments, right now....just absolute magic at 78db SPL. Of course, I can't play them louder with this Amp....for obvious reasons.

I look forward to hooking my ZMA up to my he-man rig/Living Room System, Polk SDA SRS 1.2 Speakers as well.  -S
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« Last Edit: 01/07/14 at 18:21:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #471 - 01/07/14 at 18:51:04
 
sorry stone... I'm one of those in the "single high efficiency driver, no xover" camp also for pairing with my Torii.  Though the Torii will drive the ML's... the magic of the Torii/Audio Nirvana full-rangers is undeniable and not achievable with the Torii/ML pairing.  I have 6 pairs of speakers in my inventory at the moment(insanity), each of them radically different in design and intended purpose/use.  I don't doubt for a minute that the AG 3.1's and Torii make beautiful music.  The CDT operates with no passive xover components, as do the mid drivers.  And of course the woofers are powered or their 2nd voice coil can be externally powered to extend their low end and also tweak the bass response.  So the no passive xover philosophy to muck up the signal is alive and well in the AG 3.1's.  I think the no xover aspect has as much to do with the magic of full-rangers as their typical high-efficiency does... put the two together and something very special occurs.
But I really can't explain why it has not donned on me to pack up my Torii and try it on my friends 3.1's... other than it might lead to a 7th pair of speakers and/or other equipment juggling... ergh.. now look what you've started!   Smiley
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #472 - 01/07/14 at 19:25:40
 
I know, I'm a trouble maker. You have to do it-bring your Torii over to your friends with the 3.1's! Yeah, I have a 11 pair of Speakers.  I even have a pair of Klipsch RF7 II's in my garage! For the garage (heated)...they are a lot of fun!  

Yes, "The CDT operates with no passive xover components, as do the mid drivers.  And of course the woofers are powered or their 2nd voice coil can be externally powered to extend their low end and also tweak the bass response".

.....this is what appealed to me and they are mint, with boxes and grills.

I did not think my SE84CS would make music with them,...but at 68db SPL to 78 max....because of the design...they do sweetly.  IF you know what you're doing....I don't fry voice coils etc... . What your friend is running the 3.1's with, including the BAT, would not be musical enough for me. I would own a BAT....but Decware is much much better.

Not until some serious burn-in is done, tube rolled with KT120's and my Cryoed 23P's...will the ZMA be taken out to the SDA SRS 1.2's for the fun of it.  I had a Primaluna ultra linear running the 1.2's at 42 per chanel with a mickey mouse power topology it had....it ran them fine...but this Amp had to be returned....for Decware superiority to come in.  I hope soon!  I want my ZMA...it's nice to be in the #1 slot & on the Bench!   Cheers, Stone

PS-I would find the Audio Nirvana full-rangers to bright....where it would sound like solid state for me.  Not enough Texture....just PA sounding for me.  Each to his own. Plus, the lower noise floor and timbre/texture of my Kimber Select 1030 IC & KS3035 Speaker cable is in a whole other league of providing musicality....the Nirvana's could not handle the resolution of these cables. Different paths at different levels for us all. The common denominator are these great Decware Amplifiers.
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« Last Edit: 01/07/14 at 19:26:20 by stone_of_tone »  

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maddog07
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #473 - 01/07/14 at 20:26:11
 

if there is anything the Audio Nirvana's are not - it is "bright" - they are the antithesis of bright "when" they are driven by a Decware Torii.  I would agree with you mostly about them being a bit lean, when driven by “most” voltage source sand amps that I have tried – for sure as compared to the Torii.  I have not had the opportunity to try very many different tube amps with them yet.  Any current source amp will perform better "to our ears" with the impedance curve of most any high-efficiency full-range driver AN, Lowther or otherwise.
If you have not owned or heard a pair of AN’s in a recommended box/tuning configuration, driven by a Torii... you have no idea what you're speculating about or missing.  They have defied everything I thought I had come to accept as "knowns" in over 30 years of chasing the audio holy grail - again this impression only stands when they are driven by the Torii.  In which case, they present a tonally dense, fluid resolution and realism I have not heard bettered anywhere at any price.  I of course have not heard "everything".  I don't know anybody who has.  But I travel a bit and hit every audio salon along the way I can as well as attending RMAF, CES, Zenfest and a few other "fest" around the country.  I have almost certainly heard more gear than the average audiophile.  That doesn't make me an expert, nor does it make my opinion decisive.  Hearing is an individual perception, and therefore everybody hears differently.  Nobody is right or wrong.  So far, everyone here local who has heard this combo has been dumb founded as well.  Don’t dismiss out of hand based on preconceived notions – that would be huge sonic loss on your part.  The one absolute thing I have learned in many years in this hobby, is not to dismiss components I have not heard with my own ears, despite what I think I know about how they are likely to sound or how questionable their designs might be as compared to my references.  If I had ignored this learning, I would never have found Decware as well as other very satisfying components.
You might also be very surprised to find out who “in the biz” has been evaluating new speaker model concepts utilizing AN drivers ...and endorses them whole heartedly….. an open mind leads to enlightenment.... .

maddog signing off on this topic for now.....

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #474 - 01/07/14 at 20:37:52
 

Was looking up the AG Reference Series, and realized they have a sub-satallite option that is basically the same thing as the big boys, but without the built in subs...which I'm fine with!

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/gallo14/1.html

Notice the amp pictured on the reviewers PC?



If I don't stumble into a great deal like Stone did, I might just pick up these Strada. If they don't supplant my MG944, I bet they sure would sound good at my main HT speakers...especially since they have a matching Center Channel!  :)
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #475 - 01/07/14 at 20:57:34
 
md, I have owned Zu Unions & Parker Audio Crusader's=sold. Just not my cup of tea. I have NEVER met a Whizzer Cone I liked. I did hear a pair of Hemp something or Nirvana's or Omega's at Decfest 2008....put in a box/not for me.

Yes, an open mind leads to enlightenment. Steve had the designer and Speaker's of Jan Zen (it spell corrects/so I spaced) in his Listening Room. Steve's Mono's, the ZMA are for the non-Whizzer's of the World.
Beating your drum that single driver is the only way is closed minded.

Furthermore, C5smithjack, over in the Creamy Decware with Martin Logan thread...is not going to stop enjoying his ML's...because you told him Single Driver is the absolute.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1386981742

LR, 3.1's are not just subs attached. They are well integrated/seemless to be precise.  NO...mid bass hump here.

However, the Strada's have to be pretty damn good.
I have seen these on his desk from past reviews....and he has had the Torii up on the Screen for some time too...pretty cool.   -S
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« Last Edit: 01/14/14 at 22:39:47 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #476 - 01/08/14 at 03:20:43
 
I'll just leave this right here:


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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #477 - 01/08/14 at 03:42:14
 
I was sitting, listening to Darkside "Psychic" (awesome album btw) and decided to take a brief break.  On the way back I checked the 'real time build list', even though I knew my status was still hanging tight at "winding transformers", and lo and behold the #2 amp in the list is listed as 'Shipping Dept'.  Amazing! Please report back on listening impressions as soon as you wipe that PermaGrin off your face.  On second thought, don't wait, or we may never hear from you...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #478 - 01/08/14 at 06:23:17
 
Did you pick it up LR? She sure looks pretty awesome!

That reminds me...I better transfer/pay-fortify my Visa.

Mine, is having Gold Inlay put on the Top of those gorgeous NOS Mallory Caps and around my Stepped Attenuator. The Inlay must be the reason yours is done first. I sent a great local Goldsmith on per diem down there. He never did call or email me today? Huh?  -S
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« Last Edit: 01/08/14 at 06:27:32 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #479 - 01/08/14 at 11:03:56
 
Congrats!

Needs a good power cord! Smiley
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #480 - 01/08/14 at 11:16:32
 
SWEET!

It must be nice to be the first to be in possession of the jewel of the fleet.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #481 - 01/08/14 at 11:34:02
 
Okay, I canceled the Gold Inlay in order to speed shipment up (hehe).

I checked; we still have no manual. I suppose Steve can shove a note in the box where to set the millivolts setting for both the KT66 and KT120.
Plus, the balance control for each channel pair for drift.

IT's all good!  -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #482 - 01/08/14 at 13:25:50
 
I guess I should explain -  ;D

So, the story behind what happened is, IMHO, as important as what happened as Steve and I had another one of our Zen moments that coincided.

So, Monday, I warm up my car and toss in my gear and started on my 150 mile trek down to Peoria for work. About 60 miles down my boss sends me an E-mail saying I can work from home if I want, the weather and the roads were a bit rough...I'm like, so where were you 1.25 hours ago boss! Made it to Peoria and started my work day.






Tuesday, the GM of the hotel I worked at said maybe I should head out early so I'm not skating down the highway in the dark - it was about 2:30pm and I had some paperwork to finish up, I didn't leave till about 3:33pm and for some reason I was suddenly just anxious to just hit the road. I had just hit the highway and was crossing the bridge towards East Peoria when my phone rings in it's dashboard cradle, I hit speaker and I hear "Eric, it's Steve Deckert, can you call the shop line" he said something about my amp being half-done (which didn't sound good and worried me) I'm like "hey Steve, I'm just leaving Peoria, how about I swing by?" He said this was good - I look up, and the exit I need to go to his house is literally right in front of me. I dive down the exit I'm at his place 15 minutes later.



So I walk in, the shop is busy - Rich, Dave, and Steve are all working madly on amps - music is playing in every room - it's kinda crazy, but the one Steve is working on a ZMA that looks pretty well along, it looks like he's installing the big red caps. He hardly looks up, says hi, he thought I might be about ready for my amp - it's clear he's thinking, working, and talking at the same time so I didn't catch some of it - but then he's like "I thought you might like this one" - he flips the base over and I see:








Apparently this is the one in the Build Thread - the one we listened to during Decfest, he just finished the bias mod to protect the tubes if one  blows, and he installed the big red caps which I believe he said were 30 years old and were intended for use in a nuclear power station(!). I asked my question about longevity and Dave said that being basically milspec and good old school caps, they should be good for 30 years if not my lifetime and I shouldn't worry about them.  Steve dresses up the amp with my choice of knobs, gets me my big plastic case and I'm off! It didn't even cost me a bottle of Scotch! Smiley




It was just getting dark as I left, but I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement. It was just very serendipitous that I did make it down to Peoria this week, that I happened to be leaving when I was, and Steve got the inkling that he wanted to sell #000 - I guess the audio gods whispered in his ear that I might be in the area, or as Steve said "might be ready for it".





We seem to have a few of these Zen synchronizations, and I for one am thankful.

Thanks Steve - this really made my day!
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« Last Edit: 01/08/14 at 18:08:36 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #483 - 01/08/14 at 13:46:46
 
Great story! Glad you have that one in hand, and enjoy!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #484 - 01/08/14 at 16:32:38
 
Serendipitous story, is an understatement!

Wow, I am jealous. Your passion for Decware, friendship with Steve and the kind of miles you drive for work?  I am glad you have #0000 in hand!
Enjoy, ......give us early impressions....and most of all....have fun with the best custom built Stereo Amplifier on the Planet.   Cheers, Stone

Note: I added another "0" to the serial #'s. Steve is being modest. I think he will exceed #999.  Yeah, you got away without showing up with that Single Malt Scotch too....as you eluded too...geez!   Grin

PS-when you're ready, get back to us on the bias adjustments & the balance dial-in after warm-up and into Listening.
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« Last Edit: 01/08/14 at 16:42:03 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #485 - 01/08/14 at 18:44:12
 
Don't expect first impressions from me right away. After the long drive home (road noise and shot nerves) I was in no state for proper listening. Plus I'm having some power issues at home, and I didn't get home till late last night. So I have some things to sort out in the room before I can give the amp a proper chance. And Steve reminded me I need to burn in the "new" caps.

As for bias - it's super simple. Steve said "you can use any tube you want, just don't bias over 65ma as the power transformers won't handle that long term"

To set the Bias

So, you drop the KT66s in, power on - Steve has the "bias window" set so the amp will come on in the ballpark of the tubes we would be using. (this is a great design/safety feature)  Using this image for reference -

http://www.decware.com/newsite/images/DSC_0014big.jpg

The two tiny white knobs behind the voltage regulator tubes are the bias knobs - one for each channel. Dial them in till they are close to 60ma, which is what Steve said is right for the KT66.

Now, say the tubes are pretty damn close right off the bat; you dial the bias in and it comes to 58 on one tube and 62 on the other. You use the bias balance next to the volume knob to sweep them closer or further - in this case closer so they both line up to 60ma. Do the same for the other side.

If you sweep the balance knob full left or full right and can't get the tubes to match, they are out of range and need replacing (or rematching in extreme cases I would assume).

As the tubes warm up you can tweak as needed to keep them on track. After an hour or so, they should have settled and and you can simply leave that setting till next time. Or, you can tweak, tweak, tweak and dial them in as they warm up...but they will eventually end up in that same spot after an hour.

Tubes can and will drift with age - so the bias when the tubes are new will most likely be different as the tubes age, and are aged.

I can dial in my tubes in about 15 seconds - and after 4 hours, they were within .5ma still.
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« Last Edit: 01/08/14 at 18:47:55 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #486 - 01/08/14 at 20:31:19
 
Thanks Eric. I will be good to go!

In case anyone is wondering, the 0A3's do not get hot or even warm, if I recall correctly with my Torii III. So, this is a great place Steve put the bias knobs for each channel....out of the way and not to be seen or messed with when done with. Of course, the balance knobs per channel are in the perfect spot...where they should be.

Cheers, thanks...hope you get your power issue taken care of ASAP. -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #487 - 01/08/14 at 22:59:24
 
Oops… never said full-rangers were the only way to reach nirvana Stone… and if implied that – that was not my intention either.  If I thought this, I would not have seven completely different types of speakers around the house currently.  I was merely trying to convey that the particular full-rangers I have, in the enclosure size/type that I have them in, driven by a Decware Torii is a very special combination & synergy and makes beautiful music – some of the best I’ve heard.  And that anybody who gets a chance to hear this combo or would be so inclined to DIY experiment for themselves, I highly recommend it.  But there are surely as many paths to sonic bliss as there are stars in the sky....

And I do plan on taking my Torii to my friend’s house to try on his AG 3’s Stone - thanks for putting that bug in my ear!!!  In fact I just talked to him, and found out his AG 3’s are actually the current 3.5’s he tells me.  I never paid close attention to them before – just listened to them.  And I will also be hooking my Torii up to his Avantgarde Duo’s  he just got back while I’m there to boot.!!!!  My covert objective is to get him to want to try some Decware amps with his Duo's...I'm thinking SE84’s would be a perfect match.  I don’t think it will take much convincing once I get the Torii hooked to them, dialed in and warmed to "thermal stability" as Steve likes to say.

LR, super congrats on #000!  I along with a lot of other folks I suspect, are “anxious” (master of understatement), to read your forthcoming review on your experience with your zma.  I listened to the demo zma at Zen for quite a while late sat. all by meself.  I definitely preferred it over the demo IV that was on display.  But I never did get quite settled within my own frame of reference with what I was hearing – I couldn’t quite verbalize, categorize, compare and contrast  with a high degree of certainty and repeatability about what I was hearing.  For me, this kind of cognitive dissonance, when it comes to anything audio, is a sure sign that I needed to spend more time with it… and probably on my own speaks.  As you and I have recently discovered, we tend to think and hear alike when it comes to things audio – so I’m really eager to hear about your zma experience after you've had time to become familiar with it a bit.  Enjoy dude…!!!!  And please don’t make us wait too long…   Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #488 - 01/08/14 at 23:41:33
 
Quote:
For me, this kind of cognitive dissonance, when it comes to anything audio, is a sure sign that I needed to spend more time with it… and probably on my own speaks.  As you and I have recently discovered, we tend to think and hear alike when it comes to things audio – so I’m really eager to hear about your zma experience after you've had time to become familiar with it a bit.  Enjoy dude…!!!!  And please don’t make us wait too long…


I think you nailed it right there...I had trouble describing it and could only say it didn't have *more* detail, but more harmonics to the detail that was there...or something like that. Just the few short minutes with it made me realize I definitely have some things to sort out in my listening room and need much more time to sort out what's going on.



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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #489 - 01/09/14 at 00:16:00
 
Maddog-
The Audio Nirvana's deserve to be listened too. Just as I have and will have, a couple more Amplifiers to Listen to Music with....I should revisit full range driver's again. Just because my experience with  Zu or Parker's was not so favorable...does not mean the AN's, for a lot of or just a fare amount, of what I listen to.....they might be pretty darn good/incredible. ....like you said...you have your other Speakers too....but the AN's you enjoy as well!

Seriously, I am game. In what cabinet choice do you have your 12" Alnico's?     -Stone

Also, way cool, 3.5 Gallo's & Avantgarde Duo's at your friends house! I have always wanted to hear the AD's.....that will be fun with the Torii...even though the AD's might be better suited for SE84's as you mentioned.....but the Torii on them....should be pretty damn good to make him a potential convert to Decware!  
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« Last Edit: 01/14/14 at 22:30:43 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #490 - 01/09/14 at 20:11:22
 
OK, so I'm itching to say something, even though I really don't have much to say. So I'll just do my usual flow of consciousness writing that I'm sure makes no sense.

So, Tuesday night, I get home, explain to Brianne what happened and why I'm so late, pop the amp out of it's fancy case and let it warm up.

It sounded rough. Like, I just sat there with this sinking feeling in my stomach rough. A couple things happened here - #1 my Zen amp has recently blossomed and probably sounds as good as it can be. #2 I've tweaked the system, the whole room in fact, around the Zen amp - which I think was making the ZMA sound weird dropped in it's place. #3, I'm sick, I'm bushed, I just drove 150 miles in a car with damaged exhaust, white knuckling it over ice and snow - not a good way to do some critical listening. #4, My Decware Silver Reference ICs were acting like antenna and injecting some major noise in the system (e.g. Something in the room, probably power related, is causing havoc with the sound) - so I had to downgrade to...heavily shielded monster cable...ugh.

Wednesday night, terrible day at work, just got back from a visit to the doctors office, I'm tired, I've hardly eaten, only had to drive 80 miles in my loud car today - I come home to find the ZMA on...I ask Brianne if she's been listening and she says "no, I just warmed it up for you"

Yes, she's a keeper.

The amp had 4-5 hours on it with the new caps the previous night, I could already hear it was sounding better. Put 4-5 more hours of background listening while I did other stuff, and by the end of the night, I found myself turning it down lower and lower as the night went on. The amp reminded me of a big horse going from a trot to a gallop and I needed to reign it in - gone with the thin reedy sound from the night before, now it was starting to have some weight and detail!

Still no where as smooth and rich as it was when we demo'd it during Decfest. The big reds clearly need to be "seated in", but I can start to hear the heft that I expected from an amp of this caliber. That sinking feeling is long gone and replaced with excitement for what's coming!

I don't have a lot of experience with amps at this level, and, keep in mind, I'm leaping (through time) from an early 2 watt Zen to the 40 watt ZMA - I don't have a Torii III to compare to. I'm also not one who spends money like this - so I'm going to be super critical of this $4600 expenditure. This beast needs to prove to me it's worth this (to me) extravagant expenditure. Wattage and volume doesn't impress me - I need to hear that liquid honesty. For now, I'll be burning it with the recommended - 5 hours on, 5 hours off, till the amp starts to level out. I feel has a long way till it's bloom. I will do my best to give my (hopefully) humble, and honest thoughts as the amp comes into it's own.





P.S. About the room: I do still have power and noise issues to sort out that weren't really objectionable with the little Zen amp. The ZMA somehow makes me feel like I need a *bigger* room(!), or at very least I need to completely re-position the speakers and listening position...which in turn means adjusting the sound treatments as well.

I'll have more as the thoughts come to me.  

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« Last Edit: 01/09/14 at 21:27:47 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #491 - 01/09/14 at 23:19:59
 
Thanks for the early impressions!

It only gets better.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #492 - 01/10/14 at 00:44:08
 
Lon, speaking of power cords - tell me if you see a great deal on one of the PS Audio ones. I'm using my fancy DIY A/C cable made from Zen Styx cabling, but it's unshielded - I'd like to compare my work to a decent shielded cable so I can see if I can hear a difference and maybe tweak my design.

I beat Brianne home from work tonight, let the amp warm up for about 20 minutes (had to tweak the bias balance on one side, it was off by about .5ma), then woke the amp up with Heart Barracuda (cranked pretty loud), and moved on to Keith Jarret Koln concert (WOT - Wide Open Throttle). I think I drove that too hard, too soon. While it was neat hearing the creak of a door opening in the background (talk about detail in this recording), I think I was pushing it too hard as the Piano started sounding like an electric piano...which is kinda neat actually...because while it wasn't correct, it also wasn't objectionable - those even order harmonics at work, much like a guitar amp going into warm overdrive.

I'm back down at a normal listening level now, just burning the amp in with Bitches Brew and soon moving on to Hendrix thanks to the What's Spinning thread.
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 00:46:37 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #493 - 01/10/14 at 01:29:43
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 01/10/14 at 00:44:08:
Lon, speaking of power cords - tell me if you see a great deal on one of the PS Audio ones. I'm using my fancy DIY A/C cable made from Zen Styx cabling, but it's unshielded - I'd like to compare my work to a decent shielded cable so I can see if I can hear a difference and maybe tweak my design.



It's a rather lean time for the Perfectwave AC series bargains. A few months ago there were incredible closeout deals. They were blowing out the excellent AC-10 series and also closing out some lengths of AC-12. Right now the best assuredly legit deal I see is for an AC-5, about 40 percent off, at usedcables.com

Unless you can handle a half meter length (and these aren't very flexible) in which case audioadvisor.com has great deals on AC-10.
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 01:31:08 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #494 - 01/10/14 at 01:38:26
 
Also, as has been reported here on the board, and as I've read elsewhere, Pangea cables offer a great value. One of the engineers that designed the Ps Audio Perfectwave AC series of cables is responsible for these, and the "Signature Edition" of the 9 cable is triple-shielded and has the PCOCC coppper that I believe is partially responsible for the real success of the PS Audio series.

http://www.audioadvisor.com/Pangea-Audio-AC-9SE-Signature-Power-Cable/productinf...

It's also available in a cheaper edition with different wire (no PCOCC)
http://www.audioadvisor.com/Pangea-Audio-AC-9-Power-Cable/productinfo/PGAC9/2073...

I haven't heard them, I don't really know how they compare to those that I use, but she likes them.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #495 - 01/10/14 at 01:51:58
 
Thanks for that, Lon. About $150 I think is my limit for a power cord. I'm even fine with used.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #496 - 01/10/14 at 01:59:24
 
Well, you had different ideas about an amp before the ZMA as well. Wink

Most of those I posted about are 150 or under.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #497 - 01/10/14 at 02:01:52
 

Yeah well, I'm also eye-ballin' a used P10 - just need to see what my funds look like and if I'm getting married in 2015 before I start spending stupid money.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #498 - 01/10/14 at 12:07:11
 
Thanks for your early impressions LR (reply #490).  You know I'm going nuts to receive mine!

Yes, it is a big investment for me too ($4951). I see it as a long term durable good....of SATISFACTION. Not a vacation for 7 to 10 days for two....that is "poof"....gone.  Certainly, a great comparison...not a rationalization.

However, if Steve took on a few investor's and ramped up production in Leased space in the Office Park down the street (capital equipment expenditure is relatively low)....then sold through Distributor's/Retailer's....the ZMA could not be touched for less than $7495.00 + tax.

So, I am grateful to deal with Decware directly for both my ZMA & Torii IV.       Cool   -S
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 12:31:07 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Syd
Seasoned Member
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Posts: 1337
Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #499 - 01/10/14 at 13:58:51
 
This is like a good book ! Cant wait for chapter four, or is it fourteen,
it`s been quite a journey.

Jimi on the MA. He`s like.....,ok lets get E.Ladyland on
and see how this amps cooking.   8-)
Yes jimi in his own studio making his masterpiece and
fortifying  the `how does he do that ` legend.
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 15:24:28 by Syd »  

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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