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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 169488 times)
mark58
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #840 - 03/04/14 at 01:35:59
 
Stone,  I vote for the Bees Wax Caps.  I can't compare since I have had them in all my Decware Gear from the start....CSP3, ZP3, Taboo MK III and Torii MK IV...but Lon has had his CSP2s with and without them and will tell you they're worth the added expense.  I've also run my Amps with and without the CSP3 and with is best in my opinion.  Mark.
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #841 - 03/04/14 at 01:48:44
 
Get the Jupiter caps. Not an inexpensive option, but a worthy one.
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mark58
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #842 - 03/04/14 at 01:52:08
 
Stone, another option I got was two stereo outputs rather than one stereo and one mono as is standard on the CSP3.  That way I can have both my Speaker Amp and Headphone Amp hooked up at the same time...ready to go just by turning on the Amp I want to use for my listening session. And if you want to run a sub you can get an adapter.  Mark.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #843 - 03/04/14 at 02:02:17
 
Thanks, Lon & Mark. It was meant to be....I had the late afternoon today...listening to the ZMA....and realizing you know what this needs Larry...a PreAmp....I go to the ZMA Thread...and you guys are talking about this aspect...in detail!  Dave1210....on thru.... .

I am ordering the Pre right now with the Jupiter Caps & the Double Line Level outputs.  Thanks guys, this is what it is all about. This Pre of Steve's...I can see now being so successful...when you have 0 to 6 volts of gain to adjust per channel...out of the Pre...besides the ZMA gain and my up to 3.6 volt gain out of my Audio Alchemy DAC. Of course I have to get another .5 meter of IC...but well worth it.    -S
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« Last Edit: 03/04/14 at 02:34:26 by stone_of_tone »  

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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #844 - 03/04/14 at 02:13:43
 
Stone,
       No offense taken! I felt a bit bad about my response. Didn't mean to catch you wrong. I value all of you guys input on these amps there are so many variables to all of this equipment to reach there potential. I love my CSP3 I feel at this point with my current equipment it is truly the core of my sound. I like Lon, have had issues with the high frequencies in my system and have had to settle for a bit less resolution to tame it down to where I like it. As far as the two way speakers you were looking at I have not had the opportunity to hear for myself but wanted to point out shortfalls that I have experienced with 2 ways. I have to say the best 2 way sound I have experienced was not with home audio gear but with a Mackie PA system I used to own. The bad thing about a power system is your not really looking for imagining and 3d depth like we are all listening for in our home audio systems but sound balance tonal balance and volume is where it is at with PA's. Not worried about sweet spots to listen from in a room. I was running two 15's in the mains with horns and 2 18" EV Eliminator subs and I have to say that has been the only 2 ways I have heard where the low frequencies from the subs integrated to the mains.
      Just wanted to let you know two ways can be difficult at times depending on your taste in sound. I think you would probably really like the CSP3 with the mystery amp it will provide a bit more flexibility in your system with some tube rolling. The Mystery amp I am sure is a bit flexible also but with the CSP3 it should provide a bit more control without the need to EQ. The CSP3 has kept me from adding unnecessary equipment. The simpler the better. You can't beat Decware.

Thanks for your response back Stone! Its all good.


Cool
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« Last Edit: 03/04/14 at 22:20:34 by Digger »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #845 - 03/04/14 at 02:30:43
 
Yes, hammer/nail on the head-Digger...I think you're right....the CSP3 will provide more control without the need for EQ.

.....CSP3 ordered!
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« Last Edit: 03/04/14 at 03:15:47 by stone_of_tone »  

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FarmBoss
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #846 - 03/04/14 at 03:28:05
 
Funny how we are all on the same page on this.  I never needed a preamp on my Mini Torrie, but in my opinion the mystery amp requires one.  Running the ZP3 directly to the mystery amp really does not give me enough gain.  I also changed tables and tested a moving magnet cartridge and really didn't see any improvement so my conclusion is that my high output moving coil cart was not the problem.  I ordered the preamp this weekend without the Jupiter caps but today I was thinking about how much I have already spent and my goal has been to put together a top notch system and another $275 is just a drop in the bucket at this point.  I added them tonight.  Is there any reason you didn't opt for the 0-12 volt option.  IMHO why limit myself to less control by going with the 0-6 option.  I am sure there is some downside somewhere.
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mark58
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #847 - 03/04/14 at 04:03:16
 
FB,  this is what Steve says in the write up for the CSP3....

"Output level 0-6 volts or optionally 0-12 volts.
You would only need 0-12 volts with certain SUPER HARD TO DRIVE amplifiers like some SET amps that omit the first gain stage."

I haven't heard of anyone who has the 0 to 12 volt option.  It would probably be best to ask Steve about it. Mark.
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« Last Edit: 03/04/14 at 04:06:45 by mark58 »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #848 - 03/04/14 at 04:44:07
 
The Mini Torii was designed with an additional gain stage to accommodate an iPod.  Specifically, it has enough gain to make an iPod sound like it actually has balls.  This is a must for a desktop amplifier like the mini torii.   It is the first and only Decware amplifier to have two gain stages, and on a 2 volt source it clips at just past half volume.  This is fairly typical and what most people are used to.   That said, the "Decware" way to handle gain is normally to move the input sensitivity of our amplifiers up to and in some cases past the 2 volt mark making it A) Difficult to clip and B) In the higher better sounding range of the gain/volume control of the amplifier.  That means the normal volume control position when no preamp is used will be somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 volume to hit a normal listening level.

What happens when you add a CSP3 is you flush out the full 2 volts from any source or recording.  In fact, you can take a CSP3 and transform a 2 volt input from your CD player into a  whopping 30 volt output and then squeeze it back down at the input of the amplifier via the amp's volume control set to 1/2 vol.  This creates incredible weight, explosive dynamics and impressive tone (tube love) which is what all digital needs to sound right.

So when you compare "how loud" an amp gets relative to the volume control on the amp, you are comparing INPUT SENSITIVITY aka GAIN / Not the amplifiers POWER.  A Mystery amp ranges from 33 watts RMS to 48 watts RMS depending on the speaker impedance and the output taps you're using.  If you're not trying both sets, you could be cheating yourself.  Peak Power on this amp ranges between 68 and 98 watts.  That is with a laboratory grade 2 volt reference source at 442Hz.  The Mystery Amp has by far the least distortion during clipping of any Decware Amplifier, and I have yet to rudely clip it with over 2 volts to see what it can really do... and that's likely because I am surrounded by 92~94 dB efficient speakers at 1w/1m and can reach almost any SPL I want without strain.  For the same performance and sound quality on lower efficiency speakers we have the Zen Torii Mono's.  But more often than not it is more cost effective to get a higher efficiency speaker than to increase the power of your amplifier(s).

Bottom line, the ZDAC or similar caliber DAC's like the TEAC UD501 are the minimally acceptable sources for a ZMA if you going direct with no preamp, and only really enjoyable when using 24 bit recordings.  All other cases will benefit greatly with the CSP3 and frankly, so would the better DAC's in most cases... it just handles digital so well you forget about formats, gear, and everything else...as it should be.

KISS principle - observation:  

If every audio component was like a glass filled with 1 inch of water, and the water was not perfect... it had in fact a slight cloudiness to it, you would never know because there was only 1 inch of water.  In a clear glass cup, you could see right through the bottom of the cup with respectable transparency.  However, add two or three more components of equal quality (cloudiness) and now you have a glass cup filled with the 3 inches or more of water and the cloudiness is now apparent.  

If you were to do the same test as above with transparent water that was not cloudy, (Decware gear) you would find little difference between the cup with 1 inch of water and 3 inches of water.  This is how a CSP3 can actually improve things without the stereotypical tradeoffs common with mass produced audio gear.

Now that we can build a CSP3 with Beeswax caps (incredible transparency) there really should be no fear.

FarmBoss, sorry for the rocky start and thanks for fastening your seatbelt.

Oh, a note about the CSP3 voltage option... the 0-6 volt vs. the 0-12 volt options were designed to reduce noise or hum to undetectable levels in even the most adverse situations.  Shortly after production of the CSP3 we got it down so good that we are now making all of them 0-30 volts like the the original but with zero noise or hum.   I hope to get the web page updated soon by eliminating this option from the shopping cart.  This preamp has never been this good.

-Steve




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« Last Edit: 03/04/14 at 04:46:42 by Steve Deckert »  
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SteveC
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #849 - 03/04/14 at 05:29:18
 
Did you see that?  How smoothly Steve just sold me a CSP3?  He's so sly Wink.  

it makes perfect sense.  I'm waiting for a new DAC, now I'm saving for a preamp.  The hobby that never ends.... Smiley

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #850 - 03/04/14 at 10:20:32
 
Steve thanks for the confirmation.  I never really was too worried as I know there was something wrong with my config and not the amp.  It raeallydoes sound wonderful.  The two things I have noticed is how it just powers through the lower end.  Tons of what I think of as torque.  Also I have been blown away by the soundstage using my VPI Classic.

I would make sure that the fuses sent on future amps are changed.  Yhe 6.3 volts seem to work fine.
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Fireblade
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #851 - 03/04/14 at 15:08:17
 
Hi Steve,

The implications of the extra gain on the Mini-Torii (a well known design fact) are not that convenient when trying to 'ride the gain', especially to boost weight and body, isn't it?

I mean, if we need to increase the output gain from the preamp we need to also decrease the volume on the amp to achieve a positive signal pressure on the preamp's end and allow the boosting described.

This would entail the amp would always be run in the less transparent range of the volume pot, a not desirable condition.

If, on the other hand, one wants to use the higher range of the amp's volume, the preamp would have to come down, therefore creating a leaner sound altogether (as the starving input signal would be diluted further by the amp's higher volume), wouldn't it?

So either we lean the sound and work on the transparent range of the amp, or else, boost the sound by working the amp on the less transparent range. A difficult tradeoff to face.

On a side note, I'm about to get a DAC with a built-in, transparent preamp. The range of the preamp's 'analogue' volume is 0-12dBs. The output voltage is rated at 2V at 0dB. Would this be enough to ride the gain in the Mini-Torii?

Thanks for any orientation.

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #852 - 03/04/14 at 17:09:56
 
Thanks Steve for your post. ....just what I am looking for into my ZMA.

......"cases will benefit greatly with the CSP3 and frankly, so would the better DAC's in most cases... it just handles digital so well you forget about formats, gear, and everything else...as it should be".

....0 to 30 volt just knocks it out of the park too!  Cool.

....and of course the CSP3 is getting a Kimber Select 1030 run in to it as well.  -S
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Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
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Digger
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #853 - 03/05/14 at 00:33:37
 
        Guys have fun! Sounds like you will have some more excitement coming your way. Your going to love those CSP3's. Best money I have ever spent.                           Smiley






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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #854 - 03/05/14 at 01:18:25
 
~ IMO ~

With the lack of inputs alone on the ZMA , a Preamp is almost a given unless you like to get up and swap sources and cables every time you change mediums and I don't believe an input selection box is really the best way to go ... sometimes there's a source that just needs a little gain/oomph to get it going.

I'm chasing a unicorn here, but I'm still waiting for a 2 channel Decware Preamp that has enough inputs for 3-4 analog sources and a remote (only a volume is needed, but source selection would be nice).  The Zen Ultra is overkill (not to mention expensive) for most 2 channel guys.  There is a big hole in Decware's lineup for this product.  I could see the cost coming in between the CSP3 and Ultra.
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